The Synthesis Essay – Joining Conversation
Synthesis writing is not argumentative in nature. This type of academic writing allows you to become knowledgeable on a focused narrowed subject by engaging in current research, and examining various perspectives and opinions. You will analyze your sources’ responses to a research question you have developed and will present those views as a “conversation” between your sources. You will then present your own view of the question, a view that reflects your “wallowing in the complexity” of the issue in order to gain experience working with synthesis. Synthesis is the ability to create a new whole, your own perspective, by studying alternative views on an issue. In other words, the “new whole” is your own point of view on an issue, something you will obtain through the combination of analyzing the ideas of others and relating them to one another.
Skills: The purpose of English 111 is to help you develop and practice writing and thinking skills essential to your success in college and in your professional life beyond school. Drawing on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains, we will focus on developing writerly “moves” that characterize strong written communication. This assignment will ask you to practice the following writing skills: Analyzing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing.
Knowledge: This assignment will focus on developing knowledge in the following course learning objectives:
- (2) Develop and apply strategies for critical reading, critical thinking, and information literacy.
- (4) Analyze and synthesize researched information to develop and support original claims.
- (7) Employ correct techniques of style, formatting, and documentation when incorporating quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from sources into compositions.
This paper will build on writing projects you have done previously in the course and will utilize the same topic and research you compiled for the Critical Annotated Bibliography. You may (and likely will) refocus and revise your guiding research question for this project, but your overall topic should stay the same. Textual support for this essay will come from The Little Seagull Handbook Chapters W-16 “Reading Strategies,” R-3 “Synthesizing Ideas” and R-4 “Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism”
1) You will choose five (5) sources from the class core readings to review looking for patterns and common themes reoccurring in these readings.
2) You will then form a focused research question drawn from the core readings
3) Construct a synthesis grid to help you organize the drafting of this essay
4) From the synthesis grid, construct a two part analytical thesis statement, which explains what current scholars are saying about your topic in the literature and your own developing position on this subject.
5) You will then use the synthesis grid to begin organizing and drafting your initial draft of the Synthesis Essay.