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Synthesizing sources

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Synthesizing Sources 
Based on a web-shared PowerPoint by Alisa Cooper, 
Faculty Director, Center for Teaching, Learning & 
Engagement at Glendale Community College
Synthesizing 
Your research on a topic 
will lead you to consult 
several sources, and you 
will need to present the 
information you find in a 
way that combines, or 
synthesizes, those 
sources.
Strategies for Synthesizing 
• There are several strategies for 
synthesizing multiple sources. 
• The easiest is a Summary Report 
which consists of two steps: 
– Writing separate summaries or 
paraphrases of the individual sources 
and then… 
– Linking them with transitional 
passages. 
• This is a resource for writing a 
paper not the structure; that would 
make it predictable and boring.
Writing a Summary Report 
• A simple strategy for your 
report is to summarize 
these sources individually 
and then to present the 
three summaries, linked 
with connecting comments. 
• You want your report to 
have unity. 
• For your report to be 
unified, you will need to 
discover a theme that 
relates to all three sources.
Writing an Objective Report on 
Sources 
• Writing an objective report on 
sources is the second strategy 
for synthesizing. 
• A report on sources refers 
specifically to these sources 
by name. 
• It says, in effect, “Source A 
says theis; Source B says 
this; Source C says this…” 
• A report on sources can be 
subjective (presenting your 
own analysis and opinions of 
them).
Visual Learners like to use charts

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Synthesizing sources

  • 1. Synthesizing Sources Based on a web-shared PowerPoint by Alisa Cooper, Faculty Director, Center for Teaching, Learning & Engagement at Glendale Community College
  • 2. Synthesizing Your research on a topic will lead you to consult several sources, and you will need to present the information you find in a way that combines, or synthesizes, those sources.
  • 3. Strategies for Synthesizing • There are several strategies for synthesizing multiple sources. • The easiest is a Summary Report which consists of two steps: – Writing separate summaries or paraphrases of the individual sources and then… – Linking them with transitional passages. • This is a resource for writing a paper not the structure; that would make it predictable and boring.
  • 4. Writing a Summary Report • A simple strategy for your report is to summarize these sources individually and then to present the three summaries, linked with connecting comments. • You want your report to have unity. • For your report to be unified, you will need to discover a theme that relates to all three sources.
  • 5. Writing an Objective Report on Sources • Writing an objective report on sources is the second strategy for synthesizing. • A report on sources refers specifically to these sources by name. • It says, in effect, “Source A says theis; Source B says this; Source C says this…” • A report on sources can be subjective (presenting your own analysis and opinions of them).
  • 6. Visual Learners like to use charts
  • 7. My notes: (summaries, paraphrases and quotes I can use for my paper) In-text Citation Source A: Lev Grossman “Everybody associated with the productions — Portman, McTeigue, Weaving, Silver — forcefully, insistently stresses that V is an ambiguous, ambivalent figure. They express their hope that the movie will spark debates about the definition of terrorism” Grossman finds the idea of a heroic terrorist “repugnant”, but concedes that the question of justified violence has never been answered. Grossman, Lev. “The Man in the Mad Mask”, NYT online Sunday, Mar. 12, 2006 Source B Carretero-Gonzalez, Margarita. “The film establishes a dialogical relationship, in an attempt to reflect any period in which individual freedom has been completely abolished in the name of –allegedly- public good.” Carretero-Gonzalez compares the Novel to a variety of works such as The Count of Monte Cristo, Beauty and the Beast, and 1984 to demonstrate it’s place among works that open a dialogue for readers about the loss of freedom in the name of safety, the question of justified violence., and that speak to whatever “Frankenstein monster” that era produces. Carretero-Gonzalez, Margarita. Promoting and Producing Evil. Ed. Nancy Billias. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2010: 207-218 What my sources agree on Dialogical: As in a conversation where all participants listen, pay attention and respond to the others’ arguments. Ambiguous, ambivalent figure: confusing to us because you sort of like him but are scared and by him and freaked out because of the violence at the same time.
  • 8. Acknowledging Sources • Whenever you compose a summary report or an other type of writing that relies on sources, you create something new for others to read. • Although what you produce may seem less than earth-shaking in significance, you are nevertheless adding , in however small a way, to the sum of the world’s knowledge. • You are making a contribution to the domain of scholarship.
  • 9. The Obligation of Scholarship • One of the principal benefits of being a scholar is that you are entitled to read and to use the scholarship of others. • Presenting your research and ideas for others to use is in fact one of the obligations of scholarship. • Another of your obligations as a scholar is to acknowledge your sources.
  • 10. Acknowledging Sources • In the Summary Report, the writer uses parenthetical notes and a list of works cited to identify sources of information. • In the Objective Report on sources, the writer makes it clear that the ideas and opinions being presented have been expressed by others. • You would do the same with a subjective report on sources.
  • 11. Importance of Acknowledging Sources • Credit must be given where it is due. Creators of ideas deserve to be recognized for them. • Readers need to know where they can locate your sources so they can consult the original versions. This allows them not only to check the accuracy of your citations, but also to find additional material beyond what you have presented.
  • 12. Two Ways to Acknowledge Sources: • Besides naming them within the text itself, writers acknowledge sources in two principal ways: – One is to use notes, such as parenthetical notes or footnotes, to credit sources of specific ideas and statements. – The second way is to append a list of works cited, which acknowledges all the sources from which words have been quoted or from which information or ideas have been derived.
  • 13. Assignment • On your laptop or on a piece of loose paper: • Write a paragraph using both sources on some aspect of the movie V for Vendetta • Make sure to document them carefully and append a works cited.