How to Synthesize Your Information
As previously mentioned, synthesizing requires grouping similar information in your own writing to form your own opinions. Synthesis in writing is usually made up of five distinct steps:
- The first step is to always research and read the required materials; this will help you better understand what kind of information currently exists. As you read, it is essential to engage in critical reading. Critical reading refers to a more active form of reading in which the reader approaches the material skeptically and asks the questions of what, how, and why. This type of reading is done with a purpose in mind.
- After reading the materials critically, you should consider which information is relevant to your topic from each of your resources. At this point in time, it is helpful to take notes about key ideas that are related to your topic
- Once you have critically read your articles and taken some notes, consider how these ideas can be grouped together. Do the authors agree or disagree? Do some authors elaborate on ideas presented elsewhere? Have any patterns or trends emerged from your reading? Can you find any common themes?
- Using your skills of paraphrasing, combine these ideas into well-structured sentences. Your synthesized information should include the original ideas of the authors in your own word and should be properly cited. Use transitional words and phrases to demonstrate the connection between ideas.
- Finally, organize your new synthesized sentences in your writing while incorporating your analysis; this is when you can include new ideas that resulted from your research as well as your opinion on the importance of the information.