Both Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain write with a satirical tone. Spend some time looking at other satires, and consider why authors use satire when dealing with serious subjects.

Research and write a report on a satirical author or artist according to MLA guidelines.

Both Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain write with a satirical tone. Spend some time looking at other satires, and consider why authors use satire when dealing with serious subjects. Investigate Jonathon Swift or Mark Twain (or another satirical author). Your choice may also include contemporary artists like Rick Mercer, Matt Groening, personalities from Saturday Night Live or Air Farce, etc. Write a biographical report on the author/artist. 

In your report, include the following information:

1. A brief examination of the author’s life: early life, family, education…

2. The general historical context of the time (what was happening during the author’s lifetime that may have influenced his writing. Focus in on one or two events or the character of the time in which he or she lived.)

3. Other major works of the author and the tone of the works, including his or her use of satire. 

4. Include at least one image of the author.

5. Include at least one other opinion of the author. What do others say about the author and his importance in or to society?

Keep in mind that this is not an essay but rather an informational report. You should not include personal feelings about the author or the works. This should be an unbiased presentation of facts based on what you discover through your research. Use your own voice as much as possible to share what you have learned about your subject. Even with proper in-text (parenthetical) citations for borrowed ideas and quotes, your report must NOT be a series of copies and pastes or shuffled content (mosaic plagiarism) from the original sources of information.

Research projects can be tricky! You are expected to become an expert on a subject by accessing information from other experts, but you are to use your own voice to share what you know as a result of your research. 

A good approach is to do your research. Finish taking your notes using a variety of creditable sources, but be sure to keep track of the source for each research item. Try to avoid relying on Wikipedia as your main source. There are many valuable resources available if you dig a bit deeper.

Plan for your project content to be between 750-1000 words in length.

Once you finish your research, write your paper or at least each content area from memory using your own voice. Then go back and compare what you’ve written to your research notes. Doing so will allow you to confirm the accuracy of your content, identify where added detail (and maybe more research) is needed, and check what will require citations:  any borrowed wording or ideas.

One of the objectives of this assignment is for you to apply effective research techniques as a means of learning about a subject, but just as important is that you show an awareness of the requirements of correct MLA Documentation style.

Assignment Guidelines

All Assignments must be submitted as a typed in Microsoft Word (preferred) unless otherwise stated by or arranged with the instructor and attached under the appropriate Assignment heading. Your Assignments MUST:

  • include your name
  • the course name 
  • the assignment question
  • be double-spaced
  • use standard font (12 pt) and margins
  • be in an appropriate format (.doc, .rtf, .pdf)


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