Rhetorical analysis essay writer

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example – Free Samples

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for academics can be really demanding for students. This type of paper requires high-level analyzing abilities and professional writing skills to be drafted effectively.

As this essay persuades the audience, it is essential to know how to take a strong stance and develop a thesis. This article will find some examples that will help you with your rhetorical analysis essay thesis statement effortlessly.


  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
  • Rhetorical Analysis Introduction Example
  • Thesis Statement Example for Rhetorical Analysis Essay
  • Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion Example
  • AP Language Rhetorical Analysis Essay example
  • Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

The step-by-step writing process of a rhetorical analysis is far more complicated than ordinary academic essays. This essay type critically analyzes the rhetorical means used to persuade the audience and their efficiency.

The example provided below is the best rhetorical analysis essay example:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF)

In this essay type, the author uses rhetorical approaches such as ethos, pathos, and logos. These approaches are then studied and analyzed deeply by the essay writers to weigh their effectiveness in delivering the message.

If you are drafting a rhetorical analysis essay, it is essential to first go through a couple of examples. This is to be clear of the outline and structure that a rhetorical analysis essay must have.

According to the essay outline, the essay is divided into three sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Main Body
  3. Conclusion

A rhetorical analysis essay outline is the same as the traditional one. The different parts of the rhetorical analysis essay are written in the following way:

Rhetorical Analysis Introduction Example

The introductory paragraph of a rhetorical analysis essay is written for the following purpose:

  • In order to provide basic background information about the chosen author and the text.
  • Identify the target audience of the essay

An introduction for a rhetorical essay is drafted by stating an opening sentence known as the hook statement. This catchy sentence is prepared to grab the audience’s attention to the paper.

After the opening sentence, the background information of the author and the original text are provided.

For example, a rhetorical analysis essay written by Lee Jennings on“The Right Stuff” by David Suzuki. Lee started the essay by providing the introduction in the following way:

“ David Suzuki’s “The Right Stuff” features the gracious, entertaining, and informative style we have come to associate with this well-known host of The Nature of Things. He begins with the interesting speculation from the book Is There Life After High School? that “impressions formed in high school are more vivid and indelible than those formed at any other time in life.” Suzuki stresses the importance of high school education and prepares his readers for a proposal related to making that education as valuable as possible. A rhetorical analysis reveals the varying degrees of success with which Suzuki employs logos, pathos, and ethos: while Suzuki’s ethos is strong because of the reputation he brings to his writing and his use of pathos to appeal to his target audience of parents and educators, his use of logos is weak.”

Here Jennings stated the background information about the text and highlighted the rhetorical techniques used and their effectiveness.

Thesis Statement Example for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A thesis statement of a rhetorical analysis essay is the writer’s stance on the original text. It is the argument that a writer holds and proves it using the evidence from the original text.

A thesis statement for a rhetorical essay is written by analyzing the following elements of the original text:

  • Diction – The author’s choice of words and the tone
  • Imagery – The visual descriptive language that the author used in the content.
  • Simile – The comparison of things and ideas

In Jennings analysis of “The Right Stuff” the thesis statement was:

“Suzuki is skilled in argumentation, but his strong ethos fails to make up for the lack of support for his thesis that high school science courses should begin with sex education.”

Example For Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement (PDF)

Example For Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement (PDF)

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Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion Example

All the supporting information about the thesis statement is presented in the body section. Each point that supports the thesis is presented in a paragraph where it is analyzed.

All the body paragraphs lead the audience towards the conclusion. Here the final verdict about the text is provided.

For example, the conclusion of “The Right Stuff” is written in the following way by Jennings:

“ The major question overlooked by Suzuki’s essay—one of logistics– is how can the schools, understaffed and overstressed, add the difficult subject of sex education to their curriculum. Admittedly, David Suzuki wrote his essay at a time when education budgets were in better shape than they are today, and he certainly makes an excellent point that educators should respect their students and appeal to their interests. Nevertheless, his argument for sex education in schools clearly needs further thinking. In spite of Suzuki’s strong ethos and persuasive use of pathos, he needs a stronger use of logos to make an argument here. The best he can hope for is to get his audience’s attention – then it is up to them to see if and how his ideas should be implemented in the schools.”

In the conclusion section, Jennings summarized the major points and restated the thesis statement to prove them.

Rhetorical Essay Example For The Right Stuff by David Suzuki (PDF)

Rhetorical Essay Example For The Right Stuff by David Suzuki (PDF)

AP Language Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Writing a rhetorical analysis for AP Language and Composition course can be challenging. So drafting it correctly is important to earn good grades. To make your essay effective and winning, follow the tips provided by professionals below:

Understand the Prompt

Understanding the prompt is the first thing to produce an influential rhetorical paper. It is mandatory for this academic writing to read and understand the prompt to know what the task demands from you.

Stick To The Format

The content for the rhetorical analysis should be appropriately organized and structured. For this purpose, a proper outline is drafted. The rhetorical analysis essay outline divides all the information into different sections, such as introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should explicitly state the background information and the thesis statement.

All the body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence to clearly convey a claim for the readers. Provide a thorough analysis of these claims in the paragraph to support your topic sentence.

Use Rhetorical Elements to Form Argument

Analyze the following things in the text to form an argument for your essay:

  • Language (tone and words)
  • Organizational structure
  • Rhetorical Appeals ( ethos, pathos, and logos)

Once you have analyzed the rhetorical appeals and other devices like imagery and diction, you can form a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement will be the foundation on which your essay will be standing.

AP Language Rhetorical Essay Sample (PDF)

Rhetorical Essay Example For The Right Stuff by David Suzuki (PDF)

AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Template (PDF)

AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Template (PDF)

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Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

The visual rhetorical analysis essay determines how pictures and images communicate messages and persuade the audience. Usually, the visual rhetorical analysis papers are written for advertisements. Because they use strong images to convince the audience to behave in a certain way.

In order to draft a perfect visual rhetorical analysis essay, follow the tips below:

  • Analyze the advertisement deeply and note every minor detail.
  • Notice objects and colors used in the image to gather every detail.
  • Determine the importance of the colors and objects and analyze why the advertiser chose the particular picture.
  • See what you feel about the image
  • Consider the objective of the image. Identify the message that the image is portraying.
  • Identify the targeted audience and how they respond to the picture.

To give students a better idea of the concept, an example is provided below.

Simplicity Breeds Clarity Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)

Simplicity Breeds Clarity Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

Expert writers at MyPerfectWords.com have gathered some easy tips and tricks to draft an effective rhetorical analysis essay. Follow the tips provided below to make your rhetorical writing compelling.

