Writing Project #2: The Synthesis Essay

Synthesis writing is not argumentative in nature. This type of academic writing allows you to become knowledgeable on a focused narrowed subject by engaging in current research, and examining various perspectives and opinions. You will analyze your sources’ responses to a research question you have developed and will present those views as a “conversation” between your sources. You will then present your own view of the question, a view that reflects your “wallowing in the complexity” of the issue in order to gain experience working with synthesis. Synthesis is the ability to create a new whole, your own perspective, by studying alternative views on an issue. In other words, the “new whole” is your own point of view on an issue, something you will obtain through the combination of analyzing the ideas of others and relating them to one another.

Skills: The purpose of English 111 is to help you develop and practice writing and thinking skills essential to your success in college and in your professional life beyond school. Drawing on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains, we will focus on developing writerly “moves” that characterize strong written communication. This assignment will ask you to practice the following writing skills: Analyzing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing.

Knowledge: This assignment will focus on developing knowledge in the following course learning objectives:

(2) Develop and apply strategies for critical reading, critical thinking, and information literacy.
(4) Analyze and synthesize researched information to develop and support original claims.
(7) Employ correct techniques of style, formatting, and documentation when incorporating quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from sources into compositions.
This paper will build on writing projects you have done previously in the course and will utilize the same topic and research you compiled for the Critical Annotated Bibliography. You may (and likely will) refocus and revise your guiding research question for this project, but your overall topic should stay the same. Textual support for this essay will come from The Little Seagull Handbook Chapters W-16 “Reading Strategies,” R-3 “Synthesizing Ideas” and R-4 “Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism”


1) You will choose five (5) sources from the class core readings to review looking for patterns and common themes reoccurring in these readings.

2) You will then form a focused research question drawn from the core readings

3) Construct a synthesis grid to help you organize the drafting of this essay

4) From the synthesis grid, construct a two part analytical thesis statement, which explains what current scholars are saying about your topic in the literature and your own developing position on this subject.

5) You will then use the synthesis grid to begin organizing and drafting your initial draft of the Synthesis Essay.

Pick 5 readings from the module, Quote 4 out of the fine.
Do synthesis Grid, draft a chart that have five authors, Writers view and theme1 to theme4 for each author


Length: About 4 pages double spaced
Use standard fonts and sizes (Times New Roman 12, Calibri 11)
The final draft of the essay should observe formal formatting and documentation (APA/MLA) guidelines
You will need to include quotes from at least four (4) of the classes core readings for this paper.

Criteria for Success:
Writing Project #2 is worth a total of 100 points. A successful finished product will meet the criteria below.

Synthesis Essay Rubric
Synthesis Essay Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Introduction
Engaging and effective introduction with sufficient background information given on the subject.
10 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Thesis Statement
Strong analytical thesis statement outlining multiple perspectives on the research question and the writer’s own developing position.
10 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Organization
Clear and effective organization of the essay by common theme.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Effective Use of Sources
Effective representation and discussion of multiple perspectives on each topic. Effective use of direct quotation and paraphrasing of sources.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Conclusion
Conclusion offering insight into the significance or the larger context of this discussion and establishing the writer’s own position on the research question.
10 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Documentation and Formatting
Follows the guidelines for APA or MLA formatting and documentation. This includes formatting for the paper, in-text citations and a bibliography.
15 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Writing Conventions and Expectations
Mostly follows the conventions of standard written English. Meets the assignment requirements and is submitted on-time. A minimum of four (4) pages double spaced.
15 pts
Total Points: 100
From the book of They say I say readings.
The topics are:
Go ahead: Waste time on the internet[Goldsmith]
Has coronavirus made the internet better?[Wortham]
How smartphones hijack our minds[Carr]
Stop Googling Let’s talk[Turkle]
Social Media: The screen, the brain, and human nature[Vinl]

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