Thesis Statement Formula for AP English Rhetorical Analysis Essays
A good thesis statement presents your topic to the reader and indicates how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter discussed in your essay. Think of it as a kind of road map, designed to help the reader know what to expect in the essay.
But an AP rhetorical analysis thesis statement is like nothing you’ve ever had to write in school before. Unlike other kinds of thesis statements, a rhetorical analysis thesis statement demands that you do three things:
Identify the rhetorical devices you will analyze in your essay
Identify the impact of those devices of the effectiveness of the text
Identify the author, genre, and name of the text
Sound daunting? Not to worry!
The below, fill-in-the-blank thesis statement formula, designed for use when writing rhetorical analysis essays, will make your life simpler, easier, and more successful!
Let’s look at an example of an excellent AP rhetorical analysis thesis statement:
In her indignantly critical and cleverly crafted speech given to the National Association for Women’s Suffrage, Florence Kelley clearly articulates and emotionally persuades her audience through the use of parallelism and inclusive language to advocate for changes to child labor laws.
If we look closely at this thesis statement and color code its component pieces, we see that it is designed this way:
In her adverb/adjective, adverb/adjective name of genre and other identifying information such as the date the document was written, writer’s name adverb active verb and adverb active verb name of reader or intended audience through the use of describe or name rhetorical techniques you will focus on to describe to the writer’s purpose.
(In her indignantly critical and cleverly crafted speech given to the National Association for Women’s Suffrage, Florence Kelley clearly articulates and emotionally persuades her audience through the use of parallelism and inclusive language to advocate for changes to child labor laws.)
Honest, it’s not hard. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t need to refer to the formula any more and that will make your writing a lot easier and a lot more time efficient.
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About The Author
Susan Osborn, Ph.D., has spent 30 years in higher education, in admissions at Vassar College, in the English department and Writing Program at Rutgers University, in the lab at The New Jersey Center for Research on Writing, and as a private tutor. Dr. Osborn is also an award-winning writer and scholar and she brings both her education smarts and her writing smarts to every student relationship.