sample assignment sheet- 2011 Synthesis Workshop

(Sample provided for 2011 Summer Symposium) 

The assignment

For the second major essay of the semester you will compose a 4-6 page synthesis essay.  Synthesizing is the bringing together of multiple texts; therefore, you should make use of at least 2 sources (and no more than 4).  For this assignment, you may choose any essays from Laughing Matters to work with, but be sure to show how these essays have a clear and adequate point of synthesis.

The process

The structure of your essay will depend upon both the type of synthesis you are writing (argumentative, comparison and contrast, or explanatory) and the topic you will be addressing.

Here is a basic plan (very basic):

  • Very briefly summarize each essay
  • Complete the synthesis matrix by filling it in with info from your sources
  • Decide on the overall idea that you want to address (refer to your matrix for the most logical relationship/topic to pursue)
  • Break the overall idea down into various components (analyze)
  • Find examples/evidence from your texts:  Synthesis means to bring together multiple texts, so you must show the views of at least two authors for each component
  • Collect all this information and begin drafting

Use class discussions and group assignments as guidelines for understanding and developing your essay.

Technical info

  • This essay should be 4-6 pages long
  • Use proper MLA
  • Turn in both a hard copy (in your class’s specified colored folder) and an electronic copy
  • Avoid first and second person
  • Keep a neutral, academic audience in mind
  • Have a catchy title and introduction
  • Be sure to have a Works Cited page

Due dates

3/9       Rough draft due for peer review

3/11     Final draft due