Composition Writing Studio

Rhetorical Analysis

From the University of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (

“The goal of any rhetorical analysis is to demonstrate your understanding of how the piece communicates its messages and meanings. One way of looking at this process is that you are breaking the piece down into parts. By understanding how the different parts work, you can offer insights as to the overall persuasive strategies of the piece. Often you are not looking to place a value judgment on the piece, and if there is an implicit or implied argument you may not be ultimately taking a side.”

The following are a list of helpful resources (both online and print) to help you get started on writing a rhetorical analysis.

Handouts (from the Writing Studio webpage)


Last Updated: 6/27/22