How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Outline

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Outline

In order for you to deliver a good rhetorical analysis essay, it is important that you know how to write a rhetorical analysis outline. An outline is the plan that will guide you in writing the paper, therefore, crafting one is always the first step to take. Using a properly written rhetorical analysis outline, you will always find it easy working on the different sections of the paper.

Developing an outline will help you to think critically and choose the best points to use in the essay in order to come up with an outstanding piece. An outline is a simple draft indicating the sections of the rhetorical analysis essay and key points for the discussion.

A rhetorical analysis essay requires the writer to explore how the various elements of rhetoric have been used in the given piece, presentation and argument of ideas and give an analysis of how the strategy has been applied in order to attain the expected results. The best way to achieving all these is knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis outline.

A greater part of essays are always written similarly, and this implies the skills on how to write a rhetorical analysis outline can also be applied in crafting other academic papers. With an outline, you will be able to save quite a lot of time when it comes to writing the essay.

Tips on how write a rhetorical analysis outline

A rhetorical analysis essay can be written about films, other texts, collection of artwork among other pieces. Therefore, it is important that you first determine the material or piece of work that the essay will be based on. This will also assist you in establishing the direction to pursue when creating an outline.

Read on for more guidelines on how to write a rhetorical analysis outline

One of the key elements in writing a rhetorical analysis essay is understanding the intentions of the author. You should try to determine how the creator of the original work presented his or her argument in order to achieve the set target. This might play a significant role in your thesis, hence, should be carefully looked at.

Before writing the outline, it is also important that you decide the sections that will be included in your paper. Doing this will enable you to specifically focus on the important things, thereby saving time.

A rhetorical analysis paper basically has three main sections; introduction, body and conclusion. However, there are key aspects that must be highlighted in each of the sections to ensure that your paper is a rhetorical analysis essay. All these must be precisely and clearly indicated in the outline.

The SOAPs tone is one of the key aspects of a rhetorical analysis. This is a short abbreviation that is used to refer to Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject and tone of the original piece of work.

The speaker is the first and last name of the creator of that piece of work. Occasion on the other hand, refers to the type of text and context under which it was crafted. The audience is the reader (s) whom the text was addressed to. Purpose is the result that the author wanted to achieve with the work. The subject defines the topic which is discussed in the text.

It is also important that you examine the appeals or first classification of rhetorical strategy. These entail ethos, logos and pathos.

Also known as ethical appeals, ethos are reliant on the credibility of the writer and character in attaining approval. The mention of an author or writer’s qualification can be used to signify ethos.

Logos apply reasoning in making arguments, especially in academic rhetorical pieces. It refers to the use of evidence, facts and data to support an argument.

Pathos is the instance whereby the author of the original piece has used words or phrases that evoke emotions in order to drive his or her point home. Pathetic appeals can include the use of love, sympathy among others.

In your outline, you will also need to highlight the styles details in the original text, like the use of imagery, diction, syntax and tone. It is also important that you identify these for easy reference when it comes to writing.

In preparation for writing the outline for a rhetorical essay paper, all the above elements must be well defined. Remember the outline is the final plan that will be followed in writing the essay, therefore, always ensure that all the points listed in the outline are sufficient for supporting your argument.

Steps on how to write a rhetorical analysis outline

A good rhetorical essay outline should show the order which all your points will be addressed in the paper. The following procedures will guide you on how to write a rhetorical analysis outline with ease.

Always craft your outline in chronological order. This implies you should start from the beginning of the article or piece of work to be analyzed and work your way through to the end.


The outline should demonstrate how you will distinguish the paper from others. You can simply write a statement defining how you will tell the readers about your analysis in a logical and captivating manner.

You should also list the SOAPs tone of the given piece under section since they will be discussed in the opening sentences of the paper. Besides, also remember to state the work under analysis.

Write your thesis statement or chief argument that will be discussed in the essay. It is recommended that you write the thesis as it will appear in the final paper. The thesis should not be hard to create since it simply reflects your intentions in the essay.

Body paragraphs

The body is generally the longest and most detailed part of an essay. In order for you to deliver good body paragraphs with proper flow of information, you have to carefully pick the points to list in the outline.

In order to make the outline clearer, try to use bullets, numbers and point-form when listing different aspects to be included in the body paragraphs.

There are key aspects of a rhetorical analysis essay that you should know how to address in the right order when writing the outline. These include the logos, ethos and pathos respectively. The body paragraphs should be outlined by rhetorical appeals.

At least identify one key claim and an evaluation of the document’s use of objective evidence. For logos, pathos and ethos, choose evidence from the given piece to give while writing the analysis.

Under every main claim, it is also advisable that you include a statement indicating how you will wrap up the discussion in the paragraph. However, you can also just have one statement generalizing all the points addressed in the body paragraphs.


In the conclusion, you should simply indicate how the entire analysis will be tied up to form an objective discussion. A proper conclusion should re-state the thesis statement and main ideas, then further point out any future expectations on the subject or topic.

You do not have to write an entire paragraph in the outline, instead, simply list the key points to be addressed on the section.

You should also ensure that your references are well outlined since they will also be written in the essay.

After writing the outline, take a few moments to read through it just to make sure it portrays your intentions for the essay. Writing is an art whereby ideas may sometimes come up in the process of writing and this may lead to changes in the outline.

In case there are certain points that you think would ruin your discussion in the paper, it is advisable that you punch them out or find appropriate replacements. Avoid too much statements or exaggeration s in the outline, instead, only list what is necessary for writing the analysis.

Examples of rhetorical analysis outline

You can also easily find out how to write a rhetorical analysis outline by simply reading sample outlines. The following are professionally crafted examples to motivate you in writing.

Example 1

Outline for rhetorical analysis

  1. Introduction
  • Introduce your topic or subject
  • Make evident your purpose
  • Engage the reader
  1. Summary of the Rhetorical situation
  • What is the issue?
  • What is the context …

(Simply click here to read the detailed sample rhetorical analysis outline)

Example 2

Rhetorical analysis essay outline

  1. Introduction
  1. Attention grabber sentence
  2. Brief summary of essay with author introduction
  3. Thesis statement
  1. Body…

(Get the entire sample on this link)

Example 3

Sample Rhetorical Analysis Outline

  1. Introduction: Background and Thesis
  2. Background Information, including details about the author, work, title and publication info. Statement of the author’s argument.
  3. Thesis: Evaluation and appeals
  4. Body: Analysis, interpretation and evaluation…

(To continue reading the rest of this sample outline, simply click here)


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