Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline: Complete Guide with an Example

Jul 9, 2019 | 0 comments

Jul 9, 2019 | Guide | 0 comments

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline: Complete Guide with an Example

Literature students have to handle rhetorical analysis essays.

Essentially, this essay requires you to write about another piece of literature.

A student must analyze the text to bring out the pathos, logos, and ethos the author portrayed in their work.

In most cases, students must analyze speeches and other forms of text from famous and influential individuals.

A rhetorical analysis essay requires a student to think critically and analyze the text with their reading skills.

The persuasive tactics (ethos, pathos, and logos) are a worthy subject for analysis. The methods used by the author to persuade and connect with their target audience can be surprisingly complex, but they’re also fascinating when explored in depth. Various writing strategies exist that may help you get your point across even more effectively than before.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
  • Save

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is difficult without planning. It can be hard to keep track of everything you want to say if you are not organized with an outline, and since each paragraph needs its own specific focus, that should also be planned for in advance.

This helpful rhetorical analysis essay outline guide breaks down how you should go about writing your first ever Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline.

How To Prepare A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

How To Prepare A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
  • Save

To write an excellent rhetorical analysis essay outline, you have to learn the art of reading and analyzing text simultaneously.

You should pay special attention to who the author is, their target audience, the purpose of the text, and the setting of the text.

Remember, like most other types of essays, you are trying to persuade or sway the reader to your arguments and point of view.

Writing this type of essay involves analyzing text based on the three rhetorical appeals:

Ethos- How credible is the author? Write about the author’s expertise, pedigree, and accomplishments.

Example: I have been in the Curriculum Development Institute for the past ten years.

Pathos-What is the emotional appeal in the text? In most cases, authors appeal to readers’ emotions by drawing pity or sympathy and inspiring anger towards the discussion.

For example, looking at the rate of poor performance among students and the low employment rate, how can we not feel obligated to change the education system?

Logos-Look at how the author used the voice of reason and logic. Authors do this by citing statistics, stating facts, and using practical analogies.

Example: According to Statistics South Africa, the youth unemployment rate was 55.2% in the first quarter of 2019, a significant increase compared to the same period two years ago.

After analyzing the text, prepare the outline of your paper using the format below.


rhetorical analysis essay Introduction
  • Save

The introduction, which is the first paragraph, should be brief and straight to the point – the paragraphs in the body are the ones that should provide your detailed analysis.

That said, your introduction should tell the reader about the work and author you are about to analyze.

More importantly, it should clearly present your thesis.

The introduction to your rhetorical analysis essay doesn’t need to be too lengthy or detailed. However, there are a few things you should introduce before jumping into your analysis. You should start with some contextual information, so your reader can understand what kind of material you’ll be analyzing.


The body is where you will write your analysis; the one you derived from the rhetorical appeals discussed above. According to the basic outline, an essay is divided into five paragraphs:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion

Every type of essay is written using this basic outline of five paragraphs. Whether you are drafting a simple narrative essay or a complicated rhetorical analysis essay, this outline will work for every essay.

Your essay’s body is the most significant section of the outline as it contains all the details on the topic. An in-depth analysis of the text is presented in this part of the essay. Each point is discussed in a separate paragraph in the body section. A topic sentence is used for each paragraph. It focuses on the point that is to be addressed in that particular segment. The topic sentence makes it easier for the readers to identify which aspect is under discussion in that specific paragraph.


Like the introduction, your conclusion should inform the reader more about the analyzed text.

It should also summarize the main points in the body.

Remember to remind the reader of your thesis by relating it to your main points.

How to Write A Rhetorical Analysis Outline?

How to Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline?
  • Save

To learn how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, continue reading the section given below.

You have to follow the right outline when writing a rhetorical analysis essay. These essays usually include an introduction, body section, and conclusion.

