Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples


In educational institutions, students most often come across ordinary academic papers, and for such papers, experts have long compiled guides on how to write. However, a rhetorical analysis still raises many students’ questions since teachers do not give exact recommendations. Regular academic papers require the student to express their own opinion on a topic. However, in rhetorical analysis, the student must convince his statements’ audience, but this is not easy. The audience must believe you Based on specific examples, thesis, etc.

Before we start with examples, let’s look at the meaning of this concept. The rhetorical analysis is a technique through which the student can examine the text and understand its structure. The student can also find out what speech techniques the author used. Students can evaluate artistic techniques and linguistic tools that the author used and express their opinion in this type of assignment. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend that you pay attention to the following aspects:

  • the kind and genre of speech of the text, its addressee;
  • the purposefulness of the author (the author has achieved the set goal);
  • conditions for creating and pronouncing speech (place, time);
  • selection of the language of the text (taking into account the rhetorical strategy of a specific audience);
  • types of arguments: pros and cons, strong and weak;
  • types of argumentation: inductive / deductive, descending / ascending, refutes / supporting, one-sided / two-sided;
  • the effectiveness of argumentation;
  • composition of the text (the structure of the introduction and conclusion, how many parts are in the text, the words transitions between parts);
  • changing points of view (internal/external, own/alien, spatial, temporal, evaluative, etc.):
  • the use of various types of speech;
  • correctness, accuracy, relevance, expressiveness of the language (whether actual, logical, speech errors were made)
  • communication failures, their reasons;
  • the practicality of using tropes and rhetorical figures;
  • methods and means of dialogizing the language of the text;
  • means of expressing linguistic aggression (if it is permissible);
  • demagogic and manipulative techniques;
  • the general assessment of the language of the text (persuasiveness, originality).

Rhetorical analysis has a simple structure. Let’s look at examples of each bullet point in this essay.

Rhetorical Analysis – Introduction Example

Like any other written assignment, the rhetorical analysis also has an introduction. Writers created this part to:

  1. The reader will get acquainted with the selected topic and tell a little about the author of the text being analyzed.
  2. Indicate for whom this essay is intended.

Any conventional introduction contains a hook. Your task is to write an introductory sentence that will grab the reader’s attention. By writing a catchy sentence, you have a better chance of getting your article read. So that you don’t have any questions about creating an introduction, let’s look at a small example. Our essay topic will be an on “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare:

The most famous English poet, writer, and playwright William Shakespeare could create an incredible story that is being studied around the world – “Romeo and Juliet.” According to one of the versions of “Romeo and Juliet,” the author created in 1595. But the second version of historians says that there was no exact date when the author wrote this work. However, it is known for sure that in the period from 1593 to 1596, William Shakespeare actively worked on the masterpiece. During the Renaissance, almost all plays ended tragically, so Romeo and Juliet was no exception. The main characters of this play died together.¬†

The performance itself is small and contains five acts. In the prologue, the author briefly tells the essence of the story. When analyzing this work, I noticed that the plot of the tragedy is built symmetrically. For Shakespeare, such feelings as noblemen and love were among the main ones, and therefore he applied two concepts in tragedy. The author focused his attention more on love. I read the tragedy to the end and noticed that the closer the finale moves, the brighter the author revealed the topic of high feelings. Many readers claim that love in this play looks very pretentious. I cannot disagree. In the monologues of the heroes, you can see how they convey love. Also, the heroes sing about love with all pride and triumph.

In this example, you can see that the author has provided short information about the analyzed text. Then the author wrote several sentences about rhetorical devices and what role they played in the text.

Thesis Statement And Body – Example

A thesis proposal is a short statement by the author of the article regarding the analyzed text. Accordingly, in the body, it is necessary to provide arguments regarding the thesis. In our example, you can do the following thesis:

According to history, tragic plots have existed in literature for a long time, so Shakespeare did not create something new, only added his view of the problem – so many believe. However, I can confidently say that the writer has made a tragedy, unlike any other work. After all, otherwise, the play would not have become famous. I believe that this is an original performance, which has a lot of meaning and is ready to prove it.

An in-depth and thorough analysis of the tragedy gives the right to believe that history is not fiction but reality. Essentially, Shakespeare created a legend in the form of a play. The author took as a basis only the tragic ending, but the stories that unfold before the final tell us about five days of lovers. When creating the tragedy, the author changed the season and, with the help of artistic techniques, added vivid scenes and touched upon that time’s problems.

The author was very conceived about the structure of the text and created the play in an asymmetrical opposition. In the first part, I read about how the masters’ servants meet. In the second part, I read about the Montagues and the Capulet. In the third part, I got acquainted with the warring clans. In all parts, I was surprised by the fact that the author frankly describes duels, quarrels, murders, and at the same time, they look very realistic due to metaphors, hyperboles, comparisons. The last part makes the author move away from this topic, and the enmity between the heroes stops. The author has dynamically written the exposition, beginning, climax and denouement. I could not tear myself away for one minute.

