Satirical Essay

Essay : “A Modest Proposal”

Background: Jonathan Swift, a very important writer in the Eighteenth Century, was willing to explore aspects of satirical writing in order to voice his opinion.  He uses his writing as an educating tool, to solicit reform and provoke change in a specific social arena, such as opening the eyes of unjust English landlords to the plight of their impoverished Irish tenants.

Purpose: Your task for this essay is to write your own “modest proposal” in the form of a Proposition for the citizens of California.  Effectively incorporating 2-3 outside sources from the College Online Database, take a current social problem or issue within the state of California [city, county, or state level] that the citizens of California have exigency for and devise a shocking, satirical solution for it.

Let your sense of humor run free in this assignment—remember, it is acceptable for you to be horrifying and repulsive in the essay; it is acceptable to be “politically-incorrect” as long as your use of satire supports your proposal.

Audience: Your Proposition is to move the voting citizens of California to support your proposal. **For this essay, the target audience and the subject audience MAY be one in the same.

Follow Swift’s proposal and use of satire to develop your own original “modest proposal”:
•    addresses a contemporary problem/issue within the state of California
•    establishes and maintains a consistent voice [fictional persona—step “outside” yourself]
•    embellishes the severity of the issue [part of the satire]
•    discusses past or current solutions and their ineffectiveness [or if there is no current law, argue the need for one]
•    clear thesis [limited topic + target audience + shocking proposal to solve the problem & improve society]
•    offers a solution, while horrifying and humorous, could [in theory] work
•    supports proposal with specific reasons, details, and evidence [personal, general, and/or from secondary sources]
•    pokes fun at/ offends various members of society [related to your issue/problem]
•    includes at least one counter-argument and its effective refutation
•    organized in a logical manner [see the proposal outline]
•    includes an original disclaimer
•    effectively and consistently incorporates satire into the pape

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