Satire Essay Topics List
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, satire is defined as “humor that is used to make fun of and often show the weaknesses of someone or something.” Satirical or satire essays often make use of humor, irony, and hyperbole to poke fun or criticize an object or a person. A majority of these are aimed at politicians, particular events, or even celebrities. The purpose of writing a satirical essay is simply to entertain readers and therefore, topic selection is indeed critical.
Consequently, here are examples of satire essay topics you can consider when writing your essay:
- Increased fixation with social media platforms.
- Employment: The harder you work, the lesser the pay.
- The US government struggle to develop a new health care act.
- The federal budget and its flaws.
- Kevin Durant getting booed in return to Oklahoma.
- The rift between Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.
- Increased rate of teenage pregnancies.
- Workplace harassment.
- Sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Gender bias in the workplace.
- Problems the upper-class individuals face.
- Facebook and Instagram friends are the best.
- How to twist a lie and make it convincing.
- Why school is a waste of time.
- Video game skills should be considered during job interviews.
- Why the phrase “Any publicity is good publicity” makes zero sense.
- The recipe of being an annoying human being.
- How to change from an extrovert to an introvert.
- Special guidelines on how to fail in your exams.
- Do politicians tell lies?
- Why should the Avengers lead our troops in the fight against ISIS?
- Why I will hire Mike Ross and Harvey Specter as my lawyers?
- Do we really need gun control?
- Why global warming is simply a hoax?
- Advantages of being homeless.
- Do we really need the freedom of speech?
- Writing a movie review on a movie you have never watched.
- How to avoid getting punished even while you are on the wrong?
- How to pass your exams without studying?
- Reasons why dropping out of school is important for some people.
- Why it is important to have your teenager son/daughter as your financial advisor.
- Why you should be friends with your parents on social media.
- Why it is important not to ignore strangers.
- Reasons why some men should consider being stay-at-home dads.
- Why your pet will never assume the role of your best friend.
- What diseases has music really cured?
- If the ozone layer is depleted, what will we be left with?
- Who is the slave, man or technology?
- What should be the appropriate sentence or punishment for animal cruelty charges?
- What exactly is meant by the phrase “rat race”?
- Are rats also involved in their rat race?
- Reasons why girls workout more than boys.
- Eliminating currency can help solve the problem of lack of money.
- Why cars should be banned to help reduce air pollution.
- Why FIFA should make soccer watching illegal to avert the dangers of hooliganism.
- Food should be distributed according to a person’s body weight.
- Equal salaries are the only solution to help eliminate social prejudice.
- What will we do when the graves become overcrowded?
- Using illegal immigrants as free workforce can help prevent others from coming.
- Why TV shows currently make a strong case to be considered as babysitters.
- If you wake up as Kanye West tomorrow, would you remain married to Kim?
- As president for a day, which basketball game would you rush to watch?
- Each country should build a wall round its borders to help keep its people in.
- Is healthcare as complicated as the Republicans are making it to be?
- Will it ever be possible to assign one’s sleeping time to a robot?
- Should teachers be required to wear uniforms?
- How to win an argument with your girlfriend.
- How to break up with your girlfriend via social media.
- A guy’s hairdo advice for girls.
- Steps on how to be annoying on social media.
- How politicians lie and blame it on their duty to the citizens.
- Things to do to avoid getting into a relationship.
- What to do when your boss finds you mocking them.
- Ten reasons why brushing your teeth brings you closer to your grave.
- What are some of the problems that the working class individuals face?
- How to arrange and have an awkward date with your crush.
- Why Donald Trump is my hero.
- How not to do your chores.
- What to do when surrounded by zombies.
- If my identity is stolen, will I have a different face?
- How to always show up late for dates.
- How not to get asked what you are currently doing with your life.
- How aliens built the Great Chinese Wall.
- How to breakup with your girlfriend without talking to her.
- How to defeat terrorists by downing our fighting gear.
- How to be a nosy friend.
- Here are some of the real causes of global warming.
- Why I will be voting for Captain America as the 46th President of the United States.
- Why we need an off button for the Internet.
- Why conservative media houses should exclusively cover news regarding Trump.
- Google is indeed making us more knowledgeable and hard-working individuals.
- Why I prefer North Korea’s press freedom to ours.
- Why women lift heavier weights than men especially in the gym.
- Why recycling is the worst remedy for environmental pollution.
- Top 10 reasons why Russia is America’s closest ally.
- Reasons why Brexit is good for Britain.
- Five reasons why animals should have equal rights as human beings.
- Why deforestation must continue to help accommodate the surging number of people.
- Is capitalism the direct opposite of communism?
- Should people be forced into interracial marriages so as to help eliminate racial discrimination?
- Why Kenneth Bone became an Internet sensation during the presidential debate.
- Five reasons why President Trump was sniffing a lot during the debate.
- Why President Trump has the best temperament compared to a majority of former US presidents.
- Why President Trump is likely to deliver on all of his promises before his first 100 days in office are over.
- Why I prefer taking the trash out over all other chores.
- Why the barter system is better than the current monetary system.
- How students can experience a stress-free environment in college.
- How mathematics came to be my favorite subject in school.
- Why the government is right to infringe on our privacy.
- Where do all the mismatched socks disappear to?
- Some of the inherent mistakes within our families.
Writing satire isn’t easy, but I think every writer owes it to themselves to learn more about this particular mode of storytelling. For those in need of a definition, The Oxford Dictionary defines satire as “the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.” If that sounds too deep, it shouldn’t – chances are you’ve probably read books or watched movies and TV shows which are satirical without even realising it.
