Three Steps to Write a Strong Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Three Steps to Write a Strong Rhetorical Analysis Essay

If you listen to political speeches, you must have noticed that politicians can use the identical facts to create totally different statements. The journalists reporting on political activity adopt the same approach in writing. One domain where this tendency is even more popular is advertising. If one competitor accuses another one of establishing unreasonably high prices, the latter will react by saying that the prices enable them to meet the expectations of their VIP customers.

So how do people make plain facts work for them? Moreover, which techniques do they apply to manipulate the opinions of the public? The answer to this puzzle was known already in ancient Greece: rhetoric.

Skillfully elaborated rhetoric has the potential of evoking the necessary reaction of the audience. To familiarize oneself with the principles of rhetoric, a student should start by creating rhetorical analysis essays. The main purpose of this kind of writing is a close analysis of a text or speech. Use the guide below to effectively break down a speech into components and analyze its rhetoric:

 Step One: Gather Information

Create the speaker’s profile. Who is this person? What organization does he/she work for? The speaker’s credentials will also be useful. What form does the speech take? Is it an article, a public speech, or a Facebook post? Try to understand who the speaker’s target audience is. Better yet, why does the speaker/author want to reach that audience? Which reaction was he/she anticipating? Finally, what is the topic of the speech?

 Step Two: What Are the Appeals?

 To achieve the desired impact, the appeals are used. The types of appeals are well-defined:

  • Pathos
  • Ethos
  • Logos

The first one, pathos, refers to emotions. In other words, it aims at evoking particular emotions in the recipient. For example, a speaker might tell a heart-wrenching story about some person to receive a sympathetic response. Although most people understand the true purpose of such stories, this technique usually works well. An ethical appeal, on the contrary, calls for solid facts, such as statistics, case studies, or research. This kind of appeal is common in academic sources. Ethos helps prove the speaker’s credibility. In a nutshell, the purpose of ethos can be defined as “you should believe me because I am an expert and I know the topic better.” Finally, logos implies the effective use of the linguistic means to persuade the audience.

 Step Three: Analyze

Having gathered the necessary information and familiarized yourself with the basic elements of rhetoric, you can start the analysis. First, try to guess why the author prefers certain strategies in that particular case. After that, analyze the response of the audience to determine whether the strategies proved to be effective. At this point, remember that you have to clearly distinguish the author’s arguments from his/her use of rhetoric. For instance, you might be horrified by the arguments of the author but his/her deftness in terms of rhetoric use can produce the opposite effect on you as a reader.

We hope these easy steps will help you create a brilliant rhetorical analysis essay. Anyways, should you need help, do not hesitate to use professional writing services.

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