200 Rhetorical Analysis Topics For Academic Writing

rhetorical analysis topics

What is the big deal about rhetorical analysis topics? Did your teacher give you a rhetorical analysis assignment? You might have noticed your colleagues scrambling around to find good rhetorical analysis essay topics. Maybe you have been brainstorming on topics that you can write on but have found none.

What you need is a rhetorical analysis topics list! Where would you find good topics to write a rhetorical analysis on, though? Well, here of course! But, before we provide you with our list of 200 topics for rhetorical analysis, why are rhetorical analysis essay topics such a big deal? What is a good topic for a rhetorical analysis essay? All these topics and more have been answered for you in this article.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Rhetorical Analysis is a type of academic writing that involves analyzing the effect of a literary piece, whether visual art, film, or written literature. The analysis should include an argument where the writer takes a position and defends that stance.

You need to understand the literary piece for your rhetorical analysis paper topics. Information is an essential part of this type of essay. Therefore, the foundation of your essay (the literary piece) has to be one you understand well. This requirement makes the topic of your rhetorical analysis important. Once you get a topic you can conveniently write, it becomes easier to do a rhetorical analysis. It would even help you develop your critical thinking abilities.

Pick Our Rhetorical Analysis Topics

As the writer, you have to understand the purpose of the original content to do a rhetorical analysis. While the rhetorical analysis essay papers might differ due to the object of analysis, the structure of a rhetorical analysis always remains the same.

Note that a rhetorical analysis is not the same as a narrative essay or reflective analysis. However, what you think about the object of analysis is still important. You would therefore be better off picking good rhetorical analysis topics that you connect with closely.

We have provided some rhetorical analysis example topics that you can go through and choose one that appeals to you. Check out all of them below!

Topics for Rhetorical Analysis Essays

Rhetorical analysis essays are quite easy if you have the right topics. You can check out these general topics for a rhetorical analysis paper.

  1. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
  2. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery
  3. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  4. Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club
  5. Primary Themes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  6. Van Gogh’s A Starry Night
  7. Donald Trump’s Presidential Speech
  8. George Orwell’s Animal Farm
  9. Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows
  10. Rachel Palatten’s Fight Song
  11. Edgar Allen Poe’s Raven
  12. Joseph Stiglitz’ The Price of Inequality
  13. William Shakespeare’s King Lear
  14. The Last Supper by Leonardo
  15. The Canterbury Tales
  16. Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  17. Maya Angelou’s I am Human
  18. Sophocles’ Antigone
  19. Barack Obama’s Eulogy for Beau Biden
  20. The Hunger Games movie

The following topics above will give you an idea into what rhetorical analysis topics look like. Now we would give you more specific examples based on the different objects of analysis for current rhetorical analysis topics.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Speeches

You can analyze the speeches of important personalities and make arguments on them for a rhetorical analysis. Some of these speeches were made in movies. However, the strength of the speech is worth mention. Here are examples of great speeches that you can use;

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. – Letter for Birmingham Jail
  3. Huey Pierce Long – Every Man a King
  4. Clarence Seward Darrow – Mercy for Leopold and Loeb
  5. Ronald Regan – The Evil Empire
  6. Ronald Regan – A Time for Choosing
  7. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt – The Struggle for Human Rights
  8. Priyanka Chopra – Full Power of Women
  9. President John F. Kenndy – Inaugural Address
  10. Nelson Mandela – I am Prepared to Die
  11. Chief Joseph – Surrender
  12. Charlie Chaplin – The Great Dictator
  13. MLK – The Other America
  14. Bob Dylan – Banquet Speech
  15. Virginia Woolf – A Room of One’s Own
  16. Emma Goldman’s Address to the Jury
  17. Finding Forrester’s Speech
  18. Malala Yousafzai’s – Youth Takeover of the United Nations Speech
  19. Queen Elizabeth – Spanish Armanda Speech of 1588
  20. Ashton Kutcher – Teen Choice Awards
  21. Alexander the Great Speech
  22. Soul of a Man in Remember the Titans
  23. The Farther From Home I Feel in Saving Private Ryan
  24. Pink’s VMA Acceptance Speech in 2017
  25. Seize the Day from Dead Poets Society

Whether it is the standard speech from past presidents that appeal to you or the more unusual speeches from movies and acceptance awards, with this list, you would find one for your essay. All you have to do is take your time to understand the speech and develop your argument on it.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Movies

Any iconic movie that you have watched can serve as the basis of your rhetorical analysis. It doesn’t matter the type of movie as long as you can supply and defend a reasonable argument on it. Watched a lot of movies and don’t know where to start? Check out our list of easy rhetorical analysis topics on movies!

