You’ve completed your synthesis matrix for the blog article, completed a list of key terms for an important concept, and practiced paraphrasing and synthesizing. In this lesson, you’ll use your synthesis matrix and your list of key terms to draft a paragraph that answers one of the questions in your matrix.
Take out your synthesis matrix and choose a question at the top that you’ll answer in paragraph form.
Review the information that you’ve placed in each cell underneath your chosen question.
Make some notes in the gray box at the bottom of the column.
Prepare to answer your question:
In the row shaded in gray, take some notes on the similarities and differences among your sources for each question. For example, if your first question in column B is “What is Standard Language Ideology?” and you have three sources that are helping you answer that question, use the gray cell (Row 17/Column B) to take some notes on how those three sources define standard language ideology. How do those sources discuss the concept in similar ways? How do they discuss it differently? You’ll need to be a careful and thoughtful reader and analytical thinker as you examine the content of each column in the excel spreadsheet. You’ll need to notice how the sources work together. Here’s some additional ways to think about that:
Does one source extend the ideas in another source by offering another perspective? Or showing an example?
- Does one source provide a perspective that another source seems to challenge or see differently?
Do several sources seem to share the same perspective or definition or argument? Which ones?
- Do a few of your sources seem to take a psychological angle while others take a more political one, for example?
Do several sources work together to help you understand a complex issue?
- Especially if your question is a “what is x?” question, you may also want to use the key concept and key terms handout as you prepare to write.
- As you prepare to draft your paragraph,review paraphrasing:
Scroll through the slides of this PowerPoint about paraphrasing.
Use what you’ve learned about paraphrasing, or know from previous experiences, to complete your paragraph.
- Draft a paragraph of at least 200 words that answers your question . Make sure to include at least 3 sources in your paragraph.
As you do here are some language templates that you can borrow to help you create synthesis. This language should appear in the paragraph you draft now as well as your blog article:
Author X, who is an expert in _________ and author Y, who specializes in/works at ___________, show/reveal/explain/illustrate/argue…. Here, using the conjunction “and” to build a relationship between the two authors and sources.
Author X extends the argument presented by author Y by explaining that…
Author X exemplifies the issue presented by authors Y and Z.
- Author X challenges what’s presented by author Y by suggesting that…
Author X provides evidence for the arguments presented by authors Y and Z
Author X and author Y offer helpful definitions/explanations of the concept/issue.
Unlike author X who suggests that, authors Y and Z believe that…..
- There are many, many other ways to show the relationship between ideas and among authors. These are just a few language moves that can help you begin to do synthesis.