Essay by brooke2631College, UndergraduateA, January 2007

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The Institute of Propaganda Analysis was founded by Edward Filene in 1937 to educate the American public about the nature of propaganda and how to recognize propaganda techniques. Propagandists use a variety of propaganda techniques to influence opinions and to avoid the truth. There are seven techniques, which include: Name Calling, Glittering Generalities, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon. These techniques are designed to fool us because of the appeal to our emotions rather than to our reason.

Plain Folks

Plain folks propaganda is used to as an approach to convince the audience that the spokes person is from humble origins, someone you can trust and has their interests at heart. The speaker uses ordinary language to reach out to their audience to identify their point of view. The first example I found of plain folks is used by John Kerry in his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention.

The website is The main focus of Kerry's speech was to convince Americans that he is a regular guy, just like them and that they all want the same things for their country. He uses his military background as a way to relate to the compassion to American troops. Another example of plain folk's propaganda is when Kerry tells moral and affectionate stories about his parents and the patriotic middle class he grew up in. In one point of his speech, Kerry discuses his mother and father, a subject that is emotional for many people. He states, "my mother was the rock of our family, as many mothers are. She stayed up late to help me with my homework. She sat in my bed when I was sick, she answered the questions of a child who, like all children, found the world to be full of...