Satirical essays are often written about controversial topics to try to persuade the reader to agree with the writer's point of view. However, satirical essays are written sarcastically in order to mock and point out flaws in the opposing point of view. In a famous example, "A Modest Proposal," Jonathan Swift criticized rich people in the 1700s by outrageously suggesting that poor people sell their children for food.
Politics and satire can go hand in hand, and shows like Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" are examples of satire surrounding politics. For example, if you want to argue that Republicans and Democrats should work together to improve the U.S. government, in a satirical essay you could write outrageously from the perspective of someone who does not want to cooperate with the other party to avoid looking weak, even if it is a disservice to the citizens.
Social issues like gay marriage, abortion or poverty can also be a good starting point for a satirical essay. "A Modest Proposal" is an example of a satirical essay about a social issue. For example, if you want to convince your reader that gay marriage should be outlawed, you could write sarcastically from the perspective of someone who wants to allow anyone to marry any person, animal or inanimate object they like. A satirical essay arguing for gay marriage might mockingly suggest that all marriage be outlawed due to the extremely high rates of divorce among traditional, heterosexual couples.
Current events also provide good fodder for satirical essays, like those about celebrity scandals, local news and world events. For example, if your football team loses a game, you could write a satirical essay to mock fair-weather fans and argue that people should stand by their team, even in tough times. You could accomplish this by sarcastically arguing that the team should be thrown out of town permanently, while pointing out that you loved them just last week.
Any topic that you are passionate about can be a good one for a satirical essay. The main keys are to remember that satire is intended to be humorous while making a point. Any issue that can be debated can be a satirical essay. Some other topics to consider are immigration reform, free speech rights, taxes or gun control.
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