synthesis essay

Project 3: Synthesis Essay

Instructions: Write an essay of 800-1000 words that asserts an original claim and develops it with support that synthesizes three to four of the following texts:

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“Being an Elephant Mom in the Time of the Tiger Mother”

“Parents are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood”

“The Rise of the Lawnmower Parent”

“In Defense of Lawnmower Parents”

Your response should demonstrate your ability to follow MLA style guidelines to introduce sources with attribution, to quote, to paraphrase, to document as needed, and to cite all sources included in the essay.

Keep this general rhetorical situation in mind:

Your writing should follow genre conventions for academic essays.

Your purpose is to synthesize.

Your audience is an academic audience, specifically NWCC English Composition I students and professors, some of whom are familiar with the sources, some of whom are not.

Focus on demonstrating these skills in your writing:

1. Write compositions containing a focused thesis developed by a logical sequence of detailed support.

2. Follow genre conventions for the academic essay, write consistently with the purpose of drawing connections and distinctions among the views of multiple authors, and to meet the expectations of the academic audience.

3. Integrate source citations (specifically direct quotations and parphrases) effectively with original writing according to current MLA style.

4. Present final draft writing that has been effectively edited to conform to Edited Standard Written English (ESWE).

5. Apply a process of working in stages to complete the project, including but not limited to the steps fostered through the Synthesis module.

For further guidance, please refer to the resources in the Synthesis module of our Canvas course. If you have questions, send a Canvas message. If you need help at any stage of your process, make an appointment at the Writing Center!

Grading Rubric for the Synthesis Essay Project

This rubric will be used to score complete, original essays that respond to the specific requirements of the assignment. A grade of 0% or 50% will be recorded for essays that have plagiarized content, that do not integrate sources, do not follow the assignment prompt, or are not substantial enough to be considered complete, final draft writing.

To MEET EXPECATIONS, the writing should demonstrate:

Points awarded for EXPECTATIONS


A clearly stated thesis that asserts an original claim about the topic or the treatment of the topic by multiple writers.


MET: 8


Logical organization that supports the purpose of synthesis, preferably with point-by-point structure. Transitions are used to guide the reader.


MET: 8


Development that coherently combines sufficient evidence from multiple sources with interpretation and explanation to advance and prove the thesis.


MET: 8


Attention to genre conventions for the academic essay, the purpose of synthesis, and the expectations of the academic audience.


MET: 16


Ability to integrate sources in a variety of ways, with In-text citations that follow MLA guidelines, and a variety of source citations used effectively—both quotation and paraphrase—to support claims. Source citations are integrated smoothly, avoiding problems detailed in “Annoying Ways People Use Sources.” The Works Cited page includes accurate, complete citations that match the sources cited in the text of the essay.


MET: 24


Edited Standard Written English–The essay is free from serious or repeated errors in grammar and mechanics that distract the reader from the ideas being communicated. The final draft is presented in MLA Format.


MET: 16


Those 4 articles in the drop box are the ones you are synthesizing!!!!!!!!!!! please make sure to cite the 4 articles too on a work cited page. I’m also dropping more notes on how the essay should be written according to my professor.

Notes: Organizing the Synthesis Essay
Structure for synthesis:

To organize your essay, follow the point-by-point organizational structure of the synthesis grid.

Before you begin, consider the order in which you will present the common themes of the sources in your essay to your readers. You may want to adjust the order you used for the grid now that you are thinking through how to present it to the audience.

Here is a general example of a point-by-point organizational structure:

Hook or attention grabber
Introduction of the topic
Thesis statement
1st common theme
Discussion of each author’s perspective
Explanation of your take that connects back to the thesis
2nd common theme
Discussion of each author’s perspective
Explanation of your take that connects back to the thesis
3rd common theme
Discussion of each author’s perspective
Explanation of your take that connects back to the thesis
4th aspect of the issue, etc.

Reiterate (without exactly restating) the thesis
Unify the essay with a return to the hook or attention grabber

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