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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Organization

Organizing Your Analysis

Summary:

This resource covers how to write a rhetorical analysis essay of primarily visual texts with a focus on demonstrating the author’s understanding of the rhetorical situation and design principles.

Contributors:Mark Pepper, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2015-08-30 05:01:04

There is no one perfect way to organize a rhetorical analysis essay. In fact, writers should always be a bit leery of plug-in formulas that offer a perfect essay format. Remember, organization itself is not the enemy, only organization without considering the specific demands of your particular writing task. That said, here are some general tips for plotting out the overall form of your essay.

Introduction

Like any rhetorical analysis essay, an essay analyzing a visual document should quickly set the stage for what you’re doing. Try to cover the following concerns in the initial paragraphs:

  1. Make sure to let the reader know you’re performing a rhetorical analysis. Otherwise, they may expect you to take positions or make an evaluative argument that may not be coming.
  2. Clearly state what the document under consideration is and possibly give some pertinent background information about its history or development. The intro can be a good place for a quick, narrative summary of the document. The key word here is “quick, for you may be dealing with something large (for example, an entire episode of a cartoon like the Simpsons). Save more in-depth descriptions for your body paragraph analysis.
  3. If you’re dealing with a smaller document (like a photograph or an advertisement), and copyright allows, the introduction or first page is a good place to integrate it into your page.
  4. Give a basic run down of the rhetorical situation surrounding the document: the author, the audience, the purpose, the context, etc.

Thesis Statements and Focus

Many authors struggle with thesis statements or controlling ideas in regards to rhetorical analysis essays. There may be a temptation to think that merely announcing the text as a rhetorical analysis is purpose enough. However, especially depending on your essay’s length, your reader may need a more direct and clear statement of your intentions. Below are a few examples.

1. Clearly narrow the focus of what your essay will cover. Ask yourself if one or two design aspects of the document is interesting and complex enough to warrant a full analytical treatment.

The website for Amazon.com provides an excellent example of alignment and proximity to assist its visitors in navigating a potentially large and confusing amount of information.

2. Since visual documents often seek to move people towards a certain action (buying a product, attending an event, expressing a sentiment), an essay may analyze the rhetorical techniques used to accomplish this purpose. The thesis statement should reflect this goal.

The call-out flyer for the Purdue Rowing Team uses a mixture of dynamic imagery and tantalizing promises to create interest in potential, new members.

3. Rhetorical analysis can also easily lead to making original arguments. Performing the analysis may lead you to an argument; or vice versa, you may start with an argument and search for proof that supports it.

A close analysis of the female body images in the July 2007 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine reveals contradictions between the articles’ calls for self-esteem and the advertisements’ unrealistic, beauty demands.

These are merely suggestions. The best measure for what your focus and thesis statement should be the document itself and the demands of your writing situation. Remember that the main thrust of your thesis statement should be on how the document creates meaning and accomplishes its purposes. The OWl has additional information on writing thesis statements.

Analysis Order (Body Paragraphs)

Depending on the genre and size of the document under analysis, there are a number of logical ways to organize your body paragraphs. Below are a few possible options. Which ever you choose, the goal of your body paragraphs is to present parts of the document, give an extended analysis of how that part functions, and suggest how the part ties into a larger point (your thesis statement or goal).

Chronological

This is the most straight-forward approach, but it can also be effective if done for a reason (as opposed to not being able to think of another way). For example, if you are analyzing a photo essay on the web or in a booklet, a chronological treatment allows you to present your insights in the same order that a viewer of the document experiences those images. It is likely that the images have been put in that order and juxtaposed for a reason, so this line of analysis can be easily integrated into the essay.

Be careful using chronological ordering when dealing with a document that contains a narrative (i.e. a television show or music video). Focusing on the chronological could easily lead you to plot summary which is not the point of a rhetorical analysis.

Spatial

A spatial ordering covers the parts of a document in the order the eye is likely to scan them. This is different than chronological order, for that is dictated by pages or screens where spatial order concerns order amongst a single page or plane. There are no unwavering guidelines for this, but you can use the following general guidelines.

  • Left to right and top to down is still the normal reading and scanning pattern for English-speaking countries.
  • The eye will naturally look for centers. This may be the technical center of the page or the center of the largest item on the page.
  • Lines are often used to provide directions and paths for the eye to follow.
  • Research has shown that on web pages, the eye tends to linger in the top left quadrant before moving left to right. Only after spending a considerable amount of time on the top, visible portion of the page will they then scroll down.

Persuasive Appeals

The classic, rhetorical appeals are logos, pathos, and ethos. These concepts roughly correspond to the logic, emotion, and character of the document’s attempt to persuade. You can find more information on these concepts elsewhere on the OWL. Once you understand these devices, you could potentially order your essay by analyzing the document’s use of logos, ethos, and pathos in different sections.

