A Guide on How to Prepare a Rhetorical Analysis Thesis

A rhetorical analysis paper is one that studies, in greater detail, the methods an author used to bring out the desired effect from their work successfully. These works that are being analyzed could include the likes of speeches, textual pieces like magazines or other publications, visual works like videos or adverts. A rhetorical analysis aims at discussing the tools and techniques the original author (also referred to as a rhetorician) used to convey his message.

These techniques could include facial expressions, humor, sarcasm, logical, emotional and psychological appeals, evidence backed up by facts, or any other attempt to capture the trust and approval of the reader or audience. This type of essay requires the student to interact with the work and pick up the techniques used by the rhetorician, then showcase how they managed to use the methods successfully or otherwise.

How to Prepare for a Rhetorical Analysis Thesis

Writing a rhetorical analysis thesis requires preparation before the student can actually get down to writing the thesis. Students need to have a stand before they write a rhetorical analysis thesis. This requires that the student goes through the video or text publication thoroughly. From this, the student should pick up the goal that the rhetorician was trying to achieve by their work. The student then checks if the rhetorician`s attempt was successful. This is then followed by looking into the tools and techniques that the rhetorician used, and how effective they were in producing the desired target.

For a student to produce an expertly written paper, they should do the following:

  •  Employ the SOAP technique: SOAP stands for a set of steps taken, and they are broken down as follows.
  1.  S - The student should get a suitable subject; preferably something they will be interested in exploring as this will make them have enough motivation to pursue it to the end.
  2.  O – This stands for the occasion and context in which inspired the rhetorician to come up with their work. This could be an environment, an event or a series of events that trigger the author to come up with their work.
  3.  A – This is the target audience the thesis is meant to reach. The student determines the approach of their work on whether their audience is a single person or a group of people.
  4.  P – This stands for purpose. Why is the student writing the paper? The student should know what they want to achieve with writing the article.
  5.  S – This stands for the speaker. The student determines if they shall voice their opinion as themselves or if they shall create a character to help them bring out the meaning.
  •  The student should involve rhetorical stages. One stage is using appeals. Appeals consist of elements such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Another rhetorical stage is the writing style. This is how the student communicates to the reader, and some things to watch out for are the tone, the dialect, the language, the voice, any imagery to be used and so on.
  •  The student should gain an understanding of why the rhetorician communicated the way they did to reach their target audience. Study how the strategies the rhetorician used to appeal to the audience and why the approaches were used in that specific context.

How to Get Started on a Rhetorical Analysis Thesis

As like other academic papers, a rhetorical analysis thesis paper has to be structured in an organized manner. The structure is not really different from other types of academic journals. It all depends on the school and lecturer`s preference and instructions. Next thing that a student should seek to do is to ensure that they grab the attention of their readers from the onset. One strategy that works is to choose a hook that will reflect the topic at hand. When selecting a catch, the student should keep in mind that it should carry the writing style that the student intends to use in the rest of the paper. The hook should also be written in consideration of the audience.

Crafting a Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement

It is clear that summarizing an entire paper into one sentence is not the easiest thing in the world, especially if your academics depend on it. That is the feeling that most students get when trying to come up with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the building block of a thesis as it dictates the direction a paper will go. The arguments that are contained in a thesis revolve around this one statement as they seek to qualify it. The thesis is a short argument, and it should clearly show your standpoint on the topic at hand. If for instance, you are analyzing a video advertisement, your thesis statement should be your interpretation of the piece on a personal level.

A thesis statement primarily consists of three parts: the topic, the author`s argument and the reason for the taking that stand. When preparing the thesis statement, steer away from using personal pronouns and aim to present the statement objectively. Use different strategies to make the reader side with you from the very beginning.

A rhetorical analysis thesis statement could be written as follows:

“John Doe successfully convinces the audience of the negative effects of consumption of biologically cultured food products by employing factual evidence.”

Choose a Strategy to Approach the Paper

Since the thesis statement already introduced the audience the direction that the article will take, the next thing is for the writer to choose a strategy that will adequately support and bring out the opinion voiced by the problem statement. This helps the reader keep the reader with them till the very end. A good strategy should use any of the persuasive strategies or appeals as earlier mentioned in this paper.

