THE EXPLANATORY SYNTHESIS: An explanatory synthesis helps readers to understand a topic.
Writers explain when they divide a subject into its component parts and present them to the reader in a clear and orderly fashion.
USING YOUR SOURCES Your purpose determines not only what parts of your sources you will use but also how you will relate them to one another.
Since the very essence of synthesis is the combining of information and ideas, you must have some basis on which to combine them.
It follows that your ability to write syntheses depends on your ability to infer relationships among sources - essays, articles, fiction, and also nonwritten sources, such as lectures, interviews, observations.
This process is nothing new for you, since you infer relationships all the time - say, between something you've read in the newspaper and something you've seen for yourself, or between the teaching styles of your favorite and least favorite instructors.
The skills you've already been practicing in this course will be vital in writing syntheses.
Clearly, before you're in a position to draw relationships between two or more sources, you must understand what those sources say; in other words, you must be able to summarize these sources.
Some relationships among the material in you sources must make them worth sythesizing.
It follows that the better able you are to discover such relationships, the better able you will be to use your sources in writing syntheses.