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Caroline Greineder
Ms. Buckless
Writing 104 H
24 February 2016
The Effective Route To Explaining Why Kids Need Recess and Exercise
Imagine being out on the blacktop and hearing the giggling of classmates or the bouncing
of basketballs. Elementary school used to be filled with this during recess. Unfortunately, this is
no longer the routine for students in elementary school, and many adults are beginning to make
changes. A particular adult that spoke out about the matter of children not having recess, is
Denene Millner. In Denene Millners article, Why Kids Need Recess and Exercise, she builds
her argument by strongly utilizing both pathos and ethos , as well as successfully using formal
language; yet, she could improve her response by creating an alternative medium.
Within the essay, Denene Millner begins by discussing her understanding of the
responsibilities that children have during the hours that they are in the classroom. The author
touches upon the fact that many adults want students to excel in school and then she quickly
switches to describing how the lack of recess has impacted her child. She also discusses that
there has been studies that back up the feelings her daughter had from restricted break time. After
discussing the impacts that have been observed due to the lack of recess, the author addresses
ways in which one could make change.
Millner effectively utilizes pathos throughout the course of her essay. One particular
example, is when she states I could see the toll it was taking on my daughter Mari, when, two
weeks before fourth- grade testing, she dragged herself off the bus and into our kitchen-exhausted, tense, and frazzled (Millner). This employs pathos effectively, as it is difficult to see

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a child stressed out and therefore, it forces the reader to consider seeing their own child in that
same situation. In addition, Denene also describes that prisoners get more time out on the yard
than the fourth graders at my kids school(Millner). Relating the students to prisoners allows for
the audience to feel emotional due to the negative connotation of prisoners. By utilizing pathos,
Denene was able to keep her audience's attention by connecting them emotionally.
Similar to her effective use of pathos, Denene Millner also took advantage of the
rhetorical technique of ethos. She was able to use ethos by referencing a doctor that conducted
studies in a classroom where students were working right up to lunch. Denene not only
referenced the study, but also discussed his observations and quoted him, It took the kids in that
class fifteen minutes just to line up. They were fried(Millner). This depicts how evident it is to
many people , including doctors, that children are worn out from the amount of classwork.
Referencing and quoting Doctor Barros allowed for a more credible essay, as most people tend to
trust doctors and their studies.
In addition to referencing Doctor Barros, Milner also displays her credibility through her
use of formal language. Similar to many successful writers, she begins her essay by explaining
the issue that she was discussing. This adds to her argument, as she is able to reach her audience
more easily because her argument is clear. Throughout her essay, she avoided the use of slang,
which in return added to her ability to write in a more professional and serious manner. Writing
in formal language for this particular argument, allowed for the author to be successful, as it
added to her credibility.
While Denene was successful in most aspects of her essay, it is evident that it could have
been stronger if there was a different medium utilized. The argument seems to reach the
audience, although it seems that if it was addressed more directly to school administrators it may

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have been more effective. Despite the fact that it addresses an idea for change, the medium could
have been adjusted to a conversation with someone, rather than posting it on a parenting website
where some parents may be biased based on their experiences with their own children. Although
an argument may have good points, it is immensely important to take time to consider an
appropriate medium.
Throughout the course of her argument, the author discusses why it is overly important
for students in elementary school to have recess. She successfully builds her argument by
utilizing pathos and ethos, as well as formal language; yet there is still room for improvement
within her choice of medium. The author uses pathos which allows for the reader to connect in
an emotional way, which builds the argument by dragging the reader in. In addition, she also
added to her writing by quoting a doctor to add credibility, and she wrote formally in order to
allow the argument to seem serious and clear, thus further supporting her argument. Although, it
was evident that there were many strengths in creating this argument, presenting the argument in
a different way may have strengthened the argument slightly. According to this essay, elementary
students should be learning as well as having fun; although, it is evident that this is not longer
occurring. There must be change.

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Work Cited
Millner, Denene. "Why Kids Need Recess and Exercise." Cnn.com. N.p., 9 May 2011. Web. 10
Feb.
2016.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/09/exercise.for.kids/