How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Full Guide

Written by
Eun Rockwell
August 26, 2022 13 min read

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay might seem complicated but the process is easy when you keenly follow the right steps. Your first step is to brainstorm several attractive rhetorical analysis essay topics and then choose one. You will be required to evaluate various texts more than to describe the methods used.

Before you begin researching, read information about how to write a rhetorical analysis to give you a better understanding. Gather all the information you need in a detailed research process and then create a rhetorical analysis essay outline to guide you in the writing process. If you find challenges in the process, get help from an essay paper writing service.

What Is Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay requires a writer to examine and critique another writer's work. The essay doesn't require a summary of their work but it requires them to examine how the work is written. The purpose of a rhetorical analysis is to test the objectives of a writer and what motivated them to write. The writer examines if their objectives were met or not.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay requires following the rules. The writer must choose the text to address, the audience to write to, the language to use, and the strategies to convey the message. The writer can focus on what the author aimed to achieve and how they represented the information to their audience. It is important to read examples of works written by other authors for inspiration.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

The steps to writing a rhetorical analysis essay require you to examine an author's work closely. You must understand their goals, their appeal, and their writing techniques. There are many good rhetorical analysis essay examples you can consider studying.

What is important for you to understand is to analyze how the author presents their points. The next thing is to argue whether they were effective in presenting them or not. A lot of students get help from online essay writer to complete their essays.

Get the right information

Using the SOAPS strategy, gather all the required information. SOAPS stands for

  • Speaker - This is the writer of the message. They might not have necessarily written a book. Their work could be a speech, statement, advertisement, piece of art, movie, poem, or any other type of work.
  • Occasion - This depicts the time and place/event where or when the message was written. Authors mostly derive their themes from what is happening around them at the time they are writing. There could be civil unrest, wars, famine, technological developments, and so on. Understand how the occasion was at the time of writing.
  • Audience - These are the message recipients. The author might have written to a future audience or the current one in their time. The writing language and tense will help you to who they were writing to.
  • Purpose - This is the reason or intention for writing. The purpose of writing a message is to fulfill a desire or lack at the time of writing. The issues at hand could affect both the current and future generations.
  • Subject - This shows what the text is about. It is the tile of the text which guides the author on the message they want to write.

Analyze the message appeals

Every author uses persuasive language to appeal to their audience or convince them to agree with their thoughts. How well they write determines the way their audience will react. They use different types of appeal strategies.

  • Ethos: Ethos in the rhetorical analysis is an appeal based on the author's credibility
  • Pathos: Pathos in the rhetorical analysis is an appeal based on emotions
  • Logos: Logos in the rhetorical analysis is an appeal based on written/scientific evidence

Analyze the information

At this point, it is important to understand the rhetorical analysis essay AP Lang because you are required to analyze the author's text and interpret his message more deeply. See how their message connects to their style of writing, syntax, and other important points. You should stay within the subject without deviating too much lest you confuse your audience.

Keep your ideas organized

Let your ideas flow well, starting from the introduction, to the body, and conclusion. Create a strong thesis that will hook the reader to your essay. In the body, start with the strongest points. Let each paragraph carry one point and include strong evidence for each. If you need help, you can buy an essay online from professional writers.

Rhetorical Analysis Strategies

In your writing process, you must focus on strategies for rhetorical analysis essays that you must use when presenting your arguments. These are techniques that will help you write an organized essay. It will help you connect your ideas and evidence with facts in a flawless way. Each cluster of information you write should convey a specific message that appeals to your audience. There are different strategies you can use to achieve this goal.

Compare and contrast

To compare and contrast means to look for things that are similar between texts. Since you are writing a rhetorical analysis essay, you might want to discuss detailed differences and similarities. Write the things the texts have in common and those that differ. You may either choose to write all similarities and then differences or write one similarity and one difference at a time. If you are writing a compare and construct nursing essay choose topics with strong arguments. It is not a must that your arguments be balanced on both sides. During the writing process, your comparing side might have more points than your contrasting side and vice versa.

