How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis and Make it Work
Rhetorical analysis assignments are becoming popular in college. Oftentimes, instructors are asking students to analyze the rhetoric of a specific text, book, article, film, TV show, artwork, or other original work.
Rhetorical analysis is a written example of criticism that incorporates the fundamentals of rhetoric study to find the interrelations between the author, the piece of work, and the readers. Rhetoric is the art of reasoning, the study that teaches how to convince, inform, and motivate particular opponents in some situations.
If you don’t the slightest idea how to start a rhetorical analysis, then you need to determine how the author of the work makes his/her own argument and whether or not you consider his/her argument successful. Then you should determine the particular approaches that the contributor is using to convince the reader in his/her point of view.
As a rule, there are three main components of rhetorical analysis: the author, the target audience, and the message. In your rhetorical analysis paper, you have to determine these three main elements and define how they are related to each other.
As a starting place, use the conventional 5-paragraph format essay to structure your rhetorical analysis. For instance, the structure of a 4-8 paper rhetorical analysis of a literatury work may look like this:
- Introduction: discuss the work in bulk and lead the reader to the thesis statement.
- Logos: define one important statement in the literary work and expound on three reasons for why it is important.
- Logos: here you evaluate the evidence from the work that supports the main reasons.
- Ethos: analyze how the author of the work proves his/her credibility.
- Pathos: review how the author’s usage of emotions in the text provides an emotional appeal.
- Pathos: investigate how visual aspects appeal to the work’s aesthetics.
- Conclusion: analyze effects of the main arguments on the reader. Estimate whether or not the target reader can accept the argumentation and the consequences of his/her acceptance.
There are a few ways how you can approach rhetorical analysis:
- Sum up the main argument.
- Divide an argument in smaller parts.
- Define each point that contributes to the main thesis.
- Determine the main thesis.
- Define the subject of the main argument.
- Find the parts that correspond to the main argument.
In both approaches you have to analyze how the author builds the main argument and its supporting details.
The style of your rhetorical analysis has to be brief and concise. If you want a strong rhetorical analysis, you should use a formal tone. The analysis and discussion of the text should be logically organized, as it is important to formulate your work in a formal format.
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