This major writing assignment is an exploratory synthesis of the assigned articles and blog post. This writing task requires you to present
A synthesis places sources in conversation with one another to reveal connections and distinctions among them. The goal of an exploratory synthesis is to help the writer and reader better understand a complex issue by examining its relevance and the most important themes detailed in the assigned readings.
This major writing assignment is an exploratory synthesis of the assigned articles and blog post. This writing task requires you to present the information from these sources accurately and briefly, a skill that you practiced with the summary assignment. This time, however, you will have to manage more than one source, and you will have to explain how they relate to each other. The sources will discuss the same topic, but they will approach the subject from different perspectives. Your task is to inform the readers of your essay about these positions without favoring a particular one. In fact, the idea is to remain neutral in order to truly understand and not misrepresent to the readers of your essay the message of the sources under consideration. This is an important step in the research process; neglecting it will lead to misinformation and will undermine your credibility and integrity as a researcher.
Think about your writing task. Identify subtopics(themes) that the sources have in common. List as many as you can. Choose a few subtopics that seem best suited for the purpose of this task.
Use a strategy to capture your reader’s attention and direct it toward the topic. The purpose of your introduction is, naturally, to introduce your topic and, in this case, the authors and their articles (your “sources”). Briefly summarize their various positions in relation to the topic, and then establish which subtopics you plan to discuss (this is your
“essay map”). The final section of the introduction will be your thesis statement, which states the reason for alerting your readers to the discussion that follows (your writing purpose).
For each subtopic, paraphrase the authors’ views, giving each source equal time, space, and consideration. Explain what reasoning and evidence each uses to support a specific view. Remember that this is an exploratory synthesis, so your reporting should be as impartial as possible. Be sure to provide a clear topic sentence for each subtopic, and use transitions to help you shift between the authors’ viewpoints and between subtopics. This will make your ideas clearer.
Write a conclusion that explains the significance of the topic. Use this opportunity to leave your reader with a lasting impression of your discussion of the topic. Avoid simply repeating your thesis statement or introduction. The conclusion, which may certainly be more than one paragraph in length, is your opportunity to remind readers about the importance of the topic and why it deserves further discussion or research.
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