Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review Questions - Essay Prowess

Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review Questions

Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review Questions

Below are Rhetorical Analysis peer review questions–respond to some or all of the questions below. Or, you also have the option of annotating the text. You must post two peer reviews that are at least 200 words or 10 annotations each. Make sure to respond to any questions the student may have posed for peer reviewers at the beginning of the essay.

Peer Review Questions

  1. What are some of the strengths of the essay? Consider referencing a specific sentence or paragraph and explaining why you believe the section is noteworthy.
  2. Does the introduction establish the context of the text; ie, does it provide enough background information to situate the text within a specific conversation? Does anything need to be added? Cut?
  3. Does the summary accurately and succinctly give an overview of what the original text? Does anything need to be added? Cut? (Note that you do NOT need to read the original text. It’s actually better if you don’t because then you can evaluate whether the summary stands on its own well enough.)
  4. What is the thesis statement? Does the thesis focus on strategies used in the text and not the subject matter or argument?
  5. What claims does the writer make in support of the thesis statement?
  6. Does the writer effectively use specific quotations from the original article being analyzed? See Stacie’s article on quotation sandwiches to evaluate the effectiveness.  Indicate where at least one quotation sandwich is used OR where one could be used. 
  7. Does the writer need to provide additional claims to support the thesis? What ideas do you have for additional claims? Is each claim sufficiently developed? What details would strengthen any of the claims?
  8. Does the conclusion make an argument about the overall effectiveness of the text in persuading its intended audience?
  9. Does the essay focus on the rhetorical elements of the text (context, intended audience, use of logos, pathos, ethos, use of rhetorical strategies such as style, arrangement, emphasis, impact/effect on the audience, etc.)? Are any of these elements underplayed or overemphasized?
  10. How is the essay organized? Does the essay flow logically and smoothly from one section to the next? Can you point to places where the essay flows, feels choppy, and/or you feel informed or lost?
  11. Are there any major spelling, grammar, mechanics issues that the student needs to be made aware of?
  12. Did the student pose any questions to peer reviewers? If so, respond to any questions you feel you can respond to. 
  13. Can you provide any additional feedback or link any resources you believe will help the writer to continue working towards a final draft?

Student 1:

The article “CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret” was written by Eric Robertson, a reputable physical therapist known for web-based education courses he created on the subject. He currently heads a quality and health outcome assessment team for rehab services at Kaiser Permanente in California. The article was published on September 20, 2013, on the website “Medium.com.” People mainly use Medium.com to post their experiences and advice on different subjects. It seems as if the intended audience for this article is anyone currently in CrossFit that may not be aware of the potential risk of “Rhabdo,” as well as people who may be interested in trying out CrossFit. Robertson wrote the article to bring awareness of a dangerous sickness resulting from overexertion in CrossFit that most people aren’t aware is even potentially dangerous. He has a vested interest in the topic due to being a physical therapist that deals with injuries resulting from incidences such as the one his colleague experienced.

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret starts with a short story about the clown character “Uncle Rhabdo.” The cartoon is depicted as a muscular clown connected to medical equipment, his kidney, and a portion of his bowel in a pool of blood on the floor. This description of “uncle rhabdo” is the intro to a story about a colleague of the authors developing Rhabdomyolysis after an intense CrossFit group fitness class. Eric Robertson gives details on his friend’s workout and the after-effects that slowly worsened until she finally found herself in the hospital with the diagnosis of the so-called “rhabdo.” He writes of how even with her experience as a physical therapist, she ignored her body’s warning signs of a potentially life-threatening issue due to her CrossFit encouraged mentality of “deplete, endure, repeat.” He then goes into more detail about Rhabdomyolysis, its science, and how it affects the body. The article ends with the author asking the reader a few questions he wants them to consider, such as “is this workout worth the risk?” 

Robertson effectively employs the use of word choice in his article. He uses logos in his knowledge of the illness with some supporting evidence, including quotes from people who had experience with CrossFit and the repercussions of “rhabdo.” The third strategy Robertson uses is his voice throughout the article; he does this by asking questions.