  • Choose an engaging topic for your essay. The rhetorical analysis essay topic should be engaging to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Thoroughly read the original text.
  • Identify the SOAPSTone. From the text, determine the speaker, occasions, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
  • Develop a thesis statement to state your claim over the text.
  • Draft a rhetorical analysis essay outline.
  • Write an engaging essay introduction by giving a hook statement and background information. At the end of the introductory paragraph, state the thesis statement.
  • The body paragraphs of the rhetorical essay should have a topic sentence. Also, in the paragraph, a thorough analysis should be presented.
  • For writing a satisfactory rhetorical essay conclusion, restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points.
  • Proofread your essay to check for mistakes in the content. Make your edits before submitting the draft.

Following the tips and the correct writing procedure of the essay will guarantee you success in your academics. If you are still struggling to draft a good rhetorical analysis essay, it is suggested to take professional’s help.

MyPerfectWords.com can assist you in all your academic assignments. The essay writing service that we provide is legal and reliable. If you are confused about your writing assignments and have difficulty meeting the deadline, get help from the professionals at MyPerfectWords.com.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay – Expert Guide With Examples

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis | Key Concepts & Examples

Published on August 28, 2020 by Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 24, 2022.

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

A rhetorical analysis is structured similarly to other essays: an introduction presenting the thesis, a body analyzing the text directly, and a conclusion to wrap up. This article defines some key rhetorical concepts and provides tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis.

Table of contents

  1. Key concepts in rhetoric
  2. Analyzing the text
  3. Introducing your rhetorical analysis
  4. The body: Doing the analysis
  5. Concluding a rhetorical analysis
  6. Frequently asked questions about rhetorical analysis

Key concepts in rhetoric

Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field.

Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos

Appeals are how the author convinces their audience. Three central appeals are discussed in rhetoric, established by the philosopher Aristotle and sometimes called the rhetorical triangle: logos, ethos, and pathos.

Logos, or the logical appeal, refers to the use of reasoned argument to persuade. This is the dominant approach in academic writing, where arguments are built up using reasoning and evidence.

Ethos, or the ethical appeal, involves the author presenting themselves as an authority on their subject. For example, someone making a moral argument might highlight their own morally admirable behavior; someone speaking about a technical subject might present themselves as an expert by mentioning their qualifications.

Pathos, or the pathetic appeal, evokes the audience’s emotions. This might involve speaking in a passionate way, employing vivid imagery, or trying to provoke anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response in the audience.

These three appeals are all treated as integral parts of rhetoric, and a given author may combine all three of them to convince their audience.

Text and context

In rhetoric, a text is not necessarily a piece of writing (though it may be this). A text is whatever piece of communication you are analyzing. This could be, for example, a speech, an advertisement, or a satirical image.

In these cases, your analysis would focus on more than just language—you might look at visual or sonic elements of the text too.

The context is everything surrounding the text: Who is the author (or speaker, designer, etc.)? Who is their (intended or actual) audience? When and where was the text produced, and for what purpose?

Looking at the context can help to inform your rhetorical analysis. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has universal power, but the context of the civil rights movement is an important part of understanding why.

Claims, supports, and warrants

A piece of rhetoric is always making some sort of argument, whether it’s a very clearly defined and logical one (e.g. in a philosophy essay) or one that the reader has to infer (e.g. in a satirical article). These arguments are built up with claims, supports, and warrants.

A claim is the fact or idea the author wants to convince the reader of. An argument might center on a single claim, or be built up out of many. Claims are usually explicitly stated, but they may also just be implied in some kinds of text.

The author uses supports to back up each claim they make. These might range from hard evidence to emotional appeals—anything that is used to convince the reader to accept a claim.

The warrant is the logic or assumption that connects a support with a claim. Outside of quite formal argumentation, the warrant is often unstated—the author assumes their audience will understand the connection without it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore the implicit warrant in these cases.

For example, look at the following statement:

Rhetorical statement Neither candidate was well liked ; voter turnout in the election was very low.

We can see a claim and a support here, but the warrant is implicit. Here, the warrant is the assumption that more likeable candidates would have inspired greater turnout. We might be more or less convinced by the argument depending on whether we think this is a fair assumption.

Analyzing the text

Rhetorical analysis isn’t a matter of choosing concepts in advance and applying them to a text. Instead, it starts with looking at the text in detail and asking the appropriate questions about how it works:

  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • Do they focus closely on their key claims, or do they discuss various topics?
  • What tone do they take—angry or sympathetic? Personal or authoritative? Formal or informal?
  • Who seems to be the intended audience? Is this audience likely to be successfully reached and convinced?
  • What kinds of evidence are presented?

By asking these questions, you’ll discover the various rhetorical devices the text uses. Don’t feel that you have to cram in every rhetorical term you know—focus on those that are most important to the text.

The following sections show how to write the different parts of a rhetorical analysis.

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Step by Step

Wondering how to write a rhetorical analysis essay? You’ve come to the right place. Learn what a rhetorical analysis essay is and how to write one – from choosing a topic to finishing your paper. We’ll even guide you through creating a rhetorical analysis essay outline.

Person writing rhetorical analysis

Person writing rhetorical analysis

How To Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Just the words rhetorical analysis might sound scary. However, when you break down the words, it isn’t as frightening as you think. First, rhetoric is the art of writing. So, doing a rhetorical analysis is analyzing writing. Sounds much simpler now, right? Get a step-by-step guide for how to write a rhetorical analysis.

Preparation: Think SOAPS

When it comes to writing, there are a lot of parts. Before analyzing the different techniques a writer used, you need to understand the parts of writing. This where SOAPS comes in handy. And no, it’s not talking about washing your hands.

  • S is for speaker – Who is telling the story? Is it the author? Or are the author and speaker different?
  • O is for occasion – Where does the text take place? What era is it in? What events surrounded the writing? Did something prompt the writing?
  • A is for audience – Who was the text written for? Is the audience defined?
  • P is for purpose – Why did the author create the writing? What is it saying?
  • S is for subject – What is the main purpose of the writing? How is that revealed?

There is also one final component to think about, ‘tone’. Think about the language, voice, and imagery created. Examine the meaning behind it.

Choose a Topic

With SOAPS on the brain, it’s time to choose your topic. Per the name, this will be a piece of writing. But it doesn’t just have to be a piece of literature. You can complete a rhetorical analysis on different types of writing like speeches, poems, famous addresses, etc.

While topics are limitless, make sure to choose something of interest. For example, anyone can choose a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King; however, choose something relevant for you. Did your class president make an amazing speech? Try analyzing it.

Analyze the Work

With a topic in hand, it’s all about analysis. Put SOAPS into play to critically read through the piece. This is more than just looking at what it says. Dissect the piece of writing looking at every part. Explore the mode of persuasion they used like ethos, pathos or logos. Do they use an emotional plea like MLK? Or are they more logical in their argument? Maybe they are persuading your moral code. Knowing the mode of persuasion the writing is using can help block out your thesis statement.

