Source 1: “Stars check in, stars check out” by Sharon Waxman (2007).
Source 2: “Hung out to dry” by John Hill (2015).
Source 3: “When jail is not the answer” by Kelly Foreman (2015).
Click on the attachment below to download and print a copy of the worksheet. If you are not able to print the worksheet, you can use a blank sheet of paper and draw a similar chart to help you organize your thoughts.
For the “topics of interest” in the left column, try to select questions that are broad and open-ended. The goal is to have some notes to place in each box, and if your “topics” are too specific, then they might not apply to all three sources. For example, for the sample synthesis worksheet ( Example of this worksheet is attached as well as “EXAMPLE”), the writer used the following questions for the “topics of interest”:
Why do people seek out tiny homes?
What benefits do tiny homes offer?
What are barriers to building or owning tiny homes?
These questions are general enough that the writer could find relevant information easily in all three sources.
The remaining columns on your worksheet should contain some basic notes on how each source relates to your “topics of interest.” Then you can use the questions below to help you begin the synthesis process.
Synthesizing the Information in the Three Sources
After completing the worksheet, answer the following questions. You may also choose to use a highlighter to point out the similarities and differences among the three sources (see the sample synthesis worksheet on the previous page). By answering these questions, you are synthesizing the information in the three sources.
In the first two questions, you are asked to address just ONE of the “topics of interest” you selected. Take what you learn about synthesizing the sources according to one topic of interest and apply it to the other two topics of interest.
You must answer all of the questions on this page in order to receive credit for this Activity.
QUESTION 1:Based on the synthesis worksheet, choose ONE of the “topics of interest” you wrote down. Then, write 3-5 sentences that explain how the sources view this topic of interest similarly.T
QUESTION 2: Based on the synthesis worksheet and using the “topic of interest” you selected for question #1 above, write 3-5 sentences that explain how the sources view this topic of interest differently.
QUESTION 3. Now take a step back and think of the big picture depicted on your worksheet. Is there an overarching issue or topic that connects the three sources? Try to compose a sentence that captures this connecting theme. Below are a couple examples of how you could frame this sentence:
In Source A, Source B, and Source C, the writers all argue that _______________. ____________, and __________________.
The three authors believe that ______________________, ________________, and _____________________.
Your answer to Question 3 may become a rough draft of your thesis statement* for your explanatory synthesis paper. Remember that a draft is not a final version, so you will certainly rework and revise this sentence several times before it is a solid thesis.
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