What does it mean to synthesis a story?
Synthesis Writing combines all of the elements that have been presented in the course so far. You will be expected to be able to summarize sources, critically analyze sources to find specific pieces of information that you want to use, quote some of that information, paraphrase other pieces of information, and parenthetically cite all those uses.
The term synthesis comes from the way we use the sources. Synthesis happens when you combine separate elements to create an entirely new element. Hydrogen and Oxygen synthesize together to create water. In the same way, research writers take information from one source, synthesize it with information from another source, and come up with an analysis/explanation/conclusion that is different from any other source.
Most writers are comfortable with the notion of using information from multiple sources. However, that notion that they are supposed to come up with something new or different scares them. What research writers need to understand is that the something new is often just the synthesis itself. The something new doesn’t have to be a new thesis or conclusion. The fact that you read a number of sources and decided which pieces of specific information had value and how to combine them creates the synthesis – the something new.
Synthesis writing focuses on how the information combines and connects to prove the thesis, not on creating a totally new thesis or conclusion.
How to write a synthesis essay:
Determine your topic
Find appropriate academic level sources about the topic
Read the sources and think about their ideas, information and arguments
Figure out your purpose – what type of paper do you want to write?
Determine your thesis – What is the one main idea that you want the reader to learn?
Decide what your main arguments/points are to support your thesis
Identify what background/definitions the reader needs to know about the subject
Organize the arguments into the most logical order
Find the information from your sources that generated/support these arguments
Write the first draft
Always remember that academic writing prefers Paraphrases over Direct Quotations, and that ALL information from an outside source, whether quoted or paraphrased, MUST be cited.
Synthesis writing can be informational or persuasive. The primary difference is simply how you present the thesis and argument. Some instructors or writing situations will require a persuasive or informative focus, but that is specific to that situation, not to synthesis writing in general. You, as the writer, need to determine what your purpose is. If you want to argue a specific position or change, then use a persuasive format. If you want your audience to learn about the topic in general, then the informational approach is more appropriate.