Consider how you will create rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, and logos) to support your argument. Provide at least two examples of each. If using a source, make sure to use MLA style to support the source.
Parameters: 250 to 450 words; typed and double-spaced; 12-point, Times New Roman font
Focus and Rhetorical Appeals
Question: what factors are contributing to the poor management and organization
of the study group?
• Poor management and
organization of the team
members and leader (subject)
• Fails to provide all the benefits
available to the learners in the
study group (point of
Credibility Appeals (Ethos)
1. Shared values: the importance of the learners, our number one priority;
teamwork, because work gets done better as a team; team members’
contributions to the study sessions’ goals; management and organization,
because they show the learners that the groups know what they are doing, and
that there is some level of management in the group. In the end, this leads to
effective sessions; study groups: worthwhile and beneficial when sessions are
productive (I realized this as a learner in the group.)
2. Shared background/experience: We all share the experience of being a learner
in the study group, learning and improving because the team members and
leader were well organized and managed. The group has a good reputation and
is known for its productive study sessions, so we all know what successful
sessions look like and we have all seen learners receive the benefits that the
group has to offer. We share the experience of there once being good
management and organization, and each session had a goal that was achieved.
We share the experience of choosing the values that are needed to guide the
group into the future.
3. Preference to writer’s position: The part of the position as a writer that will
make readers listen to me is the role that I have as an assistant. This role will
allow my readers to comprehend that I know what I am saying and that the
issue I am calling to action is for the improvement of the groups and their
learners. It will also be important to remind them that we have all been learners
in the group; that personally, the advantages gained are because of the
organized team members and leader who taught me; and that the learners that
we currently have are here for that and not otherwise.
Affective Appeals (Pathos)
1. State of emotion you want readers to feel:
Since my focus has to do with the poor management and organization that fail
to provide the benefits for the learners, I would want my readers to feel what it
is like to have their group totally disintegrate. I have seen the best primary-level
study group in the country collapse because of issues such as ours. This study
group’s team members’ underperforming led to unorganized and meaningless
sessions, and the leader lacked strong leadership and management skills. In the
end, the group was too far gone to turn around. The group eventually lost all its
learners, and a primary-level group was no longer available. The readers would
suddenly feel perturbed and would consider the fact that this could possibly
happen for our group if something were not done.
2. State of emotion you want to avoid: I want to avoid emotional manipulation. I
do not want the readers to feel as though I am trying to control or contrive them
by exaggerating events to make myself seem more vulnerable. Avoiding this is
important because my readers would feel that they should be embarrassed for
not seeing the underlying intent or net benefit that fixing the issue would bring
to the group. If this happened, the readers would no longer be interested in my
paper and the issue would be ignored.
Rational Appeal (Logos)
1. Example story or narrative:
Benefits of a study group:
• Learn new study
• Exposure to different
• Discussion and
These benefits are not possible if the team members and leader do not do what
is necessary and there is poor management and organization. For example, to
enhance the idea of what an ideal study group looks like, I could describe the
characteristics of one.
2. Definition: A study group is a group of people who regularly meet and provide
an environment for people to externalize their thoughts on shared fields of
study, learn more, or become better at studying.
3. Model or plan: I know of a college-level study group within the country that
quickly dissolved into chaos because there was not some sort of management
and organization. The group dealt with this issue by planning and organizing
before each session. Their leader kept sessions on track and moving forward.
To keep track of information, they found an organizer and kept agendas so that
the team members knew what to expect and how to prepare for each session.
This helped their team members prepare sufficiently and encouraged them to
complete tasks in an organized manner, which enabled a smooth conduction of
their study sessions.
4. Ideal, premise, or principle: “It is literally true that you can succeed best and
quickest by helping others succeed.” -Napoleon Hill (Oluoch, 2021)
5. Describe cause/effect: Bad management has caused the organization issue
within the group. If a group does not understand its mission and the team
members do not understand their tasks, most of the time it is because the leader
does not communicate effectively nor has a clear vision of the group’s purpose.
This hinders the level of productivity and time spent during study sessions.
6. Consequences: This issue leads to ineffective sessions, which, in the long term,
could result in lower engagement and morale of the team members. Sessions
would no longer mean anything to learners, and they would rather self-study.
