Choose two or more of the primary texts we have read so far this semester and write a 5- to 6-page essay

Comparative Synthesis Essay

Choose two or more of the primary texts we have read so far this semester and write a 5- to 6-page essay that advances an argument explaining what those texts reveal about some larger social issue. Your argument should include analysis that explains how specific details of the texts contribute to their larger meanings, and it should perform synthesis that explains what commonalities and patterns you see across them. Most importantly, your thesis should, “look for trouble” by noticing details in the texts, by articulating some larger problem or issue they address through those details, by posing fruitful questions about that issue, and by identifying what’s at stake, both for the texts’ authors and for yourself.

When choosing which texts to write about, you are strongly encouraged to select texts of various genres that were not specifically paired during class discussion. Your essay should begin with an introduction that states your argument clearly and in rich detail. Body paragraphs should develop in complexity at every step while advancing your argument through careful attention to sources, integrating quotations and explaining their significance. Successful essays will likely focus equally on each primary source, and they will usually include some paragraphs that analyze a single source in detail and others that synthesize evidence from several sources. Your conclusion should demonstrate that your thinking on the larger issue has evolved through sustained critical reading.

Your Comparative Synthesis Essay should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words and in MLA format. You should include a Works Cited page listing the texts you have chosen, but do not use any outside sources for this assignment. All paragraphs should have strong topic sentences and clearly written internal transitions, and all sentences should be edited for precision, conciseness, variation, and clarity.

An “A” paper:

· Is submitted on time and complete;· Advances a clearly stated argument that proceeds through explication and develops in complexity over the full course of the essay, using topic sentences and transitions effectively to signal the introduction of new ideas;· Selects, analyzes, and synthesizes evidence from two or more texts, using both direct quotation and paraphrase while explaining in detail at each step how that evidence supports and complicates the argument;· Identifies and differentiates among each text’s genre and mode, explaining how their generic elements contribute to their meaning;· Explains how synthesizing the texts reveals a deeper understanding of a larger social issue; and

· Demonstrates a mastery of edited academic English, using proper spelling and punctuation with precision, conciseness, variation, and clarity.

Worksheet Questions

1. What readings are you choosing for you two works?

2. What is the significance of those works?

3. What main point are you choosing to argue?

4. How do those main points relate to the world at large?

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