Rhetorical analysis - ooh, that sounds heavy, doesn’t it?
Let’s first understand what a rhetorical analysis essay is. The word ‘rhetoric’ refers to the study of words writers use to communicate and influence their readers. Basically, rhetorical analysis is nothing but analyzing a writer’s writing.
Original: SourceMore than writing about whether you agree or not with the writer’s arguments, this essay asks you to dive deep into how the writer has chosen to write. It’s about dissecting into the piece to determine the writing techniques used to deliver the main point or message.
This might sound stressful and confusing but that’s what we’re here for - to break down the steps to writing a rhetorical analysis essay and help you put together an impressive, high-scoring paper.
- How to Approach a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
- 6 Simple Steps to Write an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Before jumping straight into the steps to writing a rhetorical analysis essay, it’s important to understand how to approach such an essay and the factors you need to consider in order to do justice to it.
This is where the SOAPSTone strategy comes into the picture. It stands for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject and Tone. Following this strategy helps you plan the essay and approach it in an organized manner.
Read on to know what each of these crucial elements constitute of and the questions you need to answer while writing a rhetorical analysis essay.Speaker
‘Speaker’ refers to the person telling the story. Don’t mistake the author and speaker to be the same voice. In many instances, the author may choose to tell the story from the main character or narrator’s point of view.
Questions to ask: Who is the speaker? Are the author and speaker the same? What do you know about the speaker? What assumptions can you make about him/her?Occasion
‘Occasion’ refers to the setting or context of the piece of writing. While analyzing ‘occasion’, there are two ways to look at it - micro and macro view. Micro is about understanding where the writing was set while macro is about considering when the author wrote it and what was the environment like.
Questions to ask: What is the time and place of the text? What era is it set in? What are the historical events that took place then? What details are mentioned about the social or political climate? How does the environment influence the text?Audience
As the name suggests, ‘audience’ asks you to consider who the text is directed to. The audience of a text can range from a certain person to a group of people.
Questions to ask: Who is the audience? Does the speaker define the audience? What do you know about the audience? What assumptions can you make? Why was the text written for that specific audience?Purpose
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