Examples of Introductory Paragraph for Rhetorical Analysis: The

Examples of Introductory Paragraph for Rhetorical Analysis:
The introductory paragraph to an analysis essay is usually brief. However, it must contain some essential
information. The AP readers like clear and concise. Many 8’s and 9’s are short, but they are all wellorganized, well-developed and unified by specific and sophisticated thesis statements. Repetitive and/or
unfocused essays have a difficult time making it into the upper range of scores.
TIP: Do not write an “empty” introduction that sounds nice but does not say anything relevant to
answering the prompt. More specifically, avoid simply repeating or rephrasing the prompt. In addition,
avoid sentences like this one: “Since the beginning of time, orators and authors have expressed their
opinions through the use of rhetorical strategies.” You don’t have time to be vague, nor do you have
time to outline the history of rhetoric; begin answering the prompt immediately.
Possible Format:
1. Speaker, Occasion, and Subject
(Writer’s credentials), (writer’s first and last name), in his/her (type of text), (title of text), (strong verb –
see your Strong Verbs for Analyzing Purpose handout) (writer’s subject).
2. Purpose/Attitude/Tone/Theme
(Writer’s last name)’s purpose is to (what the writer does in the text).
3. Author + Power Verb + Purpose (golden thread) + significance of topic
Example 1(with some modifications) :
Playwright, Arthur Miller, in his play, The Crucible, decries the Communist witch hunts of the
1950’s. Written in the era of McCarthyism and the Red Scare, the play is a parable which warns the
American people of the hysteria and subsequent injustice suffered by citizens who are falsely accused.
Example 2:
Novelist, Amy Tan, in her narrative essay, “Fish Cheeks,” recounts an embarrassing Christmas
Eve dinner when she was 14 years old. Tan’s purpose is to convey the idea that, at fourteen, she was
unable to recognize the love her mother had for her or the sacrifices she made. She adopts a
sentimental tone in order to express that her feelings and experiences changed as she matured.
Example 3:
Miami Herald columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr., in his article, “Cruel as it is, We Somehow Go On,”
describes the lamentable conditions that Haiti faces after the devastating earthquake. He adopts a
sympathetic tone in order to persuade his fellow citizens of the world to persevere while also
highlighting mankind’s enduring resilience in spite of wretched conditions.