Rhetorical Analysis Outline
As a student, you should know how to write a rhetorical analysis outline because your teacher or professor will ask you to write a rhetorical analysis essay at some point during your studies. Performing a rhetorical analysis is analyzing a source or work which can be a text, a movie, or an artifact- en.wikibooks.org. A rhetorical analysis essay is an essay that analyzes a given work or source.
Rhetorical analysis is aimed at considering the genre, purpose, audience, media or design and stance of the presented rhetorical situation. Thus, it explores what is meant by everything in the source or work as well as why the creator of the work chose to come up with the work or the purpose, the background of the author, organization or structure of the work, the intended message and the date of publication. An outline refers to a system that is used to organize and to think about the analysis- web.psych.washington.edu.
Types of rhetorical analysis outline
There are two types of the outline of a rhetorical analysis.
- Topic outline
This is an outline that comprises of short sentences or phrases. It is important when the analysis has several issues that can be arranged in different ways.
- Sentence outline
This is an outline that has complete phrases or sentences. It is useful when the analysis has complex details to focus on. A sentence outline enables you to include more details in the phrases instead of coming up with an outline that has several short sentences or phrases and therefore more pages.
It is important to note that both topic and sentence outlines have a rigid format. They use Arabic and Roman numerals as well as small and capital alphabet letters. This ensures that both the writer and the readers of the outline can follow the organization of the work with ease.
Why you need an outline to write a rhetorical analysis
A good outline enables you to plan your rhetorical analysis. By creating an outline, you get a picture of the hierarchical relationship of the information that you want to convey through the analysis. An outline indicates how you will order information logically in the analysis. A good rhetorical analysis outline makes the writing process easier- owl.english.purdue.edu. This is because it gives you a clear order to follow when presenting information.
Additionally, it enables you to organize ideas depending on how they relate to each other and to construct a properly ordered overview. A good outline will also show readers the purpose of your analysis and the audience that it is intended for. When you start by creating an outline, writing the analysis becomes easier because it acts as your writing guide and therefore it enables you to avoid facing the writer’s block.
How to write a rhetorical analysis outline
To write an outline for a rhetorical analysis, organize your analysis in different sections as follows:
- Contextualize the work that you are required to analyze. This entails discussing its social context and painting a picture of the climate where the work was established.
- Introduce the work and the creator and briefly discuss the title, occupation and background of the creator.
- Describe the gist or subject matter of the work.
- Identify the main claims of the author.
- Identify the intended audience
- Discuss the possible main goals of the author.
- State your thesis. This is the final evaluation of the work. That is, how unpersuasive or persuasive the argument is, its weaknesses and strengths in regards to the perspective of the intended audience.
- Identify the source of the publication which can be a website, a publisher, college or organization.
- Identify the intended audience or people who are likely to read or watch the work.
- Describe how you know that the work could have been intended for that particular audience.
- Discuss the reason why the author chose that particular audience.
- Discuss other people who could be part of the target audience and why.
- Discuss who the author may have excluded from the target audience.
- Discuss the structure of the work
- Provide a road map of the organization or logic of the work.
- Describe how the author starts the work and how other sections unfold.
- Describe the major argument or reasoning in the work.
- Evaluate the structure of the argument or reasoning and conclude by a comment about the possible response of the target audience to the overall structure of the argument.
- Main argument’s claims and the supporting reasoning
- Identify the main argument’s claims.
- Describe the way the claims are supported in the work by reasons.
- Provide specific examples that represent instances where the author indicates his/her reasoning.
- Analyze examples briefly discussing the strategy that the author uses in persuading readers and how he/she does this.
- Evaluate the reasoning of the argument and then conclude the section with a comment of how the target audience is likely to respond.
- Discuss the used evidence
- Discuss the type of the evidence that the creator of the work uses in persuading readers. This can be facts, personal experience or statistics.
- Provide examples of the evidence.
- Analyze the examples in a brief manner.
- Evaluate the evidence of the example and conclude the section with a comment on the possible response of the target audience.
- Discuss extrinsic ethos of the author in a brief manner. This includes how the author establishes it and its contribution to his/her credibility or character and the influence on the target audience.
- Discuss the intrinsic ethos of the audience.
- Provide examples of instances where the author builds ethos in the argument.
- Analyze the examples in a brief manner.
- Evaluate the ethos and conclude with a comment on the possible response from the audience.
- Discuss the appeals of the author to pathos. These are appeals to the emotions, assumptions, values and feeling of identity.
- Provide examples to illustrate their use in persuading the target audience.
- Analyze the examples in a brief manner while discussing their use to bring about specific feelings or responses from the audience.
- Evaluate the use of pathos appeals and conclude with a comment on the possible response of the audience.
- Qualifiers and counter-arguments
- Discuss in a brief manner why, where and how the author may qualify the main claims in the argument in different important ways as well as the effect that the qualifications are likely to have on the audience.
- Discuss how the author has addressed counter arguments, refutations and concessions in the work.
- Provide examples of instances where the author addresses different counter arguments in order to persuade the target audience.
- Analyze every example in a brief manner while discussing how counter-arguments are handled in the work and the impact of the employed strategies.
- Evaluate how counter-arguments, refutations and concessions have been used by the author and then conclude with a comment on the possible response from the target audience as well as how the author treats opposition in general.
- Highlight the weaknesses and strengths of the argument in the conclusion.
- Provide the final argument’s evaluation after weighing the weaknesses and strengths to determine the persuasiveness of the work in relation to the target audience.
Remember that a rhetorical analysis outline should show how you intend to organize your analysis. Therefore, after reading your outline, readers should clearly see how the analysis will be organized and where they are likely to find specific information in the analysis.
Use a sample outline as your writing guide
There are many websites that offer samples of rhetorical analysis for free or at a fee. Customwritingservice.org is an example of such websites. Samples from such a site will enable you to master how to craft an outline for a rhetorical analysis because they are written by professional writers. You can also ask friends or your lecturer to give you or to guide you to the sources that have good sample outlines of rhetorical analysis. Your library can also have sample outlines that other scholars or former students of your school wrote in the past and these can guide you while writing your outline.
Here is the link to a sample rhetorical analysis outline from Pen State University that can help you write your own outline.
From the above guidelines, we hope you will have no difficulties coming up with an ideal outline for your rhetorical analysis.
However if you face difficulties while writing a rhetorical analysis get in touch with us any time for immediate assistance. You can also visit the home page of our website for details regarding our professional academic writing services. Alternatively, continue reading for more guidelines on how to write a rhetorical analysis outline as well as samples of outlines and other academic papers on this blog.