Formulate a Thesis Statement

What do you want to say in your essay? That is your thesis statement in a nutshell. It’ll set the structure for the essay and work as the beginning of the outline. Remember, your thesis statement should:

  • Set the tone
  • Highlight your argument
  • Develop your reader point of view

In the beginning, the thesis statement isn’t concrete. As you write, it will move and morph to become better and stronger. But, you will need to provide your article bones to grow from.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

The thesis statement is typically the beginning of your essay. From the thesis, create an outline. The outline can be rough like a few keywords to keep on track, or you might use sentences for each different paragraph and the points you want to make. Whatever outline method you choose, just make sure it works best with your writing style.

Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

You’re ready to dive into the deep waters now! However, the preparation you’ve done up to this point ensures you have a floatation device at the ready. When it comes to crafting the essay, there are three main parts. The introduction, body, and conclusion. Let’s break each down.


The intro will include your thesis statement and an opening hook, along with an introduction to the piece. It can be helpful to include a little summary and the persuasion methods used.

This is where the real magic will happen. You’ll not only justify your arguments, but you will dig into the SOAPS questions and methods of persuasion used by the author. Use your thesis as a way to guide your writing, making sure every point is hit. When crafting the body remember:

  • Go in chronological order.
  • Devote an entire section to the author’s mode of persuasion.
  • Keep your SOAPS questions in mind as you write.
  • Use quotes to support your opinions.
  • Use your voice to write the work rather than the author’s.


End with a bang! Your conclusion should round out your essay by restating your thesis, key points, and closing things out. Don’t make it boring. When your essay is done, you want your reader to sit back and go ‘wow’.

Steps to Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Wow, that was a long journey! But, you made it through. And now you’re armed with everything you need to write an amazing rhetorical analysis essay. With this under your belt, take a look at definition essay examples and topic ideas. It’s always a good idea to know more about essays.

Jennifer Betts

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay – With Examples

Writing the rhetorical analysis essay seems like a daunting task for newbies. But as soon as you master the professional tips and tricks, you can write like a guru in the shortest time.

In this guide, we will define what a rhetorical analysis is, and guide you with examples, tips, and an outline. In case you prefer to skip over this guide due to reasons such as a busy schedule, our top tutors are ready to cover you by acing that essay for you. All you need to do is place an order with us!

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

As you may understand, various literary works have been written with the sole intention of persuading the readers in understanding the author’s point of view and ideas.

There are various strategies, literary devices, and rhetorical techniques which will help the authors achieve their goals.


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A rhetorical analysis can be defined as the process of determining the success of an author in entertaining their audience. A rhetorical analysis essay analyzes the author’s success in informing and persuading the audience.

There are various writing strategies used in the analysis of historical and modern texts. In a rhetorical analysis, you need to determine the author’s writing style and point of view.

This requires you to analyze the persuasion methods used by the author (phrases and words created by the author). This determines how effective they are to readers.

So, what is the purpose of a rhetorical analysis?

In a rhetorical analysis essay prompt, the college students will be provided with essay prompts explaining the task’s purpose. The rhetorical analysis essay prompts will also specify the areas you need to pay attention to.

In the assigned text, consider the author’s use of the following:

  • The rhetorical strategies used ( logos, ethos, pathos)
  • Examples, evidence, and reasoning in supporting the main ideas
  • Stylistic and persuasive elements

In the prompt above, the task’s purpose is to define, analyze, and discuss the rhetorical features in the text assigned.

The 3 Strategies in Rhetorical Analysis

For you to effectively handle a task in rhetorical analysis, you will need to understand these success strategies and how to use them.

Let us define them and look at their key attributes:

1. Ethos

The ethos rhetorical device is used to establish the credibility of the author in a literary piece. When used skillfully, the strategy is used to determine whether or not there is trust in an author regarding a given matter.

An author’s credibility will be determined by their moral competence, knowledge, and expertise on a given subject.

As stated by Aristotle, there are 3 categories of ethos: eunoia (goodwill to the audience), phronesis (wisdom and useful skills), and arête (goodwill, virtue).

For example, when a book author is a well-known expert in a given subject, or when a famous person advertises products – this is the use of ethos in persuasion.

2. Pathos

Following the pathos literary definition, the word translates to “emotion,” “suffering,” or “experience.” It is a persuasion method used by authors to appeal to the reader’s emotions.

The goal of pathos is to elicit feelings such as compassion, anger, pity, sympathy, happiness, etc. It helps steer the reader’s attention in relating to the ideas and identity of the author.

The most common ways in rhetoric you can use pathos are:

  • Personal anecdotes
  • Metaphors
  • Storytelling, etc.

3. Logos

In line with the literary definition of logos, the Greek word translates to “opinion,” “reason,” “plea,” “ground,” etc.

Unlike pathos or ethos, which relies on emotions or credibility, this strategy is logical. The logos rhetorical device persuades readers by using statistics, numbers, facts, critical thinking, or other undeniable data.

For example, when a literary piece by a certain author creates the author’s statement supported by valid facts – that represents logos.

The strategies pathos, ethos, and logos play a critical role when writing a rhetorical essay. Let’s look at how you begin to write your rhetorical essay.

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Text and Context

In a rhetorical essay analysis, a text is a communication piece you get to use for analysis. This could be a satirical image, an advertisement, or a speech.

The context refers to everything else that surrounds the text. It could be the author, audience, where and when it is produced, and so on.

Claims, Warrants, and Supports

A claim is an idea or fact the author wishes to convince the reader about. A claim is stated explicitly, but in some cases, it may be implied.

Supports serve the purpose of backing up the claim the author intends to make. They range from emotional appeal to hard evidence. Any information used in convincing a reader to accept a claim acts as support.

A warrant is an assumption or logic which forms a connection between a claim and support.

Take a look at the example below:

Topics on Rhetorical Analysis

To come up with a compelling rhetorical analysis essay, as a student, you will need to select a compelling topic.

Some of the tips to keep in mind when selecting a topic include:

  • Keep the focus on what interests you. The key to writing a top-quality rhetorical analysis paper is keeping your focus on rhetorical analysis essay topics you have a genuine interest in.
  • Select a familiar topic. Choose a topic that reflects your understanding. Always remember that your academic paper will require you to analyze the author’s writing thoroughly. It will also help you understand the author’s evidence-building style.
  • Ask for advice from your instructor. If you have done the background research and have outlined interesting topics, it’s a good idea to get topic suggestions from your instructor.

Following the tips given above, you will discover a topic that is both promising and interesting.

