The Synthesis Essay An argumentative essay that incorporates at least THREE of the 6-8 sources provided. The key is analyzing what sources have to say and then loading them as ammunition into YOUR argument. Dont summarize others opinions; use them to support your own. You can and should argue from personal experience as well as from the sources. This means you can use first-person pronouns; however, use them sparingly.
Reading the Sources You will probably have some idea where you stand on the question before reading the sources. Read the sources to find support for your position or counter-points to refute. Either way, read carefully and analytically. Author, Context, Purpose, Audience Biases But remember: the essay is argumentative, so the sources are only useful if they help you make your point. Dont feel pressured to use all or even most of the sources.
Reading the Sources 15 minutes of reading time You can read/annotate any of the 3 essay prompts (analytical, argumentative, synthesis), but do the synthesis first! As you read sources, jot down a few lines summarizing your takeaways. What conclusions can you draw? Which side of the argument does this source add to?
Some sources will be pictures/graphs what can you take from them? What Can You See? Writing the Essay Once youve read the sources, plan an argumentative essay that folds in material from the best of them. As you decide to argue YES, YES, BUT, or NO, line up sources that support each viewpoint. Decide what stance you are going to take and which 3+ sources you will use to
support it. Its okay to develop your position and cite only sources that agree with you. Just be sure you do acknowledge counterarguments somewhere. Using Sources Remember: you only need 3 sources Not penalized for 3, nor rewarded for 4+ Dont force a source! Dont just cherry-pick phrases; respond to the sources arguments GOOD: Source B calls capital punishment a sin
worse than Cains, but that loaded phrase is no more than a flashy distraction from the facts. Critique of the sources words You can also point out why a sources point is particularly valid or well made. Using Sources If possible, connect two sources to prove your understanding of them. Fisher calls embryonic stem cell research a new horizon (Source A), emphasizing its promise, and Hamill likewise characterizes it as a limitless frontier (Source D). But even in
their enthusiasm, both authors implicitly acknowledge the many unknowns it entails. Dont forget about the development of your argumentwhy are your own s arranged as they are? Citing Sources Unlike essays that refer to a single text, proper citation of sources here is a must. Like a mini-research paper Integrate quotes just as you do in
analytical essays; cite sources in the SAME SENTENCE AS THE QUOTE. Refer to sources either as Source A, Source B, etc. or by the author names provided in the prompt. Citation Methods Parenthetical citation Lakewood cannot survive without a strengthened tax base, the mayor told 60 Minutes (Source B). In-text citation In Source B, the mayor claims that
Lakewood cannot survive without the tax benefits the construction would bring. Grading/Reminders If you dont cite, max score of 2 If fewer than 3 sources, max score 3 You can use outside info, but attribute it (no need to cite). Remember: equally weighted with the other 2 essays Use present tense verbs. Set the context in the introduction. Provide a strong, clear thesis statement at the outsetthe stance.
Remember to thoroughly explain your points, using the sources as support. (Your argument should be central). Be careful NOT to just summarize sources. Think about what you learned in writing CARP and apply those techniques here. Timing 15 minutes reading the sources, making connections between them, underlining key ideas/quotes you might use, determining which sources stand on which side of the issue
40 minutes to write: 10 minutes planning, organizing 25 minutes writing 5 minutes re-reading your work, checking for essentials
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