Critical Strategies and Writing


Synthesis is a bit more complex than the analytical strategies just discussed. In synthesizing information, you must bring together all your opinions and research in support of your thesis. You integrate the relevant facts, statistics, expert opinion, and whatever can directly be observed with your own opinion and conclusions to persuade your audience that your thesis is correct. Indeed, you use synthesis in supporting a thesis and assembling a paper.

Here is an example, where the writer synthesized his ideas about how your prejudices and cultural orientation transform your voice as a writer at different stages of the writing process:

Example of Synthesis

Gender, race, and class prejudices can affect the development of a sense of self and voice. Likewise, the rhetorical conventions discourse communities require can overwhelm the personal voices of individual writers. But despite these pressures, a combination of spontaneous and deliberate strategies for writing and revising can help you capture your authentic personal voice when you write. In the planning and outlining stage of the writing process, clustering and nonstop freewriting can let you emotionally connect with the seemingly impersonal information absorbed from your reading. At the draft-writing stage, open-ended freewriting can help you as you struggle to express your own understanding and engagement with the subjects you write about. At the revising stage, several deliberate strategies methodically applied can improve the tone, emphasis, and readability of the rough draft. (University of Maryland University College, 1996, pp. 5-21–5-22)