I concluded that the tragedy takes on a circular structure. That is, the author is so obsessed with conflicts that they are repeated parallelly. I paid special attention to the monologues of the main characters. Most often, characters talk about conscience, passion, love, honor, and nobility. All themes are the essence of the composition. Indeed, in other words, only one topic is raised. Shakespeare used the rhetorical exclamation “Romeo, what a pity you are Romeo!”; the metaphor “Extinguishing the fire of deadly strife with streams of red liquid from the veins”; personification of “feelings overpowered”; comparisons “like the stars of the night”; epithets “heavenly,” “light,” “winged,” “shining.”

For Shakespeare, the language was not an end in itself, but a means, and a means that could and should be renewed and expanded. Shakespeare used words from a wide variety of strata of the language – from purely literary, book vocabulary to vernacular, terms of science, medicine, military affairs, jurisprudence, commerce, etc. According to some estimates, Shakespeare’s dictionary has 18,000 words, of which he first used about 3,500. This is an extraordinary lexical wealth, considering that other major writers, such as Dickens, have a vocabulary of no more than 9,000.

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Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion – Example

The conclusion in the rhetorical analysis is intended to give the final verdict on the text. Also, in the final section, the student can summarize the main points. In conclusion, you are allowed to re-formulate the thesis to make sure you prove your idea. Let’s look at an example of a conclusion:

The wealth of Shakespeare’s language lies not so much in the number of words as in the sheer number of meanings and shades in which Shakespeare uses the word. Shakespeare’s language sharply in Romeo and Juliet stands out for its semantic richness. The root of this wealth lies in the fact that Shakespeare drew meanings and shades of meanings of words from the folk language of his era widely. Mastering the semantics of the language allowed Shakespeare to use “wordplay” or pun widely. Shakespeare often uses one word in two or more meanings at the same time. Although the play is based on tragedy, Romeo and Juliet’s rhetorical analysis helps to see the comic elements intertwined with a red thread in the storyline. Shakespeare drew attention to social issues, morals, raised issues of morality, and exalted high feelings.

AP Language Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Anyone who wants to write a rhetorical analysis for the AP Language and Composition course will inevitably face text formulation problems. Depending on how correctly you compose the essay structure and how you approach the text’s writing correctly, the assessment will depend. To be successful, take a look at some of our tips.

Understand the Prompt

The topic of the article will certainly give you a hint. Accordingly, before writing an essay, find a hint and think about what it is for. If you understand what is required of you, you will have a better chance of putting together the article’s correct structure and content.

Stick To The Format

Yes, a rhetorical analysis is different from a regular academic essay. However, you must know the structure of the text and format it according to the rules. Make a plan, so you don’t miss out on essential points. An essay outline will help you divide your text into logical paragraphs. You should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. If you’ve read the example, you already know that the introduction requires a properly written thesis. The central part may contain several paragraphs in which you argue the thesis and give examples. After conducting a rhetorical analysis, in conclusion, you can provide a verdict for the entire work.

Apply Rhetorical Elements to Form Argument

To choose the right arguments for the central part, we recommend analyzing the following points:

  • Language – what tone and words the author uses in work;
  • Structure – how the author lined up paragraphs and applied linguistic rules;
  • Rhetorical appeal – ethos, pathos, logos.

If you analyze all three parameters, then you can create a successful thesis. It can be written both negatively and positively. The negative form is aimed at showing that the author used too weak artistic techniques. The positive form is aimed at showing that the author is rich in artistic techniques. It is on the thesis that the whole essence of the article will be based. So don’t miss this critical point.

FAQ About The Rhetorical Analysis 

How do I write a rhetorical analysis essay?

To successfully compose this type of paper, you need to choose a good topic. Analyze three aspects:

  1. The tone of work, structure, artistic techniques.
  2. Based on the data obtained, draw up a thesis.
  3. In the central part, provide arguments and an example in favor of the thesis.
  4. In conclusion, give a verdict to all work.

What is a rhetorical analysis?

Rhetorical analysis is a form of criticism or attentive reading that uses rhetoric principles to explore the interaction between text, author, and audience. The essay is intended to give an objective assessment of the work after analyzing artistic techniques, words, and work style.

How many paragraphs are in a rhetorical analysis essay?

This type of writing assignment has three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. However, the body can be 3-5 paragraphs long. Accordingly, it all depends on the length of your work. If you want to attach as much information as possible, then there will be many paragraphs. If you have a limited word limit, then there can be three paragraphs.

How do you write a rhetorical analysis essay for a commercial?

The ads we watch most often use rhetorical appeals. This is done to attract as many audiences as possible and encourage them to buy a product or use a service. To create a rhetorical analysis essay for a commercial, you must adhere to the same principle – to analyze all rhetorical techniques.