- Slides: 13
AP Synthesis Essay • The synthesis essay, added in 2007 is basically a “researched argument” – You will be given some basic information, a prompt and 5 -7 sources – Your task is to TAKE A POSITION and then use at least 3 of the sources to make your argument – YOUR argument is everything, so you are NOT summarizing the sources
• The format of the prompt consists of: – basic instructions (rules/requirements) – an introduction to the issue (which may include available positions) – a writing task or assignment that tells you what to do – a list of available sources
Let’s look at a prompt Introduction: Many people believe that the physical differences in size and strength between men and women affect their intellectual capabilities and social status. Brain research suggests that men and women process information in different ways. Are men and women created equal? Or do their differences suggest an inherent inequality between the sexes? Do these physical differences imply that one gender is superior to another? Issue (n): the matter in question or in dispute. What is the issue according to the introduction?
Assignment: Read the following sources (including any introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that “Human creatures…are never entirely male or entirely female; there are no men, there are no women…” Defend: to support by answering arguments or questions Challenge: to prove to be false or erroneous, as an opinion or charge Qualify: to provide with proper necessary skills, knowledge, credentials (make competent) So, where do we begin?
According to a Chief Reader for the AP Language Exam, the Synthesis Question Involves Six Steps • • • Read Analyze Generalize Converse Finesse Argue
Read/Analyze/Generalize • What are 2 or 3 positions on this issue I could take? – Be careful not to oversimplify the issue. Think about the nuances and complexities of the issue. – What are the 3 positions we can take with the example? • Read all of the sources. • What CLAIM is each source making about the issue? • What data or evidence does the source offer in support of that claim? • What are the assumptions or beliefs that warrant using this evidence or data to support the claim?
Converse • Imagine presenting your best position to each of the authors of the sources. Create an imaginary conversation between yourself and the author of the source. • Ask yourself these questions: – Would the author agree with my position? Why or why not? – Would the author disagree with my position? Why or why not? – Would the author want to qualify my position? How?
Finesse • You now need to finesse, or refine the point you want to make about the issue. This will be thesis. This thesis should appear quickly in the composition, after a sentence or two that contextualizes the topic or issue for the reader.
Argue • You now need to argue your position. Incorporate into your thinking the conversations you had with the authors of the primary sources. • Learn to write sentences like the following: – “Source A takes a position similar to mine. ” – “Source C would oppose my position, but here is why I still maintain its validity. ” – “Source E offers a slightly different perspective, one that I would alter a bit. ”
Let’s Practice **(stopped) • Okay, in groups we are going to practice: – 1)Read, Analyze, Generalize – 2)Converse – Let’s look at Source A together: (read aloud and fill in sheet together) – Now in groups, discuss a possible position and then fill in sheet for whichever source you received, you will present to class
With practice. . . • These “conversations” will happen quickly. You should learn to quickly label each source in a way that will remind you which ones work together to support your position (+, -, N) • Also label the remaining sources – the ones that contradict your position. You can use these sources to write concessions. A logical, ethical person considers the opposing side and cites these sources’ positions fairly and correctly. • As you read, underline or makes notes on words, phrases, or sentences that you will want to quote.
So we “conversed” with the sources. . . now what? • Now is when you finesse and finally make your argument. What are some things we already know about good arguments? Let’s look at a very easy and logical method of creating and analyzing an argument. . .
ALMOST done! • We now understand what steps to take when “attacking” the synthesis essay. (What are the 6 steps? ) • Now, I would like each group to use the prompt we’ve been discussing and create a first paragraph/introduction. – Synthesis Essay Handout / Scoring Rubric – HOMEWORK: AP Style Reading Questions (due Tuesday)