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How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Definition, Outline, Pro Tips & Tricks

In most cases, when searching for good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics means you are an ambitious student currently undertaking the AP English course in high school. Assuming one has chosen AP English as their main language elective, it is never too early to start preparing for the exam. Out of all three possible essay types, students can choose from for the exam we recommend the Rhetorical Analysis Essay as it is one of the easiest to master. Nevertheless, if this is the first time you are faced with writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay this guide written by the experts at the Essay Service covers everything you need to know and more.


Rhetorical Analysis Essay Definition

Before we begin breaking down all the various elements of the assignment, it is essential to acquaint first timers with what the Rhetorical Analysis Essay encompasses. Let us start removing the question mark looming over your head by exploring a basic definition of the task at hand. In essence, a rhetorical analysis essay can be based on films, academic literature, journal articles, television shows, collections of artwork, etc. as long as the material in question seeks to make a statement to its intended audience. Meaning that in order for a student to select a source which will allow them to write a convincing rhetorical analysis essay it is important to pick something that gives us some insight into how the creator of the work attempts to get their point across. Nonetheless, it is recommended to go beyond that and also establish how successful they were at making the intended statement.

One of the most popular comparisons regarding how to assess a rhetorical analysis essay is the movie Inception. The core concept of the movie, being a dream within a dream, is a great way to start breaking down any rhetorical analysis essay topics. Doing so allows the student to undergo an in-depth study of the persuasive styles and strategies the author used to get their point across. Sounds pretty straightforward right? If you are interested in how students can get this assignment out of the way as quickly as possible keep reading to discover our secret tips and tricks when tackling any rhetorical analysis essay topics.

How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay

As we all know with each type of academic assignment, there are a number of methods which can help get the job done not only faster but also in a more efficient manner. The same thought process applies to students seeking to get the most out of their rhetorical analysis essay topics. Thus, in this section, we will examine various acronyms and methodologies by explaining the advantages that they carry when applied correctly within the assignment.

Our very first candidate in helping us tackle any rhetorical analysis essay prompt is a well-known companion of students undertaking an AP English class. Yes, you’ve guessed it we’re talking about DIDLES. But what does that mean for our rhetorical analysis essay topics?

Related: How to Write an Analytical Essay

D I D L E S stands for Diction, Imagery, Details, Language and Sentence Structure.

didls meaning in rhetorical analysis essay

Now that we know what the acronym stands for it is time to figure out when and where it is best to apply it when tackling rhetorical analysis essay topics. Each of these elements helps us understand the degree to which the author got their points across in a more objective manner. So let’s start looking at each one of these in detail to see how exactly they make an in-depth analysis possible.

rhetorical analysis essay definition

Diction – Allows students to comprehend and gauge the syntax as well as the tone used throughout the piece. We can all safely agree that emotionally charged words and events always have a more significant impact on our interpretation of the text. It is essential to take note of how well the author applies diction from start to finish regardless of the rhetorical analysis essay topics chosen.

Imagery – Similar to most academic assignments, imagery is always symbolic. Each rhetorical analysis essay outline should have a section dedicated to exploring the subject matter that the author chose to “show us.” Establish whether the use of such imagery is a theme throughout the piece to strengthen one’s argument.

Details – Paying attention to details is always crucial when judging the impact of a rhetorical analysis essay. As previously mentioned in the Imagery section, a similar thought process is applied here to help our interpretation of the text carry more weight.

Language – The type of language used (e.g., formal, informal, street slang, etc.) is always a good indicator of the mood the author is trying to instill. The rhetorical analysis essay should assess how the author uses his “writer’s voice” to create the atmosphere and set the scene throughout the piece.

Sentence Structure – This element dictates how easy we find it to decode the author’s hidden messages. In essence, the overall structure should be well organized in the rhetorical analysis essay since it will either have a positive impact on our initial reading of the text or just make it too confusing to decode.

Having defined what DIDLES is all about and how it can help us put together a convincing rhetorical analysis essay, it is time to consider other elements which can bring even more depth to our interpretation. Luckily, there is another useful acronym we can choose to embed into our assignment if the student is looking to secure an A+ grade.

This rhetorical analysis method carries the name of SOAPSTone which stands for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, and Tone. In a sense, it does overshadow with DIDLES in some areas, but as there are numerous similarities so are the differences. The best way to imagine the two methods is a Venn diagram designed to help identify all the elements that can make a rhetorical analysis essay shine. Below we will explore what the SOAPSTone method requires from the student.

soapst rhetorical analysis essay definition

Speaker – In most cases it refers to the writer of the text in question. Usually, if the author has obtained some form of official credentials in the respective field, then those should be taken into consideration and briefly explained. This is done to indicate that the writer is presenting us an informed opinion and should be looked upon as an authoritative figure due to the nature of the subject. However, students must keep in mind that if the narrator is different from the writer, then it is important to mention this in the rhetorical analysis essay as it can impact our interpretation of the text.

