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Wartime Propaganda? Homework Help

Wartime Propaganda?
Due by Friday 2/25 at 12pm (noon) EST, you will be expected to submit on
Brightspace via the Gradescope a short writing assignment (300 words
Here is the question to answer in your W7 Essay using Creel’s primary document
and at least 2 of the posters: Do you agree with George Creel’s statement that the
work done by the CPI was not propaganda? Why or why not?
What is a primary document?
A primary document is a first-hand account of an event or experience. It may be
a written (such as a private letter, public speech, governmental report, catalog,
advertising, and more) or visual piece (photograph, painting, movie, etc.), or
even a recording, or a piece of fabric. Any artifact of the past could be a primary
The point of this written assignment is to showcase that you can understand and analyze
primary sources.
FYI, a secondary source would be an analysis based on primary sources (such as
a thesis or an essay, like the one you are producing). A tertiary source is made of
secondary sources. Think of a textbook, for instance.
How do I read and understand a set of primary sources?
– Organize your sources in chronological order so that you can look at trends in
changes and permanence over time.
– Identify the authors: are their name readily available? What can we guess or
know about their gender/social
class/race/nation/education/age/profession/religion? Without spending too
much time on this, are you able to find anything relevant about them online? If
so, is it from a reliable source? Don’t forget to cite it.
– Think about the intent and bias of the primary document and its likeliness to
give an account as close to the truth as possible (intentionally or not). For
instance, a public speech is meant to rally people to a cause. It might exaggerate
facts and overlook other ones. A private letter might give insights into someone’s
daily life in a way than no other documents could, but might not contained
reliable facts. A governmental report would be useless to give you individual
narratives, but it could give you nation-wide trends.
Write this paper on your own. This is
not a collective assignment.
◼ Properly cite your sources (your
articles, a Wikipedia entry/book
you’ve used, etc).
◼ Write at least 300 words.
◼ Write with an active voice
(“Researchers demonstrated that…”)
instead of a passive voice (“It has
been demonstrated that…”)
◼ Submit it via the Gradescope link
These papers will be graded out of
100 points.
8 best essays out of 10: 40% of your final
W7 Essay – Due 2/25 Wartime Propaganda? 2
– Think about the impact of the source: what was the target audience and
distribution size of the publication?
– Think about the historical context of the document. What era was this? What
do we know about the facts or events mentioned in the source?
How should I organize my paper?
Here is my process. Feel free to adopt and adjust it:
– Identify your main arguments. These arguments should clearly address
the question(s). Feature one per paragraph.
– Select excerpts from the sources that support your arguments. Make sure
to use all of the sources and match them well to your arguments. Cite
and quote/paraphrase when applicable.
– Search for other excerpts that contradict your argumentation. What do
you make of this? How can you revise your argumentation so that it
makes sense?
– Once you’ve written the body of your text, write the introduction. Make
sure to anchor it with a date that is relevant to the topic. Make sure to
feature a thesis statement that gives a preview to your argumentation. Be
as specific as you can.
– Because 300+ words is short, a conclusion is optional. You won’t be
penalized if you include one, but I would rather that you develop more
the body of your text.
How am I going to be graded?
You will be graded individually according to the following rubrics:
– Self-explanatory and engaging thesis statement (10 points)
– Clear and insightful argumentation (20 points)
– Relevant and sufficient use of the sources (30 points)
– Adequate citations (20 points)
– Academic-level writing style (10 points)
– Word requirement (10 points)
Total = 100 points
What is an appropriate writing style for this course?
You must use a precise language. Use past tense and an active voice (OWL
OWL tips on changing passive to active voice.
OWL tips on Academic Writing in general.
Capitalize ethnic and national groups: Black, Brown, White, African, Métis.
W7 Essay – Due 2/25 Wartime Propaganda? 3
How do I cite in this course?
First, let’s talk about what to cite. You are expected to cite whenever you refer
to, paraphrase, or quote a source.
In other words, if you used anything (Wiki, a dictionary, a textbook, a PPTX
lecture, etc.) to help you write a phrase (even if you didn’t quote it), you must
provide a citation for it. If you are unsure whether you should cite, just cite.
Let’s dive into how to do it. In History, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style,
which you can access in full here. To summarize:
• You will use footnotes (and not endnotes). Here is a tutorial on how to
use the built-in tool for footnotes in Microsoft Word.
• This page shows you examples of journal article citations. I have also
provided you with footnote and shortened citations for each of the
primary sources.
• Don’t cross-reference the footnotes. The footnotes number should
increase as you insert them in your text. You would then include a
shortened citation for the subsequent times where you refer to a source,
for which you have included a full citation.
