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Examination of our course theme

Our final assignment will build on the analysis and synthesis skills from the first two essays and incorporate research skills we have been developing. You will write a 7-10-page essay synthesizing materials from 5 sources on your individual research topic, drawing meaningful thematic connections between them.  Our objective in this assignment is to extend our examination of our course theme beyond what has been discussed in our textbooks and other course readings. Ultimately, through the essay, you want to address the question, “Taken together, what unique, new insight (thesis) do these five texts offer?”Your essay may also include material from an interview with a reputable source (if you take this option, you are only required to include 2 reputable articles, rather than 3).Your project should include:• 1 academic source (an article from peer-reviewed academic journal or chapter             from a scholarly book)• 1 physical book• 3 reputable articles • Interview material (optional – great idea if you’re seeking extra credit; cite the interview according to MLA guidelines – if you choose this option, you will only need 2 reputable articles)Your project should be thesis-driven. That is to say, it should search for links between materials for the purpose of constructing a thesis or theory about their relationship to each other. Your thesis should be a disputable claim that is proven through your use of specific evidence in the form of MLA-style in-text citations, around which you report (step 1) and interpret (step 2) your material. Furthermore, your thesis should feature prominently in the introduction of your essay and organize the development of your body paragraphs.Getting Started:1) Choose your topic and gather, read, and analyze some outside sources.  2) Once you have selected your sources to build your synthesis essay, read and annotate each text carefully. Write a quick summary of each source. Highlight passages that speak to your topic. Begin noting interesting thematic connections between the sources.    4) Formulate a thesis. Your thesis is the main idea that you want to present in your synthesis, and it should articulate a clear assertion about the new, un-obvious insight that came out of examining the texts together.  5) Decide how you will use your source material. How will the information and the ideas in the passages help you fulfill your purpose?6) Develop an organization plan, according to your thesis. What will become the major sections (subtopics) of your essay? How will you arrange your material? Your essay should be organized by different aspects or subtopics of your larger topic, rather than by source.   7) Draft topic sentences for the body paragraphs.  Fill out which sources you will use in which body paragraphs. Carefully document the sources.
Characteristics upon which your Paper will be graded:*Organization
Paragraph form (intro, body paragraphs, conclusion)
*Unified, coherent paragraphs
(each paragraph is a mini-essay)*Understanding the Outside Sources*Good Grammar and Punctuation
Good Characteristics:• Explicit Thesis Statement (identifies points of connection across texts; is disputable/argumentative; is specific and has an interesting “So What?”)• Body is thesis-driven • Treats sources in combination (not as separate paragraphs on each source)• Treatment of texts includes strategies of analysis (focus on threads, report/interpret, 
avoids simple summary, keeps present tense)• Incorporate well-chosen quotations to build synthesis• Proper MLA in-text citation throughout and MLA Works Cited list enclosed at the end

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