Having read and considered sources A, B, and C, can you infer something else - D (not a source, but your own idea)?Because a synthesis is based on two or more sources, you will need to be selective when choosing information from each.PURPOSE Your purpose in reading source materials and then in drawing upon them to write your own material is often reflected in the wording of an assignment.
It would be neither possible nor desirable, for instance, to discuss in a ten-page paper on the battle of Wounded Knee every point that the authors of two books make about their subject.
What you as a writer must do is select the ideas and information from each source that best allow you to achieve your purpose.
Is the information in source B, for example, an extended illustration of the generalizations in source A?
Would it be useful to compare and contrast source C with source B?
THE EXPLANATORY SYNTHESIS: An explanatory synthesis helps readers to understand a topic.
Writers explain when they divide a subject into its component parts and present them to the reader in a clear and orderly fashion.
It follows that your ability to write syntheses depends on your ability to infer relationships among sources - essays, articles, fiction, and also nonwritten sources, such as lectures, interviews, observations.
This process is nothing new for you, since you infer relationships all the time - say, between something you've read in the newspaper and something you've seen for yourself, or between the teaching styles of your favorite and least favorite instructors.
While you might use the same sources in writing an argumentative essay as your classmate uses in writing a comparison/contrast essay, you will make different uses of those sources based on the different purposes of the assignments.
What you find worthy of detailed analysis in Source A may be mentioned only in passing by your classmate.