  1. Wuthering Heights
  2. A Streetcar Named Desire
  3. Manhattan Project
  4. WarGames
  5. Jurassic Park
  6. Almost Famous
  7. The Phantom of the Opera
  8. The Insider
  9. King Kong
  10. I Saw
  11. Man of Steel
  12. Romeo and Juliet
  13. To Kill a Mockingbird
  14. Avatar
  15. The Help
  16. Enola Holmes
  17. YOU – A Netflix Series
  18. The Blind Side
  19. The Fault in Our Stars
  20. Avengers: Endgame
  21. The Lottery
  22. Harry Potter
  23. Braveheart
  24. Pulp Fiction
  25. The Princess Diaries
  26. The Shawshank Redemption
  27. Requiem for a Dream
  28. American Beauty
  29. The Godfather
  30. Doubt

For a rhetorical analysis on a movie, you can decide to pick out an interesting monologue or character from the movie, instead of doing the entire movie. It would help you have a more focused essay without jumbling many things together in the movie.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Fiction

Fictional writing is a work of the imagination. This type of writing often contains elements that you might not actually find in reality. However, to carry out a rhetorical analysis, you need to figure out the intention of the author for bringing all these elements together.

Based on the themes in the fiction, you can focus your rhetorical analysis on an element used in the book. We have highlighted some good rhetorical analysis essay topics on fiction and what your essay could focus on in the book below.

  1. The Things They Carry – Theme of War
  2. The Great Gatsby – Rhetorical Features
  3. The Catcher in the Rye – Character Revelation
  4. The Heretic’s Daughter – Theme of Justice
  5. Millennium Hall – Narrative Style
  6. All the Light We Cannot See – Simple Language
  7. The Night Circus – Character Presentation
  8. Exit West – Love and Crisis
  9. Lord of the Flies – Civilization against Savagery
  10. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Theme of Elitism
  11. Lincoln in the Bardo – Humanism
  12. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong – Writing Techniques
  13. The Poet X – Confrontation
  14. Code Name Verity – Friendship
  15. Of Mice and Men – Theme of Dreams
  16. The Vegetarian – Language of Shame
  17. The Tempest – Theme of Love
  18. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Empathy
  19. The Alchemist – Character Development
  20. The Sense of an Ending – Rhetorical Devices
  21. Love Liberates by Maya Angelou
  22. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  23. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  24. The Slipover Sweater – Human Behavior
  25. The Secret Life of Violet Grant – Language of Mystery

Beyond these examples provided, you can create your rhetorical analysis essay topic yourself by picking any fictional piece and writing on a theme or character in it. Ensure you read the book and truly understand it before you set out to write though.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Poetry

Yes, when we said you can carry out a rhetorical analysis on almost any subject, we meant it. A poem has such elevated style that you would enjoy carrying out a rhetorical analysis. It is all about picking the right poem and knowing what you should highlight.

We have selected a few poems that make good topics for rhetorical analysis. You would find good rhetorical analysis topic ideas below.

  1. William Butler Yeats’ Brown Penny
  2. Sylvia Path’s Daddy
  3. Langston Hughes’ Let America Be America Again
  4. Gwendolyn Brooks’ The Mother
  5. William Blake’s A Poison Tree
  6. Robert Burns’ A Red, Red Rose
  7. Stephen Crane’s Fast Rode the Knight
  8. Mary Oliver’s August
  9. Edgar Allan Poe’s A Dream within a Dream
  10. Emily Dickinson’s There is Another Sky
  11. H. Auden’s Funeral Blues
  12. E. Cummings’ I Carry Your Heart with Me
  13. Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman
  14. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
  15. Langston Hughes’ Dream Deferred
  16. Mary Oliver’s August
  17. Walt Whitman’s To You
  18. Shel Silverstein’s Messy Room
  19. Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  20. Stephen Crane’s Fast Rode the Knight

You can make an argument on the tone, mood, language, or themes in these poems. However you decide to approach it, these poems are rich in meaning. You would enjoy wring on them.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Journals or Newspaper Articles

Rhetorical Analysis can go beyond speeches, fictions, and poems. You can do a rhetorical analysis on an articles in newspapers and journals. It is the same process as other topics for rhetorical analysis essays only with a slightly different content.

You should understand the writer’s main objective. With this purpose in mind, you can understand the use of words and choice of title. You can also do a rhetorical analysis of controversial topics.

We have found some of the most popular rhetorical analysis essay topics based on journals and newspaper articles.

  1. Forest Wilder’s He Who Casts the First Stone
  2. William Deresiewicz’s Solitude and Leadership
  3. James Medd’s The Little Pill That Could Cure Alcoholism
  4. William Finnegan’s In the Name of the Law
  5. Tim Zimmerman’s The Killer in the Pool
  6. David Grann’s The Mark of a Masterpiece
  7. John Bintin’s Mississippi’s Corrections Reform
  8. Scott Carney’s Inside India’s Rent-A-Womb Business
  9. Jonah Weiner’s Kanye West Has a Goblet
  10. Richard Morgan’s Seven Years as a Freelance Writer
  11. Anne Quinden’s Why Stuff is not Salvation
  12. Mark Leibovich’s The Man the White House Wakes Up
  13. Beth Kowitt’s Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe’s
  14. Howard Jacobson’s On Taking Comic Novels Seriously
  15. Nadya Labi’s Are You Sure You Want to Quit the World?
  16. Zach Zorich’s Should We Clone Neanderthals?
  17. Tom Bissell’s Video Games: the Addiction
  18. Kenneth Jost’s Unrest in the Arab World
  19. Joshua Bearman’s Art of the Steal
  20. Wil S. Hylton’s Change. Reality.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Non-Fiction

Do you want to take it a notch higher and make it even more serious? A rhetorical analysis of a non-fiction book might just be what you need. You should research on the context of the book and the way it is written. Figure out the author’s purpose and the target audience. This knowledge would help you carry out an effective rhetorical analysis.

