How to Perform Rhetorical Analysis

How to Perform Rhetorical Analysis

Length: 503 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
How to Perform Rhetorical Analysis

Becoming a critical reader means learning to recognize audiences, writers, points of view and purposes, and to evaluate arguments. In addition to the rhetorical triangle, structure of an argument, and rhetorical appeals, you should look at the following devices used by authors when performing critical analysis. Keep in mind too that these are only some of the devices, and that authors may use other rhetorical devices as well.

Word choice

Denotative language. Words that relate directly to the knowledge and experience of the audience. Includes specialized, precise or familiar words that speak to logic. Specialized terminology from medicine or law speaks to doctors or lawyers. Precise language that shuns emotional coloration appeals to people who use logic and reason, regardless of profession.

Connotative language: Words that relate to deeper, symbolic levels of meaning. It includes social meanings acquired through use and emotional associations. It can also reflect social, racial, political, or religious stereotypes. For example, a writer who refers to liberals as “bleeding hearts” communicates not only her or his own bias, but an expectation that the audience shares this bias.

Tone: can be characterized as the author’s attitude toward the reader or toward the topic.
Formal: Creates a distance between the writer and audience by removing most I’s and you’s, and by using elevated, specialized language. Formal tone suggests a serious, high-minded, probably well-educated audience.
Informal: Introduces the personal. When a writer is informal, the kinds of stories she relates, the way she presents herself, even the words she uses suggest audience attributes by indicating what she expects them to accept.
Irony: Points to discrepancies between what exists and what ought to be. It is a subtle tactic that assumes an audience of careful readers. It implies some sort of discrepancy or incongruity, and it counts on the readers’ ability to understand this discrepancy.
Sarcasm: Also points to discrepancies between what exists and what ought to be. A writer using sarcasm often attacks an argument by saying the opposite of what he means.
Humor: Tactic that plays on social group bias. When we laugh at something, we join with people who are of like minds to laugh at the other—the distorted, the unusual, or the exaggerated.

Point of View

Objective: the writer seems removed from what she writes about. Objective writing uses concrete, unemotional words that relate facts, events, and data. It leads readers to action by appealing to logos and ethos.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"How to Perform Rhetorical Analysis." 11 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Rhetorical Analysis Of Aristotle 's Rhetorical Triangle Essay

- For some, an argument may be a discussion that leads people to become mad and feel hate towards someone. This also might bring tension, between friends and family, but there’re times when people just want to discuss a topic that they feel would make the conflict better or resolved. When an argument happens, it’s recommended to use Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle. It is here that Aristotle set’s up three ways to appeal to the audience, which are ethos, pathos, and logos. These three appeals help the writer to persuade, inform, or convince the audience that what he/she is doing the right thing....   [tags: Rhetoric, Logic, Logos, Gus Van Sant]

Research Papers
1039 words (3 pages)

Essay on Rhetorical Analysis : An Ad Campaign

- We have all heard the rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The #LikeAGirl ad campaign by Always attempts to challenge this age-old axiom. In this ad, Always uses a strong emotional appeal to empower pre and post-pubescent girls, to reclaim the phrase as a positive one, and to demonstrate exactly how amazing it is to be a girl. However, the audience of this ad isn’t limited to the consumers that it aims to market toward. Always also markets this ad toward parents that buy feminine hygiene products for their daughters....   [tags: Boy, Girl, Female, Woman]

Research Papers
738 words (2.1 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of a Manual Essay

- Rhetorical Analysis: Quick Start Guide of an MP10 MP3 Player Audience The audience of the Quick Start Guide (QSG) is going to be composed of men and women who have purchased the mp3 player or received it as a gift. The owners of an MP10 mp3 player may or may not have experience using an mp3 player, and even if they do, the experience may not be with this exact model. One way the designers of the QSG allow for a wider audience is by providing a Spanish alternative to the English side. The reader of this guide needs thorough instructions and diagrams in order to begin operating the MP10 as quickly as possible....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1357 words (3.9 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis Of ' The ' First Eat All The Lawyers ' Essay

- Torie Boschs “First eat all the lawyers” appeared in Slate october 2011. Her piece was to reach out to horror fans and to explain to them why zombies are a great monsters in current media. Zombie fanatics who read this short essay will love her vast knowledge of zombies while others who still do not understand why zombies are horribly terrifying can get behind her argument. Bosch explains that the current zombie craze has to do with our current society and how white-collar workers would be left defenceless in a world over run with a rampant horde of zombies....   [tags: White-collar worker, Blue-collar worker]

