WRD 103: Composition & Rhetoric I: Winter Quarter 2015 Rotating Header Image

Rhetorical Analysis Checklist

Based on class conversations and conference feedback, here’s a checklist that you can keep handy as you finish your revisions and look forward to the successful completion of your Rhetorical Analysis:
  • The analysis includes a summary of the argument: “claims that … argues that … suggests that … implies that … asserts that …”
  • The analysis includes a discussion of how the argument is structured: data, research, narrative, comparison & contrast, a story, etc.
  • The analysis includes a discussion of why the argument is made, or even necessary — the exigency — why now? What’s going on in the world that this article is even necessary?
  • The analysis includes a discussion of the intended rhetorical effect: to persuade, to cause us to reflect, to change our minds, to be more open-hearted and generous, to take some action, to cause some extended meditation? — what does the writer want us to do
  • The analysis includes a discussion of the audience, the readers, and what rhetorical gestures the writer makes to appeal to that audience — emotions? Logic? Credibility? Tone? What is the writer’s attitude toward readers? 
  • The tone of your analysis should be explanatory: here’s what this article means, and how it means that.

I also highly recommend reading the Writing Center handout on Rhetorical Analyses and the St. Martin’s Handbook sample Rhetorical Analysis, pp. 181-84.