We have pointed out a few unique non-fictions with a major theme in some of the books that can be the focus of your analysis.

  1. A Brief History of Time
  2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Racism
  3. Hiroshima – Trauma
  4. H is for Hawk – Grief
  5. Never Cry Wolf
  6. Fever Pitch – Fandom
  7. How to Cook a Wolf
  8. Dreams from my Father
  9. Alexander Hamilton
  10. Life on the Mississippi
  11. The Medium is the Massage – Communication
  12. Silent Spring – Persuasion
  13. The Right Stuff – Heroism and Courage
  14. Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl
  15. Goodbye to All That – Emotional Appeal
  16. Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
  17. Out of Africa
  18. In Cold Blood – Sympathy and Abuse
  19. Night – Loss of Innocence
  20. A Moveable Feast
  21. The Year of Magical Thinking
  22. A Nation Among Nations
  23. Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
  24. The Status Syndrome
  25. Guns, Germs, and Steel
  26. The Spirit Level
  27. The Ethics of Belief
  28. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
  29. Traveling Mercies
  30. Easter Islands’ End

Don’t fall into the belief that non-fiction is not as interesting to analyze as fiction. If you do your research well and choose a text with a context that you can relate to, you would find a non-fiction rhetorical analysis essay topic just as interesting as a fictional one.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics on Advertisements

We see advertisements every day, whether we want to or not. You might have made at least one comment or two on an ad that you saw somewhere before. Do you know that you can turn those comments into your homework?

While advertisements are mostly short, you can still write rhetorical analysis topics for essay on them. Here are a few ads that should inspire you;

  1. Red Bull – Red Bull Gives You Wings
  2. Nike – There Is No Finish Line
  3. M&M – Melts In Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands
  4. McDonald’s – The Simpler, the Better
  5. Apple – Think Different
  6. Capital One – What’s In Your Wallet?
  7. Disneyland – The Happiest Place on Earth
  8. Coca Cola – Friendly Twist
  9. Meow Mix – Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It by Name
  10. California Milk Processor Board – Got Milk?
  11. Dunkin’ Donuts – America Runs on Dunkin
  12. Lay’s – Betcha Can’t Eat Just One
  13. The Mosaic Company – We Help the World Grow the Food It Needs
  14. BMW – Designed for Driving Pleasure
  15. Taco Bell – Think Outside the Bun
  16. Gillette – The Best A Man Can Get
  17. Panasonic – Ideas for Life
  18. L’Oreal – Because You’re Worth It
  19. Dollar Shave Club – Shave Time. Shave Money.
  20. Harley Davidson – All for Freedom. Freedom for All.

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Why have only one subject when you can have two? In comparative rhetorical analysis topics, you juxtapose two literary pieces against each other. All you have to do is pick an argument for each and detail where they agree or disagree in light of the content of the work.

  1. The Breakfast Club Ending Scene vs. The Danger of a Single Story
  2. Priyanka Chopra’s Full Power of Woman Emma Watson’s Power of Women
  3. Susan Cain’s The Power of Introverts Don’t Let Others Stop You From Living your own Truth
  4. Tim Urban’s Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator Mel Ribbons’ Five Second Rule
  5. The Lottery The Hunger Games
  6. Kid President’s Pep Talk Ellen’s Peopl’s Choice Humanitrian Award
  7. Remember the Titans (Gettysburg Monologue) vs. The Gettysburg Address (Abraham Lincoln)
  8. Kid President’s Pep Talk to Teachers and Students vs. Shane Koyczan’s To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful
  9. Nobel Peace Prize Speech by Malala Yousafzai vs. I am Prepared to Die by Nelson Mandela
  10. Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 Donovan Livington’s Harvard Graduation Speech

How Do You Choose Your Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topic?

Now you have two hundred rhetorical analysis essay topics at your disposal. So, your problem is no longer what your topic would be but how to choose the right topic. We have provided pointers to help you.

  • Identify your target audience and think on things that would be new, yet interesting to them
  • Know the purpose of your writing. Is it to get a good grade or promote a cause?
  • Choose a topic that you find interesting. While it is essential to keep your audience in mind, don’t write entirely for them. Write on a topic you love and you would write better.
  • Create a rhetorical question from the subject of the essay. It would help you capture your reader’s attention from the start.
  • Analyze how the topic affects you, people around you, and your audience.
  • Research and get enough information before you start writing.
  • Contact an assignment helper in case you need help.

Once you have checked all these boxes, you can settle on the topic and start writing. You would find rhetorical analysis topics current issues easier with any of the topics we have provided above.

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