  •  Ethos: This where the writer appeals to societal ethics to appeal to the audience in a bid to win them overtake the same stand.
  •  Pathos: This is where the writer appeals to the emotions of the audience. The target is to make the audience have an emotional response to the paper and that way the writer may manage to win over the audience.
  •  Logos: This is where the writer uses logical thinking to prove to the reader that the stand they have taken is the right one. This involves the use of factual evidence and other logical arguments to determine to the audience that you are right by making a clear stand.

How to Structure a Rhetorical Analysis Paper: A General Outline

As mentioned earlier, a rhetorical analysis paper has an outline just like other academic papers out there. A few aspects of the framework may differ from the rest but keep in mind that following the supervisor`s specific instructions is vital. That said, regardless of whatever guidelines you have these are the general outlines that a rhetorical analysis paper should have.

  •  Gathering Information: This comes before the student starts writing their paper. It begins with the student identifying the piece they shall analyze. The student then interacts with it so they can pick a stand and determine the arguments they shall use. What follows after is selecting the writing style they shall employ, which is determined by who their target audience will be. The student should then explore the different persuasive appeals they shall use to get the attention of their audience. Once the student has this catered for, they can get down to writing.
  •  The Introductory Paragraph: Nothing is more important than your first impression, and that is what an introduction is to your paper. Your opening is what determines if you keep or lose your audience from the very beginning. An introduction contains the main ideas that you are addressing. One way is through the thesis statement, which gives a summary of what the paper is all about. A thesis statement is the essential part of the introduction as it underlines your stand and you guide the user on the direction the rest of the paper will take through one single statement. It is therefore essential that the user gets it right at the first time of asking.
  •  The Body of the Paper: All the preparation and the introduction are there to usher the user to the body of the paper. We can refer to it as the main course as it carries all the information that the audience is supposed to receive. All the ideas and arguments are explained to greater detail in this section. This is where the writing styles come into play, while at the same time using appeals to get the audience`s attention to the piece. As a writer works their way through the body of the paper, they should be careful to use fresh, credible and factual information, regardless of the type of speaker they are speaking as. There is no fixed method of using appeals and writing styles. In fact, a user could mix them up and use a few of them in their paper.
For instance, the user could use different rhetorical appeals for separate paragraphs. One could start with logos, to state facts and truths to the reader, then switch to epos, to argue using relatable social ethics before coming to a close with pathos appeal, to incite the reader to have an emotional reaction to the paper. This allows the student to be more creative and have more control of the reader`s attention. Note that it is critical to ensure that your points have been well articulated as this is the part of the paper that your audience interacts with the most.
  •  Writing the Conclusion of the Paper: A strong finish is also as important as a good start, and it increases the chances of the reader revisiting your article. The primary purpose of the conclusion is to summarize the entire paper into one paragraph. The ideas and arguments included in the paper are summarized, and the thesis is rewritten, as a means to ensure that the body of the paper has qualified the thesis. The conclusion of a thesis should not be long and should not contain a lot of information. All vital information should have been placed in the body of the paper so brevity should be observed when preparing the conclusion. This is however dependent on the length of the article. Some papers have a broad theme of work, and it requires that the conclusion be slightly longer than standard practices. An excellent way to end a rhetorical analysis essay is by using a strong call-to-action as you ease the reader out. A related question or an expression could do the trick. The primary goal is to make sure that you leave your reader impressed.

With that said, there are a few more tips to note when writing a rhetorical analysis paper, ones that may take students a long way into making their work even better:

  •  After everything is done, ensure that you proofread your work to ensure that you have no grammatical and punctuation errors. One can employ the use of some of the grammar and plagiarism checking tools that are freely and easily accessible online. It also ensures that you followed instructions as was required by the instructor.
  •  All arguments or other information that is meant to support your thesis statement should always appear on the body of the paper. Never add any new information or arguments to the conclusion.
  •  When preparing a paper of this caliber, avoid arguing a lot like the main purpose of the paper is not to hardline your view; the objective is to analyze the methods used by the rhetorician.
  •  Sometimes, a student requires to have more help as they work on their paper. There are multiple websites that provide video tutorials and already written examples of rhetorical analysis paper.

Others would prefer to have the papers written for them, and those services can be obtained online, albeit, at a small fee. Sometimes it is easier for you to have the article written for you by professionals as there is a benefit to this.


Writing a rhetorical analysis essay does not have to be a headache, all as long as you get the preparation of the paper done right. Having an interest in what you are working on takes one a long way as it gives you a foundation of motivation. Get a clear and concise plan on who your target audience will be and that guides one in what approach to take to pass the message. Once you get your overall strategy right, you shall be good to go!

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