Rhetorical Analysis Prompts

What are Rhetorical Analysis Prompts?

Understanding rhetorical analysis prompts is very important and it should be the first step in the process of writing a rhetorical analysis essay. An essay prompt refers to a statement that focuses on an issue or topic and it is usually followed by a question or questions. Usually, the prompt serves the purpose of inspiring you to respond to the stated question with an essay that will be used to test your reasoning, analytical and writing skills.

When asked to write a rhetorical analysis essay, you will be required to pick a text, movie, art, speech or a similar work. The work to analyze can also be specified in the prompt. The objective of writing a rhetorical analysis essay is to understand the purpose or goal of the work, how it is presented or delivered and the effectiveness of the author or creator of the work in delivering the message or accomplishing the goal. How you write the essay or the content you include in your essay will be determined by the provided essay writing prompt.

Use rhetorical analysis prompts to create topics for your essays

A rhetorical analysis essay should be written on another person’s work. Such work can be a speech of a renowned person, a movie or a painting. The success of your rhetorical analysis essay will largely depend on the topic that you choose or compose for your essay.

If no topic has been provided for your essay, use the provided prompt to compose an impressive topic. However, analyze the prompt first and then study the work that you are required to analyze before you compose a topic for your rhetorical analysis essay.

Understand rhetorical analysis prompts before you start writing

It is very important that you comprehend what the prompt is asking you to write about.

To do this:

  • Read the given prompts carefully

Avoid skim-reading the prompt because if you misunderstand it you will write an essay that will not be responding to the asked question in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, take time to understand the prompt carefully.

In most cases, you will be given a long prompt. Read it carefully and slowly to comprehend what the instructor is asking you to do. When you understand the prompt you will be on track throughout the writing process.

  • Underline key words in the given prompts

While reading the prompt, underline the keywords that show the subject of the essay that you should write. A good prompt should also communicate how a rhetorical analysis essay should be written on the topic. Common keywords that are included in the prompts are action verbs. They tell students what they should do and the topics that should be covered by the essay that you write. Underline these words while reading the prompt so that you can know what to focus on while planning and writing your rhetorical analysis essay.

  • Using your own words, restate the given prompt

To understand the given prompt better, restate it using your own words. This will enable you to even commit the prompt to your memory. Try to explain the prompt to another person or even to yourself. Use words that will enable you to comprehend and recall the prompt better as you write your rhetorical analysis essay.

How to work with rhetorical analysis prompts throughout the writing process

Always refer to the given prompts throughout the process of writing your rhetorical analysis essays. In most cases, the prompt requires you to perform a minimum of two tasks. Typically, it entails identifying and explaining what the writer does with language.

Example 1:

Read the passage below carefully. Write a rhetorical analysis essay analyzing how the author enriches her childhood sense through her viewpoint’s manipulation and diction.

Such a prompt requires you to; (1) read the provided passage and (2) analyze the way the author enriches her childhood sense through her viewpoint’s manipulation and diction.

To effectively work with the provided rhetorical analysis prompt:

  • Circle or underline the task that the prompt is asking you to perform.
  • If the prompt has a hidden task, try to restate it in your own words to understand it or to bring the hidden task out.

Example 2

Read the two passages below about the Okefenokee Swamp in Florida carefully then come up with an essay that analyzes how the purpose of the writers is revealed using a distinctive style in the passages. What is the purpose of each writer in each passage?

To answer such a prompt fully, you have to determine the purpose of each writer first. You also have to analyze the language and style that each writer uses before you start analyzing the passages.

Generally, apart from reading the provided or specified work before writing a rhetorical analysis essay, you need to understand what the prompt requires you to do.

Common requirements of prompts for writing rhetorical analysis

In most cases, prompts require students to look for the following:

  • Argument elements such as the claim of the author, the provided support and what connects these elements.
  • Unusual language especially if the language is loaded.
  • Examples that the author uses and why he or she chose them.
  • The purpose of the work or goal.
  • Classification of the work, illustration or example
  • How the author narrates a story, the used analogy, definitions and descriptions.
  • The prompt can also include deduction and induction

Answering rhetorical analysis prompts effectively

To answer the provided prompt for your rhetorical analysis essay effectively:

  • Read and understand the prompts then outline your essay.
  • Start by identifying the main viewpoint or rhetorical strategies used by the author then explain how they intersect with the prompt.
  • Start your rhetorical analysis with a hook where possible.
  • State a clear thesis statement.
  • Provide a clear roadmap for your entire essay and stick to that roadmap.
  • Get adequate evidence, examples or illustrations to support your main points in the essay. List them down before you start writing the essay.
  • Avoid spending a lot of time in each point.
  • After writing the essay, come up with a conclusion that wraps up the essay by restating your thesis and synthesizing the main points.
  • Read the completed essay to ensure that you have answered the question that the prompt is asking you to respond to.

How to determine if you have answered the given prompt for rhetorical analysis

To determine whether you have answered the provided prompt effectively, read it again once you complete writing your rhetorical analysis essay. Check to ensure that your essay performs the roles of a good rhetorical analysis essay. For instance, read your essay to ensure that it provides a breakdown of the work under analysis into parts and explains how they work together in creating a certain effect. Your analysis should also explore the goals of the rhetorician, the used techniques or tools while providing examples of the techniques and an explanation of how effective the techniques are.

Remember that your rhetorical analysis essay should not tell readers whether you are in agreement with the argument or not. It should just discuss how the argument is made in the work and whether the used approach or method is successful. It is important that you always read and re-read the provided rhetorical analysis prompts while writing your essays to ensure that you stick to answering the stated question or questions.

Rhetorical Analysis Prompts: Bonus hints and reminders

  • Use prompts for rhetorical analysis essays to draft topics and thesis statements of your essays

Remember that the prompt should inspire and guide you throughout the writing process. Always read it to remember what the instructor expects you to do or to provide in your rhetorical analysis essay or paper.

  • Use the prompt to brainstorm for ideas of your rhetorical analysis essay

The prompt provides an outline of the questions that you can try to answer while brainstorming for ideas to include in your rhetorical analysis essay. For instance, the prompt can include a question like, “In your opinion, what was the purpose of the author in creating the work?” Such a question should help you in brainstorming for the ideas of your rhetorical analysis essay because a good rhetorical analysis essay should highlight the purpose or goal of the work under analysis.

  • Read and re-read the provided prompts carefully

To answer the given prompts properly, read and re-read them carefully. If the prompts have words that are difficult to understand, write them in your own words as if you are trying to explain the prompts to another person. This will make remembering the prompt and what they are asking you to do easy.

Rhetorical Analysis Prompts: References

Would you like to get further assistance with your assignment? Contact us today; We are a leading academic research company, with a range of specialized services. From General Essays to PhD Thesis, we guarantee your holistic help. Our prices are affordable and competitive. What is more, we have a collection of sample papers in every field just for you. Place your ORDER NOW! You may want to consider checking our Essay Writing Services, Research Paper, Thesis Writing Services, Coursework Help, among others.


https://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/handouts/Rhetorical Analysis.pdf