Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Notes on the AP Synthesis Prompt

Synthesis Reminders from the book
2010 Notes

2011 Notes on the AP Synthesis Prompt
Below are the synthesis notes posted to your respective blogs.

3rd Period

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime! (Summer and...?)

  • Using many of the sources given, or at least the required amount.
  • Addressing the prompt correctly.
  • Developing a position and making sure that position is clear.
  • Provide other backround information.
  • Address the sources and expand on them.
  • Answer "so what?"
  • Don't over-use the sources.
  • Don't summarize.
  • Unrecognizable thesis.
  • Misunderstanding the sources.
  • Not citing the sources used.
  • Not developing a position.
  • Not using any of the sources.
  • Not following a thesis.
  • Under-developed points for the argument.
  • Being too simplistic.
  • Using the sources smoothly rather then "plopping" them.
  • Thesis discusses the complexity of the issues.
  • The explanation of the context is clear to the reader.
  • Not getting overwhelmed by the sources used.
  • The conclusion addresses what the reader should continue to think about instead of summarizing the paper.

Nightrider, Kit, and the Three Amigos (McCrea, Stephanie, Madison, Cori)

What makes a good essay?
-Complex thesis (acknowledging both sides of the argument)
-Form/Develop a position (clear and strong)
-Understanding the sources and explaining the signifacance of each to the thesis
-Relating author of sources to their position
-Give your own opinion, not just the authors' opinion
-Combine your argument with the authors' but make sure yours is the main focus

What to avoid:
-overwhelming the reader with sources
-replacing your argument with the sources
-plopping quotes
-summarizing sources
-misunderstanding sources
-large quotes without commentary
-simplifying sources
-repetative conclusions/summary
-abrupt transitions

-Use specific data if available
-Take time to analyze sources and plan exactly what information you want to include
-Use sophisticated language

The Boys Are Back in Town (Chris, Will, Mark, and Luke)

1.What makes a good essay?
  • They contextualise the issue at hand for readers
  • Cite at least three sources
  • effectively supports their position by effectively synthesizing
  • thesis establishes a position
  • Recognizes the complexity of the prompt
  • sources enhance argument
2.What to avoid?
  • Over using sources
  • failing to cite sources
  • repetitive conclusions
  • lapses in diction and syntax
  • summerizing sources
  • sources replace argument
  • use many type of information to support your argument
  • develope your ideas with facts
  • cite or refer to anecdotes
  • cite quantitative data
  • cite an expert testimony
  • keep your position central
  • analyze the rhetorical situation in order to determine what is appropriate when it comes to sources
  • be sure to use good hand writting [sic]

Park Place (Ashley and ...?)

What makes a good essay?
Cite your sources.
Make a position and support it.
Don't steal the sources argument. Use their points to support yours.
Use quotes, don't paraphrase.
Use three or more sources unless, try two difference sources per paragraph.
Use whole quotes or at least edit them so they're not so long
Avoid repetition and oversimplification
Be careful of in-formalities
Read the prompt more than once and makes sure you read it correctly.
If you're going to use big words, know how to use them and how to spell them.
Multi-faceted argument.

Nicole and Riley's Synthesis

What makes a good essay?
-Cite your sources
-Make sure the quotes blend in and make sense
-Choose a side in the argument
-Quotes support side

What to avoid?
-Quotes from source are too long
-Not citing your sources (plagiarism)
-Misquoting source
-Abrupt transitions

-Using sources smoothly
-Citing sources
-Use facts and data

5th Period

D is for Dynamite! (Paola, Jessica, Dency)

1. The use of not only language control but also the effective use of sources and clearly choosing a side to create your own argument is the way you successful get a higher score on your essay.  They have to efficiently stay on topic throughout the entire paper and provide good conclusions.  To go from a 5 to a 6, the essay has to be a little more organized and it has to to have more thought behind it.
2. A lower essay is very simplistic in not only their use of sources but also the vocabulary.  They use sources, but they oversimplify them and simply summarize them.  They tend to sway back and forth between arguments.
3. You can have a higher score by creating a general outline with a thesis, not oversimplifying, and having a general idea of what sources you should use.

The 3 question thing in class (Dalton, Yusuke, Dustin, Kelin, Chris)

1.) What makes a good synthesis essay?
-  Sophisticated argument with synthesis of sources

a.) 5 to a 6?
-  You must connect your sources to your argument better

b.) 6 to a 7 or 8?
-  More complete, purposeful arguments and synthesis of sources.  Convincing argument.

2.)  What are characteristics of a lower essay?
-  Off topic, tangent, incorrect or amount of sources, not taking a position, misunderstanding, lack of control.

a.) Pitfalls you should avoid?
-  tangents, not citing sources, summarizing.

3.)  What are some strategies that you could employ to achieve success?
-  Plan before you write, answer every question on the multiple choice portion, annotate text before you start writing.

Narwhal Notes from "The ADD Class" (Kelli, Bryce, Mac, and Delaney)

What makes a good synthesis essay?
-Short quotes from the sources. Lengthy quotes are bad.
-Use sources logically. If it doesn't support your point, don't use it!
-Have a clear thesis. A quote from another source is not a thesis.
-You can use the points made in sources, but you need to focus on your own.
-Make a clear connection between sources and thesis.
-Show that you have an advanced understanding of what the sources actually mean.

What makes a lower synthesis essay? (Things to avoid)
-Do not just "plop" quotes. Explain why they are relevant and how they support your argument.
-As with any essay, do not write extremely long and overly complex sentences
-Do not just summarize the sources! Make your own!
-Avoid misinterpreting the sources

What are some strategies to achieve success on the AP test?
-Budget time wisely between all three essays. Leave the best for last.
-On multiple choice, if you don't know it, leave it for last!
-Stay on topic! In all three essays, going off on a tangent will not benefit you!
-Waste as little time as possible reading the prompts. But do not just skim it; misinterpreting the prompt leads to horrible failure.

The Dark Side has Cookies. What you got? (Natalie, Brooke, Shanice, and Megan)
  1. Interact with the sources, develops their own argument rather than paraphrase the articles, more fully developed argument, good voice and development of argument, officiant language, contains enough evidence of more-than-adequate synthesis, and have direct citations.
  2. Does not directly cite the sources, summarizes what the article say instead of creating an original their own argument, does not develop a unique position , writes a comparison/contrast essay of the articles, does not conclude their statements/argument, oversimplifies the argument, does not have control over writing style, inadequate response to the topic, abrupt transitions between paragraphs, quality of argument is uneven.
  3. Don't just summarize, go in-depth and explain fully, develop your own argument, be careful when citing and quoting from the provided text.
Arrows point you in the right(?) direction (Olivia, Grace, Monica, Jasmine, Alicia, Montana)

1. what makes for a good synthesis essay?
- sophisticated in their argument & synthesis of sited sources
- effectively support decision
- site atleast 3 sources
- they don't merely summarize issue

2. what are the characteristics of a lower essay?
- overwhelmed by sources
- summarize instead of making own argument
- have no recognizable thesis/weak
- sources not always sited
- writer misunderstands/misquotes sources
- large direct quotes without any commentary or explantation

 (Grace's arrows)

3. what are some strategies that you could employ to achieve success on the AP test?
- contextualize the issue
- thesis is complex
- go beyond citing sources and begin developing argument
- flowing argument that clearly states pount in argument
- best essays don't just summarize whole essay, they answer question "so what?"

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