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Political Cartoon Analysis

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Voting in the Midterms, a New Yorker daily bonus cartoon by Brendan Loper.

Loper, Brendan. "Voting in the Midterms." New Yorker, 5 Nov. 2018, www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/bonus-voting-in-the-midterms. Accessed 6 Dec. 2018. Cartoon. 


Ah, political cartoons. We see them in magazines, history books, newspapers, Instagram and Facebook posts. Wherever they appear, they present a commentary (which tends to be humourous, disturbing, or both) on some conemporary political issue. They make you laugh if you understand them, embarrassed if you don't. But even if we do recognize the events they portray, how much time do we take to actually understand them? To analyze and think about them? 
Today I'm going to be talking about this New Yorker cartoon about voting in the midterm elections, taking the time to really break it down and analyze it. 
The cartoon depicts an President Trump putting up an obstacle course in front of a voting booth. The obstacle course contains su…

Practice IB Paper 1 Reflection

My English class's practice Paper 1 for the IB provided an excellent opportunity to simulate Paper 1 settings and to practice writing under timed conditions. The paper compared and contrasted two unseen texts, which helped me practice my comparative writing skills and analytical skills all under the constraints of a time limit.
Upon reading over this paper, I believe that my understanding of the comparisons that could be made between the texts was solid overall, but my exploration of stylistic features demonstrated room for improvement. The two texts were a comic commenting on gender stereotyping babies and an excerpt from a memoir commenting on gender stereotyping, both toward babies and more generally for vocation and marriage. Before writing out my points, I made bullet points of the main differences and similarities of the texts in various aspects, including audience/purpose, content/theme, tone/mode, stylistic devices, and structure. I divided these by paragraphs (grouping st…

Bias in the News

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In the current day, it is crucial to be able to recognize bias in the media, regardless of whether or not that bias aligns with your own personal beliefs. Today, I will be discussing bias through an investigation of "Asked about climate change, Trump says 'lot of factors' to blame for California wildfires" by CNN politics reporter Sophie Tatum.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to call into question President Trump’s stance on the recent, devastating California wildfires.
Devices: Pathos to evoke anger/resentment toward Trump: Tatum makes an appeal to the tragic situation, stating that the fire was “the deadliest and most destructive in California’s history” and that “more than 70 people have died and more than 1,000 people remain missing.” By stating that the event was a historical first, Tatum emphasizes its seriousness and significance. She stresses the horrifically large quantity of deaths and missing people in order to distress the reader and make them sympa…

The Gender Gap in Advertising

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From the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 to the first celebration of International Women's Day in 1911, to the wave of women's suffrage that swept a plethora of countries in the 20th century, the last several hundred years have unquestionably brought about significant advancements in the international campaign for women's rights. While these must and should be recognized, they should also not be seen to the exclusion of contemporary, 21st-century persistence of sexism and gender inequality. While often more subtle now that a hundred years ago, gender dichotomization and unequal portrayal of different genders play a significant role in media and advertisements.


Take, for instance, the Gap campaign for children's clothes advertising boys' clothes marketed as for, "The Little Scholar" and girls' clothes for "The Social Butterfly." Immediately, a difference arises between the framed audiences of the ads. The boys' clothing line is geared tow…

What is happiness? Can we measure it?

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Hello, friends! Have you ever thought about what makes you happy? There are so many little things that seem to make a difference in one's mood, such as chocolate, good books, and fun conversations. There are also the more personal influences, like caring family and friends. Then there is the less personal but still impactful influence of work, education, and government. Do these affect people's happiness? If so, how so?

Many things make me happy. Spending time with my family, reading books, and participating in a discussion in history class are just a few examples. I think that I am at my very happiest when my mind is completely engaged in learning. Over the years, I have found that I am most satisfied in life when I am in a challenging academic environment because I absolutely love knowledge and education. However, that is just my opinion on happiness as a single individual. Equally interesting is the agglomeration of happinesses that comprise a collective national happiness.…

Analyzing Advertisements

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Hello, friends! Today I'll be discussing and analyzing the form, content, rhetoric, and meanings of two advertisements. The first ad, a Super Bowl commercial for the well-known Amazon virtual assistant, Alexa, is a widely remembered ad due to its comedic character. The second advertisement I will be looking at is a 2011 print advertisement for Pepsi's ad for their then-new skinny can Pepsi.


In the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl LII, Amazon bought a 90-second commercial promoting their virtual assistant, Alexa. The clip, titled "Alexa Loses Her Voice," portrays a fictional scenario in which Alexa loses her voice, forcing workers at Apple headquarters to hire celebrities to replace her. Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, and Anthony Hopkins go through a series of humorous and cataclysmic oral exchanges with the Alexa users, and the commercial ends with Alexa confidently taking back the reigns. 

This Amazon ad uses a variety of stylistic elements to amuse the viewer.…