How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay for College

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay for College

As a college student, you should know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay for college because analysis forms part of organization and prewriting of most college essays and papers. You have to analyze any text that you read to determine differences and similarities or even to classify it. Analysis is also important because it enables you to synthesize what you read. A rhetorical analysis essay for college refers to an essay in which non-fiction work is broken down into parts after which the writer explains how they all work together in accomplishing the set goal or creating a specific effect which could to be inform, entertain or persuade- (follow the link for more information).

Why it is important to know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay for college

Analyzing text rhetoric is simply figuring out how the text persuades the target readers rather than what it is trying to persuade them to do. It is simply figuring out how a text goes about the task of accomplishing the set goal. Rhetorical analysis is not concerned about the correctness of the assertions of a text directly.

With the skills for conducting a rhetorical analysis and writing an essay, you can understand how writers try to persuade you and this makes you less vulnerable to any manipulation. Additionally, with the ability to conduct this inquiry and come up with an essay, you can make important, appreciable contributions towards critical thinking and apply it to academic studies. If you can figure out the way arguments work, you can also understand the way different academic disciplines operate. For instance, analyzing linguistic texts rhetorically enables you to comprehend the way the linguistic discipline provides answers to different questions on the basis of which members of this discipline form their beliefs.

What exactly you should analyze in your rhetorical analysis essay

A rhetorical analysis essay should evaluate and examine the choices made by the writer in creating his or her work. To achieve this, you should dissect the work, breaking it into sections that can be examined and analyzed in details. Virtually all elements of a work reflect the choices made by the author on the basis of a rhetorical situation. Some elements are related to the style and they include sentence structure, tone, humor and points or ideas’ organization. Others relate to content and they include main ideas, thesis statement, conclusion, introduction, sources’ use, transitions’ use and counter-arguments’ acknowledgement.

A four steps guide on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay for college

  1. Start with a clear introduction

A clear introduction should be the first section of your rhetorical analysis essay. It should describe the work being analyzed while outlining the most vital arguments. However, the introduction should not include excess information. The introductory part allows you a chance to capture the interest of your readers. If you include all the information in the introduction, readers will not find a reason to continue reading the rest of the essay.

  1. Identify the analysis subject

The subject that you will be analyzing in the essay should be described in details. Provide important information regarding the subject. This is very important because it allows the audience to understand what you will be analyzing. For this to be possible, assess your subject properly. For instance, if you are writing your rhetorical analysis on a text, assess it from different angles including identifying its purpose, tone, goal, audience and value.

  1. Consider ethos, pathos and logos

Ethos, pathos and logos are the three classifications of rhetoric. Analyzing them is a major indication that you know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

  • Ethos assesses the credibility of the writer. While analyzing ethos, consider the evidence that the author uses how he/she uses different sources to verify it. At the end, provide a logical conclusion showing whether the writer has provided sufficient evidence to enhance his/her credibility.
  • Logos assesses logic. To analyze work from the logos angle, you should consider the presented argument to determine if it is logical. Ascertain whether there are adequate solid facts supporting the argument.
  • Pathos refers to the used emotional appeals. While analyzing pathos, assess the work’s emotional aspects. Evaluate the emotions that the text describes as well as the ones invoked by your analysis subject in your readers.

After analyzing these aspects separately determine the method or approach that the writer has used the most in accomplishing his or her goal and why. Explain your reasons for believing that the approach chosen by the author is effective or not on the basis of the rhetorical situation.

  1. Analyze the text style

To analyze text style, consider the following:

  • Imagery
  • Analogies
  • Repetition
  • Word choice

Analyze and explain how the author uses these tools in making his or her impression stronger to the audience. Your analysis should conclude with an opinion regarding their efficiency.

Consider rhetorical situations to write a good rhetorical analysis essay

A situation is what goes on in a background and it affects how a person interprets, understands or communicates- (follow the link for more information). For instance, when seeking assistance or advice from a friend, you have to explain your situation so that you can get relevant and helpful advice or assistance from that friend. Therefore, rhetorical situation refers to factors that affect rhetoric or persuasiveness of a text or argument.  Failure to consider the context within which you are writing your essay will hinder the ability of your essay to accomplish the goal that you set for it.

The four factors that are identified as rhetorical situations are:

  • Speaker: This is the author of the text. It is the character or the personality traits that the author wants to show to the audience.
  • Audience: This refers to the group that will read the text. The group can have its concerns, beliefs or agendas that may be considered by the writer.
  • Purpose: This is the goal of the text. It is what the writer intends to accomplish with the work. It can be to change the minds of people regarding an issue or to provoke their thoughts.
  • Message: This is a crystallized, clear statement that the author intends to make. It helps in guiding the actual writing of the author.

Mastering how to analyze these factors should be among the initial steps towards knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis essay for college because it enables you to determine how the writer uses them in accomplishing the purpose or goal of the work.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay should now be easy

With this guide, writing a rhetorical analysis essay for college should not be difficult. You just need to understand what exactly this task requires you to do. In most cases, a rhetorical analysis essay prompt has two different tasks. It has an abstract task and a concrete task. The abstract part is difficult intellectually but it is basically the purpose that the author accomplishes while the concrete part refers to the rhetorical devices that the author uses to achieve that purpose- (follow the link for more details).

Bonus tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay for college

  • Evaluate the work rather that the topic

If for instance the original work is about crime, evaluate how well its creator discusses this topic. Write about the work and not the topic that is addressed in the work.

  • Summarize the supporting evidence

Unless the assignment requires you to summarize the work, assume that readers are familiar with the original work. Include short summaries to support your analysis while avoiding describing or retelling what the author has said in the work.

  • Cover important topics only

Including all points of the original work makes your essay a summary rather than an analysis. Therefore, choose important topics only, focus on the chosen topics and provide their detailed analysis.

  • Do not use “I”

Use of “I” draws attention to you as the rhetorical analysis essay writer while taking focus from the work under analysis. If your decision is that the author has effectively accomplished his/her purpose using certain rhetorical strategies, focus on them without using any “I” statement.

  • Have a distinct voice

Your analysis should have the voice of the author of the original work and your voice. You can distinguish your voice from that of the author by using phrases like “according to the author” or “the paper states that” while referring to the opinions of the original work’s author.

  • Use a sample rhetorical analysis essay

A good example of a rhetorical analysis essay for college will give you ideas on how to structure your essay. You can download a rhetorical analysis essay example here;

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