APUSH DBQ vs. APLanguage Synthesis Essay: Face off
What is a Synthesis Essay and why should I care?• The synthesis essay is the biggest fish to fry on the AP English exam. It is the rough equivalent of an APUSH DBQ, and can make or break your AP score.• Time alotted: 60 minutes. (15 reading and 45 writing recommended)
What is synthesis?• Per the College Board: “The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic.”• “The combining of separate elements or substances to form a coherent whole.”
What is synthesis?•entering a conversation about a topic.•supporting your own ideas with outsidesources.•noticing how sources connect to one anotherand to your own ideas.•grouping sources in meaningful ways basedon these connections
What Synthesis prompts to expect• defend/challenge/qualify or develop a position about some claim (involves weighing pros and cons and often, cost-benefits analysis of a particular perspective/solution)• evaluate considerations (still an argument, but an argument about which are the most important considerations)
MEET OUR TWO CONTENDERS…DBQ SYNTHESIS ESSAY•2004 French and Indian •2005 Television andWar Political Elections
Round 1: Prompt Wording DBQ SYNTHESIS ESSAY•Analyze change in political, •Read the following sources (including any introductoryeconomic and ideological information) carefully. Then, in anrelations in given essay that synthesizes at least threecategories. of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that television has had a positive impact on presidential elections.•FOCUS: HISTORICAL •FOCUS: ARGUMENTATION &UNDERSTANDING RHETORICAL ANALYSIS
Round 2: Number of Documents and Content DBQ SYNTHESIS ESSAY•In general, about 10 •6 or 7 op eds, visualsdocuments are present, (including graphs or charts),they include maps, direct statistics, facts, backgroundhistorical sources, on the issue.newspaper mastheads.•In this particular DBQ,there are 8.
Round 3: How to Cite (and How Many) DBQ SYNTHESIS ESSAY•Use half the documents •Use amount stated on theplus one. essay, usually 3.•“………..” (Doc A). •“……..” (author’s last name). •OR •“……..” (Source A). •Citation should immediately follow whatever is borrowed from/shared with the document (standard MLA).
Round 4: Background and Outside Knowledge DBQ SYNTHESIS ESSAY•Required. •Not required.•You should know the issue •It is useful to understandand all relevant historical the basics of the issue.information. •(current events presentations!)
Round 5: Structure DBQ SYNTHESIS ESSAY• Divide paragraphs by the • Short introduction with categories (i.e. political, interesting hook economic, social). • Divide body paragraphs by considerations or facets of the argument,• Organize essay so as to or by your own Tier 1 reasons best present comprehensive • Cite as many sources as information in response possible in support of to prompt. YOUR argument!
Round 6: Overall Skills Required to be Successful DBQ SYNTHESIS• Knowledge of history and • Ability to construct and relevant issues. support argument• Clear writing. convincingly.• Ability to categorize the • Ability to define your documents. stance on an argument• Cover as much information • Important Note: The focus as possible to demonstrate should be on your own your understanding of the argument, even if all of period and integrate your knowledge is from the documents. provided sources. • Create an opinion, and use the sources to support it.
Summary of SimilaritiesDBQ Synthesis • 1. Uses sources to support a• 1. Uses documents to support a thesis thesis • 2. Must cite sources• 2. Must cite sources • 3. Read for 15 minutes• 3. Read for 15 minutes (suggested) (suggested) • 4. Do not simply paraphrase, no• 4. Do not simply paraphrase, no "laundry list" "laundry list" • 5. Must "enter into a• 5. Must understand the conversation" complexity of the historical issue to "enter into a conversation" • 6. Consider the authors purpose, audience, and point of• 6. Consider the authors view purpose, audience, and point of view • 7. Must develop a clear, organized argument• 7. Must develop a clear, organized argument
Summary of DifferencesDBQ Synthesis • 1. Documents provided • 1. Sources provided • 2. Only primary sources • 2. Primary and secondary used sources used • 3. Suggested writing time • 3. Suggested writing time of 35 minutes of 40 minutes • 4. Outside information • 4. Outside information not required required • 5. Must use more than • 5. Must use a minimum of half of the documents three sources • 6. Directions with • 6. Prompt in three parts: statement or question directions, introduction, and assignment
Where to start?• Read and summarize sources• Develop a stance• Organize sources by how they support your argument• Write your essay!
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