Top 5 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

The top 5 rhetorical analysis essay examples include:

1. Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essays

The Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay will determine how images and pictures will communicate a message and persuade the audience.

This type of essay will, in most cases, be written for adverts.

2. Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essays

You can write a rhetorical analysis essay to explain the comparison between two items.

3. AP Language Rhetorical Analysis Essays

A rhetorical analysis essay can be done in AP composition and language.

4. Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essays

A rhetorical analysis can be performed on a speech. You will need to determine your strategy of persuasion before you can formulate a concise thesis statement. Once you have created your outline, you can then write using an appropriate writing style.

You will then edit and proofread the work.

5. Non-Fictional Rhetorical Analysis Essays

In performing an analysis of non-fiction essays, you will need to identify the purpose of the text and whether it fits the writer’s purpose.

Step-by-Step Guide: Writing Rhetorical Analysis

Step 1: Read and Analyze the Text

When you start writing your rhetorical analysis, you will need to begin with reading and then analyze the text assigned.

Take notes as you start to read the valuable information key to helping you make your analysis process simple.

Step 2: Identify the Strategies Used by the Author

Consider answering the following questions later in the analysis after reading:

  • Who the author is and their target audience
  • The author’s intention project/speech writing
  • Is the writing setting having a connection or value with the main text (s)? Why do you think the author chose the given context?

When you keep the questions in your memory, you are certain to have an easier time analyzing the strategies used by the author when you begin your writing.

Step 3: Identify the Author’s Use of Persuasive Tactics

The persuasive tactics are classified into three sections: pathos, logos, and ethos.

For all Advanced Placement (AP) English examination (rhetorical analysis is common here), the literary prompt for the essays contains an example of one out of the three persuasive tactics.

Once you have used some background information you gathered as your guide, it will not be difficult to determine the tactic used.

Outline of the Rhetorical Essay

To write an excellent rhetorical analysis essay, a student will need a proper understanding of the strategies and rhetorical devices.

Furthermore, you must learn how to identify and analyze the use of rhetorical devices and strategies in literary works.

Keep in mind that the intro-body-conclusion format remains the same. Below is a rhetorical essay outline you should follow:


When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, ensure the reader gains trust by making them understand that you have fully grasped the text.

Make the introduction informative and short. You will need to make a summary of the passage you will add to the essay using your thought out words.

This will be proof to your audience that you have an understanding of the main message. After, briefly touch on the author’s persuasion styles and their effects.

Lastly, you will need to craft the opinion into a nicely thought out thesis statement. The thesis statement needs to address the ‘why,’ ‘how,’ ‘what,’ and ‘who’ question.

The thesis statement in the rhetorical analysis will come last in the introduction paragraph. Keep in mind that the introductory paragraph gives you the chance to interest your reader.

Body Paragraphs

Once you have given the reader some perspective, you need to perform a critical analysis. You will need to create body paragraphs with the right information.

In each paragraph, you should aim at investigating a different rhetorical strategy.

In the paragraphs, analyze the author’s methods in entertaining, persuading, and informing the reader.

  • When the author has used persuasive language, then you need to explain that.
  • When the author has used sympathetic language, give proof of its use.

All your writing needs to be consistent and with a clear structure. Have the strategies explained in different paragraphs to avoid congesting everything in one paragraph.

In identifying the strategies the author has used, aim to answer the questions below:

  • Why would the author choose a given way of approaching the particular audience?
  • What is the particular strategy performance in the given example?
  • How does the strategy work?
  • How did the audience feel about using a particular strategy, and how did they respond or react to it?

Another factor you should take note of in the body paragraph is the shift in diction and tone. Always properly cite your work.


Once you have written your detailed, properly cited paragraphs, you need to conclude the essay.

Give a summary of what you have elaborated on in the essay. Explain how the words used by the author have changed the audience’s opinion. State their impact on society.

In the conclusion’s last sentence, develop an impactful conclusion that demonstrates the author’s writing.

We need to look at a sample rhetorical analysis essay outline.

It shows the author’s name, the author’s appositive phrase, and the author’s genre which establishes authority and credibility. This is then followed by their work’s title (a date follows in parenthesis); an accurate verb rhetorically (“claim,” “imply,” “suggest,” “argue,” “assert,” etc.); and a major assertion (thesis statement) of the paper contained in a THAT clause.

Let us look at a rhetoric analysis essay topic about a speech by Martin Luther King on “I Have a Dream.” In the speech, Martin Luther King supports his ideologies in referring to important documents related to US historical events.

  • The mode in which the author has developed and/or supported the thesis and is usually done chronologically.
  • The apparent purpose statement of the author, then “in order”, follows it.
  • The author’s intended audience description as well as the established author’s relationship with his audience.
  • Body Paragraph – 1
  • Topic sentence/transition: “(the last name of the author) begins with/by… (claim the strategy you perceive is working – address the prompt/purpose)”
  • Show a specific example that supports the idea. Ensure you discuss the strategies used exhaustively at the starting section.
  • Connect strategies used to the thesis/claim/the purpose.
  • Body Paragraph – 2
  • Topic sentence/transition: Make a connection between the previous paragraph’s last sentence and this paragraph’s first sentence. This shows how the strategies will build upon one another.
  • Give examples that support your claim.
  • Discuss how the examples will support the idea. Make a connection of the strategy to the purpose/thesis/claim.
  • Body Paragraph – Last
  • Topic sentence/transition: Make a connection between the previous paragraph’s last sentence and this paragraph’s first sentence. This shows how the strategies will build upon one another.
  • Give examples that support your claim.
  • Discuss how the examples will support the idea. Make a connection of the strategy to the purpose/thesis/claim.
  • Conclusion
  • Here you restate your thesis
  • Reflect on the main ideas and the examples given in the body paragraphs. Elaborate on the strategy’s significance and their link to the thesis.
  • State if the strategies used are effective in relating the purpose/thesis/claim.
  • Closing thoughts – the main purpose of the analyzed text is closed out.

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10 Best Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example & Sample Papers

A rhetoric analysis essay is a type of essay given in literature classes and courses.

But, a rhetorical analysis of an article focuses on the meaning behind a given piece of literature, it analyzes how the text is written.

And, that is why it is challenging for many students and they use our free Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example and Sample Papers.

In literature, students are taught to pay attention to all elements of a given text.

Therefore, when given an essay, they start by analyzing literary elements such as metaphors and symbolism.

Using this approach, a student ends with an analysis or summary essay instead of a rhetorical essay.

Generally, students find rhetorical analysis essays to be challenging to write and research.

But, with the right approach, a rhetorical analysis essay is a straightforward essay.

What Is A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

As mentioned above, you do not approach a rhetorical analysis essay like any other essay.

