WRI 10:74 ESSAY #1: Rhetorical Analysis
“...to analyze a piece of writing—a verbal or a visual text—rhetorically means to examine
closely how the text is put together to create a specific effect. Although any text—a billboard, a
course syllabus, a personal ad, a sermon, a travel brochure, a phone book—can be analyzed
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Prompt: You will analyze and evaluate an article’s argument (i.e.,
how effective/persuasive is the argument; is it a “good” argument?). Your thesis will be the
result of your evaluation. For example: “Jane Smith’s ‘No Toys for Babies’ has solid evidence
and a convincing argument, but her sarcastic tone and scare tactics might turn off readers and
limit her persuasiveness.” You must pick an article from the option list below.
Organization: There are various ways to approach and organize y, including, but not limited to,
➢ examining the article paragraph by paragraph and/or major premise by major premise;
➢ organizing by strengths and weaknesses
➢ or, highlighting certain traits: e.g., assumptions, evidence, fallacies, thesis, structure, tone,
figurative language, type of rhetorical appeal (ethos, pathos, logos), etc. You will likely
use some of these in your analysis even if you choose the other two methods.
1) Identify and introduce your selected article. Include a brief summary of the argument in
2) A thesis noting the article’s overall effectiveness as an argument.
3) Analysis: In your analysis you might focus on the writer’s use of analogy, questions,
evidence, description and narrative; the writer’s credibility and authority; or the match
between the genre of ...