Occasion – Firstly, one should look at the context under which the text is written. Establish whether this is impacts the rhetorical analysis essay thesis and how. To help give you a better understanding of what is being assessed here think of it in the following manner. As a student, you would use a completely different writing style if the essay was to be submitted to an academic assessment committee than to a fellow professional for example.

Audience – This section is quite straightforward as it indicates who the text is written for. Overall this segment always overlaps with multiple elements from Occasion as well as most of the DIDLES requirements.

Purpose – Similar to its predecessor, defining the overall goal of the text finds itself overlapping with most of the other elements. Students should always seek to establish the purpose of the document in the rhetorical analysis essay since it is a turning point we can go back to and see if the author managed to achieve that objective.

Subject – Here we seek to display the means that the author uses to reach their purpose in the rhetorical analysis essay. For example, if the goal is to sell or advertise a product than the students should look at what subject the author chose to focus on to help sell that product or service.

Tone – Simply put tone combines and assesses the effectiveness of Diction, Language and Sentence Structure throughout the text. These elements together should create a smooth, logical flow to the piece that matches the fundamental tone regarding the topic being discussed. One would not want to have a tragedy presented as if it was a comedy.

Being aware of these elements is the first step towards writing a spectacular rhetorical analysis essay. The next stage involves taking this knowledge a step further by learning how to apply the rhetorical analysis essay strategies given to us by one of the world’s greatest philosophers and thinkers, namely Aristotle. His initial thoughts led to the creation of the appeals which are referred to as Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Each of these are what has led to academics and scholars coming up with the acronyms we have discussed previously in the rhetorical analysis essay guide. Nonetheless, without understanding Ethos, Pathos and Logos as well as how they are all interconnected it is hard to compose a convincing piece.

Despite the name, Ethos does not concern itself with ethics as we might initially think. In essence, Ethos examines the Speaker as in the author narrating the events or information. Thus, it becomes understandable why so much focus is placed on it. An example of such would be assessing a business plan review presented by a CEO veteran who has been establishing successful businesses for over 25 years. Remember, their credentials need to be mentioned briefly since we would not want the rhetorical analysis essay to turn into a biography of the author.

In essence, Logos evaluates and promotes the use of reason to make one’s point. Thus, as an academic piece, it is vital to make use of undeniable facts that are backed up by data and evidence. Doing so allows students to carry a substantial argument across which is a valuable skill to have no matter what rhetorical analysis essay topics are being explored. Visibly Logos interacts heavily with all the previously mentioned elements since together they will combine to either prove a point or leave us questioning it.

Lastly, Pathos, also referred to as pathetic appeals look to make use of human emotions to sway or gain the approval of the target audience. Authors seek to draw out a specific reaction according to the subject matter being discussed. For example, if it is a criminal forensic analysis being examined in the rhetorical analysis essay than we are faced with the feeling of sympathy towards the victim’s family as well as a feeling of anger towards the perpetrator.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topic Examples

Struggling to come up with a persuasive rhetorical analysis essay topics? Don’t worry, most of us do. The lucky ones amongst us get their rhetorical analysis essay topics given out by their lecturer. Nonetheless, there are some instances where students will be required to tailor their own. Thus, to help you find the right rhetorical analysis essay topic, we have compiled a list containing some of the most popular areas of interest.

Some of the most interesting rhetorical analysis essay topics are written about memorable speeches given out by U.S. Presidents. Our choices will usually concern famous people as well as the impact of their work. Therefore, for some students according to their interests, it might be better to look at Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a dream” or maybe even Steve Jobs Commencement Speech as possible rhetorical analysis essay topics. Other options would include writing about famous plays such as Hamlet by Shakespeare or the short stories written by Edgar Allen Poe. Regardless of what field you are passionate about there are always a variety of rhetorical analysis essay topics students can make use of.


How To Get It Done Quickly: Pro Tips & Tricks

With so many elements involved in piecing together a fantastic rhetorical analysis essay students must form a well structured analysis assessing the effectiveness of the intricate stylistic details being presented throughout the text. Thus, to help guide you on the right path below, there are a number of great tips and tricks that one can use to take their rhetorical analysis essay to the next level.

