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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics: a Few Interesting Ideas

Rhetorical analysis essays are simply essays which analyze what a writing is trying to do in his or her text. Or, a rhetorical analysis analyzes a writer’s major argument throughout their essay or how the writer tries to persuade their audience, to change their thinking about a subject.

So basically, you are trying to do something like the following:

“How Amy Tan tries to change the mind about Chinese-American’s students conceptions of Americans in their audience.”


First, look up a lot of “how to” procedures for writing a rhetorical analysis essay. Like all essays, this essay will have an introduction, a thesis statement, like the one above, a body of evidence, which supports your thesis by continuously pointing to evidence in the text which proves your thesis, and a conclusion.

What makes a rhetorical analysis essay actually easier is that you are being tasked to analyze the words of someone else, not simply provide your own words, right? So you are going to have solid, reliable quotes to work into that support your thesis with evidence for your thesis so that you can prove that you are right.

For example, in the thesis statement on an Amy Tan essay above, you will want to look for solid evidence from the text that proves and demonstrates how Amy Tan explains conceptions of Chinese-American’s perceptions of American.

The Rhetorical Triangle

All rhetorical essays should use a three-fold “triangulated” approach –

  1. First, identify the author’s purpose (their thesis)
  2. Analyze their audience
  3. Spot their rhetorical strategies for proving their thesis.
  4. Recognize the target audience

Great Topics for Rhetorical Analysis Essays

To get ideas for your topic, first look in your textbook for essays that you might analyze. Look for simple essays with an obvious purpose.

  1. Analyze an essay that says technology improves education
  2. Analyze an essay that says technology distracts us from learning all we can.
  3. Analyze the work of an author that does not agree with our immigration laws in this country.
  4. Analyze the work of an author who supports and embraced immigration in America.

If all Else Fails

Look up two things on the internet that will help you here. “How to Write Rhetorical Analysis Essay” handouts, and “Great topics for rhetorical analysis essays.” Both of these will help you to accomplish your goals and write a unique and powerful essay.