A rhetorical analysis essay should discuss the author of the rhetoric's goals, examples of techniques in the writing, and their uses and effectiveness. A rhetorical analysis essay should not state your own opinions on the argument, but rather explain how the original author feels about the topic and whether his approach is successful and why.
Rhetoric refers to how writers use words to influence readers. A rhetorical analysis essay assesses a work of nonfiction by dividing it into parts and explaining how each section persuades, entertains or informs the audience. When preparing to write a rhetorical analysis essay, identify the techniques and have multiple examples of each in the author's writing. Some techniques that writers use to persuade an audience are artistic or inartistic proofs; other common techniques used for persuasion include appeals to logic and appeals to ethics.
When writing the essay's thesis, focus on a few techniques in the rhetoric that are particularly prevalent or that you can describe well. The essay should also include a introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion. Organize the body paragraph topics from least effective technique to most effective technique, or tackle the arguments in the order they appear in the original essay.