This could decline the number of learners currently in the group and those
thinking about joining. The group would eventually disintegrate, because what
is a study group without learners? Who will the team members teach and guide?
7. Connection between persons and actions, or the lack of connection: The actions
of the team members and leader are inconsistent. The team members have a
history of being organized and doing tasks persistently. The leader has a history
of managing the group well, so there is a lack of connection between the
persons and their actions.
8. Means to ends: When learners choose to join study groups, it is just a means to
an end, a way to make studying easier for themselves.
9. Direction in a stage or process: Those who do not think that study groups are
beneficial might argue that the sessions often turn into social events where very
little study occurs. They believe that self-studying, because of less distractions,
is more efficient.
10. Classifications: Most of the current learners are starting to believe that study
groups generally are not beneficial, but the truth is that the team members and
leader in this specific group are blocking them from obtaining their benefits. As
a result, they think it is not worth being in a study group.
11. Comparisons and contrasts: There are those who think that study groups are
based on heterogeneity or homophily and grow the majority of issues in a study
group. They think that the learners raise conflicts, especially if there are cultural
differences to bridge or there is a language issue to contend with. However, this
is not the case for all study groups. As can be seen with my group, the issue is
not caused by learners, but by the people that make up the group, which are the
team members and leader.
12. Shared authority: Universities such as Florida National University encourage
the use of study groups so that students can gain a better understanding that
cannot be gained in school. They are saying that study groups are a way to
show others that you are invested in yourself, which will gain their respect.
13. Analogy: Study groups make students more like oysters than sausages. The job
of teaching is not to stuff them and seal them up, but to help them open and
reveal the riches within.
Oluoch, S. (2021, May 24). You can succeed best and quickest by helping
others succeed. Success Afrika. https://successafrika.com/
Dr. Danita Berg
September 25, 2022
While the cause of my brother’s behavior may be much deeper than the church he belongs to, this particular church exhibits cult-like tendencies because a significant time commitment is expected from its member. Most of its members joined during a very vulnerable time in their lives. The church is involved in every aspect of your life, from work to your family and everything in between.
My brother’s church has cult-like tendencies because every member must devote a significant amount of time to its activities and practices. From the 1930s, cults emerged as the object of sociological study from the perspective of studying religious behaviors. In the 1940s, the Christian anti-cult movement started to oppose some sects and new religious movements, terming them “cults” due to their unorthodox beliefs. In the 1970s, the secular anti-cult movement resisted specific groups in reaction to acts of violence committed by group members. These groups, primarily called cults, practiced mind control of their members and linked to strange religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs and rituals. Thus, cults remain exploitative, weird groups with uncommon beliefs. Word of Faith Fellowship, located in Spindale, North Carolina, and Remnant Fellowship, located in Brentwood, Tennessee, are some renowned religious-based cults in the United States. The former started in 1979 when Jane Whaley and Sam Whaley converted a former steakhouse into a chapel, while the latter began in 1999 courtesy of its founder, the late Gwen Shamblin.
As of 2021, my brother started showing strange behaviors that were out of character for him. In the previous years, I had not noticed strange behaviors from him. We always came to each other for everything and had practically no secrets between us. However, I was shocked after noticing some devastating behaviors such as isolating himself from our family members, seeking validation from the church elders, crossing biblical boundaries of behavior, and emphasizing special doctrines outside the scripture. I found that what started as a staunch Christian had developed into something darker, emerging far from our original upbringing. After a few months, my brother stopped visiting our church and fully embraced his new church. In this new church, he would spend most of his time in church and would return home during late hours even on non service days. On one of the Sundays, the church had convinced my brother to stop pursuing a law degree and instead go into theology, to my surprise he agreed. He went on to switch to a different university and even quit his job per the church’s request. Most of his friends and family who knew him were shocked by the uncommon changes in his personality. Previously, he had an ever extraordinarily extroverted personality, but now he was a complete introvert toward anyone outside of the church. While growing up, I believed my brother may be called to preach one day but I could never picture him immersing this far deep into the religious rabbit hole. He acquired a markedly charismatic vocabulary of “spiritual warfare” and claimed to be directly communicating with God. The goal of this charisma is to show people how to convert their admiration into a connection with God (Abby p.12). He revealed that after this new found perspective came into play, he was able to see the true nature of our mother. One that was not very kind.
