The second essay is about close reading. You will only have one passage to consider for this essay, but you will be expected to comment about in depth. An example prompt is: write an essay that analyzes what rhetorical strategies Staples uses to convey his view of what it means to be a African American man in society today. The key to doing well on this essay is to develop a strong thesis about what the author's message is. In the case of the example prompt above, it may seem that a test-taker could write about the rhetorical devices in the passage without actually addressing what his view is about being an African American man. However, students who articulate what the author's message is and then show how it is expressed through rhetorical strategies will score much higher.


Selection Reading Sheet

Rhetorical Modes
  • Narration/Description
  • Process Analysis
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Division and Classification
  • Definition
  • Cause and Effect
  • Persuasion and Argument

Elements of Rhetoric and Argument


The Forest of Rhetoric

Common Rhetorical Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Rhetorical Fallacies

A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices

Slides, pictures, and examples - review a rhetorical term a day to keep them fresh on your mind.
Rhetorical Terms Slide Show

Rhetorical Flash Cards

Rhetorical Devices Quizzes

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"What Students Need to Know About Rhetoric"




The Great Debaters

Wiley College vs. Harvard University

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechthegreatdebaterswileycollegevsharvarduniversity.html

Melvin B. Tolson Delivers Langston Hughes' "I, Too, Sing America"

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechthegreatdebatersthedarkerbrother.html

Wiley College vs. Oklahoma City College

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechthegreatdebaterswileyvsoklahomacitycollege.html

Wiley College vs. Paul Quinn College

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechthegreatdebaterswileyvspaulquinn.html

Righteous Mind

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-ORiYP3O9g

Commencement Speech at Mount Holyoke College

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Resources: There is a lot to consider when writing the rhetorical analysis essay. You must consider the rhetorical triangle and the specific decisions someone makes to persuade an audience to believe what he or she has to say. View the resources below for language to use to discuss rhetoric, sample essays, and tried and true advice for writing the rhetorical analysis essay.

Sample Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Questions to Consider

A Pretty Detailed Outline & Guide for Writing the Essay




Rhetorical Analysis is QUESTION 2 on the AP exam. Review the latest exam and sample student responses with grades below:

Latest Exam

Sample Student Responses


Rhetorical Analysis of Rebecca Black's "Friday"



President-elect Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech November 2008

A Rhetorical Analysis of Obama's Acceptance Speech



Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

"Consider the Lobster": Rhetorical Purpose of Documentation

David Foster Wallace, Foodies, and Lobster



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