Writing a rhetorical analysis essay: Tone, figurative language, diction, syntax



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Writing a rhetorical analysis essay: Tone, figurative language, diction, syntax



How should I go about reading the prompt?

The biggest downfall in writing a response to a prompt is simply failing to address the prompt. In order to ensure that you address the elements of the prompt, you must deconstruct the prompt.

Three reasons to deconstruct the prompt:

1. Once you know what is expected, you will read in a more directed manner.

2. Once you internalize the question, you will be sensitive to those details that will apply.

3. Once you know all the facets that must be addressed, you will be able to write a completely essay demonstrating adherence to the topic.

In a timed test, plan to spend 1-3 minutes deconstructing the question.
Example prompt: circle or underline the essential terms and elements in the prompt.

Carefully read the following excerpt from Louisa May Alcott’s nonfiction narrative Hospital Sketches (1863). In a carefully constructed essay identify the author intended effect on the reader and the ways in which the author recreates her experience as a nurse in a U.S. Army hospital during the Civil War. Consider such elements as diction, imagery, selection of detail, and tone.


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