Give a narration

This type of rhetorical analysis essay involves telling a story about the text or author in question. The most important thing in narration is to understand the sequence of things. Know what will come first, next, and so on. This makes your story flow well without confusing your audience. You might be narrating about an event that happened in the story or a certain character. The key points to remember are where it happened, who it happened to, how, why, what, and so on.

Provide cause and effect analysis

Cause defines why something happened while effect defines what might have happened. The effect is past based while the cause is future based. That means you may decide to analyze the future to understand the past or vice versa. Think of something like global warming. The world is experiencing the effects but they have their causes. It doesn't matter from which side you want to start.

Do a description

To describe something means to define its features to help your audience envision or grasp it. Think about describing a certain flower to someone who has never seen it. You can tell them about its smell, color, shape, size, habitat, and uses. Do it in a way that they will recognize it immediately when they see it. When writing a history essay, your description strategy can involve focusing on specific events that took place in the past.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

The rhetorical analysis essay structure is based on its outline. It is what makes it easy to read and understand. All essays use the same outline arrangement although their content is different. The essays contain three main parts namely the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction is sometimes called the hook because it helps to keep the reader glued to your essay. The body is the main part and contains several paragraphs. The final part is the conclusion.


Writing an introduction is the right way to start a rhetorical analysis essay. It brings attention to your audience about the piece of work you chose. Its first part is the hook and its purpose is to attract the attention of your audience. The next part contains the background information which is the writer's work. Its purpose is to establish his credibility. The last part is the thesis statement which brings attention to your audience to what your paper is about. Due to its importance, you should take time to research and decide what to write in the introduction.


The body is the main part and contains detailed points. It presents to the reader a detailed analysis of your points. It is different from a Rhetorical analysis conclusion because a conclusion provides a recap of the entire essay. On the contrary, the body introduces new points and paragraphs. Most rhetorical essays contain three paragraphs although they can have more. Each paragraph introduces a new point and then provides persuading evidence to support it.

At each point, you should start by claiming the author. Give an example to support the claim you have just made. This is supporting evidence from their work. Next, discuss an example to connect back to the claim. It should be in agreement with the thesis statement you wrote in the introduction. In the next paragraph, repeat the same format but discuss an entirely new point. Unless you are writing a longer paper, three paragraphs should be enough. Sometimes a law essay for a crime can be longer.


When you write a conclusion for a rhetorical analysis essay, you should avoid introducing a new point. Instead, provide a restatement of your thesis to help the reader understand its deeper meaning. Avoid the words in conclusion but give a reflection of the points you discussed in the body. Show how significant they are and how they relate to the thesis.

Show if the points in the body effectively fit into the thesis claim. The last sentence should convey your final thought about the entire essay and the text that you've just analyzed. It can be challenging to write but the custom essay writing services help with writing any complex topics.

How Many Words Should a Rhetorical Analysis Be?

There is no universal rule as to how many words your rhetorical analysis should be but it all depends on the instructions given by your professor. Since most of them contain five paragraphs, their word count can be about 500 words to 1,000 words. It is important to understand the number of words that should go in the introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction and conclusion can take 10% each while the body takes 80%. If you are writing 1,000 words, your introduction can be about 100 words. The word count should be the same for the conclusion while the body takes about 800 words.

Best Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Choosing topics for writing a rhetorical essay is a key part of the entire writing process. It determines the quality of your essay and how easily you will find points and write your arguments. A rhetorical essay can be analyzed from a book, movie, or piece of art.

Before you pick a topic, find out to see if you will have enough points to argue out. Make sure you pick a topic that interests you and that your audience will find interesting. Some of the common topics are based on poems, literature, speeches, art, and movies. Here are some interesting topics you may consider.

