1984 – Exemplification Essay

For this unit you will be writing a series of essays which relate directly to , or to the themes of, George Orwell’s novel 1984. In each essay you will be practicing a new mode of writing – for our first essay you will be writing an exemplification essay.

What is exemplification?

Exemplification essays use examples to illustrate or explain a point or abstract concept. Think of exemplification as a more sophisticated version of the informational essays you’ve written in the past.

What is effective exemplification?

The most effective presentations, discussion and speakers use plenty of specific examples – they don’t provide vague generalizations or broad statement. The same is true to the most effectively written examples of exemplification: you need plenty of specific examples from reliable sources to illustrate the point you are making or topic you are discussing. You can use examples in exemplification for three purposes:

  • Explain and clarify – this makes your point clear and answers any questions the reader may have.
  • Add interest – this makes your point clear and keeps the audience engaged.
  • Persuade – this makes your point clear, while convincing your audience your point is reasonable and worth considering.

How many examples should I use?

You are required to use a minimum of five examples for this essay, but you can use more if you like. You have to have enough examples to support and explain your idea – however, you should not simply have long block quotations or paraphrases that make up the bulk of the writing – you are making a clear point, and illustrating that point with well chosen, relevant examples.

Make sure you use transitions between the examples you’ve chosen as well – otherwise your paper can seem choppy if it is not obvious to the reader what the connection between you examples is.

What type of examples can I use?

You should use relevant, reliable examples. Remember, this means sources from scholarly, peer reviewed sources; government documents or surveys (.gov); studies or reports from educational institutions (.edu); reports and data from non-profit, unbias organizations (.org); interviews and unbias articles from reliable news organizations.

Remember, you MUST LOOK CRITICALLY at .org and news sources – many are unbias and should not be referenced for this paper.

How should I order my examples?

Be sure to choose an organizational strategy that works best  – either presenting your examples to help illustrate your point in chronological order, order of importance or order of complexity. Which strategy you choose will depend on which examples you’ve chosen.

 

Now that you’ve reviewed what exemplification is, you can begin brainstorming and finding examples to illustrate your point to the question:

How important is language to society?

In responding to this prompt, you must use 1984 as one of your sources, as well as one current event from a reliable source. The paper must be formatted in MLA, with a minimum of 5 citations total.

Click here to access the Exemplification Rubric for grading

Click here to access a sample exemplification article.

12th Grade Literature Fall 2018

1984 – Part One

In Part One of Orwell’s 1984, we are introduced to the protagonist Winston Smith, the setting of Airstrip One, and the oppressive power of Big Brother and INGSOC. Part One of the novel is full of Winston’s exposition, and is important to ‘set the stage’ and help us understand the day-to-day life for Party members, the depth of surveillance instituted by Big Brother and the mental and emotional state of our main character.

As we work through part one, you should work to familiarize yourself with the important characters:

  • Winston Smith
  • O’Brian
  • Parsons
  • Smye
  • Mr. Charrington
  • Emmanuel Goldstein
  • The Proles
  • Katherine

Additionally, you should pay attention and be sure to understand the Newspeak words used in Part One, as well as understanding what Newspeak is:

  • Totalitarianism
  • socialism
  • communism
  • telescreen
  • two minutes hate
  • INGSOC
  • speakwrite
  • thought crime
  • thought police
  • the party
  • inner party
  • outer party
  • Proles
  • the Spies
  • Junior Anti-Sex League
  • The Brotherhood
  • Newspeak
  • OldSpeak
  • Doublethink
  • groupthink
  • memory hole
  • floating fortress
  • FFCC
  • unperson

Finally, be sure to understand the themes of Part One, and be able to explain how we see these themes in the text:

  • The Power of Language
  • Privacy and Technology
  • The Control of Information
  • The Importance of History
  • Individual Freedoms
  • Relationships and Human Connections

Please see the video below for background information on 1984.

12th Grade Literature Fall 2018

George Orwell’s 1984

This unit we will be analyzing the novel 1984 by George Orwell. Published in 1948, it is a work of dystopian science fiction, set in England (called Airstrip One) in an alternate version of the year 1984.  As we read and analyze this novel over the course of the next few weeks, keep in mind the overarching theme that we have been examining this entire semester – the importance of language.

Orwell believed very strongly in the importance of simple language and literature to expose truth and highlight the reality of ‘ordinary people’. Please review the video below from class for background information on Orwell and his motivation for writing.

Additionally, we are reading Orwell’s short essay “Why I Write”, where he highlights the motivations behind all writers, and specifically discusses how he balanced these motivations within himself. Click here to access the essay.

As we discussed in class, the differences between a uptopia and a dystopia follow the chart below. However, you also discussed that a utopia would have a strong family focus, and would be efficient and planned, with little waste.

However, you very perceptively discussed how, if we want a system of ‘perfect’ laws, happiness, cleanliness and efficiency, we have to cede a certain amount of individual control (whether its governmental, economic, educational, or legislative) to make that happen – and that if that control is corrupted, a utopia can easily become a dsytopia.

We will be examining these ideas in-depth throughout our reading of Orwell’s 1984, so be aware of examples of dystopian control when they appear.

Additionally, please be sure to plan your time wisely to complete the readings for each week. You should come to class each Monday prepared for that week’s chapters. Please also prepare to have a test over each part of the novel. 

Part One

  • Chapters 1-4, October 8th-12th
  • Chapters 5-8, October 15th-19th

Part Two

  • Chapters 1-5, October 22-26th
  • Chapters 6-10, October 29th-November 2nd

Part Three

  • Chapters 1-2, November 5th-9th
  • Chapters 3-6, November 12th-16th
12th Grade Literature Fall 2018