Conclusion

The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay may not operate too differently from the conclusion of any other kind of essay. Still, many writers struggle with what a conclusion should or should not do. You can find tips elsewhere on the OWL on writing conclusions. In short, however, you should restate your main ideas and explain why they are important; restate your thesis; and outline further research or work you believe should be completed to further your efforts.

A rhetorical analysis essay is a form of writing where the author looks at the topic in greater detail and prove his standpoint, using effective and persuasive methods. In a broader sense, a rhetorical paper means 'writing about writing,' 'dreaming about a dream,' 'teaching a teacher,' and so on. It is one of the writing assignments which appears on the AP English exam.

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The main point is to create the informative text by dividing apart the words/phrases that the writer comes up with to reveal the persuasive techniques used to get feedback from the audience. Good examples involve public speeches by various authorities. An effective evaluation requires selecting a certain article to analyze and interpret how all written sections relate to each other, forming one whole.

Student's goal is to create the top-notch paper. Following the basic questions is the key to success in rhetorical writing:

  • What is the situation described by the author of original piece?
  • Who is the writer/author/speaker?
  • What is the primary goal of the analyzed piece of text, article, or public speech based on the author's intentions?
  • Who is the author's target audience (age, nationality, gender, preferences, location, interests, and other factors)?
  • How does the content of the main message sound?
  • Do the overall form and content correspond?
  • Does the main article's or speech idea successfully complete the author's intentions and primary objectives?
  • What does the nature of communication tell about the culture that developed it?

In short, a rhetorical analysis essay has to be

  • grammatically correct
  • concise
  • clear
  • coherent
  • written in present tense
  • and respond to the analyzed article/speech/text.

Now, it is time to proceed to the detailed instruction of creating such paper.

Things to Memorize about Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Preparation

Following pre-writing stages is what every writer must keep in mind in order to create an effective introduction. One of the ways to get ready is to view several examples. Learn how to structure AP paper paragraphs to analyze the chosen article or piece of text effectively. The writer should:

  • Involve rhetorical stages.
  1. Appeals (ethos, logos, & pathos) - read more information on these three important elements further in the article.
  2. Writing style (voice, tone, language, imagery, dialect, imagery, and more)
  • Understand why the speaker picked these ways to communicate with the target reading/listening audience, occasion, and goal.
  1. Here is where the analysis part of the article steps in! A summary of the text is never an analysis paper, so focus more on evaluation strategies in your text.
  2. Following a couple of primary questions helps; do not ignore them!
  • How do the rhetorical strategies/ways to interact with the readers help to achieve the main purpose of the writing?
  • Why did the author choose these ways to communicate with the target reading audience and for that certain occasion?

How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Another thing to keep in mind is the organization is essential for any types of academic writing, and a rhetorical paper is not an exception. Make sure to have excellent rhetorical analysis essay example on hand. Don't worry - this essay's structure looks pretty much the same as other types of school/college academic papers on any topic.

There are many different ways to grab the attention of your reader from the initial line of your essay. The best trick is to choose effective hook to reflect your topic. Keep in mind that a hook sentence should correspond to the tone and audience of your paper too. A joke won't be OK if you write a paper summarizing and analyzing the article on serious health issue like full disability. This type of hook is a perfect start for the paper which covers funny moments from the life of wild animals or popular books.

It's up to the writer to decide on the powerful hook!

  • A good story
  • Anecdote
  • Interesting fact or statistics
  • Literary quote
  • Poetry line
  • Comparison
  • Contradiction
  • Question
  • Simile/Metaphor

CHOOSE YOUR POSITION!

This part of work is essential because the way of writing is entirely contingent on it. Here, you need to define your position on the theme you should analyze; you should define a thesis statement. It is a short argument or your standpoint which you should prove in your text. For instance, if your target aim is to analyze a novel, your thesis is your personal interpretation of it. Thus, you should find and use different techniques or strategies to prove the audience that you are right. When you work on your statement, always avoid personal pronouns and try to present it objectively. Your reader should believe you.

THINK ABOUT THE ANALYSIS

You need to involve the educational research on your topic to find several solutions to the existing problem. It shouldn't be too wordy or complicated. Proceed to this part after the moment you stated your thesis; having done it, you may move to the analysis of the topic. Use all possible strategies to support your idea in the best way possible.

CHOOSE THE STRATEGY

It is an important part of critical academic work where you should support your thesis statement. Your task is to grab the attention of the audience: the strategy will be your helping hand, allowing you to do that. If you work on a rhetorical content, you should choose a winning strategy. You know who your reader is - now, it is high time to determine the target reading audience.

ETHOS, PATHOS, LOGOS: WHAT IS THAT AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE THEM?

At first gaze, these terms sound like a conjuration in a magic story. Nevertheless, they are the major ingredients of persuasion created by Aristotle and know for centuries of the mankind history! Many years ago, Aristotle discussed these three terms in his well-known book Rhetoric. He considered them to be the primary persuasive strategies that authors should use in their papers.