Pro-tip: Look up Zotero, a free tool that helps you with formatting and inserting
your citations in your papers.
You need footnotes and citations whenever you refer to, summarize, paraphrase
and quote a source. This applies to the rest of your essay.
Repercussions for Academic
See list of offenses on the left
These activities will result in a 0 on the
assignment + report to the Dean of
Students with the first offense.
Repercussions for Plagiarism:
st offense = 0 on the assignment for the
following cases:
◼ Quoted from the textbook or
from another source without
quotation marks or page
◼ Paraphrased the textbook or
another source without proper
references in a footnote
◼ Provided an incomplete citation
that made it impossible for the
reader to track down the source
◼ 2
nd offense = 0 on the assignment +
report to the Dean of Students.
◼ Quoted from the textbook or
from another source without
quotation marks or page
◼ Paraphrased the textbook or
another source without proper
references in a footnote
◼ Provided an incomplete citation
that made it impossible for the
reader to track down the source
W7 Essay – Due 2/25 Wartime Propaganda? 4
What are the most common feedback comments you give?
This is not an exhaustive list, but we do use those on a regular basis.
1. Introduction / Thesis Statement (out of 10 points)
a. No clear thesis statement that addresses the question (-10)
b. You have featured a thesis statement, but it does not give enough of a preview of your findings. Too vague (-5)
c. You have a promising thesis statement, but it could be more specific and engaging (-3)
d. Include a date (for an event as specific as you can get) to anchor your introduction in time. We like dates in history (-
2. Argumentation (out of 20 points)
a. The point of the essay paper is for you to demonstrate that that you can understand and analyze the set of historical
documents that was provided in the prompt. You failed to use them at all (-20)
b. Your arguments don’t match your thesis statement or are hard to follow (-10)
c. There will be argument-specific feedback that I can’t share yet. It will reflect the quality of your arguments, your understanding of the
source, and whether your analysis is too superficial.
3. Evidence (out of 30 points)
a. You did not use the set of primary documents that were assigned for this essay. (-30)
b. You have only provided evidence from one of the assigned sources (-20)
c. Your evidence does not clearly corroborate your arguments. They are not clearly relevant. (-15)
d. You have only used 2 of the 3 assigned primary documents (-7)
e. Acknowledge the context of each source: what is its potential audience, intent, bias and impact? (-5)
4. Citations (out of 20 points)
a. You didn’t include any proper citations (-20)
b. You provided in-text citations while we expected you to use footnotes (-10)
c. You must absolutely use quotation marks when reusing original language from the sources. (-10)
d. The first time you refer to a source in a footnote, use the full citation. Then use a shortened citation for any subsequent
use of the same source. (-2)
e. Only one footnote per sentence, in which you may include several citations separated by a comma. (-2)
f. Make sure to provide the (right) page number for every citation. (-2)
g. Clean up the citations, which have been distorted during the copy/paste (-2)
h. Put titles in italics (-2)
i. Place your footnote marker at the end of the sentence in which you quotes/paraphrased (-1)
5. Writing style (out of 10 points)
a. Inappropriate use of the original language, especially for racially-charged or other discriminatory terms (-10)
b. Repetitive misspellings. Proofread! (-5)
c. Capitalize ethnic groups: Black, Brown, White, Romani, etc. (-2)
d. Repetitive phrasing. Mix it up! (-1)
e. Use active voice (vs. passive voice) (-1)
f. Clean up distorted characters from copying/pasting (-1)
g. Avoid abbreviations. Ex: prefer “the First World War” to “WWI” or “World War I”. (-1)
6. Word Count (out of 10 points)
a. Under 300 words of original text (-10)
7. Did not upload file on the Plagiarism Checker (-100)
W7 Essay – Due 2/25 Wartime Propaganda? 5
For this week, the citations will be (How We Advertised America, p. #), (The Artist’s Call to Colors, p. #). I broke down the CPI
documents in a citation for each poster. I only expect you to use one (1) poster minimum out of the eleven in your entire post,
although you are welcome to use as many you find necessary.
• (Beat Back the Huns, p. 1)
• (Eat More, p. 2)
• (Gee! I Wish I Were a Man, p. 3)
• (Joan of Arc Saved France, p. 4)
• (Be a U.S. Marine, p. 5)
• (Can Vegetables, Fruits, and the Kaiser too, p. 6)
• (Lend As They Fight, p. 7)
• (If You Want to Fight, p. 8)
• (The Navy Needs You, p. 9)
• (Let’s Go, p. 10)
• (I Want You, p. 11).






