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What Do You Need for Writing a Strong Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay talks about a work of writing, art, or poetry from the perspective of the creator. It tries to determine how the creator wanted to make his argument to their intended audience. You are supposed to analyze the text or another communicative form and comment on it. What you need in order to write a strong rhetorical essay are the following:

  1. Identify:

    Identify the speaker or the narrator. This is usually the author and you are supposed to name the speaker. Next, identify the occasion the text was written about. The third identification you need to perform is that of the audience. Was the text or art intended for a specific person, a specific audience, or the general public? Fourth, identify the purpose of the writing. What did the author want to achieve by writing this text? Lastly, identify the subject of the text. This simply means the topic of the essay or text.

  2. Analyze the form and content of Appeals: (First rhetorical strategy)

    An appeal is the method by which the writer has made his argument. You need to determine the presence and ratio of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Ethos uses ethical arguments such as the character of the writer. Logos uses logic such as evidence and data to prove a point. Pathos uses emotional (pathetic) appeals such as hurt, anger etc. to get the argument across.

  3. Analyze the style: (Second rhetorical strategy)

    Note the elements of style including the tone, diction, analogies, imagery, and repetition. Each element when used has a different intention as well as affect. Analogies (e.g. metaphors) give a comparison. Diction (the choice of words and language) set the tone (attitude or mood) of the text. Imagery usually appeals to the pathos. Repetition garners memorability.

  4. Write an outline:

    With the help of the analysis you have done, you can now ask yourself the key questions that will lead to the essay. These questions are:

    • Why did the author use these rhetorical strategies for this work?
    • Do these strategies help the writer accomplish his objective? How? Are they counterproductive? Why?
    • What could have been better?
    • Would the strategies be the same or similar for a different audience?

Once you have these keys to the work you are writing the rhetorical analysis essay about, you can go on to work on the formal arrangement of the essay and accomplish it in no time.

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