1984 Close Reading Passage on Falsifying the Past (Abridged Excerpt)

This close reading assessment features 9 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of 1984 by George Orwell. An excerpt from Book 1, chapter 4, is included in accordance with fair use regulations; the passage focuses on Winston Smith’s falsification of records on behalf of the Ministry of Truth.

An answer key is included, as are Word Document and PDF versions of the assessment.

This resource aligns well to Academic Literacy Project teaching principles and may serve as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode language and pose/respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers comprehend their thinking.

In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read and comprehend complex texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.

By engaging in this exercise, students will:

  • Discern what the text states explicitly as well as implicitly
  • Conduct brief research to discern and articulate historical parallels to media manipulation and the falsification of records
  • Apply and articulate knowledge of literary devices and techniques including euphemism
  • Analyze the author’s word choices to discern and articulate how they contribute to the development of plot
  • Analyze an excerpt to discern its primary function
  • Define complex words and phrases in context
  • Write with logic, clarity, and precision
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About this resource


Created: Feb 21, 2020

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

docx, 2 MB


pdf, 127 KB


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