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In a background synthesis of Internet information that could help prospective students select a college, for example, one paragraph might discuss residential life and synthesize brief descriptions of the kinds of things students might find out about living on campus (cited of course), another might discuss the academic program, again synthesizing information from the web sites of several colleges, while a third might synthesize information about co-curricular activities.The completed paper would be a wonderful introduction to internet college searching.
Whether you want to present information on child rearing to a new mother, or details about your town to a new resident, you'll find yourself synthesizing too.
And just as in college, the quality and usefulness of your synthesis will depend on your accuracy and organization.
Although at its most basic level a synthesis involves combining two or more summaries, synthesis writing is more difficult than it might at first appear because this combining must be done in a meaningful way and the final essay must generally be thesis-driven.
In composition courses, “synthesis” commonly refers to writing about printed texts, drawing together particular themes or traits that you observe in those texts and organizing the material from each text according to those themes or traits.
The background synthesis requires that you bring together background information on a topic and organize it by topic rather than by source.
Instructors often assign background syntheses at the early stages of the research process, before students have developed a thesis--and they can be helpful to students conducting large research projects even if they are not assigned.
A research paper with a weak thesis (such as: "media images of women help to shape women's sense of how they should look") will organize its findings to show how this is so without having to spend much time discussing other arguments (in this case, other things that also help to shape women's sense of how they should look).
A paper with a strong thesis (such as "the media is the single most important factor in shaping women's sense of how they should look") will spend more time discussing arguments that it rejects (in this case, each paragraph will show how the media is more influential than other factors in that particular aspect of women's sense of how they should look").
Only when one has reached this degree of expertise is one ready to formulate a thesis.
Frequently writers of background synthesis papers develop a thesis before they have finished.