Analysis of an Individual Comic Strip or Political Cartoon

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 of 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 (including 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).”

1A 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.

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

Choose two political cartoons or comic strips created by the same person. Which techniques does the creator of the political cartoons use? How does the author make his/her point in the political cartoons? What do we learn about the characters and/or ourselves from these political cartoons? How does the language transmit the creator’s message? Using a comparison or contrast mode of development, draw conclusions about the techniques the author uses in the political cartoons and how they apply to our lives. 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.

Use the point-by-point or subject-by-subject structure to compare and contrast about three to five elements found in the cartoons that help to explain how they apply to our lives or to a message present in today’s society. After you compare and contrast each paragraph, be sure to explain the message those elements and the cartoons help to depict.

Sample Thesis Statement: “John Smith’s cartoon strips Cartoon 1 and Cartoon 2 use (add one element from the cartoon), (add a second element from the cartoon), and (add a third element from the cartoon) to explain (add the cartoon’s message).”

Be sure to document the cartoon or comic strip on a Works Cited page. Please visit the following source for citing an electronic image: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/

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