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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis | Key Concepts & Examples

Published on August 28, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay  that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

Table of contents

Key concepts in rhetoric, analyzing the text, introducing your rhetorical analysis, the body: doing the analysis, concluding a rhetorical analysis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about rhetorical analysis.

Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field.

Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos

Appeals are how the author convinces their audience. Three central appeals are discussed in rhetoric, established by the philosopher Aristotle and sometimes called the rhetorical triangle: logos, ethos, and pathos.

Logos , or the logical appeal, refers to the use of reasoned argument to persuade. This is the dominant approach in academic writing , where arguments are built up using reasoning and evidence.

Ethos , or the ethical appeal, involves the author presenting themselves as an authority on their subject. For example, someone making a moral argument might highlight their own morally admirable behavior; someone speaking about a technical subject might present themselves as an expert by mentioning their qualifications.

Pathos , or the pathetic appeal, evokes the audience’s emotions. This might involve speaking in a passionate way, employing vivid imagery, or trying to provoke anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response in the audience.

These three appeals are all treated as integral parts of rhetoric, and a given author may combine all three of them to convince their audience.

Text and context

In rhetoric, a text is not necessarily a piece of writing (though it may be this). A text is whatever piece of communication you are analyzing. This could be, for example, a speech, an advertisement, or a satirical image.

In these cases, your analysis would focus on more than just language—you might look at visual or sonic elements of the text too.

The context is everything surrounding the text: Who is the author (or speaker, designer, etc.)? Who is their (intended or actual) audience? When and where was the text produced, and for what purpose?

Looking at the context can help to inform your rhetorical analysis. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has universal power, but the context of the civil rights movement is an important part of understanding why.

Claims, supports, and warrants

A piece of rhetoric is always making some sort of argument, whether it’s a very clearly defined and logical one (e.g. in a philosophy essay) or one that the reader has to infer (e.g. in a satirical article). These arguments are built up with claims, supports, and warrants.

A claim is the fact or idea the author wants to convince the reader of. An argument might center on a single claim, or be built up out of many. Claims are usually explicitly stated, but they may also just be implied in some kinds of text.

The author uses supports to back up each claim they make. These might range from hard evidence to emotional appeals—anything that is used to convince the reader to accept a claim.

The warrant is the logic or assumption that connects a support with a claim. Outside of quite formal argumentation, the warrant is often unstated—the author assumes their audience will understand the connection without it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore the implicit warrant in these cases.

For example, look at the following statement:

We can see a claim and a support here, but the warrant is implicit. Here, the warrant is the assumption that more likeable candidates would have inspired greater turnout. We might be more or less convinced by the argument depending on whether we think this is a fair assumption.

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rhetorical analysis essay on article

Rhetorical analysis isn’t a matter of choosing concepts in advance and applying them to a text. Instead, it starts with looking at the text in detail and asking the appropriate questions about how it works:

  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • Do they focus closely on their key claims, or do they discuss various topics?
  • What tone do they take—angry or sympathetic? Personal or authoritative? Formal or informal?
  • Who seems to be the intended audience? Is this audience likely to be successfully reached and convinced?
  • What kinds of evidence are presented?

By asking these questions, you’ll discover the various rhetorical devices the text uses. Don’t feel that you have to cram in every rhetorical term you know—focus on those that are most important to the text.

The following sections show how to write the different parts of a rhetorical analysis.

Like all essays, a rhetorical analysis begins with an introduction . The introduction tells readers what text you’ll be discussing, provides relevant background information, and presents your thesis statement .

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how an introduction works.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is widely regarded as one of the most important pieces of oratory in American history. Delivered in 1963 to thousands of civil rights activists outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech has come to symbolize the spirit of the civil rights movement and even to function as a major part of the American national myth. This rhetorical analysis argues that King’s assumption of the prophetic voice, amplified by the historic size of his audience, creates a powerful sense of ethos that has retained its inspirational power over the years.

The body of your rhetorical analysis is where you’ll tackle the text directly. It’s often divided into three paragraphs, although it may be more in a longer essay.

Each paragraph should focus on a different element of the text, and they should all contribute to your overall argument for your thesis statement.

Hover over the example to explore how a typical body paragraph is constructed.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

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The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis wraps up the essay by restating the main argument and showing how it has been developed by your analysis. It may also try to link the text, and your analysis of it, with broader concerns.

Explore the example below to get a sense of the conclusion.

It is clear from this analysis that the effectiveness of King’s rhetoric stems less from the pathetic appeal of his utopian “dream” than it does from the ethos he carefully constructs to give force to his statements. By framing contemporary upheavals as part of a prophecy whose fulfillment will result in the better future he imagines, King ensures not only the effectiveness of his words in the moment but their continuing resonance today. Even if we have not yet achieved King’s dream, we cannot deny the role his words played in setting us on the path toward it.

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The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.

Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.

The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.

Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.

Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.

In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay–Examples & Template

rhetorical analysis essay on article

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is, as the name suggests, an analysis of someone else’s writing (or speech, or advert, or even cartoon) and how they use not only words but also rhetorical techniques to influence their audience in a certain way. A rhetorical analysis is less interested in what the author is saying and more in how they present it, what effect this has on their readers, whether they achieve their goals, and what approach they use to get there. 

Its structure is similar to that of most essays: An Introduction presents your thesis, a Body analyzes the text you have chosen, breaks it down into sections and explains how arguments have been constructed and how each part persuades, informs, or entertains the reader, and a Conclusion section sums up your evaluation. 

Note that your personal opinion on the matter is not relevant for your analysis and that you don’t state anywhere in your essay whether you agree or disagree with the stance the author takes.

In the following, we will define the key rhetorical concepts you need to write a good rhetorical analysis and give you some practical tips on where to start.

Key Rhetorical Concepts

Your goal when writing a rhetorical analysis is to think about and then carefully describe how the author has designed their text so that it has the intended effect on their audience. To do that, you need to consider a number of key rhetorical strategies: Rhetorical appeals (“Ethos”, “Logos”, and “Pathos”), context, as well as claims, supports, and warrants.

Ethos, Logos, and Pathos were introduced by Aristotle, way back in the 4th century BC, as the main ways in which language can be used to persuade an audience. They still represent the basis of any rhetorical analysis and are often referred to as the “rhetorical triangle”. 

These and other rhetorical techniques can all be combined to create the intended effect, and your job as the one analyzing a text is to break the writer’s arguments down and identify the concepts they are based on.

Rhetorical Appeals

Rhetorical appeal #1: ethos.

Ethos refers to the reputation or authority of the writer regarding the topic of their essay or speech and to how they use this to appeal to their audience. Just like we are more likely to buy a product from a brand or vendor we have confidence in than one we don’t know or have reason to distrust, Ethos-driven texts or speeches rely on the reputation of the author to persuade the reader or listener. When you analyze an essay, you should therefore look at how the writer establishes Ethos through rhetorical devices.

Does the author present themselves as an authority on their subject? If so, how? 

Do they highlight how impeccable their own behavior is to make a moral argument? 

Do they present themselves as an expert by listing their qualifications or experience to convince the reader of their opinion on something?

Rhetorical appeal #2: Pathos

The purpose of Pathos-driven rhetoric is to appeal to the reader’s emotions. A common example of pathos as a rhetorical means is adverts by charities that try to make you donate money to a “good cause”. To evoke the intended emotions in the reader, an author may use passionate language, tell personal stories, and employ vivid imagery so that the reader can imagine themselves in a certain situation and feel empathy with or anger towards others.

Rhetorical appeal #3: Logos

Logos, the “logical” appeal, uses reason to persuade. Reason and logic, supported by data, evidence, clearly defined methodology, and well-constructed arguments, are what most academic writing is based on. Emotions, those of the researcher/writer as well as those of the reader, should stay out of such academic texts, as should anyone’s reputation, beliefs, or personal opinions. 

Text and Context

To analyze a piece of writing, a speech, an advertisement, or even a satirical drawing, you need to look beyond the piece of communication and take the context in which it was created and/or published into account. 

Who is the person who wrote the text/drew the cartoon/designed the ad..? What audience are they trying to reach? Where was the piece published and what was happening there around that time? 

A political speech, for example, can be powerful even when read decades later, but the historical context surrounding it is an important aspect of the effect it was intended to have. 

Claims, Supports, and Warrants

To make any kind of argument, a writer needs to put forward specific claims, support them with data or evidence or even a moral or emotional appeal, and connect the dots logically so that the reader can follow along and agree with the points made.

The connections between statements, so-called “warrants”, follow logical reasoning but are not always clearly stated—the author simply assumes the reader understands the underlying logic, whether they present it “explicitly” or “implicitly”. Implicit warrants are commonly used in advertisements where seemingly happy people use certain products, wear certain clothes, accessories, or perfumes, or live certain lifestyles – with the connotation that, first, the product/perfume/lifestyle is what makes that person happy and, second, the reader wants to be as happy as the person in the ad. Some warrants are never clearly stated, and your job when writing a rhetorical analysis essay is therefore to identify them and bring them to light, to evaluate their validity, their effect on the reader, and the use of such means by the writer/creator. 

bust of plato the philosopher, rhetorical analysis essay

What are the Five Rhetorical Situations?

A “rhetorical situation” refers to the circumstance behind a text or other piece of communication that arises from a given context. It explains why a rhetorical piece was created, what its purpose is, and how it was constructed to achieve its aims.

Rhetorical situations can be classified into the following five categories:

Asking such questions when you analyze a text will help you identify all the aspects that play a role in the effect it has on its audience, and will allow you to evaluate whether it achieved its aims or where it may have failed to do so.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Analyzing someone else’s work can seem like a big task, but as with every assignment or writing endeavor, you can break it down into smaller, well-defined steps that give you a practical structure to follow. 

To give you an example of how the different parts of your text may look when it’s finished, we will provide you with some excerpts from this rhetorical analysis essay example (which even includes helpful comments) published on the Online Writing Lab website of Excelsior University in Albany, NY. The text that this essay analyzes is this article on why one should or shouldn’t buy an Ipad. If you want more examples so that you can build your own rhetorical analysis template, have a look at this essay on Nabokov’s Lolita and the one provided here about the “Shitty First Drafts” chapter of Anne Lamott’s writing instruction book “Bird by Bird”.

Analyzing the Text

When writing a rhetorical analysis, you don’t choose the concepts or key points you think are relevant or want to address. Rather, you carefully read the text several times asking yourself questions like those listed in the last section on rhetorical situations to identify how the text “works” and how it was written to achieve that effect.

Start with focusing on the author : What do you think was their purpose for writing the text? Do they make one principal claim and then elaborate on that? Or do they discuss different topics? 

Then look at what audience they are talking to: Do they want to make a group of people take some action? Vote for someone? Donate money to a good cause? Who are these people? Is the text reaching this specific audience? Why or why not?

What tone is the author using to address their audience? Are they trying to evoke sympathy? Stir up anger? Are they writing from a personal perspective? Are they painting themselves as an authority on the topic? Are they using academic or informal language?

How does the author support their claims ? What kind of evidence are they presenting? Are they providing explicit or implicit warrants? Are these warrants valid or problematic? Is the provided evidence convincing?  

Asking yourself such questions will help you identify what rhetorical devices a text uses and how well they are put together to achieve a certain aim. Remember, your own opinion and whether you agree with the author are not the point of a rhetorical analysis essay – your task is simply to take the text apart and evaluate it.

If you are still confused about how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, just follow the steps outlined below to write the different parts of your rhetorical analysis: As every other essay, it consists of an Introduction , a Body (the actual analysis), and a Conclusion .

Rhetorical Analysis Introduction

The Introduction section briefly presents the topic of the essay you are analyzing, the author, their main claims, a short summary of the work by you, and your thesis statement . 

Tell the reader what the text you are going to analyze represents (e.g., historically) or why it is relevant (e.g., because it has become some kind of reference for how something is done). Describe what the author claims, asserts, or implies and what techniques they use to make their argument and persuade their audience. Finish off with your thesis statement that prepares the reader for what you are going to present in the next section – do you think that the author’s assumptions/claims/arguments were presented in a logical/appealing/powerful way and reached their audience as intended?

Have a look at an excerpt from the sample essay linked above to see what a rhetorical analysis introduction can look like. See how it introduces the author and article , the context in which it originally appeared , the main claims the author makes , and how this first paragraph ends in a clear thesis statement that the essay will then elaborate on in the following Body section:

Cory Doctorow ’s article on BoingBoing is an older review of the iPad , one of Apple’s most famous products. At the time of this article, however, the iPad was simply the latest Apple product to hit the market and was not yet so popular. Doctorow’s entire career has been entrenched in and around technology. He got his start as a CD-ROM programmer and is now a successful blogger and author. He is currently the co-editor of the BoingBoing blog on which this article was posted. One of his main points in this article comes from Doctorow’s passionate advocacy of free digital media sharing. He argues that the iPad is just another way for established technology companies to control our technological freedom and creativity . In “ Why I Won’t Buy an iPad (and Think You Shouldn’t, Either) ” published on Boing Boing in April of 2010, Cory Doctorow successfully uses his experience with technology, facts about the company Apple, and appeals to consumer needs to convince potential iPad buyers that Apple and its products, specifically the iPad, limit the digital rights of those who use them by controlling and mainstreaming the content that can be used and created on the device . 

Doing the Rhetorical Analysis

The main part of your analysis is the Body , where you dissect the text in detail. Explain what methods the author uses to inform, entertain, and/or persuade the audience. Use Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle and the other key concepts we introduced above. Use quotations from the essay to demonstrate what you mean. Work out why the writer used a certain approach and evaluate (and again, demonstrate using the text itself) how successful they were. Evaluate the effect of each rhetorical technique you identify on the audience and judge whether the effect is in line with the author’s intentions.

To make it easy for the reader to follow your thought process, divide this part of your essay into paragraphs that each focus on one strategy or one concept , and make sure they are all necessary and contribute to the development of your argument(s).

One paragraph of this section of your essay could, for example, look like this:

One example of Doctorow’s position is his comparison of Apple’s iStore to Wal-Mart. This is an appeal to the consumer’s logic—or an appeal to logos. Doctorow wants the reader to take his comparison and consider how an all-powerful corporation like the iStore will affect them. An iPad will only allow for apps and programs purchased through the iStore to be run on it; therefore, a customer must not only purchase an iPad but also any programs he or she wishes to use. Customers cannot create their own programs or modify the hardware in any way. 

As you can see, the author of this sample essay identifies and then explains to the reader how Doctorow uses the concept of Logos to appeal to his readers – not just by pointing out that he does it but by dissecting how it is done.

Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion

The conclusion section of your analysis should restate your main arguments and emphasize once more whether you think the author achieved their goal. Note that this is not the place to introduce new information—only rely on the points you have discussed in the body of your essay. End with a statement that sums up the impact the text has on its audience and maybe society as a whole:

Overall, Doctorow makes a good argument about why there are potentially many better things to drop a great deal of money on instead of the iPad. He gives some valuable information and facts that consumers should take into consideration before going out to purchase the new device. He clearly uses rhetorical tools to help make his case, and, overall, he is effective as a writer, even if, ultimately, he was ineffective in convincing the world not to buy an iPad . 

Frequently Asked Questions about Rhetorical Analysis Essays 

What is a rhetorical analysis essay.

A rhetorical analysis dissects a text or another piece of communication to work out and explain how it impacts its audience, how successfully it achieves its aims, and what rhetorical devices it uses to do that. 

While argumentative essays usually take a stance on a certain topic and argue for it, a rhetorical analysis identifies how someone else constructs their arguments and supports their claims.

What is the correct rhetorical analysis essay format?

Like most other essays, a rhetorical analysis contains an Introduction that presents the thesis statement, a Body that analyzes the piece of communication, explains how arguments have been constructed, and illustrates how each part persuades, informs, or entertains the reader, and a Conclusion section that summarizes the results of the analysis. 

What is the “rhetorical triangle”?

The rhetorical triangle was introduced by Aristotle as the main ways in which language can be used to persuade an audience: Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, Ethos to the writer’s status or authority, and Pathos to the reader’s emotions. Logos, Ethos, and Pathos can all be combined to create the intended effect, and your job as the one analyzing a text is to break the writer’s arguments down and identify what specific concepts each is based on.

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Rhetorical Analysis Sample Essay

Harriet Clark

Ms. Rebecca Winter

13 Feb. 2015

Not Quite a Clean Sweep: Rhetorical Strategies in

Grose's "Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier”

A woman’s work is never done: many American women grow up with this saying and feel it to be true. 1 One such woman, author Jessica Grose, wrote “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier,” published in 2013 in the New Republic, 2 and she argues that while the men recently started taking on more of the childcare and cooking, cleaning still falls unfairly on women. 3 Grose begins building her credibility with personal facts and reputable sources, citing convincing facts and statistics, and successfully employing emotional appeals; however, toward the end of the article, her attempts to appeal to readers’ emotions weaken her credibility and ultimately, her argument. 4

In her article, Grose first sets the stage by describing a specific scenario of house-cleaning with her husband after being shut in during Hurricane Sandy, and then she outlines the uneven distribution of cleaning work in her marriage and draws a comparison to the larger feminist issue of who does the cleaning in a relationship. Grose continues by discussing some of the reasons that men do not contribute to cleaning: the praise for a clean house goes to the woman; advertising and media praise men’s cooking and childcare, but not cleaning; and lastly, it is just not fun. Possible solutions to the problem, Grose suggests, include making a chart of who does which chores, dividing up tasks based on skill and ability, accepting a dirtier home, and making cleaning more fun with gadgets. 5

Throughout her piece, Grose uses many strong sources that strengthen her credibility and appeal to ethos, as well as build her argument. 6 These sources include, “sociologists Judith Treas and Tsui-o Tai,” “a 2008 study from the University of New Hampshire,” and “P&G North America Fabric Care Brand Manager, Matthew Krehbiel” (qtd. in Grose). 7 Citing these sources boosts Grose’s credibility by showing that she has done her homework and has provided facts and statistics, as well as expert opinions to support her claim. She also uses personal examples from her own home life to introduce and support the issue, which shows that she has a personal stake in and first-hand experience with the problem. 8

Adding to her ethos appeals, Grose uses strong appeals to logos, with many facts and statistics and logical progressions of ideas. 9 She points out facts about her marriage and the distribution of household chores: “My husband and I both work. We split midnight baby feedings ...but ... he will admit that he’s never cleaned the bathroom, that I do the dishes nine times out of ten, and that he barely knows how the washer and dryer work in the apartment we’ve lived in for over eight months.” 10 These facts introduce and support the idea that Grose does more household chores than her husband. Grose continues with many statistics:

[A]bout 55 percent of American mothers employed full time do some housework on an average day, while only 18 percent of employed fathers do. ... [W]orking women with children are still doing a week and a half more of “second shift” work each year than their male partners. ... Even in the famously gender-neutral Sweden, women do 45 minutes more housework a day than their male partners. 11

These statistics are a few of many that logically support her claim that it is a substantial and real problem that men do not do their fair share of the chores. The details and numbers build an appeal to logos and impress upon the reader that this is a problem worth discussing. 12

Along with strong logos appeals, Grose effectively makes appeals to pathos in the beginning and middle sections. 13 Her introduction is full of emotionally-charged words and phrases that create a sympathetic image; Grose notes that she “was eight months pregnant” and her husband found it difficult to “fight with a massively pregnant person.” 14 The image she evokes of the challenges and vulnerabilities of being so pregnant, as well as the high emotions a woman feels at that time effectively introduce the argument and its seriousness. Her goal is to make the reader feel sympathy for her. Adding to this idea are words and phrases such as, “insisted,” “argued,” “not fun,” “sucks” “headachey,” “be judged,” “be shunned” (Grose). All of these words evoke negative emotions about cleaning, which makes the reader sympathize with women who feel “judged” and shunned”—very negative feelings. Another feeling Grose reinforces with her word choice is the concept of fairness: “fair share,” “a week and a half more of ‘second shift’ work,” “more housework,” “more gendered and less frequent.” These words help establish the unfairness that exists when women do all of the cleaning, and they are an appeal to pathos, or the readers’ feelings of frustration and anger with injustice. 15

However, the end of the article lacks the same level of effectiveness in the appeals to ethos. 16 For example, Grose notes that when men do housework, they are considered to be “’enacting “small instances of gender heroism,” or ‘SIGH’s’—which, barf.” 17 The usage of the word “barf” is jarring to the reader; unprofessional and immature, it is a shift from the researched, intelligent voice she has established and the reader is less likely to take the author seriously. This damages the strength of her credibility and her argument. 18

Additionally, her last statement in the article refers to her husband in a way that weakens the argument. 19 While returning to the introduction’s hook in the conclusion is a frequently-used strategy, Grose chooses to return to her discussion of her husband in a humorous way: Grose discusses solutions, and says there is “a huge, untapped market ... for toilet-scrubbing iPods. I bet my husband would buy one.” 20 Returning to her own marriage and husband is an appeal to ethos or personal credibility, and while that works well in the introduction, in the conclusion, it lacks the strength and seriousness that the topic deserves and was given earlier in the article. 21

Though Grose begins the essay by effectively persuading her readers of the unfair distribution of home-maintenance cleaning labor, she loses her power in the end, where she most needs to drive home her argument. Readers can see the problem exists in both her marriage and throughout the world; however, her shift to humor and sarcasm makes the reader not take the problem as seriously in the end. 22 Grose could have more seriously driven home the point that a woman’s work could be done: by a man. 23

Works Cited

Grose, Jessica. “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier.” New Republic. The New Republic, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.

  • Article author's claim or purpose
  • Summary of the article's main point in the second paragraph (could also be in the introduction)
  • Third paragraph begins with a transition and topic sentence that reflects the first topic in the thesis
  • Quotes illustrate how the author uses appeals to ethos
  • Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of ethos as noted in the thesis
  • Transition and topic sentence about the second point from the thesis
  • Quote that illustrates appeals to logos
  • Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of logos, as noted in the thesis
  • Transition and topic sentence about the third point from the thesis
  • Quotes that illustrate appeals to pathos
  • Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of pathos, as noted in the thesis
  • Transition and topic sentence about fourth point from the thesis
  • Quote illustrates how the author uses appeal to ethos
  • Analysis explains how quote supports thesis
  • Transition and topic sentence about fourth point from thesis
  • Conclusion returns to the ideas in the thesis and further develops them
  • Last sentence returns to the hook in the introduction

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What Is a Rhetorical Analysis and How to Write a Great One

Helly Douglas

Helly Douglas

Cover image for article

Do you have to write a rhetorical analysis essay? Fear not! We’re here to explain exactly what rhetorical analysis means, how you should structure your essay, and give you some essential “dos and don’ts.”

