Synthesis essay: Choose to respond to either the Amy Chua or the Esther Dyson essay as to whether or not you agree with their main argument

| February 25, 2014

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Project 1: Synthesis Essay
WRITING PROJECT 1: Synthesis Essay
Choose to respond to either the Amy Chua or the Esther Dyson essay as to whether or not you agree with their main argument. Use the Declaration of Independence and/or the I Have a Dream Speech as a second source.. The goal of the assignment is to blend the source material into your own writing rather than merely regurgitating the statements made in the source material.
The Assignment: Write an essay in which you make your own argument thesis statement in response to one essay and use quotes and source material from another to support your claim.
The Purpose of Project 1 is to learn and to practice the skills of
Reading critically
Identifying claims and reasons
Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
Writing a thesis-based college level academic essay
Citing sources in MLA Format

Each of these skills is essential to all research-based writing. You will use them in all of the other writing projects and the final exam. Your skills in these areas should improve with each project.

The Thesis in a Synthesis Essay: Academic essays are commonly expected to be ?thesis-driven,? meaning that the thesis is stated early in the essay, and the material in the rest of the essay supports the thesis. The thesis in academic essays is frequently two or three sentences in length rather than a single sentence. In a synthesis essay, the thesis expresses your reaction to the sources; it may express your level of agreement or disagreement or indicate the ways in which you will extend or build on the sources.
Use of Personal Pronouns: The use of personal pronouns (I, we, my, our) is appropriate in certain types of academic writing including in a response essay. Trying to write about personal experience without using the first person is difficult! Using first person also helps you to indicate views that are your own rather than those of the author.
Your introduction paragraph should include the a summary of the article (use the one you wrote for the summary assignment) and your thesis statement composed of your opinion regarding either Chua’s or Dyson’s central argument and the grounds on which you will base your response argument.
Set out your supporting arguments in the body paragraphs. Stick to one argument per paragraph. Use quotes and paraphrases from our readings to support your arguments, as well as your own personal observations and experiences. Do not use outside sources. Make certain you cite all sources in text. See the section in our course’s Pages section for more directions and examples.
Conclude your essay with a restatement of your thesis and a summary of the main points of your argument. Do not include quotes or new arguments here. The idea is to tie your essay up by referring to back to your introduction.
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