Synthesis Essay Guidelines
The next essay we will work on is the synthesis essay. After viewing the video and lecture notes, you should know that a synthesis essay is simply taking multiple sources and incorporating them into your essay. For example, if the topic for your essay is to write about the advantages of a college education, you would use various sources to write your essay. Perhaps you would have a source that encourages earning a college degree while another source may talk about the disadvantages of a college education.
By using sources in your essay, this makes you a non-biased and creditable writer. If you are only using sources that speak to your position, then your essay is merely an opinion (biased) paper. You always want to acknowledge the opposite position (opposition) but ALWAYS ALWAYS return to your position.
Here is the prompt you will be working with:
In much of the world, the time that regulates our lives is altered by daylight savings time. Each year, we set our clocks back an hour in the fall and then move them forward an hour in the spring. This annual shift is thought to have been invented by Benjamin Franklin, who in 1784 wrote a letter to a French journalist suggesting that Parisians could economize on candles if they simply woke up earlier in the summer. Daylight saving time was adopted by the United States in the twentieth century and is regulated by the federal government. Even though daylight saving time has been widely adopted, it still has detractors.
• Synthesize at least two sources into an essay that evaluates daylight saving time and offers a recommendation about its continued or discontinued use (this is your argument)..
• Word count is 600 words and no more than 675
• You must include a Works Cited page that alphabetically lists your sources
• You must have in-text citations in your essay
• Do not put any citations on your Works Cited page that you didn’t use in your essay
• Do not put any in-text citations in your essay that is not listed on your Works Cited page
• Must be written in 3rd person point of view and in present tense
• Must be in MLA format
• All requirements should be met or a grade of a 50 with result
I have provided a sample synthesis essay in Weekly Readings. Please note that you should not write in 1st person point of view or use contractions in academic writing.
Also, please utilize OWL at Purdue for questions on formatting and in-text citations. Also, when you pull up an article on the databases, to the right of the screen, you will see icons. Hover over the icons and select the one that says ‘Cite.’ Scroll down and make sure that MLA is selected. It will provide you with the citation that you can copy and paste on to your Works Cited page.
Structure your essay:
• 1st sentence is your hook. It could be a question, statistic, anecdote. Something that hooks your reader in to your essay.
• 2nd – 7th sentences: background information. Explain/define what it is you are writing about
• 8th sentence: Thesis statement…in ONE sentence, what THREE points will you discuss and what is your position. For example: Daylight savings time should or should not (choose a side) stay because A, B, and C.
1st Body Paragraph:
• Topic sentence (what your paragraph will be about)
• Supporting details
• Transitional sentence (lets reader know you are moving on from one point to the other)
2nd Body Paragraph:
• Same as above
3rd Body Paragraph:
• Same as above
• Mirrors your introduction by thought and by length
• Any lasting impressions you may have
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