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

How do you write a rhetorical analysis, what are the three rhetorical strategies, what are the five rhetorical situations, how to plan a rhetorical analysis essay, creating a rhetorical analysis essay, examples of great rhetorical analysis essays, final thoughts.

A rhetorical analysis essay studies how writers and speakers have used words to influence their audience. Think less about the words the author has used and more about the techniques they employ, their goals, and the effect this has on the audience.

Image showing definitions

In your analysis essay, you break a piece of text (including cartoons, adverts, and speeches) into sections and explain how each part works to persuade, inform, or entertain. You’ll explore the effectiveness of the techniques used, how the argument has been constructed, and give examples from the text.

A strong rhetorical analysis evaluates a text rather than just describes the techniques used. You don’t include whether you personally agree or disagree with the argument.

Structure a rhetorical analysis in the same way as most other types of academic essays . You’ll have an introduction to present your thesis, a main body where you analyze the text, which then leads to a conclusion.

Think about how the writer (also known as a rhetor) considers the situation that frames their communication:

  • Topic: the overall purpose of the rhetoric
  • Audience: this includes primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences
  • Purpose: there are often more than one to consider
  • Context and culture: the wider situation within which the rhetoric is placed

Back in the 4th century BC, Aristotle was talking about how language can be used as a means of persuasion. He described three principal forms —Ethos, Logos, and Pathos—often referred to as the Rhetorical Triangle . These persuasive techniques are still used today.

Image showing rhetorical strategies

Rhetorical Strategy 1: Ethos

Are you more likely to buy a car from an established company that’s been an important part of your community for 50 years, or someone new who just started their business?

Reputation matters. Ethos explores how the character, disposition, and fundamental values of the author create appeal, along with their expertise and knowledge in the subject area.

Aristotle breaks ethos down into three further categories:

  • Phronesis: skills and practical wisdom
  • Arete: virtue
  • Eunoia: goodwill towards the audience

Ethos-driven speeches and text rely on the reputation of the author. In your analysis, you can look at how the writer establishes ethos through both direct and indirect means.

Rhetorical Strategy 2: Pathos

Pathos-driven rhetoric hooks into our emotions. You’ll often see it used in advertisements, particularly by charities wanting you to donate money towards an appeal.

Common use of pathos includes:

  • Vivid description so the reader can imagine themselves in the situation
  • Personal stories to create feelings of empathy
  • Emotional vocabulary that evokes a response

By using pathos to make the audience feel a particular emotion, the author can persuade them that the argument they’re making is compelling.

Rhetorical Strategy 3: Logos

Logos uses logic or reason. It’s commonly used in academic writing when arguments are created using evidence and reasoning rather than an emotional response. It’s constructed in a step-by-step approach that builds methodically to create a powerful effect upon the reader.

Rhetoric can use any one of these three techniques, but effective arguments often appeal to all three elements.

The rhetorical situation explains the circumstances behind and around a piece of rhetoric. It helps you think about why a text exists, its purpose, and how it’s carried out.

Image showing 5 rhetorical situations

The rhetorical situations are:

  • 1) Purpose: Why is this being written? (It could be trying to inform, persuade, instruct, or entertain.)
  • 2) Audience: Which groups or individuals will read and take action (or have done so in the past)?
  • 3) Genre: What type of writing is this?
  • 4) Stance: What is the tone of the text? What position are they taking?
  • 5) Media/Visuals: What means of communication are used?

Understanding and analyzing the rhetorical situation is essential for building a strong essay. Also think about any rhetoric restraints on the text, such as beliefs, attitudes, and traditions that could affect the author's decisions.

Before leaping into your essay, it’s worth taking time to explore the text at a deeper level and considering the rhetorical situations we looked at before. Throw away your assumptions and use these simple questions to help you unpick how and why the text is having an effect on the audience.

Image showing what to consider when planning a rhetorical essay

1: What is the Rhetorical Situation?

  • Why is there a need or opportunity for persuasion?
  • How do words and references help you identify the time and location?
  • What are the rhetoric restraints?
  • What historical occasions would lead to this text being created?

2: Who is the Author?

  • How do they position themselves as an expert worth listening to?
  • What is their ethos?
  • Do they have a reputation that gives them authority?
  • What is their intention?
  • What values or customs do they have?

3: Who is it Written For?

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • How is this appealing to this particular audience?
  • Who are the possible secondary and tertiary audiences?

4: What is the Central Idea?

  • Can you summarize the key point of this rhetoric?
  • What arguments are used?
  • How has it developed a line of reasoning?

5: How is it Structured?

  • What structure is used?
  • How is the content arranged within the structure?

6: What Form is Used?

  • Does this follow a specific literary genre?
  • What type of style and tone is used, and why is this?
  • Does the form used complement the content?
  • What effect could this form have on the audience?

7: Is the Rhetoric Effective?

  • Does the content fulfil the author’s intentions?
  • Does the message effectively fit the audience, location, and time period?

Once you’ve fully explored the text, you’ll have a better understanding of the impact it’s having on the audience and feel more confident about writing your essay outline.

A great essay starts with an interesting topic. Choose carefully so you’re personally invested in the subject and familiar with it rather than just following trending topics. There are lots of great ideas on this blog post by My Perfect Words if you need some inspiration. Take some time to do background research to ensure your topic offers good analysis opportunities.

Image showing considerations for a rhetorical analysis topic

Remember to check the information given to you by your professor so you follow their preferred style guidelines. This outline example gives you a general idea of a format to follow, but there will likely be specific requests about layout and content in your course handbook. It’s always worth asking your institution if you’re unsure.

Make notes for each section of your essay before you write. This makes it easy for you to write a well-structured text that flows naturally to a conclusion. You will develop each note into a paragraph. Look at this example by College Essay for useful ideas about the structure.

Image showing how to structure an essay

1: Introduction

This is a short, informative section that shows you understand the purpose of the text. It tempts the reader to find out more by mentioning what will come in the main body of your essay.

  • Name the author of the text and the title of their work followed by the date in parentheses
  • Use a verb to describe what the author does, e.g. “implies,” “asserts,” or “claims”
  • Briefly summarize the text in your own words
  • Mention the persuasive techniques used by the rhetor and its effect

Create a thesis statement to come at the end of your introduction.

After your introduction, move on to your critical analysis. This is the principal part of your essay.

  • Explain the methods used by the author to inform, entertain, and/or persuade the audience using Aristotle's rhetorical triangle
  • Use quotations to prove the statements you make
  • Explain why the writer used this approach and how successful it is
  • Consider how it makes the audience feel and react

Make each strategy a new paragraph rather than cramming them together, and always use proper citations. Check back to your course handbook if you’re unsure which citation style is preferred.

3: Conclusion

Your conclusion should summarize the points you’ve made in the main body of your essay. While you will draw the points together, this is not the place to introduce new information you’ve not previously mentioned.

Use your last sentence to share a powerful concluding statement that talks about the impact the text has on the audience(s) and wider society. How have its strategies helped to shape history?

Before You Submit

Poor spelling and grammatical errors ruin a great essay. Use ProWritingAid to check through your finished essay before you submit. It will pick up all the minor errors you’ve missed and help you give your essay a final polish. Look at this useful ProWritingAid webinar for further ideas to help you significantly improve your essays. Sign up for a free trial today and start editing your essays!

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You’ll find countless examples of rhetorical analysis online, but they range widely in quality. Your institution may have example essays they can share with you to show you exactly what they’re looking for.

The following links should give you a good starting point if you’re looking for ideas:

Pearson Canada has a range of good examples. Look at how embedded quotations are used to prove the points being made. The end questions help you unpick how successful each essay is.

Excelsior College has an excellent sample essay complete with useful comments highlighting the techniques used.

Brighton Online has a selection of interesting essays to look at. In this specific example, consider how wider reading has deepened the exploration of the text.

Image showing tips when reading a sample essay

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can seem daunting, but spending significant time deeply analyzing the text before you write will make it far more achievable and result in a better-quality essay overall.

It can take some time to write a good essay. Aim to complete it well before the deadline so you don’t feel rushed. Use ProWritingAid’s comprehensive checks to find any errors and make changes to improve readability. Then you’ll be ready to submit your finished essay, knowing it’s as good as you can possibly make it.

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Helly Douglas is a UK writer and teacher, specialising in education, children, and parenting. She loves making the complex seem simple through blogs, articles, and curriculum content. You can check out her work at hellydouglas.com or connect on Twitter @hellydouglas. When she’s not writing, you will find her in a classroom, being a mum or battling against the wilderness of her garden—the garden is winning!

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Sample Rhetorical Analysis

Seeing rhetorical analysis in action is one of the best ways to understand it. Read the following sample rhetorical analysis of an article. If you like, you can read the original article the student analyzes: Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) .

Then, click the image below to open a PDF of the sample paper. The strategies and techniques the author used in this rhetorical analysis essay have been noted for you. 

Rhetorical Analysis Sample Essay

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: 6 Steps and an Outline for Your Next Essay

by Kaelyn Barron | 6 comments

how to write a rhetorical analysis blog post image

Students are often given the assignment of writing a rhetorical analysis, in which they must analyze how a speaker makes an argument, and evaluate whether or not they do so effectively.

However, this practice is useful not only for students, but for all of us who want to evaluate everyday arguments—whether they’re made by advertisers, politicians, or our friends—and learn to think more critically on our own.

What Is a Rhetorical Analysis?

A rhetorical analysis is an essay that examines and evaluates a text (or sometimes other types of media, such as video) based on its rhetoric . Rather than focusing on what the actual message is, a rhetorical analysis looks at how that message is created and delivered.

In writing your rhetorical analysis, you’ll examine the author or creator’s goals, techniques, and appeals to their audience (which you’ll summarize in your essay’s thesis).

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

Follow these 6 steps to write a rhetorical analysis that’s clear and insightful.

1. Identify the 4 elements of rhetoric.

elements of rhetoric audience image

Start your analysis by taking note of the following rhetorical elements:

Audience : Who is the piece intended for? Depending on the medium being used, the audience might consist of readers, spectators, listeners, or viewers. What might you infer about this audience and their backgrounds (age group, political preferences, etc.)?

Purpose : What is the speaker’s purpose? What is the outcome that they wish or intend to incite? What are they trying to convince their audience of?

Medium : How is the message being delivered? Through writing, video, images, audio, or some other medium?

Context : Consider the time, place, and social climate of when the material was originally produced. What else was going on during that time?

2. Describe the rhetorical appeals.

Identify and describe the rhetorical appeals used by the speaker, as well as other devices, such as tone , syntax , imagery , etc.

The 3 main rhetorical appeals, established by Aristotle, are ethos , pathos , and logos . They describe how the speaker appeals to an audience’s ethics, emotions, and logic, respectively. This can be done in a number of ways, including imagery, anecdotes, examples, or specific data.

3. Analyze.

Next, it’s time to analyze how and why the speaker uses those devices to appeal to their audience.

As noted above, there are many ways for a speaker to use these devices and appeals. Analyze which methods they chose, how they applied them, and why you think they chose them.

4. Evaluate.

Finally, evaluate the author’s success in using these techniques to reach their goals. Do you think they were effective? Why or why not?

If you don’t think they were effective, what effect do you think they will have instead on the audience? Your evaluation is important because it will become your main argument, or thesis.

5. State your thesis.

Now that you’ve completed your analysis of the material, try to summarize it into one clear, concise thesis statement that will form the foundation of your essay.

Your thesis statement should summarize: 1) the argument or purpose of the speaker; 2) the methods the speaker uses; and 3) the effectiveness of those methods.

For example: In [Title of the Work], the author convincingly argues in favor of education reform by using specific data, compelling anecdotes, and her experience as a teacher.

6. Organize your ideas and evidence.

writing a rhetorical analysis image

Next, using your thesis statement as a foundation, organize your ideas and evidence into a coherent outline.

For example, you might organize your body paragraphs into 3 categories: one paragraph for each of the rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, and logos), with specific examples of how the speaker makes those appeals.

How Do You Write a Rhetorical Analysis Introduction?

The introduction to your rhetorical analysis essay doesn’t need to be too lengthy or detailed. However, there are a few things you should introduce before jumping into your analysis.

You should start with some contextual information, so your reader can understand what kind of material you’ll be analyzing. Be sure to reference the title, the writer/speaker, and any other relevant details about the work (this can include the year it was published, or background information about what was going on at that time).

Then, you should state your thesis, which will explain what you’ll be arguing in your essay. From there, you can transition into the main body of your analysis.

Rhetorical Analysis Outline

The following outline is an example of how you could structure your rhetorical analysis. To make planning your essay easier, you can simply copy and paste this outline and fill it in with your thesis and supporting examples.

  • Describe the 4 elements of rhetoric (audience, purpose, medium, and context), and identify the speaker
  • State your thesis
  • Describe how the speaker makes an appeal to ethos (the audience’s sense of ethical responsibility)
  • Use specific examples, referring to word choice, tone, anecdotes, and other devices
  • Describe how the speaker makes an appeal to pathos (the audience’s emotions)
  • Describe how the speaker makes an appeal to logos (logic)
  • Rephrase your thesis
  • Leave your audience with a call to action, or something to think about (this could be a question, or a parting thought

How Many Words Should a Rhetorical Analysis Be?

There’s no strict rule for how many words your rhetorical analysis should be, although you might be given specific guidelines by your instructor.

In general, however, these essays aren’t very long, ranging anywhere from 500–1,000 words. The important thing is that your analysis is complete and you adequately support your thesis.

Analyzing Rhetoric

Analyzing rhetoric is one way to evaluate the work of other writers and creators, and it can also show you new strategies for making your own arguments more effectively.

Next time you read an article or listen to a speech, don’t just pay attention to what the author or speaker says, but how they say it. This is an important step in critical thinking that will help you to draw your own conclusions and evaluate different forms of media more critically.

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like:

  • How to Write a Literary Analysis: 6 Tips for the Perfect Essay
  • How to Write a Reflection Paper in 5 Steps (plus Template and Sample Essay)
  • What Is Rhetoric? Definitions and Examples to Make Your Writing More Effective
  • 17 of the Most Common Literary Devices Every Reader and Writer Should Know

Kaelyn Barron

As a blog writer for TCK Publishing, Kaelyn loves crafting fun and helpful content for writers, readers, and creative minds alike. She has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Italian Studies, but her true passion has always been writing. Working remotely allows her to do even more of the things she loves, like traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Returning Student to USF

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This was so helpful, and I have been anxious about this paper I must write. I just could not figure out how to get started or which way I should put it in order. Your guidelines and suggestions have really eased my mind. If I did not say it before, THANK YOU!


I have taken a few years of English and comp classes, but this article helped me more than any of those! Breaking it down helped me immensely. Thank you!!

Ronald Walker

Ms. Barron, thank you so much for your post, which is clearly written, comprehensive, and succinct. I am a teacher, and I thought that I would introduce students to rhetorical analysis by asking them (actually we will write together) to write a rhetorical analysis of the Pledge of Allegiance. Your post provides an EXCELLENT overview of the process and (different) parts. We will just write a one-page-paragraph, to begin. Thank you, again.

Kaelyn Barron

Thank you Ronald, I am so happy to hear that you found the post helpful for your class! :)


Kaelyn, thank you for your post. I am given a book to write the Rhetorical analysis. I hope your guidelines will serve the purpose. God bless you. Prayers.

I hope you found the post helpful for writing your rhetorical analysis! :)

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Words of Wisdom

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

— Pablo Picasso

Rhetoric is the study of how writers and speakers use words to influence an audience. A rhetorical analysis is an essay that breaks a work of non-fiction into parts and then explains how the parts work together to create a certain effect—whether to persuade, entertain or inform. You can also conduct a rhetorical analysis of a primarily visual argument such as a cartoon or advertisement, or an oral performance such as a speech. In this handout we will use the word rhetorician to refer to the author of a speech or document or to the creator of an advertisement, cartoon, or other visual work.

A rhetorical analysis should explore the rhetorician’s goals, the techniques (or tools) used, examples of those techniques, and the effectiveness of those techniques. When writing a rhetorical analysis, you are NOT saying whether or not you agree with the argument. Instead, you’re discussing how the rhetorician makes that argument and whether or not the approach used is successful.

Artistic and Inartistic Proofs

An artistic proof is created by the rhetorician and encompasses the appeals, canons, and most of the techniques given below.  An inartistic proof is a proof that exists outside the mind of the rhetorician such as surveys, polls, testimonies, statistics, facts, and data. Either type of proof can help make a case.

An appeal is an attempt to earn audience approval or agreement by playing to natural human tendencies or common experience. There are three kinds of appeals: the pathetic, the ethical, and the logical.

The pathetic appeal invokes the audience’s emotion to gain acceptance and approval for the ideas expressed. (Note that in this context, the word “pathetic” has none of the negative connotations associated with it in other contexts but refers only to the ability to stir emotions.) In a pathetic appeal, rhetoricians tap a reader’s sympathy and compassion, anger and disappointment, desire for love, or sadness to convince the audience of their argument. Effective rhetoricians can create these feelings in an audience even if the feeling wasn’t there before.

The ethical appeal uses the writer’s own credibility and character to make a case and gain approval. Rhetoricians use themselves and their position as an “expert” or as a “good person” to give their argument presence and importance. An everyday example of this is a minister, rabbi, priest, or shaman—individuals who are followed because they have established themselves as moral authorities. Writers using ethos may offer a definition for an obscure term or detailed statistics to establish their authority and knowledge.

The logical appeal uses reason to make a case. Academic discourse is mostly logos-driven because academic audiences respect scholarship and evidence. Rhetoricians using logos rely on evidence and proof, whether the proof is hard data or careful reasoning.

Remember that a single document, speech, or advertisement can make all three appeals. Rhetoricians will often combine techniques in order to create a persuasive argument.

Building Analysis by Prewriting

In writing an effective rhetorical analysis, you should discuss the goal or purpose of the piece; the appeals, evidence, and techniques used and why; examples of those appeals, evidence, and techniques; and your explanation of why they did or didn’t work. A good place to start is to answer each of these considerations in a sentence or two on a scratch piece of paper. Don’t worry about how it sounds—just answer the questions.

Ex. Preliminary notes for a rhetorical analysis of Horace Miner’s article “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema”

The next step is to identify examples of these uncovered techniques in the text. For example, in discussing the use of a didactic tone, you might point to the following sentence as an example: “the anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different people behave in similar situations that he is not apt to be surprised by even the most exotic customs.” You should have multiple examples for each technique used.

Next, address the effectiveness of each technique. For example, in Miner’s article, the didactic tone draws us in, but about halfway through the article we realize that Miner is talking about current American society and that “Nacirema” is “American” spelled backwards. We realize that the tone is ironic and that Miner is making a point about how Americans believe in magic and superstitions rather than being the enlightened, rational, and scientific creatures we imagine ourselves to be.

Thesis, Body, and Conclusion

After brainstorming and doing the actual analysis, you are ready to write a thesis. Remember to choose the three (or four) techniques for which you can make the strongest case. Rhetoricians employ many techniques; focus on the ones that are the most prevalent or interesting and that you can describe persuasively.

Finally, write your introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion. Following are a few tips for each.

An introduction should lead cleanly into your argument . If your argument involves an author’s stance on the death penalty, you might begin by giving factual data and/or the history of the death penalty. Remember that your argument begins with the first words of your paper. Your introduction should provide background that will make the reader see your argument’s relevance.

Each body paragraph should have its own topic sentence. Make sure every idea or sentence in a paragraph relates to its topic sentence; you don’t want to jump between topics. It gives your paper a sense of cohesion to place your body paragraphs in the same order in which they’re presented in your introduction. Consider how you will organize the paragraphs. Will you discuss each technique—every instance of ethos, then every instance of pathos, and finally every instance of logos—then end with a discussion of the overall effectiveness? Or will you review the essay in terms of the least effective technique to the most effective? Or will you use a chronological order, discussing each technique as it occurs sequentially? For the Nacirema paper, for example, the first paragraph could focus on the academic tone, the second on diction, and the third on common ground.

For each paragraph, give several examples and explain how those examples illustrate the technique being discussed. At the end of each body paragraph, make sure you connect your topic sentence back to your thesis. This creates cohesion, solidifies your argument, and provides a transition to your next topic.

Your conclusion should briefly restate your main argument. It should then apply your argument on a higher level. Why does your argument matter? What does it mean in the real world? For example, the conclusion of the rhetorical analysis of the Nacirema article may point out Miner’s underlying message of tolerance and appreciation of other cultures and how his authorial choices influenced the delivery of that message.

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Organizing Your Analysis

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This resource covers how to write a rhetorical analysis essay of primarily visual texts with a focus on demonstrating the author’s understanding of the rhetorical situation and design principles.

There is no one perfect way to organize a rhetorical analysis essay. In fact, writers should always be a bit leery of plug-in formulas that offer a perfect essay format. Remember, organization itself is not the enemy, only organization without considering the specific demands of your particular writing task. That said, here are some general tips for plotting out the overall form of your essay.


Like any rhetorical analysis essay, an essay analyzing a visual document should quickly set the stage for what you’re doing. Try to cover the following concerns in the initial paragraphs:

  • Make sure to let the reader know you’re performing a rhetorical analysis. Otherwise, they may expect you to take positions or make an evaluative argument that may not be coming.
  • Clearly state what the document under consideration is and possibly give some pertinent background information about its history or development. The intro can be a good place for a quick, narrative summary of the document. The key word here is “quick, for you may be dealing with something large (for example, an entire episode of a cartoon like the Simpsons). Save more in-depth descriptions for your body paragraph analysis.
  • If you’re dealing with a smaller document (like a photograph or an advertisement), and copyright allows, the introduction or first page is a good place to integrate it into your page.
  • Give a basic run down of the rhetorical situation surrounding the document: the author, the audience, the purpose, the context, etc.

Thesis Statements and Focus

Many authors struggle with thesis statements or controlling ideas in regards to rhetorical analysis essays. There may be a temptation to think that merely announcing the text as a rhetorical analysis is purpose enough. However, especially depending on your essay’s length, your reader may need a more direct and clear statement of your intentions. Below are a few examples.

1. Clearly narrow the focus of what your essay will cover. Ask yourself if one or two design aspects of the document is interesting and complex enough to warrant a full analytical treatment.

