How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis – Simple Words About Complex
Rhetorical analysis is a type of academic essay that involves analyzing a text in terms of rhetoric. The writer needs to evaluate not only the arguments but also the style of presenting thoughts, artistic techniques, hooks, calls to action, etc.
Rhetorical analysis has the same structure as any other essay: introduction, thesis statement, the body of 2-3 paragraphs, and conclusion. Thus, if you have previously written an article, then there will be no problems with the structure of rhetorical analysis.
However, not all students understand how to write all parts of the essay correctly. Someone writes about the content of the text. Someone lists grammatical, stylistic, lexical errors. Therefore, our write my essay service have prepared a guide on how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay so that you can get an A+.
Key Aspects of Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the science that studies all aspects of literate and technically correct speech. Also, this concept was originally based on the desire to convince and induce the listener or reader to take action. Thus, rhetoric teaches students to evaluate research papers, scientific articles, dissertations, and other papers based on the norms of this science. The fundamental concepts of rhetoric are logos, ethos, pathos. Also, the key rhetorical aspects are text, context, support, guarantees. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Main Appeals: Logos, Ethos, Pathos
Appeals are a technique through which the author can convince the reader of the truth of the judgments. For example, Aristotle established three main appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos. This rhetorical triangle is famous today:
- Logos is concerned with argumentation, a sequence of arguments that a writer demonstrates. The reasoning should be clear, consistent, but at the same time concise. The writer should avoid wordy and confusing arguments, ambiguous statements, and incomprehensible terminology — the usual way of arranging statements: from a specific case to generalizations.
- Ethos is a demonstration of your character, yourself as a person. The writer wants to convince the audience of something meaningful to himself. Therefore, he must present himself as the possessor of a character suitable for achieving this goal. He should give the impression of a person who can solve the problems of the audience.
- Pathos is the ability to awaken feelings in people and induce them to take specific actions. The writer must provide a positive emotional background necessary for adequate perception of his words. The purpose of pathos is to convey the desired mood to the listeners.
All three aspects of rhetoric are integral to beliefs. Authors can use pathos, logos, and ethos at the same time. However, you should evaluate these aspects based on the rules set for these rhetorical terms.
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Text & Context
In rhetorical analysis, the text is not always the subject of writing. In the given cases, the text is the subject of analysis. You can analyze research, advertising, and performances. Thus, your task is to analyze not only language techniques but also visual, sound, and other complementary elements of the text.
Context is what surrounds the text. For example, who is the author or speaker? Who came to listen to the speeches or who read these texts? When and where did the author speak, write the text, and what is its purpose?
When you assess the context, you suggest that you describe the rhetorical analysis in more detail. For example, on August 28, 1963, African American preacher Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech. A black rights activist in the United States talked about a future in which people will be equal regardless of skin color. On that day, about 300 thousand Americans listened to him. There are many aspects of context: listener, place, speaker, goals.
Warrants, Claims, And Supports
Rhetoric requires arguments. For example, in a philosophical essay, you can find many logical, precise, clear arguments. In a satirical article, the author himself must draw a conclusion based on the evidence. No matter what arguments you use, they are always accompanied by claims, support, and warrants.
Claims are the article’s main idea or a small proposition with which the author wants to convince the truth of his condemnations. Your rhetorical analysis paper can consist of one statement or several – this exception is used mainly in rhetorical analysis. Your statements should be clear and supported by examples from the original text you are evaluating.
Support is evidence to support the truth of your words. You can use both the statements of authoritative people and your observations, emotional appeals. Look for any clues that will allow you to convince the reader that the idea is correct.
Warrants are the liaison between claims and support. Warrants are a hidden element, as the reader must determine the relationship between these aspects. Let’s look at an example to understand this key point better:
Rhetorical statement: The voters did not like any of the candidates presented. Voter turnout in the elections was low.
In this example, there is a statement – “The voters did not like any of the submitted candidates.” The support is the phrase: “Voter turnout in the elections was low.” On this basis, we can conclude that a better known or honest candidate would have attracted more voter attendance. We can be sure of this or that argument if we are 100% sure of its truthfulness.
Features of Text Analysis
Rhetorical analysis is not about choosing concepts and applying them to an essay. Before you start writing your essay, you need to study the text carefully. You can use these questions to analyze:
- What is the purpose of the text?
- The author discusses one topic and discusses different topics?
- What is the tone of the text: scientific, humorous, sympathetic, strict?
