How to Analyze a Political Cartoon

Report
SOAPSTone
 S – Speaker
 O – Occasion
 A – Audience
 P – Purpose
 S – Subject
 Tone
S - Speaker
Questions to ask yourself:
 Who is the speaker/writer?
 What details does he reveal?
 Why is it important to know who the speaker is?
 His profession, views, etc.
Occasion
 How does your knowledge of the larger occasion and
the smaller occasion affect how we view and analyze
the text/cartoon? (This requires you to recall your
background knowledge)
 Is there a smaller occasion? Perhaps a smaller event that
relates to this cartoon? Do you think that is what
inspired the artist to draw it?
 Is there a larger occasion? Perhaps a general feeling in
the US that would lead the general public/people to
agree or disagree with the artist?
Audience
 Who is the audience? What are their characteristics?
 Think about where the piece may have been published.
 How is the audience related to you as the
reader/viewer?
 Why is the author addressing (writing for) this
audience?
Purpose
 What does the author hope to accomplish by his
expression of his opinion? Is he trying to persuade the
general public in one way or another?
 How should the audience respond?
 How does the author WANT the audience to respond?
Subject
 What message is the author trying to portray?
 In other words, what is he trying to say?
 What are his main ideas/arguments/points?
Tone
 What attitude does the author want us to have about
imperialism?
 Think about if you were living during this time, or think
about your ancestors – would this article influence them
to believe the author? Why/Why not?
 How does the author’s attitude enhance the
effectiveness of his writing?
 Think about what you are passionate about – are you
more likely or less likely to be able to communicate your
ideas and beliefs better or worse?
Acknowledgements
 Duckart, Tracy. “Elements of Fiction: Point of View.”
The Cache. Humboldt State University, 18 Aug.
2007. Web. 7 Oct. 2012.
 Morse, Ogden. “SOAPSTone: a Strategy for Reading
and Writing.” AP Central. College Board, 2012.
Web. 7 Oct. 2012.

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