How to Write an Outstanding Rhetorical Analysis Essay | Guide & Topics

How to write a rhetorical analysis essay: guide & paper topics

Table of contents:
  1. What is a rhetorical analysis essay?
  2. Types of rhetorical strategies for students
  3. Good rhetorical analysis essay topics for everyone
  4. Rhetorical analysis essay outline
  5. Rhetorical analysis essay example
  6. Conclusion

Any educational institution aims to teach students to think logically, analyze information and form a personal point of view on various events and facts. That is why rhetorical analysis is the foundation of the academic process. Each student will have to write at least one rhetorical analysis essay, which can be a non-trivial task. But how to start the process of preparing and creating such an assignment? And what nuances should students know to avoid pitfalls? Here's what you should know about this type of paper.

What is a rhetorical analysis essay?

Before embarking on writing activities, students need a clear rhetorical analysis essay definition. This assignment focuses primarily on the author's intent and writing technique. Also, the main focus is shifted toward goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience. As a rule, a rhetorical analysis essay has a classic 5-paragraph structure: an introduction with the thesis, a body analyzing the text directly, and a conclusion to wrap up. As you can see, the general paper principle remains unchanged. And now, let's check other essential aspects.

What is the purpose of a rhetorical analysis essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay has a clear purpose: exploring how a writer or speaker uses words to influence an audience. It allows students to examine arguments and understand the persuasive tactics employed critically. You might think, "Why not just buy cheap essay papers?"

Types of rhetorical strategies for students

Surely you want to learn how to write a rhetorical analysis essay quickly, so let's get to the point. Rhetoric is the art of effective speaking and writing. It allows you to persuade the audience and present certain concepts in a manner that will help you achieve the desired results. But first, let's check out three conceptual strategies relevant to every rhetorical analysis essay or research paper.


Thanks to ethos, or ethical appeal, writers present themselves as an authority on their subject. In other words, you can describe smartphones from the position of an expert who knows how to assemble components and program modules.


When it comes to pathos or pathetic appeal, it evokes the audience's emotions. This strategy involves speaking passionately, using vivid imagery, or trying to provoke some emotional response in the audience. The final result depends entirely on your ability to manipulate the audience's emotions.


When it comes to logos or logical appeal, you have to use reasoned arguments to persuade. This strategy often prevails in academia, where arguments are built up using reasoning and solid evidence.

Good rhetorical analysis essay topics for everyone

Students are often afraid of rhetorical analysis essays because they do not understand how to write them  and that’s why the majority decides to turn to essay writing help. Hiring a qualified paper writing helper is always a good, but primitive idea. If you are not ready to entrust your academic success to professionals, but are rather excited about a chance to thrive independently, mind our tips. To get an A for this assignment, you need to read the book and analyze which literary devices the author uses to influence your emotions and mind. Still, many learners get stuck on the first step of writing this essay - selecting the subject to analyze. We want you to succeed in school, so we have compiled a rhetorical analysis topics list to help you make the right choice. Scroll down to browse our 50 options and read sample essays from our extensive database.

Rhetorical analysis ideas based on literary devices

The focus of every rhetorical analysis essay is the author’s use of literary tools and patterns. You can select one or several devices, provide examples and analyze the ways the author uses them to make the writing more powerful and persuasive. You should assess the effectiveness of every literary device and explain your reasoning. Use our rhetorical analysis example topics and sample essays to jumpstart your writing.

  1. Rhetorical strategies and stylistic devices
  2. Elizabeth Gaskell's literary devices
  3. Stylistic devices examples
  4. Adrienne’s essay. A thematic and stylistic review
  5. Literary examples for irony and humor
  6. Cultural and political contexts of asian-american plays
  7. Symbolism in “Heart Of Darkness”, “Sula” and “The Things They Carried"
  8. Animal imagery in "Essay On Man"
  9. The theme of loyalty in Barn Burning by William Faulkner
  10. Female characters and references within Shakespeare's play "Macbeth"
  11. The theme of solitude in literature
  12. The importance of knowledge in the novel "Fahrenheit 451"
  13. Symbolism in "Lord Of The Flies"
  14. "Painted Veil" and racial issues
  15. Feminism and Jane Austen

School reading rhetorical analysis example topics

You might hate most of the books your English teacher made you study, but analyzing them can be fun. This time, you get to dissect the piece and understand why the author had chosen certain words and phrases and how they influence your perception of the work. You have a chance to try your hand at being a literary critic and point out the writer’s shortcomings.

