How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Although nobody can organize his/her rhetorical analysis essay in a perfect manner, it is important to know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline because this makes writing a rhetorical analysis essay easier. However, organization alone is not a problem. The major problem is organization that fails to consider the demands of the writing task at hand- A rhetorical analysis essay outline refers to a worksheet or a plan that shows how you intend to write or organize your rhetorical analysis essay-

A rhetorical analysis essay refers to an essay in which non-fiction work is broken down into parts after which the author explains how they work together in creating a specific effect such as informing, entertaining or persuading readers-

A basic guide on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

While writing a rhetorical analysis essay outline, always remember that there are different forms of rhetorical analysis. Therefore, the outline should be written according to the specific uses, situation and requirements of the rhetorical analysis.

  1. Introduction

The introduction should be the first item in your rhetorical analysis outline. It should have several items though it is not a must that you include them in this particular order.

  • Introduction of the piece that is being analyzed: This entails introducing the piece that is to be analyzed in the essay. Ensure that the introduction makes the reader interested in reading the entire essay. The introduction should be straightforward. For instance, the introduction can include a statement like, “In the case of faith, the writer argues that people should consider religious faith valid just like scientific faith.” Do not provide a lot of information in the introduction because the body will discuss the piece in details.
  • The main point of the writer: The main point is the thesis of the piece that you will analyze in the essay and it should come out clearly. For instance, “The author argues that there are no benefits of religion to the society because it makes people less aggressive in solving their problems.”
  • A summary of the supporting reasons that the writer gives.
  • Background information regarding the piece that you will analyze: For instance, tell readers where the piece was published, when and why. Also share information about the author of the piece with your readers. Tell readers about the target audience of the work, the structure of the argument and enabling assumptions. Ensure that the background information that you include in the outline is engaging and that it enables readers to comprehend your analysis.
  1. The body

How you organize the body of a rhetorical analysis essay shows whether you know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline or not. The number of the pages of the body depends on the scope and requirements of the rhetorical analysis. The organization of body paragraphs depends on how you write the outline.

When writing the outline of a rhetorical analysis essay’s body, aim at:

  • Proving the thesis statement of your essay. The thesis statement of a rhetorical analysis essay should be narrowed down into the significant ways via which the author or creator of the work ineffectively or effectively achieved the main purpose of the work. The body should provide coherent and detailed analysis that shows how the work is ineffective or effective.
  • Analyzing the work in details rather than simply identifying the rhetorical elements. To do this, make a claim followed by a supporting example and its explanation-
  • Discussing the intended audience
  • Using quotations to enhance the credibility of your essay.
  • Discussing the appeals that the author has used.

The conclusion part of the outline should include information that will enable you to:

  • Stick to the rhetorical analysis without introducing new information
  • Summarize the entire rhetorical analysis essay
  • Reflect on what the analysis has taught you or how your perspective has changed after analyzing the work.

Sample outline of a rhetorical analysis essay

When you have a sample outline of a rhetorical analysis essay, knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline becomes easy.

Here is a sample rhetorical analysis essay outline that can be used in writing a rhetorical analysis essay of an article that was published in the New York Times on September 27th 2012-

  • Introduce the New York Times’ article entitled “Are these Elections the Nastiest Ever” by Peter M.
  • Purpose: To persuade readers that the coming elections are not worse than other elections that have ever been held in the U.S.
  • Context: Some weeks before the elections
  • Audience: New York Times’ readers specifically the Americans that are interested in the elections.
  • Thesis: Peter uses rhetorical strategies that include logos and ethos in persuading readers that the current smear campaigning is not extremely worse as compared to that of other elections.
  • Logos

Explain how Peter makes a single blanket claim and provide support for the main purpose of this article. Peter uses juxtaposition, comparisons and parallels in supporting the claim.

  • Claim 1: Although the elections seem bad, they are not original in their biliousness. Thus, Peter claims that although the elections are bad, they cannot be considered as the first elections of that kind.
  • Claim 1a: Peter questions readers as he make claim that faith is now a topic in regards to 2012 elections.
  • Evidence 1a: Peter employs the example of the elections of 1976 in supporting the claim.
  • Claim 1b: Peter claims that Adams v. Jefferson can be an example of the first time of playing a race card.
  • Evidence 1b: The author gives an example and a quote to strengthen the given example of supporting claim 1.
  • Claim 1c: The author claims that ethnic and foreigners suspicions have played a role during all elections. He chooses great words to support this.
  • Evidence 1c: The author fails to mention the parallel of the elections such as the birth certificate of Obama and instead, he leaves readers to figure this out.
  • Claim 1d: Peter claims that these elections are not the first elections that play politics in relation to the lost American lives.
  • Evidence 1d: Rather than using the past examples, Peter uses these elections in providing a balance for the argument after which he compares with the example given before. He uses a quote and a picture in making the article easy for the readers to understand.
  • The previous evidence is wrapped with a transition to Claim 1e.
  • Claim 1e: The author argues that sex lives and morality of the candidates is now a common issue when it comes to presidency battle.
  • Evidence 1e: The author uses examples after making his claim.
  • Anticipating objection: Before counting blessings of being removed from the time when the death of politicians’ children was seen as fair game, the author uses professor quotes that these elections have more negative ads.
  • Claim 2: Peter claims that the effects of smear campaigns are not always negative on the victims.
  • Evidence 2: The author diverges from his original argument and then explains the failed attempts of the past smear campaigns.
  • Conclusion: Instead of continuing the initial argument, the author broadens the scope of the article to include smear campaigns’ concept.


  • Peter writes for a New York Times. This is a credible source of news.
  • The title of the article invites readers to think about the elections’ topic and then follow the line of thought of the author throughout the article.
  • The knowledge of the author about history and elections makes him look credible to his audience.
  • Peter balances his article. He does not fight for the argument too much. Instead, he makes rational comparisons.
  • He provides quotes from the presidential biographies’ author and a political science professor.
  • He uses “us” and “we” to show that he shares experience with his audience.
  • Conclusion

Restate the thesis statement of the essay and explain how effectively the rhetorical strategies have been used in this article.

More on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

  • Include proper transitions between the paragraphs of the essay because these enable readers to follow your line of thinking-
  • Edit the outline to ensure clarity and to eliminate mechanical errors.
  • Ensure that the outline enables you to answer the question or prompt for writing the rhetorical analysis essay.
  • Use adjectives correctly and do not be friendly to authors.

Remember that anybody who knows how to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline will get a picture of your rhetorical analysis essay by simply reading the outline. Therefore, your outline for a rhetorical analysis essay should include relevant information only. It should also depict logical flow and coherence.

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