Collaborate: Compare and Contrast Propaganda in the Past and Present

DUE: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Overview: Working with a partner, you compare and contrast two specific examples of propaganda from the present and the past, creating both an academic essay and an infographic, both of which are  embedded in a blog post. The purpose of this project is to give you an opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and critical thinking skills that you are developing in this course.

  1. Find a Partner & Develop a Plan for Collaboration. There are a lot of creative and talented people enrolled in #COM416.  Use this Google Doc to identify your interests for LEAP 3 and find a partner.  Since every creative team develops a way of working together that harnesses the unique talents of each individual, listen to this short radio segment on “The Power of Two” with author Joshua Wolf Shenk and reflect on your needs.  Then work out a plan with your partner for how to unleash your creative collaboration.
  2. Comparing and Contrasting. Comparing and contrasting is a powerful tool for learning and for life. Review the process of composing using comparison and contrast to get a good understanding the process of developing an argument.
  3. Select Two Examples of Propaganda. Through brainstorming, you and your partner will figure out the topics or issues you’re most interested in exploring. Then you will gather information and materials, finding many potential examples before determining which 2 examples best work for a comparison/contrast and help you make a strong argument. You will find some great places to search for historic propaganda here.
  4. Research. You will gather information from a variety of sources as you develop your academic essay and infographic. Be sure to develop a Works Cited list for all the sources you use in your work, using the APA format.
  5. Make Connections to the Course Readings & Videos. As you develop the academic essay, you’ll also build upon and make active use of the knowledge that you are gaining in this course as you analyze the 2 examples.
  6. Organize and Write. Working collaboratively using Google Docs,  create an outline for your academic paper and then write an 8 – 12 page paper, being sure to use all the codes and conventions of an academic paper including an title page, abstract and APA-formatted “Works Cited” page. You will submit your paper as a linked Google Doc with open editing so the instructor can comment and provide feedback.
  7. Plan and Create. Explore Piktochart and watch a video overview about how it works/. Create a Piktochart Free account here. Experiment with the tool as you develop ways to express ideas visually. Piktochart tutorials are available to help you polish and publish your work. Learn more about creating infographics by reading my latest chapter on Creating Infographics and Data Visualizations from the Hobbs (2017) book, Create to Learn. 
  8. Put it All Together. Each student should embed both the academic essay (as a Google Doc) and the infographic on his or her blog. You must tweet out the link using the hashtag #COM416.
  9. Reflect. Respond to the instructor’s email with a short email reflection about the quality of the collaboration and learning experience and complete a confidential survey to evaluate your own performance and the work of your partner.


  1. You and your partner have worked collaboratively to create both an academic essay and an infographic, in which you compare and contrast two examples of propaganda from the past and the present.
  2. Your two examples are well-chosen and you discover important concepts and ideas that connect the past and present. You have critically analyzed the two examples using a variety of information sources, making connections as appropriate with the course content. Your academic essay is well organized and uses all the conventions of an academic essay, including an abstract, keywords and an  APA-formatted “Works Cited” list at the end of the essay. The academic essay is posted to your blog as a linked Google Doc with open editing.
  3. Your infographic uses principles of effective visual communication to capture the audience’s attention and communicate key ideas and information from your academic paper. 
  4. You have each embedded both the academic essay and the infographic on your blog and tweeted the link using the #COM416. You have emailed the instructor a reflection about the collaboration and learning experience and completed a confidential survey to evaluate your own performance and the work of your partner.

Get Inspired! Student Project Examples

Tori Vecchio and Amanda Schofield compared two different public service campaigns by the National Football League, looking at “Pink October” and the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch”

Matt Berard & Meara Melidossian compared and contrasted messages from Dwight Eisenhower’s 1952 political campaign to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 political campaign.

Shannen Duffy and Hassan Martin explore “Formation” and “Fight The Power” as they consider protest music as propaganda.

Nikita Duke and Dina Saleh examine representations of beauty advertising past and present.