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The Synthesis Essay
Transcript of The Synthesis Essay
synthesis: combining separate materials to form a single product; in this case reviewing several documents and using them effectively to support an argumentative essay you create
Step 1: Review the Sources
A. Read the documents more than once
pay attention to the source citations
mentally note whether the article is pro or con
use the articles to spark your ideas on the issue
B. The second time through make notes
mark the ones you hope to use
annotate the ones you feel will be useful
this will make it easier to refer back to the passages you will use
2. Outline YOUR Points
A. This is important because
it will help you identify your
B. It also helps ensure your
your essay is structured logically
around YOUR points
Your ideas are the star of the show!
The sources are the
C. The intro and conclusion must be written in YOUR OWN WORDS.
D. Topic Sentences and Concluding Sentences must NEVER contain info from the sources.
E. If you were to highlight your text versus the sources, your highlighted area should be larger chunks because YOUR IDEAS MUST SHINE!
3. Incorporate Your Sources
A. Use a combination of summary, paraphrasing, and direct quotes
regardless of which form you use, you still must cite the information (Source A), etc.
B. Use a minimum of 3 sources in the essay
Pay attention to the source citations
Remember that you do not have to consider all of the documents
Use a combination of sources rather than one source at a time; create a conversation among various sources in which you pull facts as they become relevant
4. Draft the essay!
Synthesis vs. DBQ
Both the synthesis and DBQ demand students avoid a laundry list of details
Organization and Structure are CRITICAL
In both essays the writer must engage the reader - make it interesting!
consideration of the author's purpose, audience and pt. of view are essential
In both essays a student must combine sources with his own "voice"
Both primary and secondary sources are included.
DBQ's only contain primary sources.
Although it is suggested, outside information is not required on the synthesis. It is mandatory on the DBQ.
The ability to write well is not required on the DBQ.
It is REQUIRED for a high-score on the synthesis.
You must use 3 sources on synthesis
and on DBQ expected to use 1/2. It is not about
quantity - IT IS ABOUT QUALITY!
paraphrase is to express someone's ideas
in your own language
1. You must provide a reference.
2. The paraphrase must be entirely in your
own words. YOU CANNOT SIMPLY
SUBSTITUTE PHRASES HERE AND THERE.
Words must be different AND you must
completely alter sentence structure.
summarize: distill only the most important of someone's work
1. absorb the meaning
2. capture it in your own words.
Direct Quote: Use for powerful
statements; cite and punctuate accurately.
YOUR WORDS "QUOTE" (Source ?).
"QUOTE" (SOURCE ?) YOUR WORDS.
YOUR WORDS "QUOTE," (SOURCE ?) YOUR WORDS.
SOURCE A SUGGESTS "QUOTE."
YOU MAY NOT TAKE QUOTES
OUT OF CONTEXT!!!
BASIC Suggested Format:
They Say (Concession)
I Say (Topic Sentence/Counter)
For example, context (intro quote) + proof.
Commentary of how info proves your idea.
Connect to why it matters and other paragraphs