The website for Amazon.com provides an excellent example of alignment and proximity to assist its visitors in navigating a potentially large and confusing amount of information.

2. Since visual documents often seek to move people towards a certain action (buying a product, attending an event, expressing a sentiment), an essay may analyze the rhetorical techniques used to accomplish this purpose. The thesis statement should reflect this goal.

The call-out flyer for the Purdue Rowing Team uses a mixture of dynamic imagery and tantalizing promises to create interest in potential, new members.

3. Rhetorical analysis can also easily lead to making original arguments. Performing the analysis may lead you to an argument; or vice versa, you may start with an argument and search for proof that supports it.

A close analysis of the female body images in the July 2007 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine reveals contradictions between the articles’ calls for self-esteem and the advertisements’ unrealistic, beauty demands.

These are merely suggestions. The best measure for what your focus and thesis statement should be the document itself and the demands of your writing situation. Remember that the main thrust of your thesis statement should be on how the document creates meaning and accomplishes its purposes. The OWl has additional information on writing thesis statements.

Analysis Order (Body Paragraphs)

Depending on the genre and size of the document under analysis, there are a number of logical ways to organize your body paragraphs. Below are a few possible options. Which ever you choose, the goal of your body paragraphs is to present parts of the document, give an extended analysis of how that part functions, and suggest how the part ties into a larger point (your thesis statement or goal).


This is the most straight-forward approach, but it can also be effective if done for a reason (as opposed to not being able to think of another way). For example, if you are analyzing a photo essay on the web or in a booklet, a chronological treatment allows you to present your insights in the same order that a viewer of the document experiences those images. It is likely that the images have been put in that order and juxtaposed for a reason, so this line of analysis can be easily integrated into the essay.

Be careful using chronological ordering when dealing with a document that contains a narrative (i.e. a television show or music video). Focusing on the chronological could easily lead you to plot summary which is not the point of a rhetorical analysis.

A spatial ordering covers the parts of a document in the order the eye is likely to scan them. This is different than chronological order, for that is dictated by pages or screens where spatial order concerns order amongst a single page or plane. There are no unwavering guidelines for this, but you can use the following general guidelines.

  • Left to right and top to down is still the normal reading and scanning pattern for English-speaking countries.
  • The eye will naturally look for centers. This may be the technical center of the page or the center of the largest item on the page.
  • Lines are often used to provide directions and paths for the eye to follow.
  • Research has shown that on web pages, the eye tends to linger in the top left quadrant before moving left to right. Only after spending a considerable amount of time on the top, visible portion of the page will they then scroll down.

Persuasive Appeals

The classic, rhetorical appeals are logos, pathos, and ethos. These concepts roughly correspond to the logic, emotion, and character of the document’s attempt to persuade. You can find more information on these concepts elsewhere on the OWL. Once you understand these devices, you could potentially order your essay by analyzing the document’s use of logos, ethos, and pathos in different sections.

The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay may not operate too differently from the conclusion of any other kind of essay. Still, many writers struggle with what a conclusion should or should not do. You can find tips elsewhere on the OWL on writing conclusions. In short, however, you should restate your main ideas and explain why they are important; restate your thesis; and outline further research or work you believe should be completed to further your efforts.

Browse Course Material

Course info.

  • Jared David Berezin


  • Comparative Media Studies/Writing

As Taught In

  • History of Science and Technology
  • Academic Writing
  • Nonfiction Prose
  • Periodic Literature
  • Technical Writing

Learning Resource Types

Science writing and new media: communicating science to the public, rhetorical analysis of a news article.

Purpose: A close reader of the world looks beneath the surface of behavior and language, and explores instances of communication as rhetorical events rich with meaning. The purpose of this assignment is to analyze an online news article, and identify and discuss the writer’s rhetorical decisions and their impacts. Rather than state whether you believe the article is “good” or “bad”, or whether you liked it or not, apply a close-reading of the text. This assignment includes two main deliverables: 1) a written essay, and 2) a class discussion.

I. Written Essay (Individually Written)

Craft a coherent rhetorical analysis essay that includes the following two components:

  • Very brief summary of the article
  • Close reading of the work

For the summary portion (1), rather than describe everything in the article, very briefly share only the main points of the article. The summary should be no more than a brief paragraph. In your close reading (2)—the heart of this assignment—you should include and provide evidence for the following information:

  • Who is the author? (name, title, and credentials)
  • Where was the article published? (newspaper/magazine/website title)
  • What is the purpose and goal of the article?
  • Who is the intended audience of the article?
  • Ethos : appeals to the character/expertise of the writer and cited authorities
  • Logos : appeals based on logic, reasoning, and relevant evidence
  • Pathos : appeals to the beliefs, emotions, and values of the audience
  • Diction, figurative language, tone, organization, length
  • Does the writer use visual images in the article? If so, what is their impact?
  • What evidence (if any) does the author provide to support her/his claims?
  • Where does this evidence come from?
  • What research might the author have conducted before writing the article?
  • What information does the author not include in the article, and why?
  • Is the author biased in any way?
  • Is the article trustworthy?

II. Class Discussion (Co-Lead With a Partner)

You will lead a 10-15 minute discussion of the article with a classmate, which will require you to meet beforehand and plan your questions. After introducing the article, try and stimulate discussion among your classmates with purposeful, open-ended questions. As mentioned above, the written rhetorical analysis essay should be completed individually, and the discussion should be led jointly with your partner.

Audience: Your audience for both the essay and discussion includes your teacher and classmates: we are a community of diverse people interested in the rhetorical choices involved in science articles written for the public. Since we have not read the article as closely as you have, it is critical that you provide the reasoning for all of your analytical claims involving the article.

Be sure to support all of your analytical points with specific evidence from the article, which will help your audience comprehend and support your rhetorical analysis. Since your audience has learned about the elements of a rhetorical situation (e.g. audience, purpose, context, genre) and rhetorical appeals (e.g. ethos, logos, pathos), you do not need to define these concepts in your essay.

Format requirements: MS Word (.doc) or Adobe (.pdf) with the following:

  • 1"X1" margins
  • Size 12 Times New Roman font
  • Single-spaced text
  • 600-800 words
  • Include page numbers

Before you submit your essay, re-read your writing, preferably aloud, to detect ideas that need to be tightened and/or reorganized for clarity.

Due Date: Be sure to write down and remember your specific due date and assigned article. Upload your essay to the course website anytime before your class discussion.

MIT Open Learning

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Nova A.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics – 120+ Unique Ideas

10 min read

Published on: Mar 31, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 13, 2023

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

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Looking for the right rhetorical analysis essay topic can be a tough challenge for some people!

It’s a well-established fact that for such essays, you need to have an excellent grip on the topic you choose.

For that purpose, we have created a comprehensive list of rhetorical analysis essay topics, so you can pick the topic that matches your interest perfectly. 

Before coming to the topic ideas, let’s briefly discuss what is a rhetorical analysis essay.

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What is A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

In a rhetorical analysis essay , a writer deeply analyzes a work of literature, art, or film, takes a stance, and thoroughly evaluates the purpose of the original content.

The goal is to ensure effective delivery to the audience.

Having said that, a rhetorical analysis essay finds out how effective the message of the original content was. And how the author or speaker uses rhetorical advice and strategies to convey their message.   

Now, let’s move on to the handpicked list of topics! 

Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Being aware of a student’s academic struggles, we have gathered some interesting topics for your rhetorical analysis essay needs. So if you are looking for rhetorical essay ideas, you’ve landed at the perfect place! 

Choose the best rhetorical topics from the list below and draft a compelling essay.

Easy Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.
  • “The Revenant” by Michael Punke.
  • “Witches' Loaves” by O. Henry.
  • “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.
  • “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.
  • “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
  • “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
  • “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk.
  • “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for High School

  • “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie.
  • “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.
  • “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer.
  • “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller.
  • “An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen.
  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley.
  • “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • “The Waves” by Virginia Woolf.
  • “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston.
  • “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for Middle School

  • "Yes, Please" By Amy Poehler
  • "The Revenant" By Michael Punke
  • The Primary Themes In "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland"
  • "Huckleberry Finn" Rhetorical Analysis
  • "Witches Loaves" By O'Henry
  • Discuss My Philosophy for a Happy Life by Sam Berns.
  • The Painted Veil.
  • Analyze Romeo and Juliet.
  • Analyze the “The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain.
  • Amy Poehler. “Yes, Please.”

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for College Students

  • “Antigone” by Sophocles.
  • “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.
  • “Dubliners” by James Joyce.
  • “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck.
  • “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.
  • “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water” by Michael Dorris.
  • “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls.
  • “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare.
  • “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison.

Non-Fictional Topics for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” by Stephen Guise.
  • “The Ethics of Belief” by William Kingdon Clifford.
  • “Easter Island's End” by Jared Diamond.
  • “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards.
  • “Traveling Mercies” by Anne Lamott.
  • “A nation among nations” by Thomas H. Bender.
  • “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond.
  • “The Price of Inequality” by Joseph Stiglitz.
  • “The Spirit Level” by Kate Pickett and Richard G. Wilkinson.
  • “The Status Syndrome” Michael Marmot.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics About Speeches

  • “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy.
  • Emma Goldman’s Address to the Jury.
  • League of Nations Final Address by Thomas Woodrow Wilson.
  • “Every Man a King” by Huey Pierce Long.
  • “The Evil Empire” by Ronald Reagan.
  • “Mercy for Leopold and Loeb” by Clarence Seward Darrow.
  • “A Time for Choosing” by Ronald Reagan.
  • “The Struggle for Human Rights” by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Movies

  • Manhattan Project.
  • Jurassic Park.
  • The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Rhetorical analysis of Almost Famous.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Rhetorical analysis of Romeo + Juliet.
  • Rhetorical analysis essay on Man of Steel.
  • Rhetorical analysis of Macbeth.
  • Wuthering Heights.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for 2023

  • “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” by William Butler Yeats.
  • “The Epic” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
  • “Shakespeare’s Sonnets” by William Shakespeare.
  • “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope.
  • “England in 1819” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  • The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz
  • “The Price Of Inequality” By Joseph Stiglitz
  • "Cri De Coeur” By Romeo Dallier
  • "Traveling Mercies” By Anne Lamott
  • "A Nation Among Nations"

Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze Poe's Poetry, “The Raven.”
  • A favorite poem written by William Shakespeare.
  • Analysis of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech.
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
  • Clifford's "The Ethics Of Belief" Summary And Analysis
  • "Easter Islands' End" By Jared Diamond
  • "Success Strategies” Analysis
  • Jonathan Edwards’ Sermons
  • "Guns, Germs, And Steel” By Jared Diamond

Literary Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • “I Am Prepared to Die” by Nelson Mandela
  • Gettysburg Monologue in Remember the Titans
  • “Full Power of Women” by Priyanka Chopra
  • Speech from Finding Forrester
  • Red’s Parole Hearing from Shawshank Redemption
  • The movie industry.
  • The insider.
  • Enough of the movie.

Funny Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Maximus’ Speech to Commodus from Gladiator
  • “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator” by Tim Urban
  • Harvard Graduation Speech by Donovan Livington
  • Obama’s Final Farewell Speech
  • Pink’s VMA acceptance speech
  • Do you love your family members or not?
  • Do all people grow old?
  • A rhetoric analysis of Coca-Cola’s logo colors
  • What is your opinion of prequels and remakes?
  • Payment of college athletes

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • The lottery vs. the hunger games
  • Non-fictional novels and fictional novels
  • President Obama’s speech at the inauguration compared to that of President Trump
  • Religious texts and their rhetorical composition.
  • Medicines vs. natural remedies
  • Social sciences vs. humanities
  • Economic upliftment vs. better standard of living
  • Compare movies based on Stephen King’s works versus his novels
  • Hurricanes vs. tornadoes
  • Football vs. basketball

Argumentative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics 

  • Political Speeches and Rhetoric
  • Advertising Influence on Consumer Behavior
  • Climate Change Communication
  • Social Media Persuasion
  • Rhetoric in Gun Control Debates
  • Fake News and Rhetorical Techniques
  • Environmental Activism and Rhetoric
  • Healthcare Debates and Persuasion
  • Rhetoric in Civil Rights Movements
  • Rhetorical Strategies in Literature

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How to Choose a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topic?

The first thing in any writing that attempts to grab the reader’s interest is an engaging topic. Every writer aims to make his writing readable and exciting for the audience. 

Coming up with an interesting and engaging topic for your essay can be a tough job. The following are some tips to consider while selecting the topics for your rhetorical analysis paper.

Deliberate your Interest

The fundamental trick of making writing impressive and exciting is to focus on the topic of your interest. Before you start writing a rhetorical analysis essay, try to pick the topic that catches your attention and interest. Also, ensure that it has scope for research and writing.

Choosing something not to have any broad scope or data will not be an ideal topic for your essay.

Do not force yourself to write about a topic that seems popular and promising but not impressive. At least find a rhetorical question that interests you and has good research opportunities.

Reflect on your Knowledge

The second important thing to consider while choosing analytical essay topics is that you have little knowledge about them. Selecting something entirely unfamiliar will not help you. 

Remember that you need to provide insight into the writing style of the author while doing the analysis. Word choice also depicts your strength. Gather knowledge about the rhetorical devices and literary critics used in the work, which you can discuss and explain in your essay. 

Most of the time, you decide to pick topics you have discussed in class. Reflect on the level of your knowledge before finalizing your options.

Do Background Research

Another vital trick to consider while picking the topic is to do background research. You can compile a list of topics, which seem captivating. After that, narrow down the list and select the final topic by researching the topic’s available information.

Do not forget to make notes of the background research. In case you forget the points while writing your essay, you will have the notes for reference.

Get the Suggestions of your Instructor

After going through all the above options, if you cannot make a decision. Prepare a list of suitable topics and ask your instructor to provide you with suggestions. 

It is much better than contemplating on your own. You will have a fixed path to walk on, and you will research the points presented in your paper.

Professional Tips to Write Rhetorical Analysis Essay Fast

Students always look for tips and tricks to make their academic assignments perfect. Below are some professional tips gathered by the writers at MyPerfectWords.com to help you write your essay in no time:

  • Identify the target audience to choose a good topic for your rhetorical essay.
  • Define the purpose of the work chosen. Grab your reader’s attention by drafting a catchy opening for your essay.
  • Provide a structure to the content by drafting an excellent  rhetorical analysis essay outline . The outline should divide your information into the introduction,  thesis statement , main body, and conclusion sections.
  • Use simple sentences. The strength of a rhetorical essay is the clarity of the content that comes from using simple sentences.
  • Avoid using narrow terminologies. Make sure that the vocabulary used compliments the theme and context of the content.
  • Gather information from credible sources. Use references from journals, articles, books, and research papers to make the content of the essay authentic.

Elevate Your Analytical Skills with Rhetorical Analysis Essay Questions 

Queries are present in rhetorical analysis essays, meant to help the writer. These questions aid the writer in further sharpening their writing proficiency.

As a plus, the questions serve the purpose of motivating writers to become actively involved in understanding the outlook of a rhetorical essay.

  • What methods do you plan to employ to engage your readers?
  • Does the conclusion of the argument resonate with your audience?
  • How has the author employed stylistic devices within the narrative?
  • Defining satire: How has the author used it, and what impact does it have
  • How does the author build credibility, evoke emotions, and use logic in the text?
  • Do cultural or historical references in the text support the author's argument?
  • Do repeat words or phrases for emphasis in the text have a noticeable impact?
  • Does the tone impact the author's credibility, and how?
  • How is the audience likely to receive the message?
  • How has the author engaged the audience in their discourse?

To conclude, writing a rhetoric paper can be challenging. It is suggested to take a professional’s help for your academic writing assignments and not risk your grades.

To get professional assistance, get help from the expert analytical essay writing service at MyPerfectWords.com. Visit our online essay writing service now and push your essay writing game to new heights.

Our qualified writers draft 100% original content for the students and guarantee better grades. 

So why wait? Connect with us now to shine in your essay writing assignments! 

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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Chapter 6: Thinking and Analyzing Rhetorically

6.3 What is Rhetorical Analysis?

Rhetoric: The art of persuasion

Analysis: Breaking down the whole into pieces for the purpose of examination

Unlike summary, a rhetorical analysis does not only require a restatement of ideas; instead, you must recognize rhetorical moves that an author is making in an attempt to persuade his or her audience to do or to think something. In the 21st century’s abundance of information, it can sometimes be difficult to discern what is a rhetorical strategy and what is simple manipulation; however, an understanding of rhetoric and rhetorical moves will help you become more savvy with the information surrounding you on a day-to-day basis. In other words, rhetorical moves can be a form of manipulation, but if one can recognize those moves, then one can be a more critical consumer of information rather than blindly accepting whatever one reads, sees, hears, etc.

The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain what is happening in the text,  why the author might have chosen to use a particular move or set of rhetorical moves, and how those choices might affect the audience. The text you analyze might be explanatory, although there will be aspects of argument because you must negotiate with what the author is trying to do and what you think the author is doing. Edward P.J. Corbett observes, rhetorical analysis “is more interested in a literary work for what it does than for what it is”  (qtd. in Nordqvist).

One of the elements of doing a rhetorical analysis is looking at a text’s rhetorical situation. The rhetorical situation is the context out of a which a text is created.

  • The questions that you can use to examine a text’s rhetorical situation are in   Chapter 6.2 .

Another element of rhetorical analysis is simply reading and summarizing the text. You have to be able to describe the basics of the author’s thesis and main points before you can begin to analyze it.

  • The questions that you can use to summarize a text are in  Chapter 5.1

A third element of rhetorical analysis requires you to connect the rhetorical situation to the text. You need to go beyond summarizing and look at how the author shapes his or her text based on its context. In developing your reading and analytical skills, allow yourself to think about what you’re reading, to question the text and your responses to it, as you read. Use the following questions to help you to take the text apart—dissecting it to see how it works:

  • Does the author successfully support the thesis or claim?   Is the point held consistently throughout the text, or does it wander at any point?
  • Is the evidence the author used effective for the intended audience? How might the intended audience respond to the types of evidence that the author used to support the thesis/claim?
  • What rhetorical moves do you see the author making to help achieve his or her purpose? Are there word choices or content choices that seem to you to be clearly related to the author’s agenda for the text or that might appeal to the intended audience?
  • Describe the tone in the piece. Is it friendly? Authoritative? Does it lecture? Is it biting or sarcastic? Does the author use simple language, or is it full of jargon? Does the language feel positive or negative? Point to aspects of the text that create the tone; spend some time examining these and considering how and why they work. (Learn more about tone in Section 4.5 “ Tone, Voice, and Point of View . ”)
  • Is the author objective, or does he or she try to convince you to have a certain opinion? Why does the author try to persuade you to adopt this viewpoint? If the author is biased, does this interfere with the way you read and understand the text?
  • Do you feel like the author knows who you are? Does the text seem to be aimed at readers like you or at a different audience? What assumptions does the author make about their audience? Would most people find these reasonable, acceptable, or accurate?
  • Does the text’s flow make sense? Is the line of reasoning logical? Are there any gaps? Are there any spots where you feel the reasoning is flawed in some way?
  • Does the author try to appeal to your emotions? Does the author use any controversial words in the headline or the article? Do these affect your reading or your interest?
  • Do you believe the author? Do you accept their thoughts and ideas? Why or why not?

It is also a good idea to revisit Section 2.3 “How to Read Rhetorically.” This chapter will compliment the rhetorical questions listed above and help you clearly determine the text’s rhetorical situation.

Once you have done this basic, rhetorical, critical reading of your text, you are ready to think about how the rhetorical situation ( Section 6.2 ) – the context out of which the text arises –  influences certain rhetorical appeals ( Section 6.4 ) that appear in it.


This chapter contains material from “The Word on College Reading and Writing” by Monique Babin, Carol Burnell, Susan Pesznecker, Nicole Rosevear, Jaime Wood , OpenOregon Educational Resources , Higher Education Coordination Commission: Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

A Guide to Rhetoric, Genre, and Success in First-Year Writing by Melanie Gagich & Emilie Zickel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.


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70 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for Secondary ELA


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Before we get to the rhetorical analysis essay prompts (a.k.a. tons of ready-to-analyze texts at your fingertips), let’s take a time-out to lay the groundwork for understanding a rhetorical analysis essay using ethos, pathos, and logos.

Rhetoric is Defined As…

Put simply, rhetoric refers to any technique an author uses to persuade an audience.

Or, the behind-the-scenes choices an author makes to give you all the feels. 

Chances are, if you consider a text or speech to be  really good , rhetorical techniques are working like a master puppeteer to pull at your heart strings, make an impact on your brain, and get you to let down your guard because you trust the author or speaker.

That’s why political figures have speech writers.

That’s why authors spend time fine-tuning their words and sentences.

Rhetoric is important.

In addition, rhetoric goes back to the ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle, the “father” of rhetoric.


The Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Moving on, if rhetoric is the art of persuasion, then the rhetorical analysis essay analyzes how an author or speaker creates opportunity for persuasion in his/her text.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay involves understanding of context and occasion for writing. It also involves understanding the subject matter of the speech and intended audience.

Beyond this, noticing how the author uses rhetorical appeals and rhetorical devices to impact the target audience can help you to write an in-depth rhetorical essay analysis.

The BEST Rhetoric Topics


As a teacher, I’m always in search of engaging texts for students to analyze. In this post, I’m sharing the best speeches, advertisements, and essays  for rhetorical analysis. You’ll never run out of rhetorical analysis essay topics again!

So, you’ll definitely want to stop right now and pin this post. 

Your future English-teacher-self will thank you. 

47 Rhetoric Examples in Speeches

The following speeches work well individually, but I’ve also tried to add value by pairing texts together.

Whether you’re analyzing rhetorical appeals such as ethos, pathos, and logos or looking at rhetorical devices, these speeches will work for discussion or as the text for a rhetorical analysis essay.