  1. A speech by President Joe Biden
  2. The series Lost in space
  3. Analyzing the Animal Farm
  4. The poem "Brown Penny" by William Butler. Analyzing the use of personification
  5. Comparing and contrasting nature versus people in Tim Zimmerman's article "The Killer in the Pool"
  6. Analyzing the book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings": The theme of racism
  7. An analysis of the Dunkin' Donuts: America Runs on Dunkin advertisement
  8. A rhetorical analysis of Chris Evans in the movie "Avengers: Endgame";
  9. What is the meaning in the book "I am the Cheese"
  10. An analysis of the advisement Think Outside the Bun by Taco Bell
  11. What is the emotional appeal of the book "Incredible Voyage"
  12. Analysis of the Surrender Speech by Chief Joseph
  13. An analysis of the character Jennifer Lawrence in the movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  14. How symbolism is used in the Harry Potter series
  15. Analyzing the literary devices used by writer Jane Austen

Useful Tips for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

There are different tips for writing a rhetorical analysis essay that you can use to create an attractive paper. It begins by understanding what you are required to write. The rest becomes easy to achieve. You should stay within the essay topic and within the text that you are analyzing. If you detour from the topic and the analysis text, you will write an essay that is not relevant. Here are useful tips to use.

Choose the correct writing style

Your writing style has a significant impact on the quality of your essay. You may choose to use first person or third person narrative but you must stick to the same narrative throughout the text. Choose whether you want to present or past tense and do not mix tenses.

Choose a persuasive writing strategy

No matter the writing style you choose, your text should be persuasive to your audience. That means you must carefully select the words you use. Develop logical arguments and main cohesiveness in your writing.

Use an outline

Always be guided by an outline to make sure you don't miss any point or get the structure wrong. It will help you to have a structure that seamlessly flows from one point to the next. Without an outline, you could write an essay that looks confusing and irrelevant to your audience.

Read your subject several times

Sometimes reading your subject once might seem okay but you can easily miss most of the points. If you read it several times, you will look between the lines and take note of what you could be missing. If you are analyzing a movie, watch it more than once and take note of the finer issues.

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid While Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay should be clear and follow all writing rules. Your instructor will not only check how well your story flows but also how well you followed the rules of writing. You should do your best to avoid the common mistakes many students make when writing a rhetorical analysis essay. Here are the commonest mistakes they make.

Using the wrong format

All essays have a common format that starts with an introduction and then the body and ends with a conclusion. While you should have this in mind, you should also be keen on the type of essay you are writing and the instructions given. To get the format right, you should start with an outline.

Formatting goes beyond these three and touches on the tone you use, the fonts, spacing rules, and margins. It touches on the main heading and subheads and each has its formatting style. Citations are part of the format and they are very important. If you are supposed to use double spacing and choose to use single spacing, you will lose marks. The same case applies to the use of citations and the rules that apply to margins.

Forgetting to include a thesis statement

A rhetorical essay must have a thesis statement within the introduction section. It should be the last part of the introduction and sheds light on what you are about to discuss. It forms the basis of your arguments in the body and the details in the conclusion. Forgetting it leaves your audience guessing what your arguments are all about. Your audience will lose direction.

Writing a summary

Writing a rhetorical essay is not writing a summary but a detailed argument. You should take your time to understand the text you want to analyze and build strong evidence to use in your points. Like any other type of essay, you need to engage in deep research to understand what you are required to do. The evidence you provide should be verifiable by your audience.

The mistake of plagiarism

Plagiarism is taken seriously in academic writing and often has serious consequences. It can result due to failure to cite your sources, copying texts directly from your source, or failure to use a plagiarism checking tool.

Final Thoughts

Writing an academic paper is part of a student's journey in college. One of the types of papers commonly assigned in college is a rhetorical analysis essay. Although it is a common paper, most students fail to produce a high-grade winning paper. Luckily, our experienced team of online professional writers is available 24/7 to help you write a winning paper. We have a simple ordering process that takes only a few minutes to complete. When you order a paper from us, you will be assured to get a well-researched and plagiarism-free paper that will earn you good grades.

Bookmark and Share
Free Features
  • free Outline $5
  • free Unlimited Amendments $30
  • free Title Page $5
  • free Bibliography $15
  • free Formatting $10
Total savings: $65
Why Choose Us?
  • 25+ years of experience in the custom writing market
  • Satisfied and returning customers
  • A wide range of services
  • 6-hour delivery available
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 100% privacy guaranteed
  • A professional team of experienced paper writers
  • Only custom-written papers
  • Free amendments upon request
  • Constant access to your paper's writer
  • Free extras by request
We accept
weaccept weaccept