The Science Of Scientific Writing    Synthesis Exercise

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How to do it


PART I: Paragraphs and Sentences

SET A: Paragraphs: One Main Sentence

SET B: Paragraphs: With an Introduction

SET C: Paragraphs: Main Sentence Last


PART II: The Paper and its Sections


SET 1: Argument Parts

SET 2: Indicator Words

SET 3: Refining Claims

SET 4: Locating Arguments in Prose

SET 5: Rationale's Essay Planner

SET 6: Evidence in Arguments: Basis Boxes

SET 7: Assessing

SET 8: More on Assessing

SET 9: Analysis Maps

SET 10: Assessing Again

Synthesis 1: Position-Early Paragraphs

Synthesis 2: Position-Final Paragraphs

Synthesis 3: Writing a Discussion I

Synthesis 4: Writing a Discussion II

Position- Final Paragraphs

First, re-read this from Synthesis 1:

"Location, location, Location

But the most important way to highlight the position statement in your paragraph is to put it in one of the two locations where readers expect a positin statement to be. Readers expect that the main point of any paragraph will be stated either:

  • at the very end (position-final)
  • near the beginning (position-early)

If you hide your point in the middle of a paragraph, readers will be very confused. Remember that most people don't read in a very thorough manner - they do a lot of scanning and when they are doing this they often, unconsciously, zero in on the areas of the text where they expect the most important information. When working at speed, or in a casual manner, they default to using whatever is in those locations as candidate points. As they read on, they may become aware that their decision was wrong. But without knowing where they went wrong, there will be no easy way to set things right. They may just give up."

To give you an idea of how important location is, and to introduce you to the idea of Issue sentences (an integral part of position-final paragraphs,

Then return here and complete the exercise below.


Your POINT-FINAL paragraph exercise

On the workspace, construct an argument map that argues the affirmative case on some issue of your choice. It should have the following features:

  • It must be a debatable point.
  • There should be at least one objection
  • All objections should have at least one rebuttal.
  • The map should be extensive enough to generate a paragraph at least 7 sentences long (you can always come back and add to the map if need be)
  • You should write your claims according to the suggestions made in the exercises up until today, in particular:
    • Each claim should be a complete sentence.
    • Each claim should be simple and should not include any reasoning within it.

Next you should write this map up in paragraph form, with the following features:

  • It should be at least seven sentences long
  • Use indicator words and signposting (if you have come across them in your progress to date)
  • It should be in POINT-FINAL format.
  • When dealing with any objections, try to avoid letting them obscure your main line of thinking (more on this in later weeks).

I would suggest using the SCRATHPAD feature of the Rationale TEXT PANEL (click on tab, bottom RHS) to do the writing, but when you're finished paste the text it into a yellow NOTE on the workspace below your map.

Then Upload the File (with all your other week 2 work as well) on the Moodle WebSite, named in this format: