Reading Books in PublicThis was on Shane's blog here at eNotes the other day ( I love "The Onion"!  You know you've seen...

Reading Books in Public

This was on Shane's blog here at eNotes the other day (

I love "The Onion"!  You know you've seen this in real life: 

"Man Reading Pynchon on Bus Takes Pains to Make Cover Visible."

I love satire and have used the Onion examples in my Advanced Comp courses.  You might also be interested in listening a fabulous story on "This American Life" about how the Onion operates. 



Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the articles I like to use both for satire and for website (source) credibility is similar to lnorton's.  This article recounts the crisis in California as it relates to their velcro crops.

Haven't used this in a while, and when I just looked for it, I also found another site for possible satiric writing.  Must admit I didn't have time to look at it thoroughly, but it looks promising.

ktmagalia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I just added The Onion to my Facebook. Another "gift" I happened upon today is the one through the Ayn Rand institute. I just order 33 copies of Anthem, for FREE, yes, for FREE, through the institute. I'll be using them with my 10th graders next year. Check it out at the educator's section.

lnorton eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I also like to use the faux-journal-article "Body Rituals of the "Nacirema." This article is written as an anthropologist's observation of a strange culture. Nacirema, of course, is "American" spelled backwards. I find the article is a great way to introduce the concept of cultural lenses/viewing society critically, and I often use it to introduce some of the concepts that my students will need to fully understand/appreciate satire.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I love "The Onion" also.  I used to keep my copy at school for satire, etc. examples in my composition and journalism classes until one of my younger gifted students swiped it from my shelf and took it home.  Some articles are appropriate for school and some are can imagine how angry this child's parents were that I was using such "filth" in my classroom.  UGH.

lnorton eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I use The Onion to help explore the concept of source credibility (specifically sources on the web). We talk about how important it is to examine a source's intention (in this case, to entertain/correct, not to inform). Some students actually thought The Onion was a regular news source, and considered the stories to be "credible" and worth citing. 

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have not yet read the Onion, but since it seems to be a satire, I would imagine it would be a good way to introduce students to the writing of satire as a prelude to teaching Swift's "A Modest Propsoal." Is this a good assumption?

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have not heard of The Onion, but I'm going to give it a check. I  have students who love to outdo each other with the "If Chuck Norris...." jokes, and this might be a little more interesting to them.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Onion" sounds great! Any other texts like this that can be used to explore similar concepts? It is so great to have a resource like this to share ideas and strategies like this!