Rhetorical Analysis Paper for Project Two (75 points possible)It’s easier to view the table using the .pdf version posted in the Project Two Module — or you can click here.Memoir Analysis–“Family Dishes” by Karen Stabiner3+ pages, typed, double-spacedRequirements:2 ½ -3 pages (longer is fine!), typed, double-spaced — Upload to TurnitinThis paper asks you to do three tasks: 1) Briefly summarize the essay, 2) explore the rhetorical situation, and 3) analyze the way the text fits the genre (the characteristics and qualities of memoir). Be sure to have watched the videos “Introduction to Memoir and Personal Writing” and “Writing a Rhetorical Analysis” and to have read “The Rhetorical Situation Memoir” posted in the Project Two module.The following steps and questions are to help you draft the material for your paper. The essay itself should be in essay form, not simply answers to these questions.Briefly summarize the essay, including information about the publication and the intended audience.A significant element of memoir is bringing the story to life. Readers understand the experience more through what the writer shows them than what the writer tells them. Identify how the author uses specific description, especially concrete details to show the experience. (This should be a major portion of your paper.)Writers also use reflection to help readers understand important parts of the story. Reflective information shows how the writer views the situation. What reflective moments do you notice in the story?Memoir shows the personality of the writer. What does the writer seem like to you? Be specific about what in the story has formed your opinion.1/11/2020
Family Dishes – The New York Times
By Karen Stabiner
May 4, 2018
My father was truly a fool for love. I was born with 10 ﬁngers and 10 toes, a big thing to a man who had 10 ﬁngers but only nine toes, the
second and third on his right foot fused together. The doctor thought that the standard “You have a healthy baby girl” would sufﬁce, but
no: My father insisted that he run back to the delivery room — run! — to inventory my hands and feet.
I could breathe on my own, a common enough feat among newborns, except that my parents’ ﬁrst child, a boy who arrived too early and
spent a single day on earth, could not.
So I was more than the standard miracle to my dad. He had been held hostage by longing for years; mere language was not going to
sufﬁce to convey how he felt.
He turned instead to his native dialect. He had a set of dishes specially made with my name on them.
My dad and his dad owned a small restaurant supply store on Chicago’s Skid Row, so he called in a favor at Carr China, one of the lines he
carried, and got them to make a special order — two cups, two fruit dishes, two cereal bowls, two lunch plates, one mug, each of them
with “Karen Sue” worked into the rose-colored border, under the glaze. That was a big deal, a custom border. Anyone can paint by hand
on china. It takes connections to have your name immortalized at the factory in a font that worked well with the ﬂowers and curlicues, as
though someone had just opened a coffee shop named Karen Sue’s and needed to stock up.
The dishes have so far outlasted my dad by 30 years and counting. It’s heavy restaurant ware, the kind you can heave across the room
and ding the wall rather than break the cup. I own ﬁve other sets of plates, including two vintage services for eight from Shenango, my
dad’s biggest line and a mainstay in restaurants from 1920 to 1980; my maternal grandmother’s reﬁned wedding Limoges, 97 translucent
years old, with matching platters, bowls, butter dish and a cream and sugar set; and about two dozen glass cake plates with various
etched ﬂoral borders. When I wanted to commemorate a trip to Italy with my own family, I bought a service for eight from a World War II
veteran and his daughter at their workshop two hours from anywhere. This was how my father celebrated family. I took my cue from
My sister has the fancy set with the hunt scenes, even as we wonder why a family in a Jewish suburb north of Chicago chose images
from the British countryside. It’s not as though we ate a lot of pheasant, living as close as we did to Herm’s hot dog shack and Sam & Hy’s
deli. But a solid middle-class midcentury family had to have party dishes, and those were ours.
Each set had a job to do, as though they were members of the family with assigned household chores. The hunt plates came out on the
day our elementary school teachers came to lunch — always the same lunch, chicken à la king in noodle baskets my mother bought at
Marshall Field’s and a double-decker lime and black cherry Jell-O mold.
The Shenango plates were for less formal gatherings of bigger crowds, and were likelier to be heaped with my mother’s signature
For decades, the glass dessert plates were for when my maternal grandmother had the ladies over for cake. Once she hit her 90s she
asked me if I wanted them — and I turned her down, too young to grasp that she wanted to be sure the tradition would continue. Magical
thinker that I was, I ﬁgured she’d live as long as she had the means to entertain friends.
I had cake on a plate with my grandmother when she turned 100, just me and my mom, but it felt like a party. She made it to almost 102,
at which point I grabbed the plates that no one else in the family wanted.
Clearly I’d inherited the dishware gene from both sides. My friends acquired a grandmother’s diamond ring or a great-aunt’s pearls,
surely more practical and more portable than the stuff that ties the generations of my family together. I never envied them, not for a
I’m not one for journals, which worries me, sometimes, as memories crowd each other out. But these dishes are like a stack of notebooks.
All I have to do is look at them and my own celebrations come wafting back: Thanksgiving dinner served to my small extended family on
those boisterous Italian plates; my daughter’s favorite pasta in the Italian bowls on nights when we needed either to feel better or to
acknowledge that we felt ﬁne. Her ﬁrst birthday dessert on the Limoges, at least for the grown-ups. Latkes for four families on the old
Coffee, always, in one of my cups. They’ve become fused: A great cup of coffee is equal parts beverage and vessel.
Family Dishes – The New York Times
A few months ago, I started a divestiture program to get rid of stuff I didn’t use, and as I got underway I called my daughter to ﬁsh for
compliments. My list of expendables included my sixth set of dishes, still packed in my mom’s quilted, zippered cases, the surface of each
plate protected by a thin plastic circle.
