Essay Three: Synthesis Essay
Minimum Five pages
Reminder of MLA Style basics:
In this assignment, you will practice synthesis by combining one of our class readings with two related sources. A synthesis essay combines existing material to produce a new argument or a new avenue of Inquiry. A synthesis essay is not merely a report of what others have said, nor is it just Comparison/Contrast. Your goal is to produce an advance in the conversation that considers multiple sides yet offers a new idea or viewpoint or asks new questions.
How To Begin:
What To Do:
Research Project Overview
RESEARCH ESSAY PROJECT: 60 total points
Topic Choices: For this essay project, choose either The Line Becomes a River or an essay from Inquiry as your starting point. It can be an essay you’ve already written about, but it doesn’t have to be. Whichever direction you decide to go, this project requires you to find at least NINE more sources through the Victor Valley College Library website (you may be able to count your synthesis essay sources toward your total as long as they fit the topic and address the issue).
Write a two-page research proposal, stating your intent to research. The proposal should include your topic, the issue (including your view of the issue), your research question, and your hypothesis (a working thesis statement). Your proposal should also explain the significance, importance or usefulness of your research. Furthermore, your proposal should also mention any preliminary research you have already done and make reference to at least one of those sources (your first source or one of your synthesis sources). Finally, your proposal should explain the type of research you are planning on doing and the possible obstacles you expect to face.
Write an MLA-style annotated bibliography with an entry for each of your TEN sources. Each entry should include both summary and evaluation, including the usefulness of the source for your proposed essay. An acceptable entry will generally be one long paragraph or two short paragraphs. Keep in mind that the Annotated Bibliography is a distinct and separate assignment from the actual essay and should not be substituted for the essay’s Works Cited page or vice versa (but the citation part is exactly the same for both).
By the end of this project, you will have planned, developed, written, and revised a focused, thesis-driven, MLA-formatted & documented eight-page research paper that answers a specific Research Question with a specific, focused, and arguable thesis statement and incorporates at least five of your sources to support that answer with good reasons and evidence.
Important Note: your essay should NOT just be an overview of a general topic or attempt to cover a wide range of issues. It also shouldn't just explain the opposing sides of a general topic. Instead your essay should focus on a very narrow and specific aspect of the topic. For example, The Line Becomes a River is about the general topic of immigration but goes deeper into specific issues related to the larger issue. In your textbook, many of the essays deal with a specific aspect or issue related to education, technology, and/or social media.
*This won't be as difficult as you might think. You don’t need to have the physical copy of a source for it count as a print source. Many of the articles you'll find in the library's databases were originally published in journals. You can count an E-book as a print source IF the exact same book was also published as a print book. But if it was only ever an e-book, if it's from a strictly online journal, or if it's from a website only, do not count it as a print source. If you're not sure check with April Ayto, our campus librarian.
Grading Note: All aspects of the project must be completed and turned in order to get full credit on individual assignments. Otherwise, turned-in assignments will be graded at a 75% rate.
Page Count Note: Your essay, from introduction to conclusion, should take up a full eight pages BEFORE counting headers, titles, and all other information.