Composing a proper rhetorical analysis essay outline

You've Got to Keep the Structure

It is crucial that you make an outline when doing a rhetorical essay. The reason why is because

  • These essays are challenging to organize structurally
  • It is easy to get swept up when discussing someone else's writing and lose all basic essay structure.

Even though you are discussing someone else's work, you still want to keep all the aspects of a basic essay structure. You'll want an introduction, body, thesis, and conclusion.

Essay Structure of a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • First you'll want an introduction. In this introduction, you'll try to get your reader's attention in a few sentences. If you're analyzing an essay, say, titled by an author Bob Smith titled "How Computers and Technology Enhance Learning."
  • Next, you want a strong, narrow thesis statement. You can say something like "In this essay, I'm going to analyze the argument of Bob Smith, who believes that technology is a positive force in young students' lives today. I will analyze if his argument is effective and how well he proves his thesis."
  • In the body of the paper, you want to prove your thesis. You will analyze the essay for how well Smith proves that computers do actually enhance learning.
  • You can take one paragraph and analyze each aspect of this author's argument. For example, in paragraph one, you might want to analyze any studies conducted of a sample of students over time to see how much learning improved after a period.

    Important - you do not have to agree with the author you are analyzing. You may feel their argument crumbles, actually. You might want to analyze the essay from a negative perspective, criticizing the lack of proof for the author's thesis and pointing out places where the argument breaks down.

  • In the conclusion, you want to move to say something ultimate or conclusively about the essay overall. You can discuss how you see the argument from a larger view, placing it in the context of our present moment.
  • You could say something like "Ultimately, although student grades improved after the introduction of computers into one classroom, all kinds of factors could have contributed to this improvement in grades, from a new approach in teaching methods to other factors."

Overall, the rhetorical analysis essay can be challenging but if you do all the things above, you will be successful.