What is a Synthesis Essay Synthesis Essay A
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What is a Synthesis Essay?
Synthesis Essay A synthesis essay is basically a compare and contrast essay, but with more criticism You must look at two passages and connect them by one idea In order to do this, you have to look at how they are the same and different
Three types of questions There are three different formats to the types of questions you will be asked: 1. You will be asked to directly compare and contrast Ex. Discuss the ways both authors view life in the country.
Three types of questions 2. You will be asked which is “more”, or of higher value. Ex. Assess which passage, “The Most Powerful Question a Parent Can Ask…” or “Be-ers and Doers, ” shows the more respectful approach of parents to their children. You must refer to both passages in your essay.
Three types of questions 3. You will be asked to place a character of one story into the situation of another story. Ex. Explain how Katie in “A City Girl” would react to living on the farm in “Country Living” This format is more difficult and has only appeared on a Provincial exam one year (three years ago) but it could appear again Don’t worry about this one for now, we will attack it later in the year
Three Types of Questions You need to be prepared to answer any format in class, on your midterm and on the provincial exam.
Tips on writing Synthesis (see handout) Read both passages (obviously) You will be asked two MC synthesis questions These questions often have valuable information that can be used in your essay. So if you can use it, do it!
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) UNDERLINE THE KEY WORDS This ensures you know exactly what the question is asking. Ex. Contrast the relationships that the father in “Wordsmith” and Sam Sing in “The Gold Mountain Coat” have with their children. You must refer to both passages in your essay.
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) Answer the question! Before you start your essay, be able to answer the question in a sentence or two This will help you develop your paragraphs and create a clear answer
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) Use the Planning Page! Because you have two stories to work with, it is imperative that you organize your thoughts before you write
Organizing Your Essay There are two ways that you can organize your essay. The most important thing is to make sure you are SYNTHESIZING in the essay
Organization #1 Introduction with clear thesis Discuss passage one and how it answers thesis Discuss passage two and how it answers thesis Restate thesis and conclude
Warnings of #1 If you go off topic at all, then you WON’T be Synthesizing – this will give you a maximum mark of 2/6 If you can stay on topic, it generally creates a clearer response
Organization #2 Introduction with clear thesis Discuss one argument (ex. Similarities) of both passages Discuss another argument (ex. differences) of both passages Restate thesis and conclude
Warnings of #2 It is much easier to stay on topic in this format, however the ideas can get messy and you have to be very clear about which passage it is you are talking about
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) You introduction must be flawless First impressions count here, if you have many grammar mistakes in the first paragraph, they will automatically put you in a lower category in which you have to prove your way up
Synthesis Intro Your first (or possibly second) sentence should be: In “Title Passage 1” by last name of the author, and “Title of Passage 2” by last name of the author, both passages show…. TAG is very important!
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) Quotations must be at the most 8 words The reader doesn’t want to see how you can quote, they want to see your analysis supported by quotes Only use quotes that directly relate to your thesis
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) Analyze, don’t summarize! Just like the stand-alone, if you summarize the text, you will get a max score of 3 Ask yourself “why? ” to help you analyze
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) 4: 1 ratio for explanation to your quotes Always connect quotes back to your thesis
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) Less is more! Don’t write too much, you will begin to ramble, and will have less time to proofread Your essay should be between 3 -4 paragraphs
Tips on writing Synthesis (handout) Proofread! Proofreading could mean the difference 1 point on the 6 point scale, which means 4 extra points on the essay (synthesis essays are out of 24)
Other tips Always discuss BOTH passages in each paragraph If you don’t, you will most likely get a 2
Other Tips - Instead of saying “story”, “poem” or “article”, use the word “passage”. It applies to all three and saves you from confusing them in your writing. Ex. In the passage “Country Living”….
Example – Paragraph 2 Both Suitcase Lady in, “Suitcase Lady”, and Olga in, “A Business Relationship”, hold different attitudes of being passive and active in regards to their outlooks on their lives. Suitcase Lady reflects a passive individual who seeks serenity of the mind rather than physical comforts. She owns few possessions and is content with her transient lifestyle of sleeping “any place [she] can find. ” Her reliance that God will “take care of [her]” shows her reluctance to take responsibility for changing her current state. Suitcase Lady’s “suitcase full of dreams” and fantasy world of concertos contrasts the realistic world that Olga, in the short story, creates around her. Olga’s activeness in finding a place to live and belong allows her to ignore the “ridicule of the world” and establish a “business relationship” with Carl. Olga’s practical nature forges her way to where she has a husband, a house of her own, and skills to sustain herself independently. She is intent on having a place of her own and plans for her future independence in order to avoid problems: “She, like him, was a realist. She knew her own limits. ” Although both the Suitcase Lady and Olga approach their lives differently, their respective attitudes allow them to feel content in the choices they make and how they conduct their lives.