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Writing the Synthesis Essay (Q1)A How-To GuideWhen you write a synthesis essay, your focus should be on “synthesizing” provided source material in order to support your own opinion. As the prompt page will remind you, “Your argument should be the focus of your essay,” so make sure you develop an argument in which you use source material to support your ideas, not one in which you use the source material solely to build your argument. You get 15 minutes to read through the source material, but you can start writing before that time is up.Start by understanding the prompt:The prompt will generally provide you with some background about the issue at hand so that you know what the topic is, and then will provide youwith a focus - the focus will generally prompt you both to be expository in your writing (that is, toexplain or enumerate ideas), and also to be argumentative.Sample:As the Internet Age changes what and how people read, there has been considerable debate about the future of public libraries. While some commentators question whether libraries can stay relevant, others see new possibilities for libraries in the changing dynamics of today’s society.Carefully read through the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then, synthesize material from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-written essay in which you develop a position on the role, if any, that public libraries should have in the future.

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