Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Tips & Examples

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Published on: Aug 4, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Rhetorical analysis essay outline

A rhetorical analysis essay is an essay type that aims to study how the author persuaded, informed, or entertained the audience. This essay type analyzes the text in specific terms of rhetoric. Then break it down into several parts and examine them individually.

The writer uses different techniques and methods to analyze text. Writing this essay requires a writer to explore the author’s writing style and present information in a structured manner.

To make this essay effective, develop an outline, and organize your raw data into logical information.

This article is written to understand how a rhetorical analysis essay outline is created. Continue reading the blog and make your academic writing impressive.

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline?

An outline of an essay is as important as a backbone to the human body. An outline provides a structure to the content making it readable and understandable for the readers.

A rhetorical analysis essay uses the traditional essay outline to arrange its content. According to the standard outline, an essay is divided into three sections and five paragraphs.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

Outlining an essay falls under the planning phase. Experts suggest before you jump on to the writing process, plan out your essay. Arrange all the gathered ideas and information in a logical order to make it easier for you to write the essay.

Start your essay with all the pre-writing steps. Pre-writing includes choosing a topic, identifying the target audience, and gathering supporting information. After taking these steps, arrange everything according to the outline.

Continue reading to learn how the information is organized in each section.

  • Introduction

    An introduction is the first section of your rhetorical analysis essay. It introduces the selected piece of work and the essay topic to the audience.

    The rhetorical analysis essay’s introductory paragraphs must be informative to clear the primary goal to the readers. The rhetorical analysis introduction has three basic components:

    1. Hook
    2. Background information
    3. Thesis statement.

    The opening statement of the introductory paragraph is called a hook. The purpose of drafting this sentence is to grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to read the entire essay. The hook statement is designed, keeping in mind the chosen text and its theme.

    Once you have started your essay, provide the background information for your essay. The background information includes the author and his work’s introduction and strategies to persuade the audience.

    After this, the writer provides his argument or claim on the original text. It is the essay’s thesis statement, and the writer proves it by gathering evidence from the chosen content. The last part of the introduction makes the audience clear about what the paper is about. 

    Here's an example of a rhetorical essay introduction to a speech from president trump:

    Rhetorical Essay Introduction - Example

    President Donald Trump's speech about the economy to the people of the United States has been an enthralling one that many have heard and discussed for months. His words motivate and inspire a nation, but also raise questions about his intentions and his message toward his own people. In this rhetorical analysis essay, we will discuss President Trump's speech from a persuasive approach and examine the techniques used to convey his message.

  • Body Paragraphs

    Your essay’s body is the most significant section of the outline as it contains all the details on the topic. Therefore, this part of the essay presents an in-depth analysis of the text. 

    Each point is discussed in a separate paragraph in the body section. A topic sentence is used for each paragraph. It focuses on the point that is to be addressed in that particular segment. The topic sentence makes it easier for the readers to identify which aspect is under discussion in that specific paragraph.

    Moreover, the body paragraphs shed light on the persuasive methods that the author used and their effectiveness. The writer uses quotes and analysis to support the main thesis statement.

    A trick to making your content stand out is to quote less and provide more analysis. The readers are looking forward to seeing your viewpoint on the text.

    In a nutshell, the body of the rhetorical analysis essay should discuss the following things:

    • Effectiveness of the strategies
    • How well the strategy works in the example?
    • Reasons behind choosing the specific approach
    • Effects of the appeals on the audience

Here’s an example of a rhetorical analysis essay’s body paragraphs.

Rhetorical Analysis Paragraph - Example

The President begins his speech by speaking of the nation “in a moment of renewal,” reflecting on how times have changed and noting that “America is once again ready to show the world our stuff.” His use of words like “renewal” and “ready” invoke a sense of anticipation and excitement in the minds of his listeners. He then details a series of accomplishments that have been achieved since he took office, such as creating jobs and cutting taxes for millions of people. This is an example of President Trump's use of logos - an appeal to fact-based evidence that he believes will support his argument and bolster his credibility. 

The President then goes on to address the economy and the need for Americans to invest in the future. He speaks with confidence, stating that “we can make our economy stronger and more resilient than ever before.” His words are inspiring, encouraging citizens to believe in themselves and the potential of their country. He also uses pathos - an appeal to emotion - in order to drive home his point. He states, “Let us stand strong together and show the world what America is capable of achieving.” His words elicit a feeling of patriotism that can be felt throughout the crowd. 

