Synthesis Essay

Assignment: The purpose of this assignment is to continue building a foundation for the Argumentative Essay. You will continue to build this foundation by identifying, acquiring, reading, and summarizing four sources of publicly available published material on your topic. You will use one popular source and three peer-reviewed secondary sources. 
A peer-reviewed source is a scholar-authored article or book that has undergone a process of commentary and evaluation by peers who are also knowledgeable experts. The peer review process is a staple of academic practice: most academic journals and university presses require that their publications undergo peer review prior to publication. 
Note: Reviews, conference proceedings, and dissertations, while useful scholarly documents, do not count as peer-reviewed secondary sources for the purposes of the synthesis essay and argumentative essay. 
Your Synthesis Essay, which should run about 1,500 to 1,700 words, should have two main parts:
· Summaries of each of your four pieces of published material.
· A framework for your summaries.
The framework for your synthesis paper should include an introduction, conclusion, and transitional material. Your introduction should identify your semester topic, include information about the publications you will summarize, and indicate what you will do in this paper. Your conclusion should include your thoughts on the information in the publications, reflect on how easy or challenging it was to uncover appropriate publications, and provide a sense of closure. Your transitional material should link the sections of your paper (introduction, summaries, and conclusion). 
The publications you summarize must be appropriate for a university level research paper. Your summaries should accurately report on the contents of the publications without plagiarizing.
The following is a list of seven questions that will help you summarize each source:
· What is the author’s purpose?
· What is the context of the article? What claims or positions is the author responding to?
· What is the author’s main claim? What other key claims does he/she/they make? 
· What type of evidence does the author use to support his/her/their claims? 
· What concessions, if any, does the author make? What counterarguments, if any, does the author offer, discuss, or rebut?
· If the author does not make any concessions, or address counterarguments that you feel require attention, then briefly address this oversight at the end of your summary. 
· Your summary should briefly consider the source’s effectiveness, taking into account the author’s use of evidence and whether the author’s conclusions were supported. Remember, a consideration of effectiveness is based on the author’s stated purpose, not whether you agree with the claims (or wanted the author to discuss other aspects of the issue)

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