What is "Synthesizing Info"?
When you synthesize while writing a paper, you are combining the separate thoughts and ideas of the authors of your sources with your own thoughts and ideas. This is what makes a well-written, balanced research paper. A paper that is nothing but your own thoughts and ideas, unsupported by any other sources, is an opinion paper - not a research paper.
On the other hand, a paper that is just citations, with no thoughts, ideas, or new perspectives of your own is just a summary of your sources. This type of paper, in which you organize and summarize individual sources, is common in high school (book reports, etc.). In college-level research you will be expected to start synthesizing resources with your own thoughts, balancing your views with the views of others to create new perspectives on your research topics.
The following steps can help you synthesize resources with your own ideas in your writing:
The first step to successfully synthesizing information from other sources into your own papers is to understand what kinds of information you can get from other sources and how they can be used to support your thesis or argument.
BEAM (Background, Evidence, Argument, Method) provides a way to help students categorize what kinds of information their research sources can give them.
What might the work of others add to my "story?"
Adapted from: Bizup, Joseph. "BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing." Rhetoric Review. 27.1 (2008): 72-86.
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