Skip to Main Content
Ekstrom Library

Soc 303 - Orend: Home



Open this webpage: 

Session Goals


By the end of this session, students will:

  • Understand what a literature review is, what it does, and why we do them
  • Learn to identify synthesis and synthesis language
  • Apply concrete strategies for synthesizing information from sources
  • Execute best practices when citing sources

Synthesis Practice

Write a paragraph synthesizing the following information:

Main idea:

Malls are designed to be uncomfortable environments

Source 1:

 The following paragraph is from page 205 of George Lewis' article, "The Mall as Refuge" published in 2020.

"Physically, malls are geared for high turnover. Chairs and benches in rest areas and food courts are unpadded in the seat - designed to be uncomfortable if sat in too long. The architecture of the mall itself, behind the colorful neon store logos and displays, is anonymous, uniform, predictable, and plain. The corridors are wide and filled with hurrying customers. Security guards discourage loiterers and help to move foot traffic along." 

Source 2:

The following information is from page 270 of James J. Farrell's essay, "Shopping for American Culture": published in 2013

"The mall makes sense in the flow of our whole lives, as we compare and contrast it to what we experience every day. The mall, for example, tells us immediately that it's not home and it's not work. It's an architecture of pleasure, not of comfort or efficiency. Shopping is what academic would call an 'intertextual experienc.e,' an activity that only makes sense if we know how to read many different cultural 'texts': ads, stores, mannequins, clothes, logos, race, class, gender, and sexuality." 

Made with Padlet

Synthesis Paragraph Template

  • Topic sentence – What is the paragraph about? What point are you trying to make?
  • Research material – A quote, paraphrase, or summary (q/p/s) of important, relevant information
  • Explanation – Inform the reader why the (q/p/s)  is important and relevant
  • Synthesis language – Use synthesis language to introduce the next (q/p/s) to sets up a relationship with the previous (q/p/s) .
  • Research material – Another (q/p/s) , relevant information from your research sources.
  • Explanation/synthesis – Give the reader more details about how or why the second (q/p/s) is related to the first (q/p/s)
  • Explanation/connection to topic – End the paragraph by making a connection back to the topic of the paragraph, and how all of the above information relates back to the thesis of your essay.

Synthesis Language Examples

Synthesis that indicates agreement/support:

    • Source A asserts that… Source B agrees when he/she states…
    • According to both A & B…
    • The combined conclusions of sources B & C seem to indicate that…
    • The evidence shows that…
    • Source B is correct that…
    • Source C makes a convincing case when she argues…
    • I agree with Source A’s conclusion that…

Synthesis that indicates disagreement/conflict:

    • Source A asserts that…Yet Source B offers a different perspective by…
    • Source C & B would likely disagree regarding…
    • My view, however, contrary to what Source A has argued, is…
    • X & Y are good solutions, though Source B offers a different option
    • In contrast, some objections to the opinions expressed by source C are…
    • While source A makes an intriguing argument, Source D disagrees because…

Library Specialist

Profile Photo
Melissa Rothman

Discover. Create. Succeed.