  • The ethos appeals to ethics. The term refers to the author's credibility on the theme he wants to analyze; the writer must prove the audience why they should believe him.
  • The pathos appeals to emotions. In a similar vein, it is the emotional reaction of the target audience to the arguments provided by the author. You should create an emotional response to your essay.
  • The logos mean the using of the rational thinking. You provide different truthful facts and other logical arguments to influence your audience's ways of thinking.

If all statements mentioned above are difficult to understand or you can't make a boast of the writing talent, you will always find the professional assistance at JustBuyEssay. It is a reputable custom agency, collaborating with professionals in the writing area. Their authors know all secrets of working with essays, case studies, course works, and other types of important but creative assignments.

After considering all major aspects of the task, it is time to proceed to the outline.

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DETAILED OUTLINE OF A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY

Browsing the web and learning the information presented on different portals, you will find out the outline is essential. There are many examples, proving such fact. Keep in mind that it is not a chaotic writing where you start working when the muse comes; when you create the outline, we guarantee, the inspiration will come faster!

The point comprises the identification of the writing style, choosing the core audience and examination of appeals. Having coped with such issue, you may proceed to work on the main paragraphs.

  • Write the Introduction Paragraph

Introductory paragraph always sets the tone of the entire essay, so it has to include all the main ideas you're going to discuss. Here, you need to designate the goal of your work by notifying your reader in advance about what your essay is. You need to create your thesis statement. Choose a single idea you like better than others, narrow it down, and write a concise, clear sentence highlighting this idea to your readers. A thesis statement is an extremely important part which regulated the way the information is conveyed and delivered to the audience of readers. You should state the types of rhetorical techniques you use. Think about choosing the original argument and focus your writing on it; this argument must be traced throughout the body paragraphs.

  • Write Three Body Paragraphs with Arguments

It is the leading part of any school or college academic writing assignment. Nevertheless, if you cope with the previous part, this one will not be difficult or time-consuming. During the writing process, you should pinpoint attention upon arrangements, but the process will speed up once you manage to provide effective evidence.

There are many arguments a writer can find online/in the library while trying to support thesis statement and each argument in particular. Include information which is credible, time-tested, fresh, and supports the argument in the best way. If you're running out of ideas, include an opposing view, but try to reject it with the help of strong evidence.

Working on body paragraphs, organize them by rhetorical appeals (divide them into sections and identify the epos, logos, and pathos). Your essay shouldn't be too wordy. Your primary aim is to give facts and fortify them with various ideas so that in the end, each body paragraph will have a single claim and supporting evidence.

  • Work on the Rhetorical Analysis Essay Conclusion

The specific goal of the conclusion is to summarize all ideas mentioned in your essay, state the specific ideas/arguments, and rewrite the thesis. Still, you should rephrase the thesis statement and mention it once again. Information alluded in conclusion should be brief. If the theme of work is too broad and requires additional research, you should also mention it in conclusion.

It is better to end up your descriptive essay with a powerful call-to-action. Other ways include an expression, related question, or forecast to leave a positive impression on your reader.

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY WRITING TIPS

Below, we want to publish six important tips that you may put into your essay.

  1. Never mention new information in conclusion - summarize and paraphrase the ideas discussed in the text before.
  2. Don't argue as the overriding priority of such paper is to analyze, but not to espouse your view.
  3. Never start conclusion with the word combination "in " If your writing piece belongs to a high academic level, this expression will only clutter your work.
  4. Once you're done with your draft, check it several times with the help of various free grammar-checking tools available online. Show the draft to your educator to point out your mistakes; fix them before the deadline arrives.
  5. Revise the final papers at least two times to see whether you fixed everything. The good idea is to give your finished essay to people around to share their ideas on what can be improved.
  6. We have asked academic writing experts how to write a rhetorical analysis essay. We will share one of the most interesting tips:
"I would recommend reviewing different rhetorical analysis examples to understand the main point. Sensory details, emotions, and examples altogether help to support thesis statement just like arguments help to support the main argument in the argumentative/persuasive paper. Thus, facts alone are not effective enough. I suggest that students utilize different literary and creative writing tools like similes, metaphors, personification, comparisons, and parallels to provide a complete description of the topic."

Daniel Rosenberg, Dean's Assistant at Clemson University.

Writing an example of rhetorical analysis is not your worst nightmare any longer!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Where to Get an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Example Essay?

We believe that our rhetorical essay example or custom article will help you create a superior academic paper. Nevertheless, if English is not your native language or you can't brag about ideal writing skills, you can always find the professional assistance at JustBuyEssay. This online service is aware of all peculiarities of working with this type of assignment. Its talented academic authors with more than 20 years of combined experience in educational services used to write such works on a timely basis. For that reason, their professionalism can comply with requirements of the most demanding people.


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