People usually have trouble writing a rhetorical essay analysis because of the common mistakes they repeat. If you also find yourself lost while writing a rhetorical essay analysis, then this article will help you write an effective one. It is very important for you to understand what a rhetorical analysis essay is.
What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
A rhetorical analysis essay analyzes an essay based on rhetoric. You should not be concerned about what the author is saying, but you should be concerned about how the author says it. You should focus on the techniques, tools, and devices that the author uses to convey the meaning effectively. It takes a deep dive to see how the writer writes. You are analyzing how the writer has decided to influence people with his writing rather than focusing on what he is writing.
A rhetorical analysis essay follows the same structure as any other essay, it has an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and concluding paragraph.
How to Approach Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Before diving into the details, it is important for you to understand the basic steps for writing a rhetorical analysis essay. It is important to consider the basic factors that influence your rhetorical analysis essay writing. All these factors are discussed below in detail.
The first step is to analyze who is the speaker of the essay. Most of the time, the author is writing from the narrator’s point of view. It is important for you to notice whether the author is the speaker or is he writing from someone else’s perspective. This will further help you to analyze the essay as you will have the speaker in mind.
Occasion refers to the setting of the context. It is very important to know the setting of the essay you are analyzing. You should be considerate of other factors like the era of the text, the environment of the text, and the area of the text. You should also analyze micro and macro settings. Micro settings are the settings of the text, usually the area where the context is taking place. The macro setting involves the area of the author. The environment also plays a huge role in evaluating the text. It will make it easier for you to understand why the author mentioned that particular scene in the text.
Another factor that plays an important role in evaluating the text is the audience. It becomes easier to analyze the text if you are the audience to whom the text is directed. It is also important to know why the text is important for the audience, whether the audience is a person or a group of people, and whether the text is directly communicating to the targeted audience.
Knowing the purpose of writing makes you a step ahead in analyzing the text. It is crucial to know why the author is writing this text, if the author is writing to have an influence on the readers, then what kind of influence is that. All these questions will help you in analyzing the text deeply. If you understand the purpose of the writer, this means you can easily analyze how the text is conveyed.
The subject is the main idea or theme of the text. You should familiarize yourself with the main idea of the text and then analyze how the author is conveying that main idea to the audience. Is the author’s style of conveying it effective or not?
Tone usually refers to the author’s choice of words. If you want to analyze tone, you must consider the author’s use of words, imagery that the author uses, sentence structure, and how the author is organizing everything to leave an impact. You must ask yourself a few questions like, how the author’s words have impacted me? What was the technique that the author has focused more on? All such questions will help you in analyzing the tone.
Steps to Write an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Essay
If you are looking for a complete guide to help you write an effective rhetorical analysis essay, then this article is best for you. The following guide has highlighted all the important steps, tools, and techniques that you need to know before writing a rhetorical analysis essay. Read the guide below and get ready to write your essay.
Read multiple times
The first step in writing an effective rhetorical analysis essay is reading the text multiple times. You cannot begin writing your essay after one read. To understand all the factors mentioned above, you need to read the text repeatedly unless you get answers to all your questions. It is important to take notes while reading the text every time. You will notice that you always have something new to write when you read it for another time.
Determine persuasion strategy
Any text where the author convinces or persuades the audience has some tools. Usually, these tools are ethos, pathos, and logos. These are the appeals of persuasion strategies used to convince the audience of your stance. When you analyze a text, you will notice that the text must contain either any of these appeals or a combination of three. The explanation of these appeals is as follows.
- Logos are usually considered as a logical appeal. It is commonly used, as it convinces the readers of the author’s stance by using logic, reasoning, and evidence. Readers are more likely to agree with the author’s point of view if there is logic and reasoning. It makes the point credible, and people easily believe it.
- Ethos is used to convince the audience by mentioning the authority to talk about something. People are more likely to believe you if you have authority on that subject. Thus, if the author talks about some moral principles by mentioning his/her own authority about morals, then the audience will be more likely to believe it.
- Pathos convinces the audience by provoking an emotional response in them. You can make your audience angry, empathetic, or sad to make them agree with your stance. This evokes the audience’s emotion by words the author uses.
