Synthesis #1 Assignment Sheet

Synthesis #1 Assignment Sheet


Having the Critique under your belt as well as quite a few journal entries must feel pretty good! Use this confidence as we now move into our first long paper of the semester, Synthesis #1. At first, see this paper as an extended argument you make about a particular topic using secondary sources to persuade your reader.

Topic Selection

I really want you to explore a topic that interests you and motivates you to think critically and write persuasively. Do not simply summarize a reading and claim that it is “right” or “wrong.” Instead, you must see connections between readings and extend the thinking here in a way you see fit. Look around the world around you, think of topics you have thoughts about in this and other courses, and also speculate about what would happen if you took the thinking of certain authors further in your desired direction. I only require that your topic must deal in some way with media and pop culture—the theme of our readings in the course thus far. We will spend time in class brainstorming topics as well as looking at sample essays.

What is a Synthesis?

If anything confuses a student when writing an essay like this, it is the actual term “synthesis”. Don’t worry too much about this term; instead, see what you are doing as arguing a position with a variety of sources to help you. What you want to do in this essay is show that you can both sustain a logical and persuasive argument, and control sources and their use to your persuasive end. Try to have your secondary sources have a “dialogue” with each other in terms of what they do and do not agree with in relation to your argued positions. We will practice this in class. As a matter of fact, we have been practicing this since the first week of class in discussion (esp. the lively discussion we have had in class).

Additional Help with Synthesis

It is very important in this essay to “Establish connections among readings”. The more you can have a “dialogue” between your sources, the more credible you will be as an author and the more importance you may place on your assessment of the ideas being discussed.

This is an essay that may really be helped out by using some of the templates from They Say/I Say. I am not going to assign that you use them in a certain order, but I do think that the templates are excellent ways to start “saying something” if you are stuck. Review pages 55-75 in They Say/I Say for some directions.

Required Sources

I am requiring you to use between 4-6 sources to help your write your essay here. I would like you to use at least 2 from the readings in our 102 textbook . You may certainly use more. You may also bring in other sources you find on your own as long as they are credible and work in the assignment. Overall, I think you would be best served using 3-4 sources from the textbook, but I leave it open to you. Please use MLA Style for this essay as well as a Works Cited page.

The Assignment

Compose a 5-7 page essay writing an argument synthesis about a topic that you specify. You should argue a specific point and use sources to help prove your ideas and persuade the reader. Do not simply argue the same point or idea from a source; instead, add your own ideas and perspective to make your argument greater than any one source.

With a bit more length to write, you may use extended examples, more citation and paraphrase and most important, discussion amongst your sources. Predictably your essay should have an intro, body and conclusion, and proper formatting throughout.

Nuts and Bolts:

Typed, double-space, 1″ margins. Please use Standard Written English!

MLA Style and Works Cited Page please.

Between 5-7 pages in length.

Due Date: Thursday, 29th October, 2015

This assignment is worth 15pts. max

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