English Satire Essay

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For this Unit Project, you will be writing a satirical essay
addressing a problem in your community. You may choose community on any
level: local, school, national, or world. You may choose a topic as
large as global warming or as focused as uniforms in your high school. I
recommend choosing something on the national scale for ease of
research.

Possible topics could include:

  • Global warming
  • Health care
  • Food stamps or unemployment benefits
  • Gun control
  • Immigration
  • NSA domestic surveillance
  • Gay marriage
  • Marijuana legalization
  • National debt
  • Education reform

These are a few suggestions, but you may choose any topic that you
can satirize. (The exception to this is abortion rights. This topic is
off-limits for this essay.)

Once you have chosen a topic, your paper should explain the debate:

  • What are the arguments on either side?
  • What logical, ethical, and emotional appeals are used?
  • Who are the key figures in the debate (politicians, actors, news pundits, etc)?
  • Use a minimum of four quotes, properly cited.

Then, propose a ridiculous solution to the problem. Proceed with your
paper by using logical, ethical, and emotional appeals to make a
satirical case as to why your ridiculous solution is the “best”
solution.

Your whole essay should be written in a satirical tone, in the way that Swift does in Modest Proposal. (You can also refer to Stephen Colbert as an excellent modern example.) Sell your solution!

You must use all three of the following satirical devices:

  • Exaggeration or hyperbole
  • Understatement
  • Irony or Sarcasm Now that you have constructed your satirical argument, turn that into
    a multi-media presentation. Turn your argument into either a video or a
    PowerPoint presentation.
    Here, give you argument more dimension. Your presentation should include a variety of additional materials:
  • Video clips from key figures in the debate
  • Sound
    • Music
    • A recording of your voice
  • Pictures
  • Animations

This essay should be between two and five pages (500-1250 words)
in length. Your final draft should be saved and submitted as .doc or
.pdf file. It should be in 12-point font in Times New Roman. Your
presentation must be at least three minutes long or include a minimum of ten slides.

10% of your grade will be on grammar and mechanics. Write as clearly and correctly as you can. This means that 90% of your grade is based on your ideas – however, you will not earn an A if you do not proofread carefully and check for errors.

Most importantly, remember this is a culminating project for the Satire Unit. Your essay should show everything you have learned throughout the unit.

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