AP English Language and Composition
Modest Proposal Assignment
After reading Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” it is time for you to be the satirist. First think of a major problem in modern society (It can be a domestic or international struggle). Then create an absurd solution but effectively argue that solution with ethos, logos and pathos. Do not be afraid to experiment with so-called experts, fantastic statistics and confusing syllogism (when you come to a conclusion from two different sources). In fact, a strategy you may want to use is to confuse the reader with absurd complexity.
In a 1-2 page typed essay (double-spaced, 12 pt font, Times New Roman or Calibri size 11 if using
Word 2007), introduce the problem and offer a
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It is important that the structure of your essay follow Swift’s. The following is an outline to keep you focused. Structure and format your essay EXACTLY like Swift’s: ü title your essay A Modest Proposal; ü create a subtitle that highlights the issue at hand; ü describe the situation and the problems it causes; use vivid details; ü present your “modest” proposal, describing its implementation fully; ü list all of the benefits that would come of adopting it; use vivid details ü finally, discuss a solution that really might work to solve the problem and explain why this realistic solution will never work, given what you know. o Stay in the voice of the ironic persona. While this might be a real solution to the problem, one that normal people will see as real, the ironic persona will find fault with a realistic solution, because the ironic persona favors “modest” proposals. o Swift’s is that if we could all show some decency towards one another, our fighting just might stop. You can find this in the paragraph that begins “I can think of no one objection that will possibly be raised against this proposal” and goes