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.