Students all over the globe pass AP English Language and Composition and it is a normal practice while it will help them reach their goals in life. Once they graduate from their college or university, they will be able to start an absolutely new adult life and work on their future.
Those skills you get in your educational establishment are crucial for building a successful career, so you should not neglect to learn everything properly. Sometimes, those exams students have to pass at the end of their course, makes them tremble.
And it has some good reasons for that, while lots of students consider rhetorical analysis essay writing worse and more difficult than writing their research paper. And it is really so because apart from conducting research, you should also have good knowledge of ethos, pathos, and logos.
Analytical skills and the ability to convince your audience are also a must! But it is not as difficult as it may seem. We have provided some tips below that will help you write your perfect rhetorical analysis essay and impress your readers.
Understanding a rhetorical analysis
First of all, let us try to understand what rhetoric is. And it is the study showing how speakers and writers influence their audience with the help of words. And such influence includes three main characteristics:
- Pathos which calls the emotions of the readers or listeners;
- The ethos which means being approved via using background and credibility;
- Logos which means winning favor or getting approval trough using reason.
All these characteristics can be used when writing a book or telling speeches. They can even be used visually in films or cartoons.
The basics of rhetorical analysis
Even though essay writing is one of the most frequent tasks, lots of students still struggle to get their A grade. And a rhetorical analysis is a real challenge for many of them.
A rhetorical analysis requires writing your essay really intensely; it is a time-consuming process that cannot be neglected or done at the very last moment. It means that you will have to dissect a piece of literature into pieces and bits. After that, you will explain every bit and piece to fulfill each other.
Such writing requires your ability to read between lines and find out and prove if the author did a good job influencing his audience with his words.
How to start
To write a good rhetorical analysis essay, it would be good to answer such questions:
- What situation did the author describe?
- Who is the author, writer, or speaker?
- What is the initial aim of the piece of text, speech, article, according to the author?
- Who is the target reader/listener? What is his age, gender, location, other factors?
- What is the core message?
- Does the content correspond to the form?
- What is the nature and manner of communication?
Also, to be a success, your essay should:
- Contain no mistakes, errors, typos;
- Be concise;
- Be understandable;
- Be consistent;
- Be written in the present tense.
Now, as you know the main characteristic of the rhetorical analysis essay, you can start writing it. And you do it following the steps described below. Don’t forget that people expect to get feedback from you and they want it to be emotional and unique.
Your task is to show whether you can read between lines, how you can do it, and conduct your research with the final results. And you should start with preparation!
Step 1. Get ready
As you already know, a rhetorical analysis essay is a difficult and time-consuming task that cannot be completed at the last moment. So the first thing you should do is to prepare well and learn as much as possible about the subject under discussion using those three above-mentioned methods – ethos, pathos, and logos.
It would be really helpful to learn some terms and keywords. And before you take the exam, try to pass the process of writing as frequently as possible. And if you don’t have time for that, you will not pass the exam. Because no one can teach you it if you don’t practice. And if you cannot cope with writing a good essay, you can use professional help.
Step 2. Be organized
As you know, the exam is not unlimited and you are put into certain time frames. So it would be good to make an outline and think of your goal. Devote enough time to every stage – reading, analysis, and writing. Read the prompt carefully to find out what kind of essay they expect from you.
Step 3. Ask questions
You have to be a real professional when working on that assignment. Doing your research is really important. You should literally interrogate the writer and his piece of work. Think of what hidden motives he had. To find the reasons and arguments for creating this piece of literature, you will have to answer lots of questions.
Ask the following Why/What questions provided above, will help you understand his goals better. But the most crucial questions are:
- What is the speaker doing?
- What is the speaker saying?
- What methods does the speaker use?
After you have answers to these questions, you can have a summary of the necessary knowledge.
Step 4. Reading
Needless to say, you should read everything carefully and pay attention to the passages and strategic functions of each of the parts. Find out what techniques and tools the author used, what words and means he used to reach the verbose mode. Don’t forget about the details, such as figurative language, including allegories and metaphors.
Step 5. Writing
And only now you can start writing your essay. Its structure is similar to the structure of all the essays and will require you to write five paragraphs and will consist of the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
- Introduction. It should grab the audience’s attention from the very beginning. In it, you should mention who the speaker is, describe the author, and provide your judgment. Include the occasion, purpose, audience, and subject. Of course, an introduction cannot be written without a strong thesis statement that will mention the argument and will let everyone know what you are going to discuss throughout your paper.
- Body paragraphs. Like every part, its body is very important for a rhetorical analysis essay. Dividing them into the parts reflecting logos, ethos, and pathos would be helpful. Here you should clearly let your readers know about what strategies the author used. Answer the questions mentioned above and provide your own strong arguments. Show your sense of language and tell your opinion on the tone of the text.
- Conclusion. The last but not less significant paragraph of your rhetorical analysis essay has to leave its track in the minds of your readers. The ending has to be strong and able to be memorized. Highlight the key points once again and tell how that piece of literature influenced society. Restate the thesis statement.
Step 6. Proofreading
Leave your essay for some time, then open it again and read it with a fresh view. Check the thesis once again. The most common mistake is the lack of detailed analysis, so pay attention to the arguments and structure. Check whether your statements are relevant.
We hope all these tips and simple tricks will help you create an outstanding rhetorical analysis essay.