What to look for when reading and analyzing pieces
Some questions to consider as you dig into your piece, a colleague's piece, or your favorite writer's published piece.
- What is the author’s point of view?
- What is the character’s point of view? Is it different than the author's?
- What is the comedic premise of the piece? What makes it unique or exaggerated?
- What or who is the target? Who or what is being criticized?
- What is the form? Is it a list, quotes, anecdotes, recipe, speech, etc.?
- What is the length? Should it be shorter? Should more ideas be explored?
- What is the tone?
- What is the voice?
- Is it parodying a specific person, publication, trope, etc.?
Terms to know
New to satire and just learning the language? No problem, we got you!
- Satire – The comedy of outrage. Using humor and wit to criticize or shine a light on the target of the piece: a person, institution, organization, etc.
- Humor - Writing that intends to be funny, heightens, and makes people laugh.
- Parody – Imitating a style, voice, genre, etc. and exaggerating, undercutting, inverting it for comedic effect.
- Target – The person, institution, organization, etc. being criticized or commented on in a piece. Typically something above you, i.e. more powerful or important.
- Point of View – What the author or character the piece is written by is saying about a topic or target through a piece. Tells the reader what the author think about the topic they’re addressing, what their opinions and emotions are about it. Sometimes this is a way to call for action.
- Comedic Premise – The unusual or unique perspective or angle on an idea. Typically exaggerated or heightened to differentiate from reality for comedic effect.
- Mapping – Putting the known qualities of one situation/thing/dynamic onto another.