project 1 - White 1 Ashley White Eng 101-Sec. 055 Project 1...

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White 1 Ashley White Eng 101-Sec. 055 Project 1 Sept. 24 th , 2007 The Rhetorical Analysis of Precision in a Formal Observational Report The “Characterization of Respiratory Exposures at a Microwave Popcorn Plant with Cases of Bronchiolitis Obliterans,” by Greg Kullman and a team of scientists, is a formal observational report based on eight former factory popcorn workers who were reported to mysteriously have bronchiolitis obliterans, which is a severe lung disease characterized by a fixed airflow obstruction (Kullman 169). Throughout the report, many scientific values are widely used by Kullman et al. but the most prevalent of these values is the scientists’ use of precision. In the following rhetorical analysis, I am going to focus on how the value of precision is evident throughout the rhetoric of Kullman et al.’s study of bronchiolitis obliterans and how it relates to the rhetorical features, which include the abstract, the methods, and the results of the study. I will also compare and contrast the observational report and an article about bronchiolitis obliterans, which will come from a popular source. This rhetorical analysis will prove that the way that scientists think relates to the way that they write their studies. One rhetorical tool that relates to the precision shown in this study would be the abstract. According to Kirscht and Schlenz, the authors of Engaging Inquiry , the abstract is “a concise statement of the type of study, its purpose, method, and results” (33). The abstract gives researchers a brief summary of the report so that they can take a glimpse at its significance to
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White 2 their own work (Kirscht 33). For example, Kullman et al. uses the abstract as an introduction to their observational report so that researchers can quickly comprehend what the study is about. In the abstract the scientists briefly summarize the quantitative data and methods and then they explain the results of the study. Therefore, the abstract relates to the value of precision because throughout the abstract Kullman et al. is very descriptive when explaining the process of analyzing the samples of popcorn. An example that displays this would be when Kullman et al. states, “The average ketone concentrations were highest in the microwave mixing room where the 10 area samples had a mean diacetyl concentration of 37.8 ppm (SD 27.6 PPM) and a mean acetoin concentration of 3.9 ppm (SD 4.3 PPM)” (169). This example also further proves that the abstract, which is the way a scientist writes, is linked to the precision, which the scientist uses when they think. This is true because scientist have to be precise when writing the abstract so that other scientist or scholars will understand what the scientist is trying to prove or make conclusions about. The methods used by scientists are related to precision as well. The methods are
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project 1 - White 1 Ashley White Eng 101-Sec. 055 Project 1...

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