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Tropic of Rhetoric

Language and Literature at Seminole State College

Professor Kelli McBride

Propaganda and Logical Fallacies

TC = TimeCruiser

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ENG 1113

ENG 1213

-Text Analysis

-Logical Fallacies

-Finding Truth

-Problem-Solution

 

ENG/HUM 2543

ENG/HUM 2413

ENG/HUM 2433

Supplemental Readings

Copyright Kelli McBride 2003-2011

Graphics designed by Kelli McBride and are for her exclusive use.

Handouts for college classes maybe used as per fair use practice.  All other documents on this site written by Ms. McBride are copyright protected.  Please email her for rights to use.

 

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Goal and Objectives

 

The Goals and Objectives of this unit are as follows:

  1. Build on the argument essay writing skills covered in Essay 1

  2. Understand the difference between manipulation and persuasion

  3. Understand the propaganda and logical fallacies speakers use to win over an audience

  4. Identify when propaganda and logical fallacies are used.

  5. Explain why the author's words qualify as propaganda or logical fallacy

  6. Use concepts in one text to explain another text

  7. Document sources and format papers in correct MLA style

Resources

 

Required reading is indicated by (READ) after titles below.

 

Assignments

See Cruiser for Deadlines and Due Dates

 

Read both Donna Woolfolk Cross's "Propaganda: How Not to Be Bamboozled" (in our Power of Language text) and the LB Brief's section on "Fallacy" (pp. 113-16). Post a response to the following questions:

  1. What is propaganda? Give an example that you see in the world.

  2. What is a logical fallacy? Identify one specific fallacy (e.g., post hoc ergo propter hoc) then give an example of it that you have found.

  3. Is it ethical to use either or both when trying to persuade someone to do something? Why or Why not?

  4. Name a context that would make this information useful and important to have.

  5. Identify a potential audience who might need to be informed of or reminded that people use these techniques to manipulate or persuade us all the time. When done, post a response to one other classmate's post. Remember also to share your ideas with your peer group before posting your formal response.

  • Cruiser Message Board Post: Nixon

Post a 150-250 word response to Nixon's "Checker's Speech." Read the text and watch the YouTube 13 minute video of the speech before posting.

  • How could an audience during Nixon's speech (given in 1952) have known or suspected he was not being truthful or straightforward.

  • Remember, some people heard this on the radio. There were no VCR, DVR, or DVD recorders, no 24-hour news shows to breakdown and fact check what Nixon said, no Internet to do it as well.

  • Considering the stakes here for Nixon, his political future, what were the important consequences of so many people falling for his propaganda and logical fallacies?

  •  Over 3 million people contacted the Republican National Committee in support of Nixon after this speech, and he remained the vice presidential candidate for the GOP, eventually winning with Eisenhower. He eventually became president.

  • What strikes you as particularly persuasive, outrageous, and funny in this speech?

  • Respond to one other classmate's post.

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