Propaganda: Innocent or Manipulative? Persuasive Essay by Nicky

Propaganda: Innocent or Manipulative?
An argument that propaganda is manipulative and can encourage conflict.
# 148734 | 1,411 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 03, 2011 in Communication (Language and Speech)

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The paper examines propaganda's manipulative techniques and argues that propaganda inhibits individual critical thinking and fosters hateful attitudes that may actually lead to more conflict. The paper includes several posters from the WWII propaganda campaign to illustrate these effects of propaganda.

From the Paper:

"According to McDonald and Palmer (2003) Propaganda "is a persuasive form of rhetoric that attempts to influence human behavior without consideration for the needs of the audience" (pg.1). Thus, propaganda is different from traditional persuasion because it considers only the needs of the persuader, while general persuasion, on the other hand, is an attempt to change others' behavior in such a way that the persuader and audience can share a "mutual benefit" (McDonald and Palmer, 2003, pg.1). Thus, Propaganda is manipulative, changing humans' behavior and impairing their ability to think critically. WWII propaganda gives an excellent example of this manipulation and impairment. In the poster above, the author's intention is to convince the public to accept rationing for the greater good. At first glance, this poster seems rather innocent; it is simply attempting to convince Americans to give up what they can in order to feed their counterparts who are fighting overseas. On second glance, however, one can understand that the poster is actually quite manipulative. Instead of allowing the audience to form their own opinions regarding whether or not they find the war a worthy enough cause to give up their own liberties for, this poster mandates that the audience accept the fact that they must ration their goods or be considered an unfit American."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • McDonald, A. & Palmer, L. (2003, December 15). Response-ible Rhetorics: Exploring Rhetoric and Responsible Action. Retrieved May 23, 2009, from George Mason University. Web Site:
  • Navarro, A.V. (n.d.) A Critical Comparison Between Japanese and American Propaganda During WWII. Retrieved May 23, 2009, from Michigan State University. Web Site:
  • United States. Army. (Distributor). (1944). The avenger's shadow: more money for U.S. planes, tanks, guns/, [Online Image]. Retrieved May 23, 2009, from Northwestern University Library. Web Site:
  • United States. Office of Facts and Figures. (Distributor). (1942). Canadian, [online image]. Retrieved May 23, 2009 from Northwestern University Library. Web Site:
  • United States. Office of War Information. (Distributor). (1943). Do with less--so they'll have enough! rationing gives you a fair share, [Online Image]. Retrieved May 23, 2009, from Northwestern University Library. Web Site:

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Propaganda: Innocent or Manipulative? (2011, November 03) Retrieved March 05, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Propaganda: Innocent or Manipulative?" 03 November 2011. Web. 05 March. 2021. <>