Examples of student rhetorical analysis essays here:
- Example of a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: “I Have a Dream” (Macfarland)
- Rhetorical Analysis of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” (Ted Wilkenfeld)
- Rhetorical Analysis Essay (John Manfredonia)
- Rhetorical Analysis on “I Have a Dream” (Michael Hyun Jr.)
- Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion (Purdue Online Writing Lab) – good explanation of ethos, logos, pathos, and common logical fallacies
- Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis (Laura Bolin Carroll), from Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing – a longer text, but a very helpful piece for understanding the meaning/importance of rhetorical analysis
- Rhetoric and Composition/Rhetorical Analysis (Wikibooks) – overview of rhetorical analysis, with guiding questions, rhetorical strategies (definitions/questions), appeals, and logical fallacies (definitions/examples)
- Rhetorical Analysis (About.com) – Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms
- Basic Questions for Rhetorical Analysis (BYU) – clear guiding questions for analyzing rhetoric
- The Write Way to Get Your Way (Credosity) – some helpful images and description of the rhetorical appeals: ethos, logos and pathos
- Ethos, Pathos, Logos (Mrnittle.com)
- Rhetorical Analysis Rap (YouTube) – it will blow your mind 🙂
Use the following questions when analyzing rhetorical texts:
- Which kind of text structure is used? Explain.
- Identify the main argument (thesis).
- Analyze the rhetorical appeals (pathos, ethos, logos).
- Identify any figurative language used (similes, metaphors, allusions, hyperbole, etc.).
- Assess the evidence presented to back up the argument.
- Complete SOAPStone:
- Subject: What is the topic of the text?
Occasion: Why is the speech being delivered or passage written? Is it a special event?
Audience: With whom is the writer or speaker communicating? How do you know? Which words tell you?
Purpose: What is the audience supposed to do? What lesson should they learn? How is the audience supposed to feel at the end?
Speaker (or author): Is the speaker a reliable person to discuss this topic? What qualifications does he or she possess?
Tone: What is the tone or attitude of the speaker or author towards the subject?
Click here for some background on the conflict in Syria. More information here, courtesy of PBS.
Consider the following two recent New York Times articles on the war in Syria and the United States’ possible intervention:
“Hearing You Out” (Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times)
“What War Means” (Frank Bruni, The New York Times)
Complete a “Rhetorical Analysis.” Questions to consider:
- What is the main argument?
- Who is the audience?
- What appeals does the argument use (Logos, Ethos, Pathos)?
- Ethos: Who is making the argument? What authorities does it rely upon?
- Logos: What facts, reasoning, evidence are used?
- Whose interests does it serve? Who gains/loses by it?
- How is the argument organized?
- How does the language/style work to persuade the audience?
From Everything’s An Argument (Lumsford, Ruszkiewicz, Walters, 92-93).
Discussion Question: Do you believe the United States government should intervene (get involved) in the war in Syria?