Summative Task

Task Assignment: After reading Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” write your own half serious (Juvenalian in nature) satirical solution to a problem in modern American society (i.e. obesity)

Some specifics: Your final product should be at least five paragraphs long. It should have a structure similar to Swift’s essay, should contain a similarly sarcastic tone, and should implement some (if not all) of the four major satirical techniques: exaggeration, incongruity, parody, and reversal.


1. Read and analyze Jonathan swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. Note the structure and tone of the essay, as well as Swift’s use of satirical techniques.

2. Brainstorm societal problems that you might want to address. Your problem should be something that impacts our nation’s society as a whole

3. Outline and write your essay. You may feel free to add additional paragraphs where appropriate, but your essay should follow the basic model below

a. Paragraph 1: A clear first paragraph that contains an indelible image of your societal problem. (Swift’s image in his first paragraph is that of the mother with six children dressed in rags begging for alms. Try to include an image of your problem that elicits the readers’ sympathies in a similar way.)

b. Paragraph 2: A paragraph description of your shocking solution. (This is like the paragraph in which Swift talks “delicious and nourishing babies)

c. Paragraph 3: A list of six clearly labeled “logical reasons” for why your solution would work. (Label your sentences “firstly”, “secondly”, “thirdly,” as Swift does)

d. Paragraph 4: An italicized paragraph describing your response to the opposition’s argument. (Note swift’s italicized paragraphs for guidance on this)

e. Paragraph 5: Conclusion

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