Synthesis Chart


Directions This assignment has three parts. You may wish to submit each part as a separate file instead of combining them into one file submission. However, I’m happy to accept them however you choose to send them. Note: The sources for parts 2 and 3 should be the same ones you compiled for your annotated bibliography. If you find an additional source or two, or if you believe that one or two you’ve gathered no longer fit, it’s okay to not have an exact match. Part 1: Summary There are two learning activities in Module 3 that cover synthesis, APA citation, and how to integrate sources into your writing effectively and ethically.  For Part 1 of this assignment, please write a 250-300 word summary (in total) of the key information you learned from these learning activities.  Part 2: Synthesis Chart One useful strategy for organizing the sources you’ve gathered for your research project is a source synthesis chart. I recommend this as a way to visualize the areas of overlap in your research. I recommend it so much that I’m going to force you to make one!   In addition to the brief summaries you see in both examples, often folks write in page numbers and little notes/reminders for later. Sometimes those notes identify and describe the relationships between and among researchers’ ideas or approaches. What trends emerge? Does the Smith study say something similar to the Jenkins et. al. study about learning? Something different? Defining the relationships between the studies and making these relationships explicit is critically important to your writing success. As you read the sources, you’ll likely engage in an internal process of compare and contrast. These ideas were likely included in your Annotated Bibliography, so feel free to copy them over here if it helps. In fact, it is okay to copy most of the text for this chart from the Annotated Bibliography you wrote. The goal of this assignment is not the writing but the conceptualization and organization, so use what you already have if it helps. When you create a visual representation of your research such as this one, then you’re well on your way to creating a successful “literature review” report, especially since the chart helps to define your sections/headings/paragraphs. Keep in mind that the more detailed you can make your synthesis chart, the easier your process will be moving forward. When you create your chart, organize your gathered sources vertically in rows. Label your sources in the first column on the left by the author(s) and/or title. The order you list them is up to you. Then identify 3 to 5 common ideas/themes/topics that come up in your sources. Make those commonalities your horizontal columns. Use the chart to describe what each source says about that topic, and offer page/paragraph numbers that may be helpful to return to in the source later, along with any other notes that will help your research process. It is okay that every source does not speak on every topic, as you’ll see in the examples. It does not matter to me what program/software you use to make this chart. The appearance is less important than the function – you could even handwrite it and snap a picture if that makes the most sense to you. Do whatever works. Part 3: Source Extraction  For each source on your annotated bibliography and synthesis chart, go through and pull the best information from each source with the goal of never having to open that source again. For each source (unless they are visuals or charts, or offer very brief info like definitions) please create the following: Create at least one paraphrase of important information from the source, digested and written originally in your own words.  Your paraphrase should open with an effective signal phrase and/or context and end with a correct APA style citation. Please make more paraphrases if the source has a lot of information you need.  AND Pull at least one direct quote from the source. Remember to lead into it with an effective signal phrase and/or context and end it with a correct APA style citation. Type these extracted bits of info into a document. You can group them by source or you can group them by the same column headings from your synthesis chart – doing so will go a long way when you go on to draft a report using this info in the next module.

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