Robertson’s strategy in his use of word choice is apparent throughout the entire article. We see an example of this through his detail in the story of his coworker, a fit woman who had done CrossFit classes many times before, experiencing negative symptoms after one such class. He uses descriptive words throughout the story, as you see in this sentence, “so she wasn’t surprised to have her beautiful, sculpted arms feel like poorly set bowls of JELL-O®.” Robertson later references her arms again with more descriptive words as to the state her arms were in after her class, “By that evening, her slender arms had continued to swell into plump hotdogs of ache and regret.” Another description of the aftermath, “Her sculpted arms are gone, replaced by semi-swollen jiggly tissue. Once a muscle tears, damaged, fatty scar tissue replaces the injured muscle tissue.” Telling this story and using phrases like “bowls of Jell -O” and “plump hotdogs” creates imagery in the reader’s mind of what the effects of “rhabdo” can look like. This strategy also makes a persuasive appeal of pathos by creating relatability and evoking the negative emotions in the reader that this vocabulary promotes.

The second strategy Robertson uses is logos; he uses this strategy in his knowledge of the facts of “rhabdo” and his supporting evidence to that point. He asks the question, “So what is rhabdomyolysis (Links to an external site.) exactly?” Then proceeds to detail what exactly happens in the body as a result of the disease. He includes quotes that he found while researching data on the subject. Such as one from an article published in the New York times in early 2005 named “Getting Fit, Even If It Kills You.” The quote says, “Yet six months later Mr. Anderson, a former Army Ranger, was back in the gym, performing the very exercises that nearly killed him. ‘I see pushing my body to the point where the muscles destroy themselves as a huge benefit of CrossFit,’ he said.” Another disturbing quote is from the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman. He says, “It can kill you,” he said. “I’ve always been completely honest about that.” Through Robertson’s use of knowledge and fact, he effectively uses logos.  Reasoning with the reader through points of why one should approach CrossFit carefully.           

The third important strategy is how Robertson uses his voice. The questions at the end stood out to me the most; he asks “is this workout worth the risk? Can the culture adapt to one that embraces safe training principles? Do coaches truly have the ability to detect what a proper training load is for their athletes?” In ending with these questions, Robertson seems to put the responsibility back on the reader to do more research and come to their own conclusions. I appreciate this gesture because despite the negative light he puts CrossFit in throughout the article, he seems to acknowledge that his opinion is not set in stone. There are variables to consider, such as a coach’s ability to effectively embrace proper safety training principles.

The three strategies Robertson employs of using his voice, word choice, and logos are apparent throughout the article. These strategies effectively put CrossFit into the negative light Robertson seems to view it in.  In conclusion, I think “CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret” was a great read, and I enjoyed learning to analyze it and find different parts of the structure and strategy that stood out to me. This article resonated with me since I have recently been considering trying CrossFit so I would consider myself the intended audience. I will be researching the activity before participating and hope that anyone else reading this article will also do so. Because, though Robertson makes some good points, there are two sides to every story, and one person’s negative experience shouldn’t discredit an entire sport. 

Student 2:

“CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret” was written by Eric Robertson and was published on the Medium.com website September 20,2 013. Robertson is an orthopedic physical therapist and was a clinical professor at the University of Texas. Robertson is responding to an increase in popularity of CrossFit as well as to the individuals how blindly incorporated CrossFit into their routine without being conscious about the dangers that come with CrossFit. He intends to reach out to an audience that is hesitant about CrossFit and is researching more information on the topic.  

           This article is centered around the dangerous secret that is being hidden from the consumers of CrossFit. Robertson begins explaining the dangerous condition of rhabdomyolysis and how it’s linked to CrossFit. Throughout the article, you will read about the condition in more detail and how it damages the body. Robertson goes into great detail about what rhabdomyolysis is and the impact it has on your body and possible difficulties in recovery. Robertson goes on further to explain a personal story about his experiences with rhabdomyolysis from a co-worker. Robertson includes a vital interview he had with the founder of CrossFit and his thoughts about the connection between CrossFit and rhabdomyolysis.  

           In “CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret” Eric Robertson was extremely effective in warning and informing the dangers of CrossFit and how it links to the serious condition of rhabdomyolysis. Robertson effectively uses logos through his expertise as a physical therapist to explain the dangers of CrossFit. Additionally, Robertson uses pathos to engage his readers in the severity of rhabdomyolysis by incorporating a personal narrative. Robertson usage of word choice to reel his readers in even more to recognize the severity of the situation. 

