Graphic Essay

For this project, you will create a graphic essay that provides a visual analysis – using symbols, images, colors and text – of one theme from your novel.

A graphic essay is defined as a visual project that combines color, symbol and words to make a unified statement. The aim of this project is to help you synthesize and organize many details from the text, connecting them and making sense of them.

In this particular graphic essay, you will demonstrate your understanding of a major theme within the novel, backing up your knowledge with examples from the text.

  1. Identify a single theme from your novel that has been developed throughout the book. The theme you identify should be more than a single word statement and should be expressed as a fully thought out idea. For example: Do not simply state that the theme of Romeo and Juliet is love. Instead, state as your theme what sort of message Shakespeare presents to the reader, something along the lines of "Shakespeare presents a picture of love as both an exhilerating drug and a deadly poison, sweet and life-giving when tempered with patience but painful and even dangerous when passion is unrestrained."
  2. Select and integrate into a collage on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper three images (symbols), three colors, and three quotations from your novel that the author used to develop the theme that you have identified. The collage should be entirely created by you--do not cut and paste images from magazines or from online. Do not use the computer to create your graphic essay.
  3. After creating the graphic (collage) portion of the assignment, complete a write-up of the theme, the images, colors, and quotations on the back of the paper. The write-up should include a short paragraph introducing your theme (2-3 sentences), a paragraph discussing the symbols (8-12 sentences), a paragraph discussing the colors(8-12 sentences), and a paragraph discussing the quotations (8-12 sentences).
  4. The title and author of your book should be included on the front of the collage. Your information (name, date, period) should be included on the back with your write-up.

  1. Images/Symbols: Romeo and Juliet-dagger, poison, cross, crypt; Lord of the Flies-shell, fire, glasses, spear, parachute, pig's head.
  2. Colors: Lord of the Flies-blue (ocean), green (jungle), red (fire); The Great Gatsby-gold (material wealth), green (the dock light), blue (Tom's car)
  3. Quotations: quotations should be selected that best represent the theme developed by the author and should do more than just represent the plot or an action that occurs in your novel.

Graphic Essay Samples