Preparing to Write a Synthesis Essay Day 1: A Summary and Questions

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Objective

SWBAT summarize their essay topic and the resources they will use by following a model summary written by the instructor.

Big Idea

Narrowing down a topic into a manageable size involves taking stock of what you have and asking questions.

Overview

Review Model Summary and Writing

70 minutes

Today students will come in having written summaries of at least five texts they may use as resources and questions that arise from each.  They will use these as resources as they spend the majority of their day in the library writing a summary of their argument and a list of specific questions that they have about their topic that they wish to address with their peers.  

Before they go to the library, however, I will review my model with them (Synthesis problem model.docx) so they see what they need to do.  I will note on the Smartboard how I state my central  idea and use references to resources to help establish my claims (modeling reading informational standard one and two, and why those standards are important for pre-writing academic essays).  I will also explain my questions and how they emerged from the text.  This fifteen minute discussion will serve not only as an explanation of the model, but also as a model for how they will share their summaries tomorrow in peer response groups.

After reviewing this, I will bring students to the library where they will type these summaries and questions.  I am having them do this writing in class so I can guide them some before they go into their peer groups (so the peer responses will be stronger) and also because I want them to print copies to send home with their group members (I will set the groups today).  Their task this evening will be to read their group members' summaries and questions and write responses to the questions, including specific references to resources.  By doing this, they will be prepared to participate in the group discussion and be able to provide more thoughtful feedback.

Additionally, students will write responses to my model; I will model the consultancy procedures tomorrow by being the presenter, so students will use their responses as part of the model.