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How To Write A Synthesis Essay

1763 words - 8 pages

The main purpose of a synthesis essay is to make insightful connections. Those connections can show the relationship(s) between parts of a work or even between two or more works. It is your job to explain why those relationships are important. In order to write a successful synthesis essay, you must gather research on your chosen topic, discover meaningful connections throughout your research, and develop a unique and interesting argument or perspective.

A synthesis is not a summary. A synthesis is an opportunity to create new knowledge out of
already existing knowledge, i.e., other sources. You combine, “synthesize,” the information in your sources to develop an argument or a unique ...view middle of the document...

However, the purpose of a synthesis essay is to use only the most important parts of your research, the information that will best support your claim. At this point, you must decide which sources, and/or which parts of those sources, you will use.

4. Organize your research:
Now, decide the order in which you will present your evidence, the various arguments you will employ, and how you will convince your readers.

Writing your synthesis

In the following synthesis essay the author found various sources on the same topic and used certain parts of those sources to support the thesis statement.

Wal-Mart versus Main Street

I am ashamed. I never realized that I was such a bad person. I have sinned against my community and my fellow townspeople. What is my crime? I shop at Wal-Mart. According to one train of thought, I'm helping destroy Main Street U.S.A. by shopping at a predatory national chain. But am I really?

As of 1994, Wal-Mart had 2,504 stores across the U.S. and was expected to open 125 more that year (Ortega 205). Wal-Mart stores do over $67 billion dollars in annual sales (Norman 207). A Wal-Mart store in Iowa, after being open for two years and building its base, can generate $10 million a year in sales. A Wal-Mart store planned for Greenfield, Mass. would have employed 274 people (Anderson 218) or 240 people (Johnston 222), depending on which source you read. Discount stores like Wal-Mart allow small to medium towns with little population growth to hold customers to the local shopping area by cutting down on trips by locals to bigger urban areas with lower prices (Stone 210). With all of these benefits, why would anyone be upset about a Wal-Mart store opening in their town?

The concerns against Wal-Mart all seem to focus around one main concern: Wal-Mart and similar stores have changed American retailing, and the protestors don't like the change. Albert Norman, the best known anti-Wal-Mart advocate, claims that Wal-mart represents "... an unwanted shove into urbanization, with all the negatives that threaten small town folks" (209). This urbanization appears to be connected, in the minds of the anti-Wal-Mart brigade, to "mindless consumerism, paved landscapes and homogenization of community identity" (Ortega 204). In other words, instead of a centrally located downtown shopping area with 30 different stores all locally owned, there are now only a handful of bigger stores located on the edge of town in malls and giant concrete shoeboxes, all of them owned by or franchised from huge out-of-town corporations.

The $10 million dollars an average store generates annually comes at the expense of $8.3 million that would have been spent at local stores anyway (Norman 207). That extra $1.7 million sounds positive until it's pointed out that every dollar spent at a local business stays in town and circulates 4 or 5 times, while a dollar spent at Wal-Mart goes straight to corporate headquarters (Anderson 218). Thus fewer...

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