Political Cartoon?

In the project for Unit 7, you will provide an analysis of a political-editorial cartoon. Expanding on the assessments of fallacies, visual arguments, and the structure of a persuasive message, you will not only evaluate the words in the print portion of the cartoon but also the effectiveness of the visual components.

You should consider the potential differences that exist between the visual and the written or spoken argument. This is also your chance to write a persuasive and clear essay evaluating the argument. Be sure to apply what you have learned about organization in order to answer the questions in a fluid essay format.

Select an editorial or political cartoon. You may use a magazine, a national newspaper such as the Washington Post, or a local newspaper.

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You should format your report/analysis as an essay with the following elements:

A title for your essay

  • An introduction of what you have chosen to analyze
    • Clearly present the advertisement or cartoon in enough detail so the reader can relate it to your discussion
    • Include a thesis statement of your overall assessment of the strength of the argument being presented in the cartoon
  • A discussion of what you feel carries the weight of the argument or claim
    • Would the words alone work as an argument or do they need the imagery to be effective?
    • Would the imagery alone present the argument or are words required to clarify it?
    • How does visual imagery attempt to persuade in ways the words do not?
  • A discussion of the critical analysis of the printed words
    • Does the meaning or interpretation depend on implication, assumption, inferences?
    • Is the claim (conclusion) apparent in the words?
    • Is the evidence or premises “warranted”?
  • A discussion of the critical analysis of the imagery used
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • What is the goal? Is it intended to persuade you to take action or accept a belief?
    • Would you consider the visual element to be more, or less, misleading than the words used?
    • What strategic argument style is used for persuasion? (It may help to articulate the visual message into words to best identify the type of argumentation being used)
  • A discussion of the persuasiveness
    • Do you think the piece is persuasive? Why, or why not?
  • Conclusion
    • Summarize the main points of your discussion and relate them back to your thesis.

The project should be at least 4 pages, double-spaced; in 12 point Times New Roman font (this total does not include the title page). Your viewpoint and the Assignment’s purpose should be clearly established and sustained. Be sure to cite the text or your supplemental readings to help establish your understanding of the concepts in the analysis. The assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.). In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the assignment, an appropriate APA citation style should be followed.

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