HIST 152 Week 7 Dr. Bouquet
George Creel began his working life as a journalist in Kansas City and Denver. But by the
Progressive Era, he moved easily from crafting words as an investigative reporter to shaping
sentences in the new field of advertising. He worked as a publicist for various causes, then as the
United States entered World War I, he became the head of the government’s efforts to sell the
war. Just a few years later, in 1920, Creel wrote a memoir of his work. How We Advertised America
was quite open in its praise of the arts of public relations. The book’s subtitle gave away its
author’s theme: The First Telling of the Amazing Story of the Committee on Public Information
That Carried the Gospel of Americanism to Every Corner of the Globe.
Citation: George Creel, How We Advertised America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1920), 3-9.
Shortened Citation: Creel, 1. [Use the page number at the bottom]
As Secretary Baker points out, the war was not fought in France alone. Back of the firing-line, back
of armies and navies, back of the great supply-depots, another struggle waged with the same
intensity and with almost equal significance attaching to its victories and defeats. It was the fight
for the minds of men, for the “conquest of their convictions,” and the battle-line ran through
every home in every country.
It was in this recognition of Public Opinion as a major force that the Great War differed most
essentially from all previous conflicts. The trial of strength was not only between massed bodies
of armed men, but between opposed ideals, and moral verdicts took on all the value of military
The Committee on Public Information was called into existence to make this fight for the “verdict
of mankind,” the voice created to plead the justice of America’s cause before the jury of Public
OƉinion͙ In no degƌee ǁaƐ ƚhe Commiƚƚee an agencLJ of cenƐoƌƐhiƉ͕ a machineƌLJ of concealmenƚ
or repression. Its emphasis throughout was on the open and the positive. At no point did it seek
or exercise authorities under those war laws that limited the freedom of speech and press. In all
things, from first to last, without halt or change, it was a plain publicity proposition, a vast
enterprise in salesmanship, the world’s greatest adventure in advertising.
Under the pressure of tremendous necessities an organization grew that not only reached deep
into every American community, but that carried to every corner of the civilized globe the full
message of America’s idealism, unselfishness, and indomitable purpose. We fought prejudice,
indifference, and disaffection at home and we fought ignorance and falsehood abroad. We strove
for the maintenance of our own morale and the Allied morale by every process of stimulation;
every possible expedient was employed to break through the barrage of lies that kept the people
of the Central Powers in darkness and delusion; we sought the friendship and support of the
neutral nations by continuous presentation of facts. We did not call it propaganda, for that word,
in German hands, had come to be associated with deceit and corruption. Our effort was
HIST 152 Week 7 Dr. Bouquet
educational and informative throughout, for we had such confidence in our case as to feel that
no other argument was needed than the simple, straightforward presentation of facts.
There was no part of the great war machinery that we did not touch, no medium of appeal that
we did not employ. The printed word, the spoken word, the motion picture, the telegraph, the
cable, the wireless, the poster, the sign-board–all these were used in our campaign to make our
own people and all other peoples understand the causes that compelled America to take arms.
All that was fine and ardent in the civilian population came at our call until more than one hundred
and fifty thousand men and women were devoting highly specialized abilities to the work of the
Committee, as faithful and devoted in their service as though they wore the khaki.
While America’s summons was answered without question by the citizenship as a whole, it is to
be remembered that during the three and a half years of our neutrality the land had been torn by
a thousand divisive prejudices, stunned by the voices of anger and confusion, and muddled by the
pull and haul of opposed interests. These were conditions that could not be permitted to endure.
What we had to have was no mere surface unity, but a passionate belief in the justice of America’s
cause that should weld the people of the United States into one white-hot mass instinct with
fraternity, devotion, courage, and deathless determination. The war-will, the will-to-win, of a
democracy depends upon the degree to which each one of all the people of that democracy can
concentrate and consecrate body and soul and spirit in the supreme effort of service and sacrifice.
What had to be driven home was that all business was the nation’s business and every task a
common task for a single purpose.
Starting with the initial conviction that the war was not the war of an administration, but the war
of one hundred million people, and believing that public support [6] was a matter of public
understanding, we opened up the activities of government to the inspection of the citizenship. A
voluntary censorship agreement safeguarded military information of obvious value to the enemy,
but in all else the rights of the press were recognized and furthered. Trained men, at the center
of effort in every one of the war-making branches of government, reported on progress and
achievement, and in no other belligerent nation was there such absolute frankness with respect
to every detail of the national war endeavor.
As swiftly as might be, there were put into pamphlet form America’s reasons for entering the war,
the meaning of America, the nature of our free institutions, our war aims, likewise analyses of the
Prussian system, the purposes of the imperial German government, and full exposure of the
enemy’s misrepresentations, aggressions, and barbarities. Written by the country’s foremost
publicists, scholars, and historians, and distinguished for their conciseness, accuracy, and
simplicity, these pamphlets blew as a great wind against the clouds of confusion and
The Four Minute Men, an organization that will live in history by reason of its originality and
effectiveness, commanded the volunteer services of 75,000 speakers, operating in 5,200
communities, and making a total of 755,190 speeches, every one having the carry of shrapnel.
