To rant means to complain vigorously, either by writing or speaking up, about something that you find completely and utterly unacceptable. A rant is the usually somewhat lengthy tirade (noun, from the Latin term for shooting at an opponent, as in “fire away!”) resulting from the action of ranting.

Human beings being what they are, and life being imperfect, we all have complaints about things we would desperately like to change.  For your next essay, I would like you to select just one of these things you find unsettling, annoying, or otherwise unacceptable, and rant about it.  This essay need not be long, approximately 500 words should suffice, but it should be focused and detailed.  In other words, you are not merely rattling off a long list of things that irk you, but focusing on just one and explicating the reasons.  Once you have thoroughly ranted about your subject, I would like you to propose a solution or two; this is a nice way to give your essay closure.  These solutions might not be serious or realistic, that choice is yours and will depend on the tone of the rest of your essay, but as you will see from our models in class, most “ranters” adopt a humorous, or at least casual tone.

A good rant straddles the lines of logic; in other words, a strictly logical analysis of a problem with a reserved and academic tone is an argument, not a rant.  Yet, if your rant is so far-fetched and illogical that you lose all credibility, then it just sounds like you are a crazy person spouting non-sense.  Your challenge will be to find the middle ground.

A note on offensive topics: The rants we read and view in class might be interpreted as offensive by some—this makes sense because the topic of a rant should be something that you have strong opinions about.  But, for the purposes of our class, I want you to be reasonable about which lines of offensiveness you choose to cross.  I will accept rants on any topic, but I expect that no writer will degrade a person, or group of people based on race, religion, socioeconomic status, or physical/mental disability.