  • Gettysburg Monologue in Remember the Titans  – Pair with “ The Gettysburg Address ” by Abraham Lincoln
  • “ Full Power of Women ” by Priyanka Chopra – Pair with Emma Watson’s speech on the Power of Women
  • Speech from Finding Forrester – Pair with “ Integrity ” by Warren Buffet
  • Red’s Parole Hearing from Shawshank Redemption – Pair with the Freedom Speech from Braveheart
  • Ending Scene from The Breakfast Club – Pair with  “ The Danger of a Single Story ” by Chimamanda Ngozi Achichi
  • Authentic Swing Speech from The Legend of Bagger Vance – Pair with  “ How Winning is Done ” from  Rocky Balboa
  • Maximus’ Speech to Commodus from Gladiator – Pair with  The Revolutionary Speech  from  V for Vendetta
  • The Natural State of Mankind from Amistad – Pair with “ Our Diversity Makes Us Who We Are ” by Michelle Obama
  • Denzel Washington’s  Dillard University Commencement Speech – Pair with “ The Last Lecture ” by Randy Pausch
  • “ Like Pieces of Glass in my Head ” from The Green Mile – Pair with “ Eulogy for Beau Biden ” by Barack Obama
  • Oprah’s  2018 Golden Globes speech – Pair with  Seth Myers’ Golden Globes Monologue  and/or  Ellen says #MeToo
  • Independence Day speech – Pair with  Aragorn’s Helm’s Deep Speech  from LOTR: The Two Towers
  • Pair  “I am Human”  &  “Love Liberates” , both by Maya Angelou
  • Pink’s  VMA acceptance speech – Pair with “ If I Should Have a Daughter ” by Sarah Kay
  • Ellen’s  People’s Choice Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech – Pair with “ Pep Talk ” by Kid President
  • Gandalf Speaks to Frodo in Moria  from  LOTR : Fellowship of the Ring – Pair with   Sam’s Speech   in LOTR: The Two Towers
  • Obama’s  Final Farewell Speech – Pair with Al Pacino’s  Any Given Sunday  speech – clean version
  • Harvard Graduation Speech by Donovan Livingston – Pair with Steve Jobs  2005 Stanford Commencement Speech
  • “ Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator ” by Tim Urban – Pair with “ Five Second Rule ” by Mel Robbins
  • Rachel Hollis “Inspire Women to be Their Best” (mild profanity)
  • My Philosophy for a Happy Life by Sam Berns
  • “ To this Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful ” by Shane Koyczan – Pair with Kid President’s “ Pep Talk to Teachers and Students “
  • “ The Power of Introverts ” by Susan Cain – Pair with “ Don’t Let Others Stop You From Living Your Own Truth “

Rhetoric in Advertising: 23 Examples

This next list holds a blend of print advertisements and commercials, perfect for introducing close reading and rhetorical analysis and for writing a rhetorical analysis essay.

Ads are short, but pack a punch. Honestly, my students love analyzing the rhetoric of advertisements a lot because they are accessible and visual.

Rhetoric Commercials & Print Advertisements

  • “ Web of Fries “
  • Duracell “ Teddy Bear ” Commercial
  • Apple 1984 Commercial Introducing the New Macintosh Computer
  • Nike “ Find Your Greatness ” Ads
  • Pepsi, Superbowl 53 Commercial: “ More than Okay ”
  • “ Get a Mac ” Commercial Compilation
  • “ Can You Hear Me Now ” Verizon Wireless
  • Apple iPhone X – “ Unlock ”
  • Kiwi “ First Steps ” Print Advertisement
  • Vauxhall’s  Backwards Cinderella
  • Lego Print Advertisement
  • Top 10 Powerful Ads of 2014

Rhetoric of the Image

  • Entourage NGO for the Homeless Print Advertisement Images
  • 33 Creative Print Ads
  • Protege Group
  • Greenpeace Print Advertisement Collection
  • “ Divorce Furniture “
  • L’Oréal Paris: “This Ad Is For Men, 1 ” L’Oréal Paris: “This Ad Is For Men, 2 ” L’Oréal Paris: “This Ad Is For Men, 3 ”
  • “ It’s Not Acceptable to Treat a Woman Like One”
  • “ 50 Creative and Effective Advertising Examples “
  • Juvenile Protective Association
  • Anti-Bullying Campaign
  • 25 Serious Ads

Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Using Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

No doubt, writing a rhetorical analysis essay is like taking apart a puzzle and putting it back together again. Teachers, help your students to understand how all of the pieces fit together in order to see the bigger picture of what the author is trying to accomplish.

First, take time to understand how a text “works” for a rhetorical analysis essay using ethos, pathos, and logos:

  • Read or listen to understand overall content. Look up unfamiliar words.
  • Mark the text for the author’s main points and sub-points.
  • descriptive
  • compare/contrast
  • cause/effect
  • argumentative
  • Take notes on SOAPS: subject, occasion, audience, purpose, speaker
  • Discuss the text(s) in Socratic Seminar .

Next, identify rhetorical appeals . 

  • Ethos: How an author demonstrates credibility and builds trust.
  • Pathos: How an author creates an emotional response.
  • Logos: How an author demonstrates expertise and knowledge.

Look for rhetorical devices & patterns in the text.

  • Rhetorical devices refer to an author’s use of diction and syntax.
  • Does the author repeat key words / phrases? What’s the impact?
  • Does the author return to the same idea or image? Why?

Finally, write a clear thesis statement & topic sentences for your rhetorical analysis essay.

  • Use your thesis statement to generate topic sentences.
  • In your body paragraphs, identify a technique, provide an example, and discuss the “right there” and “beneath the surface” meanings. How does the author’s choice impact the audience, further a message, establish a tone?
  • What’s the context for the repetition?
  • What connotations are important?
  • How is the anaphora used to move the reader to greater understanding (logos), emotional investment (pathos), and/or trust in the author’s ideas (ethos)?

Six Strategies for Teaching Rhetorical Analysis

I’ve created an awesome free guide to inspire English teachers who teach rhetoric and the rhetorical analysis essay in their classrooms. Even if you don’t teach AP lang, you can benefit from these strategies !


Rhetorical Analysis Essay FAQ’s

How do you write a rhetorical analysis essay.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is like writing a literary analysis essay, except the focus is on one or more non-fiction texts and the analysis targets an author’s style or rhetorical “moves” (a.k.a. use of rhetorical appeals and/or devices). Rhetorical analysis essays usually prove a claim about the author’s message or purpose for writing. The paragraphs in a rhetorical analysis essay unpack “what” an author is doing to send this message and “how” these choices impact the audience.

What does it mean to write a rhetorical analysis?

Writing a rhetorical analysis means that you are aware, as an audience member, reader, listener, human being, of the messages you consume. As a critical consumer of others’ ideas, you ask hard questions about how these messages are shaped, why they’re being delivered in certain ways, and why this is important for you and for society.

What are the three rhetorical strategies?

The three most commonly known rhetorical strategies are known as rhetorical appeals. Ethos (ethics) refers to credibility and trustworthiness. Pathos (passion) refers to engaging an audience’s emotions. Logos (logic) refers to engaging an audience’s brain through logical organization and use of evidence and arguments.

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About Lindsay Ann

Lindsay has been teaching high school English in the burbs of Chicago for 18 years. She is passionate about helping English teachers find balance in their lives and teaching practice through practical feedback strategies and student-led learning strategies. She also geeks out about literary analysis, inquiry-based learning, and classroom technology integration. When Lindsay is not teaching, she enjoys playing with her two kids, running, and getting lost in a good book.

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Reader Interactions

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January 9, 2023 at 9:38 am

Hi Lindsay Ann, thanks so much for these great resources. Just wanted to gently point out a couple errors that you might want to fix:

#12: should be Seth Myers’ (not Seth Myer’s) #13: should be independence (not independance)

Teachers have to help each other out 🙂

Best, Nikkee

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January 9, 2023 at 5:44 pm

Thank you so much for letting me know, Nikkee!

[…] a lot of options and extensions for analyzing rhetoric in social media. Who knows, maybe your next rhetorical analysis essay assignment will be focused on rhetoric in social […]

[…] 70 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for Secondary ELA […]

[…] find that teaching rhetorical analysis and close reading skills go hand-in-hand with teaching voice in […]

[…] helps students to remember that everything comes back to the author’s purpose or message in rhetorical analysis. Author’s purpose is central to unpacking an author’s choices, including use of […]

[…] you assigning a rhetorical analysis essay? Why not try having students use rhetorical analysis sentence […]

[…] I introduced students to rhetoric. First, we journaled on this topic: Think of a time someone talked you into doing something or believing something. How did they do it? What tactics did they use? Students may share out journals. I gave students a graphic organizer with a PAPA analysis (purpose, audience, persona, argument) and picked a speech. Frankly, the speech I picked, which was Samwise Gamgee’s speech to Frodo Baggins in The Two Towers, failed spectacularly since students had no frame of reference. Note: that movie is old now. I know. It makes me sad, too. So go cautiously if you use this, but maybe pick something else. You can find a massive list here. […]

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How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay (With Example)

November 27, 2023

how to write AP Lang rhetorical analysis essay example

Feeling intimidated by the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay? We’re here to help demystify. Whether you’re cramming for the AP Lang exam right now or planning to take the test down the road, we’ve got crucial rubric information, helpful tips, and an essay example to prepare you for the big day. This post will cover 1) What is the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay? 2) AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Rubric 3) AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis: Sample Prompt 4) AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example 5)AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Why It Works

What is the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

The AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay is one of three essays included in the written portion of the AP English Exam. The full AP English Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long, with the first 60 minutes dedicated to multiple-choice questions. Once you complete the multiple-choice section, you move on to three equally weighted essays that ask you to synthesize, analyze, and interpret texts and develop well-reasoned arguments. The three essays include:

Synthesis essay: You’ll review various pieces of evidence and then write an essay that synthesizes (aka combines and interprets) the evidence and presents a clear argument. Read our write up on How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis Essay here.

Argumentative essay: You’ll take a stance on a specific topic and argue your case.

Rhetorical essay: You’ll read a provided passage, then analyze the author’s rhetorical choices and develop an argument that explains why the author made those rhetorical choices.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Rubric

The AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay is graded on just 3 rubric categories: Thesis, Evidence and Commentary, and Sophistication . At a glance, the rubric categories may seem vague, but AP exam graders are actually looking for very particular things in each category. We’ll break it down with dos and don’ts for each rubric category:

Thesis (0-1 point)

There’s nothing nebulous when it comes to grading AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay thesis. You either have one or you don’t. Including a thesis gets you one point closer to a high score and leaving it out means you miss out on one crucial point. So, what makes a thesis that counts?

  • Make sure your thesis argues something about the author’s rhetorical choices. Making an argument means taking a risk and offering your own interpretation of the provided text. This is an argument that someone else might disagree with.
  • A good test to see if you have a thesis that makes an argument. In your head, add the phrase “I think that…” to the beginning of your thesis. If what follows doesn’t logically flow after that phrase (aka if what follows isn’t something you and only you think), it’s likely you’re not making an argument.
  • Avoid a thesis that merely restates the prompt.
  • Avoid a thesis that summarizes the text but does not make an argument.

Evidence and Commentary (0-4 points)

This rubric category is graded on a scale of 0-4 where 4 is the highest grade. Per the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis rubric, to get a 4, you’ll want to:

  • Include lots of specific evidence from the text. There is no set golden number of quotes to include, but you’ll want to make sure you’re incorporating more than a couple pieces of evidence that support your argument about the author’s rhetorical choices.
  • Make sure you include more than one type of evidence, too. Let’s say you’re working on your essay and have gathered examples of alliteration to include as supporting evidence. That’s just one type of rhetorical choice, and it’s hard to make a credible argument if you’re only looking at one type of evidence. To fix that issue, reread the text again looking for patterns in word choice and syntax, meaningful figurative language and imagery, literary devices, and other rhetorical choices, looking for additional types of evidence to support your argument.
  • After you include evidence, offer your own interpretation and explain how this evidence proves the point you make in your thesis.
  • Don’t summarize or speak generally about the author and the text. Everything you write must be backed up with evidence.
  • Don’t let quotes speak for themselves. After every piece of evidence you include, make sure to explain your interpretation. Also, connect the evidence to your overarching argument.

Sophistication (0-1 point)

In this case, sophistication isn’t about how many fancy vocabulary words or how many semicolons you use. According to College Board , one point can be awarded to AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essays that “demonstrate sophistication of thought and/or a complex understanding of the rhetorical situation” in any of these three ways:

  • Explaining the significance or relevance of the writer’s rhetorical choices.
  • Explaining the purpose or function of the passage’s complexities or tensions.
  • Employing a style that is consistently vivid and persuasive.

Note that you don’t have to achieve all three to earn your sophistication point. A good way to think of this rubric category is to consider it a bonus point that you can earn for going above and beyond in depth of analysis or by writing an especially persuasive, clear, and well-structured essay. In order to earn this point, you’ll need to first do a good job with your thesis, evidence, and commentary.

  • Focus on nailing an argumentative thesis and multiple types of evidence. Getting these fundamentals of your essay right will set you up for achieving depth of analysis.
  • Explain how each piece of evidence connects to your thesis.
  • Spend a minute outlining your essay before you begin to ensure your essay flows in a clear and cohesive way.
  • Steer clear of generalizations about the author or text.
  • Don’t include arguments you can’t prove with evidence from the text.
  • Avoid complex sentences and fancy vocabulary words unless you use them often. Long, clunky sentences with imprecisely used words are hard to follow.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis: Sample Prompt

The sample prompt below is published online by College Board and is a real example from the 2021 AP Exam. The prompt provides background context, essay instructions, and the text you need to analyze. For sake of space, we’ve included the text as an image you can click to read. After the prompt, we provide a sample high scoring essay and then explain why this AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essay example works.

Suggested time—40 minutes.

(This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

On February 27, 2013, while in office, former president Barack Obama delivered the following address dedicating the Rosa Parks statue in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol building. Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist who was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Read the passage carefully. Write an essay that analyzes the rhetorical choices Obama makes to convey his message.

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that analyzes the writer’s rhetorical choices.
  • Select and use evidence to support your line of reasoning.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the rhetorical situation.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

In his speech delivered in 2013 at the dedication of Rosa Park’s statue, President Barack Obama acknowledges everything that Parks’ activism made possible in the United States. Telling the story of Parks’ life and achievements, Obama highlights the fact that Parks was a regular person whose actions accomplished enormous change during the civil rights era. Through the use of diction that portrays Parks as quiet and demure, long lists that emphasize the extent of her impacts, and Biblical references, Obama suggests that all of us are capable of achieving greater good, just as Parks did.

Although it might be a surprising way to start to his dedication, Obama begins his speech by telling us who Parks was not: “Rosa Parks held no elected office. She possessed no fortune” he explains in lines 1-2. Later, when he tells the story of the bus driver who threatened to have Parks arrested when she refused to get off the bus, he explains that Parks “simply replied, ‘You may do that’” (lines 22-23). Right away, he establishes that Parks was a regular person who did not hold a seat of power. Her protest on the bus was not part of a larger plan, it was a simple response. By emphasizing that Parks was not powerful, wealthy, or loud spoken, he implies that Parks’ style of activism is an everyday practice that all of us can aspire to.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (Continued)

Even though Obama portrays Parks as a demure person whose protest came “simply” and naturally, he shows the importance of her activism through long lists of ripple effects. When Parks challenged her arrest, Obama explains, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood with her and “so did thousands of Montgomery, Alabama commuters” (lines 27-28). They began a boycott that included “teachers and laborers, clergy and domestics, through rain and cold and sweltering heat, day after day, week after week, month after month, walking miles if they had to…” (lines 28-31). In this section of the speech, Obama’s sentences grow longer and he uses lists to show that Parks’ small action impacted and inspired many others to fight for change. Further, listing out how many days, weeks, and months the boycott lasted shows how Parks’ single act of protest sparked a much longer push for change.

To further illustrate Parks’ impact, Obama incorporates Biblical references that emphasize the importance of “that single moment on the bus” (lines 57-58). In lines 33-35, Obama explains that Parks and the other protestors are “driven by a solemn determination to affirm their God-given dignity” and he also compares their victory to the fall the “ancient walls of Jericho” (line 43). By of including these Biblical references, Obama suggests that Parks’ action on the bus did more than correct personal or political wrongs; it also corrected moral and spiritual wrongs. Although Parks had no political power or fortune, she was able to restore a moral balance in our world.

Toward the end of the speech, Obama states that change happens “not mainly through the exploits of the famous and the powerful, but through the countless acts of often anonymous courage and kindness” (lines 78-81). Through carefully chosen diction that portrays her as a quiet, regular person and through lists and Biblical references that highlight the huge impacts of her action, Obama illustrates exactly this point. He wants us to see that, just like Parks, the small and meek can change the world for the better.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Why It Works

We would give the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essay above a score of 6 out of 6 because it fully satisfies the essay’s 3 rubric categories: Thesis, Evidence and Commentary, and Sophistication . Let’s break down what this student did:

The thesis of this essay appears in the last line of the first paragraph:

“ Through the use of diction that portrays Parks as quiet and demure, long lists that emphasize the extent of her impacts, and Biblical references, Obama suggests that all of us are capable of achieving greater good, just as Parks did .”

This student’s thesis works because they make a clear argument about Obama’s rhetorical choices. They 1) list the rhetorical choices that will be analyzed in the rest of the essay (the italicized text above) and 2) include an argument someone else might disagree with (the bolded text above).

Evidence and Commentary:

This student includes substantial evidence and commentary. Things they do right, per the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis rubric:

  • They include lots of specific evidence from the text in the form of quotes.
  • They incorporate 3 different types of evidence (diction, long lists, Biblical references).
  • After including evidence, they offer an interpretation of what the evidence means and explain how the evidence contributes to their overarching argument (aka their thesis).


This essay achieves sophistication according to the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essay rubric in a few key ways:

  • This student provides an introduction that flows naturally into the topic their essay will discuss. Before they get to their thesis, they tell us that Obama portrays Parks as a “regular person” setting up their main argument: Obama wants all regular people to aspire to do good in the world just as Rosa Parks did.
  • They organize evidence and commentary in a clear and cohesive way. Each body paragraph focuses on just one type of evidence.
  • They explain how their evidence is significant. In the final sentence of each body paragraph, they draw a connection back to the overarching argument presented in the thesis.
  • All their evidence supports the argument presented in their thesis. There is no extraneous evidence or misleading detail.
  • They consider nuances in the text. Rather than taking the text at face value, they consider what Obama’s rhetorical choices imply and offer their own unique interpretation of those implications.
  • In their final paragraph, they come full circle, reiterate their thesis, and explain what Obama’s rhetorical choices communicate to readers.
  • Their sentences are clear and easy to read. There are no grammar errors or misused words.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay—More Resources

Looking for more tips to help your master your AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay? Brush up on 20 Rhetorical Devices High School Students Should Know and read our Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension . If you’re ready to start studying for another part of the AP English Exam, find more expert tips in our How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis blog post.

Considering what other AP classes to take? Read up on the Hardest AP Classes .

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Christina Wood

Christina Wood holds a BA in Literature & Writing from UC San Diego, an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in English at the University of Georgia, where she teaches creative writing and first-year composition courses. Christina has published fiction and nonfiction in numerous publications, including The Paris Review , McSweeney’s , Granta , Virginia Quarterly Review , The Sewanee Review , Mississippi Review , and Puerto del Sol , among others. Her story “The Astronaut” won the 2018 Shirley Jackson Award for short fiction and received a “Distinguished Stories” mention in the 2019 Best American Short Stories anthology.

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rhetorical analysis essay on article

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

rhetorical analysis essay on article

What Is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Definition

If you're tasked with defining -'what is a rhetorical analysis essay?', our dissertation service provides a thorough explanation of the topic.

A rhetorical analysis essay requires you to analyze a piece of writing, speech, or another form of communication to determine how effectively the author or speaker has used rhetorical strategies to convey their message. A rhetorical analysis aims to identify the techniques used by the author or speaker to persuade their audience and evaluate the effectiveness of those techniques in achieving the intended goal.

One rhetorical essay example might be an analysis of a political speech. In this case, you would examine how the speaker uses language, tone, and other rhetorical strategies to appeal to their audience. You would also evaluate how successfully those strategies convey the speaker's message. Another example of rhetorical analysis essay might be analyzing a piece of advertising. Here, you would examine how the advertiser uses visual and verbal cues to persuade their audience to buy a particular product or service, and you would evaluate the effectiveness of those cues in achieving that goal.

In short, a rhetorical analysis essay analyzes how language and other persuasive strategies are used to achieve a particular goal. By carefully examining the techniques used by an author or speaker, you can gain a deeper understanding of how language and persuasion work and develop your skills as a communicator.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Prompt

When given a rhetorical analysis essay prompt, it is important to carefully analyze the prompt to understand the assignment's expectations. The prompt will typically provide you with a text to analyze and a set of specific questions or tasks to guide your analysis.

Here are two different prompts for rhetorical analysis examples:

  • Analyze the use of rhetorical strategies in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. Identify at least three specific rhetorical strategies used by King, and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving his goal of promoting civil rights for African Americans.
  • Analyze the use of visual rhetoric in a recent political advertisement. Identify the specific visual and verbal cues used by the ad's creator, and evaluate how those cues are used to persuade the viewer. Consider the ad's intended audience and the creator's goal in shaping the viewer's perception.

In both of these prompts, the key to a successful rhetorical analysis essay is to carefully analyze the text or visual rhetoric to identify the specific strategies used to persuade the audience and to evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies in achieving the intended goal.

Rhetorical Analysis Strategies

There are three universal methods of persuasion—also called rhetorical strategies. To handle the task, you need to have a good understanding of these strategies and their use.

So, what are the 3 rhetorical strategies? Let’s define each and look closer at their key attributes with our dissertation service :

The ethos rhetorical device is what establishes the author’s credibility in a literary piece. Simply put, the skillful use of this strategy is what helps readers determine whether or not a particular author can be trusted on a specific matter. Credibility is defined by the author’s expertise, knowledge, and moral competence for any particular subject. According to Aristotle, there are three categories of ethos: arete (virtue, goodwill), phronesis (useful skills & wisdom), and eunoia (goodwill towards the audience).

For example, when the author of a book is a well-known expert in a specific subject, or when a product is advertised by a famous person – these are uses of ethos for persuasion. 

According to the pathos literary definition, this Greek word translates to “experience,” “suffering,” or “emotion” and is one of the three methods of persuasion authors are able to use to appeal to their readers’ emotions. In a nutshell, the key goal of this strategy is to elicit certain feelings (e.g. happiness, sympathy, pity, anger, compassion, etc.) in their audience with the sole goal of persuading them of something. The main goal is to help readers relate to the author’s identity and ideas.

Some of the common ways to use pathos in rhetoric are through:

  • Storytelling;
  • Personal anecdotes, etc.

Just to give you an example, when you see an advertisement that shows sad, loveless animals and it asks you to donate money to an animal shelter or adopt an animal – that’s clear use of emotional appeal in persuasion.

