West Chester University

Spring 2006 and Fall 2005

West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001






Course Syllabi and Announcements
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements and Assignments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2008)
  A Reading of THE TEMPEST

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006)
  Goals of the Course
  Fundamental Questions about Literature
  Valuing Literature
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Literature as ART
  Approaching the Art of Fiction
  Defining the Short Story
  Evaluating Short Fiction
  Craft of Fiction: PLOT
  Craft of Fiction: CHARACTER
  Small Group Exercise
  ARABY by James Joyce
  A note about GIRL
  POE and the art of STORY OF A HOUR
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Fiction and Ambiguity - Your Questions
  Writing Workshop - Short Fiction
  Poetry Journal Project Assignment Sheet
  Defining Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry
  Drama and Tragedy
  Study Questions: DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006)
  Paper #4 Assignment Sheet
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources Worksheet
  Selecting Information
  Evaluating Arguments
  CASEBOOK PROJECT Assignment Sheet
  Approaching Persuasive Writing
  Topic Development - Profile Essay
  Generating Ideas for the Profile Essay
  Paper #2 Assignment Sheet
  Profile Exercise
  Objective Writing: Selected Readings
  Writing Workshop: Paper #1
  Expressive Writing in the NYTimes
  Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions
  Paper #1: IDENTITY
  Expressive Writing
  Open Letter Exercise and Examples
  EMERSON on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Literature related to IDENTITY
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005)
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Franz Kafka's BEFORE THE LAW
  Paper #3: Assignment Sheet
  Paper #4: Independent Project
  The Problem of Stability in BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Analyzing Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  A Reading of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST
  From today's news (11/3/05)
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #2
  Goodbye to Dante's Imaginary World
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 10-34
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 1-10
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 32-34
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 18-31
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 12-17
  INFERNO: Structure
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 1-5
  INFERNO: Analyzing Canto 1
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Approaching Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
  A Little Help with Dante's INFERNO
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Responses to LEAF BY NIGGLE
  ON FAIRY STORIES: An Essay by Tolkien
  Notes on Axolotl
  Reading Ovid's Tales
  From Myth to Literature: Approaching Ovid's Tales
  Functions of the Genesis Tales
  Analyzing Mythic Tales
  Defining Mythology
  Filtering the Introduction to FANTASTIC WORLDS
  Commentary on LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI by Keats
  Commentary on DARKNESS by Byron
  Handout: Imagination Poems Set
  What is Imagination?
  Our Course Theme: Imaginary Worlds
  LIT 165 Assignments: Fall 2005
  LIT 165 Announcements: Fall 2005
  Imaginary Worlds: Course Syllabus

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
  Paper #4: Independent Thinking/Reading/Writing
  Casebook Preparation Checklist
  Casebook Assignment Schedule
  Evaluating Sources for the Casebook
  Casebook Project Assignment Sheet
  Notes on Rational Argument
  Assignment Sheet: Objective Writing
  Reviewing Elements of the Profile Essay
  Writing the Profile Essay
  Readings: Objective Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Expressive Writing
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Emerson on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Mind-map: Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Assignments Page
  Announcements Page
  WRT 120 Course Syllabus for Fall 2005

ENG Q20: Basic Writing

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library



This famous pamphlet was composed in the 1930s to help people analyze the particular rhetorical devices that constitute "propaganda" in the hopes that such knowledge would help us hold politicians more accountable for the kinds of manipulations they tried to get away with. Powerful propaganda was in the air back then. Dangerous nationalists like Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, waiting there in the wings…. Would people in those societies have been as vulnerable, as gullible as they were if they'd had this kind of knowledge about how they were being manipulated? The writers of this pamphlet were attempting to inform their American readers about propaganda, in part, to protect them from being vulnerable to its effects.

A few questions we want to ask and answer based on this article are:

  • How does the Institute for Propaganda Analysis define propaganda?
  • What are the propaganda tools to look out for?

We can answer those two questions up there fairly easily.

How does the IPA define propaganda?
Propaganda, defined by the IPA, means deliberately designing messages so that people will be influenced to think or act in predetermined ways, in ways the propagandist prefers. That is, it's an instrument of persuasion meant to get people to form rash judgments. Why rash? Because they're not based on rational thought or inquiry, just bald feeling. In this broad sense, you can see how advertising is "propagandistic," but properly understood, "propaganda" is a term usually reserved for those who wield it, or want to wield it, in an organized way for political purposes. Despite their similarities advertising and propaganda are different. There's a qualitative difference between using persuasion to get you to purchase a pair of jeans and using persuasion to get you to elect a person to office, to give that person enormous power. The difference is that the success or failure of the persuasion advertisers use will affect individuals, whereas political persuasion potentially affects millions. So, while some of the techniques are the same, the effects are not.

What are the propaganda tools to be on the lookout for?
The propaganda tools discussed in the IPA pamphlet are "NAME CALLING," "GLITTERING GENERALITIES," "TRANSFER," "TESTIMONIAL," "PLAIN FOLKS," "CARD STACKING," and "BAND WAGON." It would help to give some of these new names, I think.

Name Calling. Say something nasty about someone. Use broad strokes and never fill them in. Get your audience rushing to judgment without providing any evidence. "He's a pen-pushing bureaucrat." "He's a liberal." (That didn't used to be a bad name!) "He's a terrorist." (Ah, we don't want to admit it, but that's name calling. One person's terrorist is another person's "freedom fighter.")

Glittering Generalities. Use virtue words. Use the same broad strokes, and never fill them in. Get your audience, once again, to rush to judgment without examining any evidence. "He's a good American." "We're for family values." Glittering generalities are feel-good words that will make people feel warm and fuzzy without making them think too hard, or think at all.

Transfer. To make something more palatable, set it next to something we like a lot. Get us to feel good about it by the power of association. "Transfer" that good feeling we have about this thing or idea to that thing (or idea). Get your audience to completely confuse the two as much as possible. (The flag = "America's New War." Several TV news stations have helped us associate our patriotism, our need to bond together, our team spirit, our rallying around the flag, with feeling okay about our "new war."

Testimonial. Display somebody whom a lot of people respect or idolize and ask them to take that person's word for it, whatever it is. ("Mayor Guilliani says he is definitely going to vote for so and so, so what do you think of that?")

Plain Folks. Go out and be among the people, doing and saying the things that ordinary people do. Talk like them. Dress like them. Eat like them. Laugh like them. Get the people to believe you are just like "one of them." Visit the factory and press some flesh with the machine operators if you really want their votes (and all the other working class folks out there watching on the evening news.)

Card Stacking. "Stack the cards" or "arrange the deck" of facts against the truth. Use under-emphasis and over-emphasis. Suppress facts that don't support your side. Dodge questions, avoid issues, evade facts. Even lie if you have to. Use censorship, distortion. Omit things. Offer false testimony. Create a diversion, raising new issues when you want something forgotten. Draw a red herring across the trail to keep nosy inquisitors off your trail. Make the unreal appear real and the real appear unreal. Encourage half-truth to masquerade as the whole truth. Use as much sham, hypocrisy, and effrontery as you can get away with! (Ask the American people and the rest of the global community to believe Iraq was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. without presenting credible evidence.)

The Band Wagon. Encourage everyone to conform, to follow the crowd, to join in the parade, to get that fellow feeling of belonging to the group. Hey, don't you know "everybody's doing it," so what's your problem? Get with the program! Hop on! Flatter and pander and play on people's prejudices, biases, convictions and ideals-work their emotions until they join. (Don't you support our war in Iraq yet? What do you mean you think this was the wrong war? That's not what all the rest of us good people think!)







Questions? Contact me.

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