How to Incorporate the Elements Into Your Rhetorical Analysis Essay

As previously mentioned no rhetorical analysis essay is complete without examining the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of the text. Since we now know all the dominant elements that interact with these appeals let us see how one would go about turning them into a rhetorical analysis essay masterpiece. Here are some great tips to help you on this journey:

  • The outline should organize the information gathered meticulously. It makes writing the rhetorical analysis essay a piece of cake further down the line.
  • Define what rhetorical strategy or strategies are predominant within the text.
    • Do they manage to carry the author’s point across when examined using DIDLES or SOAPSTone?
    • Does their choice of strategy or strategies affect the success of the piece in this rhetorical analysis essay?
    • Explain why you think the analogies and figurative language had a significant impact on the text.
    • Take note of repeating ideas, imagery, and language as it is often used to reinforce a point and make it memorable to the audience.
    • Remember imagery is directly related to Pathos, meaning it is always used to stir some kind of reaction from the public. Diction and Tone serve as the salt and pepper of the dish either supporting the imagery presented or by being too much making it inedible.
    • Attempting to disprove the opposition’s arguments towards the text improves the effectiveness of the rhetorical analysis essay by showing the student has an exceptional understanding of the topic.
  • Regardless of the text under assessment for the rhetorical analysis essay, it is important to note that students do not necessarily have to agree with the argument being presented. It gives them a chance to disprove the case by using elements of DIDLES and SOAPSTone to highlight various failures where the author may have come up short.
  • Take into account both sides of the coin. As a young academic it is important to acknowledge both what makes something great as well as what might drag it down in the rhetorical analysis essay assignment. By carefully taking into consideration the motifs of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos it becomes a lot easier to put the piece into the desired perspective.

Create a Well-Structured Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

It is not a mystery that having a well written rhetorical analysis essay outline will help make the assignment a lot easier to handle. In this section, we will cover how all the elements listed previously come into place by using a rhetorical analysis essay outline example. Similar to most academic assignments the rhetorical analysis essay comes with an Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion. Some argue that it should also include a Thesis Statement section; however, we have included it within the introduction to help make it simpler while brainstorming a rhetorical analysis essay outline. The information below describes what a rhetorical analysis essay outline should contain in each respective section as well as where certain elements should be emphasized upon.


  • Introduce the audience to the rhetorical analysis essay topics by identifying what your goals will be from the start
  • State what text will be looking at throughout the rhetorical analysis essay
  • Introduce the audience to the SOAPSTone and DIDLES elements and why you think these are predominant in the text. Make sure you develop these ideas in a rhetorical analysis essay outline first.
  • Create a feasible thesis statement which does not make it overly complicated to approach the text and the rhetorical analysis essay topic

Main Body

  • Structure the data that will be presented according to your rhetorical analysis essay outline including the three appeals: Ethos, Logos, Pathos. Remember that they do not necessarily have to be displayed in any particular order instead seek to make use of the most suitable format for the rhetorical analysis essay topic at hand.
  • The alternative to structuring the text according to the appeals is by organizing it in chronological order. Doing so makes it a lot easier and significantly more straightforward to assemble even as a rhetorical analysis essay outline.
  • As indicated by Logos, use all of the elements presented to you in this rhetorical analysis essay guide to give the piece the amount of depth it needs.
  • Maintain a scholarly tone in your analysis. It should be done regardless of what kind of Language is used throughout the text chosen for the rhetorical analysis essay. Students should avoid the use of “I” and “We” and instead look to write using only third person denominations.


  • Quite often we hear our lecturers say they want students to include or repeat the thesis in their conclusion. Nonetheless, what they mean by it is that the thesis must be elevated before it is served to the audience. The best thing to do is to include the information that the audience would not have known without taking the time to go through the rhetorical analysis essay.
  • Keep it brief when restating these facts since you have spent the entire rhetorical analysis proving or supporting these points. Virtually anything that is being reiterated should be summarized.
  • In some rare cases, the audience will be required to do some extra research to help place everything into a clearer perspective. If this is the case for you, we recommend explaining why it is necessary to the audience in the rhetorical analysis essay conclusion as well as providing a link or platform if possible where one may finalize the research. It is vital to include how all of this is beneficial to the real world if requiring it.

Overall, it is quite easy to piece a rhetorical analysis essay outline together once you know what it should contain.

Running out of time and need some professional help?

Regardless of age students can often find something a lot more interesting to do than their coursework or homework assignments. For some of us, our extracurricular activities involve sport, reading or just developing our professional career by devoting all our free time to the job. Nonetheless, no matter what our passion is it is important to hand in the rhetorical analysis essay on time and with the attention to detail it deserves. In the off chance, you just do not have the time to take care of it personally it is recommended to give the experts at our essay writing service a shout and together produce a stunning rhetorical analysis essay. Do not let stress and late nights damage your health, just contact us and have it take care of by professionals.

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