How To Write A Rhetorical Essay: A Simple Process

Your goal in a rhetorical essay assignment is to provide an analysis on a selected text. This can be anything from a poem to a novel to a critique. Anything that has been written is fair game. You are tasked with breaking down the author’s work into small components (e.g., words, sentences, paragraphs, etc.) and evaluate the work’s overall effectiveness in communicating the author’s perceived intent. A rhetorical essay can be a bit tricky to write for any student who has little to no experience doing so, but we have a simple process that should help anyone put together a great assignment:

  • Text Review, Note-Taking and Preparation

    As a part of of your analysis you need to take careful notes and organize your arguments. Re-read the text and prepare your position by organizing related topics and sub-topics. Keep them in order to start thinking about your central argument.

  • Creating a Thesis and Essay Outline

    Brainstorm your ideas and opinions and formulate a draft thesis statement. Your argument can change along the way but it’s a good idea to have one in place to guide your first draft. An outline helps to organize your thoughts, sub-topics, evidence, and examples in a logical form.

  • Writing the First Rhetorical Essay Draft

    Print out and place the outline next to the keyboard. Start typing, writing everything that comes to mind as it relates to the assignment. When you get off track, check your outline and jump right back to the spot you should be focused on. Don’t stop if you can’t come up with the correct word, just keep going!

  • Put the Essay Away for a Few Days

    Removing yourself from work for at least 2 or 3 days will give you the clear perspective you need to rethink your thesis, argument, structure, and presentation. Take a break, go outside and avoid working on the rhetorical essay. When you come back to it, you will see how easy it is to review the work.

  • Review the Essay and then Make Revisions

    Reread the entire assignment and make notations in places you feel can be improved. Revision is a process in which you make improvements by adding, rearranging, or deleting content. This exercise is extremely important and should be allotted several hours to complete.

  • Edit, Proofread and Put In Finishing Touches

    Like all other academic assignments, you need to practice careful editing and proofreading of the entire essay. For finishing touches, make sure that all margins, paragraph breaks, and line spaces are set correctly and are consistent throughout. Even these small matters can cost you a few points, so be sure not to overlook them.

This might not be as easy as it sounds. But with a lot of hard work and practice you should be able to craft an elegant rhetorical essay in a matter of days. If you find this or any other type of writing assignment confusing, we’re here to help. Give us a call or chat with our customer support team to discuss all of the different ways we can provide assistance. We’re available 24/7 and have writers and editors standing by to take on any assignment.