With the aid of a volunteer staff of several hundred translators, the Committee kept in direct
touch with the foreign-language press, supplying selected articles designed to combat ignorance
and disaffection. It organized and directed twenty-three societies and leagues designed to appeal
HIST 152 Week 7 Dr. Bouquet
to certain classes and particular foreign-language groups, each body carrying a specific message
of unity and enthusiasm to its section of America’s adopted peoples.
It planned war exhibits for the state fairs of the United States, also a great series of interallied war
expositions that brought home to our millions the exact nature of the struggle that was being
waged in France. In Chicago alone two million people attended in two weeks, and in nineteen
cities the receipts aggregated $1,432,261.36.
The Committee mobilized the advertising forces of the country–press, periodical, car, and
outdoor–for the patriotic campaign that gave millions of dollars’ worth of free space to the
national service.
It assembled the artists of America on a volunteer basis for the production of posters,
windowcards, and similar material of pictorial publicity for the use of various government
departments and patriotic societies. A total of 1,438 drawings was used.
It issued an official daily newspaper, serving every department of government, with a circulation
of one hundred thousand copies a day. For official use only, its value was such that private citizens
ignored the supposedly prohibitive subscription price, subscribing to the amount of $77,622.58.
It organized a bureau of information for all persons who sought direction in volunteer war-work,
in acquiring knowledge of any administrative activities, or in approaching business dealings with
the government. In the ten months of its existence it gave answers to eighty-six thousand requests
for specific information.
It gathered together the leading novelists, essayists, and publicists of the land, and these men and
women, without payment, worked faithfully in the production of brilliant, comprehensive articles
that went to the press as syndicate features.
One division paid particular attention to the rural press and the plate-matter service. Others
looked after the specialized needs of the labor press, the religious press, and the periodical press.
The Division of Women’s War Work prepared and issued the information of peculiar interest to
the women of the United States, also aiding in the task of organizing and directing.
Through the medium of the motion picture, America’s war progress, as well as the meanings and
purposes of democracy, were carried to every community in the United States and to every corner
of the world. “Pershing’s Crusaders,” “America’s Answer,” and “Under Four Flags” were types of
feature films by which we drove home America’s resources and determinations, while other
pictures, showing our social and industrial life, made our free institutions vivid to foreign
Turning away from the United States to the world beyond our borders, a triple task confronted
First, there were the peoples of the Allied nations that had to be fired by the magnitude of the
American effort and the certainty of speedy and effective aid, in order to relieve the warweariness
of the civilian population and also to fan the enthusiasm of the firing-line to new flame.
HIST 152 Week 7 Dr. Bouquet
Second, we had to carry the truth to the neutral nations, poisoned by German lies; and third, we
had to get the ideals of America, the determination of America, and the invincibility of America
into the Central Powers.
Unlike other countries, the United States had no subsidized press service with which to meet the
emergency. As a matter of bitter fact, we had few direct news contacts of our own with the
outside world, owing to a scheme of contracts that turned the foreign distribution of American
news over to European agencies. The volume of information that went out from our shores was
small, and, what was worse, it was concerned only with the violent and unusual in our national
44life. It was news of strikes and lynchings, riots, murder cases, graft prosecutions, sensational
divorces, the bizarre extravagance of “sudden millionaires.” Naturally enough, we were looked
upon as a race of dollar-mad materialists, a land of cruel monopolists, our real rulers the
corporations and our democracy a “fake.”
Looking about for some way in which to remedy this evil situation, we saw the government
wireless lying comparatively idle, and through the close and generous co-operation of the navy
we worked out a news machinery that soon began to pour a steady stream of American
information into international channels of communication. Opening an office in every capital of
the world outside the Central Powers, a daily service went out from Tuckerton to the Eiffel Tower
for use in France and then for relay to our representatives in Berne, Rome, Madrid, and Lisbon.
From Tuckerton the service flashed to England, and from England there was relay to Holland, the
Scandinavian countries, and Russia. We went into Mexico by cable and landwires; from Darien we
sent a service in Spanish to Central and South-American countries for distribution by our
representatives; the Orient was served by telegraph from New York to San Diego, and by wireless
leaps to Cavite and Shangai. From Shangai the news went to Tokio and Peking, and from Peking
on to Vladivostok for Siberia. Australia, India, Egypt, and the Balkans were also reached,
completing the world chain.

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