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Tips on How to Use Satire in Writing

Satire is defined as a literary term for the specific genre of literature. Such satirical devices as hyperbole, irony, and sarcasm are aimed at criticizing people, objects, organizations or governments for their vices, shortcomings or foolishness.

You can encounter satire in many places. It is used to expose follies in a mocking way and very often it becomes a device for ridiculing and criticizing issues in social, political and cultural life events.

The satirical literary work includes humor but the main idea behind the satire is not only about having a laugh. It is more of an attempt to create a positive change and prevent fateful mistakes.

Choose the topic wisely

Try to pick a subject that is of interest to you and which you know a lot about. In this way, you will be able to use your knowledge of the broad picture and, as a result, making the analysis will be easier and more efficient. Obviously, if you have time and desire to delve into a completely new topic, you are welcome to do so. Here are some suggestions of the subjects that can be used in your satirical text.

  • Undoubtedly, the best topics for the satire can be found in the political sphere. The actions of different politicians provide a lot of ideas worth satirizing.
  • Think of major events that have recently taken place in the world and provoked some sort of public outcry.
  • Celebrities give a lot of reasons for the satire but try to be careful and do not be mean to them in your writing like some reporters who work for the yellow press.
  • You can write about yourself. Being able to laugh at yourself is an indicator of an emotionally healthy person who can objectively make judgments about himself and the surrounding world. Besides, you know yourself better than anyone else so you will have all the chances to create a really sharp, deep and witty satire.
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Satire devices

There are three main devices that are used in the satirical writings.

  • Hyperbole. Exaggeration is a great way to show how much the discussed topic amused or shocked you with its inappropriateness or silliness. While the majority of texts are required to be factual and informative, in the satirical works using exaggeration is allowed since it can effectively help emphasize the main point.
  • Irony. This device is based on describing the subject or event in such a way that the intended meaning is different from the actual state of things. This figure of speech is aimed at highlighting the difference between appearance and the reality.
  • Sarcasm. It is a remark made in a bitter contempt that clearly means the opposite of what was said. Even though the element of humor is present in this literary tool, using sarcasm should be very thought through because it can be quite painful for the subject of satirizing.

We will not claim that writing a good satirical text is easy since it does require a writer to be smart, knowledgeable and brave. However, reaching the very successful outcome is possible with a certain amount of practice. Remember that writing satire is not about offending someone but more about criticizing the shortcomings that need to be eliminated. Good luck in your endeavors to change the world for the better!