Argumentative Synthesis

ENG 100 – Argumentative Synthesis – Spring 2017


What is an Argumentative Synthesis?


An argumentative synthesis is an essay that uses two or more sources to support a thesis. It is built on a critical examination of a source’s assertions, evidence, and logic. It fits its purpose, occasion, subject, and audience (college-educated adults), relates to a thesis that you develop, contains well-chosen textual support (quotes, summaries, and paraphrases), and includes a “Works Cited” page. Remember: you are now able to address the content of your sources and use them in support of your own opinion (thesis). Or, you may elect to judge their effectiveness, either in the form of a critique or a rhetorical analysis.


The Assignment


For this assignment you will read, and we will discuss in class, Unit I in the The Engaged Reader. Your argumentative synthesis will respond to these two sources in Unit I: “The Culture of Shut Up” by Jon Lovett, pg. 13; “Re-Thinking Objectivity: Columbia Journalism Review by Brent Cunningham, pg. 21.


Here are the general parts/elements of an argumentative synthesis that should be apparent in your essay:

x    Introduction/statement of the essay’s subject and purpose

x    A clear, evaluative thesis that controls the essay

x    Clear topic sentences that support the thesis

x    Well-chosen textual support

x    Logical organization x    Effective transitions x    Conclusion

x    Use of your own words

x    Use of third-person voice and present tense


Essay Submission Guidelines


The finished submitted draft should be in the range of three to four (3-4) pages (approximately 750-1000 words), although there is no upper limit on length. Please follow MLA essay format and citing sources guidelines:

x    You must use US Letter as the paper size.

x    Make your margins one inch on all sides.

x    In the upper left hand corner of the first page only, place these four pieces of information, in this order: your name, my name, ENG 111, and the date.

x    In a header on the upper right hand corner of every page, one-half inch from the top edge and flush to the right margin, in the same font as the rest of the essay, place your last name and the page number, without the word “page” or the abbreviation “p.”  Do not introduce any vertical lines, horizontal lines, or shaded text boxes to the header.

x    Double-space the entire document. Do not introduce any extra spacing after hard returns.

x    Use Courier New 12 pt. font.

x    Make sure you have a Works Cited page.


Due Date: April 18

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