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How to Analyze a Political Cartoon


Included Images

imagePen & Ink
imageThe Looking Glass


The students will...

  • Learn how to effectively analyze political cartoons
  • Understand the major techniques that cartoonists use in their work
  • Identify resources for political cartoons


Daryl Cagle's website is an outstanding resource for contemporary political cartoons. Have the students look at some modern cartoons and analyze them with the class. These cartoons will be easy to place in contemporary context and culture.

Download the guide to political cartoons available at the Library of Congress. This guide explains such things as symbolism, exaggeration, labeling, analogy, and irony. You may also want to look at the daily lesson plans on the Cagle webpage.

Have the students read the Herblock essay about the nature of political cartooning.

The online version and complete of "The Looking Glass" available and can be downloaded and printed.