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10 Questions To Explore In A Rhetorical Analysis Essay
The rhetorical analysis writing assignment is common within fields of communication, media, journalism, history and literature, often given to provide a critical evaluation of a speech or written statement. A lot of students who aren’t already familiar with this type of assignment struggle the first few times they are required to write one. So, we’ve come up with 10 questions to explore when give this writing assignment:
SOAPS: This system is a way of identifying and gathering information, including who the speaker was, what occasion the speech was for, who the audience was, what the purpose of the speech was, and what the subject of the speech was.
Which appeals are being used (ethos, logos, or pathos)? There are three common appeals you should know for this kind of writing: the ethos, the logos, or the pathos. Ethical appeals rely on the author’s credibility in gathering support, logical appeals rely on reason to present an argument, and pathetic appeals rely on evoking some kind of emotion response.
What are the author’s style (diction, details, tone, imagery, syntax, etc.)? Pay attention to how the author uses different elements of style in his speech and highlight the best samples demonstrating their uses.
Consider the reasons behind the author’s strategies? At this point you should be able to analyze why you think the author used the specific strategies identified above (style and appeals).
How do you think these strategies help the author achieve his purpose? Connect the ways the chosen strategies help the author achieve (or fail) at getting his point across and gaining support. Consider what may have been the result if other strategies had been chosen.
Which three aspects are the closest related to form your argument? Now reread the entire piece and find the three best examples that prove to be supporting evidence for your draft argument.
How does each of these aspects help the author achieve his intended purpose? Again, provide a more detailed evaluation of the three examples you’ve chosen to focus on and provide an explanation on how they worked to achieve the author’s intended purpose.
How should you structure your essay for easy comprehension? Now think of how you will structure and order your essay. One of the best strategies is to present your talking points so that they mirror the original speech, but you might find a more creative structure that works better.
How do you compose a thesis for this type of assignment? Your thesis statement should present your overall opinion of what the author accomplished in his approach and intention.
What should you include the concluding paragraph? This is the easiest part of the assignment and simply requires you to remind the reader of your argument and the supporting evidence you have provided in your rhetorical analysis.