Research Synthesis Essay


Practicing research synthesis is the first step in being able to create longer, more complicated research arguments. You begin by learning to find voices in a conversation and learning to put those voices together to create something new.

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In this assignment you will practice: navigating databases to find sources; closely reading and annotating those sources; and synthesizing the key ideas from those sources into your own writing to create something new.


  1. The CCCOnline Library provides access to scholarly research databases. You can also access these databases from a link provided on your D2L home page.
  2. Once you are on the research databases page, scroll down to find the Global Issues in Context database. Select this database. Then select “Database login.” Log in with your S#.
  3. In the search box, enter “American Dream.” Then click the Global Viewpoints tab. Limit your search by clicking any of the limiters on the right side of the page. Choose two of the remaining articles to read for this essay.
  4. Pre-Write: Closely read and annotate your two chosen articles, noting similarities and differences in language and key ideas. Consider how these voices are connected to one another and to the larger conversation. How do they respond to one another? (Do they agree? Disagree?) How do they respond to previous voices in this conversation?
  5. Write: Synthesize the ideas from your two sources into an extended definition of the American Dream. What does the American Dream mean today? What is its significance in terms of immigration, multiculturalism, economics, education, etc.? Blend the key ideas from your sources to create a new and interesting definition of this idea.
  6. Your essay should contain 2-3 quotations from your sources, and it should include paraphrasing of other main ideas. Be sure to use quotation marks and in-text citations appropriately and responsibly.
  7. Your essay should be approximately 700 words.
  8. Please be sure to correctly format your essay in MLA Style.
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