The Impact of a Semiotic Analysis Theory-Based Writing Activity on Students’ Writing Skills

Department of Turkish Language Education, Faculty of Education, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey.


Problem Statement: In entering the world intellectually and effectively equipped, humans develop in a systemic way that encompasses both thought and art education and in which written, oral, and visual texts are important tools. In particular, visual literacy, which refers to the interpretation of elements other than written text, including images, symbols, shapes, and colors, has come into prominence through new learning approaches that emphasize the importance of using numerous stimuli. All texts convey a meaning and a message, which to comprehend requires textual analysis, the different theories and methods of which vary among various types of texts. As discussed in this article, the semiotic analysis theory provides tools for textual analysis concerning the dimensions of narrative discourse.

Purpose: This study aimed to determine how a writing lecture activity based on semiotic analysis theory affects students’ writing skills. To that end, cartoon caricatures were selected as visual texts for analysis.

Method: This experimental research based on pre- and post-tests was conducted with a dependent group of 40 7th-grade students in a school within Turkey’s Ministry of Education. Data collection involved having each student develop two texts for caricature analysis: one prior to an experiment based on the traditional approach, and the other after an experiment based on the semiotic method. The differences between scores received for each text by all students were analyzed.

Findings: Results revealed that textual analysis based on the semiotic theory was more effective for the writing skills of students than the traditional writing method with respect to three areas of evaluation: understanding the subject, accessing the message, and multidimensional interpretation.

Conclusion and Recommendations: The findings suggest that the proposed method of semiotic analysis is an alternative to traditional methods used in Turkish-language courses that can enhance the effectiveness of learning and positively affect students’ creative-writing skills.

Keywords: Semiotic analysis theory, cartoon caricatures, writing education, writing skills.