Let’s say you want to see how a clock works – you will open it to reveal the gears and cogs.

That is what a rhetorical essay is supposed to achieve precisely.

You are not supposed what the author meant, but how and what he used to put his message across.

You will break down phrases and words in a text to reveal all the author’s literary functions.

Amazing Rhetorical Analysis Examples

The following rhetorical essay examples will put the information above into perspective.

Sample Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis of ‘What it is Like to go to War’ by Karl Marlantes

In ‘What it is Like to go to War,’ Karl Marlantes proposes how a society should approach issues related to War and how the soldiers should be prepared for the task ahead. Malantes tells the story from his point of view. He offers expository and graphic pictures of the experiences he had during the Vietnam War. The experiences are lodged in his memory, and he feels it’s the right time to share with readers. He tells the story from his point of view and offers sensory details that will make the reader more involved. The narrative is in the form of a story that is easy to read and follow. Malantes served as a reserve officer when he was integrated into the active service to serve during the Vietnam War. He witnessed daily deaths and was wounded by a grenade. He received several medals for this, such as the Navy Cross, one of the highest combat awards. After the Vietnam War, he continued with his studies in Oxford. During his service at the military intelligence in Washington DC, he was constantly ridiculed by Americans who did not support the War. He sought professional therapy after experiencing depressing memories of the War. In his narrative, he is open-minded and talks freely about his experiences during the War. He also points out his responsibilities and weaknesses during the War.

Basing his proposal on his experiences, he came up with a better way and a plan that could better prepare soldiers who are expected to go to War. He notes that they should be psychologically and emotionally prepared for the grave outcomes, including killing people. They are expected to treat their enemies with humanity and use ethical violence. They should be armed with the knowledge that serving in combat can be thrilling and, at times and so should not feel shame. Malantes notes that he at times enjoyed the thrill of combat, but the memories make him sad. After completing the War, the military should give veterans time to reflect on the happenings before leading a normal life again. Society has a role to play in the preparation and welcoming back of veterans after the War. He urges leaders not to use violence because they have the power to mobilize citizens to live in peace. In times of War, communities are supposed to choose the side they will support wisely and then help end the War quickly before it takes a toll on a region. The community should also know the conditions that soldiers endure during the War hence finding a better way to integrate them back into society without rejecting them.

Males use real-life experiences where one time he watched one of his wounded men fighting for his life. He shows great responsibility and effective leadership while on the battlefield. He says that he was responsible for making all the decisions and would live with his mistakes. However, his command at the firebase makes serious mistakes. In one, one of the platoon’s mortals drops a short round, wounding three marines. One of them suffers severe brain damage, which reminds Marlantes of the price he has to pay for being responsible for their deaths and wounds (p. 6). He says that the duty of veterans is usually overwhelming, and they have to carry the burdens always. He points out that the mind of combat is always jammed (p. 39). His platoon is involved in various ‘white heart atrocities,’ a form of revenge when they are either wounded or killed. As such, when one of their men nicknamed Canada is killed, his group invades their enemies to ‘get their pride back’ (p. 99). Marlantes is seen to take the blame for killing the NVA in an ironic twist where his group members while grieving the Trojans, use the fallen heroes as a motivation to go on with the fight. During the post-war experience, Malantes sinks into depression, and he has a hard time accepting his deeds. He enforces that rituals and peer counseling within the armed forces are essential to help veterans cope with war experiences.

Marlantes, Karl. (2012). What it is Like to go to War. New York; Grove Press.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF)

Example For Rhetorical Analysis Essay Thesis Statement (PDF)

Best Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example For The Right Stuff by David Suzuki (PDF)

AP Language Rhetorical Essay Sample (PDF)

AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Template (PDF)

Final Thoughts

The above rhetorical analysis essay examples pretty much sum up how to write a good essay on any topic in the simplest and easiest way possible. The best thing about these different types of essays is that you do not need to perform any kind of research but use whatever information is already available.

After that, all that it takes is the ability to analyze them and present them in the best ways so as to make your point, just like these examples of a rhetorical analysis essay does perfectly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a rhetorical analysis essay?

The first thing to do when you start working on your paper is to read through the original article carefully. Then you will want to get all the facts and opinions about the work out of the way by writing a brief description of it.

This is called the thesis statement. Your thesis statement should include an explanation of what the author was trying to accomplish in writing it, and why it is important that you read it.

What are the 3 parts of rhetorical analysis?

Aristotle taught that a speaker’s ability to persuade an audience is based on how well the speaker appeals to that audience in three different areas: logos, ethos, and pathos. Considered together, these emotional appeals form what later rhetoricians have called the rhetorical triangle or elements of persuasion.

What should I write my rhetorical analysis on?

  • Use of symbolism Harry Potter series.
  • Animal Farm.
  • Importance of theme of hope in literature.
  • How different writers define heroism.
  • An impactful new writer.
  • Meaning in the book I am the Cheese.
  • The Hunger Games vs The Lottery.

What are the 5 elements of a rhetorical analysis?

An introduction to the five central elements of a rhetorical situation: the text, the author, the audience, the purpose(s) and the setting.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline: Examples & Strategies

Rhetorical analysis is never a simple task. This essay type requires you to analyze rhetorical devices in a text and review them from different perspectives. Such an assignment can be a part of an AP Lang exam or a college home task. Either way, you will need a solid outline to succeed with your writing. And we can help you nail it.

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📚 Structure of a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Pre-Writing

The first thing you need to know before you start working on your essay is that the analysis in your paper is strictly rhetorical. In other words, you don’t need to discuss what the author is saying. Instead, it’s a take on how the author says it.

And to understand “how,” you need to find rhetorical appeals. An appeal is a technique that the author uses to convince the reader. The main ones are logos, ethos, and pathos.

The picture shows the rhetorical triangle: ethos, pathos, logos.

The whole analysis is structured around them and divided into 3 parts: appeals in the text’s introduction, in the body paragraphs, and in its conclusion.

Remember that it’s essential to structure your essay in chronological order. To put it simply, it’s better not to describe the appeals from the conclusion before the ones in the introduction. Follow the structure of the text you’re analyzing, and you’ll nail it.

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Rhetorical Analysis Triangle

We’ve already mentioned ethos, pathos, and logos. The rhetorical triangle is another name for these 3 main appeals. Let’s examine them in more detail:

Logos Logos is the appeal of logic. It includes the usage of argumentation, citing statistics, and referring to facts. You will see a lot of logos in academic writing.
Ethos Ethos (also known as the ethical appeal) aims to convince the reader by taking the authority high ground. For example, authors may demonstrate how skillful or knowledgeable they are in the discussed field to make their claims more impressive.
Pathos The pathos appeals to the reader’s emotions. You can do it by revealing a shocking fact or delivering inspirational statements. Inducing anger, pity, or any other positive or negative emotion counts as pathos.

