Explanatory Synthesis

Purpose: Explanatory synthesis is designed to identify relationships among sources so that readers can gain a better understanding of key terminologies, philosophies and ideologies for a specific topic. According to the text Composition and Research, explanatory synthesis depends on a writer’s ability to infer relationships between sources to make explicit the associations between different sources and what they say about an issue. The purpose of the explanatory synthesis essay will be to examine disobedience as a social phenomenon and to determine why sources say what they do about the way people behave. Task: Consider the readings assigned in this class. Then, keep in mind those figures who, in disobeying authority figures, disrupt harmony within society and create social ills. Then in contrast, recall those figures who, at different points in history, disobeyed authority figures as a means of protesting injustice and other institutional wrongs. For this essay, you will rely on synthesis to determine an overriding theme within several essays on obedience in the textbook. The theme you identify is up to you, but it should answer the following question: To what extent will people ignore their consciences to obey the orders of an authority figure? You may choose to contrast this obedience with figures who promoted social and political change by disobeying authority. Rely on the sources assigned in class along with others of your choice as long as they are credible. Instructions: You should first read the material assigned in class. Then, come up with a working thesis you can rely on to establish a basic frame and structure for your essay. Once you have created a working thesis, develop an organizational plan for your essay. Know what you intend to accomplish with each paragraph and write detailed, complex topic sentences for each one. Note: In order for explanatory synthesis to work correctly, you must rely on more than one source for each of your topic sentences. If you are using one source per paragraph, something’s not quite right.  Submission and Formatting Instructions: Include a clearly stated thesis and follow an organizational structure discussed in class. Type and double space your paper. Margins must be 1 inch. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font. Cite your sources according to MLA style; include a Works Cited page.

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