Synthesis is a way of understanding complex ideas or arguments and is the next step in analysis. When you analyze something you break it into parts to see how those parts form a whole. In synthesis you take one more step and assemble those parts into a new whole.
Synthesis is an important component of academic research writing because it allows the writer to create their own, larger understanding of a specific idea. You do this by looking at several source’s ideas together and determining where they are agreeing and disagreeing.
For the first informal assignment of Unit Four let’s use the idea of synthesis on a more practical level. Even if you aren’t always aware of it, you synthesize information from the media constantly—this could especially be seen in Unit Two via the messages that advertising pushes to its audience. Another huge medium that we synthesize on the daily is music.
For this response choose three songs that all focus on the same overall subject but with different perspectives. Once you have picked your songs write a response that synthesizes where they agree or share common elements and where they are making separate arguments. From there try to form a larger claim based on the three song’s discussion together.
An example would be love songs. Even though love songs all discuss the emotion of love they can address it in very different ways: romantic love, familial love, lost love, fun love, sex, loving/respecting oneself. By looking at these different types of love and the ways that each artist addresses them we can gain a larger understanding of the idea as a whole.