Claims, supports, and warrants
While analyzing any piece of writing, you will come across many claims that the writer has made in the text. There is support and warrant to that claim as well. The explanation of claims, support, and the warrant is as follows.
- Claims are the explicitly stated facts that the author wants to convey to its readers. It is important for writers to make claims while structuring their arguments. The argument can have one claim or many claims.
- It is important to support your claims to make them credible. The support can be anything including evidence, examples, or emotional appeals. It is basically everything that can convince the readers of claims.
- The last part of an argument is a warrant which is a connection between claim and support. The warrant is mostly not mentioned in the text, so it is something that you have to analyze and figure out.
A clear thesis statement
Like any other essay, the rhetorical analysis essay also has a thesis statement. The thesis statement comes at the end of the introduction. However, you should formulate your thesis statement in the beginning, as it will determine the structure of your entire text. You should write a clear thesis statement stating the important factors that have helped the writer convey his stance effectively to the audience.
Create an outline
The next step is to formulate an outline. An outline helps you to organize your thoughts in one place. You should write your outline as incomplete sentences, so you can later follow it to write the final draft. The rhetorical analysis essay also has three main parts in the outline: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
In the introductory paragraph, you should include the background information about the text you are analyzing. It is always a good idea to include the summary of the text and the purpose of analyzing this text. You should mention all the rhetoric tools that the author has used in the text. End your introduction with a clear thesis statement.
The body comprises most of the essay. In the body of the essay, you should mention all the techniques and tools used by the author in detail. It is better to dedicate one paragraph to one technique. There is no fixed number of body paragraphs, as it will depend on the number of tools you have analyzed. You should also use different sources to back your claims.
In conclusion, there is no need to repeat the points you have already made. Restate your thesis statement in a different style. You should also mention how the author’s work has impacted the audience. End your conclusion with an appealing concluding statement.
Focus on writing styles
Writing your essay in an appropriate style matters a lot. It is never a good option to overly critiquing the text without proper reasoning. Choose the right grammatical tools while writing, make an appropriate word choice, write using the third person, and stick to the present tense. Do not summarize the text rather analyze it for your essay.
Edit and proofread
After completing your essay, it is better to read it again. Proofreading will help to point out any mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and pronouns. At this point, you can add further arguments if you feel like adding them. It will also help you analyze the aspects that are lacking in the essay. After editing and proofreading, your essay is ready to be submitted.
Common mistakes to avoid
People get confused while writing rhetorical analysis essays because they repeat some common mistakes. These mistakes make you score lower. You can avoid these common mistakes to score better. Following is the explanation of mistakes that you need to avoid.
Neglecting the thesis statement
One common mistake that makes you lose your score is neglecting the importance of the thesis statement. Either people do not add a clear thesis statement or do not follow the pattern of the thesis statement to further state the arguments in the essay. Your essay should be the reflection of the thesis statement.
People usually format their essays in a complex way thinking that it will bring them good scores, but this is not true. The key to an effective essay is using easier words. You should not use complex phrases and sentences in your essay. You should properly structure your sentences giving them a logical flow. Always adhere to the main point and never confuse your readers.
The wording of the essay is not everything that you need to take care of. Incorrect formatting can also reduce the quality of your essay. Choose a consistent and proper writing format. You should be focused on the font, font size, page numbers, and margins. Do not forget to cite your resources and evidence properly. You should not leave any work uncited if it has been extracted from some resource.
Not answering key questions
You should be able to answer all those questions that were in your mind while brainstorming. By the end of the essay, there should be answers to each one of them. You should stick to the main theme of the essay and must not dig deep into the unnecessary details.
It is very important to provide a smooth and logical flow to your ideas. Although every paragraph covers something different, it should make a smooth transition from the previous paragraph or to the next paragraph.
Grammatical errors also tend to reduce the quality of your essay. You should be vigilant while writing to avoid any mistakes in spellings, pronouns, and punctuations.
Plagiarism reduces the quality of your work. It is not only cheating but an unethical act to use someone’s work and portray it as your own. It should be completely avoided.
Summing up the whole discussion, it is not difficult to write a rhetorical analysis essay. The point is that people keep repeating common mistakes because of less guidance. If you follow the steps and avoid the mistakes mentioned above, you will be able to write an effective rhetorical analysis essay.