How to Write a Rhetorical Essay?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


A rhetorical essay is a formal written work that communicates an argument or sometimes expresses a purpose and tone. The reasoning behind the writer’s point is supported by examples and discussions, which can be persuasive. Students will often receive questions about how to write a rhetorical essay and when it’s appropriate to use certain types of rhetoric-based texts in their classrooms.

This article will explain each component of a rhetorical essay so you can decide when, where, and how to use this kind of composition in your educational endeavors — elementary through university.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of rhetorical analysis in which the writer makes a case for a particular point of view or position. This type of essay aims to analyze a specific issue or idea and then make a case for the argument being made.

The most common type of rhetorical analysis essay is those that analyze an event or idea from a different perspective. The author may write about an event from their point of view and then compare it with another person’s point of view. This will allow the reader to see how two people can view an event in such different ways without necessarily disagreeing with each other.

Rhetorical analysis essays can be very useful in helping students understand how they should communicate their ideas and beliefs to others through writing. They can also help students learn more about themselves by analyzing their writing style, thoughts, and attitudes.

In education, many teachers use rhetorical analysis essays as part of their syllabus because they help students develop critical thinking skills by examining how others have written about an event or topic before them.

What Makes a Good Rhetorical Essay?

What Makes a Good Rhetorical Essay?

An excellent rhetorical essay communicates a point and supports it. It should also be persuasive, but not in manipulative advertisement or propaganda. A perfect rhetorical essay is persuasive because it makes you think about an issue in a new way or causes you to reconsider an attitude or belief you once had. The best rhetorical appeals are those that do this without jargon or technical language, which can be off-putting to people unfamiliar with the subject matter.

An excellent rhetorical essay should be able to stand on its own as a piece of writing rather than just as part of a larger work. If every sentence in your essay contains references to other parts of your paper, it will be difficult for readers to understand what you’re trying to say until they’ve read everything else first. It would be best if you tried not to rely on any aspect of your argument too much; instead, try to make it as complete as possible by focusing on several points that support each other logically and cohesively throughout the entire piece.

What Are the Three Rhetorical Analysis Strategies?

What Are the Three Rhetorical Analysis Strategies?

Rhetorical analysis strategies are the communication processes through words to inspire action or convince others. These linguistic tactics can manipulate the listener’s opinions in both written and spoken mediums.

Traditionally, rhetorical technique incorporates three components that result in a powerful argument.


Logos is the first and most basic rhetorical analysis strategy. This strategy focuses on the structure of a piece and examines how the author organizes their ideas. It is essential to understand what logos means because it is a crucial part of writing style. A writer should know whether they are using logos as a form of persuasion or as a way to inform their audience of facts.

Logos also refers to the use of logical arguments to prove a point. In this case, the author uses order and structure to clarify the audience’s point. The reader will learn more about an idea if it has been presented logically so that anyone reading it can understand it.


Ethos is a rhetorical strategy designed to convince the audience of the speaker’s credibility. Ethos is an appeal to your audience’s sense of right and wrong or a sense of right and wrong in how you present yourself. Ethos can be used to convince people that what you say is necessary or to establish yourself as more credible than others speaking. Ethos is about establishing yourself as an authority, someone who knows what he’s talking about and should be listened to.

Ethos is also a rhetorical strategy that helps you to connect with your audience on an emotional level. For example, if you were talking about a controversial topic such as abortion, you might want to use ethos to soften the blow by appealing to your audience’s morals and ethics.

In other instances, ethos can be used when a speaker is attempting to influence an audience by appealing to their emotions and making them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. When this happens, you’ll see that the speaker will use language that makes them sound like they’re talking with someone they trust and who understands them.


Pathos is a form of rhetoric that focuses on emotions. Pathos appeals to the audience’s emotions and makes them feel what an individual thinks in that situation. The speaker or writer takes the audience through a journey of personal experience, and by doing so, they draw the audience into the story. Using pathos, you can make a strong emotional connection with your audience so that they will want to hear what you have to say.

Pathos can be used in many ways depending on the situation, but it can also be used as a persuasive technique for change by offering examples of how things could be if people followed your lead. For example, if you were trying to get people to quit smoking cigarettes by providing them an alternative like e-cigarettes or vaporizers instead of traditional cigarettes, then you would use pathos because many people don’t want tobacco products in their bodies but are still addicted because they don’t know any other options besides smoking cigarettes.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay in Seven Steps?

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay in Seven Steps?

You see, learning how to do rhetorical analysis essays doesn’t just happen accidentally or overnight. It takes time and effort to develop essential writing skills and sound knowledge of rhetoric in general.

This can be achieved through consistent practice and learning from examples that help us better understand why something works the way it does in terms of ideas and structure.

Gather Information

Plan your analysis using the SOAPSTone method to determine the work’s components. The term SOAPSTone means for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, and Tone and is employed in literary analysis.

  • The storyteller or the voice that tells the narrative
  • When, where, and under what circumstances does the work get done
  • Those for whom the text is intended
  • The purpose of the work, or what the author hopes to accomplish via it
  • The text’s subject matter
  • The author’s perspective on the topic matter

Examine the Appeals

There are many ways writers try to persuade their audience to engage with their work in specific ways. The following are the three appeals or analysis strategies:

  • Credibility-building ethical appeals, such as emphasizing one’s credentials.
  • An argument is made using evidence, statistics, and logical appeals.
  • Pathetic appeals elicit an emotional response, such as the inclusion of intimate facts about a victim of a crime.

Identify Style Choices and Details

The writer can utilize these tools to elicit a specific response from the audience. Some examples are figurative language (e.g., metaphors and analogies) and word choice.

Build an Analysis

Asking yourself probing questions regarding the data you’ve gathered is a good idea. Focus on what the author does and why. Your answers to this question will determine how effectively the writer’s selections support their argument.

Write the Introduction

A single, concise paragraph should serve as your introduction, outlining the key points of your paper. Describe the author’s history, the significance of their material, and the message they are attempting to convey.

Your thesis statement follows. After the introduction, your thesis statement should be one line that encapsulates the point you are trying to make. Your essay’s thesis is one of the most significant elements.

Write Your Body Text

Include at least three supporting body paragraphs in your essay. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single, well-defined concept. You may organize your paragraphs in a variety of ways, including chronologically, according to the persuasiveness of distinct arguments (such as ethos, pathos, and logos), and so on.

There is no right or wrong method to order your paragraphs; what matters most is that each one is supported by facts. Each paragraph should end with a relation to the thesis statement.

Write Your Conclusion

The conclusion of your essay should restate your thesis and highlight the most important aspects of your essay. If necessary, include a call to action or a request for further information.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Write a Rhetorical Essay?

When it comes to essay writing, every rhetorical essay writing assignment should be unique. This is because every topic will have its distinct purpose, audience, and context.

A rhetorical essay is written to persuade the reader by presenting an argument, often in the form of an analogy. This type of essay is designed to influence decisions, actions, and thought processes.

Moreover, there are specific steps that you need to understand and implement when writing a rhetorical essay.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...