Project: Satire, English homework help

Part 1:

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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

Part 2:

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.