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Cultural Synthesis

Page history last edited by Andrew Winckles 13 years, 2 months ago

Cultural Synthesis


Assignment Description


The cultural synthesis is the culmination of all the research and writing you have done this semester.  It is not so much a new paper as it is a coherent synthesis of everything you have learned and written about your community.  It is also an exercise in the important practice of editing your work – nothing is ever “final” in writing, but an ongoing process of developing ideas.


Over the course of the semester you have both analyzed specific artifacts and practices in your community and developed arguments and proposals dealing with specific issues your community is facing.  In this assignment you will use this information to articulate a clear argument about what your community is, what practices defines it, where it is going, and why it is important.


That said, it is not enough to simply paste several papers together in succession.  A successfully executed cultural synthesis will seamlessly integrate elements from all of your essays to articulate an original argument about nature of the cultural practices and debates within your community.




The best place to start with this paper is by going back through what you have already written in order to identify common themes and ideas that run through all of your papers.  What particularly interested you about your research?  What element of your community most attracted your interest?  What were some of the common underlying issues that you community is dealing with?  Answering these questions will help you develop an argument about the nature of the cultural practices within your community.  You also need to be aware, as always, of the audience for your piece – are you targeting specific members within your community, or aiming to inform the outside world about the nature of your community space?




As with all essays in this class, the cultural synthesis needs to be driven by a strong thesis that makes a specific argument. This is not merely an informative essay (though you will certainly need to include elements of this) but one that articulates an argument about a specific aspect of your community.  In other words you are not simply reporting, but interpreting community practices through your cultural lens.  After developing this clear thesis, you will need to provide your audience with some background about your community and its social practices, and then move into making an argument about one aspect of the community.  Research will play an important role in this as it will help establish your credibility and provide scholarly evidence for your argument.  As such, you are required to utilize 6 sources, only 3 of which can be from the internet.


As far as organization goes, try to follow this Cultural Synthesis Template.


This project will be graded on how well you revised and integrated your papers and on this rubric, which outlines the criteria for A, B, C, and D level papers.


This essay should be 10-12 pages and is due by Monday 4/25 on your blog.


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