Many high school students will ambitiously decide to take AP English as their main language elective. Assuming they have made this decision, it is almost a definite fact that most of the students will take the AP English exam. When writing the exam, the test will require you to write three unique types of essays.
From the three possible essay styles, one of them is the rhetorical analysis essay. If you have ever seen the movie Inception, be prepared to experience a similar type of mind-boggling. There is a high percentage chance that you have never worked with this type of essay before. No worries, Our essay service will teach you everything you need to know about writing a stellar rhetorical analysis!
Table Of Contents
What Is A Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Remember I mentioned the movie Inception? Well, the concept of “a dream within a dream” is mimicked here, just with a slight alteration. Essentially, a rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that requires you to “write about the writing”.
If you have a question mark looming over your head, do not worry as this will all make sense with a little bit of reading. In this type of analysis, in order to uncover the strategies and persuasive styles that they are using to get some reaction from a crowd. Most of the time, the example topics are speeches given by influential figures. In other words, when given an essay prompt on the exam, the instructor is asking you to analyze the text and explain how all the “written parts” work together.
Since the AP exam is a time-limited task, swift and effective preparation is key to creating a powerful piece of academic writing! Considering the fact that your allotted time has to be broken down into reading, analyzing and writing, multi-tasking with reading and analyzing is a must. As you begin reading the introductory information, start taking notes of important information that will simplify the analysis process.
- Who is the author?
- What is their intended target audience?
- What is their purpose for writing this speech/document?
- In what setting are they located while giving the speech? Why specifically this setting?
Having these questions in mind and uncovering their answers will simplify the process of analyzing their strategies. At the very least it gives you something to work off, and having this information allows you to understand their methods of persuasion and how it affects the ethos, pathos, and logos.
The ingredients for persuasion, as Aristotle called them, can be broken down into three categories. There are the ethos, pathos, and logos. The ethos appeals to ethics, and this is all about providing traits and reasons as to why the speaker is a credible source of information. The pathos appeals to emotions and is a sneaky way of convincing an audience by creating an emotional response. Last but not least, we have the logos (my personal favorite) which appeals to logical and rational thinking and tries to persuade the audience through reasoning.
- “Doctors all over the world recommend this type of treatment!”
- “You’ll make the right decision because you have something that not many people do: you have the heart."
- “Thousand of years of history has taught us that war never changes”
In every AP English exam, the literary prompt will contain examples of at least one of the three persuasive methods. After using the background info to help guide you, it should not be too difficult to figure out which tactic the speaker uses. Obviously, one should practice writing rhetorical analysis essays before taking the exam!
Rhetorical Essay Outline
After reading, analyzing and jotting down supportive notes, the remaining time that you have is what will really earn you that 5 on the AP Exam! You have the figured out the strategies thanks to your meticulous note taking, and now it is all about putting pen to paper.
Following the proper structuring is the most reliable method of satisfying the professor's requests, so using the 5-6 paragraph style is your best bet. Depending on the amount of solid strategies you have found, the body paragraphs you will have to create should equal the same amount. Regardless, the intro-body-conclusion format of the paper outline remains the same!
As most of your time will be devoted to creating informative body paragraphs, the introductory paragraph should be short and sweet. To start it out briefly, summarize the main argument of the speaker. Afterward, reference “what is said” and “how it is said” to develop your own crafted opinion a.k.a thesis statement. This will explain the tone and mood as well as intrigue the reader about the rhetorical strategies you shall explain later in the text. Last but not least, put together an enlightening thesis that explains the persuasive styles used by the speaker, and their overall effect.
As the part of the essay that will have the most content, the body paragraphs have a lot of questions that need to be answered. In this part of the essay, you are explaining how the speaker develops his thesis and which devices and strategies he applies. Based on the amount of different strategies he uses, a paragraph should be devoted per strategy.
