Rhetorical analysis essay can focus on anything - a play, movie, book or a speech. The only requirement for a piece of art you are going to choose is that it is meant to have a lasting impression on its audience. At its core, a rhetorical analysis is meant to understand how an artist conveyed his message and by which means. It focuses on how successful an artist was in doing that and why he decided to use certain techniques. When writing this type of essay, you will need to carefully dissect all rhetoric methods used and evaluate their effectiveness. Finally, you will have to take a stance on whether an artist was successful or not and if all appeals were properly used. You can also add a recommendation on how you would have approached this topic.
On top of that, we will provide with rhetorical analysis essay examples which can be used to better understand how to write this type of essay. You will also learn about two most important ways of organizing an essay alongside relevant examples. Two analyzed texts come from a contemporary edition of a major magazine.
As one of the biggest sports competitions, occurring once in four years, the football world cup is followed closely by numerous fans all over the globe. For the duration of the world cup, little else is spoken of, and that is why its result can seem somewhat inadequate. In a piece titled “The World Cup Ends. The Hangover Begins.” Musa Okwonga gives his two cents on a world cup that had just ended, with a strong emphasis on his feelings towards it. What makes him qualified to write such a piece is that he is a published sport-book author who is clearly heavily invested in this sport.
This piece starts with our author providing a report on who is the winner of this world cup and gives his personal analysis on how this team managed to accomplish this. He continues to say that he feels this year’s finals were one of the most exhilarating ever. During this part of the piece, he uses a number of different rhetorical appeals. In the beginning, he uses a logical appeal when he talks about who won; later, he proceeds towards pathetic appeal when he expresses what his feelings regarding a winning team. He also appeals to ethics, making use of his celebrated sports writer background, and convincing his audience in the legitimacy of his arguments.
Later, Okwonga depicts his personal feelings towards this year's winners and shows what it means for him, in turn, making his readers identify with his personal stance. Okwonga goes on to re-live celebration night and does so in a way which makes readers relive this same night as well. He makes himself more approachable as he portrays himself an equal of an average football fan. He uses such phrases as “delirious with delight” or “miraculous,” which are meant to shake up strong feelings felt by some many spectators during the finals, thus, transferring readers back in time.
Okwonga continues to play with readers' emotions by reminding them of the world cup’s most impressive plays and asking them to respect that. This serves to further emotionalize readers by building on a sense of heartache after the world cup up. This way, Okwonga transfers his readers back to reality. Every appeal in this piece is imperative and well-timed, but article conclusion is somewhat sudden and lacking. It feels like there was more room for arguments as to why world cup finals are such a modulating experience. Later on, contrasting the world cup ending with a hangover is not fully explored and could benefit from having more space in this piece. The way Okwonga concludes his article is not unlike day after the world cup finals, barren and lacking. Yet, this might well be another creative move on Okwonga's part.
This example of a rhetorical analysis essay begins with an introduction of a topic (that will be the focus of our paper); next, it features a short explanation of why world cup is important for a broader audience. This whole piece is analyzed in a sequential order and has examples of appeals, even though the terminology is slightly confusing (ethos, logos, pathos are the correct terms). Also, the author's language is examined to determine its potency in creating a relevant atmosphere and having a strong impact on readers. Ethos requirements are met since an author has a background in sports coverage; pure facts presented in this piece account for the logos part of this paper. Remember, this essay is not meant to provide information; our author assumes that readers already have the facts and other relevant information, so he gives priority to pathos (that is, emotion). The writer is successful in making his reader relate to his post-finals sensitivity as well as his desire for a somewhat longer cup.
It is also possible to analyze this text by rhetoric appeal instead of chronologically (which is the case with a rhetorical analysis essay example above). If you choose to analyze rhetorical appeals, then you will have to organize each of them into a separate body paragraph. This way, each body section will analyze these rhetoric appeals type by type, from ethical to logical, wrapping up with pathetical appeals.
Anyone who has a child will surely tell you that their child’s wellbeing is of uttermost concern to them. With this in mind, it is not hard to understand why parents can feel utter despair and a sense of impending doom when medical professionals lose their patients' trust. Javier C. Hernández, in his most recent article, focuses on anger issue, experienced by Chinese parents after their children had been given vaccines of dubious quality. Hernández rallies his readers to act against this situation and calls for the authorities to investigate this matter thoroughly.
Hernández begins his piece with logical appeals by providing information about this situation. He pays attention to how many faulty vaccines are distributed on a daily basis. He continues by giving a detailed report on similar medical mishaps which had occurred in China.
Hernández focuses on government departments in charge of checking vaccine quality by conducting corresponding research, thus appealing to ethos. Further referencing of reliable newspaper sources adds up to an ethos component of this paper.
Further on, the author appeals to pathos, as he draws readers' attention to testimonies of parents whose children have been affected. This allows readers to connect with parents on a more personal level which is precisely why Hernández opts for this particular option. Even a mere possibility of something akin to this happening to any parent will induce a sense of rage and petrification in them. Hernández places readers and parents giving testimonies in this article on the same level. To achieve this, he uses a rhetorical technique called “common ground,” allowing ay reader who has or plans to have a child relate to parents' feelings and imagine how it would be to have one's own child subjected to dubious medical procedures.
Hernández's use of rhetorics in this article is pretty ingenious. He paints a neutral picture in this article (hospital staff checking on the vaccines), thus making his narration sound objective. For example, if Hernández created a picture of children being vaccinated, that image would definitely evoke a stronger emotional response in readers. This, however, is not the author's desire. The whole piece has a more informative tone, so the image corresponds to it appropriately.
The language used in this piece is effective in provoking the desired effect, which is outrage and shock. A strong emotional response was invoked in readers by talking about “corruption” and “misuse of power” as well as by describing this whole situation as “terrible” and “shocking.”
The biggest downside of this piece is its conclusion as Hernández could not be bothered to summarize the main points of his piece and make an even longer-lasting impression on his readers. As the author did not provide readers with an informative conclusion, the audience is left to decide what action would be a suitable solution on their own.
In this rhetorical analysis essay, all the appeals have been examined with the least effective method: first, our writer starts with the least impressive appeals and gradually, moves on to the most impressive ones. Opposite approach would have made a stronger impression on readers. A statement of the official investigators does affect readers, but it is parents' testimonies which affect the audience on a personal level. Stylistic details, such as wording illustration are analyzed next. Emotionally packed words, as shown in this rhetorical analysis essay sample, are the ones that affect readers the most and can provide strength to all arguments being made. This analysis ends with a critique and a possible solution.
The examples provided here are intentionally diverse so that they provide you with a variety of significant points. It is important to remember that you are not obligated to condemn or endorse the stance which the author has taken. Your job is to analyze the piece and debate the efficiency of the appeals used by the author. You are also not obligated to analyze all the appeals used. You can choose the most impactful ones and analyze them in-depth. Don’t forget to show strong arguments for your claims. This can be achieved by paraphrasing the author's words or quoting him directly.
The tone of your essay must remain neutral through it. Do not use first person statements for any reason. Third person voice will give you the feel of impartiality which is necessary for this type of essay. You are not arguing a point when you write this kind of essay. You are an unbiased observer whose mission is to examine the strength of the author's stance and arguments and to evaluate if he was successful or not.
This type of essay is not uncommonly assigned to students particularly to those who are looking to major in literature. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for the first time will most likely seem like an impossible task. Reading at least one example of rhetorical analysis essay and having a good outline will make this task much simpler. The examples provided here should serve those who have never written one, just as well to those who have written many in the past. Remember to take your time when writing a paper; also, keep in mind that you can always come back and check the samples.