The American Dream Synthesis


Synthesis Assignment Sheet

General Topic: (Re)Defining “The American Dream” for the 21-st Century

Each of the four writers in this section addresses, even peripherally, even indirectly, something to do with “The American Dream.” For this assignment, compose a 4-page argumentative synthesis using a specific, arguable thesis that you construct on your own; it must relate to the readings in the chapter that we have been reading (“Business and Economy”). 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 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 ways.

What is a Synthesis?

If anything confuses a student when writing, it is the actual term “synthesis.” Don’t worry too much about the term; instead, see what you are doing as arguing a position with a variety of sources to help you. What you want to do is show that you can sustain a logical and persuasive argument, and control sources and their use 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 position(s).

Structural Notes

Your Introduction should mention the general topic and the purpose/what idea(s) you plan to defend. Rather than merely summarizing the textbook / outside sources in entirety, use these, as necessary, to support and advance your own, original project / thesis / claim /set of claims.

Required Sources—at least 5 in total

You should make use 3 sources in this unit:

Diaz, “The Money: Starting Out” (384-386)

Reich, “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer” (404-415)

Ehrenreich, “Nickel and Dimed” (395-402)

and 2 outside sources. Note: these can be scholarly journal articles, book-length studies, or

reputable websites. Remember to test for accuracy, relevance, representation, and adequacy.

Using the Key Texts

SHOW and TELL!! Remember to use quoted material directly and appropriately. Use They

Say/I Say as a resource to this end…

Do not use Internet !!!

Should have a creative topic.