Write an essay that explores three subtopics shared by the following three articles on the topic of poverty & social inequality. All of the authors discuss poverty and social inequality, but you need to choose three subtopics to focus on. A synthesis is not a summary of each author’s entire article. Instead, you choose subtopics to explain using the texts. This means that not everything the author writes in his or her article will be relevant to your paper.
“Born Poor and Smart” by Angela Locke
“A Great Time to Be Alive?” by Matt Yglesias
“Middle of the Class” from The Economist
The objective of a synthesis essay is to analyze how different sources inform a common topic.
To synthesize you will:
1) Analyze the three texts
2) Identify connections among the texts—what does each author have to say about different aspects of poverty and social inequality?
3) Organize this textual material under three subtopics –use the texts to explain your subtopics.
Examples of rhetorical purpose/subtopic:
→ explaining reasons behind poverty
→ describing attitudes/stereotypes people have toward the poor
→ examine how poverty influences American society
I. General Overview of Issue
→ Give background information of the issue
→ Introduce the subtopics you will be explaining in the paper
→ Introduce the authors and their texts (Yglesias, Locke, and The Economist)
Focus on developing your paragraphs around ideas instead of the sources. Remember that your goal is to explain your subtopics rather than summarize the texts.
1) Topic Sentence = Introduce subtopic
Which authors have something to say about this subtopic?
→ Recap how the authors have helped better explain the issues developed in your paper.
*NOTE: You can use as many paragraphs as you need for each section of the paper.
Grading Rubric for First Draft
CONTENT ____/25 points
1. Provides background information on the issue to frame your explanation
2. Identifies all texts and authors
3. Contains a thesis statement that introduces the topic explained in the paper
4. Is objectively written. Reports on the sources rather than interpreting or evaluating them.
5. Supports explanation of each idea with relevant examples from the texts.
6. Paraphrases and quotations are fully explained and integrated into the text.
ORGANIZATION ____/15 points
1. Overall structure—the writing has an effective introduction, body, and conclusion. All paragraphs support the thesis statement.
2. Paragraph development—each paragraph focuses on one topic only and is developed with details, descriptions, explanations, and examples.
3. Transitional phrases—effective use of transitions within and between paragraphs, especially to make comparisons between the two texts
LANGUAGE ____/5 points
1. Appropriate use of parts of speech (verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs)
2. Subject-verb agreement
3. Quotes and paraphrases from the text correctly identified and punctuated.
4. Appropriate sentence structure (no run-ons or fragments)
5. Sentence Variety (appropriate use of coordination, subordination, and transitional phrases; mix of complex and simple sentences).
FORMAT _____/5 points
1. APA Citation—references are listed on a separate sheet of paper using APA Style
2. Original title
3. 3-4 pages—typed in 12 point font, double-spaced, 1” margins
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