College of Professional Studies
The purpose of a synthesis matrix is to help you organize your thoughts related to the sources you have collected; in this case, Project #3. It is a tool to help you think about how the information in each source relates to the others. Sometimes secondary sources contain similar content, which isnt really helpful to your project; other times sources will discuss your topic is completely different ways, which can also be problematic if one or more dont align with your research question. Before you begin this assignment, you need to locate and read four secondary sources, as well as complete your interview. All five of these sources must be in your completed synthesis matrix.
Next, follow the link provided and analyze the sample synthesis matrix created by Becky Menendez:.
She provides multiple examples and provides a downloadable template. Notice that she lists her sources down the column on the left-hand side of the matrix. She included eight, but you only need to include five. Additionally, she lists five key information (topics) along the top; you need to include five as well. It is important that you have read and taken notes on all of sources (including your interview) so that you can generate your own key information (topics) as they relate to your discourse community. Notice that not all of her sources cover all of the key information that appears at the top of her matrixthis is good! This means that each source is pulling its weight so to speak and provides different and useful information for her essay. Also notice that some sources provide more information than others (e.g., Varshney & Anis provide information for four out of five key information boxes).
Next, create your own synthesis matrix. You may simply download the template provided and modify the document as necessary to reflect your research topic (discourse community). And lastly, include a paragraph (at least 250 words) that explains what you learned about how your sources relate to each other (or diverge) from creating your synthesis matrix. Take a moment to reflect on each sources usefulness and
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