A synthesis essay is a written discussion that draws on two or more sources. Your ability to write syntheses depends on your ability to infer relationships among a variety of sources. This process is nothing new for you, since you infer relationships all the time – say, between something you’ve read in the newspaper and something you’ve seen for yourself, or between the teaching styles of your favorite and least favorite instructors. In an academic synthesis, you make explicit the relationships that you have inferred among separate sources. A synthesis enables you to strengthen your argument because you are drawing from a variety of sources that support the point you want to make!
In this essay, you will be trying to persuade your reader that nature exposure is healing to humans on a variety of levels – on physical, emotional, psychological, or even spiritual levels. You choose the angle(s) you wish to take based on the research from the articles and your interests. For all of you, the general topic is “the healing powers of nature,” so that’s a given. Your job is to find a specific argument or claim about that topic. Consider any of these questions to help you develop and create your argument:
Why is it important that people know that nature can be healing? What is significant about the research you are using? How might people (or society) change as a result of connections with nature? What are the larger implications of lack of nature exposure or green spaces and why should we care? What connections do you see between physical health and mental health and how does nature impact both? Why is access to green spaces and healthy foods important to the health of a community? How can we connect to nature in urban environments and why is this important?
In all, think of your reader as someone who doesn’t know much about the science behind nature exposure and health and your aim is to convince them of its importance!
- A two-page (minimum) essay.
- A creative title.
- A deep synthesis of at least two (of the five) sources of your choosing on the topic of “nature as healer.”
- A clear thesis for your essay in which you have a clear focus and assertion/claim.
- Each paragraph and example (including quotations) use is strong evidence for your synthesis claim.
- A strong introduction that “hooks” your reader and conclusion that expands and enriches the essay.
- A clear organizational scheme with smooth transitions between ideas.
- Follow MLA guidelines for style and in-line citations.
- A correctly created “Works Cited” page at the end of your paper (not included in page count).
- Revision work is clear, including proofreading for typos, spelling, sentence clarity, etc.
All work presented should be your own. If you use anyone else’s words or ideas, you must identify them as such, and you must identify direct quotes from any text. Otherwise, it is considered plagiarism.
- The essay must be word-processed. Use double spacing and 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, and number the pages. Margins should be 1”.
- In the upper left hand corner of the first page please include the following information:
ENG 101 – Writing Experiment #4
Date of Submission