An Informal Reflection on Synthesis Paragraphs

Here are my very brief thoughts on how the synthesis body paragraphs and conclusion should be addressed:

The topic sentence should introduce one of the factors from your thesis statement. Then, you should provide an overview and introduction to the factor and introduce evidence from one of the sources. After you’ve cited a very specific part of the source, take a moment to fairly summarize what the source is suggesting. Keep the summary minimal, no more than two sentences. Then, use the relevant language to build on the source’s argument, either asserting that the source makes a good point, is only partly accurate, or is misguided in its address of the issue and then add the evidence from your background knowledge or experience, which led you to agree or disagree with the source. Ideally, you’ll then work your way to another source which addresses the same factor, or play the first source and your response off of or into the next source or factor you’re going to entertain in the argument. Just remember to always hearken back to the central issue which is the factor which should be considered. To do this, I would make an assertion of what the factor suggests we should do with technology in education. If the factor is positive, it should lead you to claim that continued use will help learning, whereas if the factor is negative, it suggests we should reconsider use of technology.

In the end, each of your body paragraphs don’t need to be all positive or all negative on the issue of technology because you are attempting to convey the complexity of the subject by drawing different points of view into argumentative conversation in the writing. However, in the conclusion, I would suggest taking a stand on what the factors suggest we should do with technology in education in the long term and how it will, in general, either aid or distract from learning, the primary goal of education. This final assertion should logically follow from the body paragraphs which will have established, on balance, if technology is more effective or more harmful to educational outcomes.

You might also see this list post from last year with an overview of the process.

Come with a blue or black pen, your source packet & the cover page.

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