In your essay, it’s best to mention all 3 appeals. It’s also necessary to measure their effectiveness and give examples. A good strategy is to find the appeals in the text, underline them, and analyze them before writing the outline.

Each appeal can be characterized by the following:

Diction. Diction is the words that the author uses to describe the idea. When analyzing diction, you want to find words that stand out in the text.

Syntax. Simply put, syntax is the order of words used by the author. You can also look at the sentence length as a part of the syntax.

Punctuation. This characteristic is all about the usage of punctuation marks. Aside from commas, it’s good to pay attention to colons and dashes. Authors can use them to focus the audience’s attention on something or create a dramatic disjunction.

Tone. It’s the author’s attitude towards the discussed idea. The tone is a combination of diction, syntax, and punctuation. For example, you can tell if the author is interested or not by evaluating the length of sentences.

Remember that all 3 appeals are artistic proofs, and you shouldn’t confuse them with factual evidence. The difference between them lies in the amount of effort:

SOAPS: Rhetorical Analysis

SOAPS is a helpful technique for conducting a rhetorical analysis. It’s fairly popular and is recommended for AP tests. SOAPS stands for:

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Subject What is the idea of the text?
Occasion What prompted the author to write the text?
Audience Who would find the text interesting? Who is it created for?
Purpose Why did the author write it?
Speaker’s characteristics What is the author’s personality? What do they believe?

Answering the questions above will make it easy for you to find the necessary appeals.

✍️ How to Write an Outline for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Now that you’ve found the appeals and analyzed them, it’s time to write the outline. We will explain it part by part, starting with the introduction.

How to Write an Introduction for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

In a rhetorical analysis, the introduction is different from that of a regular essay. It covers all the necessary information about the author of the text:

The author claims that cats are better pets than dogs.

Aside from that, a rhetorical essay introduction should include a hook and a thesis statement. Want to know how to write them? Keep reading!

How to Write a Hook for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A hook is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. You can do it by presenting an interesting fact about the author. You may also use an inspiring or amusing quote. Make sure your hook is connected with the text you are writing about.

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For example, if you’re analyzing MLK’s I Have a Dream speech, you can hook the reader with the following sentence:

Martin Luther King is widely considered the most famous speaker in history.

Our article on hooks in writing can provide you with e great ideas.

Thesis Statement for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

In a rhetorical analysis essay, you don’t need to create a thesis statement in the usual sense. Instead, you describe the main point made by the author using a rhetorically accurate verb (such as “claims” or “asserts”) followed by a “that” clause.

For example, your thesis can focus on the techniques that the author uses to convince the audience. If we look at the I Have a Dream speech, we will notice several stylistic elements:

Metaphor MLK describes the poor financial state of the black community as a “Lonely island of poverty.”
Repetition King repeats the famous phrase “I have a dream” several times during the speech.
Symbolism The speaker refers to the members of the Civil Rights Movement as “my people.”

It’s not a complete list, but that’s enough to form a decent thesis.

We also need to mention the ideas behind the speech. The main idea is, obviously, equality. So, we’ll put it in our thesis as well. As a result, we have something like this:

Through the skillful usage of metaphor, repetition, and symbolism Martin Luther King effectively fills his audience’s hearts with the idea of unity and equality.

Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraphs

If you are writing a generic 5-paragraph essay, you can divide your essay’s body into 3 parts:

Sometimes there is no distinct structure in a text. If that’s the case, just analyze the appeals in chronological order. You can also split the analysis based on the type of appeals. For example:

Each of your essay’s body paragraphs should have 3 key elements:

It’s good to remember that every appeal you talk about needs an example. If you can illustrate your claim about a strategy with more examples, then go for it. The more examples, the better.

Good Transition Words for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Transition words allow you to follow up one idea with another. They also help build connections between paragraphs. Choosing correct transition words depends on the strategy you use. If you want to build a sequence of a cause and its effect, you will need words like “thus” or “hence.” If you’re going to clarify something, you should use a different set of words.

Here’s a list of helpful transition words suitable in different contexts:

If you need to showcase an example For example, to illustrate, in particular, for instance.
If you need to supplement your information Actually, furthermore, also, besides, moreover, further, again, indeed.
If you need to emphasize something Above all, undoubtedly, obviously, indeed, especially, surely.
If you need to show a cause and its effect Therefore, as a consequence, for this reason, accordingly, as a result, thus, consequently.

Rhetorical Analysis Verbs to Use

A rhetorical analysis essay is a serious work that often touches on complex topics. Regular verbs like “tells us” or “shows” don’t always fit it. To make your paper more inclusive and precise, consider using strong verbs.

Strong verbs (or power verbs) are typically used when talking about the author. That includes their strategies, attitude, personality, or ideas.

For example, instead of “the author says,” you can use “suggests” or “clarifies,” depending on the context.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Thesis

Knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis is very important because most authors struggle to write it or to come up with the controlling ideas of their rhetorical analysis essays-owl.english.purdue.edu. You might think that by simply announcing that the text is a rhetorical analysis essay is enough. However, readers may require a clear and more direct statement of your writing intentions. A rhetorical analysis essay thesis is a sentence or two sentences that condense the analysis that follows- classroom.synonym.com.

Usually, a thesis statement is the last or first sentence in the introduction paragraph. However, there is no hard-and-fast rule about the placement of a thesis. The most important thing is that a thesis should sum up the argument of the analysis. It should not be too specific or too general. Readers should understand the scope and message of the essay after reading your thesis.

A guide on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis when analyzing a single piece of work

Writing a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay of a single piece of work or topic is different from writing a thesis for two pieces. A rhetorical analysis of a single piece looks at the argument and tone of a visual document, speech or article- ehow.com. The essay ascertains the audience for which the work was intended, the style and why the author was successful or unsuccessful. Therefore, a thesis for such analysis has to carefully consider the purpose of the rhetorical analysis that is to be done.

Here are steps to follow when writing a thesis for a rhetorical analysis essay that analyzes a single piece of work:

Take time to brainstorm about the piece or topic that you will analyze in the essay. Write the approach, tone, argument and other major factors about the item. Ask questions like what are the goals of the author, how does the author tries to convince readers, and who is the intended audience? Consider items that are the most ideal for you to discuss in the analysis.

After brainstorming, condense the main items of the piece into a major argument that you wish to posit in the rhetorical analysis essay. Your argument should include the reasons why the author was successful or unsuccessful in presenting the case to the audience and whether the chosen style and tone were effective.

