English 104 critical thinking
An old cliché states that there is nothing sure in life except for death and taxes. Well, that may be true, but so is the charge that the there is very little truth found in the mainstream media.
From further back than Adolph Hitler, prominent persons used types of media to broadcast their individual agendas, which they hoped would sway the populace to their ways of thinking.
Consider what the media reports and the way in which information can be twisted to mean what it never did when it was spoken aloud. For example, “Donald Trump hates black people” or “Donald Trump hates “Mexicans”, are two comments made about the current Republican Presidential candidate. But, what did he really say? Did you hear him make any statement that would mean he hated a particular group of people? Or did he say the United States should close its borders to undocumented people in order to remove the criminal element? What did he say? Can you look it up and find it? Similarly did Trump say anything against black individuals? Or did he challenge the “Black Lives Matter” movement and say it was a “disgrace”? What was really said?
Then consider the other side of the coin, where is the media criticism of the Democratic candidate for President? Hillary Clinton has been steeped in controversy since she was Secretary of State. She is on the record as saying she “admired Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder, for her courage and her tenacity, her vision”. On its face, who cares; that’s nice; Margaret Sanger is another powerful woman, who before the time of women’s empowerment made her mark on society by establishing clinics for pregnant women. Did you know she founded them in poverty-stricken areas in the hopes of clearing out the “negros”, who are “human weeds”, “reckless breeders” “spawning human beings who should have never been born”? (quote found in her book The Pivot of Civilization, located on Project Gutenburg). What about the Benghazi trials where Hilary Clinton is on record as saying, “What Difference Does it Make” in regards to the fact that four people were killed and the committee was worried about who was at fault for their deaths?
All of the above information can be located on reliable websites with in-context quotes. Regardless of one’s political leaning, whether or not one likes Trump or Clinton, the voter bears a responsibility for completely understanding his/her candidate. Blindly believing the propaganda that is spread about anyone is irresponsible.
The media relies on the fact that people are busy; they have lives, children, jobs, mortgages to pay and don’t have time to fully investigate a political candidate. Thus, sound-bites are all they need to make an educated decision-really? Is this accurate?
People should never “blanket” believe what they read and listen to, and then assume that because it sounds good or because they agree with what is being said, it must be correct.
Look over different kinds of propaganda (defined on dictionary.com as, information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.).
Based upon the above definition, are ads for products (such as shampoo, shoes, clothing) considered propaganda, or does propaganda merely refer to political speech designed to sway opinion?
Do people such as Ward Churchill and Bill Ayers with radical ideas and loyal followers qualify as propaganda spreaders? What is the overall affect of people such as Churchill and Ayers and the people who look to them for their form of “truth”? What about Charles Manson and his “supporters” who committed murder under his direction? Those same people, many of whom are still in jail, have been quoted as still being anti-government and anti-police even after spending 40 + years in prison for their crimes.
From what you find as you research the ideas and realities of propaganda, develop a thesis statement about propaganda and establish a connection between it and the world culture at large.
Ideas to think about:
- What do you see to be the effects of propaganda as it is presented by mass media?
- Select a particular arena of propaganda (Who does it affect? Why is it effective? What is it?)
- Is the propaganda connected to a particular group or individual?
Essay should be at least three pages in length, include parenthetical citations from reliable resources and a properly formatted Works Cited page.
The don’ts of writing
Do not use the words thing and stuff
- Overuse “TO BE”/”Helping” verbs (they are often unnecessary and detract from your point).
- Use personal pronouns relating to the writer or the reader (exception exists only in writing a narrative essay about a personal event) (example: I, me, you, my mine, your, you’re, our, us, we) FYI—“you” is always a “no-no”
- Use phrasing such as, “this essay will show”, “In the next few paragraphs I will detail. . .”, “I intend to prove”, or any variation of the like.
- Use the phrasing “I think”, “In my opinion”, “I feel” or “I believe”
- Begin a sentence with “It” (It is an indefinite article and has no true clear reference.)
- Use words such as this or that unless there is a clear reference
- Use contractions if at all possible
- Use slang phrases, clichés or trite phrases
- Use the phrases could of, should of or would of, as they are contractions for could have, should have and would have, and are properly written, could’ve, should’ve, and would’ve
- Use the terms, Now a days or Back in the day (slang phrases). Instead, use Today, Currently or In 2014 (or appropriate year).
- Use Commercial-speak (phrases used on TV, such as “and much more”)
- Assume the reader can “read your mind”, be clear.