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This 2-1/2 minute video shows how people naturally synthesize information. It is produced by GCFLearnFree.org.
After watching the video, please review the tips below for reading & synthesizing your sources. You will need this information when putting your sources into your paper. Reach out to me if you have questions!
Reading Sources with a Critical Eye
Step 1: Preview the text
Read the title and headings
Read the first and last paragraphs
Read the first sentence of each paragraph
Study the visuals, if present
Step 2:Read the entire text
Step 3:Analyze the author's argument
Find the author's main points
Find the evidence for these points
Notice similar ideas you've read in other sources
Notice any new arguments
--The Little Seagull Handbook, 83-86, 104-105
Synthesizing Sources and Ideas
Step 1: Comparing two or more sources
Write down common arguments, terms, or data
Write down disagreements among your sources
Determine how your sources affect your thinking on the topic
Decide if you need to do further research or investigation
Step 2: Moving from "What my sources say" to "What I say
Combine ideas from your sources with your own knowledge to formulate your thesis
Show readers how your source materials relate to one another and to your thesis
Decide whether you will quote, paraphrase, or summarize ideas from your sources
Enter confidently into the conversation around your topic!