The rhetorical analysis essay assignment can make a lot of students uneasy but it doesn’t have to be difficult to put a great one together. In basic terms, the assignment ask students to break a written piece of non-fiction into several parts and attempt to explain how those parts work to create a specific desired effect – anything from entertainment, information, persuasion, etc. The following are 8 basic things you should know about the rhetorical analysis essay structure:
This type of assignment requires you to use something referred to as the SOAPSTone technique, where you identify the speaker, the occasion, the audience, the purpose, to subject, and the tone of the text in question. This should be the first step in you analysis.
Next, identify the rhetorical strategy employed in writing the text. The three appeals are the ethos (ethical appeals), the logos (logical appeals), and pathos (pathetic appeals). Each represents the method in which the writer attempts to connect with the reader or audience.
At the second rhetorical level there are the details of style: imagery, tone, syntax, and diction. As the use of each of these can affect any one of the three appeals significantly, they too should be discussed at length within the body paragraphs
Depending on the length of your paper and the specific discussion points you will make – you can usually create a simple 5-paragraph outline to organize your paper. You can either discuss each detail of style in its context within each appeal or discuss them separately in a different paragraph.
The introduction should immediately identify what the elements of your SOAPSTone analysis. As per effective writing, start with hook statement and provide all the background information the reader will need to understand your topic. End the introduction with a solid thesis statement.
The body paragraphs should be arranged in a logical or chronological order. Writing on one rhetorical appeal and providing your analysis within each paragraph will make it easier to communicate your ideas to the reader in an effective manner. Just make sure you transition between ideas seamlessly.
The conclusion should restate the thesis statement in different words, as well as provide a basic summary of the major points discussed in the body paragraphs. Next, synthesize the information by showing the reader how your points work together to prove your thesis statement. Make sure you make a great final impression.
Finally, be sure you completely revise, edit and proofread your work before handing it in. Even the best writers can always make improvements, so take each of these three exercises seriously and do them separately. You will see a major difference between the final version and the draft you did just days earlier.
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