SYNTHESIS MATRIX Intro PURPOSE & USE Academic assignments like literature reviews, theses, and dissertations require a thorough synthesis of the relevant literature of a topic. It is used to compare and contrast components of a research study (i.e., methodology, research participants, results, etc.) It is also commonly used to find areas of research that require additional study. Or it can be used to compare and contrast themes across studies. For you, in general, it will help you manage, organize, and understand your sources so that you can come to your claims for Unit 3. You are essentially beginning to write your paper in each grid as you summarize, paraphrase, and quote. OUR SYNTHESIS MATRIX Synthesis Matrix (15%): You will create a graphic illustration that sorts source material in ways that help you answer your research question. ASPECTS Your Synthesis Matrix will include: Topic and Research Question Complete Works Cited list A variety of sources Quotation, Paraphrase, and Summary “Spheres of Inquiry” SYNTHESIS MATRIX Examples Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar – Plot Diagram Norman Mailer – Character Timeline for “Harlot’s Ghost” William Faulkner’s Timeline for “A Fable” J.K. Rowling’s Outline for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” Joseph Heller’s Outline for “Catch 22” SPHERES OF INQUIRY Intro WHAT IS IT? Sphere An area of activity, interest, or expertise. Synonyms: realm, field, area, territory Inquiry An act of asking for information. A seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge. Synonyms: investigation, study, examination, analysis, exploration So, what do I mean? I mean, a theme or an aspect of your larger, overarching question/topic. EXAMPLE Topic: Male methods of contraception. Research question: Why are there so many contraceptive options for females in the United States but so few for males? Big Idea/Step/Category 1: Significance – The occurrence of unplanned pregnancy in the United States is frequent. In addition, women must take most of the responsibility for preventing pregnancy, creating gender inequality. Introduction of more male contraceptive options into the marketplace may help reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and create a higher level of gender equality within families and heterosexual couples. Big Idea/Step/Category 2: A large volume of research on male contraception has been conducted, yet there are no male hormonal contraceptives in the market. Big Idea/Step/Category 3: Side effects of hormonal contraception for men and women. Big Idea/Step/Category 4: Women have traditionally been responsible for birth control, but it may be in the best interest of both women and men for men to take a more active role. GROUP WORK • Think of at least five “Spheres of Inquiry” and write them down. • Share your “Spheres of Inquiry” with a partner you have not yet worked with. • This time, you may ask questions if you don’t understand. • Remember that compliments are not as helpful as criticism. PRESENTATION Topic & Research Question How many sources have you explored? What kinds of sources have you explored? Which source has most extended/changed your thinking? Why & how? What “Sphere of Inquiry” should you explore next? What knowledge should you have? For instance, if I am writing about male birth control, I should know what kind of male birth control exists already in research today.