Rhetorical analyses involve the examination and critical understanding of speech to make an argument or determine context of a particular speech, sets of speeches or orators. This type of methodology often involves identifying ethos, or the legitimacy of the speaker, pathos, emotional appeals, and logos, the logical argument in a speech. Other best practices include finding main arguments and secondary arguments and matching themes within and between texts.
Researchers employ rhetorical analysis in order to investigate commonalities and differences between texts and speakers, examine one text of speech in depth, and for other reasons that follow a research question.
A research question is what the researcher wants to find out during the analysis. The analysis includes a thesis and evidence of the findings that support the thesis. The final paper of the analysis must detail the methodology the researcher uses. The analysis typically provides the point of the rhetorical piece under examination, procedures and methods of the speaker, examples and an argument on effectiveness.
Rhetorical analysis is usually qualitative, but counting words, phrases or themes makes the methodology quantitative. Writers publish rhetorical analyses in academic journals such as “Advances in the History of Rhetoric,” “Rhetoric Review,” “Rhetoric Society Quarterly,” “Rhetoric and Global Affairs” and “Rhetoric, Professional Communication, Globalization.”