Based on the comments of your peer reviewer, instructor, and information gathered about argumentation, write a summary of what you will approach differently in your final draft. Consult the RISE Model and consider your e.ssay. What have you done well? What do you need to revise? Create either a bulleted response or paragraph.
Revision Strategy A revising statement based on the RISE model: In reviewing my peer review and suggestions of the instructor, here are the steps I plan to make in revising my work:
1. I have a good thesis, but it could be rewritten to make it more persuasive. 2. Overall, my claims seem to support my thesis. My third point could use more
development, perhaps through stronger logos and research. 3. My organization seems strong; however, on the fourth page I start to repeat an earlier
point. I’ll integrate that paragraph into the earlier point. 4. I have some issues with MLA citation, especially with direct quotation, that I need to
revise. 5. I have some issues with comma use and using uppercase to indicate a proper noun.
RISE Model – Copyright © 2013 Emily Wray – www.RiseModel.com
The four tiers of the RISE Model can also guide self-evaluations to help review your progress, check your own comprehension
of concepts/techniques and give you a platform to voice future objectives.
Self-evaluations allow you to thoughtfully consider your performance or contribution
as it relates to your growing understanding of a topic or discipline.
Seek information and/or provide ideas through questioning
What concepts/techniques do you need to revisit to master the material? How do you know? What resources are available to you?
Introduce ideas for improvement of current iteration
What could you have done differently to improve your performance or contribution? If I had more time I would have…
Recall, ponder and communicate
How did your attitude, logic and behaviors influence your performance or contribution? What worked? What didn’t?
Raise to a higher degree or purpose in future iterations
How will you approach similar situations in the future? How will the experience inform your professional objectives?
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.
I see some good revision here! For some reason I cannot comment directly on your draft this time, so I will put comments below:
One of the challenges of your essay was to better integrate your research into your thesis. You've improved here well.
The introduction is closer but still quite brief. How might you draw your reader in with the final draft? (The first paragraph of page two includes information that could help draw your audience in, for example.)
In your second paragraph, you have a lot of uncited information. This would be considered plagiarism in your final draft–please contact me if you do not understand.
You've added transition in the third paragraph–how does the history and your brother's involvement "combine"? However, you also integrate the research well here, and it supports your point–good job!
Your works cited is right on track. Good revision–be proud!
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