Examine what brainwashing ‘looks like’ in modern times.

PROMPT: Examine what brainwashing ‘looks like’ in modern times.

Questions and topics to consider: How has brainwashing changed over time? (You can pull in bits from your first essay here). What roles do influence and persuasion play in more modern brainwashing techniques? What makes someone an easy target of brainwashing? What types of outlets and people could be considered brainwashers in modern-day society? How can people resist modern-day brainwashing?

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Being able to research is a skill required to pass English 1, but also a skill that will be required in many other courses you take throughout your college career. Even though we live in a time when the answer to a question is just a Google search away, actual research requires time, patience, and focus.

For this essay, in addition to using Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control by Kathleen Taylor, you are required to bring in a minimum of FIVE non-fiction outside sources that vary in medium. Please try to find sources of at least three of the following medium (type):

– articles (online and/or print)

– academic journals*

– online databases*

– TEDTalks***

– podcasts

– documentaries

– reputable websites**

As usual, ALL sources cited must be formatted according to MLA, and must be on a properly-formatted Works Cited page at the end of your essay. Missing WCPs will result in a loss of points.

Essays should be a minimum of 2000 words, which equates to about 7 double-spaced pages.


Your final essay, a research paper, is going to be written in sections, not just body paragraphs. Within each section, you will have a minimum of TWO body paragraphs. Your essays need to have a minimum of four sections total, which means your essay will have a total minimum of EIGHT body paragraphs, NOT including your intro and conclusion. Here is an example:

I. Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)

II. Section 1

Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2

III. Section 2

Body Paragraph 3
Body Paragraph 4

IV. Section 3

Body Paragraph 5
Body Paragraph 6

V. Section 4

Body Paragraph 7
Body Paragraph 8

VII. Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)

Explanation: Each section needs to be titled so that your readers know what you will be discussing within that section. Organization for a paper of this length is crucial.

When organizing your sections, it’s best to work chronologically, if possible. When you can’t order chronologically, I suggest ordering by level of impact. Begin with your weakest, or least impactful section, then work up to your strongest/most impactful.


Below, and attached, is an that example was created in Microsoft Word. I do not know how to add lines in Google Docs, however I know it can be done because I’ve seen students do it before. In MS Word, all you need to do to get a line under your section headers is press the “dash” key while holding down shift. Just create about one inch of line or so, and then press enter. As soon as you press enter, a line across the full document will be created. You are welcome to use the attachment as a template for your own essay.

Also, you are required to submit a properly formatted cover page with this essay as well, meaning page one of your essay will begin at the top of the page, and not halfway down. I suggest you use the attached file as a template.

Important things to pay attention to:

the intro and conclusion do NOT get section numbers or titles; you simply call them “Introduction” and “Conclusion.”
section numbers can be Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.) or written numbers (One, Two, Three, etc.)–whichever you choose to do, keep it consistent with ALL five sections.
the title of your research paper needs to be original and relevant. Calling your essay anything like “Brainwashing Research Paper” or “English 1 Research paper,” or simply “Brainwashing” is not original or relevant. Use titles of the articles you’ve been reading as sources of inspiration.
your thesis must be the very LAST sentence(s) of your intro section–please don’t make me hunt for it.
proper headers (Last Name Page Number) need to be on every page except the cover page.
margins must be one inch on all sides of each page.
font needs to be Times New Roman, size 12 pt, black.
all of the essay must be double spaced.
the Works Cited page needs to be on ITS OWN page, and should have a proper header.
your Annotated Bibliography is NOT a Works Cited page–the WC page is just the entries for each source you quote and/or paraphrase; NO annotations please. Each source entry should be properly formatted with a hanging indent. Look up how to do one of these if you don’t remember.

When submitting your final draft, you will need to convert your document to a PDF so the formatting gets locked in and remains the way you intended for it to be once you upload it to Canvas. I found out that uploading a Google Doc can greatly affect your formatting, so please convert any Google Docs as well.

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