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Incredibly Useful Tips for Satire Writing

Buzzle Staff Apr 28, 2019
Sarcastic, funny, sometimes disturbing, satire indeed makes for an entertaining read. But writing satire can be a little tricky. You should have a purpose, and it should be put across in the most humorous way.

Examples of Satire

Political cartoons in newspapers
"Weekend Update" from Saturday Night Live
Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels"
The Daily Show
Satire is considered as the highest form of humor. Writing satire is indeed an art, which is not easy to master. Satire is like a double-sided sword, that can make a very strong impact or backfire really bad. It is seen in movies, books, magazines, television shows, and even in songs.
Through this post, we give you some useful tips on writing satire. The right language, perfect amount of irony, and a good dose of sarcasm are the ingredients for a good satiric read.

What is Satire?

Satire is a genre of literature that highlights the shortcomings or problems in the society using humor. It uses exaggeration, sarcasm, and irony to shed light on a political or social issue.
There are two basic types of satire; Horatian satire is mild, and points fingers in a subtle, light-hearted way, whereas, Juvenalian satire is much more harsh, and direct.
Parody, hyperbole, burlesque, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are used in satire to sham the government, individuals, corporations, or the entire society. Constructive satire has the power to make a difference. It may not solve the problem, but it will shed light on it.

How to write a good satire essay?

Choose the Right Topic

The first step is to choose the right topic. Satires are opinionated, and you can give your own personal comments without changing the facts. Choosing the right topic will make all the difference when writing a satire.
Opt for something that you have knowledge of, you will be comfortable with, and the audience will be able to connect with. Politicians and current events are favorites as most people know about them. There is no point in talking about something that has happened ages ago, and hardly remembered by anybody.

Gauge the Audience

Your satire will be good, only if it influences the audience. The tone will change according to your group of readers. What will be loved by a group of high school students may not go down well with professionals.
Singles may find something hilarious, though couples may not like it. Similarly, various social groups may find certain things offensive. So, do gauge the audience beforehand.

Tone it Properly

Don't try to be funny just for the sake of it. It is not necessary that your satire has to be hilarious. It is okay to keep it subtle. Understated and tongue-in-cheek humor is usually the most powerful.
Don't try to explain each and every joke. Your reader is intelligent. Don't be obscene or mean for no reason. It will take away all the attention from the topic. Even though you are pointing out faults, don't cross the line. It is better to hold back a little, than crossing the limit.

First make them Laugh, then make them Think

This should be your motto when writing a satire. Have fun when writing, and your readers are sure to enjoy it. Stick to the facts, but be as sarcastic as possible. You can have a very serious tone for a light topic or vice versa. Your writing should be powerful enough to make people act on the issue.


It does take courage and honesty to ridicule self. You need to accept and understand your own shortcomings and exaggerate them. Yeah, it is way easier to find mistakes in others. Writing a satire about yourself will definitely be a good way to get a grip on the writing style.
Now that you know how to write satire, it's time to practice. There are many good topics that will make you rack your brains. The more you write the more you'll get a hang of it.