Discussion: Neologism Assignment

Some students are nervous about writing so to start your writing process, why not be creative and make up a word to venture into the writing world? Remember when you were a child and maybe had a made-up language or words? Or maybe you created a word your use in your social media postings that has taken on a definition of its own?

Neologism

STEP 1: Each of us encounters moments or experiences when the right words don’t seem to exist for the emotions and ideas we wish to express. Consider some of these moments in your own life, and then choose an emotion or idea that you have trouble communicating. Instead of attempting to communicate this emotion or idea using an already existing vocabulary, create a new word or phrase to describe it. For example, when I am about to face a challenge of something I have never attempted before, the word I use is flutternoia (a combination of fear and excitement before attempting an important challenge).

Even if you’re struggling to create a new word, you can use an existing word and change the definition or combine two words. Use your creativity!

Many times, new words become increasingly popular and get added to the dictionary, especially words related to new technologies. Consider words like selfie, vlog, phablet, or meme. Some of student-created neologisms include:

  • Absoluternal: that which is both timeless and unchangeable
  • Jackosaurus: a deceased and much-loved relative whom the student believed she would spend the rest of her life trying to get to know more about and preserve in memory

STEP 2: Once you have created a new term for the feeling or idea you wish to convey, explore the word in an essay, giving both explanations and examples for appropriate applications. How and when will it be used, and why? The essay should be at least 250 words; 1 page double-spaced, in MLA format.

STEP 3: Post your essay in the discussion forum.

STEP 4: Complete a thorough review of at least ONE of your classmate’s neologism papers and answer the following questions:

  • What do you think of the new word? Do you see it gaining in popularity?
  • What are the strengths of the paper? What do you like about it?
  • What would you say is the thesis statement of this paper? Are there topic sentences too? Explain.
  • What points in the paper do you feel need improvement? Are there any mistakes or errors? Please be specific, but kind; this will help you and your classmates.
  • Does the entire paper have fluidity? Are there any parts that you feel are “misplaced” or should not be in this essay?

Rubric

Sample Grading Rubric
Criteria Proficient Developing Not Evident Points
New Word Correctly creates and defines a new word, either by making one up or creating a hybrid of existing words. Does not correctly identify or describe the thesis statement Does not identify a new word to define. __/5
Explanation Essay explains the definition of the new word, including examples and appropriate applications. It is easy to read and organized in a logical manner. Essay does not provide sufficient examples or applications of the new word. It may be confusing or hard to read. Missing essay or essay is difficult to read or understand. __/10
Discussion Posts personal essay to the forum comments on a classmate’s essay, answering the five questions that are posed. This should be kind, thorough, and substantive. Posts discussion; offers incomplete response to classmate. Does not comment on another post. __/5
Total: __/20