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Assignment/Activity Title— Comparative Analysis Essay

Skill— Writing

Year— Sophomore
Portfolio Category— Social Awareness

For this analytical essay, I compared the developments and characteristics of today’s text messaging language to
that of George Orwell’s 1984 fictional language of Newspeak. After reading 1984, I made the connection that Newspeak
and the modern day text messaging language were similar in the way that they abbreviate a traditional style of writing,
thus changing the meaning and application of certain words. To brainstorm and organize my ideas I completed a graphic
organizer, pulling certain parts of 1984 and connecting them to the real world. Based on the quotes that I had collected
from the novel and from a recent TIME news article, I drafted a thesis statement outlining my essay. From that point, I
built my essay off of the research that I had done on the topic.
Writing the essay allowed me to ponder over a few aspects of society that I had not deeply considered before
having looked into this topic. One is George Orwell’s remarkable ability to have written and published a novel in 1949
that is relevant to the events that occur today. Over six decades ago, Orwell was able to create a language that closely
resembles today’s text messaging language. In 1949, it wouldn’t be for another 24 years until the first cellphone would be
invented. Another aspect I realized was that while text messaging does not have a drastic impact on the way the world as a
whole, it does have an affect on contemporary linguistics and the way people communicate with one another. Through my
research, I confirmed that while abbreviated languages such as Newspeak and the texting language are based off of a
parent language, in this case English, those who understand English can find it difficult to decipher the abbreviated
language. This is most apparent in the senior citizens of today who find it nearly impossible to understand the
abbreviations of texting. Either way, one message can be said in a thousand different languages, and within one language,
a thousand more languages can be created. From realizing this, I have come to understand that there are multiple ways to
reach out and communicate with others, even those who might not have the same background as you, or be the same age
or gender. I have also come to understand that language influences societal views. If a society only has words for positive
things then, that society can only express positive feelings. Similarly, in 1984, if a society does not have words to express
disapproval or rebellion, then the people can never overthrow the government. This has shown me that a society can be
controlled and limited through the use language and that language is not just simply a way of communicating. To me, the
limitation of Newspeak most closely resembles today’s censorship in countries such as China. This has lead me to better
understand that the freedom of speech and expression in my society is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.
Because of this I have also wondered about the future of language in relation to the government and whether the
government will ever manipulate language for its own purposes. While it might resemble the fictional and exaggerated
version of Newspeak of 1984, I wonder how far countries like China will go to restrict their citizens’ ability to understand
and communicate. This essay has given me the opportunity to research further into the impact of language on society and
how it has been used for both positive and negative purposes in order to communicate with others or control them.

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Assignment/Activity Title—
Skill—Writing, Media, Research….

Year—Freshman, Sophomore…
Portfolio—Critical Reasoning, Ethics….

Metacognitive Reflection—The following questions ARE NOT A SCRIPT!! Use the ideas
within the questions to reflect on the assignment and its significance to you.
Your reflection MUST use Times New Roman font, size 11, single spacing















How does this assignment reflect your growth in the category in which you are placing it?
How have you changed as a result of this assignment?
Why is it important to include this piece in your portfolio?
How and where does this fit in with your prior knowledge?
How do you think that others will react to this product?
What process did you use to complete the product?
What did you learn by doing this assignment?
How does the portfolio product illustrate the connection(s) you've made between yourself and
the course material?
In what ways would you do things differently if you could do it over again?
What did you discover about yourself?
How does it relate to your future?
How does it illustrate your strengths and/or weaknesses?
What obstacles and challenges did you have to deal with, and how did this struggle change you?
How does the portfolio product show that your perspective on the world has deepened?
How does it relate to your understanding of the world around you?
Which of your accomplishments makes you feel most proud?

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