Jess Zimmerman

Hunger Makes Me” by Jess Zimmerman

Assignment Prompt
Write a 1500-2000–word paper that identifies, describes, and analyzes the argumentative and rhetorical strategies used by the author of the article you are assigned to study. As college writers, you are not beholden to a strict paragraph structure for your essays. For example, if it makes sense for you, your introduction can be delivered in two paragraphs.

Here are the basic sections of the essay:

Introduction: introduce the topic and purpose of your paper and foreshadow your evaluative claim about the article being studied (see conclusion). Your introduction should include the following: a statement introducing what Zimmerman’s claim is, and a thesis statement introducing whether you think her essay was effective in communicating her claim to her audience.
Here is a very basic structure for a thesis statement for this paper. I encourage you to use this as the bare minimum requirement of your thesis statement and then adjust your language so that it is in your voice:
In the essay, (title) , (author) makes an effective/ineffective argument that (brief summary of claim here) using (choose specific rhetorical strategies used in the essay) .

Summary and Description of Claim, Rhetorical Situation, Audience, and Purpose: in this section, do the following: 1) briefly summarize the article being studied and describe the type of argument 2) describe the rhetorical situation 3) explain who you think the intended audience is and Zimmerman’s purpose in addressing this particular audience.
Type of argument – What is the major claim that Zimmerman is making? Is it primarily a claim of policy, a claim of value, or a claim of fact? What minor claims does she use to construct her overall argument? Use specific examples from the text to make your claim.
Rhetorical Situation – The rhetorical situation is “what moves a writer to write” (Greene and Lidinsky 36). People write for all sorts of reasons. For example, people write to respond to someone else, or they write to comment on something that has happened in the news or in their personal life. Also, what’s happening in the world also has an impact on someone’s rhetorical situation. There are several events or occurrences that have led Zimmerman to write her article – what are they?
Hint: She wrote an article about gender in 2016… There was a significant thing related to gender happening in the US that year… This was way before #MeToo… I’m talking about the presidential election… Do you think that Zimmerman writing this article was in some way affected by Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016? Can you back this up with evidence from the essay itself?
Audience – Who is Zimmerman really writing her essay for? How do you know this? For this part, think of a few things: 1) Where is this published? Who might you reasonably expect to be the readership of this publication? 2) What kind of language does she use? Is she using legal language? Academic language? Casual language? The language we use is indicative of our audience. For example, I’m writing these instructions in an informal way to my audience (AKA my students) so that I can effectively achieve my purpose (which is to get you all to write effective rhetorical analysis essays). 3) Think about the purpose. If you want to argue, for example, that Zimmerman is primarily writing to hockey fans on the internet, then what is her purpose in writing to hockey fans? What does she want them to do? Warning: She’s definitely, definitely, definitely not writing to hockey fans.
Purpose – What does Zimmerman want her audience to do or think as a result of reading her essay? In other words, what is the purpose of her writing this essay for this particular audience?
Analysis of Article: your analysis should focus on identifying and describing four different components of the writer’s argument:
Ethos – describe how the author of the article makes themselves appear credible and trustworthy for the article’s target audience using examples from the text to demonstrate your point.
Pathos – describe how the author of the article appeals to the emotions and/or beliefs of the article’s target audience using examples from the text to demonstrate your point.
Logos – describe how the author of the article appeals to logic to target the audience’s expectations for appropriate supporting evidence using examples from the text to demonstrate your point.
Claim/Conclusion: develop an evaluative claim about the persuasive strategies used in the article being studied. Strong essays will develop the evaluative claim in terms of particular elements of the article’s rhetorical situation (e.g., audience, purpose, etc.). As an example, you might argue that the article is generally ineffective because it fails to adequately anticipate the needs and expectations of its target audience.

Essay Organization and Formatting

Each genre of writing has different conventions. The analysis essay as a genre is described in Chapters 2 and 3 of FIAW. Below is a suggested detailed outline for this essay accounting for all of the different sections described above. Supporting materials for each section are included in parentheses.


introduce the topic and context (e.g., desire, hunger, gender, relationships, personal struggle, etc.)
state purpose of your essay (“In this essay, I will explore…”)
introduce or foreshadow your evaluative claim (“I argue that…”)
Summary/Rhetorical Situation Description

summarize the article (FIAW 156-163)
describe the author’s rhetorical situation (FIAW 36-39; Backpacks vs. Briefcases)
identify and describe the main kinds of arguments used in the article (FIAW p. 59-61)
identify and describe the audience and purpose of the article (FIAW p. 36-39)

identify and describe the author’s use of ethos (Backpacks vs. Briefcases)
identify and describe the author’s use of pathos (Backpacks vs. Briefcases)
identify and describe the author’s use of logos (Backpacks vs. Briefcases)

develop an evaluative claim about the article (Backpacks vs. Briefcases)
Bolded headings, similar to the headings used in this document, can be used to separate the different sections of the essay. This is an option and not a requirement.

The essay must also have a title that identifies the topic of the paper (e.g., An Analysis of “Article X” and a “hook” that gives readers some sense of the paper’s main idea). Here are some examples from previous papers:

“Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire: A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘Climate Change Crisis’”
“Playing the Logic Game: An Analysis of Logos in Edward Wilson’s ‘Apocalypse Now’”
“Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder: An Analysis of ‘This is your brain on art’”
“Cut the Feelings, Keep the Facts: A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘How Half of America Lost Its F**cking Mind’

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