Every great writer has to start somewhere. If you’re looking for the perfect rhetorical analysis outline, look no further! Follow these steps, and your rhetorical masterpiece will be one step closer to completion:

  1. Introduction
  2. Thesis statement
  3. Tools
  4. Body
  5. Rhetorical strategies
  6. Conclusion


The rhetorical analysis essay outline should have an engaging opening. It needs to be brief and informative to understand what they need to know with one glance at your paper.

An introduction to a literary work is the first and foremost thing that will determine its success. In your introductory paragraph, you should tell readers about what they will read in detail- but never give away anything too obvious! You also need an opening sentence which grabs their attention and entices them into reading on.

Thesis Statement

rhetorical analysis essay Thesis Statement
  • Save

The introduction paragraph is the most important part of a rhetorical analysis essay. You need to intrigue your reader with an interesting introduction so that they are compelled to continue reading. If you end it on a strong thesis statement, readers will be hooked and keep clicking “Next.”

Ending with a thesis statement that leaves no room for doubt or confusion.

A thesis statement is usually included as a final thought at the end of an introduction. It allows you to summarize your argument and state whether or not it successfully put across your message.


The thesis statement must use the tools that you are required to analyze in your essay. The tools include:

  • Simile
  • Use of imagery
  • Diction

The writer uses these common tools in their work

Body Paragraphs

rhetorical analysis essay body paragraph
  • Save

Always have a logical flow of paragraphs in your body section. To make the most out of this, you should always be sure that every paragraph discusses something different and provides more details on whatever it talks about.

For example, you might organize your body paragraphs into 3 categories: one paragraph for each rhetorical appeal (ethos, pathos, and logos), with specific examples of how the speaker makes those appeals.

In a rhetorical essay, writers must know the difference between logos (presenting an argument), pathos (evoking empathy), and ethos. The most popular way of structuring these three types is with one paragraph dedicated to each type in order: logos, then pathos, and finally ethos.

If you’re unfamiliar with the following terms, it’s good to know them:

  • Logos refer to critical thinking
  • Pathos is about the emotional side of the argument
  • Ethos refers to the credibility of the authors

Start by introducing the subject or main topic you are going to be discussing. Talk about it in-depth and explain why it’s important, provide examples of this idea with detail, then conclude your paragraph on an evaluation of what has been discussed so far.

Rhetorical Strategies

rhetorical strategies
  • Save

The first thing you should know about making an interesting rhetorical analysis is to pick the right strategy and follow it as closely as possible.

The following strategies are the most common types used for rhetorical analysis and evaluation of text:

  • Cause and effect
  • Process analysis
  • Description
  • Exemplification
  • Compare and contrast
  • Narration


The conclusion is the last and final part of the rhetorical analysis essay outline. It’s often very small, but it still needs to be crafted with a lot of attention to have strength.

The conclusion of a paper is the final opportunity to make an impact on your reader. You’re wrapping up all that information you’ve spent time developing, so it’s important not only to reiterate what they already know but also to encourage them to think about further implications and questions for themselves.

Your conclusion should also include an evaluation and restatement of the thesis statement. This section must summarize all points made earlier for reinforcement purposes and demonstrate how you have arrived at your conclusions about what was said throughout the piece.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Template

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Template
  • Save

It’s crucial to organize your thoughts before writing, or else you’ll lose the chance of addressing all the demands and make it difficult for yourself. The rhetorical analysis essay outline is not compulsory. Still, there are many ways to start a paper, which makes one less decision when trying to get started on an assignment.

There are many ways to start an essay, so feel free to do whatever works best.

Asking your instructor for a specific essay structure is important, but if they do not provide one, there are certain guidelines you can follow. One of the most common formats is 5 paragraph essays which usually have an introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and 1 concluding summary statement or conclusion that summarizes all three paragraphs in the paper.

If you’re struggling to start writing your essay, use this rhetorical analysis essay outline sample template.


Ap Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

This is a rhetorical analysis essay outline ap lang that will help you understand the format. Let’s take it to step by step to see how simple this can be.


Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example