analytical essay assignment english 102

English 102: Essay #2

Rhetorical Analysis

Genre: Analytical

Length: 3-5 pages

Format: MLA


Write a rhetorical analysis that analyzes a primary text. You may choose from the speeches in Blackboard or contact your instructor to request approval to analyze a different speech. Links for the speeches and additional resources are provided at the end of this document.

As you read the speech, identify and make note of each time the speaker appeals to the logic, ethics, or emotion of the audience. The rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, and pathos) are the lenses for your analysis. Review your textbook and the Forest of Rhetoric website to gain understanding of the importance and function of rhetorical appeals.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • De-center enough to ask tough questions about your writing and apply the fundamental principles of critical thinking to all writings and readings
  • Read “tough”—that is: read to evaluate, read to analyze, and read to think.
  • You will be able to summarize whole articles, paraphrase relevant passages from these articles, draw inferences from the readings, and then reach your own conclusions on tough issues

Key Points

  • Introduction:
    • Introduce the reader to the speech and your argument, which requires a clear understanding of the rhetorical situation
      • Who is the speaker?
      • What is the social context of the speech (what is happening)?
      • Is the speech effective? How do you know?
    • Thesis statement
      • What is your claim/argument?
  • Body Paragraphs:
    • Analyze the rhetorical appeals and devices used in the speech, which requires understanding of the appeals and devices as analytical tools. Each paragraph requires a clear topic sentence that introduce the appeal used in the paragraph in relation to your thesis statement.
    • Some helpful questions to help develop each body paragraph include:
      • Topic sentence:
        • What appeal is used and what is the purpose?
      • Development:
        • How is the appeal identified? What words or phrases identify the appeal?
        • How does the appeal relate to the speaker’s purpose? Is the appeal used effectively or ineffectively?
        • What does the speaker not say? Why is important that the speaker avoids that point? Why would it be helpful for the speaker to address that point?
      • Transitional sentence
  • Conclusion
    • Apply your argument to a higher level
    • Wrap-up all lose ends in your essay


For the analytical essay, you will broaden your knowledge of research and format by incorporating three sources into your text. This task should build on the knowledge gained during the Persuasive Essay process. The first source is your primary text. This is the text you are analyzing. Two outside sources are also required. You will locate these sources in the library’s databases. They may be journal, magazine, or newspaper articles—the choice is yours. However, they all must be reputable sources, and you should incorporate each source into your essay in a manner that helps develop your analysis. Remember that incorporating sources requires an introduction, quote, in-text citation, and bibliographic entry. Utilize your Noodle Tools account to help manage your research, citations, and Works Cited page.

Required Sources

  • Primary text
  • Two outside sources from the library’s databases
    • Both sources must be located in the library’s databases


Consider beginning your research with one of the following databases:

  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • Points of View Reference Center
  • NewsBank

Each database is user friendly and easy to locate in the EN102 Library Guide under “Find Subject Specific Articles”.


“I Have Dream” by Dr. King

“The Perils of Indifference” by Elie Wiesel

“Gender Equality is Your Issue Too” by Emma Watson

Other Speeches (American Rhetoric Website)

Rhetorical Appeals

Forest of Rhetoric: Rhetorical Appeals and Definitions

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