Propaganda & The Language of Persuasion: An Interactive Foldable

We live in a world of persuasion. When we turn on the television, we are bombarded with commercials and infomercials trying to convince us that our lives would be better if we used a certain product, drove a particular car, or followed a specific diet.  The Media Literacy Project identifies 27 techniques used by media makers to inform and persuade consumers. Whether addressing media literacy, public speaking, or literature, persuasion is the ability to convince people to agree with a particular point of view and or to persuade people to take specific action.

But where does persuasion end and propaganda begin? Many of the persuasive techniques identified by the Media Literacy Project are propaganda strategies.

My students are reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, the timeless fable and allegory depicting a society based on blind loyalty and corrupt power of its ruler. In the story, propaganda is used in a variety of ways to manipulate the animals into believing the flawed ideas presented by their corrupt and greedy ruler. I created the interactive foldable below to give my students some background on propaganda techniques so they might better identify these strategies used by Napoleon and Squealer throughout the text.

Propaganda Techniques:

1. Bandwagon – Doing Something that everyone else is doing. It appeals to a person’s need to belong.

2. Fear – Making one afraid that if we don’t do something or buy something, something bad can happen to use, our families and friends, or our country.

3. Scapegoating – Attributing problems to a particular person or group without regard to the truth of the accusation.

4. Unapproved Assertions – Asserting that something is good or the “the best” without using reasons, statistics, examples, or the recommendation of competent authorities to support the assertion.

5. Slogans – Simple, catchy words and phrases that stick in people’s minds but often without giving all the important details of a person or product.

For a copy of the foldable click here.

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