Compose a structured and strong thesis that reflects the major argument that you will posit in the rhetorical analysis essay. Taking a clear position in relation to the tone and style of the author and their effectiveness shows that you know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis. Therefore, compose different theses while playing with different tones and styles. Practicing to write a thesis will enable you to come up with the best and strongest thesis statement.

In case your argument changes as you write your rhetorical analysis essay, revise your thesis accordingly. This ensures that your thesis reflects and represents what you argue in the entire essay.

A guide on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis when analyzing two pieces of work

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for two pieces of scholarly work requires critical reading. You must be attentive to the content of the pieces, structure, weaknesses and strengths of both pieces. A thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay that analyzes two pieces of work is usually a comparative statement. It considers the relationship that both pieces such as articles have- classroom.synonym.com.

Here are the steps to follow when writing a thesis for a rhetorical analysis essay that analyzes two pieces of work:

Take time to read both items critically to understand their content. Take notes while reading so that you can easily return to different sections while analyzing the pieces.

Ask yourself questions while reading both pieces. Find out if the creators of both pieces provide adequate evidence and research for supporting their claims. Also analyze the assumptions that the authors may have made and questions or gaps that the creators may have failed to answer. If there is bias and alternative viewpoints as well as exceptions consider them too. Come up with points that show the way each piece responds to your questions.

Consider the conclusions and rhetorical strategies of both pieces. Both pieces could be reaching the same conclusion or opposing conclusions. Come up with clear differences and similarities of both pieces.

Your judgment should be based on the relationship that both pieces have. Use your readings and notes to analyze the pieces before making the judgment on the basis of the rhetorical differences and similarities of the items. The pieces could be complementing each other or contradicting each other. One piece might also be convincing than the other.

Writing a thesis statement that is sufficiently complex and workable for a rhetorical analysis essay might require several attempts. Make sure that your thesis posits an argument instead of simply stating an observation. Come up with a thesis statement that presents your argument about the pieces of work that you are about to analyze in the essay.

After writing a rhetorical analysis essay thesis for a single piece of work or two pieces’ analysis, come up with an outline for the essay. Your outline should enable you to write a rhetorical analysis essay that supports the thesis. Make sure that you have adequate supporting evidence for the argument. If not, tweak the thesis where necessary to ensure that you have a claim that you can easily argue convincingly.

Rhetorical analysis essay thesis samples

You may know the steps to follow when writing a rhetorical analysis essay thesis but you need samples of thesis statements for rhetorical analysis essays to know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis with ease.

Here are examples of thesis statements for rhetorical analysis essay to guide you:

  • Although Myers uses historical facts as the logical arguments for convincing readers, most readers might doubt that she is objective due to the sarcastic tone that she uses.
  • Amazon website is a good example of proximity and alignment to help visitors navigate the potentially voluminous and confusing information with ease.
  • While the article by Thompson M. and article by Roberts J. conclude that religion affects the society positively, Thompson’s article presents a less biased and deeper analysis than Roberts’ article which largely depends on his personal conjecture instead of factual evidence.
  • Although the essay by Leonard Calloway lacks supporting statistics, it is effective since it appeals to the desire of most citizens to be considered patriotic to their country.

Additional tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis

  • Start by gathering information regarding what you intend to say about the work that you will be analyzing.
  • Write down the draft of a thesis statement and then find out if it addresses rhetorical techniques and strategies as well as whether they are effective or ineffective.
  • Find out if the thesis gives the reasons why the techniques are ineffective or effective.
  • Ensure that your thesis is free of first person phrases such as “I think” or “I believe.”
  • Make sure that your thesis can be used as a guide to the rhetorical analysis essay that you write by the readers.
  • Ensure that your thesis is clear and concise.
  • Assert the conclusion in the thesis and then take a stand regarding the rhetorical strategies that the creator of the original work has used.
  • If possible, mention the techniques that you will analyze in the rhetorical analysis, their impact and effectiveness.
  • Edit your thesis or ask a friend or professor to review it then revise it if necessary.

A strong thesis is very important because it makes an introduction of a rhetorical analysis essay successful- wikihow.com. It also gives the entire essay a focus. Therefore, analyze the rhetorical techniques that the creator of the original work uses in trying to move the audience to their desired purpose. Analyze them and then narrow down the focus of the essay. Make an original claim while focusing on words like “ineffective” and “effective” while composing the thesis. Avoid words like “bad” or “good” because these pass value judgments.

Get help with a rhetorical analysis essay thesis

If you are having difficulties while writing a thesis statement for your rhetorical analysis essay and you would like to know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay thesis, talk to us any time for immediate assistance. You can also visit the home page of our website for more guidelines and information regarding our writing services. Alternatively, continue reading more guidelines for writing academic essays and sample essays on our blog.

70 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for Secondary ELA


Before we get to the rhetorical analysis essay prompts (a.k.a. tons of ready-to-analyze texts at your fingertips), let’s take a time-out to lay the groundwork.

Put simply, rhetoric refers to any technique an author uses to persuade an audience.

Or, the behind-the-scenes choices an author makes to give you all the feels.

Chances are, if you consider a text or speech to be really good, rhetorical techniques are working like a master puppeteer to pull at your heart strings, make an impact on your brain, and get you to let down your guard because you trust the author or speaker.

That’s why political figures have speech writers.

That’s why authors spend time fine-tuning their words and sentences.

Rhetoric is important.

In addition, rhetoric goes back to the ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle, the “father” of rhetoric.


The Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Moving on, if rhetoric is the art of persuasion, then the rhetorical analysis essay analyzes how an author or speaker creates opportunity for persuasion in his/her text.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay involves understanding of context and occasion for writing. It also involves understanding the subject matter of the speech and intended audience.

Beyond this, noticing how the author uses rhetorical appeals and rhetorical devices to impact the target audience can help you to write an in-depth rhetorical analysis.

The BEST Rhetoric Topics

As a teacher, I’m always in search of engaging texts for students to analyze. In this post, I’m sharing the best speeches, advertisements, and essays for rhetorical analysis. You’ll never run out of rhetorical analysis essay topics again!

So, you’ll definitely want to stop right now and pin this post.

Your future English-teacher-self will thank you.

47 Rhetoric Examples in Speeches

The following speeches work well individually, but I’ve also tried to add value by pairing texts together.

Whether you’re analyzing rhetorical appeals such as ethos, pathos, and logos or looking at rhetorical devices, these speeches will work for discussion or as the text for a rhetorical analysis essay.


