Doublespeak / Newspeak Dictionary Assignment AP English IV R. Mitchell
Purpose: Students will realize the impact of language and how it directs social opinion. Also, they will
realize the bias inherent in much of language, exploring denotation and connotation.
Grading: The project is a test grade, and points are determined according to the rubric provided.
Due date: The project is due in its entirety on or before 31 August 2010. It is due on this date regardless of
whether you are present in school or not (even if the absence is excused). Thus, you are strongly
encouraged to complete and submit it as soon as possible. Late dictionaries will be penalized ten points
per day. Dictionaries received on or before 27 August 2010 will receive a ten point bonus.
- What part does language play in the production and consumption of values?
- How does George Orwell use language and rhetorical devices to develop the themes and achieve
specific effects in 1984?
- Why are the themes of Orwell’s novel relevant to life experiences today?
[ELABLRL1] I can analyze, evaluate, and apply knowledge of the ways authors use language, style, syntax, and
rhetorical strategies for specific purposes in nonfiction works.
[ELABLRL2] I can evaluate the way an author’s choice of words advances the theme or purpose of the work.
[ELABLRL3] I can deepen understanding of literary works by relating them to their contemporary context or
historical background, as well as to works from other time periods.
[ELABLRL4] I can employ a variety of writing genres to demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of significant ideas in
literary works and technical documents, demonstrating awareness of an author’s use of stylistic devices and an
appreciation of the effects created, analyzing the use of language and other particular aspects of a text that contribute
to theme or underlying meaning, analyzing multiple, relevant historical records of a single time period and examining
their critical relationships to a literary work, and including a bibliography which records sources.
[ELABLRL5] I can understand and acquire new vocabulary and use it correctly in reading and writing.
[ELA12LSV2] I can formulate reasoned judgments about written and oral communication in various media genres,
identifying and evaluating strategies used by the media to inform, persuade, entertain, and transmit culture; analyzing
the impact of the media on the democratic process at the local, state, and national levels; identifying and evaluating the
[ELA12C1] I can use appropriate conventions.
[ELA12C2] I can produce writing that conforms to requirements and cite sources correctly.
[ELA12C3] I can acquire and use new vocabulary.
[ELA12C4] I can explore life experiences related to subject areas, determining strategies for finding context and
[ELA12W1] I can select a focus relevant to the purpose, and I can support statements and claims with specific
[ELA12W2] I can produce writing in a specific genre.
[ELA12W3] I can use research and technology to support writing, documenting my sources correctly, using
systematic strategies to organize and record information, and designing and publishing documents accurately.
[ELA12W4] I can plan and draft independently and resourcefully, editing to make improvements, clarifying my voice,
and revising to improve sentence variety and style.
Instructions: Collect and NEATLY record at least fifty words and/or phrases that serve as examples of
“doublespeak” (minimum fifteen) or words that are “Newspeak.” Cull them from any source, including
magazines, television, newspapers, the Internet, etc. Each entry must include the word(s), the part(s) of
speech, the definition in context of its use, its location (where you found it), and the meaning with an
explanation of how the word or phrase is an example of either doublespeak or Newspeak. You may not
use 1984 itself as a source, although you may find language from the novel in other sources, which is
perfectly acceptable. Your dictionary entries do not have to be in alphabetical order.
ethnic cleansing (noun phrase: adjective and gerund) – the killing of Croatians by the Serbians (Tom
Brokaw, NBC Nightly News, 6:30 p.m., 10 August 2008); the phrase is a euphemism for the elimination of
one race of people by another in order to achieve racial superiority [doublespeak]
app (noun) – a program designed to allow movie trailers to play on a “smartphone” (Jess Cagle, “Editor’s
Letter” from Entertainment Weekly, #1116/1117, 20/27 August 2010); an abbreviation for the word
“application,” it is a program designed to allow other programs such as videos, games, search engines,
maps, etc. to run on an electronic device, particularly the cell phone [Newspeak]
20 points 19-13 points 12-7 points 6-0 points
Number of The dictionary The dictionary The dictionary The dictionary
“doublespeak” includes at least includes fourteen to includes nine to five includes four or
words (must fifteen correctly ten correctly correctly identified fewer correctly
include citations) identified identified doublespeak words identified
doublespeak words doublespeak words with citations. doublespeak words
with citations. with citations. with citations.
Number of The dictionary The dictionary The dictionary The dictionary
“Newspeak” words includes at least includes thirty-four includes twenty to includes ten or fewer
(must include thirty-five correctly to twenty-one eleven correctly correctly identified
citations) identified Newspeak correctly identified identified Newspeak Newspeak words
words with Newspeak words words with with citations.
citations. with citations. citations.
Parts of speech All entries contain Most entries contain Some entries contain Most entries do not
correctly identified correctly identified correctly identified contain correctly
parts of speech. parts of speech (no parts of speech (no identified parts of
fewer than 80%). fewer than 50%). speech (fewer than
50% are correct).
Contextual Each entry contains Most entries contain Some entries contain Most entries do not
definitions a contextual a contextual a contextual contain a contextual
definition that definition that definition that definition that
defines the word(s)’s defines the word(s)’s defines the word(s)’s defines the word(s)’s
meaning with meaning with meaning with meaning with
precision and accuracy (no fewer accuracy (no fewer accuracy (fewer than
assiduousness. than 80%). than 50%). 50% are correct).
Explanation of the Each entry contains Most entries contain Some entries contain Most entries do not
meaning of the an accurate, an accurate, an accurate, contain an accurate,
“doublespeak” or thoughtful definition thoughtful definition thoughtful definition thoughtful definition
“Newspeak” word that explains the that explains the that explains the that explains the
word(s)’s meaning in word(s)’s meaning in word(s)’s meaning in word(s)’s meaning in
the “doublespeak” or the “doublespeak” or the “doublespeak” or the “doublespeak” or
“Newspeak” “Newspeak” “Newspeak” “Newspeak”
language. language (no fewer language (no fewer language (fewer than
than 80%). than 50%). 50% are correct).
Creativity/Style The dictionary’s The dictionary’s The dictionary’s The dictionary’s
(extra credit) binding is exemplary binding is creative binding is creative or binding is creative or
in a unique, creative, and attractive and attractive and adds attractive (+3-0
and attractive way, adds to the overall somewhat to the points).
and it conveys an impact of the project overall impact of the
extra dimension that (+9-7 points). project (+6-4
enhances and points).
enriches the overall
impact of the project
Dictionaries submitted early will have the opportunity for revision (to earn additional points).
Name: __________________________________________________________ / Rubric Score: ______________________________
Date Received: _________________________________________________ / Points added/subtracted: __________________
Final Score (test grade): ___________________