Visual Documents and Artifacts

Visual documents include photographs, films, paintings, and other types of artwork. Because visual documents capture moments in time, they can provide evidence of changes over time. Visual documents include evidence about a culture at specific moments in history: its customs, preferences, styles, special occasions, work, and play.
Visual documents are examples of primary sources. A primary source is a source created during the time period itself. Examples of primary sources include newspapers, diaries, government documents, photographs, fashion, and in this case, political cartoons.
Like other primary source documents, a visual document has a creator with a point of view — such as a writer, painter, sculptor, or film maker. All primary sources contain some level of bias- the creator has an opinion and this opinion biases the source. Moreover, all primary sources, even if they are biased, can tell us something about the time period.
Your First Writing Assignment involves analyzing visual primary sources, in particular, political cartoons or propaganda. Please see the list below for instructions.
First, read the Grammatical Pointers at the end of these instructions. I will deduct points if you do not adhere to these guidelines.
Second, review the images attached to these instructions (labeled “WA1 A- WA1 G”).
Third, choose ONE of these images and write an essay using the questions below.
Fourth, submit your essay as an attachment in the Assignment Folder by Sunday of Week 3.
Your essay should be 2 full pages of text, in 12 point Times New Roman font, and double spaced.
Your essay should address the following questions:
What event or belief is the cartoon depicting (Time period? Exact event?)? Explain the message of the cartoon.
What was the creator’s purpose? Why
What symbols does the cartoonist use (it may help to make a separate list of everything you see in the cartoon)? Why?
What special interest groups would agree/disagree with the cartoon’s message? Why?
How does the cartoon depict gender? Race? Class? Ethnicity?