Identifying Good Synthesis

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Identifying Good Synthesis

Read the following two paragraphs on Switzerland from Folse and Pugh (2020):

The following two paragraphs have been synthesized using the information from Paragraph A and B.
Which of these do you feel is a better synthesized paragraph and why.

Paragraph 1:

Switzerland is not big, but there are four national languages, the languages in order of usage are: German, French, Italian, and Romansch. Portuguese and Greek are not spoken. People in the western area speak French. People in the southeastern area of the country speak Italian. People in the central and northern areas speak German. One interesting fact is that the name of the country on its coins and stamps is not in any of these languages. Instead, “Helvetia,” the Latin name, is used.

Paragraph 2:

Although Switzerland is a small country, several languages are spoken there. In fact, it has four national languages. The most commonly spoken language is German, which is used in the central and northern regions. The second most widely spoken language is French, which is used in the western area of the country. The third is Italian, which is spoken in the southeast. A fourth language, Romansch, is spoken by a small percentage of the population. Ironically, the name for Switzerland on Swiss currency is not in any of these languages. Instead, “Helvetia,” the Latin term for this country, is used.

Paragraph 1

Ideas from both sources present
Ideas from paragraphs A and B presented separately
The third sentence is an unrelated idea (Portuguese and Greek)
Sequence of information is geographic

Paragraph 2

Ideas from both sources present
Information is woven together; sentences include relevant information from both sources
The sequence of the information is logical (focused on language)

Your Turn: Test Your Understanding!
Use the information from the video to answer the following questions.


Folse, K.S., & Pugh, T. (2020). Great writing 5: From great essays to research papers. National Geographic.