Analyzing Propaganda

LEAP 3. Write a short essay to analyze an example of contemporary propaganda

Propaganda is defined in different ways depending on the culture, time period, and the context. Propaganda may be beneficial or harmful, and it influences the public mind by activating strong emotions, simplifying ideas, appealing to audience needs, and values, and attacking opponents.

Select a single example of contemporary propaganda, created in the 21st century. Write a short essay (750–1000 words) to analyze it, demonstrating your media literacy competencies, reflecting on propaganda’s potentially beneficial or harmful nature and its impact on individuals and society.



The Message: What is the topic or content of the information and ideas being expressed?

Techniques: What symbols and rhetorical strategies are used to attract audience attention and activate emotional response?

Environment and Context: Where, when, and how is this message encountered by people?

Means of Communication & Format: What is the genre of the message and how does this particular form influence audiences?

Audience Receptivity: How are people likely to think and feel about the message and how free they are to accept or reject it?

Suggested Work Process

Review the criteria for evaluation. Then:

  1. Select an example of propaganda that interests you. You can explore the Mind Over Media Propaganda Gallery or find an example on your own.
  2. Use the five critical questions of media literacy to analyze the artifact you selected and then consider these additional questions, shown above.
  3. Use the Internet to gather relevant information. This will help you understand the context and situation more fully to help you answer one or more questions.
  4. Develop an outline and write, using the creative process to discover and express your main ideas. Use your textbook and other information sources to support your ideas with evidence.
  5. Polish your writing to express your ideas concisely and organize them clearly.

Upload Your Writing to Medium

Upload your Essay to Your Medium Page and Submit for Publication. Create a Medium Account. After you have established an account on Medium, follow the instructor on Medium at @reneehobbs. She will then add you to the list of “writers” for for the class publication, Digital Media Literacy. You can then follow these directions to submit your work for publication.

😎 Pro-Tip: After you complete your LEAP 3 draft and post it to your Medium page, you should add a feature image and 3 tags to increase the appeal of the page.

Tweet a Link To Your Work

Establish a Twitter account or use your current account. Compose and share a tweet about a key insight in your essay, using #COM250 and to make your tweet findable by members of this class.

Criteria for Evaluation

  1. Focus of Your Inquiry. You have selected an appropriate example of propaganda that enables you to demonstrate your media literacy competencies through critical analysis.
  2. Information. You have used evidence, information and ideas gathered through independent search to address key questions.
  3. Quality. Your analysis applies concepts from the course readings and your original writing is informative, concise and engaging.
  4. Style. Your work has all the required elements of the assignment and you have used principles of good design in the construction of the web page.



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