Project Description:

synthesis should not be new to you; if you have ever written a research paper, you have done synthesis. the two most common ways of performing synthesis in a writing task are explanation and argument. explanation is when a writer summarizes different sources of information, often one at a time. this is a common approach to research projects that require an attention to differing viewpoints. argument, on the other hand, requires a writer to use different kinds of sources to support a specific argument. for this task, you are asked to use synthesis to write an argument. project guidelines: for this task, you must take a specific position on an issue and support that position with information, reasons, and/or interpreted images. your final versions should be be typed and double-spaced, include a works cited page, and have a specific audience targeted by the task. your essay needs to advance a specific argument related to the topic of this unit’s readings (language/literacy), and it must engage with at least two of the essays we have read for this unit as well as two additional outside research sources. in other words, you must enter into conversation with two of the writers (malcolm x, alexie, sedaris) and two additional sources you will find on your own. your essay must engage in dialogue with these other voices, respond to their arguments, and assert your own argument. keep in mind what we have said about this kind of task: you do not need to respond to everything a writer says in an essay. you do not need to respond to every point they make. instead, you should respond to one (maybe two) specific point(s). make sure you are responding to the other writer’s argument—not just their facts. also keep in mind that the rhetorical analysis you practiced last unit is still relevant here. as you are responding to other writers, it is useful to consider not just what they are saying, buy why they are saying it. that can give you many more ways to develop your argumentative response.
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