satire essay writing

You have made it to the satire. Of all the rhetorical modes, the satire is, in my humble opinion, the most provocative. For instruction regarding the satire, note Chapter 8 (pg. 117). For all intents and purposes, though, here is your prompt: Write a satire.

Please note the following helpful hints:

You can write your satire on any contemporary issue or problem.

Your goal is not to be comedic. It is to argue effectively.

Your tone should be serious. For examples, note the student examples on pgs. 125 and 127.

You must be able to delineate between a stated claim and an implied claim. For clarification, note the exercise on pg. 163-165.

Remember to include a Works Cited page, for you will need to perform some research in order to find the quotations necessary to advance your claim.

This is a formal, academic argument. Do not write in “first person,” and do not rely on colloquial verbiage. For a model, note Kriselle Gan’s essay on pg. 127.

Your claim should be the last sentence of your first paragraph.

Make sure that your paper meets the 1,000 word requirement.

And again, do not try to be funny. If you find yourself asking questions in your satire, or if you find yourself employing exclamation points, then you might be guilty of trying to be sarcastic or funny. Remember, this essay is a satire, but you are being graded on your ability to compose a formal academic essay that simply endeavors to support an implied claim (as opposed to your other essays, where you are endeavoring to support a stated claim). Read Kriselle Gan’s essay on pg. 127. Her essay, as you may have noted, is not funny. Frankly, it’s a bit boring. But it would also earn an “A.” It is focused, organized, developed, and logical (of course, it is logical as long as one realizes that she is supporting her implied claim as opposed to her stated claim).

Please attach a Works Cited page. Simply follow the guidelines as specified in the MLA section in the Grammar Manual.

*Essay 3 is a take-home essay that should be submitted in class on the last day of class. It should be typed, and it should meet the minimum 1,000 word requirement.

**Many students have questions about their satire. One of the most consistent answers I offer is to consider composing your essay “traditionally” first. In other words, write the essay as you would a normal, traditional, academic essay. Then, once it is complete, satirize it. What follows is an example of a body paragraph written “traditionally.”

One reason why cigarette smoking should not be encouraged is because it affects others negatively. For instance, second-hand smoke can be especially harmful. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke” (cdc.gov). Many already know that cigarette smoking is harmful to the smoker, but it seems unreasonable that nonsmokers bear a burden as well, and it seems even more unreasonable when this burden is death. It is understandable that people have a right to harm themselves; however, to harm others without their consent is unreasonable, and it helps illustrate why cigarette smoking should not be encouraged. Of course, secondhand smoke seems even more egregious when it is affecting the unborn. In a Huffington Post article titled “Pregnancy Linked to Behavior Problems in Kids,” Lindsey Konkel writes: “The study showed that children whose mothers were exposed to secondhand smoke for at least 30 minutes daily were more than twice as likely to have attention and aggression problems at age 5 as the children whose mothers reported no secondhand smoke exposure” (huffingtonpost.com). What this study reveals is, in many ways, more disturbing than the harm caused by secondhand smoke to the people in proximity to the smoker. Of course, it is more disturbing because the smoker, in addition to harming the people around him, is also harming the unborn, causing potentially permanent damage. Still, there are other reasons why cigarette smoking should not be encouraged.

(Now, after writing the paragraph traditionally, I can now make subtle changes that will, in effect, satirize it. Notice the emboldened words below, and notice how they’d either be deleted or modified.)

One reason why cigarette smoking should not be encouraged is because it affects others negatively. For instance, second-hand smoke can be especially harmful. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke” (cdc.gov). Many already know that cigarette smoking is harmful to the smoker, but it seems unreasonable that nonsmokers bear a burden as well, and it seems even more unreasonable when this burden is death. It is understandable that people have a right to harm themselves; however, to harm others without their consent is unreasonable, and it helps illustrate why cigarette smoking should not be encouraged. Of course, secondhand smoke seems even more egregious when it is affecting the unborn. In a Huffington Post article titled “Pregnancy Linked to Behavior Problems in Kids,” Lindsey Konkel writes: “The study showed that children whose mothers were exposed to secondhand smoke for at least 30 minutes daily were more than twice as likely to have attention and aggression problems at age 5 as the children whose mothers reported no secondhand smoke exposure” (huffingtonpost.com). What this study reveals is, in many ways, more disturbing than the harm caused by secondhand smoke to the people in proximity to the smoker. Of course, it is more disturbing because the smoker, in addition to harming the people around him, is also harming the unborn, causing potentially permanent damage. Still, there are other reasons why cigarette smoking should not be encouraged.

 

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