Top 10+ Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples for Insightful Analysis

Unlock the secrets of powerful rhetoric with these top 10+ analysis essay examples for a deeper understanding!

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Top 10+ Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples for Insightful Analysis

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Rhetorical analysis essays are a common assignment in college and high school English classes. These essays require students to analyze and evaluate the rhetorical strategies used by authors to persuade and communicate their ideas. By examining how an author uses language, tone, structure, and other rhetorical devices, students gain a deeper understanding of the text and its intended message.

So, what is a rhetorical analysis essay? In simple terms, it is an essay where you analyze the strategies used by an author to convey their message and persuade the audience. It involves examining the various rhetorical devices employed by the author, such as ethos, pathos, and logos, as well as paying attention to the overall structure, tone, and style of the piece.

There are different types of rhetorical analysis essays that students can tackle, each with its own unique approach and focus. Some common types include:

Visual Rhetorical Analysis: This type of essay focuses on analyzing the use of visual images, such as advertisements, posters, or political cartoons, to convey a message or persuade the audience.

Textual Rhetorical Analysis: This type of essay examines the rhetoric used in written texts, such as speeches, essays, articles, or literary works.

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis: In this essay, you compare and contrast the rhetorical strategies used by two or more authors or speakers on the same topic.

  1. Historical Rhetorical Analysis: This type of essay analyzes how historical events and contexts have influenced the rhetoric used in a text.

When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, it is important to follow a structured approach. Here are some steps to consider:

Analyze the text: Carefully read and re-read the text, paying attention to the author's use of language, tone, and rhetorical devices.

Identify the rhetorical devices: Make a note of the various rhetorical devices used in the text, such as metaphors, imagery, repetition, or appeals to emotion.

Determine the purpose: Consider the author's overall purpose in writing the text. Are they trying to persuade, inform, entertain, or inspire?

Examine the audience: Consider who the intended audience is and how the author tailors their rhetoric to appeal to them.

Organize your essay: Structure your essay by introducing the text and its author, providing a brief overview of the rhetorical devices used, and then delving into a detailed analysis of each device.

Provide evidence: Support your analysis with specific evidence from the text, such as direct quotes or examples.

  1. Draw conclusions: Summarize your findings and offer insights into how the author's rhetorical choices impact the effectiveness of their message.

By following these guidelines and studying examples of rhetorical analysis essays, students can develop their analytical skills and gain valuable insights into the power of language and persuasion.

Analyzing the Use of Pathos in Advertising


In this rhetorical analysis essay, we will examine the use of pathos in advertising campaigns. By analyzing various examples, we aim to gain insights into how emotions are effectively used to persuade and appeal to the target audience.

1. Nike's "Just Do It" Campaign

Nike's iconic slogan, "Just Do It," evokes a sense of determination and motivation in its viewers. By employing emotionally charged phrases, such as "You can do it" and "Believe in yourself," Nike taps into the audience's desire for self-improvement and encourages action.

2. Coca-Cola's "Open Happiness" Ad

Coca-Cola's "Open Happiness" campaign appeals to the viewers' emotions through vibrant visuals and joyful music. The ad creates a feel-good atmosphere, associating the product with positive emotions and memories, ultimately aiming to make consumers associate happiness with Coca-Cola.

3. Dove's "Real Beauty" Campaign

Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign challenges societal beauty standards and promotes body positivity. Through the use of emotional narratives and relatable stories, Dove appeals to the audience's desire for acceptance and self-esteem enhancement, creating a connection between their product and genuine beauty.

4. Always' "Like a Girl" Ad

Always' "Like a Girl" ad tackles gender stereotypes and empowers young girls. By utilizing emotional testimonials and thought-provoking questions, the ad calls attention to the negative impact that societal expectations can have, aiming to inspire change and redefine the phrase "like a girl."

5. Apple's "1984" Commercial

Apple's "1984" commercial introduced the Macintosh computer by contrasting it with a dystopian society. By using powerful imagery and an emotional soundtrack, the ad evokes a sense of rebellion and individualism, appealing to those who seek to break free from societal norms and embrace innovation.

6. Guinness' "Empty Chair" Ad

Guinness' "Empty Chair" ad pays tribute to veterans and their sacrifices. By depicting an empty chair during a reunion of friends, the ad uses emotional visuals and narration to honor those who are no longer present due to their service, thereby associating Guinness with the ideas of loyalty and appreciation.

7. PETA's "98% Human" Campaign

PETA's "98% Human" campaign emphasizes the similarities between humans and animals. By using emotionally charged images and persuasive arguments, PETA aims to evoke empathy and compassion towards animals, urging viewers to consider their choices and support their cause.

8. Verizon's "Inspire Her Mind" Ad

Verizon's "Inspire Her Mind" ad addresses the gender gap in STEM fields and encourages girls to pursue their passions. By incorporating emotional narratives and highlighting the potential consequences of discouraging young girls from pursuing technical careers, Verizon appeals to the audience's sense of fairness and empowerment.

9. Toyota's "Swagger Wagon" Ad

Toyota's "Swagger Wagon" ad combines humor with emotion to appeal to parents. By showcasing relatable family moments through catchy music and entertaining visuals, the ad taps into the audience's desire for memorable experiences, ultimately associating Toyota with family happiness and fun.

10. Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" Campaign

Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign targets both men and women by employing humor and emotion. The ad creates a surreal and comical atmosphere, appealing to the viewer's desire for entertainment and promoting the product as a symbol of attractiveness and confidence.


Through the analysis of these examples, it becomes evident how the use of pathos in advertising can sway consumer emotions and influence their perceptions. By evoking specific emotions and connecting with their target audience on a deeper level, these campaigns effectively persuade viewers and make a lasting impact. Rhetorical analysis allows us to dissect and understand the strategies employed by advertisers and enables us to become more discerning consumers.