Rhetorical analysis is a study that you can write about any text, video, speech, or work of art which is intended to make an impact on the audience. It analyzes what means the author uses to get his or her message through and to appeal to the public. It discusses an original work’s goal concerning its ability to inform, persuade, or entertain. Next, it carefully scrutinizes all techniques used to reach the author's goal. We mention examples of techniques and argue their effectiveness. Finally, you form your opinion on whether the author succeeds in his or her goal and if all appeals are used effectively. It’s also possible to add a recommendation on how to make a stronger argument on a paper’s topic.
Here you will find rhetorical analysis essay examples written with the intent to demonstrate what you should focus on when writing this type of paper. Two main ways to organize your essay will be discussed and implemented in the samples. Both texts analyzed were taken from a recently published online edition of the New York Times magazine.
As a competition contested every four years by senior national teams that successfully qualified, world cup in soccer is watched passionately by millions of spectators worldwide. For a couple of weeks, people barely ever speak about anything else so that the end of the world cup can feel a bit anticlimactic. In his text titled "The World Cup Ends. The Hangover Begins.” Musa Okwonga gives a post-world cup analysis of his feelings concerning the competition that ended. As a published sport-book author and a football fan, he is ideally fit to offer an educated yet personal view of this competition and its aftermath.
Okwonga opens his article with information on who won this year’s world cup along with his opinion on how they achieved it and why this particular team was victorious. After that, he offers his impression of the 2018 World cup finals as being one of the most thrilling finals in recent history. The writer combines several types of appeals in this section. He starts with logical appeals when giving evidence on who won and works his way to pathetic appeals indicating how he feels about the winning team. By using his credibility as a seasoned sports writer and football fan, he utilizes ethical appeals to influence his audience and convince them of his argument’s validity.
Subsequently, Okwonga goes on to describe how he experienced French victory and what it meant to him, inviting readers to identify with his personal position. By depicting a night of celebration he took part in, he appeals to readers to consider their own experiences of this particular night along with the feelings it evoked. He places himself and his audience on common ground as football fans and passionate spectators. Using strong or emotionally-charged words like “delirious with delight” or “miraculous” he attempts to make a more significant impact on readers as well to convey a mood of exaltation.
Next, Okwonga uses examples of World Cup's most memorable moments to remind readers of what they were privileged to witness during the competition that has just ended. It enhances a sense of sorrow about the competition being over and having to return to mundane reality. Although providing compelling appeals throughout the text, the article comes to an abrupt end. It remains a bit short on arguments as to why the World Cup ending can be such a sobering experience. Comparing the World Cup finals’ aftermath with a hangover could be achieved more successfully if this argument got developed in a few more sentences. In the way it was written, this article’s end is almost as anticlimactic as the day following the night of the final match between France and Croatia.
The example of rhetorical analysis essay given above starts with an introduction to the topic that gets further discussion along with a brief reminder of its significance to a broad audience. The text’s content is then analyzed in chronological order, looking for examples of ethical, pathetical, and logical appeals. Also, the wording gets investigated concerning its efficiency in creating a particular mood and making an impression on readers. The author's qualifications as an experienced sports writer meet the requirements of ethos, while factual evidence given on the competition qualifies as logos. However, this particular text is not intended to convey information; its author presumes that his audience already knows the facts and statistics, so he puts much more emphasis on pathos. The author successfully evokes sympathy for his post-final feelings as well as a wish that the competition and all its excitement would last a bit longer.
In addition to this type essay organization in which the text is analyzed from start to finish, in chronological order, it's also possible to examine it appeal by appeal. Slightly less significant appeals can be given in the opening parts of the analysis while the most compelling ones can be more useful in the finish. Alternatively, use of appeals can be investigated type by type, starting with ethical, moving on to logical, and finally to pathetical appeals.
