Rhetorical Precis

A Rhetorical Precis can be used for your Introduction Paragraph to a Rhetorical Analysis Essay. It is a commonly used “formula” to put the Rhetorical Situation into paragraph form. It should be four sentences in the following order:

1. The first sentence includes most of the parts of the rhetorical triangle (speaker, audience, subject, context/medium) with an action verb (illustrated, promoted, epitomized – NEVER said) connecting these points of the triangle with the purpose.

2. The second sentence provides an explanation in your own words of why the author’s purpose has merit.

3. The third sentence includes a summary of two or three strong pieces of data the author uses in support of the purpose.

4. Thesis: This sentence identifies rhetorical strategies and overall tone (or shifts in tone) the speaker uses to effectively achieve their purpose.

Example #4: Using rhetorical strategies like juxtaposition, metaphor, and repetition, Dr. King moved from ethical and scholarly arguments to emotional and passionate ones in order to effectively catapult the Civil Rights Movement from a regional fight to a national priority.