Writing Assignment: Comic Strip or Political Cartoon Analysis

general article writing


Writing Assignment: Comic Strip or Political Cartoon Analysis

You are required to submit the FINAL copy of this assignment, but you may first submit an optional

DRAFT. This will allow you to receive qualitative feedback that can inform your revision. You should

always avoid focusing solely on the grader’s DRAFT feedback; use the feedback as a supplement to the

course lessons and your own revision ideas. Always expect to revise beyond what the DRAFT grader

specifically notes.

You have two options for this assignment:

Option #1: Analysis of an Individual Comic Strip or Political Cartoon

Choose one comic strip or political cartoon. If you visit the website of a newspaper such as The

Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., you should be able to search

for comic strips or political cartoons easily.

Which techniques does the creator of the comic strip use? How does the creator make

his/her point in the comic strip? What do we learn about the characters and/or ourselves

from this comic strip or political cartoon? If colors are available, what do they tell us about

this comic or cartoon? What language is used and how can that be interpreted?

And importantly, which of the key terms from the topic lesson can you discuss in your

analysis? For example, how do elements of imagery, symbolism, metaphor, and/or irony help

reveal the cartoon’s message?

As with all academic essays you write in this course, this essay should have a well-defined

introduction with a thesis statement, body, and conclusion.

In essence, what are some of the physical elements present in the cartoon1—characters,

text, colors, etc., along with figurative elements such as metaphor and symbolism, that help

to explain the cartoon’s message? It can be helpful to focus on a single element in the

cartoon in its own body paragraph (include the element in the topic sentence and in the

thesis) and describe how it portrays the cartoon’s message before moving to the next

cartoon feature in a new paragraph.

Sample Thesis Statement: “John Smith uses (add one element from the cartoon), (add a

second element from the cartoon), and (add a third element from the cartoon) to show (add

the cartoon’s message).”

Option #2: Analysis of Multiple Comic Strips or Political Cartoons

1 A successful analysis will go beyond the obvious, literal elements of the cartoon and will analyze figurative

elements, too. Use the course topic lessons to inform your analysis.

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