According to the logos literary definition, this word translates from Greek as “ground,” “plea,” “reason,” “opinion,” etc. This rhetorical strategy is solely logical; so, unlike ethos or pathos that rely on credibility or emotions, the logos rhetorical device is used to persuade readers through the use of critical thinking, facts, numbers and statistics, and other undeniable data.

For example, when the author of a literary piece makes a statement and supports it with valid facts – that’s logos.

These three strategies: logos, ethos, and pathos play an essential role in writing a rhetorical analysis essay. The better you understand them, the easier you will be able to determine how successful the author of the assigned text was in using them. Now, let’s take a look at how to start.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

For a better understanding, take a careful look at our analysis sample essay. This will serve as an inspiration for your assignment.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example:

Get a better idea of what’s needed to master this type of writing. Take a look at our rhetorical analysis essay example, which was written by one of our professional writers.

Choosing Rhetorical Analysis Topics

Choosing a rhetorical analysis topic can be a challenging task, but there are several strategies you can use to identify a suitable topic.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • Consider your interests and passion. Think about the texts that have had the most significant impact on you and that you feel passionate about analyzing. This can include speeches, essays, advertisements, or even social media posts.
  • Explore current events or issues that are relevant to your life or the lives of those around you . Analyzing a timely and relevant text can add depth and meaning to your analysis and may also make it more engaging to your audience.
  • Look for texts that have had a significant impact on society or culture. This could include classic speeches, historical documents, or even popular cultural texts such as music videos or movies.
  • Reflect on the scope of your analysis once you have identified a few potential topics. Make sure the text is complex enough to analyze in detail but not so dense or lengthy that it becomes overwhelming. Additionally, ensure enough information is available to support your analysis and provide context for your arguments.

Unique Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Now if you're wondering - 'what is a rhetorical analysis essay example that stands out?', consider the following rhetorical analysis essay topics from our ' write my paper for me ' expert writers:

  • The rhetorical strategies used in a political speech
  • The effectiveness of an advertisement in persuading its target audience
  • The use of figurative language in a poem or song
  • The rhetorical techniques used in a famous historical document, such as the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address
  • The use of social media to convey a message or persuade an audience
  • The use of humor in a comedic TV show or movie
  • The rhetorical devices used in a TED talk or other popular talk
  • The use of imagery in a work of literature, such as a novel or short story
  • The persuasive techniques used in a persuasive essay or editorial
  • The use of language in a product review or critique of a work of art or literature.

High School Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

With these high school rhetorical analysis essay topics, you can start your analysis and produce a strong and effective essay.

  • The use of persuasive techniques in a political campaign ad
  • The rhetorical strategies used in a famous speech, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech
  • The use of imagery and symbolism in a work of literature, such as William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies.'
  • The persuasive techniques used in a college application essay
  • The rhetorical devices used in a poem, such as Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken.'
  • The use of humor in a satirical TV show or movie
  • The rhetorical strategies used in a popular YouTube video or podcast
  • The use of emotional appeals in a charity or non-profit advertisement
  • The rhetorical devices used in a historical document, such as the Constitution or the Bill of Rights
  • The persuasive techniques used in a personal essay or memoir.

College Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Here are ten college-level topics you can use for your ap rhetorical analysis essay:

  • The use of persuasive techniques in a political speech delivered by a contemporary leader
  • The rhetorical strategies used in a famous literary work, such as Toni Morrison's 'Beloved.'
  • The use of figurative language and literary devices in a contemporary poem or song
  • The persuasive techniques used in a corporate advertising campaign or public relations effort
  • The rhetorical devices used in a contemporary work of art, such as a painting or sculpture
  • The use of emotional appeals in a documentary or film exploring a social issue
  • The rhetorical strategies used in a scientific research paper or article
  • The use of humor and satire in a contemporary TV show or movie
  • The persuasive techniques used in a political opinion editorial published in a major newspaper or online media outlet
  • The rhetorical devices used in a speech delivered at a significant historical event, such as the Stonewall Riots or the March on Washington.

2023 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Here are some unique rhetorical analysis essay topics for 2023 from our essay writing service :

  • The use of rhetorical strategies in a popular TikTok video or trend
  • The persuasive techniques used in a social media influencer's sponsored post
  • The rhetorical devices used in a podcast episode exploring a current social issue
  • The use of visual rhetoric in a contemporary art exhibit or installation
  • The rhetorical strategies used in a political satire TV show, such as 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.'
  • The persuasive techniques used in a climate change awareness campaign
  • The use of rhetorical devices in a contemporary speech given by a notable public figure, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Greta Thunberg
  • The rhetorical strategies used in popular video games, such as 'Fortnite.'
  • The use of emotional appeals in a recent documentary film, such as 'The Social Dilemma.'
  • The persuasive techniques used in a contemporary marketing campaign for a popular fashion brand.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: Step-by-Step

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can be a valuable skill for students of all disciplines, as it requires various forms of critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation of communication. Whether you are analyzing a political speech, a work in academic writing, or a visual advertisement, following these steps can help you write a compelling and insightful rhetorical analysis essay.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • Analyze the Text : The first step in writing a rhetorical analysis is carefully reading and analyzing the text. Look for the author's purpose, the target audience, and the text's context. Take note of any rhetorical devices, such as metaphors, repetition, or appeals to ethos, pathos, or logos, that the author uses to convey their message.
  • Organize Your Analysis: After the actual analysis, organize your thoughts into an outline or structure for your analysis. Begin with an introduction that provides some background information on the text and the author's purpose. Then, break down the text into smaller sections and analyze each in detail. Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis.
  • Write Your Analysis : With your outline or structure in place, you can begin writing your analysis. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction that sets the tone for your analysis. Then, work through your analysis, using specific examples from the text to support your arguments. Provide the summary in your rhetorical analysis conclusion and a final statement about the author's effectiveness using key rhetorical concepts.

If you need extra help with the proper way to cite in MLA or understanding how to title an essay , contact our team of skilled writers.

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Rhetorical Techniques 

You'll need to employ some rhetorical techniques to write good rhetorical analysis essays. These are persuasive strategies used to appeal to an audience and effectively communicate a message. Three of the most commonly used techniques, otherwise known as the rhetorical triangle, are ethos, pathos, and logos.

Ethos refers to the credibility and authority of the speaker or writer. It involves establishing oneself as a trustworthy and knowledgeable source to persuade the audience through ethical appeal. Ethos can be established through professional credentials, moral argument, personal experience, or other forms of expertise.

Pathos refers to the use of emotional appeals to persuade an audience. This can be accomplished through vivid imagery, powerful language, and relatable stories or experiences. The goal of pathos is to evoke strong emotional reactions in the audience, such as empathy, compassion, or outrage.

Logos refers to the use of logic and reason to persuade an audience. It involves providing factual information, statistics, and other evidence to support the arguments presented. Logos uses logical appeal and effectively convinces them to adopt a particular viewpoint.

methods of persuasion

Rhetorical Essay Outline

Here is a detailed outline for writing a rhetorical essay, along with examples:

I. Introduction

A. Background information on the topic

B. Rhetorical analysis essay thesis statement

C. Brief overview of the rhetorical analysis

Rhetorical analysis introduction example: The concept of freedom has been a fundamental aspect of American society since its inception. In the speech 'I Have a Dream' delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, the issue of freedom and equality for African Americans is passionately addressed through the use of rhetorical devices. This essay will analyze King's use of ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade his audience and convey his message of equality and freedom.

A. Explanation of ethos and its importance

B. Examples of ethos in the text

C. Analysis of the effectiveness of ethos in the speech

Example: King establishes his credibility as a speaker through ethos by referencing his role as a Baptist minister and a leader in the civil rights movement. He also appeals to the authority of the founding fathers and the Constitution to support his argument for equality. By using these sources of authority, King gains the trust and respect of his audience, making them more likely to accept his message.

III. Pathos

A. Explanation of pathos and its importance

B. Examples of pathos in the text

C. Analysis of the effectiveness of pathos in the speech

Example: King uses pathos by employing emotional language and vivid imagery to elicit strong emotions from his audience. For example, he uses phrases like 'sweltering heat of injustice' and 'the quicksands of racial injustice' to create a sense of urgency and desperation in his listeners. By tapping into their emotions, King is able to create a powerful connection with his audience and inspire them to take action.

A. Explanation of logos and its importance

B. Examples of logos in the text

C. Analysis of the effectiveness of logos in the speech

Example: King also uses logos by presenting logical arguments and evidence to support his message. For instance, he references the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence to argue that the American promise of freedom and equality should apply to all citizens. He also uses statistics to highlight the economic and social disparities faced by African Americans. King reinforces his message and persuades his audience to take action by presenting a logical and well-supported argument.

V. Conclusion

A. Restate thesis statement

B. Summarize the main points

C. Concluding thoughts

Example: In conclusion, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech is a powerful example of effective rhetoric. By using ethos, pathos, and logos, King is able to persuade his audience and convey his message of freedom and equality for all. His speech continues to inspire people today and serves as a reminder of the power of rhetoric to effect change.

Meanwhile, if you'd like a perfect literary analysis in APA essay format done by expert writers, reach out to us for help.

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Steps to Polish Your Rhetorical Analysis

Here are some steps you can take to polish your rhetorical analysis. By following these steps, you can improve the quality and effectiveness of your rhetorical analysis.


  • Re-read the text: To ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the text, read it several times. Pay attention to the language, structure, and overall tone of the text.
  • Identify the author's purpose : Determine the author's main goal in writing the text. Are they trying to inform, persuade, or entertain? Understanding the author's purpose will help you analyze the text more effectively.
  • Analyze the rhetorical situation: Consider the context in which the text was written. Who is the intended audience? What is the author's background, and how might that influence their writing? Understanding the rhetorical situation will help you understand the purpose and effectiveness of the rhetorical techniques used in the text.
  • Identify the rhetorical techniques used: Look for specific techniques used by the author to persuade or convey their message. These might include appeals to ethos, pathos, or logos, as well as the use of figurative language, repetition, or rhetorical questions.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the techniques: Once you have identified the rhetorical techniques used, evaluate their effectiveness in achieving the author's purpose. Consider how the techniques affect the audience's perception of the message and whether they are persuasive.
  • Revise and edit : Once you have completed your analysis, revise and edit your essay to ensure your argument is clear and well-supported. Pay attention to the organization of your essay, the clarity of your language, and the coherence of your analysis.
  • Get feedback : Ask a peer, instructor, or tutor to read your essay and provide feedback. Consider their suggestions for improvement and revise accordingly.

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210 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

03 Jun 2023

With any rhetorical analysis essay writing, effective communication is everything. If you're a student or want to elevate your persuasive skills, learning how to engage your readers is the first step.

When it comes to selecting thought-provoking rhetorical analysis topics, where do you begin? This is where a wise companion in PapersOwl comes in handy. With this seasoned guide, you can easily navigate the complex world of rhetorical analysis. Until then, take a look at our extensive collection of topics that'll get your creative juices flowing.

We have created a list of 210 essays that will inspire you to craft a powerful academic essay. These rhetorical analysis paper topics cater to all skill levels too.

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What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

What is Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

  • An analysis essay identifies the rhetorical devices and strategies used by an author, all while highlighting how they have used words to sway their audience.

For example, a rhetorical paper looks at an influential political speech through purpose, key claims, and tone. In an essay, students cover by following a structured approach.

  • Introduction. Students present the text, author, and thesis statement. These outline the main argument or points of the analysis.
  • Main body paragraphs. These delve into specific strategies, appeals, and devices to support the analysis. Make your essay authentic by keeping it true to the facts.
  • Conclusion. The end wraps up the essay by summarizing the main points. It will also discuss the effectiveness of the persuasive techniques.

How to Choose a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topic?

Finding the right topic comes down to writing about something you're familiar with. This is because you'll need to showcase insightful analysis to write a rhetorical analysis essay successfully. The best way to do this is to make sure the rhetorical topics you pick are something you're interested in.

Tip 1. Start by identifying the rhetorical situation essay topics that interest you. This will make background research and thematic analysis that much more enjoyable. Then ask yourself:

  • What subjects or themes are intriguing for you to rhetorically analyze?
  • Are there specific rhetorical analysis example topics in your field of study that you excel in or are passionate about?
  • Have you studied similar subjects or texts in the past that might help your rhetorical analysis assignment ideas come to life?

Tip 2. Choose from rhetorical analysis ideas that match your interests and expertise. Select rhetoric research paper topics relevant to your course or subject area. And make sure there is enough information to write a defined argument. It needs to be complex enough to allow a thorough literary analysis of the themes and the most valuable rhetorical strategies.

Tip 3. Make sure the rhetorical analysis paper topic is suitable. It will need to meet the expectations of rhetorical analysis topics. This means highlighting the importance symbolism plays in the author's message.

  • Is there enough emotional depth and background research for you to work with?
  • Can you cover the rhetorical situation within the word limit?
  • Is it interesting enough to engage your reader?

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Topics

Here, you’ll rhetorically analyze two texts by similarities, differences, and effectiveness. Sometimes, though, a critical eye is needed. This is when students seek a reputable analytical essay writing service like PapersOwl for help. Here you'll find expert advice on the most effective academic writing so that you can study with peace of mind.

  • The Persuasive Techniques Used By Martin Luther King Jr. And Malcolm X In Their Speeches.
  • Does Innovation Outweigh Invention?
  • Washington Vs. Lincoln.
  • What Is Better For The Economy: Traditional Postal Service Or Email?
  • The Persuasive Techniques Of Apple And Samsung In Advertisements.
  • The Persuasive Devices Of President Biden's Speech Vs. President Obama's Speech.
  • Classical Conditioning Or Operant Conditioning. Which Is More Practical?
  • The Art Of The Greeks And The Romans.
  • What Drives Business Growth In 2023. E-Commerce Or Traditional?
  • Education Or Life Without It?
  • The Use Of Persuasion In Barack Obama's And Donald Trump's Presidential Speeches.
  • Command Economy Or The Free Market.
  • Philosophy Vs. Religion.
  • Ethos, Pathos, And Logos In Op-Ed Articles By Conservative And Liberal Columnists.
  • Persuasive Techniques Used In Public Service Announcements On Smoking And Drug Abuse.

Rhetorical Analysis Ideas For High School Students

These easy rhetorical analysis topics encourage students to examine all forms of communication. A rhetorical analysis essay requires looking at written texts, acceptance speeches, or visuals.

It will also help you develop critical thinking skills by understanding how language is used to achieve a particular goal.

  • A Rhetorical Analysis On The Meaning Of Mona Lisa's Smile.
  • How William Shakespeare Became Known As The Greatest Writer In The World.
  • The Final Speech Of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The Reasons For WW2.
  • Novels And Movies About "Frankenstein": Similarities And Differences.
  • The Impact Of Electronic Media On Culture.
  • Why Do Films And TV Fail to Capture The Full Essence Of The Books They Are Based On?
  • Heroism As Defined By J. K. Rowling And J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • A Detailed Analysis Of TV And Online Advertisement.
  • The Power Of Social Media: A Rhetoric Paper
  • How Sherlock Holmes Is Perceived On TV And Why Not Everyone Likes Him.
  • Why Do People Write Fan Fiction?
  • My School Principal's Speech.
  • William Shakespeare’s "Romeo And Juliet": An Analysis.
  • Why Are Dogs Known As "Man's Best Friend"?

Rhetorical Analysis Topics for College Students

These detailed rhetorical analysis topics cover complex primary themes and issues. Through rhetorical analysis, college students learn how language sends a message.

You’ll also improve your own persuasive writing skills by looking at the different types of rhetorical analysis.

  • The Use Of Parallelism, Repetition, And Allusion In Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" Speech.
  • Do Women Or Men React Better To Media Advertisement Messages?
  • How Does Online Content Manipulate Persuasive Devices?
  • What Effect Does Music Have On Film And TV?
  • The Persuasive Devices Of The American National Anthem.
  • Symbolism In Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings".
  • How Syrian Politics Sparked War.
  • The Persuasive Techniques Used In A Popular Advertisement Or Commercial.
  • Why Are Ted Talks So Popular?
  • How Does An Influential Newspaper Editorial Manipulate Rhetoric Devices To Benefit Its Argument?
  • My Favorite Poem By William Shakespeare.
  • The Impact Of A Popular Social Media Influencer's Posts Or Videos.
  • Rhetorical Devices In Famous Song Lyrics
  • The Use Of Metaphor In A Speech From Your School Director On Graduation Day.
  • The Effectiveness Of Rhetoric Devices In A Well-Known Op-Ed Or Opinion Piece.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Education

An essay topic on education looks at different forms of communication. You'll analyze the author's purpose, as well as their emotional appeal.

All while understanding the nuances of educational discussions and elevating your analytical skills.

  • Education System And Educational Technologies .
  • Importance Of Time Management Skills .
  • Integration Of America’s Public Schools .
  • Standardized Testing In Measuring Students' Academic Performance.
  • A Detailed Analysis Essay On The "No Child Left Behind" Policy.
  • The Persuasive Techniques Used In Debates Surrounding Homeschooling Versus Traditional Schooling.
  • An Analysis Essay On The Proponents And Opponents Of School Vouchers.
  • The Language And Persuasive Strategies Used In Promoting Stem Education In Schools.
  • An Analysis Essay On Inclusive Education And Its Impact On Special Needs.
  • The Arguments For And Against Implementing Technology In The Classroom.
  • The Role Of Standardized Curricula In Fostering Critical Thinking And Creativity In Students.
  • Promoting Social-Emotional Learning In Schools.
  • The Role Of Teachers' Unions In Shaping Educational Policies And Outcomes.
  • Examining Peer Research Papers On The Arguments For And Against Implementing School Uniforms.
  • How Policymakers Use Rhetorical Devices To Debate How Teachers' Unions Shape Education.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Literature

Authors, poets, and playwrights use a variety of forms of communication in their literary works. Through them, you’ll learn how authors create meaningful literary pieces and gain an appreciation of novels rhetorical strategies.

  • Symbolism And Literary Devices In "The Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy.
  • The Significance Of Stream-Of-Consciousness Narrative Style In Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway".
  • The Literary Texts Of William Shakespeare.
  • Examine The Use Of Rhetorical Devices In A Famous Poem, Such As Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise".
  • What Does Solitude Symbolize In 21st-Century Literary Texts Compared To The 20th Century?
  • Analyzing The Persuasive Strategies Used By Simone De Beauvoir In "The Second Sex".
  • A Detailed Analysis Essay On The Primary Themes Present In Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
  • Different Rhetorical Devices In "The Bible".
  • The Rhetoric Devices And Symbolism Of Stephen King.
  • The Power Of Symbolism And Metaphor In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby".
  • The Literary Devices Of “Pride And Prejudice” And How They're Still Relevant Today.
  • Gender And Power In Jane Austen's "Pride And Prejudice".
  • Romanticism In William Wordsworth's Poem "Tintern Abbey".
  • How Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" Confronts Issues Of Racial Injustice
  • The Influence Of Gothic Elements In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" And "The Fall Of The House Of Usher".

Rhetorical Analysis Topics List on Speeches

The speech topics for an analysis essay focus on analyzing the elements of a speech. You’ll go deep into the speaker's choice of words, tone, delivery style, use of rhetorical devices, and the structure of the speech.

By evaluating these components, a detailed rhetorical analysis reveals the speaker's underlying strategies. Then you can explain how the techniques engage, persuade, and inspire their target audience.

  • Rhetorical Analysis Of Barack Obama's Victory Speech .
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Speeches By Greta Thunberg And David Attenborough.
  • The 1588 Speech By Queen Elizabeth on The Spanish Armada.
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Susan B. Anthony's "On Women's Right To Vote" Speech.
  • Commencement Speeches By Influential Figures Like Steve Jobs And Oprah Winfrey.
  • The Role Of Emotional Appeal In Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Winston Churchill In His "We Shall Fight On The Beaches" Speech.
  • An Examination Of Logos In John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address.
  • The Persuasive Power Of Repetition In The Famous "Yes We Can" Speech By Barack Obama.
  • How Rhetorical Devices Vary In Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk To Freedom" Speech.
  • The Effectiveness Of Analogy And Anecdote In Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address.
  • The Impact Of Tone And Pacing In George Washington's Resignation Speech.
  • The Use Of Persuasive Strategies In Malcolm X's "The Ballot Or The Bullet" Speech
  • The Effect Of Formal Or Informal Language In Speech Delivery.
  • The Impact Of Persuasive Techniques In Greta Thunberg's "How Dare You" Speech At The United Nations Climate Action Summit.

Visual Rhetorical Essay Topics

Visual essays explore how the things we see persuade a target audience and evoke emotional responses. The things you'll look at with visual analysis essay writing include color, layout, and concrete or abstract images. By doing so, you’ll learn how visual communication impacts our media-rich society.

  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The Use Of Color Symbolism In Political Campaign Posters.
  • The Impact Of Visual Metaphors In Advertising On Consumer Behavior.
  • The Role Of Typography And Font Choice In Conveying A Message In Graphic Design.
  • Examining The Use Of Pathos In Public Service Announcements Related To Climate Change.
  • The Persuasive Power Of Visual Storytelling In Documentary Films.
  • How Social Media Platforms Use Visuals To Shape User Behaviors And Opinions.
  • The Influence Of Iconic Photographs On Public Perception Of Historical Events.
  • A Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Memes And Their Role In Shaping Online Discourse.
  • Developing A Brand Identity Through Visual Symbols And Logos.
  • The Role Of Visual Composition In Enhancing The Persuasiveness Of Infographics.
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The Impact Of Editorial Cartoons On Shaping Public Opinion.
  • How Visual Metaphors In Music Videos Influence Viewers' Interpretations Of The Song.
  • The Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Visual Arts In The Streets.
  • How Visual Rhetorical Composition Is Used In Propaganda Posters To Evoke Nationalistic Emotions.
  • Visual Aesthetics in Aligning Branding With A Target Audience.

Topics for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay on Society

A rhetorical essay on society examines how language influences or critiques societal concerns. Through all types of media, you learn how certain strategies persuade or inform an audience about social issues.

