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10 Best Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example & Sample Papers

Sep 12, 2022

Sep 12, 2022 | Blog

A rhetoric analysis essay is an essay type given in literature classes and courses as a writing assignment.

But, a rhetorical analysis of an article focuses on the meaning behind a given piece of literature; it analyzes how the text is written.

And that is why it is challenging for many students who use our free Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example and Sample Papers. We have provided a rhetorical Analysis Essay Example and sample for students to learn and throw light upon the importance of writing a brilliant Rhetorical Analysis Essay.

In literature, students are taught to pay attention to all text elements.

Therefore, when given an essay, they start by analyzing literary elements such as metaphors and symbolism.

Using this approach, a student ends with an analysis or summary essay instead of a rhetorical essay.

Generally, students find rhetorical analysis essays challenging to write and research.

But, with the right, step-by-step approach, a rhetorical analysis essay is straightforward.

What Is A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. Rhetoric is the study of how writers and speakers use words to influence an audience. A rhetorical analysis essay looks at how an author writes a text and what techniques they use to influence their readers.

Let’s say you want to see how a clock works – you will open it to reveal the gears and cogs.

That is what a rhetorical essay is supposed to achieve precisely.

You are not supposed to know what the author meant, but how and what he used to convey his message.

You will break down phrases and words in a text to reveal all the author’s literary functions.

Amazing Rhetorical Analysis Examples

The following rhetorical essay examples will put the information above into perspective.

Sample Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis of ‘What it is Like to go to War’ by Karl Marlantes

In ‘What it is Like to go to War,’ Karl Marlantes proposes how a society should approach war-related issues and how the soldiers should be prepared for the task ahead. Malantes tells the story from his point of view. He offers expository and graphic pictures of his experiences during the Vietnam War.

The experiences are lodged in his memory, and he feels it’s the right time to share them with readers. He tells the story from his point of view and offers sensory details that will make the reader more involved. The narrative is in the form of a story that is easy to read and follow.

Malantes served as a reserve officer when he was integrated into the active service to serve during the Vietnam War. He witnessed daily deaths and was wounded by a grenade. He received several medals, such as the Navy Cross, one of the highest combat awards. After the Vietnam War, he continued with his studies at Oxford.

During his service at the military intelligence in Washington, DC, he was constantly ridiculed by Americans who did not support the War. He sought professional therapy after experiencing depressing memories of the War. In his narrative, he is open-minded and talks freely about his experiences during the War. He also points out his responsibilities and weaknesses during the War.

Basing his proposal on his experiences, he came up with a better way and a plan that could better prepare soldiers who are expected to go to War. He notes that they should be psychologically and emotionally prepared for the grave outcomes, including killing people. They are expected to treat their enemies with humanity and use ethical violence. They should be armed with the knowledge that serving in combat can be thrilling and, at times, should not feel shame. Malantes notes that he sometimes enjoyed the thrill of combat, but the memories make him sad.

After completing the War, the military should give veterans time to reflect on the happenings before leading a normal life again. Society has a role to play in the preparation and welcoming back of veterans after the War. He urges leaders not to use violence because they have the power to mobilize citizens to live in peace. In times of War, communities are supposed to choose the side they will support wisely and then help end the War quickly before it takes a toll on a region. The community should also know the conditions soldiers endure during the War hence finding a better way to integrate them into society without rejecting them.

Marlantes use real-life experiences where he watched one of his wounded men fight for his life. He shows great responsibility and effective leadership while on the battlefield. He says he made all the decisions and would live with his mistakes. However, his command at the firebase makes serious mistakes.

In one, one of the platoon’s mortals drops a short round, wounding three marines. One of them suffers severe brain damage, which reminds Marlantes of the price he has to pay for being responsible for their deaths and wounds (p. 6). He says that the duty of veterans is usually overwhelming, and they have to carry the burdens always.

He points out that the mind of combat is always jammed (p. 39). His platoon is involved in various ‘white heart atrocities,’ a form of revenge when they are either wounded or killed. As such, when one of their men, nicknamed Canada, is killed, his group invades their enemies to ‘get their pride back’ (p. 99).

Marlantes is seen to take the blame for killing the NVA in an ironic twist where his group members, while grieving the Trojans, use the fallen heroes as a motivation to go on with the fight. During the post-war experience, Malantes sinks into depression and has difficulty accepting his deeds. He enforces that rituals and peer counseling within the armed forces are essential to help veterans cope with war experiences. 

Work Cited

Marlantes, Karl. (2012). What it is Like to go to War. New York; Grove Press.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF)


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AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Template (PDF)


Final Thoughts

The above rhetorical analysis essay examples pretty much sum up how to write a good essay on any topic, most simply and easily possible. The best thing about these different types of essays is that you do not need to research but use whatever background information is already available.

After that, the important part is the ability to analyze them and present them in the best ways to make your point, just like these examples of a rhetorical analysis essay do perfectly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a rhetorical analysis essay?

The first thing to do when you start working on your paper is to read through the original article carefully. Then you will want to get all the facts and opinions about the work out of the way by briefly describing it.

This is called the thesis statement. Your thesis statement should include an explanation of what the author was trying to accomplish in writing it and why you must read it.

What are the 3 parts of rhetorical analysis?

Aristotle taught that a speaker’s ability to persuade an audience is based on how well the speaker appeals to that audience in three different areas: logos, ethos, and pathos. Together, these emotional appeals form what later rhetoricians have called the rhetorical triangle or elements of persuasion.

What should I write my rhetorical analysis on?

  • Use of symbolism Harry Potter series.
  • Animal Farm.
  • Importance of theme of hope in literature.
  • How different writers define heroism.
  • An impactful new writer.
  • Meaning in the book I am the Cheese.
  • The Hunger Games vs. The Lottery.

What are the 5 elements of a rhetorical analysis?

An introduction to the five central elements of a rhetorical situation: the text, the author, the audience, the purpose(s), and the setting.

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