Choosing A Proper Format For A Rhetorical Analysis Essay


If you haven’t already been told what format you should follow, then picking one yourself can cause you many sleepless nights. It’s hard work being a student, right? A rhetorical analysis essay requires you to breakdown a piece of non-fiction and they explain how the different components all come together to amuse, inform or occasionally annoy their readership. Yes, controversy sells! So, with all that in mind just how do you go about choosing a proper format for this kind of task? Let’s take a look at some of the formats that are available.

  • Harvard
  • This might be particular useful in a rhetorical analysis when it comes to citing the references used. In a nutshell there are two key things to remember with this format:

    • Lists of references – Usually found at the end of your work, and fully cite all sources used throughout the course of the task.
    • In-text citations – You will usually find these in the main body of the work, and they don’t include the full citation. They use a condensed mini version.

    As I have already alluded to this format is perfect for this type of essay.

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • This format is used predominantly within the social sciences, and again is definitely compatible with this kind of essay.

    Key take home points with the APA format are:

    The paper needs to be broken down into four different components – namely title page, abstract, the main body and a reference section. There are also several other stylistic guidelines that you should follow, details of which can easily be found online.

  • The Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Okay, so this is most frequently used with the modern arts and languages departments. This is an excellent format to use if you are looking to build a long-term reputation as someone who can prove accountability of their souces. It is the best format to use if you are:

    • Looking beyond this particular assignment
    • Looking to safeguard yourself from any allegations of plagiarism

    When adopting the MLA approach you need to pay specific attention to the following areas. Again, to drill down further for specifics you will need to dig a little deeper as it is beyond the scope of this particular article:

    • The first page of your paper
    • Your section headings

I hope that you will be able to confidently adopt one of the above styles in your work!