  • Unconscious Racism And How It Affects People Of Color .
  • Racism And Shootings .
  • Why The Color Of Your Skin Does Not Matter .
  • The Biggest Problem In The United States Of America Is Illegal Immigrants .
  • The Problem Of Mass Shootings
  • Gun Violence .
  • The Role Of Persuasion In Environmental Activism And Climate Change Debates.'
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Paper On The Persuasive Techniques In Advertisements Targeting Societal Issues.
  • The Influence Of Celebrity Endorsements On Public Opinion And Social Issues.
  • The Language And Symbols Used In Anti-Bullying Campaigns.
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Paper On The LGBTQ+ Community.
  • Public Health Campaigns Addressing Mental Health Stigma.
  • A Detailed Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The Discourse Surrounding The Legalization Of Marijuana.
  • The Power Of Language In Promoting Or Challenging Racial Stereotypes.
  • The Influence Of Rhetorical Devices In Attitudes Toward Wealth Inequality And Social Mobility.

Topics for Rhetorical Analysis Essay on a Person

An outstanding rhetorical analysis paper looks at persuasive strategies to understand the writer's intention. These essays examine how someone uses language to shape public opinion or inspire change.

  • Nikola Tesla - The Inventor Behind It All .
  • Changes By Tupac .
  • President Donald Trump And His Politics .
  • About Fidel Castro .
  • How Steve Jobs Used Persuasive Strategies To Reinvent Apple And Inspire Consumer Loyalty.
  • The Distinct Rhetoric Of Greta Thunberg In Her Climate Change Activism.
  • Analyzing The Persuasive Techniques Of Elon Musk's Public Presentations And Interviews.
  • The Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Susan B. Anthony's Fight For Women's Suffrage.
  • Do Abstract Images Matter? What Does Boo Radley Represent In “To Kill A Mockingbird”?
  • The Rhetorical Composition Of Malala Yousafzai In Her Advocacy For Girls' Education.
  • Nelson Mandela's Fight Against Apartheid.
  • Dissecting The Persuasive Strategies Of Adolf Hitler In His Propaganda Campaigns.
  • The Persuasive Techniques Employed By Mahatma Gandhi In His Fight For Indian Independence.
  • How Winston Churchill Inspired A Nation During World War 2.
  • Maya Angelou In Her Poems And Speeches: A Rhetorical Analysis Essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Philosophy

Philosophers use persuasive techniques, arguments, and linguistic choices in their rhetorical analysis essays to convey their ideas. It will be your job to define their impact by looking at how they engage and convince their readers.

You'll learn how philosophical concepts are presented and articulated, and you'll develop your analytical abilities.

  • The Calvinistic Doctrine Of Predestination .
  • The Use Of Persuasive Devices In Plato's "Allegory Of The Cave".
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Descartes' "Cogito, Ergo Sum" Argument.
  • Persuasive Techniques Used By Immanuel Kant In His "Critique Of Pure Reason".
  • A Linguistic Examination Of John Locke's "A Rhetorical Essay Concerning Human Understanding".
  • The Role Of Ethos, Logos, And Pathos In Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "The Social Contract".
  • The Persuasive Strategies Of Friedrich Nietzsche In "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".
  • Analysis Of The Socratic Method In "Dialogues" By Plato.
  • Persuasive Language In John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty".
  • Rhetorical Devices In "Leviathan" By Thomas Hobbes.
  • Metaphor And Symbolism In Søren Kierkegaard's "Fear And Trembling".
  • Linguistic Examination Of Martin Heidegger's "Being And Time".
  • The Persuasive Power Of Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not A Christian".
  • Analyze Main Rhetorical Devices In Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations".
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The Language Of Metaphysics In George Berkeley's "A Treatise Concerning The Principles Of Human Knowledge".

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on History

History essays examine and check historical speeches, texts, and events through the lens of expression.

These rhetorical analysis topics will have you studying the words of influential figures throughout history. And how their messages shaped public opinion through the power of language and persuasion.

  • The Civil War .
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The "Zimmermann Telegram" And Its Impact On World War I
  • The Debates Surrounding The U.S. Constitution.
  • American Revolution And The Declaration Of Independence.
  • Persuasive Techniques In The Abolitionist Movement
  • The Persuasive Power Of Queen Elizabeth I's Speech To The Troops At Tilbury.
  • Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" Pamphlet.
  • The Speeches Of Marcus Tullius Cicero And Their Impact On Roman Society.
  • Emancipation Proclamation. Analyzing Abraham Lincoln's Use Of Diction.
  • Techniques Employed In The Women's Suffrage Movement.
  • The Use Of Persuasive Expression In The Civil Rights Movement.
  • Wartime Propaganda Posters.
  • European Union Formation Through Written And Spoken Persuasive Techniques.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Business

The business rhetorical analysis examines how communication achieves specific goals. These rhetoric topics look at how marketing campaigns or business proposals affect society.

  • Disney Is Destroying Lives
  • Completely Legal For Walmart To Hire Many Part Time Workers
  • Brexit Bad For Business Ain't It
  • Insights Into The Power Of Storytelling In Business Presentations.
  • Campaigns Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility Have Great Power
  • Rhetorical Strategies Used In Customer Testimonials And Reviews To Persuade Potential Clients.
  • The Persuasive Techniques Used By Businesses To Promote Environmentally-Friendly Practices.
  • How Spoken And Written Techniques Reinforce Or Challenge Traditional Gender Roles In The Workplace.
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On How Businesses Respond To Public Relations Disasters.
  • Exploring The Language That Conveys Corporate Values And Mission Statements.
  • The Impact Of Social Media Influencers On Business Promotion.
  • The Persuasive Techniques Used In "Shark Tank" Pitches And Startup Competitions.
  • Exploring The Strategies Used By Businesses To Regain Trust After Controversies Or Scandals.
  • From Commercials To Viral Ad Campaigns: How Advertising Works In 2023.
  • How Companies Persuade Other Organizations To Collaborate Or Form Partnerships.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Government

These rhetorical analysis topics cover political speeches to propaganda in policy documents.

You’ll learn how language and tone rally support for specific initiatives. As well as develop a deeper appreciation for this topic's influence on political discourse.

  • What Does Change Mean In Us History?
  • United States Key Role In Support Of Human Rights .
  • Essay About Brown V. Board Of Education .
  • Police Brutality And Abuse Towards Blacks .
  • The Language And Communication Strategies Used In International Diplomacy.
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On Political Party Platforms And How They Attract Voters.
  • Shaping Public Opinion On Controversial Legislation.
  • A Global Village Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The Success Or Failure Of Social Movements.
  • A Rhetoric Analysis Of The Impact Of Language In The Framing Of National Security Issues.
  • The Role Of Persuasion In The Portrayal Of Political Figures In The Media.
  • Examining The Language And Communication Strategies Used In Political Crisis Management.
  • Shaping Public Discourse On Controversial Topics Through Rhetorical Analysis.
  • Promoting Specific Government Policies Through Written And Spoken Strategy.
  • The Rhetorical Richness Of Visual Arts In Media.
  • The Use Of Emotional Appeals In Government Public Service Announcements.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Culture

Culture-specific rhetorical strategies contribute to the unique characteristics of different societies. And studying them encourages the development of critical thinking and analytical skills.

Through language, you will learn how cultural norms, values, and traditions are conveyed and reinforced.

  • Women And Men Pay Gap
  • Thinking Queerly: Race, Sex, Gender
  • Abortion Illegal
  • The Society Acceptance Of LGBT
  • A Rhetorical Analysis Essay On The Relationship Between Popular Culture And Consumer Behavior.
  • Cultural Festivals And Their Impact On Societal Values.
  • The Influence Of Social Media On The Evolution Of Cultural Trends.
  • Persuasive Language In Cultural Documentaries.
  • Literary Persuasion In The Promotion And Preservation Of Cultural Heritage.
  • Popular Art Criticism.
  • Cultural Stereotypes: Perceptions and Acceptances.
  • Language And Communication Strategies Used In Cultural Diplomacy.
  • Mainstream Media's Representation Of Minority Cultures.
  • Language And Symbolism In Traditional Cultural Rituals.
  • Cultural And Artistic Movements Throughout History

Rhetorical analysis is a fascinating way to explore the power of language and persuasion. Understanding methods used to persuade and improve analytical skills is essential for students.

Luckily, there are 210 essay topics to select from here, so there is no shortage of good rhetorical analysis topics to explore.

From the speeches of world leaders to advertisements, you’ll develop a deeper appreciation for the art of persuasion. Furthermore, you learn how to use rhetorical devices to captivate audiences by analyzing popular media.

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200 rhetorical analysis topics for students in 2023.

rhetorical analysis topics

The first thing to note when writing anything on rhetorical analysis is that the essay requires you having a wide and in-depth knowledge about the specific topic you’ll be basing your essay on. A good mastery of rhetorical essay topics entails the ability to write effectively.

Sometimes, the challenge looks like not knowing where to begin. But, understanding that a rhetorical analysis essay requires the writer to deeply and accurately analyze a piece of work and make a plausible argument with supporting evidence about it will give you an edge when crafting and choosing a topic.

However, rhetorical analysis topics are majorly predominant in topics associated with the arts but are also not limited to it. Topics can be based on literature, movies, billboards, popular culture, ads, speeches, and even ordinary human conversations.

Aside from understanding what rhetorical topics are, having ample information about any selected topic is crucial as it helps to develop sound rhetorical analysis ideas. Here are some topics you can base your rhetorical analysis essay topics on.

Rhetorical Essay Topics to Choose From

In any rhetorical essay, what the writer does is highlight a problem, carry out extensive analysis on the listed problem to make a strong-base argument on the subject matter.

A rhetorical essay isn’t complete without sound backup evidence to the highlighted problem. Carrying out an essay writing of this form requires you to have done thorough research on whatever you will be writing on.

Knowing how to choose smart topics for rhetorical analysis isn’t enough to write the essay, there must be the existence of extensively done research as this enables the writing to come fully alive. Rhetorical analysis topics list can look like.

  • Do social media encourage low productivity in young adults?
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Shonda Rhimes’s How to Get Away with Murder
  • Obama’s first presidential speech
  • A textual analysis of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life
  • Analysis of Dove ’s beauty Ads over the last 5 years
  • A Feminist look at Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own
  • Importance of complex themes in American TV shows and Movies
  • Analysis of the Instagram aesthetics and what it entails
  • The role of symbolism in Literature and art piece
  • The work of representation in Popular Culture
  • TV shows: That’s what I Like and Here’s Why you should too
  • The implication of Horror movies on middle and preschoolers
  • Do Smartphones encourage low productivity in Young Adults or not?
  • The impact of Diversity representation in Hollywood
  • A cultural exploration of Beyoncé’s Lemonade
  • Madam CJ Walker, Diversity beauty-representation
  • Explicit sexual exploration: the Hip Hop culture
  • Purity culture an offspring of Rape culture
  • Social exploration of the movie adaptation of Les Misérables
  • Does Social media obscure reality or not?
  • Rhetorical analysis: Mom blogs and the role they play within the society
  • The Hidden Reality of Foodbanks in the American system
  • Welfare mom, bad mom?
  • Analyze the political implications of George Orwell’s Animal Farm
  • The unsettling effect of Dan Fogelman’s This Life
  • Homeschooling, the bane of many high school students.
  • The impacts of gaming on preschoolers
  • How PBS for Kids has changed the Parenting game
  • The Role of the Erotica: The poems by E. E Cummings
  • The absurdity of the Afterlife

More Topics on Rhetorical Analysis

There are varieties of different kinds of rhetorical analysis topics that it is unlikely that one can run out of ways to craft rhetorical analysis topics for any essay at all.

Since the majority of these rhetoric topics are mostly within the arts, there’s a wide range of sources and inspiration to draw your essay topic from. This is because art is an interesting field that keeps on giving.

These topics can be relevant for high school and for college students. Here are a handful of rhetorical analysis example topics to consider for rhetorical analysis.

  • A comparative analysis of non-fictional novels and fictional novels
  • Analysis: Obama’s Farewell speech
  • Rhetorical analysis of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
  • The Failure of Charity, Classism, Victorian era, the folly of Individualism: Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist .
  • Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson : an Anthropological exploration
  • The realism of 11th century Scotland and how it’s portrayed in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • The Surrealism of the 20th-century art and Literary explorations with that era
  • F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and how it’s an indictment to the “American Dream”
  • Rhetorical Analysis of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room and Another Country
  • Why Movie adaptations can never measure up to Books
  • The social and economic implications of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
  • The story of Leonardo da Vinci and the Monalisa painting
  • Painting, Artistry and how Paul Cézanne’s art interrogates the subject of late-blooming
  • What the use of mostly women for domestic Ads suggests
  • How new Hollywood producers and showrunners address the issue of inclusivity and diversity in TV.
  • What the use of the omniscient narrator in books suggests
  • The Monalisa painting: Why is it Talked about so much?
  • The rhetorical device in D.H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • This is why best-seller books are called best-sellers
  • Why kids avoid watching the news at all cost
  • How the presence of social media impacts mental illness negatively
  • The Role of Tv and Popular in promoting Misogyny and Misogynoir
  • A call to Love: the recurring theme within James Baldwin’s works
  • How reality Tv shows obscure actual reality
  • How racism permeates Langston Hughes I, Too
  • What is the distinction between Symbolism and Imagery
  • The recurring effect of Misogyny in Malala Yousafzai’s real-life experiences
  • Why documentaries on Minimalism should be encouraged
  • Minimalism: a direct response to Late Capitalism
  • The wide distinction between Liberalism and NeoLiberalism

Rhetorical Situation Essay Topics for 2023

Before embarking on choosing any essay topic in a rhetorical situation, you must first understand the role of rhetoric in writing. Good rhetorical analysis essay topics aim to compel action through oral, written, visual, and sound forms. Rhetorical analysis compels the reader or the present audience to reassess their perspectives based on what you are saying or have written.

A good rhetorical analysis essay topic primarily seeks to capture the base attention of the reader or audience. One of the most common situations where rhetorics come in handy is in the political field.

However, rhetorical situation essays are impassioned, affective and are intended to capture the emotion of the reader or the audience; luring emotion is its basic and most tactical style for a call to action.

  • How the legislation on Birth Control pills has resulted in the untimely death of Women in rural areas
  • The rise of inflation and its resulting consequences in low-income homes
  • Was capitalism not okay enough? How the pandemic has displaced even more households
  • How does Popular Culture contribute to the continuous subjugation of women
  • Rape, teen pregnancy and the delegitimization of birth control pills: How they all conjure to control women’s bodies
  • Television is helping us understand the complexities of human lives
  • How the epidemic of drug abuse and its prevalence affects the lives of young Americans in the Deep South
  • Gun Control: Why we should pay attention to guns rather than women’s bodies
  • How lack of access and poverty is affecting homeschooling for young Americans
  • Paying low-income workers below minimum wage is a late capitalist concept
  • Gentrification: how it’s displacing people from their communities and homes
  • Capitalism is the main reason why millennials can’t afford to buy a house
  • The capitalist undertones of the “black to office” maximum
  • The Vernacular of Fatphobia in American Popular Culture
  • This is why America isn’t Post-racial
  • Myth: The Post-racial American Society
  • Why the rhetoric “The Future of Remote Work is Lonely” is a Myth
  • The Fatphobia of the American Wellness Culture
  • How Homeschooling is Demoralizing Teachers
  • Navigating various identities: the reality of the immigrant household
  • The Big lessons from Covid era: the diminishing returns of Hyper-productivity
  • What it means to be displaced within a Pandemic
  • Rhetorical Analysis of the Work Culture
  • The Unrealized myth of Self-care culture
  • The US Women as Social safety nets
  • Analysis of how Email became Work
  • What the Pandemic has taught workers about Unionism
  • The insidious nature of work culture and how it contributes to Burnouts
  • How Publishing is promoting Diversity and Inclusivity
  • Want it means to live within a pandemic as a low-income worker

30 Rhetorical Analysis Example Topics

The challenge that students often face when asked to write a rhetorical essay is the problem of how to craft a topic that best conveys their thoughts as well as that which they can grasp easily and have adequate available and accessible information on.

There are so many researchable ideas to write on; the hitch is often crafting your topic into something capable of inciting attention and encouraging conversations.

This is because, in rhetorics and persuasive writing, the rhetorical analysis topics for essay are also of crucial importance as much as the content. Here are some easy rhetorical analysis topics.

  • Why is Disneyland referred to as the Happiest Place on the Planet Earth
  • Why free Sanitary items is essential in every public space
  • The impact of Hip Hop in growing the Feminist Consciousness
  • Ted Talk: How it gives and encourages voices
  • Why Some blogs become Influential within a short period
  • The Myth of Consistency is Key
  • How Access is Key
  • How Shame culture emerged from Respectability Culture
  • Calling Survivors of Abuse Victims is Derogatory
  • How Speaking up exposes Survivors to more Harm
  • Analysis of Cancel Culture and Social Media Justice
  • The Importance of Commercials on Tv
  • How Commercials promote Falsehood
  • The impacts of Colorism and the Issue of Color Complex
  • A Room of One’s Own : The coming of Virginia Woolf before her time
  • A Rhetorical Analysis of Reality Tv
  • This is how Commercials can be more Relatable
  • How Relatability Tv impacts us
  • The importance of Inclusivity, Diversity, and Representation in Popular Culture
  • The Therapeutic effect of Representation
  • The Therapeutic effect of Yoga and Meditation
  • Why Low-income Workers should be exempted from Tax
  • The Ripple Effect of the Internet on Young Adults
  • Where the realistic depiction of Tv begins and ends
  • An Existential analytical approach to the works of Sylvia Path
  • The Rhetorical strategy in Frederick Douglas’ Memoir
  • Rhetoric as style in Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream
  • Why the Bob Dylan Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 was deserving
  • Award Culture is slowly Killing Creativity
  • A Historical approach to Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

Ideas on Rhetoric Research Paper Topics

Every writing within academia hinges on the effective use of rhetorical situation essay topics; this is because the basis of everything done within academia is to impact ideas through the use of language and this language is usually persuasive in nature even while it seeks to educate.

For university students, it’s most likely very rare that you can run away from rhetoric research paper topics during your school year, in fact, it’s a prerequisite while in school.

It comes in the form of assignments, research, and term papers. If you are looking for topics, there are a variety of good topics to write a rhetorical analysis on. Below is a list of rhetorical analysis assignment ideas.

  • An Analysis of the Rhetorical Device implored in Beowulf
  • A Case study of Contemporary Popular Culture
  • The political and social implications of 90’s Hip Hop
  • A Comparative Analysis of Tv shows and Movies
  • The Futility of the American Dream as explored in F.S Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
  • The Symbolic exploration of “The Green Light” in The Great Gatsby
  • The Impact of Technological Innovation on American Student’s attention span
  • The Misogyny of the American Entertainment Industry
  • Structural Racism: The Mother of Gentrification
  • The Growing Concern of the Broken American Childcare System
  • The Triumph and the Bold Rhetorics employed in Diversity Tv
  • Restructuring: Why Diversity, Inclusivity, and Representation should be Championed
  • Purity Culture: A social construct that seeks to control women’s body
  • The representation distinction in the movie adaptation of Push and the book
  • A Comparative Analysis of Digital Literature and Traditional Literature
  • Innovation: The growing effects of Technological advancement
  • Late Capitalism: Self-care culture as a tool
  • The need for Inclusivity in the discussion of Beauty Culture
  • American Gun Culture and how it perpetuates greater harm
  • Domestic Violence, Abuse: The Battered Woman Syndrome
  • Affirmative Action: A Tool for Subjugation and Intellectual Relegation of the Minority Communities
  • Race Relations: The future of the American System
  • The Intrinsic effect of the exploration and promotion of interracial marriage on American popular Culture
  • Obesity: The distinction between Fatphobia and a need for Medical Attention
  • The Evolution of Identity Politics within the American System
  • Diversity Higher: Why America Needs a quick Racial intervention
  • A Comparative Study of 90s Hip Hop Culture and early 2010s Hip Hop
  • Rape Culture, Victim Blaming: The need to listen to Survivors
  • The Explicit Way American Hip Hop Explores Abuse and Misogyny
  • The Institutional Bias of the American System

Rhetorical Argument Essay Topics

When writing an argumentative essay, rhetoric is employed as the tool to not just convey thoughts and opinions but also to capture the interest of the audience or reader(s).

In any rhetorical argument essay, the writer must employ ethos, pathos, and logos as this enables the writer to navigate the topic better. For every form of rhetorical argumentative essay, there has to be a thoroughly carried out research, an understanding of the audience, a solid thesis statement, and the use of a writing style that captures attention.

The basis of an argumentative essay is that it must contain persuasive elements, without that, the argument isn’t complete. Here are some rhetorical argument essay topics to look into while writing your essay.

  • Can Drug Abuse be Contained by Legalizing and Regulating certain Drugs?
  • High-end and Fast fashion, how does it contribute to the Unhealthy lifestyle in our environment
  • Does a Democratic system have any significant drawbacks?
  • Why working moms and nursing moms should be given more workplace privilege
  • Why Maternal paid leave should be legalized
  • Is Cyberbullying capable of affecting mental health?
  • Should Diversity Higher, Affirmative Action and Inclusivity be made mandatory?
  • Does Feminism obscure the need for women to lash out at their fellow women?
  • Is Religion really the Opium of the Masses as Suggested by Karl Max?
  • Are there significant drawbacks to marrying off of a Dating App?
  • How Social Media Fame negatively impacts one’s real-life experiences
  • Is the presence of Artificial Intelligence going to lead to human extinction?
  • How hyperactivity on Social media plays out in impacting loneliness
  • Is there a possibility of Electronic money wiping out paper money?
  • Can human society experience growth without the presence of technology?
  • Is the consistent attachment to cell phones contributing to depression and anxiety?
  • Do public cameras infringe on individual privacy?
  • Is sustainable living capable of helping us reverse Climate Change?
  • Limiting Children’s screen time, does it contribute to their academic growth?
  • Should people be encouraged to use Marijuana now its health benefits have been dictated?
  • Are Academic Stress and excessive academic workload a form of psychological torture?
  • Has homeschooling improved the nature and operation of the school system?
  • Does beauty pageantry influence the concept and idea of beauty in society?
  • Is it Ethical to demand maternity leave for fathers?
  • Is Killing a Murderer a Punishable offense?
  • Should High school children be introduced to sex education in school?
  • How does the knowledge of sex education impact high schoolers?
  • Lecturer-Student friendship: is it an ethical practice?
  • Are students supposed to bring school work back home?
  • Impromptu test within the University system: Cancelled or Promoted?
  • Does access to so much information lead to Misinformation?
  • Does homeschooling contribute to students’ anti-socialism?
  • Should College Education be made completely free?
  • Will free education make or mar the performance of the academic institution?
  • Is GPA a sound determinant of intelligence?

