Synthesis #2 Assignment Sheet and Project Overview—Health and Medicine
We in the English Department know that the term “research paper” may bring bad memories or
heightened anxiety to Writing 102 students, yet it need not. Synthesis #1 employs the same kind
of writing style and critical thinking as this next essay. In fact, you have more freedom with this
essay in choosing your own topic, finding your own sources, and crafting a style and thesis to fit
your needs and intentions. This will be a standard academic exercise that introduces (or
reacquaints) you with the research process in the context of formal “scholarly” writing.
Compose a 10-page/10-source Argumentative Synthesis in the broad topic area of “Health and
Medicine.” Being a thesis-driven paper, you should plan to identify and outline your original
claims early in the essay and then use evidence that is accurate, representative, relevant, current,
and adequate to support your position(s). No matter your choice of topic, you must present an
arguable thesis and guard against counter-arguments. Remember: This is not (merely) an
informative paper wherein you simply report on a topic like “World War II” or “Why I like
Cats” (both real papers that students have submitted to me in the past). Instead, you must take a
position and persuade your reader using a variety of methods.
10 pages and 10 sources might seem like a bananasly-crazy task as you first read this; however,
if you’ve taken ENG 101, WRI 101, or another similar writing course, you (most likely) have
written a paper of this magnitude some time in the past.
As with Synthesis #1, you want your sources to have a dialogue and work on your terms. Do not
simply support one of your sources as the only way to see something; instead, decide your
approach and use the sources to help you build points. You may certainly string together ideas
from several articles and combine them into a persuasive statement of your own. This is one way
to see how a synthesis builds.
Adhere to MLA Format
Font: Times New Roman
Size: 12 pt.
1” Margins All Around
Last Name and Page Number in Upper-Right-Hand Corner of Each Page
Heading in Upper-Left-Hand Corner (*this is double-spaced, too):
16 Dec. 2016
An interesting title (not “Synthesis # 2,” or “Research, ” or something boring)
Include a Works Cited Page
Length: 10 pages
This project is worth 20% of your course grade…
Category: English and Literature