formal essay 3 putting it all together research survey amp synthesis

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Formal Essay #3:

Putting it All Together: Research Survey & Synthesis

Conference Draft Due to Dr. Frisicaro (upload to GDrive):


This final research assignment asks you to apply the content you’ve begun to explore through course readings and concepts to date — critical evaluation of research into technology, psychology, and information; synthesis of reliable informational texts; and writing logically, ethically, and accurately from sources. Your goal in this assignment – as in your last CMP 101 assignment — is to synthesize information in exploring a specific problem or question that grows out of your last set of readings (Carr, Nemr & Gangware, and Rapp & Donovan).

Your purpose in writing this assignment is thus twofold:

Your essay will define and discuss a significant problem discovered as a result of your reading so far – in other words, one that results from the readings themselves, applies similar questions to your major or area of interest, or reconsiders these questions in light of current events or controversies.

Your essay will survey and synthesize what research tells us about this problem by conveying information gleaned from 3 additional scholarly sources (including one primary source) you find through independent library research. This means that your final paper will include research drawn from all of the following sources:

oAt least ONE of the sources you’ve read to date (Carr, Nemr & Gangware, or Rapp & Donovan), though you may use more by choice.

oAt least TWO additional scholarly sources (peer reviewed, documented sources) included in one of the approved sets of library databases. These sources may represent a wide range of methods or scholarly genres: literature reviews, case studies, policy briefs, histories, etc.).

This is the 3 sources you have to use.

oAt least ONE example of a primary research study (one in which the author/s reports on empirical research they conducted).

You can use this question or thesis statement: What does it mean for citizens to be misinformed or uniformed about science?

Subject Matter/Content:

This essay requires you to continue to work to synthesize information from multiple sources – just as the readings for the second half of our class do. While you may choose to present your work as a seamless academic essay, you may also wish to divide your work into three distinct parts: Introduction (Definition and Context); Synthesis (Overview of Research), and Implications (Discussion).

Your introduction should define the problem in context (@ 1-2 pages) – illuminating the nature, causes, or shape of the problem and drawing attention to the meaningful points of connection and distinction (amidst findings, inquiries, or methods) you’ve found within the research you’ve surveyed.

Your synthesis should represent the bulk of your material (@ 2-4 pages). It should survey the research selected to define, describe, and explore the problem, discuss the central points of connection you wish to highlight within the readings, distinguish various questions posed by the authors and researchers involved, and ultimately provide an interpretation of what this set of studies tells us about the problem itself.

Your discussion (@2 pages) should step back from the research, in order to evaluate potential implications of the research. Your discussion should call attention to potential strengths, weaknesses, or “grey areas” in the literature selected. It should illuminate any questions that remain in play, demonstrating areas for further research or inquiry.


Your work should demonstrate that you’ve:

§ Read assigned materials (Carr, Nemr & Gangware, Rapp & Donovan) closely – for purposes of understanding and defining the problem.

§ Read a range of scholarly sources critically and carefully, selecting high-quality and appropriate documents to utilize in your synthesis.

§ Carefully distinguished between summary and synthesis in your work. Naturally, your synthesis may use summary to introduce each piece, BUT a synthesis is not a glorified summary. A synthesis is an act of intellect that combines an array of different concepts or sources into a coherent whole. Your work should not simply restate what each of the pieces says in isolation (summary); it should create a coherent interpretation of what the series of studies tells us, when read as a collection of related data.

§ Drawn support for your synthesis and interpretation from the texts themselves, using effective attribution, paraphrase, summary and quotation when necessary.

§ Cited your sources using MLA or APA format (abstract and cover page excluded)

§ Used transitions effectively to draw appropriate relationships between the various sources.


Your work should be approximately 5-7 pages long, double-spaced, with default margins. You should employ parenthetical citation and a reference or Works Cited list at the end of your material.

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