Additionally, most of their members joined during a very vulnerable time in their lives. For instance, several members joined the church during the COVID-19 crisis after losing their jobs and were desperate for money and a good life. From the general perspective, cults target youth groups (college students), mainly the unemployed and those from low-income families looking for hard-life solutions (Rodia p.9). This target group is always stressed, depressed, emotionally vulnerable, lacking family connections, or living in adverse socioeconomic settings. New college students are prime examples of targets because they are building their identities and are significantly separated from family members. The recruitment techniques tend to entice the hopeless youths while preparing them to convert their religious faith (Schwartz & Kaslow p.19). The main cults’ psychological practices to recruit members are love-bombing (cults flood the targets with affection, flattery, and validation), isolation, and control. However, joining cults significantly affects the victims’ families and friends in the outside world. These impacts include struggling with multiple emotions after a loved one joins a cult group and the damage to family intimacy.
Apart from the reasons linked to religion-related cults, my brother’s strange shift in behavior appears to result from potential mental health conditions. Thus, his religious beliefs and practices are strongly associated with hysteria, neurosis, and psychotic delusions. For instance, his strange declarations about faith in God resulting from watching religion-based episodes of his favorite TV series implies a significant ‘mass hysteria.’ Likewise, psychotic delusions make my brother have an unshakeable belief in implausible and bizarre beliefs regarding his childhood, such as a claim that he was treated unfairly by our mother although her entire world revolved around supporting him and his goals. As a result of this potential mental condition, my brother believes that everyone is against him and refuses to see other sides to the story if they aren’t from the church. Likewise, depression seems to be disturbing my brother. For instance, he is not interested in other social and economic activities despite bringing pleasure but is focused on religion. He cannot admit that he has a problem and does not want people to know about it. Since I have noticed that he has started to miss out on life, this is a sign of silent depression.
Finally, this church has cult-like tendencies because the church is involved in every aspect of your life, from work to your family and anything else. My brother’s church is a high-demand setting with a high level of control and influence over its members (Dubrow-Marshall & Dubrow-Marshall p.398). For instance, my brother has a religious devotion to this church. He has gone so far as to turn him life upside down for these people as well as isolate himself for at least 7 months for unknown reasons, but one can only assume it has something to do with the church. This devotion signifies how this cult-like church has taken over his free will through manipulation into a belief that all these practices are what make one a staunch believer.
After joining this church with cult tendencies, my brother changed his life to comply with church rules and wants. Despite people reaching out to him about the potential damage his estranged behavior has caused, he didn’t waver. Since he joined the church, his entire life has changed to be that of a blind follower rather than the freethinking leader he once was.
Thus, while the cause of my brother’s behavior may be much deeper than the church he belongs to, this particular church has cult-like tendencies. The high devotion to church activities and instant shift of behaviors demonstrate how the church has controlled his life and taken over his free will. As illustrated, cult groups are exploitative, strange groups with uncommon beliefs that target the most vulnerable groups, such as college students and other unemployed young people living in marginalized areas experiencing social and economic crises. The recruitment strategies of members to join the cults are always tactful to resist.
Dubrow-Marshall, R.P., and L. Dubrow-Marshall. “Cults and Mental Health.”
Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 2016, pp. 393–401., https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-397045-9.00153-1.
Ellin, Abby. “Religion Journal; Seeing Overeating as a Sin, and God as the Diet Coach.”
The New York Times, The New York Times, 29 May 2004, https://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/29/us/religion-journal-seeing-overeating-as-a-sin-and-god-as-the-diet-coach.html.
Rodia, Tina. “Is It a Cult, or a New Religious Movement?”
Penn Today, 29 Aug. 2019, penntoday.upenn.edu/news/it-cult-or-new-religious-movement.
Schwartz, Lita Linzer, and Florence W. Kaslow. “Religious Cults, the Individual and the Family.”
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, vol. 5, no. 2, 1979, pp. 15–26., https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0606.1979.tb01263.x.