Synthesis Activity

Split a piece of paper into four columns. Label them across the top thus:

What I believe/know… (this is what you will claim/prove)
Quote from source #1
Quote from source #2
Synthesis (how the sources TOGETHER support your claim)

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Under the first column, identify a main point that you’d like to make about the topic of the readings. Explain in 2-3 sentences what it is that you know about the main point. Take a stance on the issue presented by the readings!
Under the second and third columns record quotes (ONE FROM EACH SOURCE YOU CHOSE) that you think either support that stance, or disagree with it. These two quotes should “speak” to or against each other in relation to the main point. BOTH quotes will be used in your main point paragraph, so the more you can discuss how they work together (or against each other) to support your main point, the better!
In the final column, explain 3-5 sentences how the two quotes are related: would the authors agree on the main point you’ve created? Why or why not? In what ways do they disagree? Agree? Describe how these two texts helped to create the main point that you’ve attempted to create—NOTE: They do NOT have to agree with your main point. In fact, in some ways it’s easier to synthesize information if they do NOT agree. The more information that you can put in this column, easier your essay will be to write!
Repeat twice more—once for each additional main point—for a total of three main points.

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