The main goal of your reading should be to look for an opening in the conversation.

This essay should be about recycling

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS the assignment, then, is designed to help you generate the required content for your synthesis argument. Please note that the following steps are not intended to serve as an outline for your paper. Rather, these steps will help you produce the “raw materials” that you will then refine into a well-organized argument, and these steps are likely to pro- duce more material than you can use in the draft you submit to readers. 1. You should begin by reading all the articles in your chosen topic clus- ter. The main goal of your reading should be to look for an opening in the conversation. For example, you might disagree with a claim made by one of the authors (They Say/I Say, pp. 56-59), you might agree with a claim but with a difference (They Say/I Say, pp. 59-62), you might agree and disagree with a claim simultaneously (They Say/I Say, pp. 62-65), or you might generate an entirely new claim that addresses an aspect of the issue that the articles fail to address. The point is that you want to advance the conversation, turn it in a new direction, rather than simply repeat or summarize another writer’s argument. A second main goal of your reading is to find sufficient support for your thesis (i.e., your claim and reasons). Some of this support may come from your own experiences, observations, and reasoning, but you should also look for information from the readings that you can use to support your thesis. 2. Once you’ve read and analyzed all the articles, you should be ready to sketch out a thesis. Formulate a clear claim that you support with at least three reasons. Make sure your reasons are good reasons. In other words, assuming you provide sufficient evidence to prove that your reasons are true statements, those reasons should be enough to con- vince readers to accept your claim. 3. Once you’ve constructed a thesis, begin synthesizing evidence to sup- port your reasons. As mentioned above, you should draw on your own experiences, observations, and reasoning when appropriate, but you should also incorporate words, ideas, and information from the sources that help to prove that your reasons are true statements. It’s almost always a good idea to diversify evidence by drawing from mul- tiple sources, so really mine the readings for material that helps you make your case.

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The main goal of your reading should be to look for an opening in the conversation.

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