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Explanatory Synthesis

Explanatory Synthesis – Work in the 21st Century
The Analysis Essay gave us an insight into evaluating and creating criteria for a specific text. This next essay will draw on the same techniques to construct in-depth, connected observations and analysis of several sources – otherwise known as explanatory synthesis. For this essay, topics must be related to (or based upon) readings from the Work in the 21st Century posted on Blackboard. You will research and analyze materials to establish and explain connections, observations, and conflicts between sources. This means you must use research to connect and support your synthesis, as well as forward the discussion on your topic.

The Assignment
You will write a 4-5 page essay, using 3-5 sources (at least 2 of which must come from the Work in the 21st Century unit), to successfully present an explanatory synthesis related to our Work in the 21st Century unit. While it may seem like your topic choices are limited, I assure you they are not – they must simply relate to the Work in the 21st Century material in some way. You must also address and respond to at least one differing observation/analysis in your essay. The basics of including opposing views/voices into your essay will be covered in class. Also, when researching, do not simply do a Google search or use Wikipedia as a source! You may use web sources, but these are better found via the Thompson library, or by looking at content on well known and reputable websites (usually news stations, newspaper websites, or organization websites).

Topic Selection: Where to Begin?
As indicated earlier, it may seem like your topics are extremely limited, but topic selection not as limited as it may seem. You can very easily take some current events and fit them into the discussion from class and within the assigned readings. The truth is – as we’ll find out from the readings and class discussion – most of the issues we deal with have something to do with the Work in the 21st Century unit, even if it is an indirect connection. These following questions my help guide you in topic selection:
• In what way does this topic talk about or connect with work and/or economy in America? In other countries?
• How does this issue relate to me, and what are my thoughts on how current economic and working conditions play into this topic?
The object of topic selection here is to find some way to connect a topic of your choosing to the articles from Blackboard and the class discussions we will have. Make sure to record or document your connections in some way – it will make it easier to translate that connection into writing for the essay itself.
All formatting stays the same: 12 point Times New Roman Font; header including your name, instructor, class, and date on the first page ONLY; 1” margins on all sides of the paper; double spaced throughout (including your Works Cited paper); and your last name and page number in the upper right corner of every page. You need to stick to the MLA guidelines for citing sources in-text. Guidelines for in-text citations can be found on pg. 112-119 in the Little Seagull Handbook. Guidelines for Works Cited entries for viable sources in MLA format can be found on pg. 119-146 in the LSH.

Due Dates:
Final Draft Due Date – Tuesday, 10/20

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Category: Sample Questions