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Writing a Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay. Introductions and Thesis statements. A Note on Introductions. First, you must have a clear idea of your topic. Next, consider the parts of the essay you will analyze. Emotional, logical, ethical appeals? . Use of scene and story.

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writing a good rhetorical analysis essay

Writing a Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Introductions and Thesis statements

a note on introductions
A Note on Introductions
  • First, you must have a clear idea of your topic.
  • Next,consider the parts of the essay you will analyze.
  • Emotional, logical, ethical appeals?
  • Use of scene and story
  • Format (Is it written like a story? A speech? A list? Etc.
  • Identify the intended audience.
identify s o a p s in your introduction
Identify S.O.A.P.S in your Introduction
  • S = Speaker
    • Who wrote the text?
  • O = Occasion
  • Was this a speech given at a particular event or an article written at a crucial moment?
  • A = Audience
    • Who was meant to hear/read this text?
  • P = Purpose
    • Why was this written?
  • S = Subject
    • What’s the point?
format intro like this
Format Intro Like This:

Speaker, Occasion, Subject

Purpose

Audience

first sentence
First Sentence
  • Example:

Novelist Amy Tan in her narrative essay, “Fish Cheeks,” recounts an embarrassing Christmas Eve dinner when she was fourteen years old.

  • Speaker, Occasion, and Subject

(Writer’s credentials) (writer’s first and last name) in his/her (type of text), (title of text), (strong verb – see list at end of this PowerPoint) (writer’s subject).

second sentence
Second Sentence
  • Purpose

(Writer’s last name)’s purpose is to (what the writer does in the text).

  • Example:
    • Tan’s purpose is to convey that, at fourteen, she
    • wasn’t able to recognize the love her mother had for her or
    • the sacrifices she made.
third sentence
Third Sentence
  • Audience

He/she adopts a[n] (adjective describing the attitude/feeling

conveyed by the writer) tone in order to (verb phrase describing

what the writer wants readers to do/think) in his/her (intended

audience).

  • Example:
    • She adopts a sentimental tone to appeal to similar
    • feelings and experiences in her adult readers.
complete example first three sentences
Complete Example (First Three Sentences)

Novelist Amy Tan in her narrative essay, “Fish Cheeks,” recounts an embarrassing Christmas Eve dinner when she was fourteen years old. Tan’s purpose is to convey that, at fourteen, she wasn’t able to recognize the love her mother had for her or the sacrifices she made. She adopts a sentimental tone in order to appeal to similar feelings and experiences in her adult readers.

thesis statements
Thesis Statements?

Now that you’ve established your S.O.A.P.S., you should write your thesis statement, which will guide your reader through your essay.

  • So, your fourth (possibly fifth) sentence will look something like this:
  • Example:
    • Tan’s use of emotional appeal, story-like narration, and humor work together to create an effective and poignant coming-of-age essay.
complete example the introduction
Complete Example: the Introduction

Novelist Amy Tan in her narrative essay, “Fish Cheeks,” recounts an embarrassing Christmas Eve dinner when she was fourteen years old. Tan’s purpose is to convey that, at fourteen, she wasn’t able to recognize the love her mother had for her or the sacrifices she made. She adopts a sentimental tone in order to appeal to similar feelings and experiences in her adult readers. Tan’s use of emotional appeal, story-like narration, and humor work together to create an effective and poignant coming-of-age essay.

what if something isn t quite right
What if something isn’t quite right?
  • You may notice a lack of clarity or an unfairness in the writing. You are welcome to point that out in your analysis.
    • For example, remember how we talked about the ideas behind Berry’s and King’s texts sounding really great, except they both kind of make the whole process sound a lot easier than it is?
  • Also, if you notice a writer relying too heavily on emotional appeal and lacking logic, or if you notice the use of several fallacies, you could address those issues in your essay.
writing great introductions strong verbs vs weak verbs
Writing Great Introductions: Strong Verbs vs. Weak Verbs
  • Weak Verbs (just a few)
    • says, relates, tells, explains, shows, states, goes on to say, this quote shows….
  • Strong Verbs (just a few)
    • implies, suggests, trivializes, qualifies, flatters, processes, describes, lionizes, dismisses, analyzes, questions, compares, vilifies, praises, supports, enumerates, contrasts, emphasizes, demonizes, establishes, admonishes, expounds, argues, ridicules, defines, minimizes, narrates, lists, warns, etc.
rhetorical analysis checklist
Rhetorical AnalysisChecklist

Approximately two (2)pages, double spaced

12 point, Times New Roman font

MLA formatted with Works Cited page

Must address at least three features

Must use at least three examples from the text to support thesis; must include some direct quotations and paraphrased passages to illustrate examples.