Your synthesis project


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Your synthesis project

  1. 1. Interdisciplinary study should offer a model of how connections can be made. It should expose students to multiple ways of thinking about issues, problems, and concepts. It should enable the simultaneous use of multiple modes of inquiry and demonstrate that their source of power is synergistic rather than additive. It should help students construct their own mental frameworks of retrievable knowledge. And it should make possible an evaluation of competing and complementary ways of knowing.<br /><br />Your Synthesis project<br />
  2. 2. Also known as a term paper<br />You’ll work on it over the full eight weeks.<br />I’ll provide feedback on several steps along the way.<br />You’ll save your final paper to submit as evidence of interdisciplinary thinking for your senior portfolio.<br />
  3. 3. How it works:<br />Over the course of the semester, each student will develop an interdisciplinary research-based paper on a topic relevant to women’s health. The research paper must address a topic, or a perspective on a topic, not covered in the assigned readings. If you have trouble choosing a topic, consider browsing chapters 28 & 29 in Our Bodies, Ourselves for ideas. The project will include a paper proposal (50 points), source genealogy (50 points), first submission (75 points), Blackboard chat session for peer review groups (75 points), and a final polished draft integrating pre-writing with peer and instructor feedback (200 points).<br />From the syllabus<br />
  4. 4. What it must include:<br />This paper must integrate scholarship from at least two distinct academic disciplines. One discipline will fall under the “health sciences” block of disciplines and the other will fall under either “social sciences” or “humanities” per Choi & Pak. You may cite up to four sources from the article list provided, but you must also integrate at least two additional peer-reviewed sources from professional academic literature. The synthesis paper should incorporate references to at least six total peer-reviewed articles. Students may find it helpful to think of this as two literature reviews in two separate disciplines, each using three sources, mashed up to focused on one topic.<br />From the syllabus<br />
  5. 5. Not negotiable.<br />All of your sources will be articles from peer-reviewed academic journals.<br />Your articles must come from two distinct disciplines as evidenced by authors’ credentials and/or the journals in which they were published.<br />You may use up to four articles from the required/recommended list (might save you some time), but you don’t have to.<br />
  6. 6. Paper proposal<br />The paper proposal should be no more than three double-spaced pages. It should include enough description of the topic that I can provide useful feedback. You need to tell me which two disciplines you plan to use as you explore your topic. One of your disciplines should focus on clinical knowledge and the other should fall within either the social sciences or the humanities (interpretive disciplines). Since psychology shares characteristics with both clinical and interpretive disciplines, it is inappropriate for achieving the epistemological distance necessary for this assignment. Refer to the article list for sources that can provide support for your topic, a clinical perspective, and an interpretive perspective. You may use up to four articles from the list as sources for your synthesis project. Note that your articles must correspond to the disciplines you claim to be using—author and/or journal should reflect disciplinary affiliation. This is where you demonstrate beginning-level interdisciplinary thinking.<br />Effective writing per “Rubric for Analytical Writing Assessment” 0 - 10<br />Clearly articulated topic 0 - 10<br />Two disciplines named, with appropriate inter-discipline distance 0 - 10<br />Relevant to course (women + health) 0 – 10 <br />Distinct from assigned material 0 – 10<br />From the syllabus<br />Due June 13<br />
  7. 7. Style notes for paper proposal<br />Use standard college-level written English.<br />It’s okay to use the first person (I, me) in the paper proposal, since you’re writing about what you personally intend to do.<br />Your only source at this point is the Choi & Pak article, which you’ll use to justify your choice of disciplines.<br />
