DYL: Cartoon Analysis Worksheet
· Cartoon group 1:
· cartoon group 2:
· cartoon group 3:
· cartoon group 4:
· cartoon group 5:
· cartoon group 6:
write down the number and name of the cartoon you are analyzing:
* See bottom of page for tips for analyzing a cartoon.
Visuals Words (not all cartoons include words)
Level 1 Analysis
1. List the objects or people you see
in the Cartoon
2. Identify the cartoon caption and/or title.
3. Locate three words or phrases used by the
cartoonist to identify objects or people within the
4. Record any important dates or numbers that appear
in the cartoon.
Level 2 Analysis
5. Which of the objects on your list
6. What do you think each symbol
7. Which words or phrases in the cartoon appear to be
the most significant? Why do you think so?
8. List adjectives that describe the emotions portrayed
in the cartoon.
Level 3 Analysis
9. Describe the action taking place in the cartoon.
10. Explain the message of the cartoon in your own words.
Steps in Analyzing a Political Cartoon:
1. Identify the characters, symbols and objects in the cartoon.
2. Look for clues and details that would give further meaning.
3. Identify the main idea of the cartoon by reading the captions and putting the
message into their own words.
4. Identify any bias the cartoonist might have.
Cartoonists use the following persuasive techniques to create humor:
· symbolism – using an object to stand for an idea.
· caricature – exaggerating a physical feature or habit: big nose, bushy eyebrows,
large ears, baldness.
· captioning and labels – used for clarity and emphasis.
· analogy – a comparison between two unlike things that share some characteristics.
· irony – the difference between the way things are and the way things should be or
the way things are expected to be.
· juxtaposition – positioning people or objects near each other, side-by-side.
· exaggeration – overstating or magnifying a problem.
Symbols used in Political Cartoons:
● Peace – dove, olive branch, victory sign
● United States – Uncle Sam, flag, stars and stripes, shield
● Democrats – donkey
● Republicans – elephant
● Death – vulture, skeleton with shroud, skull and crossbones, grim reaper
● Love – heart, Cupid, Venus
● Money – dollar bill or dollar sign
● Heroes or good guys – wear white
● Villains or bad guys – wear black