Helpful Advice On How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay

All right, so you know that you are moving up the food chain when you are asked to write a rhetorical analysis essay. These little gems require a lot more thought than say your standard informative pieces. To clarify, you can do a rhetorical analysis on art, films, books, in essence anything that is trying to get their message out to a wider audience. While many people do indeed wince at the prospect of writing one of these, you should in all fairness have been given plenty of preparation in class, and be ready to crack on and do it.

However, we all know that with the best will in the world that is not always possible, so here is my helpful advice on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay:

Do your background work

This is not the kind of assignment that you are simply going to be able to write off the cuff. You will probably need to do some extensive research before you get started. Here are just some of the many things that you need to be looking out for:

  • Separate the speaker from the narrator as they could be completely different
  • Who is the subjects intended audience?
  • How credible is the writer/producer – look for their accreditations
  • How do you feel reading/watching the piece – which emotions do they invoke?

So what else do I need to consider?

There are several other things that you will need to consider when doing your research. For example:

  • The meanings in which the work can be interpreted. (The figurative interpretation rather than the literal one)
  • Viewpoint
  • Tone and mood of the piece

Consider the evidence

Before you settle down and start firing off your essay, you need to take some time to consider the evidence in a calm and balanced manner. It is really important that you figure out your own thoughts and feelings about how you perceive it before you start doing your rhetorical analysis.

Is the material suitable for its target/audience? If not, maybe look at the reasons why.

Nail it in the intro

Introductions are important. However, with something like a rhetorical analysis it is vital that your reader understands exactly what he/she can expect. If they go into this expecting a different style, then you leave open the possibility that they might be bitterly disappointed at the end of the piece.