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AP Language/Composition Study Session Notes Synthesis Essay
PROMPT Many recent college graduates have faced record levels of unemployment. This situation has led people to question what they value about higher education. Some high school students and their parents are wondering if a college education is worth the cost. Others, however, believe that a college education prepares students for more than just a job or career. Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then synthesize information from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well developed essay that evaluates whether college is worth its cost. Your argument should be the focus of your essay. Use the sources to develop your argument and explain the reasoning for it. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from, whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources as Source A, Source B, etc. , or by using the descriptions in parentheses. Source A (Crawford) Source B (Roth) Source C (chart) Source D (Leonhardt) Source E (Wieder) Source F (Pew)
Activity One: Deconstructing the Prompt and Forming Argument 1. The prompt states, “Many recent college graduates have faced record levels of unemployment. ” Explain how this fact might impact the future of college graduates. • Students could discuss that since college degrees do not guarantee employment they are a luxury. • Students might discuss college loans/debt and the inability to pay off debt without employment. • Students might discuss how carrying large amounts of college debt will make future purchases (homes, cars, etc. ) difficult.
Activity One: Deconstructing the Prompt and Forming Argument 2. The prompt offers two opposing points of view. List reasons each group holds their belief. Group 1 Believes College Prepares Students for Life Beyond Careers Group 2 Wonders if College is Really Worth the Cost
Activity One: Deconstructing the Prompt and Forming Argument 3. Describe your feelings about college. a) What is the purpose of college? b) Is a four-year college degree practical? Explain. c) Why do you think college costs so much today? d) Do you plan to go to college? If so, explain why. If not, explain why.
Activity One: Deconstructing the Prompt and Forming Argument 4. Examine the task sentence below. Then, explain what you are expected to accomplish with this essay. • Task: Then synthesize information from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-developed essay that evaluates whether college is worth its cost. • The essay must evaluate the importance of college by weighing the pros and cons of higher education.
Activity Two: Reading, Annotating, and Deconstructing the Sources • It is important to read annotate the sources for any significant information and not just for information that supports your point of view. • Using sources in your writing as a way to examine other points of view creates stronger and more thoughtful writing.
Activity Two: Reading, Annotating, and Deconstructing the Sources • Step #1: Read and mark all the sources. Annotation #1 • The source documentation, in the box at the top of the page, provides valuable information about the publication type, date of publication, and publication title. • Examine the source information and create an annotation about it.
Activity Two: Reading, Annotating, and Deconstructing the Sources
Activity Two: Reading, Annotating, and Deconstructing the Sources Annotation #2 • Examine the italicized information directly below the source box. • Create an annotation that says something meaningful about the italicized information. The following is excerpted from an article in the Sunday magazine section of a national newspaper.
Activity Two: Reading, Annotating, and Deconstructing the Sources Annotation #3 • Examine the text and/or the image contained within the body of the source. • Create two annotations. -One annotation should identify a positive aspect of the source’s information. -The other annotation should identify a negative aspect of the source’s information.
Activity Two: Reading, Annotating, and Deconstructing the Sources • Step #2 - Choose one source that will be the most beneficial to you as you either revise your essay or begin to write your essay. -Remember, you are not just looking for sources that agree with your point of view. -Strong synthesis responses offer information that is important to both sides of the debate. -Incorporate evidence from the sources that allows you to say something meaningful, not just to repeat somebody else’s point of view.