So, what exactly does satire mean for writers? Does knowing about satire make any difference to the type of stories you write? Personally, I’d say yes. I’m a big fan and advocate of satirical fiction and I do try my best to make my characters and my stories as socially relevant as possible. So, if you’re thinking of dipping your toes into uncharted waters to experiment with writing satire, here are some important steps to get you started.
1. Don’t be afraid of exaggeration
Exaggeration is the lifeblood of satire – without it, you will struggle to find anything worth satirising. Think about the value systems of your characters. Their habits. Their professions or their jobs. Their mental preoccupations. Their reliance on other people. Their compulsions. If you overemphasise your character’s actions, reactions or even their inaction – depending on the context – this will throw a new angle on your story which could lend itself to satire. Exaggeration can flesh out each of these qualities. If you inflate some of these things and bring them to the forefront in your writing, it’s quite possible you have the seeds of something satirical there.
Let’s try an experiment: Take a heart surgeon, for instance. I’d imagine you would want a heart surgeon to be a very practical-minded, methodical, attentive and meticulous person, if you’re lucky. In which case, let’s exaggerate those features and make that same surgeon have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), so crippled by his own anal retentiveness that he cannot even leave the operating theatre without washing his hands several dozen times. This surgeon could even worry about germs in his microwave meal and is so anxious he checks the pulse of his kids in the middle of the night. You have now exaggerated the same features in a heart surgeon which previously you would have considered positive traits to the point where it verges on satiric. This is how exaggeration can be a tool for developing your characters, your story and infusing both with satirical elements.
2. Make the normal appear abnormal or vice versa
If you’re the sort of person who has an eye for contradictions and incongruity, you will already have the ammunition you need to write satire. By its nature, things which are incongruous tend to upset the harmony of common expectations and be out of place, so some keen observational skills can work to your advantage here. It could be something like spotting the irony of a label on a pair of underpants which says ‘keep away from fire’ (I mean, seriously?) to normalising something totally bizarre, such as in Demolition Man where everybody knows what the seashells in the toilets are used for except Sly Stallone’s oblivious main character.
Here’s the best example I can give of this technique: I once wrote a sitcom script in which my main character is asked to attend a posh dinner for a potential business opportunity in a penguin suit. Completely unaware what a penguin suit was, but not having the courage to ask otherwise, my character nods politely and accepts the invitation. Before the dinner, he heads to a fancy dress shop, buys a penguin costume and turns up to a Michelin-star restaurant dressed like a giant arctic bird. The businessmen, dressed merely in black dinner jackets, are aghast. He is humiliated. That is the best way I can illustrate how to use something normal and transform it into something completely strange so it crosses the border into satirical territory.
3. Flip things on their head and subvert them
This is quite similar to the above idea of incongruity, only this focuses on the idea of reversal. This relies less on the small humorous observations, in the traditional sense, and more about lampooning hierarchies, social order, or customs. Let’s think of a school environment, for example, where you’d expect the teachers to set a moral example to their pupils: In Tom Perrotta’s novel Election, however, the teacher Mr. M is so disgusted by the Young Republican school swot Tracy Flick that he attempts to sabotage her campaign to become school president.
To use a more popular example of reversal; in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, Edina Monsoon’s daughter Saffron effectively takes on the mother role, reversing the traditional familial roles for humorous effect, seemingly to make a satirical point about how a post-sixties generation of ‘bohemian’ women were less mature than their offspring. This gives you a flavour of how reversal can allow you to flip ordinary expectations on their head to render your satire with a more subversive flavour.
4. Use the art of imitation to take the mickey
Parody is quite integral to satire, but don’t presume this means you have to be too obvious with it. I’m all for subtlety, but ultimately, if you imitate the style of a certain writer, or ridicule a specific genre in which your story can be categorised, this could very well be satirical. Some lug-headed examples of this include Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice with Zombies, or Michael Gerber’s Barry Trotter novels, which I would argue are quite tactless and less nuanced.
You’d do better to consider Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, an early 17th century parody of chivalric love stories of that era, whose main characters – Quixote and Sancho – fool themselves into thinking they are knights from a medieval romance, even though Quixote is delusional and Sancho is fat. That’s not to say genre is your only option – alternatively, you might want to base your character on somebody in real-life and turn them into a caricature. The choice is yours, but by imitating certain literary styles, or writing veiled critiques of people or places, you’ll find yourself building a satire in no time.
5. Don’t worry about being laugh-out-loud funny
It’s a misconception that satires should contain lots of jokes and strive to be laugh-out-loud funny. That’s simply not the case. Unfortunately, we’ve all been conditioned to assume that anything satirical must possess the wit of a panel show contestant on Have I Got News for You or Mock the Week. The fact is, although most satires do invoke humour, writers should not necessarily consider being humorous the same thing as being funny.
For the most part, I try and steer clear of punch lines and only ever aim to be wry and knowing. You can often do this through establishing a flawed central character and creating dialogue which contains dry humour (which is surprisingly easy, if you appreciate irony), relying much less on standard jokes and more on repartee. Not only does this help writers such as myself avoid being judged as if they’re a pure-blooded comedian, but it allows you to service your story better. After all, if you don’t have a good story, it won’t matter how funny it is anyway.
Humorous fiction writer, poet and aspiring novelist. Fond of satire. Interested in comic novels, black comedy and tales of satirical derring-do.