CMS 3710: Food Bank Analysis

This semester you will choose a food bank and analyze its presence in two separate projects.

Together, these assignments will make up 35 percent of your grade in the class. Both assignments will be evaluated using the Writing Criteria.

Selecting your food bank

Your project will analyze the online presence of a U.S. food bank that distributes at least 5 million meals annually. (This size limit is intended to make sure the web site is extensive enough to serve as a valid object for your analysis.)

To find and choose your food bank, you may use Feeding America‘s Food Bank Locator. After you select a particular state or zip code, the Locator will return a listing of food banks, their web sites, and their annual distribution totals.

Note that you may not choose the Atlanta Community Food Bank or any organization that already has been claimed by another student.

Once you select your organization, claim it by posting the food bank’s name and URL as a new thread in the D2L “Food Bank Choice” discussion group.


To make life easier for everyone, post the name of your food bank as the subject line of your post. (e.g. “Atlanta Community Food Bank”). Include the food bank web site’s complete URL in the body of the post (e.g. ““).

Writing your analysis


The minimum (i.e. “C” level) length for your analysis is 1,750 words. This will include two introductory paragraphs. In addition, your project must include

  • a minimum of five distinct areas of analysis (See the list in “Content and Purpose” below)
  • a minimum of five screen shots of content produced by the food bank (e.g. its web site, its Facebook page) that serve as evidence for your analysis (not merely as illustration)
  • MLA-formatted citations of our texts (see below for details)

Content and Purpose

To analyze both good and bad aspects of the site’s design, you will apply the guidelines presented by in class, by Gabriel-Petit, Widrich, and/or by Horton and Lynch.  Don’t waste time on minor points: your analysis should emphasize important aspects of web design as presented by our texts.

Note that you must focus on topics that we have discussed in class (not typography, for example). Aspects of food bank’s online presence that you might analyze include

  • Social Media
  • Images
  • Editorial Style
  • Video
  • Web Site Usability
  • Web Site Structure
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Color


Specific and detailed information from both our texts and from the analyzed site must be cited and incorporated into your argument. You may not use any texts other than those assigned.

All information from the texts, including any direct quotes,  should be well integrated into the analysis. Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference discusses this virtue in MLA-3, “Integrating Sources.”

Citing Print Sources

For printed texts like the Web Style Guide, you must use in-text parenthetical citations to give the authors credit for their words and ideas. For example,

  • Horton and Lynch demonstrate that designing responsive layouts is in many ways more challenging than designing fixed-width layouts (191).

Citing Electronic Sources

To credit the authors of web pages and other electronic sources, use hyperlinks that point to the particular page cited (not just to a home page). For example,

  • Gabriel-Petit notes that tertiary colors “tend to harmonize with most other colors, because of their interrelationship with them.”

If you are using an electronic copy of our textbook (i.e. on a Kindle), cite the page numbers as you would for a printed text. For example,

  • As Horton and Lynch argue,  “A chart or diagram is an implicit promise to the user that you’ll make a complex world easier to understand” (5684).


Every paragraph should be coherent, including a topic sentence. Subheading should be used to distinguish the major sections of the document.


The Four C’s are vital for Web-based communication. Your writing also should conform to the standards detailed in the Web Style Guide “Editorial Style” chapter, and your language should convey and maintain a professional tone.


Your complete analysis must be submitted to the “Food Bank Site Analysis (Microsoft Word Document)” Dropbox in Georgia View by its listed deadline.

In addition, by the date the images must be

  • Uploaded as separate files to the “Food Bank Site Analysis (Images)” Dropbox in Georgia View. [DO NOT embed the images in an MS Word document.]
  • Formatted as JPG, GIF, or PNG
  • Labeled “Figure 1,” “Figure 2,” etc.

Submission in any other format will result in a significant grade penalty.

Grammar and Mechanics

All links must work. To ensure that this is the case, test your completed project on someone else’s computer.

Spelling: Remember that misspelling undercuts your reader’s trust.

Punctuation: The basic rules of punctuation must be followed. Please note that American style requires placing commas and periods inside quotation marks. For models of these conventions, refer to books published in the United States.

Sentence Structure: The basic rules of grammar and sentence structure must be followed. Ask a friend or family member to read over your final draft before the due date.