Visual Rhetoric Essay Topics

There are different means through which rhetoric can be employed as a communication feature. Rhetorics occur in oral form, in written format as well as in the visual display. Visual rhetoric essay topics detail effective communication that is attained through the use and analysis of visual images, this is what differentiates it from other forms of rhetorical essays.

Communication through visual presentation has been noted to be effective and visual rhetoric makes communication and understanding very easy. It occurs in movies, painting, commercials, and other forms of art exploration.

For college students, especially those majoring in media studies and visual arts, assignments usually fall under visual rhetoric essays and visual text analysis. Here are some of the topics to look at within this subject matter.

  • Analyze the impact of TV Commercials and Ads on consumers
  • A case study of a prominent Hollywood production and the visual arts involved
  • Rhetorical analysis of the emotional appeals employed in web ads
  • Dissecting the ad of a TV Commercial and its implications
  • The emotional appeal within the movie The Help and permeates the entire Movie
  • A critical exploration of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa Painting
  • The use of Lighting and Effect in Movies and what they Signify
  • The Cinematography of a Movie: A Language of its own
  • How Visual Commercials influence us more than Written Commercials
  • An exploration of the use of visuals in marketing
  • Analysis of Yellow Journalism
  • What is the most effective visual ad you’ve seen and how did it influence you towards a product?
  • How Visual ads increase people’s purchasing power
  • An in-depth analysis of effective visual campaigns
  • How TV influences our understanding of and our relation to society

Having a Hard Time Thinking of Rhertorical Analysis Topics?

Writing a rhetorical essay can be quite tasking as it requires that you embark on extensive research, digging through myriad materials in order to have a substantial essay. What is required to achieve a sound essay can really be a lot of work especially if you’re already engulfed with other activities. Nevertheless, there is the presence of fast expert writers online that offer essay writing help to you in any situation. Our essay writing service isn’t just high quality but is also very cheap. You do not just get the value of a great job, but also the promise of high grades and a stress-free and reliable service.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Cathy A.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics & Ideas for Students

10 min read

Published on: Jul 23, 2020

Last updated on: Oct 30, 2023

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

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Rhetorical essay is a challenging task for some students, and it requires proper planning and time. In this type of essay, topic selection is the main thing, and many writers confuse it when choosing a topic for the essay. This blog will help you in selecting a topic for a rhetorical essay.

In a rhetorical analysis essay, the writer defines a problem, deeply analyzes it, makes a specific argument related to the topic, and supports it with strong evidence. It is a form of academic essay writing about a piece of literature, art, or a speech.

Writing a good rhetorical essay needs enough information that you analyze it quickly. This type of essay teaches you many skills and improves your thinking. The writer thinks critically and performs an objective analysis.

For essay writers, this essay becomes the most challenging task, and it requires that the writer evaluate the purpose of the original content. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay requires the ability to analyze the language.

Numerous analytical papers differ by the object of analysis like you can analyze the movie, book, phenomenon, etc. The papers’ structure will be the same, but the only difference is the context you provide.

This type of essay writing requires an understanding of the subject matter and intended audience. The rhetorical essay is not a narrative or a reflective piece of essay writing, but the writer’s opinion still matters.

If you are writing a rhetorical essay choosing the right topic is the first thing that makes your writing phase easier. It becomes a daunting task if you don’t know how to choose the right topic for a rhetorical essay.

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Rhetorical analysis essay topic selection becomes a difficult task for some writers. If you are looking for rhetorical analysis essay topics for your  college essay , then you are in the right place. Here are the best topics for a rhetorical analysis essay that you can use for your academic assignment. Choose from them and write an effective essay.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics 2022

  • Obama’s Final Farewell Speech
  • Speech from President Trump
  • Analyze Edgar Allen Poe’s poem ‘Raven.’
  • The recipe for a happy life
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • A nation among nations
  • The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz
  • England in 1819” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  • A popular song
  • William Shakespeare. King Lear.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Movies

  • Analyze a famous historical movie
  • The insider
  • Write an analysis of Romeo and Juliet
  • Sam Worthington in Avatar
  • The Great Gatsby
  • A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Octavia Spencer in the Help

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for College Students

  • One Direction’s “Story of My Life”
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech
  • “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls
  • Inaugural address by President Joseph R. Biden
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
  • Leonardo’s “The Last Supper” from 1497
  • Analysis of James Joyce’s Ulysses
  • “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare.
  • “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls.
  • Animal Farm

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics about Speeches

  • Speech from Finding Forrester
  • Charlie Chaplin The Great Dictator
  • How does Mahatma Gandhi persuade the listener to Quit India, 1942?
  • Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations
  • Queen Elizabeth’s intentions in Spanish Armada speech, 1588.
  • Chief Joseph “Surrender Speech”
  • Gettysburg Monologue in Remember the Titans
  • Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”
  • Analysis of the farewell address of a famous president
  • “Every Man a King” by Huey Pierce Long.

Easy Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
  • Web of fries
  • Enough movie
  • A favorite poem was written by William Shakespeare.
  • Silent Voices In Three Poems
  • "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" Analysis
  • Importance of theme of hope in literature
  • An impactful new writer
  • "Huckleberry Finn" Rhetorical Analysis
  • The importance symbolism plays in novels

Funny Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Do you love your family members or not?
  • Bananas are delicious fruit for children.
  • Are vegetables rich in the winter or summer season?
  • The fact does not support the rhetorical questions.
  • Do you like your friends or not?
  • How do the monkeys live in the zoo?
  • "Yes, Please" By Amy Poehler
  • "Witches Loaves" By O'Henry
  • Commonly used rhetorical devices
  • Do bees bring honey or not?
  • Flowers are the eyes of nature

Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Yellow journalism
  • Culture and arts
  • Art through history
  • Analyze a piece of work from the Parks library
  • Show the use of sound, music, and narration in presentations
  • Is advertising making people materialistic
  • Art comparison over decades
  • “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer.
  • The rhetoric of blogs and online writing.
  • The Painted Veil

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics about Advertisements

  • California Milk Processor Board: Got Milk?
  • Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth.
  • Macdonald: “I'm lovin' it”
  • Apple: Think Different.
  • M&M: Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands
  • Pepsi: That's What I Like
  • Panasonic: Ideas for Life
  • Harley Davidson: All for Freedom. Freedom for All
  • L’Oréal: Because You’re Worth It
  • Nike: There Is No Finish Line.

How to Choose a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topic?

A rhetorical analysis essay might be a problem for students, especially if they choose a tough topic for the essay. Pick a good topic for an essay, and solve several writing problems.

Every writer wants to make their writing piece interesting and encourage the reader to read the entire essay. It all depends on the essay topic; if the topic is good, it automatically grabs the target audience’s attention.

The topic is the first thing that grabs the reader’s attention. The topic of the essay should be strong and effective.

Choosing the right topic for an essay becomes a difficult job for some writers. Here are the few tips that every writer should follow when selecting the topic for a rhetorical essay.

Firstly define your objective before choosing the topic. Choose the topic that interests you and make sure that the topic has scope for research or writing. Write on something that you have no idea about or no wider scope; it makes your writing process tough.

Never write about something that is not interesting and boring. If you make your writing phase easier, choose a good interesting topic, and start researching it.

Brainstorming helps the writer in the topic selection phase. Never choose a topic that is too narrow, and you have no resources. Brainstorm the ideas and note down on the paper, choose the one you find interesting, and have enough information.

But one thing to keep in mind if you have so much information, it will take weeks to learn what you need to compose your analysis.

Choose the topic carefully after brainstorming and create a well-crafted essay.

When choosing the topic for an essay, one thing to keep in mind is that you have little knowledge about it. Write about something unfamiliar to you will not make your essay a successful one.

Gather data for the essay from the relevant sources, and you know about the topic. Otherwise, it becomes a strenuous task for you.

If your teacher gives you a choice to choose the topic, then reflect your interest in the topic.

Research is another way of picking the right topic for essays. Make a list of topics that you find interesting in the brainstorming phase. When you finally choose the topic for the essay, start the research process.

Do some background research and gather relevant information about the topic. If you collect enough information that you want, then make this topic final for your essay.

Choose the topic by knowing your opposing viewpoints, and you must have an argument. If you gather information, then collect from sources with different audiences for truly opposing viewpoints.

Never choose a topic that you do not know about anything; otherwise, you will spend months learning the opposing viewpoints’ background details.

Choose a topic that shows the present viewpoints and beliefs in the essay through analysis.

After some research, you will be still unable to choose a topic for an essay, then consult your teacher for guidance. The list you prepare in the brainstorming phase shows them to your teacher and asks them for help. They guide you better in the essay topic section phase and reduce your stress.

Uncommon topics are hard to write and become difficult for the reader to understand. If you choose a topic that is not so common, then you will never get relevant data. Uncommon topics are not a good way of choosing a topic; it makes your writing phase tough.

Tips for Writing the Best Rhetorical Essay

Writers always follow tips and create a successful essay. Here are some tips that give your essay a professional touch, and you can get grades from your teacher.

  • The essay topic should be catchy and attention-grabbing, so the reader reads the whole essay.
  • The opening paragraph of the essay should be catchy and interesting.
  • Use correct transitions in the body paragraphs.
  • Summarize the main points in the conclusion section.
  • Use simple sentences and try to avoid obscure words or sentences.
  • Gather information from relevant sources such as research papers, articles, books, journals, and government/organization websites.
  • Make your essay authentic and not add fake information.

Writing a rhetorical paper is not a difficult task if you follow proper guidelines. The topic of the essay also plays a vital role in a good essay.

If you get better grades and need professional help from  CollegeEssay.org . Try our AI essay generator and get an essay in no time.

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100 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Rhetorical analysis essay topics always stood out from other tasks of similar nature. There are many assignments students get at college, but this one is more difficult, largely because few people understand what it even means. Rhetorical analysis means writing an essay where you research a specific text or speech and determine what elements it contains to impact the audience.

These could be literary devices, plot, characterization, style, method of influence, and many other things. To write a good essay, you should understand what makes an author’s rhetoric effective, but even more importantly, you must choose an appropriate topic for your future analysis. The choice is vast, so it’s not an easy task, but fortunately, we have many interesting options you could choose from.

How to Pick Rhetorical Analysis Ideas

The first thing to know is that any topic you select must resonate with your believes in particular. Sure, it has to have academic value — one cannot just write whatever comes into their mind, but your own interest is almost equally important. If you think the text you’re analyzing is boring, you’ll never succeed with your essay. If you hate your chosen topic, there is actually a bigger chance of getting great results with it because you could always pick a negative stance, introducing an argument against the author’s usage of literary techniques. So, passion for the text is everything, whether it’s of positive or negative nature. Recall any works that affected you on some level and use them as the basis for your essay.

Another strategy for picking good topics for rhetorical analysis is to discuss it with friends or professors. They might not know your preferences, but they could give new ideas through their brainstorming. Doing research before you start working on assignment is also crucial. For example, you decided to analyze a short article written by an unknown writer, but you don’t entirely understand how rhetorical analysis works. You won’t be able to find other similar analyses available, so you’ll be stuck. If this is your first try, be sure to select an essay topic other people have already explored before — it’ll give an idea of how to proceed.

100 Rhetorical Analysis Topics List Developed for You

Still feeling uncertain? It’s not a problem, so there is no need to worry! Take a look at the list we’ve composed below. It has 100 topics you could use for your essay.

Easy Rhetorical Analysis Essays Topics

Let’s start with something you won’t have any problems with! Some texts are widely known, so finding research on them isn’t difficult.

  • What literary devices used in “Pride and Prejudice” turn this book into being so popular even now?
  • Literary tactics used within Wordsworth’s poems
  • What symbolism do Harry Potter’s green eyes have?
  • What makes TV Hannibal Lecter’s monologues influential?
  • Fox Mulder’s vs. Dana Scully’s modes of persuasion
  • How true love is depicted in cartoons to resonate with children?
  • Tone of TV Sherlock Holmes & Why he rubs people the wrong way
  • Why are King Arthur’s speeches inspiring within ‘Merlin’ TV show?
  • Describe setting of the Hunger Games & Explain what makes it gruesome
  • Explore choice of dresses in your favorite TV show & Explain what it implies

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Ideas For High School

Good rhetorical analysis essay topics for high school are also pretty easy. Here they are.

  • Frankenstein novel and movies: Their stylistic similarities and differences
  • Why is Ron Weasley less compelling character for many readers/viewers?
  • How setting in ‘Games of Thrones’ reflects its plot
  • Which elements help create the perfect setting in magical realism genre
  • Why are movies usually worse than books they are based on?
  • Harry Potter in the movies vs. books: Differences in portrayal
  • Elements within fiction that inspire fans to write fanfiction on its basis
  • Three stories by Kate Chopin – Their similarities in terms of stylistics
  • Why Romeo and Juliet are still known in our days?
  • Details about secondary characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Rhetorical Essay Prompts For College

How about rhetorical analysis example topics for college? They are a little more complicated, but it just makes them all the more interesting!

  • Your favorite Shakespeare’s poem & Why you like it
  • Role that color green plays in Twilight saga
  • Analyze appearance of vampires from Twilight vs. Interview with a Vampire
  • Compare movies based on Stephen King’s works versus his novels
  • Explore every chilling element in “The Birthmark” by Hawthorne
  • Choose your favorite novel and elaborate on how characters communicate in it
  • Soap operas & Why many people consider characters’ behavior in them exaggerated
  • Setting and conflict in Joyce’s “Ulysses”
  • Analyze the major conflict in Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”
  • Elements of presidency and dictatorship within “Hunger Games”

Non-Fictional Ideas

Analyzing fiction is the most popular choice, but how about rhetorical essay topics on other kinds of works?

  • Trump’s least effective speech: Why was it not successful?
  • Obama’s introduction of new health policies: How did people react?
  • What tactics should ancient kings’ speeches follow to motivate their armies?
  • Surrender speech, its weaknesses & strengths
  • What elements should historical books have to be perceived as convincing?
  • Pathos in real-life stories written by survivors of tragic events
  • How to separate true accounts written by victims from fake ones?
  • Choose any article written by journalist and analyze its efficiency
  • Ethos in reports presented by medical personnel
  • Logos of arguments used by teachers to prove usefulness of their subjects to students

 Rhetorical Topics for Art and Culture

Creative topics for rhetorical analysis essay is something lots of students prefer.

  • Why is Mona Lisa’s smile considered elusive?
  • Painting that stopped you in your tracks
  • Most successful billboards ever created
  • Least effective billboards you have ever seen
  • Song that you consider the best representative of your culture
  • Advertisement that struck a chord with you
  • Can rap be considered American cultural heritage?
  • What makes known blogs popular?
  • Which elements help make a successful ad?
  • What design of an apartment could say about its owner

Ideas for Rhetorical Analysis Essay on Movies

Probably everyone likes movies. If so, these rhetoric topics might be your best pick.

  • Analyze actors’ performance in ‘Titanic’: Is it believable?
  • How do horror movies manage to scare their audience?
  • How fighting scenes in ‘Twilight’ look
  • ‘Saw’ movie: A mindless horror or a chilling thriller?
  • Which version of King Kong is better and why?
  • Analyze the oldest movie and techniques used in it for influencing audience.
  • Which Harry Potter movie is the worst in an entire franchise?
  • Compare versions of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ & State which one stays closest to the original
  • Can we consider “Jurassic Park” impressive in our days?
  • Compare Chinese action movies against American ones

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History Prompts

The past is fascinating, and these rhetorical analysis paper topics could help analyze it more deeply.

  • Pick an old historical figure & Analyze how they became known
  • Winston Churchill: His actions versus his words
  • What people thought about honesty in the past & How did they express it?
  • Why are many important historical documents locked away from the public?
  • Analyze reasons for WW2 based on available historical documents
  • How weddings were organized in the past & What do people do now to express their love?
  • What role symbolism played in Ancient Egypt?
  • People’s dreams of immortality and how they progressed over the years based on literature & art
  • Understanding how Syrian politics promoted war
  • Analyze setting in Troy and reasons that brought war into it

Advanced Rhetorical Ideas

If you like a challenge, check out these more difficult rhetorical essay topic ideas.

  • Portrayal of hope in three different works of art: How did their authors express it?
  • Value and meaning of food as presented in “Hunger Games”
  • What does the Stag man mean in TV show “Hannibal”?
  • Depictions of Mind Palace in “Sherlock” and “Hannibal”
  • Christmas in poor vs. rich families in literature: How are they portrayed?
  • Analyze every speech of Martin Luther King in regard to their effectiveness
  • How animals communicate within different literary works
  • Compare & Contrast leadership strategies of two historically relevant people
  • Why is Mother Teresa talked about still? Delve deeply into reasons
  • Pick two different ambitious people & Evaluate how they fought to realize these ambitions

Enjoy What You Write and Write What You Enjoy

We hope that our list of topics helped find good rhetorical analysis topics. Pick any idea and develop it into a unique essay. Personal involvement means a lot when it comes to analysis, especially of a rhetorical nature. Since it requires taking firm position on a subject, you should have an actual interest in it. Remember what stories you’ve read before, think about the last inspirational or funny speech, and you’re ready to go!

But if something else is bothering you and you don’t feel up to looking for topics for rhetorical analysis, let us know. We’ve been assisting students in different ways including essay, research paper of coursework writing service  for quite a while, so we could help figure out which theme to choose or even craft an essay in your stead. Explain your requirements, talk with your specialist, and get your essay done right by your deadline.

Can’t come up with a topic for you paper? We’ve prepared a collection of essay topics for you

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40 Unique Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

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When it comes to rhetorical analysis essays, you might be wondering where to begin. Choosing your rhetorical analysis essay topic is a great starting point. To help you choose the best topic, explore these 40 unique rhetorical analysis essay topics covering media, movies, speeches, and literature.

What Is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

When it comes to rhetorical analysis , you are looking at something and analyzing its effect on you and its audience. While many times a rhetorical analysis essay is about a piece of literature or a speech, it can be about a piece of art or a movie. You might even do a rhetorical analysis of a commercial or billboard. However, to create an effective rhetorical analysis essay, you need to make sure that you have enough information available to analyze it.

Best Topics for Writing Rhetorical Essay

When choosing a topic for a rhetorical essay, choose a topic you are interested in. It should also have enough information for you to use in the essay. Popular topics to choose are famous poems, speeches, movies, art, literature, etc.

Relevant Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Rhetorical analysis topics can go beyond just famous presidents and Mel Gibson in Braveheart . Explore these unique rhetorical analysis topics that cover current events, art, and movies.

  • “ Do Schools Kill Creativity? ” from Ted Talk or another interesting TedTalk topic
  • “A Starry Night” by Van Gogh
  • The Dove Real Beauty campaign
  • Speech from President Trump
  • The movie The Blind Side
  • The meaning behind Mona Lisa’s smile
  • A blog that you are passionate about
  • A billboard that made you think
  • A popular song
  • Rachel Platten’s Fight Song
  • BBC World “ See Both Sides of the Story ” Billboard
  • Controversial Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso
  • The rhetoric used by your favorite product’s campaign

Unique Literature Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Topics lists are full of rhetorical analysis topics covering Shakespeare’s Hamlet and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby . However, to make your essay truly memorable, you might want to give these literary topics a try.

  • An impactful new writer
  • The Hunger Games vs The Lottery
  • How different writers define heroism
  • Use of symbolism Harry Potter series
  • Animal Farm
  • Meaning in the book I am the Cheese
  • Importance of theme of hope in literature
  • Issues of race and prejudice as the theme in a current novel
  • The importance symbolism plays in novels
  • Rhetorical strategies used in your favorite novel
  • Feminism and Louisa May Alcott
  • Literary devices used by Jane Austen
  • Symbolism in The Things They Carried

Unique Speech Ideas for Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

When it comes to rhetorical analysis essays, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of Martin Luther King Jr. However, if you want a truly unique rhetorical analysis essay, look beyond the obvious to these unique and current speech topics.

  • Bob Dylan’s “ Banquet Speech ” for Nobel Banquet
  • Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations
  • “Soul of a Man” speech in Remember the Titans
  • Pink's 2017 VMA acceptance speech
  • Saving Private Ryan “ The Farther From Home I Feel ”
  • Ashton Kutcher Teen Choice Awards
  • Winston Churchill “ We Shall Fight on the Beaches ”
  • “ Seize the Day ” from Dead Poets Society
  • Chief Joseph “ Surrender Speech ”
  • Alexander the Great Speech
  • Charlie Chaplin The Great Dictator
  • Any Given Sunday speech
  • MLK’s “ The Other America ” speech
  • Virginia Woolf’s “ A Room of One’s Own ”

Rhetorical Analysis Essays Topics

When it comes to rhetorical analysis topics, you are only limited by your imagination. For more information on rhetoric, you might want to look at examples of rhetoric . You can also explore pathos, logos and ethos along with rhetorical question examples .

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122 Various Rhetorical Analysis Topics To Help Your Progress

rhetorical analysis topics

Many students don’t know where to start when choosing rhetorical analysis topics for academic papers. That’s because writing about these topics requires students to explore the subject in detail and prove their standpoint. Usually, educators expect learners to use effective and persuasive methods to achieve this goal. In simple terms, a rhetorical essay involves writing about writing. This article presents a rhetorical analysis topics list for learners at different educational levels. It’s useful because it provides helpful ideas to help students with difficulties create interesting titles for their papers.

What Is Rhetorical Analysis?

Before diving into the list of rhetorical analysis topics, let’s define rhetoric.

A dictionary will say rhetoric is “the effective or persuasive art of writing or speaking, especially one that exploits figures of speech and other compositional techniques.”

However, rhetoric is more than just an art form. It’s also a tool that a writer can use to achieve a specific goal. In the context of academic writing, learners often use rhetoric to persuade the reader to see things from their point of view. For example, consider the following statement:

“The death penalty is naturally an inhuman and cruel punishment that governments should abolish.”

This statement is an example of rhetoric because the writer uses persuasive language to make an argument. They want to convince the reader that the death penalty is wrong and governments should stop it.

What Are Good Rhetorical Analysis Topics?

Good rhetorical analysis titles allow the writer to analyze something and its effect on the audience or themselves. Although a rhetorical analysis essay can be about a speech or literature, it can also be about a movie or art. Some educators even ask learners to write rhetorical analyses about billboards or commercials. Nevertheless, an ideal topic allows the writer to acquire and analyze sufficient information. Remember, the goal of a rhetorical analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of an argument or a piece of work. Therefore, pick a topic that allows you to do this. Once you’ve known what rhetorical analysis is and what makes good topics, let’s delve into some of the titles worth considering.

