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"Synthesis is defined as combining a number of different parts or ideas to come up with a new idea or theory." [yourdictionary.com]
What does it mean to synthesize sources? After you've located a number of great sources for your research project and taken your notes, what's the next step?
An important step between researching and writing (or presenting) is organizing your notes so that you form connections between your sources and your own thoughts and ideas. Synthesizing basically just means "putting things together." Tidewater Community College
Academic writing has a different tone and style than everyday writing. Here are some of the main characteristics of writing academically.
Unless you are an expert on the topic, it is best to avoid using the first person when writing academically. When you have strong evidence to support your argument, you can successfully use the more confident tone of the third person. The exception to this is reflective writing, which is always written in the first person.
There are three ways of incorporating other people's work into your own research paper.
Quotations, Paraphrasing and Summarizing.
What Are the Differences?
Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.
Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a somewhat broader segment of the source and condensing it slightly. At times, your paraphrasing may end up longer than the original passage.
Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.
All three formats must be cited. See Citations tab for more information.
Seven Important Steps to Paraphrasing
1. Read and reread the entire passage until you understand it.
2. Take Notes : As you are reading, on a sheet of paper jot down any main ideas, key words or specific details.
3. Write it in Your Own Words : Put aside your book or resource, think about what you read, look over your notes and explain what you have read.
4. Compare what you have written with the original passage. Make sure your paraphrase is original, accurate, complete, and objective.
5. If you retain any unique terms or exact phrases from the original source, place quotation marks around them.
6. Transfer your paraphrase to your note card.
7. Cite your source of information.