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Rhetorical analysis or prepare a meal

Rhetorical analysis or prepare a meal

 

•Limit the scope of you paper. You need to make sure you have a thesis statement, which
is a central argument in your introductory paragraph which you support throughout the
essay, and which you revisit in your conclusion.

•Close analysis of specific passages from texts, use of quotations from the text,
observations, personal experience, etc. are important. Use MLA format for documenting
sources (FCTA 221-240; 246-262). Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay,
including the book and your outside source, if any.

•Part of your grade for each essay includes the writing process: turning in drafts, revising,
and workshopping according to course deadlines. Keep all of your drafts, comments from
other students, a page from each source, and worksheets to turn in with your final essay.

• No Plagiarism! Do not copy your essay or any phrases in your essay from the web or
any other source, unless you use quotations and give proper bibliographic citations.
Please send a copy of your final paper to my webct mail as an attachment.

Choice 1: Rhetorical Analysis
What is a rhetorical analysis? See relevant class handouts and chapter 3 of From Critical
Thinking to Argument. You will be analyzing Pollan’s persuasive strategies in the essay,
including appeals to the audience through ethos, pathos, and logos, as well as his use of
other literary devices, such as metaphor, repetition, or irony to get his point across
effectively.

Choose a particular chapter or chapters, or a particular thread of inquiry, such as the
cattle industry, the poultry industry, the hidden costs of industrial farming, local vs.
industrial organic farming, fast food, the ethics of eating animals, the meaning of food in
our lives, etc. (topics thanks to Professor Mikolavich).

As a writer for The New York Times Magazine and a professor of journalism at UC
Berkeley, Pollan suggests we have become “unhealthy people obsessed by the idea of
eating healthily” (3). He looks into the complex conditions that have grown up around our
food consumption, and reminds us, ultimately, that “we eat by the grace of nature, not
industry” (411). What persuasive strategies does Pollan use to educate and to influence?

In your analysis, provide a close reading of selections of Omnivore’s and a well-supported
answer to the above question. You may draw upon your personal experiences with food
and your observations of the role of food in our culture to help to illuminate Pollan’s
strategies and to assess the effectiveness of his claims.

For this assignment, I would like you to critically and closely read selections from Pollan’s
book and analyze Pollan’s argument about the impact of food industries and government
policies, assessing how he uses these arguments to advocate that we “eat with a fuller
consciousness of all that is at stake” (11).

Take into account what knowledge Pollan assumes the audience has. What values does he
assume the audience holds?

Your overall analysis needs to be organized like a conventional, unified essay—with an
introduction, thesis that ties together your major points, analysis of quotes from the texts,
and a conclusion restating and tying up your thesis.

Choice 2: Prepare a Meal (topic thanks to Professor Fannin)
Pollan culminates his book by preparing and serving a meal that he hunted and foraged
from the wild, for the most part. For this assignment, I would like you to critically and
closely read selections from Pollan’s book and analyze Pollan’s experiment in self-
sufficiency, much like Thoreau’s two years at Walden pond. What does he hope to learn
by creating a meal from its natural sources? All in all, I would like at least half of your
essay to be drawn from Omnivore’s Dilemma, including specific quotations.

As part of this assignment, prepare your own meal. Unlike Pollan, you do not have to hunt
your own wild boar or forage wild mushrooms. Your meal can be just for yourself or a few
people, rather than the group Pollan hosts. But I would like you to take this opportunity to
investigate the kinds of issues Pollan explores: “What it is we’re eating. Where it came
from. How it found its way to our table. And what, in a true accounting, it really cost . . .
we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and what we’re eating is never anything more
or less than the body of the world” (411). Part of your essay should give an account of
how you prepared and ate your own meal.

Your overall analysis needs to be organized like a conventional, unified essay—with an
introduction, thesis that ties together your major points, analysis of quotes from the texts,
and a conclusion restating and tying up your thesis. In describing your meal, though, you
may venture more into the narrative, storytelling mode.

 

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