  8. 8. Source genealogy<br />This is where you demonstrate college-level information literacy. Tell me the story of how you found your sources in a way that answers these questions: What do these articles have to do with each other, with your topic, with disciplinary perspectives? What do you still need to know after reading the articles from the list? Who would know? If you started with material from the article list, how did you find at least two more peer-reviewed sources that pull together your first four, your disciplines, and your topic in a way that makes sense? <br />Scholarly, peer-reviewed sources cited appropriately 0 – 15<br />Sources work within disciplines and topic 0 – 15<br />Genealogy describes information-seeking process 0 – 10<br />Effective writing per “Rubric for Analytical Writing Assessment” 0 – 10<br />From the syllabus<br />Due June 27<br />
  9. 9. Style notes for source genealogy<br />This is not an annotated bibliography.<br />This should be written as an essay in the first person, telling the story of how you found your sources.<br />In the process, you should use appropriate in-text citation for each of your sources.<br />You should have a “References” page with citations consistent with your discipline’s style manual.<br />
  10. 10. First submission<br />The first submission should include a controlling idea and interdisciplinary perspectives. You should use your best college-level composition skills to present a logically structured, clear, sophisticated synthesis. Your sources should be integrated into the body of the paper and cited appropriately. This does not mean you are claiming to know the Ultimate Truth about this topic; it means you can lay out well-reasoned support for an original idea from complementary scholarly perspectives. <br />Clearly stated controlling idea 0 – 15<br />Controlling idea is interesting and debatable 0 – 15<br />Persuasive support with logical structure 0 – 15<br />Valid interdisciplinary scholarly sources 0 – 15<br />Style and mechanics 0 – 15<br />From the syllabus<br />Due July 11<br />
  11. 11. Please note:<br />“First submission” does not mean the same thing as “rough draft.”<br />Incorporate all your sources and cite them appropriately.<br />This paper should be as good as you can get it.<br />You will be sad when you get your grade if you turn in weak work for this assignment.<br />
  12. 12. Chat presentations<br />The presentation is your opportunity to bring your controlling idea (which has now grown to be a thesis) and its interdisciplinary scholarly support to a group of your peers for feedback. Plan a Blackboard chat session that can be delivered clearly in less than ten minutes. See Blackboard for specific instructions on how to prepare for your chat session. Your instructor and classmates will be giving you feedback on whether your thesis is clear; whether it is interesting and debatable; whether your support is persuasive, clear, & logical; and whether your sources appear to be valid. Only the instructor’s evaluation is counted towards your grade.<br />Effective presentation <10 minutes 0 - 15<br />Clearly stated thesis 0 – 15<br />Thesis is interesting and debatable 0 - 15<br />Persuasive, clear, logical support 0 – 15<br />Valid, interdisciplinary scholarly support 0 – 15<br />From the syllabus<br />Due July 20-22<br />
  13. 13. This part is in development.<br />You will definitely give a presentation of your work to a group of your peers.<br />We will be using Blackboard’s chat and virtual classroom functions for my office hours in the coming weeks.<br />Based on how those components function in real-life use, I’ll develop more detailed instructions in the first weeks of the summer session and post them for you.<br />
  14. 14. Final draft of your paper<br />Your thesis, while quite clear, should be smoothly integrated into the paper as a whole. It should be focused, with room for reasonable people to disagree. The paper should persuade the reader that the thesis is a perfectly reasonable conclusion, given your scholarly synthesis of such different academic disciplines. Use of the first person (I, me, my; we, us, our) and appeals to sentiment are inappropriate to the style of this paper. Editorializing is not persuasive in this context. You must turn in documentation of peer editing by a classmate with your final draft.<br />Clearly stated thesis 0 – 30<br />Thesis is interesting and debatable 0 – 25<br />Persuasive, logically structured support 0 – 25<br />Valid scholarly support 0 – 20<br />Thoughtful application of multiple disciplines/epistemological distance to topic 0 - 20<br />Effective synthesis of disciplines to support thesis 0 – 20<br />Style 0 – 20<br />Mechanics 0 – 20<br />Documentation of peer editing consultation 0 - 20<br />From the syllabus<br />Due July 29<br />
  15. 15. Please note style requirement for this paper:<br />This should be in formal academic English.<br />No use of the first person (I, me, my; we, us, our) is appropriate in this kind of writing.<br />Use appropriate rhetorical strategies. This is all about analysis and reason, not appeals to sentiment or ranting.<br />