- Does the author express his opinion, or is he based on the statements of other people?
- Is the author using artistic techniques or a more formal conversational style?
- Is there evidence to support the author’s ideas?
By answering these questions, you will identify many rhetorical aspects that will form the basis of the essay. Also, remember that you should not describe all the rhetorical techniques, techniques, terms – tell only about those you found in the analyzed text.
Basic Part of Rhetorical Analysis
As we have already noted, the rhetorical analysis consists of three whales: introduction, body, conclusion. Now let’s move on to the rhetorical analysis essay step-by-step guide to writing essential elements for this assignment.
The introduction allows you to familiarize the reader with the topic of the essay. Here you can tell the readers what text you will analyze, a summary of the text, its purpose. The final sentence of the article is the thesis statement. We’ve provided an example to help you understand the introduction better:
- “In American history, Martin Luther King Jr.’s” I Have a Dream “speech is one of the most powerful and compelling utterances ever.” As you can see, this sentence helps us outline the essay’s framework – what we will be talking about.
- “King first made the speech in 1963. It was intended for thousands of civil rights activists at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The speech has become a symbol and a civil rights rally. Many scholars consider this speech a national heritage.” In this excerpt, we told the background of its purpose and mission when the King delivered the speech.
- “King’s talk of a prophetic voice, supported by thousands of listeners, creates a powerful sense of ethos and inspires many people to act for the nation.” This sentence is the thesis – the main idea of the essay. That is, we want to analyze one rhetorical aspect – ethos.
Based on the examples, we see that the introduction cannot do without outlining the structure of the essay, its goals, objectives, and thesis. The absence of these elements will lead to a violation of the logic of the paper.
The body is where you will analyze and validate your point of view. Most often, the body consists of three paragraphs. Sometimes there can be more of them – it depends on the established word limits.
To make your essay not look boring, you need to describe at least three different parts of the text. In this case, paragraphs must be supplemented with arguments and examples from the original text supporting the thesis. But, first, let’s take a look at a small sample of a body:
- “King filled his speech with prophetic language.” Such a proposal is called thematic – it clearly describes what will be discussed in this paragraph.
- “For example, the King calls the Lincoln Memorial a “sacred site.” He encourages people to come out of the dark for civil rights, to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children” These sentences are evidence – quotes from the text will support the thematic sentence and thesis.
- “Through prophetic language, King has managed to create a strong ethical text. King has associated himself with many politicians such as Lincoln. King’s speech is imbued with a religious tone. King appears as a prophet from Bible stories – for this reason, many people listened to his statements. He speaks only about the past, but also about the future, thus giving impetus to the revolution for civil rights.” Here we have conducted a brief analysis of King’s speech. You can catch on to other aspects that reveal the essence of the text in more detail.
- “The power of King’s speech lies in pathos and prophetic tone.” This is a small summary, which will allow you to move on to the analysis of other rhetorical aspects.
One body paragraph can contain only one argument and thematic sentence. Therefore, divide the body into several sections so that the article looks structured and easy to read.
Finally, you can rephrase the thesis and summarize the arguments. However, you cannot add new information – the essay will look unfinished. You can also include the rhetorical aspects that you were able to analyze and, on their basis, evaluate the text. Please use rhetorical questions or calls to action – readers will think about your essay for a long time.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Rhetorical Analysis
We understand that this assignment can raise many questions. Therefore, we have prepared answers in advance that will improve your knowledge of rhetorical analysis.
What Is the Purpose of Rhetorical Analysis?
The rhetorical analysis aims to acquaint the reader with artistic techniques that the author used to convince people of their opinion. The rhetorical analysis also describes the goals and ideas of the text.
What Can Be Analyzed in a Rhetorical Essay?
For rhetorical analysis, you can evaluate songs, advertisements, performances, speeches, and other texts that contain ethos, pathos, logos. You can also analyze political cartoons – this is also part of the rhetoric.
What Does Ethos, Logos, Pathos Mean?
First, logos are designed to reach out to the mind of the audience, using logical evidence. Second, ethos aims to help the author make readers trust him. Finally, pathos is designed to evoke the right emotions in people. All these three elements are called the rhetorical triangle.
What Do Warrants, Claims, and Supports Mean?
Claims are your statement that you have to prove. Support is evidence, examples, quotes that will convince readers of the truth of your judgments. Warrants are the liaison between claims and support – very often not clearly expressed.