How to Write a Rhetorical Essay?


Guide for writing influential Rhetorical Essays with easy to understand instructions and compelling tips. This article includes 6 powerful steps and 7 incredible tips for helping you to write better Rhetorical essays.

Rhetorical essays are often taken to be a very difficult form of writing to undertake but as with all things, practice will make perfect. This kind of essay is favoured when examining current and newsworthy issues. It is an excellent chance to present one’s view on a current affair subject f discussion. This article helps to give guidelines that a writer can follow to produce an interesting and stimulating rhetorical essay.


What is a rhetorical essay?

A rhetorical essay is designed to give credence to a certain point of view. The opinion expressed through the thesis statement must e supported with factual evidence. Usually it requires a student to make a judgment about something and form arguments to support their impression. It is very specific.


A rhetorical essay is an interesting mix of passionate appeal and factual evidence that backs it up. These kinds of essays are usually written on current affairs. They are a chance to discuss the arguments and opinions surrounding the topic and support a stance with actual figures and pertinent evidence. An example of a currently hot topic is ‘The war on terror’. Such a topic is more relevant today than it would have been twenty years ago. The phrasing of the issue also makes it a current one as it is referred to in this manner in many different forums and outlets.

Instructions (Steps)

1. Understand the Question

As already mentioned, a rhetorical essay is one based on current affairs so a writer should be able to quickly ascertain its background and what direction to take in responding to it. As the issue is one that would have been or still is in the public forum, the writer is almost assuredly going to have a personal opinion and have some basic reasons for the opinion. This can form the basis of their thesis statement.

2. Research

Although the writer may have some knowledge of the topic to be discussed, he or she will have to dig deeper. The best way to make a case for a rhetorical essay is to ensure it is well founded in facts. Fortunately with current affairs topics, it is fairly easy to get up to date data. Research will be needed to dig up this information and help the writer become something of an authority on the opinion they are expressing. It helps to look at similar articles that support the same view and, even watch or read transcripts of debates on the issue done by prominent experts.

3. Make an outline

It is always a good idea for a writer to prepare an outline of how the resulting rhetorical essay should appear. This outline is where the writer will make notes of the key points and the supporting evidence.

4. Introduction

The first few sentences should be intriguing so as to capture the attention of the reader. Obviously there may be many other rhetorical essays on the same subject soothe writer should find a way to set their work apart from the others. The writer should take time to give a solid background on the subject matter being discussed. This means providing a brief description to the reader that will help remind them what the subject matter is covering. The reader will need to be familiar with the subject so as to make sense of the main text.

5. Main body

Depending on how the essay question has been phrased, the writer may opt to make the main text a narrative, advantage/disadvantage, comparison or argument styled essay. Whatever format that is used, the writer must support every point with factual evidence. Most rhetorical essays however, tend to be more analytical in nature so as to give explanation as to why the opinion given by the writer stands to reason.

When fleshing out the key points indicated in the outline, the writer must give a comprehensive and well detailed and justified explanation. This means that all technical terms used should be explained and proper referencing to academic resources made. The writer should really make use of the researched materials to make a case that supports the premise outlined in the thesis statement.

The writer should also make good use of expressive and descriptive language. He or she can make a passionate stand only as long as they can base it in facts and logical reasoning. The key point should support the overall thesis statement, while the rest of the paragraph should provide the deductive reasoning used and the evidence that backs up the opinion. A reader should have no doubt that this stand can be refuted as the evidence should clearly back it up.

6. Conclusion

The conclusion should tie in all the information relayed throughout the text. It should bring to full circle the title, introduction and main body. It should also be somewhat emotive and bring out how justified the thesis statement is. It should motivate the reader to take a stand on the same issue, preferably the same one as that of the writer.


1. Opinions

A writer should have their opinions supported by facts. With rhetorical essays, the goal is to favour one side of an issue over the other. Using persuasive arguments that are based in facts, this should be easy. The writer should avoid making baseless statements or the essay will not be well received.

2. Facts

Ensure all facts are consistent and will support the overall thesis statement. The key to a good rhetorical essay is a text that supports and reinforces the opinion given by the writer in the thesis statement. No room should be given to opposing views.

3. Make good use of an outline tool

Make good use of an outline tool. A writer can find good examples of outlines online or chart their own. It is simply a tool to help plot how the rhetorical essay will appear. Key points are indicated along with sub points that help to bring out factual evidence. It is important that a rhetorical essay provides ample evidence to support its stance. The evidence must support the thesis statement implicitly.

4. Thesis Statement

Rhetorical essays require a very strong thesis statement. This may not be possible initially when making an outline, but as one writes the actual essay, they can modify the thesis statement until it ties in completely with the rest of the text.

5. Questions

A lot of rhetorical essay questions are sourced from hot button issues making the news so a writer should be able to find current and reputable sources to back up their thesis statement.

6. Use formal language always

Use formal language always. Even if there are articles or other written materials that are using colloquial terms, stay away from them. A rhetorical essay is still to be written in proper English and proofreading should be done to ensure this is so.

7. Do not commit to the title

Do not commit to the title. Just as with the thesis statement, the title should also be very strong and rouse a strong reaction. The writer should wait to complete the rhetorical essay before settling on the final wording of the title and the thesis statement. It is the opinion brought out in these two parts of the essay that will make the statements and explanations given more thought provoking and powerful.

I am feeling excited to read and reply your valuable comments.

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