Rhetorical Analysis Outline: Perfect Guide With An Example

Read to understand how to write a rhetorical analysis outline step by step. Find the essay outline, helpful writing techniques and rhetorical analysis

Rhetorical Analysis Outline

With many writing methods that can be used when studying texts, rhetorical analysis outline needs students to tell the author’s perception and writing style. An outline helps one to think carefully and choose the best points to use in an essay. These points help in creating a great outline. Because literature students must handle a rhetorical analysis essay, you cannot avoid writing an outline .

In the analysis, students are needed to analyze the text to bring out the logos, pathos and ethos the author used in their work.

In order to write a good one, students must think critically and use reading skills to check and breakdown the texts. However, it becomes hard for most students because it needs students’ deep analysis. Since writing a rhetorical analysis outline is demanding, time becomes an issue.

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How To Prepare A Rhetorical Analysis Outline?

Do you want to know how to write a perfect rhetorical analysis outline? To do this, you must learn the art of reading closely at texts to get the details. In the text, focus on who the author is, the target audience, the main aim of the text as well as setting. Just like other papers, your aim is to persuade the reader to your claim and perspective.

Also, examine the texts using rhetorical appeals like ethos, logos and pathos. In terms of ethos, write about the author’s achievement to show his or her credibility. Pathos is the emotional appeal in the text. In this case, you are supposed to appeal to readers emotions by drawing the feelings of sympathy and motivate anger on the subject of discussion. Lastly, logos show how the author used the voice of reason and logic. The author can achieve this by using practical analogies.

After examining the text provided or chosen, prepare the outline using the following format.

  • Introduction: it is the first part of the paper. It should tell the readers about the work and the author of the text you are to examine. Moreover, it should have a clear thesis statement to further describe the whole paper in a single sentence.
  • Body: this is part where you are needed to write the analysis obtained from the rhetorical appeals.
  • Conclusion: Just like the introduction section, this part should tell a reader more about the analyzed text. It should also give a summary of the key points written in the body of the outline.

A Good Example Of A Rhetorical Analysis Outline

Text: “The Death of Honesty” by William Damon

  • Contextualize the chosen text. Discuss the social context to bring an image of the source of claim. For instance, honesty is one of the most important aspects of human life. Despite its importance, it appears to be fading away as most people engage in lies and dishonest actions.
  • Discuss the author and essay. In this section, talk about the title of the essay and discuss briefly about the author’s background. For instance, William Damon is an influential professor at Stanford University. He is one of the leading authors of great books across the globe. In his book “The Death of Honesty,” Damon shows his fear of dishonesty as the main cause of the fall of society.
  • Briefly describe the author’s intended audience. The author’s intended audience is everyone living in the current society. He wants people to understand that dishonesty is the main cause of society’s downfall.
  • State the thesis of the analysis. For example, Damon expresses his fear of dishonesty as the cause of societal problems and uses rhetorical appeals to convince the audience to join his perception.
  • Summary: begin the body with a paragraph that summarises the main points in the text. In the text “The Death of Honesty,” Damon talks about the death of honesty as a pressing issue contributing to the escalating lies and dishonesty. He targets the elderly, youths, students, educators and the general public in the text. He claims that dishonesty is the main cause of society’s downfall.
  • Ethos: in the text, Damon uses various aspects to improve his appeal and develop an argument. For instance, he uses George Orwell’s research to develop and support his argument that politicians do not speak the truth. Damon also uses the bible scriptures to show that falsehood is wrong.
  • Logos: Damon uses logos to persuade the audience regarding the value of honesty in the society. In this, Damon applies reasoning to gain the approval of the audience. He begins by acknowledging that no one can tolerate dishonesty, particularly lies expressed through communication.
  • Pathos: Damon uses pathos in the text to appeal to the emotions of the readers. He tactically uses words to connect with the emotions of the readers. First, he accepts that dishonesty is a common practice in the society. For instance, he begins to justify some of the lies by claiming that without some lies, people would not be able to purchase most products in the market.


  • In the text, Damon uses rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos and pathos) to convince the readers to understand that dishonesty is a problem in the society.
  • Damon employs sources, personal facts, and convincing statistics to convince readers to see dishonesty from his perceptive effectively.
  • Therefore, the decline of honesty is a major cause of problems in the society.

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