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Madeline Kurtz

Dr. Miss

T/Th 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

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

class was learning different techniques as we wrote our papers. 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 they will be discussed, the reader knows what to expect as the

general idea of the paper. This thesis statement creates the foundation for the entire research


My facts about shipping containers are from multiple sources including articles I read,

books I found, and even real experiences I had with shipping containers. Using diverse sources

helps receive different perspectives on the topic. The information I gained from my experiences
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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 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 defining terms of ethos include credibility and trust

involving sources. Pathos portrays stories sometimes dealing with emotions and values. Because

these stories are from my own personal experiences, my source is credible and trustworthy. 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 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

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

options for low-income people. I also mentioned a single mother in California, named Lulu, who

built a container home for her and her daughter. Lulu decided to build a container home to live in
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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 belonging to 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. Mush faking is when you fake your way through a situation

until you finally understand what you’re doing. The term is similar to the saying “fake it until

you make it”. “ “In 2006 alone, the U.S. acquired 7.5 million shipping containers from China and

returned just 3.5 million (Santisi)”. As a result of this, millions of abandoned containers can be

found in most every port around the world” (Kurtz 2). This selection in particular from my paper

validates 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. 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 in the beginning and then follows with smaller supporting details. This style makes

the main points of the research paper very obvious and easy to spot, making the paper very

effective overall.
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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.

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). These

facts included the size and amount of weight a container could support. 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 initially

written with the community members in mind, first I had to present my work to my teacher and

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

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