When finding a piece of evidence (quote) that matches up to the criteria of a literary device, then craft one paragraph specifically around that quote. Explain the persuasive strategy used and how the quote shows this. Your explanation should generally answer one of these four questions:
Some other things that should be taken note of within the body paragraphs are shifts in tone and diction and the varying length of sentences. Though these are smaller and do not impact your understanding of the concept of rhetorical analysis as much, knowing them shows your instructor that you have a strong grasp of style. Lastly, do not forget to make proper citations!
After fully supporting and developing your various arguments, it is time to wrap up the essay with a strong conclusion. First of all, explain how this work affected the audience and the essay as a whole. In other words, show the result that came from this impact speech!
Afterward, fully conclude your argument on each individual rhetorical device, and link them as a whole to show their significance as a unit! As a final sentence, provide an impactful overall concluding statement that showed the importance of this speech and its strategies that helped to shape history!
Overall Writing Tips
Phew, you are finally finished writing this super intense and strenuous essay with only five minutes left. Time to sit back and relax as you are finally done this section….. OR you could use this last few minutes to make your writing as flawless as possible! The second option sounds better? I agree, so let us talk about a five-step checklist that will immensely impact the quality of your essay!
- Grammar: Though this may sound like some captain obvious info, nobody likes to read a work that has punctuational errors and sentence structure problems! Keep a fair mix of short and long sentences and make sure to avoid abbreviations. This is Formal Writing remember!?
- Vocabulary: Having a wide range of vocabulary is a sure-fire way to gain some style points from the instructor. It shows that you are multidimensional and can write in a diverse number of ways. Have a quick glance at a thesaurus beforehand to keep that mental space occupied!
- Coherency: The smoother your essay sounds while it is being read, the better the content will seem. Having strong and appropriate transitions keep the essay from getting cluttered as well as using a wide range of punctuations. Do not just jump from point to point; rather, ease the reader into your next thought with smooth language!
- Use Present Tense: When writing formally or for any academic essay, make sure to use present tense writing. It helps to avoid confusion and keeps things straightforward, as well as the fact that writing should feel “at the moment”
- Respond To The Text: This can not be stressed enough. If you have ever heard your teacher say “guys, do not write a plot summary” then you already know where this is going. Avoid listing the literary devices and providing quotes along. Explain the IMPACT of each literary device and SHOW how the quote supports it specifically!
- Name Your Essay Right: It is crucially important to give your essay a suitable title as it is the first thing your reader will see. Moreover, after reading the title of your essay, they will decide whether or not it is worth their attention.
Rhetorical Analysis Example
To gain a better understanding of this writing stye, it would be useful to learn from an example.
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
Joe Baker, from EssayPro
If you are taking an AP class and you have to do a rhetorical analysis essay, then a good rule of thumb is to use a mnemonic device called DIDLES. DIDLES is an acronym for Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Sentence Structure. As soon as you sit down to annotate your text for rhetoric, keep note of the terms above. Diction will help you understand the syntax and tone of the piece. Imagery will point you to the specific places that the author chose to show rather than tell; details will demonstrate what exactly the author wanted you to pay attention to. Language is a good signifier of what mood and voice the author have, and sentence structure will help you notice whether the writing style of the author better.
While you read, don’t forget to annotate and ask yourself questions such as: is the language colloquial or professional? What does the author want to show me with this description? Why does the author include these specific facts/details? And more importantly, how does DIDLES (the bigger picture) evoke ethos, logos, and pathos from the reader. Write down everything that goes through your mind while you read and your rhetoric should be top notch.
Still Struggling to Grasp the Concept?
We get it, rhetorical essay writing is probably a new and confusing option in your writing arsenal. This is definitely one of those essays that require hours of practice to master. Luckily for you, EssayPro, top-notch paper writing service, has a team of professional paper writers that have been writing rhetorical analysis essays for several years. They too have dealt with the confusion of finding these hidden persuasive strategies, so the tips and tricks that they carry are priceless for our students. Chat with the writer and get qualified paper writing help! Whatever questions you may have, EssayPro is ready to help!
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Many students may have problems or difficulties with writing a rhetorical analysis essay. It is a special writing assignment, and students just don’t understand how to go through the creating this kind of essay.
