exploration of ideas
The last major assignment of the semester is also the longest and requires the most work with argument, exploration of ideas, selection of sources, and revision. The other assignments help prepare you for the challenge. This final Synthesis #2 essay must be on a topic of your choosing (and ideally related to one of the themes from the text) and include at least 7 secondary sources. Ideally, one or two of these sources must be essays from or text. You certainly use items decided upon in your Bibliography assignment but you may also change or update them.
This final synthesis essay gives you a chance to really stretch your writing muscles and discuss your topic in numerous ways to engage or persuade your reader. Of course, this is an argument synthesis so you are arguing a specific point and uses sources to help your point come to light and appear logical and persuasive. Your sources will be valuable in providing examples or support for your ideas as well as counter arguments or ideas that you will shoot down or dismiss as you argue yourself.
Compose a 8-10 page/7-10 source argument synthesis in the topic of your choice. You will have initially developed this idea in your Proposal assignment and Bibliography, but you may choose to update and change either one of these previous assignments (this is often what happens in research). You, by now, have to have discussed your topic with me. Remember, you may argue a position in this essay and use sources to help prove your point. You may also be choosing not to argue but to explore a topic that is new to you, or one you want to learn more about. In both cases, your central research question and sub-questions will be critical.
As with Synthesis #1 you want your sources to have a dialogue and work on your terms. Do not simply support one of your sources as the only way to see something; instead, decide your approach and use the sources to help you build points. You may certainly string together points that you like from several articles and combine them into a persuasive statement of your own. This is one way to see how a synthesis builds. Your job is to conduct the orchestra and use the skills you have summarizing, critiquing and arguing to bring the reader to your point of view.
Ten pages and ten sources might seem a monstrous task as you first read this. But slow down a minute. If you break your argument into three or four main points (your sub-questions) and build your paper in sections instead of trying to do it all at once, you will find the task much easier and even enjoyable. Expect a page or so for the introduction and conclusion, each, and then decide what your sections will be. So work on this essay in “chunks” and perhaps think about your sources coming in line with these chunks too. Could this mean that you are writing 3 or 4 small critique papers and then revising to make them all flow together? It could. I will help you see the drafting here in stages and we will meet to discuss your paper. Peer writing groups will also help you develop your essay.
This paper is actually in three steps:
· Step One: Your annotated bibliography*
· Step Two: Your research proposal*
· Step Three: Your final paper.
· Your final paper has its own required steps**:
· Research Question
*Step One and Two must be handed in before you begin your writing.
**You are required to submit your topic, research questions, sub-questions to me and get feedback before you begin. Trust me – this will help.
Nuts and Bolts
12 point font, Times New Roman
Typed, double-space, 1″ margins.
Standard Written English!
MLA Style and Works Cited Page please.
8-10 pages in length with at least 7-10 sources.
Due Date: Last day of class or at final exam
A copy of this essay is also required to be emailed to the Director of Composition for program evaluation and to discourage plagiarism.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.