Essay #3: Reading, Researching, and Synthesizing 2-4 Sources
Counting in your “base text” (required), you should have a total of 2-4 sources cited in the essay. Your purpose in the synthesis part of the paper is to identify, explain, and analyze how your outside source(s) clarify, extend, and/or complicate the information presented in your chosen “base text.” Your thesis should not only include these terms, but also it should address why examining multiple sources is important.
ONE of your essay’s sources must be one of the “base texts” below (choose only one and then do additional research from there):
Published in The Guardian. Jan. 8th, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/08/instagram-influencers-
OR . . .
Purpose: Your purpose is to read and select 1 of the following “base texts” and then
research 2-3 credible outside sources relating to the topic—which need to be instructor
approved–so that you can synthesize (a.k.a. integrate) multiple sources in your essay.
“Base Text” Option #1: “How Instagram takes a toll on influencers’ brains”
by Jenni Gritters.
“Base Text” Option #2: “Traditional gender roles don’t keep men from
by Lisa Rapaport. Published in Reuters. Sept. 10th, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-caregiving-husbands/traditional-gender-
OR . . .
by Luke Morgan Britton. Published by BBC Music News. Jan. 2nd, 2019.
Skills: The purpose of this essay assignment is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course (you’ll apply these to your Essay #4 research paper and your final timed essay exam).
o Understanding the content from all sources
o Introducing the topic at hand and why it matters
o Arguing/Asserting what you see in the relationships between or among the
sources (ie. Arguing whether other sources clarify, extend, and/or complicate the
base text’s argument, and considering why this is important)
o Identifying different types of evidence in these outside sources o Evaluating and selecting the best evidence to cite
o Citing information from outside sources in proper MLA format
Base Text Option #3: “8 predictions for music in 2019 from expert pop
o Contextualizing each source cited, identifying some of the claims
o Synthesizing ideas and information from outside sources
o Analyzing the evidence meaningfully through critical and/or inferential reflections o Constructing smooth transitions, strong topic sentences, and good flow/cohesion o Concluding in an original, insightful way that (1) unifies the major ideas
presented in the essay and (2) integrates your reflection on what you learned and
to what extent these sources apply to the real world.
o Applying proper punctuation, grammar, spelling, and mechanics through revision
and support (the English Writer, your instructor, etc.)
Content Knowledge: This essay assignment will also help you to become familiar with the following topics:
1.) In “How Instagram takes a toll on influencers’ brains”, you’ll learn about the benefits and harmful effects of those who have made a living as social media influencers. Certain themes include mental health and financial reward and success. This article’s social media topic intersects with entrepreneurship and social capital, too.
2.) In “Traditional gender roles don’t keep men from becoming caregivers”, you’ll learn about how gender roles in an aging partnership has evolved, especially when it comes to taking care of a partner’s health or domestic duties. This article acknowledges that men are doing a lot more now for their spouses.
3.) In “8 predictions for music in 2019 from expert pop forecasters”, you’ll learn from various music industry players’ perspectives what the future holds, from matters on diversity and inclusivity to technological forces like voice command. Other subjects brought up include: concept albums, the independent sector of music, division, and globalism.
Your Task (More Contextual Information and Explanation):
You will research 2-3 outside sources (and it’s OK if you use just 1 of them rather than all 3 in your actual paper) that provide information/ideas that connect with your chosen “base text.”
For a more analytically rich paper, I encourage you to try to use variety; not ALL texts should clarify, just as not ALL texts should complicate. Some
texts might even relate in two ways, like extend as well as complicate . . . or clarify as well as extend. Keep in mind that your purpose is not to “prove” the ideas in the “base text” right or wrong (ie. do not share whether you agree or disagree); instead, you should examine points your author may have overlooked.
Make sure to use these texts to clarify, extend, and/or complicate some of
these “base text’s” ideas.
• Extend: to advance, develop, expand upon or take further some element of an existing argument. Extending an argument involves presenting additional evidence or reasons that are in line with the original argument but go beyond it.
Other Criteria for this Assignment:
your 2-4 sources listed)
clips (if credible) – must be published in the last 6 years, max
unfamiliar with your chosen “base text” and researched outside source(s)