  1. “I Am Prepared to Die” by Nelson Mandela – Pair with “Nobel Peace Prize Speech ” by Malala Yousafzai in Remember the Titans – Pair with “The Gettysburg Address ” by Abraham Lincoln
  2. “Full Power of Women ” by Priyanka Chopra – Pair with Emma Watson’s speech on the Power of Women from Finding Forrester – Pair with “Integrity ” by Warren Buffet from Shawshank Redemption – Pair with the Freedom Speech from Braveheart from The Breakfast Club – Pair with “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Achichi from The Legend of Bagger Vance – Pair with “How Winning is Done” from Rocky Balboa from Gladiator – Pair with The Revolutionary Speech from V for Vendetta from Amistad – Pair with “Our Diversity Makes Us Who We Are ” by Michelle Obama
  3. Denzel Washington’s Dillard University Commencement Speech – Pair with “The Last Lecture ” by Randy Pausch
  4. “Like Pieces of Glass in my Head ” from The Green Mile – Pair with “Eulogy for Beau Biden ” by Barack Obama
  5. Oprah’s 2018 Golden Globes speech – Pair with Seth Myer’s Golden Globes Monologue and/or Ellen says #MeToo speech – Pair with Aragorn’s Helm’s Deep Speech from LOTR: The Two Towers
  6. Pair “I am Human” & “Love Liberates” , both by Maya Angelou
  7. Pink’s VMA acceptance speech – Pair with “If I Should Have a Daughter ” by Sarah Kay
  8. Ellen’s People’s Choice Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech – Pair with “Pep Talk ” by Kid President from LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring – Pair with Sam’s Speech in LOTR: The Two Towers
  9. Obama’s Final Farewell Speech – Pair with Al Pacino’s Any Given Sunday speech – clean version by Donovan Livington – Pair with Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech
  10. “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator ” by Tim Urban – Pair with “Five Second Rule ” by Mel Robbins
  11. Rachel Hollis “Inspire Women to be Their Best” (mild profanity) by Sam Berns
  12. “To this Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful ” by Shane Koyczan – Pair with Kid President’s “Pep Talk to Teachers and Students “
  13. “The Power of Introverts ” by Susan Cain – Pair with “Don’t Let Others Stop You From Living Your Own Truth “

Rhetoric in Advertising: 23 Examples

This next list holds a blend of print advertisements and commercials, perfect for introducing close reading and rhetorical analysis and for writing a rhetorical analysis essay.

Ads are short, but pack a punch. Honestly, my students love analyzing the rhetoric of advertisements a lot because they are accessible and visual.

Rhetoric Commercials & Print Advertisements

  1. “Web of Fries“
  2. Duracell “Teddy Bear ” Commercial Introducing the New Macintosh Computer
  3. Nike “Find Your Greatness ” Ads
  4. Pepsi, Superbowl 53 Commercial: “More than Okay ”
  5. “Get a Mac ” Commercial Compilation
  6. “Can You Hear Me Now ” Verizon Wireless
  7. Apple iPhone X – “Unlock ”
  8. Kiwi “First Steps ” Print Advertisement
  9. Vauxhall’s Backwards Cinderella

Rhetoric of the Image

    Print Advertisement Images
  1. “Divorce Furniture “ ” L’Oréal Paris: “This Ad Is For Men, 2 ” L’Oréal Paris: “This Ad Is For Men, 3 ”
  2. “It’s Not Acceptable to Treat a Woman Like One”
  3. “50 Creative and Effective Advertising Examples “ Protective Association

Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

No doubt, writing a rhetorical analysis essay is like taking apart a puzzle and putting it back together again. Teachers, help your students to understand how all of the pieces fit together in order to see the bigger picture of what the author is trying to accomplish.

First, take time to understand how a text “works.”

  1. Read or listen to understand overall content. Look up unfamiliar words.
  2. Mark the text for the author’s main points and sub-points.
  3. Consider organizational patterns. What comes first, next, last? Why?
    • descriptive
    • compare/contrast
    • definition
    • cause/effect
    • process
    • analysis
    • expository
    • argumentative
  4. Take notes on SOAPS: subject, occasion, audience, purpose, speaker
  5. Discuss the text(s) in Socratic Seminar.
  1. Ethos: How an author demonstrates credibility and builds trust.
  2. Pathos: How an author creates an emotional response.
  3. Logos: How an author demonstrates expertise and knowledge.

Look for rhetorical devices & patterns in the text.

  1. Rhetorical devices refer to an author’s use of diction and syntax.
  2. Does the author repeat key words / phrases? What’s the impact?
  3. Does the author return to the same idea or image? Why?

Finally, write a clear thesis statement & topic sentences for your rhetorical analysis essay.

  1. Use your thesis statement to generate topic sentences.
  2. In your body paragraphs, identify a technique, provide an example, and discuss the “right there” and “beneath the surface” meanings. How does the author’s choice impact the audience, further a message, establish a tone?
  3. Make sure to analyze at the “word-level.” For example, if you’re talking about the author’s use of anaphora, talk about why it is important for those particular words or phrases to be repeated.
    • What’s the context for the repetition?
    • What connotations are important?
    • How is the anaphora used to move the reader to greater understanding (logos), emotional investment (pathos), and/or trust in the author’s ideas (ethos)?

Six Strategies for Teaching Rhetorical Analysis

I’ve created an awesome free guide to inspire English teachers who teach rhetoric in their classrooms. Even if you don’t teach AP lang, you can benefit from these strategies!


Rhetorical Analysis Essay FAQ’s

How do you write a rhetorical analysis essay?

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is like writing a literary analysis essay, except the focus is on one or more non-fiction texts and the analysis targets an author’s style or rhetorical “moves” (a.k.a. use of rhetorical appeals and/or devices). Rhetorical analysis essays usually prove a claim about the author’s message or purpose for writing. The paragraphs in a rhetorical analysis essay unpack “what” an author is doing to send this message and “how” these choices impact the audience.

What does it mean to write a rhetorical analysis?

Writing a rhetorical analysis means that you are aware, as an audience member, reader, listener, human being, of the messages you consume. As a critical consumer of others’ ideas, you ask hard questions about how these messages are shaped, why they’re being delivered in certain ways, and why this is important for you and for society.

What are the three rhetorical strategies?

The three most commonly known rhetorical strategies are known as rhetorical appeals. Ethos (ethics) refers to credibility and trustworthiness. Pathos (passion) refers to engaging an audience’s emotions. Logos (logic) refers to engaging an audience’s brain through logical organization and use of evidence and arguments.

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About Lindsay Ann

Lindsay has been teaching high school English in the burbs of Chicago for 16 years. She is passionate about helping English teachers find balance in their lives and teaching practice through practical feedback strategies and student-led learning strategies. She also geeks out about literary analysis, inquiry-based learning, and classroom technology integration. When Lindsay is not teaching, she enjoys playing with her two kids, running, and getting lost in a good book.

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