Rhetorical Essay Format

Rhetorical Essay Format

A rhetorical essay format offers guidelines to analyzing an argument in a piece of writing. The essay, a rhetorical analysis essay also analyzes the strategies and tactics employed by an author to support and to advance it. The essay can also analyze poems, television shows, artwork, paintings, commercials, films, music and adverts among other media forms. Therefore, a format will help you to write an efficient and flawless paper.

What does rhetorical essay format entail?


A rhetorical analysis essay should begin with an introduction stating what the article you are analyzing is all about or the text being analyzed. For this reason

  • Introduce the subject of your analysis or simply inform target audience of the rhetorical situation,
  • Make your purpose of your analysis clear and evident
  • Engage your target audience
  • Keep in mind that the purpose of writing which is primarily objective analysis

With all these background information, the target audience will have an easy time keeping up with your analysis. The rule of thumb is to keep everything short and straight to the point.

The introduction should additionally indicate whether the author successfully accomplished his goals/purpose or not. In this case, focusing on rhetorical essay format is very important because it will help you to identify specific parts of the text you will discuss.

Thesis statement

Thesis statement in a rhetorical analysis essay is written at the end of the introduction. It is a two to three sentence part that informs the reader of the purpose of your analysis. A thesis statement should clearly tell readers what to expect in the rest of the essay.

For a good thesis, clearly outline all the tools you will explore in the essay and state how they help an author make up his or her overall argument. Some of the tools that you need to look for or specify include the use of similes, imagery or diction.

  • Diction- reveals how the author uses words
  • Imagery is a visually descriptive language
  • Similes make a comparison between two things for example brains and machines

Body paragraphs

A rhetorical essay should also have body paragraphs clearly analyzing thesis and examples from text. Each subject sentence should refer back to the thesis thus, offering supporting evidence to the points you are discussing. It should also include specific cases of tools that the author uses to realize his or her purpose of analysis.

Each body paragraph should include a short quote from text, topic sentence and an analysis of specific quotes as well as the way in which they help an author to realize the purpose of analysis. Focus on rhetorical essay format and keep your quotes short.

Summarizing argument appeals based on rhetorical essay format

When writing body paragraphs, it is wise to analyze your text clearly. Keep in mind rhetorical essay format and think about the way in which the writer uses logos, pathos and ethos to create an impact in the mind of the reader. To achieve this goal, you need to ask yourself specific questions about each appeal


Ethos refers to the way in which the author creates credibility. Therefore

  • Describe the character of the author, what sort of a person does he or she project
  • What are the author’s credentials ‘
  • Does the author show respect for opposing opinions or views, likability or humility, does he show good will?
  • What is the authors tone, how would you describe the approach and style of the author as well as style of thinking


Logos refers to the use of logical ideas by the author and they reveal how he or she arrived at a conclusion. In this case, you need

  • ,describe the logos clearly and in detail because; this is the logical reasoning of the argument as well as the evidence
  • Find out the claims being made to support the thesis and
  • Determine how the claims are being supported and establish the evidence being presented


Pathos refers to rhetorical appeal to emotion. Therefore,

What kind of emotions does the argument evoke? Does the author want you to feel horror, sadness, anxiety, joy, awe or pity? It is similarly important to ask yourself how the author evokes the emotions.


This is usually a brief part of the essay based on a rhetorical essay format. This is the part where you zoom out while addressing your overall argument. The reader should reach a destination that is different from where she started or the place he or she was before reading the paper.

Therefore, offer a final overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the text you analyzed. Keep in mind rhetorical essay format and reinforce why you strongly believe that your analysis is efficient. State the reasons why you believe the text proves ineffective or effective.

Questions to focus on when using a rhetorical essay format

With a rhetorical essay format, the writing process shouldn’t be hard. However, there are important questions to answer before carrying out your analysis and they include

  • What is the purpose of the author in the writing
  • Who was the target audience and how does the audience affect the writing
  • What tone and style does the author employ and why
  • Are ethos, pathos and logos used by the author? If so, can you state how the appeals are used?
  • What is the logical schema that the author employs in developing the ideas? Refer back to rhetorical essay format and try to look for narration, description, compare and contrast, analysis process, cause and effect among other schema
  • How does the author organize his or her text, why do you think the author settled for this specific organizational pattern? Is there any specific rhetorical essay format used?
  • Why do you think the author omitted or included some information?
  • What kind of evidence did the author include to support his or her analysis or point of view?

Tips and reminders to keep when writing a rhetorical analysis essay

  1. Always use transitions between paragraphs and segments in the paper. they help your readers to closely follow your thinking
  2. Edit the paper sentence by sentence, for clarity purposes especially on the thesis, content and conclusion

Editing the thesis-

Determine whether the thesis evaluates text sample and whether it offers reasoning behind the text idea

Editing content-

  • find out whether the draft explains each strategy that is of significance to the audience
  • Determine whether claims made are authentic or vague

Editing the structure

  • Does the paper offer cues at each paragraph when opening and when closing
  • Is there any clear focal idea on each paragraph and is any evidence tied to a clear conclusion at the end of a body paragraph?
  1. Does the conclusion summarize main points and explain the importance of analysis or not
  2. Proofread the essay to eliminate typo and mechanical errors. You can have your analysis proofread by another person to be sure your paper is free of errors. In many cases, it can be hard to spot the mistakes you make in your piece of writing but another person can easily spot your mistakes.

Examples of rhetorical analysis essays

A Search for Equality

The confessions of a Female Chauvinist Sow, by Anne Roiphe first appeared in 1972 in the New York magazine. Roiphe in the essay tries to convince readers that women must have faith in the idea that they are equal to men but not superior. ‘‘women who want equality must be prepared to give it and believe in it’’……… sourced from isucomm.iastate.edu.

Example 2

Rhetorical Analysis of Mrs. Clinton

In the rhetorical analysis essay below, the writer explores the way in which Mrs. Hillary Clinton persuaded her target audience that there is need to support women across the globe. She explains the benefits of supporting women and employs the use of metaphors.

Mrs. Hillary Clinton is a powerful woman who is dedicated to fighting for the rights of women across the globe. She started her work once she attained the status of the First Lady of the United States of America in 1993. Through her capacities and status, she has managed to go beyond political circles to champion for the rights of women as well as their acknowledgement. Sourced from assignmentwritinghelp.net.

Example 3

The Ring of Time by E.B White

E.B White, In The Ring of Time essay, sets in the gloomy winter quarters of a circus and appears to have not mastered the ‘’first piece of advice’’, he was to impart in the past years in The Elements of style…… retrieved from grammar.about.com.

With the above format and writing guidelines, you may still need professional help for rhetorical analysis essays that stand out. In such a case, there is no need to struggle, contact our experts at any time and rest assured of customized essay writing help.