What Is A Rhetorical Analysis EssayRemember I mentioned the movie Inception? Well, the concept of “a dream within a dream” is mimicked here, just with a slight alteration. Essentially, a rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that requires you to “write about the writing”. If you have a question mark looming over your head, do not worry as this will all make sense with a little bit of reading. In this type of analysis, you are breaking apart the words and phrases that the author creates, in order to uncover the strategies and persuasive styles that they are using to get some reaction from a crowd. Most of the time, the example topicsare speeches given by influential figures. In other words, when given an essay prompt on the exam, the instructor is asking you to analyze the text and explain how all the “written parts” work together.Preparation StrategySince the AP exam is a time-limited task, swift and effective preparation is key to creating a powerful piece of academic writing! Considering the fact that your allotted time has to be brokendown into reading, analyzing and writing, multi-tasking with reading and analyzing is a must. Asyou begin reading the introductory information, start taking notes of important information that will simplify the analysis process.Who is the author?What is their intended target audience?What is their purpose for writing this speech/document?In what setting are they located while giving the speech? Why specifically this setting?Having these questions in mind and uncovering their answers will simplify the process of analyzing their strategies. At the very least it gives you something to work off, and having this information allows you to understand their methods of persuasion and how it affects the ethos, pathos, and logos.The ingredients for persuasion, as Aristotle called them, can be broken down into three categories. There are the ethos, pathos, and logos. The ethos appeals to ethics, and this is all about providing traits and reasons as to why the speaker is a credible source of information. The pathos appeals to emotionsand is a sneaky way of convincing an audience by creating an emotional response. Last but not least, we have the logos(my personal favorite) which appeals to logical and rational thinkingand tries to persuade the audience through reasoning.Ethos: “Doctors all over the world recommend this type of treatment!”Pathos: “You’ll make the right decision because you have something that not many people do: you have the heart."
Logos: “Thousand of years of history has taught us that war never changes”In every AP English exam, the literary prompt will contain examples of at least one of the three persuasive methods. After using the background info to help guide you, it should not be too difficult to figure out which tactic the speaker uses. Obviously, one should practice writing rhetorical analysis essays before taking the exam!