A central feature of critical literacy is the ability to read, understand, and w

A central feature of critical literacy is the ability to read, understand, and weigh a variety of ideas and perspectives against your own. Synthesizing other opinions and beliefs informs our own positions. Synthesizing, however, is no easy task. When we encounter opinions or beliefs that conflict with our own, it is not easy to have an open mind about them. Moreover, we live in a culture that often seems to value polarized positions above synthesized positions. For this assignment, you will build on your skills of summarizing and analyzing as you begin to work with several texts as a means of establishing your own argument.
A synthesis allows you to explore the complexities of an important issue. For this assignment, you will have the opportunity to write a synthesis essay that explores various perspectives surrounding a specific issue. After you settle on a specific issue, explore the ways in which different authors discuss the issue. Are the ways they discuss the issue alike? Where do they differ? What makes them different? Is the difference significant? How and why is it significant? The focus of your essay will incorporate these common themes by making a strong assertion regarding one of the issues you find valuable and developing your argument by utilizing and responding to the academic conversation portrayed by these sources.
Rhetorical Considerations: Your essay should accomplish the following:
thoroughly explore, expand, and discuss the issue;
closely and critically read a variety of perspectives about the issue and form an opinion of your own;
state that opinion in the form of a persuasive focus for a specific audience;
develop your skills by quoting and paraphrasing at least three texts relevant to the topic;
Remember, a persuasive focus allows you to explore the complexities of an issue and position yourself within those complexities. To support your focus, you should engage with and cite at least three texts pertaining to your chosen topic–choose texts that are hallmarks (or at least representative) of the larger conversation. Blend their perspectives with your own opinions and experiences to develop a solid argument.
Putting it Together: Your essay should be organized in a manner that develops each of the claims you present to support your focus. Be sure to use solid transitions between paragraphs and ensure that every element of your essay (including sources) relates to and supports your focus. The suggested length for this paper is 2-3 pages (500-750 words); you must, however, show that you have thoroughly explored the issues surrounding a specific issue and synthesized the sources required. Your essay should be aimed at an audience who can truly benefit from your thoughtful argument. Your essay should be formatted according to either MLA or APA guidelines. Your sources MUST be cited according to MLA or APA guidelines.

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