Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
Why Write Humor?
Want to catch your teacher's attention? Grading papers is boring. A humorous essay will make your instructor laugh, remember who you are, and maybe even give you a bump up on your grade. Better yet, you will have fun writing and it'll be easier to keep yourself awake while you toil away at 2:00 in the morning. Your paper can be ironic, sarcastic, or just funny.
Get inspired by these topic ideas!
- Why you should believe every word of an infomercial (pick your favorite).
- Why people like watching funny cats videos.
- Why you are not an expert at anything but gaming.
- Why watching violent videos doesn't fry your brains.
- Why smoking is good for you.
- What your driving instructor never told you.
- What your dog is really thinking.
- Why Walmart is your favorite store.
- Why you love it when your computer freezes up.
- Why the customer is never right.
- Why teenagers deserve to have the worst jobs for the worst pay.
- Why the clothes really do make the man.
- Why you need your Starbucks coffee.
- Thank you, officer, I really needed that ticket.
- Why you love your last name.
- Why legalized pot made you a better essay writer.
- Why I like dog kisses best.
- What would happen if cats (or dogs or hamsters) ruled the world.
- Where all the mismatched socks go.
- Why I hate country music (or rap, classic rock, hip-hop, jazz, etc.).
- The worst song in the world.
- Why people love to watch shark attack shows.
- What happens when you use the tanning booth too much.
- Why your video game skills should get you a good job.
- Why you love email spam.
- Why wearing braces is fun.
- How playing with Barbie changed your life.
- Why Mickey Mouse frightens you (or clowns, or some other icon or celebrity).
- How to pretend to enjoy watching sports.
- How to pretend you are actually working.
- What it is really like to look like a model (or Barbie).
- Why _____________(comedian's name) is my hero.
- How to win the worst tattoo contest.
- What girls wish guys knew.
- What guys wish girls knew.
- Ten signs a guy likes you.
- How to have a very awkward date.
- Things girls do that guys hate.
- Types of dates.
- Ten signs a guy is not interested in you.
- A guy's makeup advice for girls.
- How to become popular.
- “No news is good news” does not apply to your social life.
- How to get back into the “friendship zone."
- How to break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend.
- Why Instagram friends are the best.
- How not to get asked out on a date (or how not to ask a girl on a date).
- How to be really annoying (in life or on Facebook or another social media platform).
- How to annoy your parents (or other family members).
- How to be an obnoxious boyfriend (or girlfriend).
- How not to win the girl of your dreams.
- How to lose your BFF.
- How to tell a white lie and get away with it.
- Why girls exercise more than boys.
- Why can’t we have the Un-Hunger Games?
- Why I want someone to steal my identity.
- Why politicians should spend more time watching funny cat videos.
- Global warming is not for sissies.
- How to know if a politician is telling the truth.
- A better way to get things done in Washington.
- How to win the war against terrorism without even trying.
- What did the feminist movement ever do for you?
- Thank you, officer, I needed that ticket.
- Why _________should be the next president (fictional character, movie actor, celebrity.)
- Why we really need less gun control.
- How Google makes us smarter.
- Why advertising works.
- Why animals should have more rights than you.
- The real causes of global warming.
- What I really love about smog.
- Radioactive waste is your friend.
- Recycling is just for sissies.
- Stereotypes are good for you.
- Talk radio is my friend.
- Why we shouldn't have freedom of speech.
- Being homeless isn’t so bad.
- What organic foods really are.
- Why high school teachers should never retire.
- How to write a paper an hour before it is due.
- Why _________________ should be a national hero.
- What to do if your roommate puts their biology project in your refrigerator.
- Why math (science, English, etc.) is my favorite subject.
- Why every girl in Texas wants to be a cheerleader.
- How to help your roommate decide to move.
- How to succeed in school without really trying.
- How to win friends and influence teachers.
- Why some people should drop out of high school.
- How to annoy your roommate.
- Why I love fundraising.
- Why every teenager needs an iPhone (or another device) in school.
- How to write a book report on a book you’ve never read.
- How to have a stress-free college experience.
- How not to get a good sleep in college.
- Why staying up studying is really good for you.
- Why I love saying the pledge of allegiance.
- Why standardized tests are the best.
- What intelligence tests really tell you.
- Why you should never get less than an “A.”
- How high school stereotypes are good for you.
- My dream college.
- Why you should let me into your college.
- How to study hard and have fun at the same time.
- Why our family eats dessert first.
- Why teenagers should take over the family credit cards.
- Why your grandmother needs an iPhone.
- When your mother forgets your birthday, you know you’ve had a bad day.
- Why I should have been an only child.
- Things my mother always says.
- How to really annoy your parents (or other family members).
- How to get your parents to give you money.
- Why my dog is my best friend.
- What your dog is really thinking.
- What did the feminist movement ever do for you?
- Can I join your family?
- Why every teenager needs an iPhone (or other device).
- What would happen if cats ruled the world.
- Where all the mismatched socks go.
- Why men should be stay-at-home dads.
- Mistakes my parents made (but now it is too late).
Remember, you can turn almost any paper into a humorous or sarcastic one if you...
- Argue for a ridiculous side of the issue.
- Go over-the-top on your examples.
- Argue what not to do rather than what should be done.
- Use lots of extreme adjectives and adverbs (see chart below).
- Use intensifying transition words to start sentences, such as: nevertheless, moreover, however, even though, above all, not only...but also, etc.
Words to Use to Ramp up the Humor
What About You?
