How to Write a Funny EssayFriday, April 16th, 2010
Writing funny essays is not so simple
When we imagine the teacher or the examiner laughing at our essays, it is not a nice picture. Unless, of course, that from the start we have decided to write a funny essay, intended specifically to be as hilarious as possible. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Actually, writing funny essays is quite a challenge. It is not as simple as it sound being funny on paper, since most of the sense of humor is transmitted through our voice tone and not words.
But if you still want to prove yourself worthy of the task of entertaining your readers, here are some tips on how to write this kind of essay.
Start with an epigraph
If the teacher has requested such an essay, you won’t have any problems being funny in your writing. But, what if it was your idea to write a funny essay? Here is a suggestion: provide your essay with a professional an scientific look by starting with an epigraph on humor. It will probably make the reader smile and prepare them for your funny intentions.
An epigraph is a phrase or quotation (and sometimes poem) set at the beginning of a text. This epigraph may serve as a preface, introduction, example or counter-example for the following. Here are some ideas on epigraphs on sense of humor:
– Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. (William James)
– A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. (American 34th President, Dwight David Eisenhower)
– Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. (Mark Twain)
– Humor is just another defense against the universe. (Mel Brooks)
– Humor is reason gone mad. (Groucho Marx)
When writing funny essays, the student may apply all kinds of language resources, such as the following.
– Alliteration: It consists in repeating the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words in close succession. It is commonly used in nursery rhymes or tongue-twisters. For example: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers …”.
– Irony: It shows a discordance that goes strikingly beyond the most simple and evident meaning of words or actions. Verbal and situational irony is often intentionally used as emphasis in an assertion of a truth. For example: the proposition “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”, that is the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, in which Jane Austen tried to demonstrate quite the opposite, that is, that women are always desperately searching for a rich husband.
– Puns: A form of word play that deliberately exploits an ambiguity between similar-sounding words. For example: “We know that the Middle Ages are called the Dark Ages because there were many knights…”.
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