The purpose of a rhetorical analysis essay is to explain how an author writes or presents an argument or idea. It is mainly written concerning informational genres such as speeches or argumentative, persuasive, and expository essays. Colleges and universities often require prospective students to take standardized exams to receive scores. Some colleges and universities ask for the essay portion of these tests. Most often, these tests have essay prompts that ask for rhetorical analyses. However, colleges and universities will sometimes have students write other kinds of essays such as creative explanations about themselves or why they want to go to that college. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay involves using many of the tools for analyzing that you have already learned in this course. The rhetorical analysis essay is worth 40% of the Unit Test score.
girl in library with laptop and notes
Steps to Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
1 – Choose a speech from this Unit or any other persuasive essay or argument.
2 – Read the text well and analyze it for main ideas. Writing a short summary of the text is helpful, as is taking notes. Write notes on a word-processing document or paper copy.
Look for these rhetorical elements:
a.Style – diction and syntax, such as repetition, questions, antithesis, and other schemes; tone
b.Organization of content (Unit 6, Lesson 2)
c.Types of evidence – opinions, facts, anecdotes, etc.
d.Appeals, persuasive devices, and logical fallacies
e.Imagery or figurative language – analogies, allusions, etc.
f.Implicit or suggested meanings – word connotations
3 – Write a rough draft of body paragraphs, using evidence from the text, in sequential order that clearly explains how the author uses rhetorical strategies to make the points clear and effective. Use at least seven pieces of evidence, and make paragraphs in your essay as needed.
4 – Write an introduction with this information: author’s name, type of text, and the purpose.
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