Essay 3: Argumentative Synthesis Guidelines

Length: 3-4 pages minimum (1000-1200 words)


The writer will demonstrate the ability to synthesize multiple sources toward the development of an original argument. Specifically, the assignment asks writers to examine various texts and media on related topics, considering how these texts inform and interact with one another in conversation. Identifying a critical conversation, writers will then practice participating meaningfully in such conversations via informed critical response.


  • The writer will identify a critical conversation taking place across multiple texts/media.
  • The writer will select appropriate sources for synthesis toward a larger claim.
  • The writer will demonstrate satisfactory critical reading skills and comprehension of sources.
  • The writer will provide detailed, accurate information from sources in the form of effective summary, paraphrase, and quotation.
  • The writer will thoroughly and correctly document use of source material, following MLA format and referencing sources in a works cited page and in-text citations.
  • The writer will present a thesis statement that offers a critical, engaged reader’s analysis of the conversation represented by/in source material.
  • The writer will develop and sustain an argument in support of the thesis through effective body paragraphs (driven by a clear claim/topic sentence with supporting analysis and discussion of evidence from the texts).
  • The writer will present an argument that is entirely original (no outside research or additional resources used beyond the synthesized course texts) and participates in an ongoing critical conversation.