Explanatory Synthesis Assignment Sheet
Writing Task: You will be asked to read and review a collection of 3-4 texts on the same topic (all texts are posted on BBL). Your role as a critical reader and writer for this assignment is to understand the relationship between the texts you select and draw conclusions from that relationship. Essentially, to 1) summarize and assess these texts, 2) show how these texts are related and 3) explain what message the texts communicate as a collective whole. The purpose of the assignment is to inform rather than to persuade.
Thesis/ Organization: Your thesis statement should have a specific focus that relates to one of the four topics listed. You might start off by choosing a hypothesis in relation to the texts you have chosen e.g. “In what ways does global inequality impact our society (positively or negatively)?” or “Why is freedom of artistic expression important?” You can then refine your initial hypothesis by choosing examples from the texts that best support your ideas. Although you don’t need to be an expert on the subject you are discussing, you should demonstrate a sense of connection between these texts. Your paper should be organized by idea not by listing each source. Look to the Model Explanatory Synthesis (Behrens pp. 121-127) to guide you.
Documentation guidelines: The assignment should be in MLA format. Your final Synthesis is due on Monday November 3rd by class time via TurnItIn and a printed copy.