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How to Write a Rhetorical Argument in 6 Steps

The aim of a rhetorical argument is to persuade the reader. To do this, the author utilizes ethos, pathos, and logos to build and strengthen the argument. While considering these modes of persuasion, here are six steps you can take to craft your rhetorical argument.

Conduct Thorough Research

Before writing your argument, you need to thoroughly research the topic. The more information that you gather, the stronger your argument can be. Look for studies, quotes, statistics, and other things that can be incorporated into your paper. Doing this will build your credibility (ethos) and appeal to the audience’s logic (logos), too.

Consider Your Audience

Before working on your argument, you need to think about the audience. Who will be reading or listening to your rhetorical argument? What do they already know about the topic? Do they agree with your viewpoint? Think about the answers to these questions and what you’ll need to do or say to ensure that the audience sides with your argument.

Craft a Solid Thesis Statement

Writing your thesis statement first is important because it will help you stay focused throughout the rest of your speech or paper. Your thesis statement should be arguable, focused, and concise. It’s also helpful to outline your supporting points in the thesis statement. By doing this, the reader knows what to expect and what to look for as your argument progresses.

Use an Attention Grabber

You want to grab your reader’s attention right from the start. Consider different ways you can engage your reader. Choose the one that you feel will work best for your intended audience.

Outline Your Argument

It’s a good idea to create an outline before writing your rhetorical argument. Take your research and add it to the outline, so you know exactly when you’re going to discuss it. The more detail you can add to the outline, the easier time you’ll have writing.

Write and Edit Your Rhetorical Argument

With your pre-writing tasks completed, you’re ready to write your rhetorical argument. Start with your attention grabber and introduction, write out your thesis statement, and then follow your outline to craft the rest of your speech or essay.

After drafting your rhetorical argument, it’s important to proofread it several times. In addition to spelling or grammar errors, look for ways to strengthen your argument and ensure that it will reach your audience. With research and refinement, you can craft a rhetorical argument that will persuade your audience to see your point of view.

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