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PURPOSE Your purpose in reading source materials and then in drawing upon them to write your own material is often reflected in the wording of an assignment.For example, your assignment may ask that you evaluate a text, argue a position on a topic, explain cause and effect relationships, or compare and contrast items.THE EXPLANATORY SYNTHESIS: An explanatory synthesis helps readers to understand a topic.
If you imagine a synthesis essay as a room in which the synthesis writer is joined by the authors of her/his sources, the 4.0, 3.5, or 3.0 essay has everyone engaged in conversation or debate, with everyone commenting on (or arguing against) each other's ideas directly.
In the 2.5 and below essay, each person in the room stands up in turn, gives a speech, and sits down, with little or no question and answer period in between or afterward.4.
However, at times your argumentative synthesis essays will include sections that are explanatory in nature.
THE ARGUMENT SYNTHESIS: The purpose of an argument synthesis is for you to present your own point of view - supported, of course, by relevant facts, drawn from sources, and presented in a logical manner. It makes a proposition about which reasonable people could disagree, and any two writers working with the same source materials could conceive of and support other, opposite theses.3.
Having read and considered sources A, B, and C, can you infer something else - D (not a source, but your own idea)?
Because a synthesis is based on two or more sources, you will need to be selective when choosing information from each.
Your purpose in writing (based on your assignment) will determine how you relate your source materials to one another.
Your purpose in writing determines which sources you use, which parts of them you use, at which points in your essay you use them, and in what manner you relate them to one another.
It will frequently be helpful for your readers if you provide at least partial summaries of sources in your synthesis essays.
At the same time, you must go beyond summary to make judgments - judgments based, of course, on your critical reading of your sources - as you have practiced in your reading responses and in class discussions.