Research Papers
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Friday Night Lights Rhetorical Analysis Essay

- A town, a team, a dream. Friday Night lights document the 1988 football season of Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. Bissinger explores the various themes of the novel and uses conceit to colorfully describe the contrasting attitudes towards sports and academics. In the small town of Odessa bases Fridays nights in the fall are dedicated to Permian football. As a result of the obsessive attitude towards football a ridiculous amount of pressure is thrusted upon the coaches and players. Bissinger tackled the many problems in the town such as extreme pressure to perform, racism, and the relationship between parent and child....   [tags: Bissinger, football, Odessa, Texas]

Research Papers
915 words (2.6 pages)

Rhetorical Effectiveness in The Lighting Thief by Rick Riorden Essay

- In today’s society, we are exposed to countless amounts of compositions such as novels and films. However, when an individual reads a book or watches a movie, they subconsciously create connections to the plot as they relate it to their own lives. After the movie is completely watched one is able to sit down and ask himself, “Did I like that movie?” While an average person could give a simple yes or no answer, a professional in the field of reviewing movies and novels knows that the quality of the movie is directly related to its rhetorical effectiveness....   [tags: thos, logos, pathos, persuasion]

Research Papers
2771 words (7.9 pages)

Essay on Schools Awaken to Teens' Sleep Needs

- “Hundreds of school districts around the country have pushed back school start times” States the writer for the Chicago Tribune, Kay Manning. In her essay, “Schools Awaken to Teens’ Sleep Needs,” implies students are impaired by their lack of sleep. Manning’s purpose is to convey the idea that it is a necessity for schools to look into starting school later due to the effects of sleep deficiency on children and their school work. She adopts an urgent tone in order to grab the support of her adult readers....   [tags: rhetorical analysis of Kay Manning essay]

Research Papers
565 words (1.6 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis Of ' Thou Shall Not Commit Logical Fallacies ' Essay

- “Thou shall not Commit Logical Fallacies” Logical fallacies are tricks and illusions of thought. They are often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people into thinking in a specific way. There are a lot of ways that people make terrible and invalid arguments. Making a good argument is about using logic to prove a conclusion based on some given facts. In a valid argument, the conclusion actually does follow from the facts. Unfortunately, this can go wrong in many ways. Facts don 't always support conclusions in the way an argument 's author thinks he does....   [tags: Argument, Fallacy, Ad hominem, Logic]

Research Papers
981 words (2.8 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis to Defend Mental Health in Schools Act Essay

- ... In my letter, I establish a logical argument indicating that studies done by researchers show that at least one out of five students in the United States experience or suffer from mental health disorder or illness. The attention these students receive is vastly inadequate. I was more than shocked to find that only 20% of American youth with diagnosable mental disorders receive mental health care and I intentionally emphasized this point in my letter. The remaining 80% are overlooked. The increased numbers of untreated mental illnesses is tragic....   [tags: society, health, children]

Research Papers
878 words (2.5 pages)

Letter to a Playground Bully by Andrea Gibson Essay

- Andrea Gibson’s’ poem ‘Letter to the Playground Bully’ is an unforgettable poem about bullying. She cleverly crafts a poem from the perspective of an 8 and a half year old girl who is trying to confront the playground bully through a letter. The poem’s sole purpose is to expose the hardships and reality for victims of bullying. She achieves this by making the speaker a younger version of herself. She wrote this poem in order to perform in front of high school and elementary school students to try and stop bullying....   [tags: rhetorical analysis, poetry]

Research Papers
1150 words (3.3 pages)

Related Searches

Subjective: The writer uses interpretations, comments, and judgments that appeal to pathos.

Types of Support

Fact: statistics or research performed by others in support of one’s argument.
Example: another situation that is comparable to one’s own.
Personal Experience: a story from a person’s life that supports one’s point.
Description: an explanation of the relevant details that are comparable.
Expert Opinions: the use of a quote or opinion of someone whose opinion is educated and respected.


Inductive: begin with observed specifics and move to generalized conclusions.
Deductive: begin with generalizations and move to specific instances.

Return to