Every parent is primarily concerned for his children’s safety. When that safety is endangered by those meant to protect it, such as medical professionals, it creates an overwhelming sense of mistrust and insecurity. In his article on the latest vaccine scandal in China, Javier C. Hernández describes how infuriated Chinese parents felt after hundreds of thousands of their children had got injected with faulty vaccines. Hernández calls for public outrage against this practice and insists that those responsible are to find a solution to this problem.
Opening with logical appeals, the author gives factual information on what had happened, how many sub-standard doses of vaccines were produced and by whom. Further in his text, he also refers to a series of previous medical scandals in China and the president’s statement on the issue which he made while visiting Rwanda.
Ethical appeals are used by relying on the authority of government services that researched the quality of vaccines. Citing dependable newspaper sources also further this author's use of ethos.
However, the most persuasive case in this article is made by pathetical appeals achieved by giving excerpts of parental testimony on how they were personally affected by the vaccine scandal. This type of appeal is used most extensively since it provides an opportunity for readers to identify with parents who got interviewed and the ordeal they experienced. No matter whether our child got injected with faulty vaccines or not, this is one of our greatest fears. Even a remote possibility of this happening to us is both infuriating and terrifying. Rhetorical technique of using a common ground for readers and the people portrayed in the article is very efficient here. Every reader can relate to the situation of having one's child subjected to unsafe medical procedures; it's a universal dread that evokes a sense of injustice and creates a strong impression.
The image of inspectors checking vaccines at a government facility for disease control that accompanies this article is used to accentuate the point made. We can argue that a picture of a child getting vaccinated would have provoked a stronger emotional reaction, had this been the author's intention. Since this article’s purpose was more informative than emotional, a more neutral image was chosen for illustration.
The use of words throughout the article was effective in creating a public outrage against this type of scandal. Speaking of "corruption," "abuse," and the events as being "terrible" and "shocking" helps create a stronger impression on readers.
The sole weak point of this article is its end. It lacks a conclusion in which a reiteration of the article’s main points would have surely made an effect on readers. Opting to finish without a proper ending, the author leaves readers to draw their own conclusions as to what action the public should take concerning the problem at hand.
In the rhetorical analysis essay example given above, analysis is conducted by examining all appeals used leaving the most effective technique to be analyzed last. Although stating expert opinions and findings from government agencies makes a compelling argument, readers are emotionally affected by parental testimonies and sympathize with the parents’ ordeal the most. Analysis of style details is done next, including imagery and the choice of words. As it becomes apparent from the examples provided, emotionally charged words are meant to make a lasting impression on the audience and to strengthen the argument made. At the end of the analysis, a possible weak point of this article is mentioned along with a recommendation on how it could have been avoided or made stronger.
Each example of a rhetorical analysis essay provided here illustrates an additional important point. Namely, it's imperative to note that this type of essay doesn't call for you to agree or disagree with the author of the text you analyzed. You are merely meant to discuss the appeals they used to make a point and whether it was effective or not. You don't have to analyze all appeals; you can choose just a few most compelling ones and discuss them in detail. Providing evidence for your claims is another thing to which one must pay attention. This is accomplished by including direct quotations or paraphrasing. Including statistical data and research findings is a useful tool as well.
The tone of writing should remain objective at all times. There can be no room for first-person statements using words like "I" or "we." Sticking to the third person makes your essay sound more objective and unbiased. This is not a type of essay where you need to argue a point. Your job is to examine how the text's author made their point, what arguments they used, and whether it was successful. The validity of arguments is not in question, just the effects they achieve.
Rhetorical analysis essay is quite commonly assigned to college students especially those majoring in literature. However, attempting to how to write a rhetorical analysis for the first time can initially seem like a difficult task. The opportunity to read a rhetorical analysis essay sample makes things easier as it provides a good starting point and an example of how things are supposed to get done. Without an opportunity to read someone else's expertly reviewed rhetorical analysis, it would be easy to overlook an important point or to leave a point uninvestigated. Hopefully, the examples made available here will prove useful for beginners as well as those with already developed writing skills but without experience in writing this type of essay.
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