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.
You should already have drawn some conclusions about the quality and validity of these sources; and you should know how much you agree or disagree with the points made in your sources and the reasons for your agreement or disagreement. Further, you must go beyond the critique of individual sources to determine the relationship among them. Is the information in source B, for example, an extended illustration of the generalizations in source A?
Would it be useful to compare and contrast source C with source B? Having read and considered sources A, B, and C, can you infer something else - D not a source, but your own idea?
Writing a Research Paper – The Writing Center – UW–Madison
Because a synthesis is based on two or more sources, you will need to be selective when choosing information from each. It would be neither possible nor desirable, for instance, to discuss in a ten-page paper on the battle of Wounded Knee every point that the authors of two books make about their subject.
What you as a writer must do is select the ideas and information from each source that best allow you to achieve your purpose. 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. What you find worthy of detailed analysis in Source A may be mentioned only in passing by your classmate.
Since the very essence of synthesis is the combining of information and ideas, you must have some basis on which to combine them. Some relationships among the material in you sources must make them worth sythesizing.
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It follows that the better able you are to discover such relationships, the better able you will be to use your sources in writing syntheses. 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. The thesis of an argumentative essay is debatable.
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. Keep in mind that original thought and insightful analysis are required for a 4. In the 2.
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Take special care to address your audience in an appropriate manner. Writing Annotated Bibliographies.
How to Write a Research Paper . . . and Get an A+
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The difference between essays and other forms of writing
Discovering, Narrowing, and Focusing a Researchable Topic Try to find a topic that truly interests you Try writing your way to a topic Talk with your course instructor and classmates about your topic Pose your topic as a question to be answered or a problem to be solved Finding, Selecting, and Reading Sources You will need to look at the following types of sources: library catalog, periodical indexes, bibliographies, suggestions from your instructor primary vs.
Why is it significant? What background material is relevant? The difference lies in the stance a writer takes in composing an essay and the kind of thing that an essayist tries to do. Essays try to provide an understanding of things that are essentially matters of interpretation, where the prospect of the final word on a subject is remote. In contrast, scientific reports try to describe something that happened an experiment , and they are supposed to be minimally interpretive and nearly indisputable.
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Newspaper articles are similar in this way, presenting the facts and just the facts at least in theory. But something else must distinguish the essay form, since fictional narratives such as short stories also in some ways present a tentative study of things,. These two forms usually differ in content and aim. Narratives tell stories about how events unfold for characters and usually try to make us feel a certain way.
Essays are closer to scientific reports in that their purpose is to tell us, most often explicitly, about the way we ought to understand something. In sum, whereas a scientific report aspires to be indisputable, an essay strives to give a convincing interpretation of something and interpretation is by definition disputable. Whereas a short story aims to make us feel, an essay intends to make us think.
Finally, a scientist is supposed to be inessential to her experiment and report; anyone should be able to perform the experiments, get the results, and record them in much the same way. A fiction writer relates to her writing in the opposite way; the story is fundamentally changed when told by anyone else.