Chapter 7

Analyzing the Argument and the Audience

Chapters 4-6 introduced a variety of strategies that are available to authors. Now, in Chapter 7, you will look more closely at how these strategies come together to create an overall persuasive argument. This is the last chapter you will read before completing your own rhetorical analysis.

Rhetorical Analysis

The resources you have been provided for the last three chapters should continue to be helpful to you as you brainstorm and compose your rhetorical analysis essay.

In particular, you should revisit the videos and handouts that describe the analysis process in broad strokes. The “Rhetorical Analysis Introduction” video by Eric Dieter and Ashley Miller is a good place to start. 

Writing the Paper

Start by organizing your ideas into an outline. The Purdue OWL explains how starting with an outline can benefit your paper and what steps you should take. Austin Community College provides even more explicit instructions and a few sample outlines.

This handout from UT’s Undergraduate Writing Center also shares some ideas to get you started writing.

A strong thesis statement will help you keep your paper focused. Andrew Kappel summarizes the purpose and main parts of a thesis statement in this short video.

For more advice on writing and revising thesis statements, take a look at this handout from UT’s Undergraduate Writing Center.  The checklist is especially helpful.

After devising your outline and thesis statement, you will be ready to begin writing. As you write, be sure to write paragraphs with strong topic sentences that support your thesis. The Purdue OWL provides some tips for knowing when you should start a new paragraph.