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Writing Resources

This guide contains all of the ASC's writing resources. If you do not see a topic, suggest it through the suggestion box on the Writing home page.

Learning about Synthesis Analysis

What Does Synthesis and Analysis Mean?

Synthesis: the combination of ideas to

  • form a theory, system, larger idea, point or outcomeSynthesis, Analysis, and Evaluation
  • show commonalities or patterns

Analysis: a detailed examination

  • of elements, ideas, or the structure of something
  • can be a basis for discussion or interpretation

Synthesis and Analysis: combine and examine ideas to

  • show how commonalities, patterns, and elements fit together
  • form a unified point for a theory, discussion, or interpretation
  • develop an informed evaluation of the idea by presenting several different viewpoints and/or ideas

How to Synthesize and Analyze

  • Integrate sources focusing on one idea into one paragraph and show how each one adds to the idea
  • Have a clear topic sentence that show the idea being synthesized
  • Utilize transitions to show how the ideas relate and how the authors complement or refute one another's ideas
  • Analyze and show how/why these ideas are valid, add to the conversation, and present a multi-faceted perspective

Synthesis Analysis Example

What Not to do: Book Report

When attempting to synthesize and analyze, do not do the following:

  • Omit a clear topic sentence about the main point fo the paragraph
  • List what the author of each article said without connecting ideas together
  • Leave out transitions to show how the ideas relate or refute one another

Using the "book report" mentality and simply presenting several author's ideas in the same paragraph without connecting and linking ideas to a main point is a common mistake. Try taking those same ideas and presenting them under a unified idea with clear transitions and analysis to show how these ideas fit together.

Book Report MentalityNo for synthesis

The Academic Success Center observes Phoenix, AZ - Mountain Standard Time for scheduled coaching and live help hours.

Analyzing Literature group session icon

Friday 4:00 p.m. 

The Analyzing Research group session will help you understand how to critically analyze literature and prior studies into common themes and outliers. During this session, you will have the opportunity to practice implementing various analysis strategies, with emphasis on the research funnel to support flow and structure. Students are encouraged to come with topic ideas for the coach to use as an example. This session is helpful to attend if you would like to learn how to analyze research.  Coaching Scheduler


Synthesis and Analysis group session icon

Monday 4:00 p.m. 

The Synthesis and Analysis group session will help you understand and utilize the key concepts of synthesis and analysis in academic writing. During this session, you will have the opportunity to practice synthesis and analysis through use of an outline for paragraph and paper development. Students are encouraged to come with topic ideas for the coach to use as a research example. This session is helpful to attend if you would like to learn how to synthesize information.  Coaching Scheduler


Synthesizing Research group session icon

Wednesday 4:00 p.m. 

The Synthesizing Research group session will assist you in understanding the outlining process starting with a main research topic. During this session, you will practice identifying themes, topics, or evidence for collaboration or divergence. Students are encouraged to come with topic ideas for the coach to use as an example. This session is helpful to attend if you need guidance on how to organize your ideas.  Coaching Scheduler

Practice

Practice with the graphic organizers below. If you have questions on how to use these organizers, sign up for the synthesis analysis group session to practice using them with Dr. Meg DuMez!

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Key Resource: Synthesis Matrix

Synthesis Matrix

A synthesis matrix is an excellent tool to use to organize sources by theme and to be able to see the similarities and differences as well as any important patterns in the methodology and recommendations for future research. Using a synthesis matrix can assist you not only in synthesizing and analyzing,  but it can also aid you in finding a researchable problem and gaps in methodology and/or research.

Synthesis Matrix

Use the Synthesis Matrix Template attached below to organize your research by theme and look for patterns in your sources.Use the companion handout, "Types of Articles" to aid you in identifying the different article types for the sources you are using in your matrix. If you have any questions about how to use the synthesis matrix, sign up for the synthesis analysis group session to practice using them with Dr. Sara Northern!

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