This is a synthesis essay. That is, in writing, you are to synthesize two authors’ viewpoints toward a specific topic. To do this, you will analyze (by reading) two essays that cover the same general topic. Using the two essays, you will explain what the authors say about a more specific topic—or area of synthesis—and how the authors’ texts relate to that area of synthesis. This essay is not about you and your position, but instead should remain focused on how the authors are presenting their ideas and how the authors position themselves in relation to the area of synthesis. “To accomplish this goal, you will need to incorporate ideas and details from the readings” (p. 128).
The general topic that you will write about for Writing Project #2 is intercultural communication. You are to explore aspects of cross-cultural communication by analyzing (through reading) texts from Spack (2007) and other sources. Your choices of text pairs include:
|1. Creativity in the Classroom||AND||Intercultural communication and the classroom (Andersen & Powell)|
|2. Intercultural communication competence (Spitzberg)||AND||Social Time: The Heartbeat of a Culture|
|3. Intercultural Communication Stumbling Blocks||AND||Prejudice in intercultural communication (Brislin)|
In Writing Project #2, your process should be something like:
- Develop a non-argumentativesynthesis thesis statement that references and can be supported by two texts.
- Identify the most useful details and supporting points related to the thesis that can be drawn from each source text.
- dentify the similarities and differences between main ideas and details you identified in the two different source texts.I
- Develop topic sentences that relate to the synthesis thesis and are separatefrom the source texts, but can be supported by the source texts.
Your essay should include the following parts:
- Introduction: this is where you introduce the general topic, some of the larger guiding opinions that were most evident in the source texts, and your synthesis thesis.
- Summary:Following the introduction, you should include a one paragraph for each text (e.g., two summaries in two paragraphs).
- Body: the topic sentences should be focused on ideas (not the authors or texts) from the texts that support the thesis. Then, synthesizethe authors’ viewpoints using paraphrasing and focus on details to investigate the important ideas from the source text.
- Conclusion: this is where you round up your essay. Be sure to recapitulate your thesis and identify further implications about the topic.
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