This is a quick, two page guide--using examples from Swift's masterpiece, "A Modest Proposal"--that may help students navigate the layers of satire. There is a writing assignment on the second page (with a template) that you can match with ANY satirical work. The template provided only has students produce what would be considered complex topic sentences; however, with the topic sentences, students can easily move to producing full paragraphs based on the information they compile in their charts.
Introductory Language for the guide/assignment:
Satire is rather hard to navigate because it is layered and most of what is REALLY BEING SAID is implied. If the reader is unable to make the correct inferences, the satirical elements are often overlooked and misunderstood. What first needs to be understood is that satire operates on a spectrum. This spectrum is comprised of the following parties: The Author, The Persona, The Persona’s Purpose, and The Author’s Purpose. It’s important to note that the author and persona may not always be the same person; also note: the persona’s purpose may not always be the same as the author’s.