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WRI 1100: Hansen

Synthesizing Video

"Synthesizing Information"

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!

--The Little Seagull Handbook, 105-107