satire Step 1
Choose a topic. Look for subject matter that is already ironic or ridiculous. The goal of your essay is to use satire (much like a caricature artist uses caricature techniques) to bring out the absurdity in your subject. Satirical cartoons work on the same premise. You can usually read them in your Sunday paper. These are good examples of the style you will want to put into your satirical essay. Start with a goal, and use literary devices and factual information to reach the goal.
Use hyperbole to make your point. Hyperbole is a literary device that exaggerates facts. Be careful of using this device. Hyperbole does not mean lying. You need to stick to the facts, but use hyperbole creatively to highlight the facts in such a way that the absurdity behind them is made clear. An example line might be something like, “Andy Garbo drinks tons of coffee a year to make sure he keeps his stock in Folgers profitable.” This is obvious hyperbole, but it’s used to make an exaggerated point about Andy.
Use irony to help tell the story you want your essay to present. Irony is the use of words or phrases to express the opposite of what you truly mean, or to express an incongruity between what someone expects and what actually occurs. A simple example of irony would be, “He’s kind enough to steal from the poor to feed his pockets.” The use of “kind enough” turns this into an ironic statement. Irony is one of the best tools you can use in satirical essays. It is used to criticize with sarcasm.
Aim for humor in your satirical essays. Not all satire is funny, but by pointing out the ridiculous elements of the situation or person you’re writing about, you can often bring people over to your way of thinking or make the point you’re trying to make quicker. A lot of readers respond faster to humor, especially when you can make them see the absurdity the way you see it.
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