Finally, President Trump ends his speech by emphasizing the need to “build a brighter future” and “make our nation greater.” These words leave the audience feeling as if they have been empowered, imbued with the belief that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. His use of language here is an example of ethos - an appeal to ethics, or trustworthiness. By using these words, President Trump has established himself as a trustworthy leader whom his audience can believe in.

  • Conclusion

    All the paragraphs in the body section should lead the audience toward the rhetorical analysis essay’s conclusion. It is the last section where the discussion is concluded by summarizing the significant points. Moreover, the conclusion also highlights how the author influenced the audience’s opinion or society in general.

    At the end of the concluding paragraph, restate the text’s importance and its contribution to history.

    Here’s an example of a rhetorical analysis essay conclusion.

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay Conclusion - Example

    Overall, President Trump's speech was an effective and persuasive piece of rhetoric. He used logos, pathos, and ethos to bolster his argument and inspire the nation to pursue its dreams. His message resonated with many and left citizens feeling empowered and hopeful for the future.

Types of Rhetorical Strategies

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is a bit different from other essay types. The reason is, a writer studies rhetorical or persuasive techniques used by the author to influence his audience.

Generally, there are three rhetorical devices or strategies through which the author attempts to persuade the audience. These include:

  • Ethos - It establishes the writer’s credibility in the work. Ethos is then used to persuade the audience on a particle idea. The author built this credibility through his knowledge, expertise, and moral competence in the field.
  • Pathos - It is a device that the author uses to appeal to the reader’s emotions. The goal of this technique is to arouse feelings in the audience to persuade them.
  • Logos - Unlike the other two devices, logos is a strategy that uses logic and reasons to persuade readers. The writer uses facts, critical thinking, statistics, and undeniable data to convince the audience of his viewpoint.

For writing an effective rhetorical analysis essay, a writer identifies the author’s strategies in the original text and evaluates them.

Here's an example of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Ethos: The author has a Ph.D. in biology and his field research has been published in esteemed journals, including Nature and Scientific American.

Pathos: The piece includes stories of people who have suffered from the effects of climate change, which can help readers to feel an emotional connection to the material. 

Logos: Statistical evidence is used to demonstrate the severity of climate change, and to illustrate how much it could impact our planet’s future.

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Watch the video to discover more about rhetorical strategies and how they can help you create persuasive content.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Students require written examples and essay samples to understand the actual writing process and its structure. The following are examples to make the students learn the rhetorical analysis essay concept.

These examples will allow them to draft an impressive piece, making them achieve higher grades. 

Expert Tip

Searching for additional rhetorical analysis essay examples? Click this link to explore more essays!

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics 

Rhetorical analysis essays are a great way to practice analyzing and interpreting the persuasive techniques used in different forms of media. 

So, if you’re stuck on where to begin, why not start with one of these Rhetorical Analysis Essay topics for college students?

  • "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "The Gettysburg Address" by President Abraham Lincoln
  • The use of imagery in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"
  • The impact of tone in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
  • The use of ethos, pathos, and logos in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"
  • "The First Inaugural Address" by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech by Malcolm X
  • "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift
  • Civil rights movement  protests
  • The representation of society in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"


Expert Tip

Need more rhetorical analysis essay topics? Visit this link!

In summary, the rhetorical analysis essay outline is a valuable tool to analyze a piece of writing. By using the outline to structure their analysis, writers can present a clear and convincing argument.

Are you still confused? Not sure where to take the start and which format to follow? Take our professional's help.

Embark on your academic journey with confidence, thanks to our college essay writing service. Tailored to meet the unique demands of college assignments, our team of expert writers is committed to delivering essays that not only meet but exceed your expectations. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you outline a rhetorical analysis?

Here are some tips that will help you outline a rhetorical analysis essay.

  • Identify the rhetorical strategies
  • Describe the rhetoric appeals
  • State your thesis statement
  • Organize your ideas


What are the 5 parts of rhetorical analysis?

Below are the five main parts of rhetorical analysis.

  • Text
  • Author
  • Audience
  • Purpose
  • Setting

How many paragraphs is a rhetorical analysis essay?

When writing a rhetorical analysis, it is important to use a typical 5-paragraph essay structure. A rhetorical analysis essay must include three essential parts: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

What are the 6 elements of the rhetorical situation?

The six main elements of the rhetorical situation are;

  1. Audience
  2. Author
  3. Purpose
  4. Medium
  5. Context
  6. Content

What are the 8 rhetorical modes?

The main eight rhetorical modes are;

  1. Description
  2. Illustration
  3. Definition
  4. Compare and contrast
  5. Cause and effect
  6. Classification
  7. Argumentation 
  8. Narration
Cathy A.


Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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