           Roberston uses logos to support his statement by providing evidence on rhabdomyolysis so that the audience can critically think about this condition. “While in the emergency department they tested her creatinine kinase (CPK) levels. Normal is about 100. Her CPK levels were more than 45,000, a number that indicated damage to the kidneys.” Considering the background that Robertson is writing from, which is a response to the increased popularity in CrossFit, he is logically showing to the readers the severity of rhabdomyolysis. Even for the casual reader who has no knowledge of anything regarding medical practice, this information is easy to understand. If Robertson had used any other measurement to compare the impact on the reader would have been completely different. Readers can logically understand that these CPK levels are far from the safe danger zone and are in a new territory. The organization of just this section of his article emphasizes his effectiveness in introducing the severity of rhabdomyolysis. Robertson continues supplying readers with logical information with an interview he had with the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman. In the interview Glassman states “it can kill you, he said. “I’ve always been completely honest about that.” Not only does this statement show the readers that Glassman was always aware of the dangers of CrossFit, but it also indicated that there was really no transparency to the consumers. Why create and promote a workout routine without obviously stating the dangers to the consumers? Furthermore, readers will understand that Glassman is glorifying CrossFit and using the hidden dangers as an exploit. Robertson’s choice in including this interview is vital for his readers to understand that the information that he is presenting isn’t fake. The confirmation coming directly from the founder places readers to critically think about whether this is the only secret that has been hidden from the consumers of CrossFit.  

           Robertson effectively uses pathos to evoke emotions in the readers and engage them in his perspective. One of the most eye-catching statements for readers is at the beginning of this article “He’s a clown. Literally.” With this statement, Robertson is setting the tone for the article. Readers will be able to infer that he is coming from a place of anger and disappointment with the situation revolving around CrossFit. If the authors’ own personal emotions are being presented in the article readers are led to believe that this is a bigger situation than they initially believed. Robertson continues with this line “Yet well-muscled clown, connected to a dialysis machine standing to some workout equipment.” This line creates a vivid imagery for the reader. Even without personally experiencing rhabdomyolysis Robertson audience can imagine the severity of the condition. This line and imagery that follows evokes a disturbing feeling in the audience. They might experience fear, disgust, anxiety, and wariness. All of these emotions allow the readers to engage in this article not only from a logical point of view but from a point of view that that is centered around empathy. Robertson continues to engage his audience with a personal narrative that he strategically incorporated. “She couldn’t bend her elbows! She couldn’t even reach her mouth to brush her teeth.” Robertson knows that his audience will struggle to believe the reality of rhabdomyolysis. Robertson’s choice of implementing this narrative opens the eyes of his readers. This narrative allows readers to look at the condition, not as just another medical condition but one that is affecting real people. This line takes off the filtered lenses that an audience tends to have when something has not affected them directly or indirectly. 

           Finally, Robertson convinces his readers more with his careful word choice, background, and credibility on the manner of rhabdomyolysis. Before getting into all the crucial information about rhabdomyolysis, Robertson states that he is a physical therapist. This changes the readers’ perspective on him. He is no longer a nobody who has an opinion on CrossFit, but he has the credentials to be speaking on this subject. Even when Robertson introduces the story of his co-worker who is also another physical therapist, this creates more validity to her story. This isn’t just a casual person who didn’t know how to perform certain movements of the exercise. This was a physical therapist that knew what they should be doing but since there was a lack of transparency the damage was already done. This explains to the readers that this was caused by the disguised dangers of CrossFit. The best line that displays his excellent use of word choice would be the line “deplete, endure, repeat” this line perfectly summarizes what CrossFit actually is and not, a good workout for building strength and losing weight as it has been marketed as.  

           In closing, it is evident that the organization of “CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret” was aimed to reach its intended audience, people who engage in CrossFit, effectively. The emphasis on logos, pathos, and ethos throughout the article convinces readers to reevaluate their preconceptions on CrossFit as well as bring vital attention to the seriousness of rhabdomyolysis and CrossFit.  

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