In this journal, you will be asked to explore connections among the two texts we read; choose your own essays from the course material. Find an underlying main theme in these texts, and by trying to see the connections, reflecting on the relationships among the ideas presented by the authors, explain how these texts influenced your own thinking on the same idea.
Synthesis is a way of seeing and coming to terms with complexities. When you analyze a text, such as in a rhetorical analysis, you break it down to its components: writer, audience, message, exigency, purpose, context, ethos, logos, and pathos because you want to see why and how a text works. When you synthesize, you put the parts (i.e. the texts) together to form a “whole requiring original creative thinking” as cognitive researcher Benjamin Bloom defined this process. As a result, you will discover something.
Synthesis works in a similar way as the dialectical thinking process does. How does it relate to academic writing? College writing involves posing a significant question of your own that would force you to explore ideas, to work out an original answer, to find a surprising solution. In a synthesis-analysis essay, you are interacting with your sources and examining perspectives so that you will emerge with a new, enlarged perspective of your own. Thus, you are participating in a public discourse as an informed and engaged writer.
As you are synthesizing your sources, follow these guiding points:
1. List ideas