Extended Argument (Synthesis #1)


Having the Critique under your belt as well some of the brief homework reflections must feel pretty good. Use this confidence as we now move into our first long paper of the semester, Synthesis #1. At first, see this paper as anextended argumentyou make about a particular topic using secondary sources to help prove your point.

Topic Selection

Choosing a topic for your Synthesis #1 is important and must argue a specific point you choose. In other words, you must have an arguable thesis and it must relate to the readings in the Media and Popular Culture chapter we have been reading. You may wish to extend the argument of one of the readings, or refute it, or build on it in a different way. Do not simply argue that a certain reading or author is right or wrong and repeat how so; instead, use the readings as a springboard for you to investigate a topic and put together ideas in new or different way. To help you with is selection,I am requiring you to email me your topic idea and receive my approval. I am doing this to make sure you will have a workable topic and so I can suggest strategies right away.

What is a Synthesis?

If anything confuses a student when writing an essay like this, it is the actual term “synthesis”. Don’t worry too much about term; instead, see what you are doing as arguing a position with a variety of sources to help you; you are building an argument by bringing ideas together (aka synthesis). What you want to do in this essay is show that you cansustain a logical, persuasive argument and control/use sources to your persuasive end. Try to have your secondary sources have a “dialogue” with each other in terms of what they do and do not agree with in relation to your argued positions. We will practice this in class.

Additional Help with Synthesis

A key strategy for a synthesis essay is to “establish connections among readings”. The more you can have a “dialogue” between your sources, the more credible you will be as an author and the more importance you may place on your assessment of the ideas being discussed. This is the lifeblood of academic essays in almost all disciplines.

Also, this is an essay that may really be helped out by using some of the templates fromThey Say/I Say. I may assign that you use them in a certain order, but even if not, the templates are excellent ways to start “saying something” if you are stuck. Review pages 55-75 inThey Say/I Sayfor some directions.

Required Sources

I am requiring you to use between 3-5 sources to help your write your essay here. I would like you to use at least 2 from the readings thus far in the semester. You may certainly use more. You

should also bring in other sources your find on your own as long as they are credible and work in the assignment. Please use MLA Style for this essay as well as a Works Cited page.

The Assignment

Compose a5-7page essay writing an argument synthesis about a topic that you specify. You should argue a specific point and use sources to help prove your ideas and persuade the reader. Do not simply argue the same point or idea from a source; instead, add your own ideas and perspective to make your argument greater than any one source.

With a bit more length to write, you may use extended examples, more citation and paraphrase and most important, discussion amongst your sources. Predictably, your essay should have an engaging introduction, clearly organized body, and effective conclusion, as well as proper formatting throughout.

We will have two separate writing workshops with peers on your rough draft and ideas, and also another class workshop on MLA Style.

Nuts and Bolts:

Typed, double-space, 1″ margins. Please use Standard Written English! MLA Style and Works Cited Page please.
5pages is fine.

College fresh writing level.