This essay demonstrates your rhetorical knowledge when choosing unique positions regarding established and emerging issues while analyzing and synthesizing ideas.
By the time you’ve started writing and organizing your draft, you will have read two of William Lutz’s chapters from The New Doublespeak, which provides a concise introduction to the problems with language. At its core, language has no inherent meaning and can be manipulated easily, which ultimately results in a reduction of meaning.
The first chapter, “The Power and Problems of Language” emphasizes the decay of meaning and how it’s a direct result of, and perpetuates, declining democracy. Meanwhile, the second chapter “Language and the Interpretation of Reality” introduced you to semiotics: the theories of how signs and symbols interact to create meaning. At the same time, you’re introduced to the idea that meaning can be eliminated when our signal reactions are intentionally misled.
The two movies viewed (Requiem for the American Dream and The Corporation) document the decline of the American middle class and the rise of mistrust between the American people and institutions (education, corporations, politics, and the economy). The best way to understand these ideas is to understand, in addition to the history that caused them to occur, how language and mistrust has allowed manipulation to happen.
The other readings for this essay question the idea of signs and how we, as recipients of pop culture, interpret signs and apply meaning.
Research an entity or institution of your choosing and analyze how they use doublespeak, manipulate language, or attempt to shift the way people view signs and symbols. Discuss what, if any, are the greater implications of this manipulation of language.
Note 1: Your entity or institution is up to you. Types of entities or institutions may include: a politician and their platform (past or present), an interest group (NRA, National Organization of Women, NAACP, etc), education (high school, community college, university), a corporation, or even debates regarding public policy. Book office hours with me if you want help narrowing a focus for this essay.
Note 2: I do not care about your politics, so do not write this essay in an attempt to appeal to my interests. I want you to genuinely investigate the language manipulation of entities as they appeal to your interests and curiosities. If you want to do this in “hard mode,” pick an entity or institute that you like and research how their language manipulation is impactful.
This paper should contain 5-6 pages of content. The paper’s cover page, abstract, and references do not count towards the total page count. You are required to use at least two scholarly sources in your essay and integrate them throughout your analysis. You should adhere to APA 7th edition formatting and type the paper, which includes the font as Times New Roman, size 12, and double-spaced throughout.