Rhetorical Analysis of Career Propaganda

Unit 2 Essay: Rhetorical Analysis of Career Propaganda


On Canvas, visit “Syllabus” in the course menu, or go to the corresponding “UNIT 2 Essay [SUBMIT]” module for submission info and due dates. Follow these standards:


Find a written work containing a minimum of 500 words about a career that interests you (even if you dont intend to pursue it, yourself). “Career” means a profession, vocation, or field of employment, rather than a part-time job. “Written work” can be anything from a blog to a leaflet, as long as it has the minimum word count. Compose an essay that, first, identifies and explains the articles rhetorical strategies and techniques (see 2.9 What Is Rhetorical Analysis?), and, next, critically responds to it by determining whether or not it should be called “propaganda.” To achieve this, youll need to rely on your own complex definition of “propaganda,” and defend your assessment of it based on that definition.


1. Introduction (1 paragraph): A should fit entirely on the first page (title page) of your essay and accomplish all of the following, in this order:

As a hook/context, introduce in your own words a complex definition of “propaganda”; dont take it from a dictionary!

Introduced the articles full title and authorship (if authorship is not given, then identify instead the sponsoring agency).
Single out at least three prominent rhetorical attributes (e.g., audience; intention; tone; logos, pathos, ethos; etc.) in the work on which you base your critical assessment.
Declare whether the work should be considered career propaganda, and WHY (rather than stating merely THAT it is or isnt, and leaving it at that).
2. Rhetorical Analysis (3-4 paragraphs; 350-500 words): Compose three fully sequenced and developed paragraphs analyzing the rhetorical elements of the article. (See 2.8 The 5-Stage Body Paragraph.) Each paragraph should take up separately one of the rhetorical attributes named in your thesis (or group together related ones) and explain how the author the author employed it. Conclude this part of the essay with a general critique of how much the article propagandizes. Note: Because you will have already introduced the articles title, source, and authorship (if given) in the first paragraph, you are released from having to cite contextually every quote you use from the article.
3. Critical Response (2-3 paragraphs; 350-500 words): Follow your rhetorical analysis with a broader, multi- paragraph critique of your selected work that argues whether or not it should be called “career propaganda.” Your argument must rely on your rhetorical analysis from the first half of your essay, quoting the written career-related work as needed. It should also draw from your complex definition of “propaganda,” and expert opinions and insights borrowed from the readings assigned for Unit 2, including at least two contextual quotations* with correct quote marks and parenthetical citation referencing last names and specific pages (if from printed sources). See “2.2 RDNG Readings for this Unit” for PDF downloads of the following readings:

Download the MLA document template below and populate it with your own info and essay content; DONT alter its pre- configured format and style:


Using the “Start Assignment” button on the official Assignment 1 page, upload the final draft of this essay in one of the following formats: Portable Document Format .pdf; MS Word .doc or .docx

File Name

Pattern your filename on the following (including dashes): .docx [or .pdf] (E.g., .pdf).

Not sure which section youre in? Find out your registered courses on WebAdvisors Colleague (wa.gcccd.edu/col/wa)


10 points; graded (scored). Late submissions will result in a lowered grade, as explained in module 0.2. Overview, Goals, and Objectives: “Late and Missing Work.”


4-5 pages, plus a separate Works Cited page, correctly formatted and arranged per MLA document design and bibliographic style.


“Propaganda,” is often associated with Nazi campaigns during the 1930s, or the anti-communist rhetoric of the McCarthyism during the 1950s. However, the term “propaganda” is a neutral word, neither good nor bad. The main goal of propaganda is to persuade or manipulate its audience to an agenda, but how righteous that agenda is can be a matter for debate. Defined in this manner, though, all advertising must propagandize in some measure, because it minimizes the negatives and inflates the positives with biased perspectives, manipulative music or imagery, scare tactics, bandwagon appeals, and loaded language.

From the time we are children we are propagandized to choose what we want to be when we grow up. Not surprising, children tend to favor those careers considered to be heroic role models, often gender “appropriate” ones. As we grow, however, our values change and we pursue careers based on our interests, aptitudes, and needs, but that doesnt mean were less prone to career propaganda.

English 120: College Composition and Reading

Instructor: K. Sherlock

course the many ways you can express an opinion without referring to yourself.

? Choose vocabulary clear and appropriate for your audience, and steer clear of common errors of usage and tone.

? A Works Cited, required for this assignment, should be in proper MLA citation style (again, as prompted by the MLA document template you are asked to us).

Jason Altmire, “The Importance of Fact-Checking in a Post-Truth World”

William Badke, “Post-Truth, False News, and Information Literacy”
Katherine Hawley, Trust: A Very Short IntroductionInternational Labour Organization, “Dispelling the Migrant Myth”
Elka Jones, “As Seen on TV: Reality vs. Fantasy in Occupational Portrayals on the Small Screen”
Bourree Lam, “The Dangerous Life of a Trash Collector” Anne C. Mulkern, “A ‘Propaganda War’ over ‘Clean Coal’” Michal Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things. Rebecca Simik, “Five Myths about Nursing”

Rainesford Stauffer, “Dream Jobs Are a Myth, and More Wisdom From ‘An Ordinary Age’”

Erick Trickey, “Rosie the Riveter Isnt Who You Think She Is”

*Contextual Quotations: As noted in the last essay assignment prompt, a contextual quotation is a into the context of your own writing. Immediately after the quote (and continuing the same paragraph), it is further discussed in order to 1) paraphrase it and explain the authors meaning, and 2) interpret and apply its relevance to your own assertions. Be sure to quote complex opinions and interpretations, rather than obvious statements of fact and statistics. Review the rules for introducing, marking, and parenthetically citing quotes in “1.8.f Integrating and Punctuating Quotations.” Study the MLA template for help with citation style and contents.)

4. Conclusion (1 paragraph; 150-200 words): For this assignment, you may conclude your essay in any manner you feel inspired to, in any length, as long as you do it as a separate, final paragraph. WARNING: Dont try to write the essays Critical Response as a single-paragraph conclusion.


At the end of your essay, list all citations for all the sources used, including the satirical article you enlisted for this assignment. The “Works Cited” must start on a separate page and be paginated and be properly formatted in MLA style. If you default to APA style instead of MLA style, your paper will remain ungraded until you resubmit the essay with a properly formatted Works Cited.

All citations should be formatted with a one-half inch hanging indention.

The list should be arranged alphabetically by primary authors last name.

Its common for satirical newspapers not to list specific authorship for their articles, in which case the bibliographic citation is arranged by the articles primary title, using its first keyword to alphabetize it. Do not cite a newspapers name as the author of an article.

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