Best Topics For Rhetorical Analysis In 2023

Maybe you’re looking for the best ideas to consider for your academic essays or papers. In that case, here are some of the titles to consider for your write-up.

  • How social media affects body image
  • Common rhetorical strategies in advertising
  • What is the relationship between violence and video games?
  • How does music affect mood?
  • The role of the internet in education
  • Should governments lower the legal drinking age?
  • Should governments legalize marijuana?
  • Euthanasia: To be or not to be?
  • Cloning: The ethical implications and applications
  • Is homeschooling a viable educational alternative?
  • Is childhood obesity a reflection of bad parenting?
  • Are beauty pageants exploitative?
  • Should the government censor the internet?
  • Can the death penalty deter crime?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • Are zoos ethical?
  • Should governments dictate the number of children a family can have?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose the sex of their child?
  • Is it ethical to buy organs on the black market?
  • What are the ethical implications of human cloning?
  • The impact of social media on relationships
  • How do the media influence body image and eating disorders?
  • The effect of advertising on consumerism
  • Exploring music’s influence on emotions
  • Investigating the internet’s impact on education
  • The changing face of family structure and its effects
  • The pros and cons of homeschooling
  • Cyber-bullying- Its impact and how to prevent it
  • School uniforms: Are they necessary?
  • Religion in schools: Should the government allow it?
  • Censorship in schools: What are the criteria for choosing books, art, music, and film?
  • Are standardized tests an accurate measure of student ability?
  • Is tracking students by ability level beneficial?
  • Should schools eliminate homework?
  • Is the current educational system preparing students for the workforce?

Pick any of these ideas and investigate them to provide a detailed analysis. You can consult different sources to present an informative paper.

Rhetorical Analysis Ideas For College Students

Perhaps, you’re pursuing your college or university education, and the professor wants you to write a rhetorical analysis essay. In that case, here’s a list of topic ideas to consider for your paper.

  • How do authors use ethos, pathos, and logos in their work?
  • What is the purpose of the author’s argument?- Provide an example
  • Choose a piece of literary work and describe the target audience
  • Explain the methods the author uses to persuade their audience- Choose your scholarly work.
  • Explain the implications of the author’s argument in your preferred literary work
  • Use an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the author’s rhetoric
  • The rhetoric issue in Plato’s Republic
  • Why did “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King break the internet?
  • Rhetorical analysis of the film, Black Panther
  • Analyze the speech writing power in George Washington’s speeches
  • Rhetorical devices and their use in television advertising
  • Analyzing the rhetorical analysis devices in the Monalisa portrait
  • Literary devices and their function in plays and poetry
  • Rhetorical devices in Harry Porter
  • Analyzing the September 11 speech- Which rhetorical devices stand out?
  • How online content like blogs use rhetoric
  • Analyze your favorite book and show how it affected your life
  • Analyze rhetorical devices in your preferred political speech of the 21st century
  • How technology facilitates the manipulation of rhetoric devices
  • Analyzing rhetorical devices in Charles Spurgeon’s sermons
  • Rhetorical analysis of The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin
  • Critical analysis of a scene from your favorite movie- Highlight rhetoric devices
  • What marks acceptance speeches, and how do speakers use rhetorical devices
  • Rhetoric in preaching- How preachers impact the congregation
  • Discuss how authors use solitude in literature

These college-level rhetorical analysis ideas allow you to investigate different aspects of writing. Also, they provide a detailed perspective that helps you understand how to approach the assignments.

Good Rhetorical Analysis Topics For High School Learners

Maybe you’re in high school, and the teacher wants you to write a rhetorical analysis essay. If so, this list has ideal titles to consider for your paper.

  • Can a real friendship exist between a dog and a man?
  • Language is crucial to society- A detailed rhetorical analysis
  • The dog is the best housekeeper- A rhetorical analysis of this phrase
  • A comparison of how men and women consume ad messages
  • Rhetorical analysis of women’s attitudes towards fashion compared to men
  • Consumerism and environment- A rhetorical analysis
  • Analysis and summary of “The Kite Runner.”
  • The Animal Farm- A detailed rhetorical analysis of this book
  • Write a rhetorical analysis essay on your favorite birthday
  • A detailed rhetorical analysis of a speech by the school’s head teacher on graduation day
  • Rhetorical analysis of the inaugural address by your favorite teacher
  • Rhetorical analysis of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s speech
  • Rhetorical analysis and themes of William Shakespeare’s Pride and Prejudice
  • Online consumers- A detailed rhetorical analysis of their behavior
  • A rhetorical analysis of the electronic media’s impact on culture
  • Social media and its power- A rhetorical analysis of its power in turning the world into a global village
  • Olympics and World Cup- A detailed rhetorical analysis
  • National anthem in Olympic games- A rhetorical analysis
  • A rhetorical analysis of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
  • Primary themes in Alice in the Wanderland- A rhetorical analysis

These are good topics to write a rhetorical analysis on if you’re in high school. However, you may want to read some books or study the works to write informative and winning papers.

Easy Rhetorical Analysis Topics

Maybe you don’t have adequate time to read or investigate somebody else’s work and write about it. In that case, the following ideas could be excellent for your titles.

  • The Hunger Games- What are this work’s most practical rhetorical strategies?
  • How ancient and modern stylistic devices differ
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf- Exploring the primary rhetorical devices
  • Rhetorical analysis of the class representative’s speech on the Memorial Day
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray- Investigating the critical stylistic devices
  • Develop a rhetorical composition of varying religious texts
  • Rhetorical analysis of Mona Lisa’s smile and its meaning
  • A detailed rhetorical analysis of pop-culture songs
  • Rhetorical analysis of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso
  • Heroism as a theme- How does it come out in different literary works?
  • How authors handle race and prejudice in their works
  • Rhetorical strategies in Harry Potter’s work
  • Rhetorical analysis of a speech by Alexander the Great
  • Themes and their relevance in literary texts about love and hope
  • Rhetorical analysis of Louisa May Alcott in promoting feminism
  • Investigating the American National Anthem- What are the vital rhetorical devices?
  • Does the Fight Song by Rachel Platten mark creativity and art?
  • Why do Ted Talks attract so many listeners?
  • How advertisers curate poster and billboard language in advertising
  • The impact of vivid description and symbols on literary work’s visual impression

These rhetoric topics are relatively easy to write about, but some may require a little research. Nevertheless, most learners will find working on these subjects straightforward.

Rhetoric Research Paper Topics

Maybe you’re writing a research paper and need a rhetorical title. If so, consider these ideas for your project or thesis from professional dissertation writers .

  • How has the definition of rhetoric changed over time?
  • What are the different types of rhetoric?
  • How do persuasive and argumentative rhetorics differ?
  • What are the ethical implications of rhetoric?
  • How does rhetoric affect society?
  • How can authors use rhetoric for good or evil?
  • How art uses rhetoric
  • Creative ads and symbolism
  • Game of Thrones- How does the film use visual arts?
  • Rhetorical devices in digital media campaigns
  • How does the film/television show portray its characters?
  • What is the purpose of the film/television show?
  • Who is the target audience for this piece?
  • What methods does the film/television show use to persuade its audience?
  • What are the implications of the film/television show?
  • Is the film/television show’s rhetoric effective? Why or why not?
  • Works about GMO and human health- A rhetorical analysis
  • Automated system use and rhetorical devices
  • Sports segregation by gender- a rhetorical analysis
  • Data privacy and social media- A detailed rhetorical analysis
  • College athletes’ payment- A rhetorical analysis
  • Investigating gun legalization- Rhetorical analysis of this topic

These are some of the best rhetorical analysis example topics to consider for your essay or paper. Choose a title that interests you and investigate it to present a detailed perspective.

Get Custom Essay Help Online

Maybe you have a title for your paper but not the time or skills to write a quality essay. In that case, get help from our experts to write a winning piece or undergraduate thesis. We’re professional writers with a proven track record of helping learners across the academic levels. Our crew makes completing a writing assignment an awesome experience. You will realize that writing a rhetorical paper is fun with our assistance. We will deliver a masterpiece even if you need help with an advanced essay. Moreover, we guarantee the security of the information you share with us. Also, you will consistently score top grades whenever you seek our assistance. Contact us now!

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Rhetorical Analysis Of Coca Cola

Rhetorical strategies in sunny juice and crush soda.

Juice and soda have been around for a long time, however; during that time, two brands have weathered the societal storm of advancement and have stayed effective in their reiteration the nation over. Sunny juice and Crush soda are the two brands that I have chosen for my compare and contrast of the rhetorical strategies used inside their takes note. The chief advertisement we picked was from Sunny juice. This print advancement, which we found on the web, shows a container made out of 100% of vitamin C that have stayed in American culture since their hidden rising to reputation. Next, we have the Crush soda advertisement.

Richard Seaver's Rhetorical Analysis

In Richard Seaver’s response to the Coca Cola executive, Ira C. Herbert, he replies in a tranquil manner as if he has no worry of losing the right to the use of the slogan. Grove Press respectfully acknowledges its understanding of Coca Cola’s concern, but state that “by a vote of seven to six” the continued use of the slogan had been decided (lines 17). Throughout the first half of his letter, Seaver repetitively reassures the Coca Cola Company that Grove Press wishes NOT to steal the slogan but rather share it. This repetition is essential to Seaver’s argument as it creates a sense of trust for the reader. Seaver also exemplifies Grove Press’ reasoning through the suggestion that “sales personnel make sure that what the consumer wants is

Sarah & Juan Rhetorical Devices

Companies persuade viewers to buy their goods or believe in what they want us to through rhetorical strategies. Whether by cold hard facts, logical reasoning, or an emotional story, companies rely on rhetorical strategies to persuade viewers to want their product. When presenting consumers with rhetoric for persuasion means, there must also be a framework in how to present these strategies. In the commercial “The Story of Sarah & Juan” by Extra Gum, the company tries to relate to American consumers by telling a story through narration that involves the rhetorical strategies of doxa and pathos in an attempt for us to connect to their product.

Effective Use Of Ethos, Logos, And Kairos In Advertising

First, the advertisement uses ethos. The advertisement uses ethos by showing people that are dapper, most likely upper class throughout. This would be them using rich people as a credible source to back the Coke brand. The advertisement also used Logos as a form of persuassion. It uses Logos when it talks about how smart people drink Coke to take a break from shopping to get more energy so they are able to finish their shopping.

Coca Cola Ethos Pathos Logos

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest soft drink businesses in the world so when a Coca-Cola was asking a book company to change their slogan because they were the same, it made them seem a bit unprofessional. Ira C Herbert a representative of Coca-Cola, wrote to Richard Seaver the Executive Vice President of Grove Press Inc. to modify their slogan to something different he uses rhetorical devices such as pathos, logos, and diction. Mr. Ira C. Herbert starts off his letter getting straight to the point. He uses diction to make sure Mr. Seaver knows that they are confident the company will remove the slogan.

Ethos Pathos Logos

Most advertisements contain at least one element of rhetoric; however, some commercials may use more than one element to ensure they can feel confident their ad will produce the response they are anticipating. In this essay, I will analyze some commercials and define what elements of rhetoric they are using as well as explain why the producers of those commercials chose that specific one. Producers take advantage of rhetorical elements to convince people to buy their products, whether it is pathos, a tug on the heart strings, or logos and facts, producers thoroughly take advantage of this to sell their products. 1. OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover This commercial promoting an OxiClean stain remover has generated a large amount of sales for this company due to the rhetorical devices used.

Tv Show Ethos Pathos Logos

Nate Giusti 27 March, 2023 Professor Moroles English 105 The Use of Rhetorical Strategy in Television Advertisement TV commercials are a large part of modern advertising, and they use a variety of rhetorical strategies to promote products. Rhetorical analysis is a process of examining and interpreting a rhetorical situation to understand how it works and to evaluate its effectiveness in achieving its purpose. There are three main types of rhetorical analysis: logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos refers to the use of reason and logic in a text.

Rhetorical Analysis Of Processed Foods

The author was great at informing the reader about processed foods. Processed foods are almost everywhere and have been around a long tome but many don 't know much about them. The author was great at informing the reader about this topic in addition to effectively persuading them. He was able to persuade the reader by using facts and rhetorical questions and by appealing to the reader 's

Rhetorical Analysis Chevy

The 2014 Chevy Commercial “Maddie” uses pathetic and logical appeal while using ethical appeal to compare the family to the chevy company to create a dramatic commercial drawing in the attention of viewers. Using Rhetoric in commercials and advertisements to argue a products value grabs the audience’s attention making them interested in your

Summary Of Advertisements R Us By Melissa Rubin

In Advertisements R Us by Melissa Rubin, she analyzes how advertisements appeal to its audience and how it reflects our society. Rubin describes a specific Coca-Cola ad from the 1950’s that contains a “Sprite Boy”, a large -Cola Coca vending machine, a variety of men, ranging from the working class to members of the army, and the occasional female. She states that this advertisement was very stereotypical of society during that decade and targeted the same demographic: white, working-class males- the same demographic that the Coca-Cola factories employed.

Rhetorical Analysis Of Gatorade

Dywane Wade This advertisements claim is that if someone drinks Gatorade, he or she will be as athletic as Dwayne Wade. The ad is persuasive because Dwayne Wade is one of the most athletic and skilled basketball players in the NBA, and he drinks Gatorade, so others feel that if they drink Gatorade that in return they will be just as athletic. Most people may not believe the ad to that extent, however they will at least realize the fact that if a professional athlete is using the product it must be a good decision. Gatorade made the advertisement effective because of its logical appeal, and since Dwayne Wade is a well known basketball player, and he drinks Gatorade other athletes may feel the need to as well.     The color red is used a lot in this advertisement.

Rhetorical Analysis Of Nike's Advertising

It is not that simple to get 40 million viewers on a video in YouTube! Nike Sports Company made an astonishing advertisement that mixed the meanings of rhetoric with a sense of humor to make an advertisement that hooked the audience and filled them with inspiration. The smart use of logos, pathos, and ethos by showing actual people wining prizes, a commentary that motivate the commercial figures, and real professional players from different sports made the short video special and unique. The video demonstrates that it is only a blink of an eye between being born and becoming a champion, and that we can push our limits beyond expectations.

A Rhetorical Analysis Of A Commercial

During Super Bowl Sunday, millions of people across the globe tune in to watch the game while also gawking at some of the most popular commercials of the year. Coca-Cola presented its commercial “Love Story” during this past Super Bowl. They are known for having memorable and popular advertisements, this past one was no different. “Love Story” persuades the average person to drink a Coke with any meal along with the ones they cherish.

Rhetorical Analysis Of Colgate Advertisements

Rhetorical Analysis of Colgate Advertisement Most people take care of their teeth, and in doing such, need to buy products to keep their teeth clean, and healthy. Advertisements for a toothpaste company need to be persuasive to their customers so they can keep the business. Color schemes, rhetoric, statistics, and even celebrity endorsements can all be used in advertisements to hook a customer on a product. Dental hygiene products are extremely important to some, and companies must be careful, and meticulous about how their merchandise is being portrayed.

Coca Cola Rhetorical Analysis Essay

The name of the company, Coca Cola, is considered ethos because has a history of credibility. Pathos is another important aspect of the ad where it appeals to its audience’s emotions by accessing a current situation in the United States and by promoting certain values like optimism, humanity, and unity. It shows various ways people enjoy their product and how it brings them together despite their cultural differences like riding horses, going to the movie theater with friends, going to the beach, dancing, spending time with family, etc. Last of all, logos is represented at the end of the commercial where the company’s logo and slogan are

More about Rhetorical Analysis Of Coca Cola

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Draft Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Since the formation of the United States military in 1775, there have been thousands, if not millions, of different posters/ads/commercials/news shoutouts attempting to recruit candidates. Not only has this worked for those wishing to join the military, but these posters have also captured the attention of the general public. The famous “I Want You for the US Army” poster was released in 1917. This poster depicts a man known as “Uncle Sam” pointing his finger at the person seeing the poster. The words “I want you for Us army” are written beneath Sam. This Poster has not only invited a large number of guys to join, but it has also captured the attention of millions of people.

After “I want you..” on the poster, it says “For US Army.” The catch is right here. The poster’s purpose is now clear. There is no longer any intrigue about what the poster may “want,” because the observer acknowledges the fact that the poster is for the army. At this point, the poster is looking for more logos to provide rationale for the advertisement. The image no longer has a menacing tone to the audience, and they now understand that is why the poster is there. This section of the poster is crucial because it contains the poster’s full concept.

The overall goal of my paper is to illustrate the idea that the ad of Uncle Sam pointing his finger was much deeper than just a man pointing his finger at select individuals. I want readers to begin to understand why the illustrator chose certain points and pieces for this artifact.

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Guest Essay

An Ancient Solution to Our Current Crisis of Disconnection

A black and white photo of a row of phone booths, each with a person on the phone inside.

By John Bowe

Mr. Bowe is a speech and presentation expert.

At the risk of sounding mawkishly positive, I think I’ve discovered a cheap, simple fix for our fraying social, emotional and political health.

It’s easy to bemoan our problems as intractable, blaming familiar culprits like rising wealth inequality, technology (including social media) and the corporate capture of our political system. But what if our alienation stems, at least in part, from a profound failure of our educational system to teach the habits of connection, most of which boil down to thinking of others before speaking to them?

So let’s put kids together and teach them how to talk, to hear and be heard, to resolve differences and forge consensus without flameouts, rupture, vituperation.

This solution is hardly new. Invented by educators and philosophers in ancient Greece, the discipline of rhetoric — originally defined as the study of persuasion and now more commonly known as the art of public speaking — remained the cornerstone of education until the 1700s.

Across Western Europe, students from about the age of 12 onward learned logic, social skills, critical thinking and speech techniques as a single, integrated discipline by means of a 14-step verbal and cognitive curriculum known as the progymnasmata.

Exercises began with simple recitations and enactments of fables and short stories. Later drills trained students to compose and deliver short speeches of praise and blame and, eventually, long discourses on complex themes. By writing with the intent of performing for others (rather than writing objectively for the page), students learned the art of blending fact with opinion. By mastering the techniques of persuasion, students became proficient at spotting others’ manipulative use of language.

Rhetorical training meant more than teaching students to declaim prettily; it meant arming them to engage as citizens in an irrational and contentious world. It was tantamount to installing the operating system for adult social life.

Imagine how helpful these skills might be today to address our current crises of trust and civility. Estimates vary, but the average American most likely speaks at least 10,000 words a day and possibly closer to 20,000. How remiss (and weird) is it that we’re no longer taught how to use them?

Our modern educational system, largely developed in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Reason to serve the needs of the Industrial Revolution, prioritizes the acquisition of knowledge and technical skills while demoting speech to the realm of soft skills. The result: Students spend the better part of two decades learning to solve problems on paper, then graduate into a world of real-life speech, where professional and personal success often depends on making decisions in groups of people with diverse viewpoints.

How do we expect young people to grapple with our socially complex world when we have failed so miserably to set an example or offer guidance?

My interest in rhetoric began in 2010, during a chat with my extremely reclusive Iowa step-cousin. He’d lived alone until the age of 60 in his parents’ basement with no friends, no girlfriends, then surprised the entire family by meeting someone and getting married. I asked him how he’d mustered up the courage to approach his future wife, given the depths of his isolation. “I joined the Toastmasters,” he said, referring to what is likely the world’s largest organization devoted to teaching public speaking. He’d never seen a therapist or taken meds. One or two dozen hours of speech training changed his entire life.

I’ve since learned that this is what speech training does. When speakers put themselves in their listener’s place, they find it easier to explain themselves. The confidence that we can make ourselves known and understood is transformative.

Apparently, scientists agree. Hannah Hobson, a lecturer in psychology at the University of York who has studied the connections among language, communication and mental health, especially among neurodiverse youth, has found repeatedly that the inability to express feelings or ask for help can often correlate with existing or developing mental health issues among youth. Conversely, she told me, improved communication skills correlate with youngsters’ emotional development and mental well-being.

A study this year by researchers at George Mason University similarly found that introductory speech classes and the communication competence they confer predicted improvement in three indicators of student well-being: loneliness, a sense of belonging and flourishing (defined as subjective well-being).

Lest the idea of rhetoric be dismissed as obscure or fussy for its association with antiquity or philosophy, few subjects are more straightforward to teach; it’s the soccer of academic subjects. In middle and high school, speech can be taught as a stand-alone subject or woven into existing classes. Students, for example, can deliver one report per semester out loud. A simple primer will suffice to convey the basics of audience analysis, speech organization and delivery skills. Students can critique one another and learn by observing. Another tremendous resource: the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program, which offers a curriculum spanning eight one-to-two-hour sessions.

What is nearly impossible for our modern, un-speech-trained selves to understand is that effective, confident communication — in the face of anxiety and fear of giving offense — is a technical, learnable skill.

Speech proficiency harnesses the energies of neurodiverse, nonreaderly, nonwriterly kids, conferring them with the power to compete against their more traditionally advantaged peers. If you’ve ever noticed that it’s not necessarily the most knowledgeable or pedigreed people who lead but the best communicators, you’ve unwittingly observed the primacy of these supposedly soft skills. In July the British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer pledged that if he became prime minister, he would prioritize the teaching of “oracy” to smash the “class ceiling.”

For 2,000 years, rhetorical training allowed us to talk, argue, fight, negotiate and engage — even with those we disliked. If the term feels too fancy, let’s call it success skillz. By any name we choose, it’s time to resume teaching the skills that form the basis of interaction and a civilized life.

Words are cheap indeed, but neither history nor humanity has contrived a better means of coming together to address injustice or to explore the meaning of truth (mine, yours, ours). What’s good? What’s right? What do you think? Talk to me.

John Bowe is the author of “ I Have Something to Say : Mastering the Art of Public Speaking in an Age of Disconnection,” among other books. He contributes regularly to CNBC about public speaking.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .


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  1. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

    A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

  2. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay-Examples & Template

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    With these high school rhetorical analysis essay topics, you can start your analysis and produce a strong and effective essay. The use of persuasive techniques in a political campaign ad. The rhetorical strategies used in a famous speech, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. The use of imagery and symbolism in a work of ...

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    In a rhetorical analysis essay, the writer defines a problem, deeply analyzes it, makes a specific argument related to the topic, and supports it with strong evidence. It is a form of academic essay writing about a piece of literature, art, or a speech. Writing a good rhetorical essay needs enough information that you analyze it quickly.

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