What’s the Difference Between a Summary and a Rhetorical Analysis?
A summary is a recapitulation or a retelling of an essay, story, or scene without original thoughts or interpretations. Summaries tell the reader what was written. Summaries are usually easier than analyses because they require a more basic level of thinking than analyses.
A rhetorical analysis is an examination, evaluation, or interpretation of a read text that is connected to other knowledge. Analyses look at how a text was written.
If you’re having trouble identifying the difference between a summary and a rhetorical analysis, here are some examples to help you.
Summary: Rachel Warner says global warming has negative effects and we should care about our world’s future.
Rhetorical analysis: Rachel Smith provides multiple, scientific studies that indicate the negative effects of global warming and punctuates her sentences with exclamation marks; thus, she uses factual data and punctuation to create a sense of urgency in readers and to persuade them of the planet’s critical status given recent trends in global warming.
Summary: Scarlet Johnson has a lot of formal language throughout her paper and hardly any informal words.
Rhetorical analysis: Scarlet Johnson employs formal language throughout the essay. For example, she argues that unequal funding in public schools creates a “horrific imbalance between affluent communities and those that are impoverished” (27). By using formal diction, she establishes herself as a credible author and persuades her readers to agree with her.
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