A good rhetorical analysis essay may be written on almost any subject. It should provide a persuasive line of reasoning, effective arguments, and a summary as well as a clarification and an explanation of what do you think about the subject and why do you think so. Sometimes students prefer to order the rhetorical analysis essay. For some reasons, it can be a good decision. But remember that a rhetorical analysis essay is a part of the AP English exam. If you have to pass this exam and have no experience in writing this type of essay you may have problems. So use your chance to find out the main peculiarities and tips and read the article.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Preparation
Remember that the AP exam is a type of task which has strict time limits. If you are about to create an outstanding paper, you have to devote much energy and efforts to the preparation stage because it can determine the final result. You need to break down the time, which is allocated for the exam into three steps: reading the text, analysing, and finally writing.
Reading And Analysing The Text
Of course, you will start reading the text from its introductory information. Use the advice of professional writers and take notes about some important facts and crucial information. It will make the analysis process easier.
Write down the answers to the next questions:
- What do you know about the author of the text?
- What are the peculiarities of the target audience?
- What was the purpose of the text?
Answering these questions during reading, you will be able to simplify the analysing and writing process. They explain what strategies the author used, what persuasive methods and arguments made the article conclusive and in which way pathos, ethos, and logos were connected and interacted. Analyse the article or document taking into account ethos, logos, and pathos. You will find at least one method of persuasion when passing the AP English exam.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are three different modes of persuasion that can be used to convince the audience.
- The ethos always appeals to the ethics. It assesses the author’s credibility;
- The pathos in its turn refers to the human emotions. The author creates an effective emotional response and in this way convince the audience;
- The logos appeals to a ratio or logics. The author uses facts and reasons in order to persuade the audience.
When you have finished the analysing of separate parts or methods, you need to determine which method is the most effective to persuade the readers. You should explain why do you think the author has chosen this method or approach and does this method is really effective in a particular situation.
Creating an Outline and Writing
After reading the text and analysing it, you should review your notes. After that, you will start the process thanks to which you can earn your A+ grade. Follow the common structure of the rhetorical analysis essay and create and outline which consists of the next parts:
- Body paragraphs;
It is the reliable way to satisfy the requests of your professor.
It is the shortest part of the paper, but still important. You will devote the biggest part of your time to body paragraphs in order to make them informative and persuasive. That’s why you will not have enough time for introduction, so you have to make it short and at the same time well-directed.
Provide the summarization of all main arguments of the author. It will show that you have understood the main idea of the article. If you understand what does the author say and in which way you will be able to express your own opinion on the issue. Don’t’ forget about the persuasive styles and their effect. You can read more about how to create an introduction here.
The body paragraphs of the rhetorical analysis essay will take the most of your time. It is the biggest part of your paper, and you should answer many questions here. What is the most important thing you should do in this part of the essay? You will have to explain in which manner and with the help of which methods and strategies the author of the text develops the main thesis. Pay attention to the devices which he applies to. Find out all strategies of persuasion that were used and devote each one paragraph to one strategy. Your statements and ideas should answer some of these questions:
- Which feelings, reactions or responses does the strategy make the readers to experience? And how?
- Does the strategy actually work?
- How does the strategy work in the particular example?
- How do you think why did the author of the text use the particular strategy to influence the reader?
It is the hardest part of writing process which requires good writing skills and appropriate writing style. If you have not much experience in writing, you can read examples of good papers here.
When you have finished explaining the strategies, arguments and persuasive methods in the body part of the essay, it’s time to end the paper with an effective and impressing conclusion. In this part, you should explain the way in which the text has affected its readers. You should show the end result and the feedback which the author gets from his or her audience. Give the explanation of the effect which each device has. After that, conclude them all together to find out the importance of the text as a whole.
As you can see, a rhetorical analysis essay is not an easy task. It is complicated and requires good writing skills. If you are not sure that you can cope with it, just ask for the help of professional writers. But if you have to create a rhetorical analysis essay within the exam, you should pay attention to the advice that we give in this article. If you still have difficulties or questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.
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