Essays earning a score of 5 take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that minimum wage decreases the competitiveness of the job market. They support their position by synthesizing and citing at least three sources, but the downside is that the use of cited sources is limited, inconsistent, or represented in an unclear manner. The writer’s argument is clear, and the sources support the writer’s position, but the established relationship between the sources and the argument is not somewhat fragile. The writing may lack on the front of diction or syntax, but it adequately conveys their idea and stance.
Essays earning a score of 8 effectively take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim, for example, that of minimum wage decreasing the competitiveness of the job market. They support their position by effectively synthesizing and by employing all of their sources (at least three). The writer’s argument is convincing, and the cited sources effectively support the writer’s position. The written piece showcases an ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing.
An outline will help maintain the synthesis essay structure. Suppose you came up with your thesis statement already, and you have done enough research to solidify your claim. If the thesis statement has three parts, for example, divide the outline into three sections. Make sure that every part of the thesis proves the central claim. This type of generalization must be underlined in your essay as much as possible to make your case stronger. Be familiar with all of your sources and make sure you can analyze them, rather than summarize.
The article reviews the basics of how to write a synthesis essay as well as how to dissect and analyze text when writing an AP English essay. One thing I would like to reemphasize is the importance of your thesis statement. When you write an essay for class or exam, make sure to state your argument clearly. If the reader of your essay doesn’t understand your point of view then what you’ve written is futile.
A synthesis is a written discussion that draws on one or more sources
The similarities between the two essay questions are myriad. Reading comprehension is essential to success on both exams. The student must first read and understand the sources/documents, and must understand the claim that each author makes. In addition, the student must cite the sources/documents in support of a thesis. The exam developers have done the research as an author would gather research before writing a book. The student must use this research to support a thesis statement in the same way that student would use research materials gathered in preparation for a research paper. The AP U.S. History Exam does not provide the thesis and presents the prompt as a question or statement; this is also true of the AP English Language Exam, in which the student reads a statement and several questions that serve as an introduction to the topic of the synthesis essay. For example, the second sample synthesis prompt in the begins with these directions:
Eman Mohammed: The courage to tell a hidden story | TED …
This year I attempted to illustrate the similar objectives of the synthesis essay and the DBQ in a classroom activity. I asked a student to leave the room. While she was in the hallway, I gave the class a controversial issue to discuss: capital punishment. The students began to engage in the discussion, speaking without raising their hands and with little guidance or direction from me. After several minutes, I asked the student in the hallway to reenter the room, listen to the conversation, and join in whenever she felt compelled. In this attempt to clarify the role of the student writer of the synthesis essay, I was emphasizing an essential similarity between the DBQ and the synthesis essay: to be successful on both tasks, students must “enter a conversation” with the authors of the documents and sources. In the DBQ on the AP U.S. History Exam, the students must understand that a debate exists over the historical issue in the prompt, and they enter that conversation just as they enter the conversation in the synthesis essay.
In an effort to better prepare students for the demands and challenges of AP, a colleague and I at Floral Park Memorial High School in New York have linked AP English Language and Composition and AP United States History. To develop an interdisciplinary curriculum, we coordinate lessons that give students an opportunity to complete detailed analyses of historical documents studied in both courses. Although the emphasis in one is rhetorical analysis and in the other is historical understanding, we share goals of improving students’ ability to analyze documents and write effective essays using appropriate and persuasive evidence. The new synthesis question on the AP English Language and Composition Exam has also given us the opportunity to link our course work. Similar to the Document-Based Question (DBQ) on the AP U.S. History Exam, the synthesis question requires students to develop a thesis and support that thesis through the integration of sources.
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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. 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. Your purpose in writing (based on your assignment) will determine how you relate your source materials to one another. Your purpose in writing determines which sources you use, which parts of them you use, at which points in your essay you use them, and in what manner you relate them to one another.