Synthesis essay assignment

Synthesis essay assignment
Justice & Civic Life 200, Sections C & D
Fall Semester 2014
Prompt
You must (1) interpret each author and then (2) synthesize the most important points of the reading assignments from Lao Tze and Confucius in the course iBook.
Explanation
1. Interpret: say what you think the author means. Give an overview of what the author is saying without letting unimportant details get in the way. Focus on their

political views.
2. Synthesize: Once you have interpreted and summarized both Lao Tze and Confucius separately, say what the relationship is between what one is saying and what the

other is saying. You have to make a judgment. You might compare or contrast. You might judge that they have a particular relationship, such as that they are in

opposition to one another.
For both (1) and (2), give evidence from the text to support what you are saying. Don’t just tell me what Lao Tze or Confucius says without citing where they say it or

actually quoting them.
If appropriate, you may also discuss objections. That is, if you are saying something that you think the reader might think is not true, directly state and then

address this objection. “This interpretation might seem to be wrong, since Lao Tze says X at Y. But, since he says A at B and C at D, it makes more sense to interpret

him as saying E.”
Write for an academic audience.
Do not talk about whether Lao Tze or Confucius is right or wrong. Just interpret each and state what you think the relationship of their views to one another is.
You must state a thesis clearly in your introductory paragraph. The thesis should reflect the main point of your paper. Your supporting points should be grouped into

paragraphs, each with a topic sentence stating the main point of the paragraph. You should have a concluding paragraph (restate your thesis, summarize your points,

etc.)
Formatting
Use the Times New Roman font, 12-point size, double spaced. Do not have any extra spacing between lines. Margins should be one inch on the top, bottom, left, and

right. Put your name and section letter at the top. Do not include any other information. Give your paper a title, but it does not need to be interesting. You will not

lose or gain points for a good title or a bad title. “Synthesis essay” is enough.
Your paper must be between 1200 and 1500 words (this is approximately 4-5 pages, formatted
as described above). Papers that have fewer than 1200 words will be penalized. I will stop
reading at 1500 words if the paper is too long.
Your citations should use the MLA style.
Use proper spelling, grammar, and style. Do not rely solely upon a word processor’s spelling
and grammar tools. Proofread your paper before turning it in.
Turning it in
Submit the paper both via LiveText.com and TurnItIn.com by Wednesday, September 10th at
the start of class:
Section C: 10:00AM
Section D: 11:00AM
To submit the essay via TurnItIn.com, use the class ID 8567271 and the password “justice.”
Late papers will be penalized, even if they are one second late. Do not wait until the last
minute to turn it in. Turn it in early if you think you might have problems.

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