Writing an Analysis of a Humorous Text Unit 5 Embedded Assessment Prompt



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Writing an Analysis of a Humorous Text

Unit 5 Embedded Assessment

Prompt: For your last major writing assignment of the academic year, you have the opportunity to read and analyze a humorous short story. You will write a critical analysis of the assigned text explaining how the author uses humor to communicate a “universal truth” and evaluating his or her effectiveness.
Short Story Choices:

“Priscilla and the Wimps” by Richard Peck



“The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry

Getting Started:

  • Identify the level(s) of comedy used in the story and support using passages from the text.

  • Identify various elements of humor (vocabulary) that the author uses and support using passages from the text.

  • Utilize a variety humorous vocabulary

  • Describe the comedic effect that the elements of humor have on the reader

  • Identify the “universal truth” that is evident in the story.



Good Luck & Have Fun!!!

Humorous Terms
In your essay, you need to incorporate the following humorous vocabulary:

  1. Levels of Comedy (mandatory)

  • High and Low (page 241)

  • Vocab from which to choose: sarcastic, laughable, witty, ironic, irreverent, mocking, hysterical, mirthful, amusing, light-hearted (at least 2) (page 238 - 239)




  1. Three Main Theories of Humor (at least one) (pages 235 – 236)

  1. Release Theory

  2. Superiority Theory

  3. Incongruity Theory




  1. Elements of Humor (at least four immersed throughout) (page 261 -280)

Comic Characters and Caricatures (pages 261 – 266)

Comic Situations: parody, irony, blunder, anecdote, slapstick (267 – 273)

Comic Language: pun, one-liner, banter, hyperbole, sarcasm, wit, mock (274 -280)


  1. Intended Response (3 total) (page 238 - 239)

guffaw, outburst, chuckle, smirk, giggle, groan, smirk, snicker, smile

BP 1
Explain the comic situation or comic character/caricature.
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Identify and explain the level of comedy. _________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Select a specific example from the text to support the element(s) of humor. Page # _______

_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Use at least one “humorous vocab term” discussed in class to illustrate the type of comedy.

The author uses _________________ which is evident when . . . .” __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Incorporate at least one “intended response” term to illustrate the comedic effect.

___________________ - ________________________________________________________



BP 2

Explain the comic situation or comic character/caricature.


_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Identify and explain the level of comedy. _________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Select a specific example from the text to support the element(s) of humor. Page # _______

_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Use at least one “humorous vocab term” discussed in class to illustrate the type of comedy.

The author uses _________________ which is evident when . . . .” __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Incorporate at least one “intended response” term to illustrate the comedic effect.

___________________ - ________________________________________________________




BP 3

Explain the comic situation or comic character/caricature.


_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Identify and explain the level of comedy. _________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Select a specific example from the text to support the element(s) of humor. Page # _______

_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Use at least one “humorous vocab term” discussed in class to illustrate the type of comedy.

The author uses _________________ which is evident when . . . .” __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Incorporate at least one “intended response” term to illustrate the comedic effect.

___________________ - ________________________________________________________


Unit 5

Analysis of a Humorous Text

Brainstorming
Title of short story: ___________________________________________________




Comic Characters



Comic Situations












































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