  1. "Beowulf" and "The Odyssey"
  2. Summary of "The Prince"
  3. Bullfighting symbolism in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”
  4. "Romeo And Juliet" rhetorical analysis
  5. Comparison between Charles Wales from "Babylon Revisited" and Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby"
  6. "Hamlet" rhetorical analysis
  7. "Iliad": main themes and analysis
  8. Plato's "Republic"
  9. The similarities and differences between two ovidian tales
  10. "Canterbury Tales", story of lady of bath and the knight
  11. "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" analysis

Poetry rhetorical analysis topics

You don’t have to stick to prose for rhetorical analysis purposes. If your instructor allows it, select one of your favorite poems and analyze the language the poet uses to pluck at the strings of your heart. Be extra attentive, as poems are shorter than novels, and you might have a hard time identifying specific literary devices. Browse our rhetorical essay samples to get a better idea how to analyze a poem.

  1. Rita Dove and her writing experience
  2. "Pride And Prejudice": tintern abbey
  3. Silent voices in three poems

Fiction books rhetorical analysis essay topics

If you can analyze any book for your rhetorical assignment, select the work you know well. It can be the book you have reread five times and still find new and exciting things every time you pick it up again. This way your assignment will turn from a tedious task into a fascinating work of locating the hidden gems and showcasing them for everyone to see.
  1. "Yes, Please" by Amy Poehler
  2. The primary themes in "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland"
  3. "Huckleberry Finn" rhetorical analysis
  4. "Witches Loaves" by O'Henry
  5. "Fight Club" rhetorical analysis
  6. "Violence Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand
  7. "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
  8. Why is "Pride And Prejudice" still popular today?
  9. "The Revenant" by Michael Punke
  10. "Death Of A Salesman" vs "The White Heron"
  11. The main themes in "The Lottery"
  12. "Life In The Iron Mills" literary analysis

Non-fiction rhetorical essay topics

In case you hate fiction, select one of the non-fiction works from your bookshelf. It can be a  recount of historical events, a biography, an essay, a speech or a self-improvement book. Your task will be harder as non-fiction writers don’t always use an abundance of literary devices. You will need to pay close attention to detail to find enough examples for your essay.

  1. Clifford's "The Ethics Of Belief" summary and analysis
  2. "Easter Islands' End" by Jared Diamond
  3. "Success Strategies” analysis
  4. Jonathan Edwards’ Sermons
  5. "Traveling Mercies” by Anne Lamott
  6. "A Nation Among Nations"
  7. "Guns, Germs, And Steel” by Jared Diamond
  8. “The Price Of Inequality” by Joseph Stiglitz
  9. "Cri De Coeur” by Romeo Dallier

Relevant rhetorical rssay topics

Not all students can quickly choose rhetorical analysis essay topics or research areas. That is why your choice can be focused on something relevant. What if you choose an idea related to socially important nuances? Here are the relevant topics you should check out.

  1. Rhetorical analysis of the Three Narratives
  2. An essay on Mass Shootings by Adam Gopnik
  3. The rhetorical analysis of Bernie Sanders' twitter page
  4. Video games/sports as art
  5. Does texting affect writing?
  6. Is there pressure on teenagers to go to college?
  7. Why I Want a Wife by Judy Brady: Rhetorical Analysis
  8. The violence in mass media
  9. American history rhetorical analysis
  10. Memoirs and Desire by Geoff Hamilton: rhetorical analysis
  11. "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King: analysis
  12. The Declaration of Independence
  13. Rhetorical analysis of a TV commercial
  14. Childhood obesity rhetorical analysis
  15. A rhetorical analysis of the article how to fefeat ISIS

Tip from SpeedyPaper

Try not to choose too broad or too narrow topics unless you want to spend a lot of time researching and adapting the information you find to fit your paragraphs.

