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“ Some general writing techniques to use and apply to all essays. ”

Key Points to Remember When Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay is a discursive piece of writing that involves careful and effective presentation of the author’s observations and thoughts by means of the critical evaluation of a literary work. The key points to remember when writing a good rhetorical analysis essay are listed below:

  • Evaluate the author’s mastery in presenting a literary work, not the subject matter of it. For example, when writing a rhetorical analysis essay about the Iliad, written by Homer, you should not describe the Trojan War or characterize the argument between King Agamemnon and Achilles. Instead, evaluate how well the author coped with the task of fascinating the readers with his poem.
  • Focus on particular aspects. You do not have to mention all the positive and negative sides of the literary work. Just choose a particular aspect and cover only the most important points. This will make your essay specific and comprehensive.
  • Avoid using the first person singular voice. “I” statements may draw the reader’s attention to the essay’s author. In order to make a good rhetorical analysis, you must remain objective and express no personal attitude. State the strong and weak points of the work under study by providing unbiased reasoning, not your subjective judgments.
  • Keep to the essay’s structure. As with any other essay type, a rhetorical analysis essay must have an introduction that grasps the reader’s interest and presents the thesis statement, a main body that provides a thorough evaluation of the subject matter and the contents, and a conclusion that summarizes your essay and states whether the author was successful in grasping the interests of the audience.
  • Avoid ambiguous expressions. Make sure everything you write is understood properly. Do not write statements that can appear irrelevant, or provoke discussions concerning their meanings.
  • Back up your ideas with quotations. When you ask a rhetorical question, make sure to give a critical answer supported with literary evidence; provide quotations and paraphrasing that will back up your observations.
  • Use rhetorical appeals. To spark the readers’ interests, you have to use rhetorical appeals: logos (providing sufficient reasoning to back up your statements), ethos (projecting an impression that you are very proficient and worth listening to), and pathos (provoking the readers’ emotional responses).
  • Think of an effective title. Think whether you have mentioned everything you have planned, and give your essay an effective title that will distinguish your work from all others on a similar topic.
 
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