In writing, the process of synthesis allows the wr...

  • In writing, the process of synthesis allows the writer to use critical thinking skills to connect the dots between research materials and assess the quality and value of each piece of research. In other words, it allows you, as the author, to blend your ideas with the ideas of others, connecting your claim to the evidence provided by your source.
    • Have you found a credible source of five to 10 pages that will be useful for your research paper?
    • Have you considered these questions about your article?
      • What is the main claim and the most important points? Why are they important?
      • What is effective in this source?
      • What needs further development or is ineffective?
      • What unique contributions might this source make to the topic?
      • What might this source leave out?
      • What succeeds and what fails in this source?
      • How is this source relevant to my thesis statement?
    • In your synthesis, do you rewrite the article in a way that will help your reader understand the meaning or relevance of this article for your topic? Avoid using point-by-point structure of the original article (this is what you do in a paraphrase).
    • Have you used these or other introducing phrases for your synthesis?
      • The report carefully reveals that which is often missed in other sources . . .
      • The main point of the article is . . .
      • Main issues with the article can reveal that . . .
      • One would wonder if . . .
      • Though the author presents six points, there is room for more research in the area of . . .
      • Although the author does a great job of explaining . . . , he/she should also consider . . .
    • Have you placed in-text citations where appropriate throughout your synthesis and included that one source on the reference page that will be shared with the paraphrase you will turn in? All citations must be formatted according to APA conventions.
  • Your researched argument needs to be based on facts and evidence to be seen as credible, and paraphrasing is one way of including evidence in your research paper.
    • Have you found one to two consecutive paragraphs in the same source that you synthesized?
    • Have you considered whether these paragraphs are likely to be relevant to your thesis statement? Ideally, the work you do here will be useful for your research paper.
    • After paraphrasing, consider whether your paraphrase covers the same ground as the original passage. If it doesn’t you’ll need to add that meaning back in.
    • Consider whether any words or phrases seem too similar to the original. You should also be aware that your sentence structure should be different as well.
    • Have you eliminated all language with direct quotations?
    • Do you know what constitutes plagiarism? You can be charged with academic honesty infringements if your paraphrases are phrased too closely to the words of source materials, so be sure that your phrasing is sufficiently different.
    • Are you sure that you haven’t added meaning that wasn’t in the original passage? Remember that the paraphrase is no place for opinion.
    • Have you included an in-text citation that is formatting according to APA conventions? You will need at least one in-text per paragraph and a reference citation for your paraphrase.

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