Background and history of your topic



A synthesis is something that is created from disparate elements to create something new.   A research paper is a type of synthesis in that a research paper combines different sources to create a new paper.

For this assignment, you are to write a short explanatory synthesis on your research topic, using two or three of your sources.  An explanatory synthesis does not make an argument; for this assignment, you are to focus on explaining your topic in some way.  This can take the form of:

  • Background and history of your topic
  • Description of differing viewpoints on your topic
  • A detailed discussion of one of your primary subtopics

As you are not writing an argumentative essay, there should be little if any opinion in your paper.  The focus here should be on an objective report based on your source material.

Because you will be using source material in this paper, you will need to cite those sources--both in-text and in a Works Cited list.

As you will be using three to four sources, your paper should be two pages long not counting the Works Cited page.

A synthesis should not be a series of summaries from your sources, with one summary following another.  Your sources should be blended together with your own thoughts to create one seamless whole.  Your sources should complement and overlap one another, so that you don't have a different viewpoint in every source you use.  Whenever possible, you want to use more than one source to support a point.  Using multiple sources as support for your claims gives the impression that you have done good research and have a strong basis for what you are saying.

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