How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay on an Advertisement

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay on an Advertisement

If you have an interest in knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement, there are a couple of things you need to explore first. For starters, a rhetorical analysis is one where you are expected to influence what others think. In order to write a rhetorical analysis on an advertisement, there are a couple of things you need to consider:

Questions to ask yourself

It is essential for you to ask yourself these questions as you prepare to write your essay:

  • What purpose does the advertisement serve ( consider what is on sale and the manner in which it is used)
  • What audience is the ad intended for (you can also think of the location where you found the ad)
  • What are specific images found in the ad and whether it is in the form of written text or visual
  • How are people in the advertisement depicted? If there are any stereotypes, what are they conforming to>
  • What is the lifestyle promoted by the advertisement?
  • Are there any implicit or explicit messages in the ad?

One important section you have to get right when writing a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement is the introduction. You should start by describing what seems to be taking place within the ad.

You can achieve this by writing a strong thesis and “unpacking” the ad as you go on. Analyze the text, color, shapes and symbolism etc. It is by answering questions such as these that you will be in a position to write your essay.

Among the best examples of rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement can be found at The essay is an Old Spice Advertisement “The Man your Man Could Smell Like” and it follows different rhetoric styles, some of which we are going to discuss further.

Requirements to writing a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement

Ideally, while writing your paper bear these guidelines in mind:

  • The paper should be 5 full pages, in MLA format, double spaced ( ensure you use the appropriate headers
  • The advertisement in question should be incorporated in the text of the essay or it should be attached to the essay
  • You should remember to discuss ways through which the ad can be improved or what could be done in order to make the ad more effective

With these simple tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement you should be able to write the essay on your own.

How to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement introduction

Your rhetorical analysis essay requires an introduction and this should be in the form of a thesis statement. The thesis statement simply refers to one or two sentences that condense the argument you are going to follow. Often, it is either the first or last statement of your introductory paragraph. The thesis should sum the argument of the essay without being too precise or too broad such that your readers are able to understand the scope and message of the essay.

Tips for writing the thesis statement

While writing the thesis statement, start by figuring out what you have been asked to do. For instance, it could be that you are asked to explain the color used in the advertisement. It is ideal to narrow down the prompt of your assignment to a particular question then answer it. The thesis statement is supposed to answer this question and provide an overview of evidence you intend to use in order to convince readers the thesis is a sound one.

Writing the rest of the introduction

Next, you have to write the remaining part of the introduction so as to bring the reader to speed with the topic under discussion. In some instance, there no need in providing a definition for “rhetoric” or rhetorical analysis” for your reader though it is necessary to provide context for the text under analysis. Text in this case refers to what is contained in the advertisement.

Revise the introduction

Write the essay by providing evidence in every paragraph in the body so as to support the thesis. If at the end of the essay you realize the introduction does not work as intended, review and rewrite it. Always make sure the introduction is a reflection of what you say in the rest of the essay.

Additional tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement

Use of ethos

Ethos refers to a persuasive strategy used by an author for purposes of illustrating their reliability, trustfulness and credibility. As you review the advertisement, identify ethos by evaluating how the author has asserted their credentials or the effort they are making to win trust from the audience.

Where the advertisement has used ethos, provide specific examples and analyze how that changes the perception of the reader. For instance, many advertisements use celebrities because people tend to believe they use the best products. Knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement demands that you identify use of ethos with precision and accuracy.

Use of pathos

This is a rhetorical appeal in which the author engages the values and emotions of the audience. Emotions are often evoked through sharing of personal anecdotes or stories of people who have used the product/service in the past. Therefore, in this section of the essay, analyze the strategy used by the author to reveal his argument through stories and emotional language.

You can also read the sample of Lance Armstrong and Nike at to get a better idea of how to achieve this. By reading samples such as these, you sharpen your writing skills and increase chances of getting a high score.


In the next part of the essay, describe how the author has used logos. This refers to appeal to the needs of an audience for logical sequencing ideas. This will also include making reasonable and supportable claims through solid research and use of reliable resources. For instance, write about how through the advertisement, the writer has advanced his argument, the kind of research they have used as well as reasoning behind the advertisement.

Identify style details

There are different style elements used in advertisements such as diction, imagery, syntax and tone. Addressing these elements is crucial towards the completion of your essay and you are supposed to demonstrate how these aspects are used if indeed they are.

Form the analysis

Now that you have identified crucial aspects about the ad, you should start working on the analysis. Before you do this though, ensure you determine just what the gathered information suggests. In this case you are supposed to:

  • Ask the rhetorical strategy appeals and style that helps the ad to achieve its purpose. You have to establish whether these strategies hurt or fail the ad rather than helping.
  • Speculate on whether the author would have selected the rhetorical strategies for that occasion and audience.
  • Since you are writing a rhetorical analysis, bear in mind you do not necessarily have to agree with what the author has presented in their argument.

Write in chronological order

Knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement requires you understand how to write chronologically. This is as important as organizing the advertisement by rhetorical appeal. Additionally, it is straightforward:

  • You are supposed to begin from the start of the advertisement then work your way towards the end. Details regarding the advertisement and analysis should be presented in a clear manner.
  • The author of the ad must have organized it carefully and with purpose. As such, addressing the order they have used makes your analysis more coherent and easy to follow through.

Writing the conclusion

While writing a rhetorical analysis on an advertisement, the conclusion is just as important as the introduction. You are supposed to accomplish more than simply summarizing the rhetorical appeals used by the author.

Ensure you round out the ad’s content by giving your readers something they can ponder about. You can also review the sample at to get additional ideas on how to write an impressive rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement.

Restating your thesis and main ideas in the conclusion is important and so is specifying what can be done in order to make the advertisement better and more effective.

Get assistance on writing a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement

We hope the above guidelines on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement will be of great help to you. However if you need assistance to write your rhetorical analysis essay on an advertisement, contact us for assistance.

You can also visit our homepage to see what other services we offer and how we can assist you. You may also want to continue reading more guidelines on writing different academic papers or other non-related material. To do so, continue looking in this blog  where you will also find academic sample papers under different disciplines.