Deep rhetorical essay topics

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is similar to the process of self-identification. Before you find the truth and bring it to the audience, you must go through several levels and realize all the horizons of ideas. You can choose deep rhetorical analysis essay topics if you are not afraid of complex research areas. In any case, you will be able to understand how far you can go during the analysis of information.

  1. The textual rhetorical analysis of immigration issues
  2. Advertisements in print media
  3. The novel Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel: analysis
  4. King Oedipus play rhetorical analysis
  5. Brief rhetorical analysis of the article dedicated to game violence
  6. The rhetorical analysis of "The Island of Cuba"
  7. Martin Luther King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail" rhetorical analysis
  8. Birmingham letters - rhetorical analysis
  9. Comprising the Blackfish rhetorical analysis
  10. A Crime of Compassion by Barbara Huttmann
  11. Rhetorical analysis essay: J.K. Rowling's and David Foster Wallace's commencement speeches
  12. Rhetorical analysis essay on Donald Trump's political career

Rhetorical analysis essay outline

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay starts with crafting your outline; think of this part as a direct and clear map of your assignment. Such a map visualizes the order in which information is presented and structures the paragraphs to arrange data and convey points. Here's what you should add to an outline for rhetorical analysis essay papers. Follow this guide, and the writing process will no longer burden you.

Rhetorical analysis essay introduction

Every rhetorical analysis essay introduction should be clear and solid. In addition, you can create a background and emphasize the relevance of your work. In other words, this part of your rhetorical analysis essay should become something like a shop window.


Think of your hook as an opening statement that should grab the reader's attention. Put a hook like a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote in the first sentence. As a rule, the beginning of the first paragraph with such a writer's element corresponds to the classical rhetorical analysis essay structure and overall flow.

Tip from SpeedyPaper

Your hook should not be speculative or overly provocative. You may even want to ask your professor what details are appropriate for your opening paragraph.

Background information

If you want to write rhetorical analysis essay papers like a pro, you can't do without background information. Your intro should describe the history of the topic or the cause of the problem the topic addresses. It would help if you also showed the direction you will use to solve a particular problem.

Tip from SpeedyPaper

You don't need to use too much data or suggestions when creating a background. But, as a rule, you need to add a couple of lines to emphasize the vector of your research.

Thesis statement

Think of a thesis statement as the main idea of a rhetorical analysis essay. In other words, you should connect your topic, the central claims, and a foothold to prove your point. As a general rule, your thesis should be placed at the end of the first paragraph to show readers (the professor) what to expect next.

Body paragraphs

Now you know how to start a rhetorical analysis essay and create a solid intro. Next, it's time to talk about body paragraphs. As a rule, your body part will consist of three paragraphs. First, you should write a topic sentence, unpack it, give evidence, and analyze it. The next step is about proving your objective and providing a transition. Repeat this sequence three times to write rhetorical analysis essay papers correctly. But use only one idea or claim per paragraph.

Rhetorical analysis essay conclusion

It's time to figure out how to conclude a rhetorical analysis essay. Typically this paper part wraps up the essay by restating the main argument and visualizing how your analysis has developed it. You can also link general ideas to broader concerns. In any case, this strategy works well.

Tip from SpeedyPaper

Don't repeat all the information you put in the body paragraphs. Instead, restate your thesis and summarize all the previously mentioned nuances in a nutshell.

Rhetorical analysis essay example

Not all students are ready to create a rhetorical analysis essay from scratch. Some freshmen need good samples to get the ball rolling. Here is an example of rhetorical analysis essay paper that you can use as an academic springboard!


Did you find the perfect theme for your essay in our rhetorical analysis topics list? We hope you have made good use of the sample papers from our database. If you are tired of tedious writing, order essay online and make the most of your student life while our writers can complete the rhetorical analysis paper in a blink of an eye!

You will need this detailed guide to craft your first rhetorical analysis essay. You should also learn how to write an admission essay if you plan your academic path. But do not be afraid to stumble because SpeedyPaper is always there to assist and fit the deadline. In addition, our writers can help you anytime, so you don't have to worry about your grades. Thanks to us, your academic routine will not bring you negative emotions.