Teacher Discusses a Synthesis Essay and Using Sources
Despite the dangers, more people are starting to think that taking on this challenge and going to Mars are worthwhile and beneficial to mankind. And in the fifth body paragraph, the writer talked about the problems that need to be figured out before a trip to Mars would work. The other thing I wanna show you is the sources that the writer put into the essay.
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Here’s a sample synthesis essay. I’ll show you how the writer used sources in the essay. Now one other thing you should know about a synthesis essay is that teachers can give you different rules about how to write the synthesis essay for their assignment. Some teachers might give you several readings and just ask you to write about those readings and not include other ideas. Some teachers might give you several sources and tell you to add other sources of your own to synthesize. And some teachers will want you to include your own ideas with the synthesis. You’ll always want to check with your teacher to see what kind of synthesis he or she wants you to write. In this essay, the student was given several essays to read, and then the student was also told to use his own ideas. And if he wanted to, he could add sources other than the ones that he was assigned. And so, I think this student added one more source. In this class, you can do it whichever way you prefer. So, remember, the purpose of a synthesis is to show something to the reader that they may not understand. And so, in this essay, the writer had a short introduction, where he used a hook about the movie The Martian. And then the thesis statement is right here at the end of the introduction. Despite the dangers, more people are starting to think that taking on this challenge and going to Mars are worthwhile and beneficial to mankind. So that’s the point that the writer is going to show to the reader. And the writer had several body paragraphs. I think there were five body paragraphs. Here’s the first reason that he gives why people should go to Mars. He continues that first reason with another aspect of it. And then has another reason here, in the third body paragraph. In the fourth body paragraph, the writer talked about another aspect of traveling to Mars. And in the fifth body paragraph, the writer talked about the problems that need to be figured out before a trip to Mars would work. The other thing I wanna show you is the sources that the writer put into the essay. The quotes and paraphrases. In the first body paragraph, the writer was writing from his own ideas, so he didn’t use any source material there. In the second body paragraph, the writer used a quote, right here. And you see in this quotation, the writer used attribution. Here’s the author’s name right here. And this quote is blended into the writer’s own words. Here’s another quote in the next body paragraph. This time, the writer did not use attribution. Instead, the writer used a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence. This is the author’s last name. And you can see the writer used two parts of the quote, and blended it with his own words. This is a nicely integrated quotation. After that quotation, in the next sentence, the writer used paraphrase. You see he was using the same source, and he got this idea from that source so he also put a citation on this paraphrase. In the next body paragraph, the writer used this source here. We have two sentences that have this source, and they’re both paraphrased. So you don’t see any quotation marks. But the ideas came from the article that the student read. Now notice this citation. It says MacDonald et al. Et al means that there were several other authors listed. If your source has more than three authors, you can list all of their last names, but we usually shorten it by putting et al. Et al is Latin and it just means there are more, there are others. Notice where the period is in et al. It comes after the l. There’s no period after the t in et. In the next body paragraph, the writer used that same source again, but this time, for a quotation. And notice the writer just used a small part of the quote with those very specific words. There’s another source further down in the paragraph. This is from a different source and here’s the author’s last name. There’s no quotation marks again because this is a paraphrase. Notice that all of these sources are used as details in the body paragraphs. None of them start the paragraphs. Each paragraph has a topic sentence and then the quotations and paraphrases are used as details to support that topic sentence.
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