Do you have an idea for a funny topic? Share it below in the comments section. If you've posted your paper online, email me the link and I'll include it in this article.
Questions & Answers
Question: How would I stretch my essay more if it is about how to annoy parents?
Answer: The easiest way to make your essay longer is to add more items and call it a list. Here are some ideas:
1. Ten ways to annoy your parents.
2. Twelve ways to get out of cleaning your room.
3. Fifteen ways to get your parents to give up on trying to get you to do any chores around the house.
The other way to do this is just to give more details about each situation or to tell a story.
Question: I am required to write an argumentative essay with sources, but most of these are not easy to find information about. How can I turn a serious essay into a funny one but not be so sarcastic my instructor doesn't like it?
Answer: Humor generally comes from a mismatch between expectations and reality. You can make your essay funny by using examples that show the ridiculousness of the contrary position, or by looking at a subject from an unusual point of view. Your essay becomes sarcastic when your humor makes fun of something without showing that you also have experienced the same situation. One way to interject humor into an essay is to use a funny personal story. Practice telling the story to yourself or someone else until you learn how to tell it in the most effective way to draw out the humor. Often that means you draw out the introduction and set up the expectations first before moving to the "punch line." If you need sources for your essay, look for a topic that you know you can research because it is in the news or you can think about where you can get information pretty quickly. Do a quick Google search to see what you can find. You can also find funny examples by Googling the topic and adding "funny" or "crazy."
Question: In an argumentative essay, you cannot ask a question, and you have to pick a side, right?
Answer: You will have to pick a side to argue in an argumentative question, but before you pick the side, it is important to know what the question is and to have some idea of what the other possible answers will be. Part of writing a good argumentative essay, whether you are being serious or humorous, is that you need to be able to anticipate the reactions of your audience and any objections that they have to what you say. You will need to point out these possible objections and respond to them by telling why these objections aren't true or valid.
Question: "What would happen if cats ruled the world?" Would this be a good argumentative essay topic?
Answer: That is a good topic, and you could switch this out to other things like dogs, parakeets, cows, or hamsters. There is actually a whole series of books about a cat-ruled world by Brian Jacques called Redwall.
Question: Some of these claims are not quite argumentative, how do I make a persuasive essay on "things my mom always says," or "how to annoy your roommate?"
Answer: You have a good point that these topics are not automatically argumentative as stated in this humorous format. To make these an argumentative essay, you need to think of the main persuasive point this topic will try to convince the reader about. In other words, the argument is the answer, or the list and how it humorously makes the reader realize the truth. For example, when you talk about "things my mom always says," you can make the argument that you should pay attention to these things because, even though what she says may be annoying or repetitive, she is often right. Alternatively, you could use this topic to say what you think moms ought to tell their kids, or what you plan to do differently when you parent (as a model for the reader, to argue what they should do too). With "how to annoy your roommate," you can use this topic to argue that a roommate shouldn't act that way or to persuade the reader that you have a good plan of how to get rid of a roommate they don't like.
Question: Why did you decide to make such a creative hub?
Answer: I've read over 10,000 student essays during my career (but who's counting?), and I always appreciated the students who took the extra effort to make their papers interesting and funny. One day in class, my students decided to brainstorm some funny essay topics. I started from there and developed this list. Personally, I think that you will probably get some extra effort credit when you make your teacher have fun reading your paper after having graded a stack of less interesting essays!
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 26, 2019:
Hi Amanda--I have lots of regular argumentative topics too. Just look at one of those lists.
amanda on January 26, 2019:
ok so I would LOVE to write about one of these topics but my teacher doesn't find it funny or entertaining what do I do
Steve Dumont on December 22, 2018:
Now I can be funy!
Sachin Arora on October 26, 2018:
This is so great, I never knew one can convey so much information in such a clear way in just one article. Thank you!
a. on March 26, 2018:
cool now i can use it for my essay
Adi on March 24, 2018:
Thanks a ton! These topics are so wonderful, I got a headstart to start writing for my blog! thanks again
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 16, 2018:
Thanks Emma! I put a lot of effort and time into trying to continually improve the way I teach writing and it is wonderful to hear it helps students!
Emma Brigman on March 15, 2018:
This is probably the most resourceful site I have used in a long time considering, I use the web a lot when it comes to school. Thank you for your work and effort to keep the site alive. IT HELPS ME GET MY WORK DONE, AMD QUICK!
Rhythm Cothrine on March 08, 2018:
Thank you so much!! Now I can help my sister with an essay
BriahnaBrynn on February 23, 2018:
i love this site... it helped me get an A!!! thankyou!!!!!!!!
Eatmiass on February 04, 2018:
this site is amazing
Alicia Meyer on September 10, 2017:
Natural disasters aren't that bad.
Christina on August 25, 2017:
I love satire! These ideas are very creative and I like who you provided so many for each category!
Beth on May 26, 2017:
These ideas are incredible and somewhat helpful. I like a good laugh and these ideas gave me one. Thank you so much
Emily on February 23, 2017:
this has everything I need
Georgia McDow on February 13, 2017:
Love this so much! I'm a staff writer for my school paper and this has helped me so much for our April Fools satire issue... you get to put a spin on these topics!
Sofia Pitouli on August 27, 2014:
This is a helpful website to find topics on life, relationships, family issues, society or funny topics. Also, I could use some of these vocabulary words that were listed if I was wanting to write a funny essay.
stephanie on April 26, 2014:
Kevin6779 from firstname.lastname@example.org on October 25, 2013:
Currently I'm writing essays and papers for a living, and this hub is very appropriate and right on time!