“You can’t give those away,” my daughter said in a tense tone of voice I’m grateful not to hear very often. “That’s my legacy.”
I should have known. She is my father’s namesake, after all, and she has worked in restaurants since she was 16. I sent her the plates.
When she gets married later this month, I plan to have my morning coffee in a Karen Sue cup, a brief moment before the festivities begin,
just me and a host of happy memories that are about to increase by one. I’ve known my plates longer than I’ve known anyone who is still
on the planet; we’ve had good times together since before I was allowed to turn on the stove.
By now I, too, have come into more traditional family heirlooms, my mom’s locket and my dad’s ring, and I like to wear them when I go
But that’s the key to the dishes, isn’t it — the reason I don’t pare back to one set and get on with it. A necklace is for leaving home. A
dinner plate says, “Sit down next to me and let’s talk,” and each one has its own family stories to tell.
Karen Stabiner teaches at the Columbia University School of Journalism and is the author, most recently, of “Generation Chef.”
• GUIDE TO RESPONDING TO THE RHETORICAL
.. ,.__rr_____y.�_ Don’t you
Understanding the Rh.etorical Situation
When you want to narrate and analyze a significant experience in your life, con
sider composing a memoir. Memoirs share the following characteristics:
·ool year. I gi v
1ough; she sa
om asks me,
• Memoirs focus on a particularly significant experience or series of experi
ences in the writer’s life. Rather than narrating from birth to adulthood,
the way an autobiography does, a memoir focuses on those experiences or
events that carry the most significance for shaping who the writer is and
his or her perspective on the world.
• Memoirs contain ample sensory details to help readers visualize, hear,
smell, taste, or feel key events, characters, experiences, and objects.
• Memoirs include dialogue or quoted speech that reveals something unique
about or central to a character or the character’s relationship with other
people, events, or objects in the story.
• Memoirs include clear transitional phrases to show how events relate to
one another in time and how the action of the narrative unfolds.
• Nlemoirs provide reflection on or analysis of the key narrative events to
help readers understand their significance for the writer’s development
and his or her perspective on everyday life.
The following sections will help you compose a memoir about an experience with food. To work with an online guide to the elements of the rhetorical
situation, access your English CourseMate through cengagebrain.com.
Identifying an opportunity
Consider the foods, the recipes, and the dining spots that you find most famil
iar and most comforting-or, conversely, most alien and most unpleasant-so
that you can begin the process of thinking about how the culrure of food has
shaped who you are.You might, for example, think back to a time when a parent
or other relative calmed your anxieties about a bad result on an exam or your
distress following a devastating break-up with a comforting meal. Or you might
remember the specific details of a meal at your favorite diner or coffee shop in
your hometown, the one where you and your friends still congregate when you
are all home for semester break. Vhat you are searching for is an experience or
event or relationship within which food has played a vital role-and helped you
to understand something about life that you want other people to know.
1. Make a list of the foods that are most pleasurable, most memorable, or most
meaningful to you, including those you might have written about in response
to the questions on page 92. Describe at least one experience involving each
food. Explain why the experiences were positive or negative, providing as
SHARING THE EXPERIENCE OF TASTE
Rhetorical Analysis Paper for Project Two (75 points possible)
Memoir Analysis–“Family Dishes” by Karen Stabiner
3+ pages, typed, double-spaced
2 ½ -3 pages (longer is fine!), typed, double-spaced — Upload to Turnitin
This paper asks you to do three tasks: 1) Briefly summarize the essay, 2) explore the rhetorical situation, and 3) analyze the way the text fits the genre (the
characteristics and qualities of memoir).
Be sure to have watched the videos “Introduction to Memoir and Personal Writing” and “Writing a Rhetorical Analysis” and to have read “The Rhetorical
Situation Memoir” posted in the Project Two module.
The following steps and questions are to help you draft the material for your paper. The essay itself should be in essay form, not simply answers to these
Briefly summarize the essay, including information about the publication and the intended audience.
A significant element of memoir is bringing the story to life. Readers understand the experience more through what the writer shows them
than what the writer tells them. Identify how the author uses specific description, especially concrete details to show the experience. (This
should be a major portion of your paper.)
Writers also use reflection to help readers understand important parts of the story. Reflective information shows how the writer views the
situation. What reflective moments do you notice in the story?
Memoir shows the personality of the writer. What does the writer seem like to you? Be specific about what in the story has formed your
Understands the writer’s
meaning and purpose
Excellent! – A
Very Strong – B
Competent – C
The text is thoughtfully analyzed,
focusing on the most important
Meaningful discussion of what the
author wanted to express to the
There is solid analysis, focusing on
One or two less important ideas
might be emphasized
Insightful discussion of what the
author wanted to express to the
There might be more
summary than analysis
Some minor points may be
presented as more significant
than they are
Overly general discussion of
the author’s purpose
Consideration of the genre –
Identifies elements of the
Demonstrates specific elements
of memoir as presented in class
readings and lectures
Makes good observations about
genre, although they may be more
Little to no discussion of the
Abundant use of direct outside
text to support the analysis
Effective use of direct outside text
to support most of the analysis
Little to no use direct use of
the outside text.
Little discussion of specific
parts of the essay
Effective use of paragraphing
Thoughtful introduction and
Logical connection of ideas from
one to the next
Sophisticated sentence level
A variety of sentence styles,
Natural (not stiff or overly
Clear paragraphing, although some
paragraphs might be overly short or
combine more than one idea
Unclear paragraphing or a
more “freewrite” style of
Good sentence level expression
A variety of sentence styles, although
there may be more simple sentences
Mostly natural (not stiff or overly
An over-reliance on simple
Inaccurate word choices or a
reliance on overly formal
Use of language
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