Madeline Kurtz



Tuesday/Thursday 9:30am

Rhetorical Analysis

I wrote my research paper in high school over a year long period full of writing,

rewriting, revising, and editing. When I started this assignment I was a junior in high school and

did not fully know how to write a formal research paper. The writing process was long and we

were learning different techniques along the way. Having a teacher guiding us along the way

with different writing techniques helped to minimize the confusion. My paper is a research paper

on how building homes out of recycled shipping containers is a “more efficient and cost effective

alternative to new construction” (Kurtz 2). In this paper, I tried my best to write in a way that

was effective for my reader to understand and to fully get my point across. For example, in my

thesis statement, I made the main points of my research very clear from the beginning. My thesis

statement, as stated in the beginning of my paper, states “Recycled shipping containers should be

used for housing because they are nearly indestructible, readily available, and a low cost

alternative to new construction” (Kurtz 1). By stating the main researched points in the order that

I will cover them in the beginning, the reader knows what my paper is going to discuss. This

thesis statement creates the foundation for the entire research paper.

My facts are from multiple sources including articles I read, books I found, and even real

experiences I had with shipping containers. Using diverse sources helps get different

perspectives on the topic. The information I gained from my experiences in different ports

indicates the abundance of available containers around each port, however more research was
necessary to be fully knowledgeable. Additional research was done using articles and websites

on the internet and through written sources to find out more detailed information about the cost

and efficiency of shipping container homes. For example, without further research I would not

have known that “The cost of a Habitat home is on average $85,000 (“FAQs”) while the cost of a

container home can be as low as $15,000 (“The Ultimate Guide)” (Kurtz 3). The information that

I experienced myself is an example of ethos and pathos while the researched material is an

example of logos. The qualities of ethos include credibility and trust involving sources. Pathos

portrays stories sometimes dealing with emotions and values. Because I experienced these things

myself, my source is credible and trustworthy, and these are stories I personally experienced. The

research I found reveals logic, reason, and proof of the characteristics of containers that have

been studied.

In my paper, I include a floor plan that I created to demonstrate how all of the necessary

amenities for a functioning home can fit into such a small space. These necessary amenities

include a kitchen, bathroom, and a designated place to sleep. Sleeping arrangements can include

a loft space, an enclosed room, or can be a multipurpose part of the main space. Container homes

are very similar to, and can also be called, tiny homes. A large concern with tiny house living is

the lack of storage or living space. My research helped me learn that “with careful planning and

design these small spaces can become a very functional space” (Kurtz 3). Throughout my paper I

include examples of people who have used container homes to solve their current needs. I

include a story of a single mother in California named Lulu, who built a container home for her

and her daughter out of recycled items and donated products, making it very cheap, and a

building company who built an apartment building out of many containers for cheap housing

options for low-income people. Lulu decided to build her and her daughter a container home to
live in after going back to school, hoping to eliminate her rent payment. She bought the container

online and used donated, or reused, items to create a home. The total cost, including flooring,

windows, doors, a bathtub, a toilet and sinks, was $4,000 (Single Mom Builds Shipping

Container Tiny Home) (Kurtz 4).

One improvement I would benefit from is improving my internal citations. Learning how

and where to add internal citations would enhance my writing significantly. Developing stronger

writing techniques is necessary for me to be the strongest writer I can. While writing this paper I

used different techniques that at the time I did not realize were involved in fitting into an

academic discourse. I mush faked my way through the first few drafts of my paper until I learned

how to truly write it on my own. Two sentences in particular that point to my research are “In

2006 alone, the U.S. acquired 7.5 million shipping containers from China and returned just 3.5

million (Santisi)” (Kurtz 2). “As a result of this, millions of abandoned containers can be found

in most every port around the world” (Kurtz 2). These two quotes in particular validate my

research concerning the easy availability of containers. My intention for this paper was to

persuade people to consider building a home out of containers instead of traditional building

materials in order to save and reuse resources, building with containers will also save costs of

labor and materials, and I believe that these two quotes help convey that message very well. This

paper maintains a standard research paper style by including a thesis statement and respective

supporting paragraphs. This style of writing is very effective because it gets the main points

across up front and then follows with smaller supporting details. This style makes the point of the

research paper very evident and easy to spot, making the paper very effective overall.
The intended audience for this research paper is a board of community members in my

town. These are volunteers who read and grade these papers and listen to our persuasive

speeches. It is unlikely for these community members to be fluent and knowledgeable about the

topic of each and every speech they hear. Because of this, part of the paper is intended to inform

about our topic. I informed my readers the important facts about containers and container homes.

These facts included the size and amount of weight a container could support. The first sentence

of my paper explains to the readers what a container home is by saying “a container home is a

durable home made out of recycled shipping containers” (Kurtz 1). I also inform the reader a few

facts about containers including how containers “are made to withstand extreme weather

conditions such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes (Kurtz 1). My peers and

teachers are my secondary intended audience. While my paper and presentation were written

initially with the community members in mind, I also had to present my work to my teacher and

my classmates. Writing this research paper introduced me to many new styles of writing. I

learned how to incorporate the knowledge I gained from the classroom in my writing.
Works Cited Page

"FAQs for Homeownership Program Applicants - Habitat for Humanity." Habitat for Humanity.

Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Kurtz, Madeline. “The Pros of Using Container Homes.” Paper. Butler High School. Matthews.

Print. 22 May 2015.

Single Mom Builds Shipping Container Tiny Home for $4,000. Off Grid World. WordPress,

10 Nov. 2013. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"The Ultimate Guide To Shipping Container Homes." Home Tune Up. N.p., 30 June 2014. Web.

10 Feb. 2015.