Synthesis Essay—Land Use
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Sources: The Shepherd’s Life; Taming of the Wild; Yellowstone in Winter; Virunga
Since land use is a difficult topic and there are many entanglements to what that entails,
we will each take the position of a concerned citizen who wants to inform an audience of why
the debate over land use is important and should be considered by everyone (what is at stake?).
Think about our texts and ask yourself: why is this important? What would help other people
think more critically about public land and how it should be used? A thesis sentence can be as
simple as We should all consider how public lands are used because…but you can also create a
more nuanced stance. Many writers throughout history have covered the topic of land use, but
recently, writers have __________________________ because of _______________________
Your job is to compile all the best connections available to you, and create an argument that will open a reader’s mind to view a topic in a new way (or get them to consider it for the first time). Your paper is meant to inform a reader while at the same time presenting a position that is defendable. In this essay, you must synthesize the three readings and film we have discussed so far while persuading the reader to accept your viewpoint. Keep in mind, you do not simply want to retell events or passages from the readings or film we have discussed; you want to use the texts to present an idea about land use.
Your paper MUST include the following:
• A clearly stated thesis that articulates your position and what you want to argue in your paper; your thesis should be narrow enough to be argued within the page limits and qualified if necessary. Your thesis should fall at the END of your introduction. .
• Clear reasons with supporting evidence from the texts.
• A synthesis of sources; do not simply summarize your source materials but show how they are connected and respond to them. What connections to they draw?
• Integrate your quotes. Explain a point you are making, provide the quote with appropriate context (who is saying it and why), and add your own thoughts afterwards.
• A variety of citations: exact quotes, paraphrases, or summaries; cite all appropriately.
• A title that gives an insight into the paper and is catchy and interesting.
• A minimum of three of our readings or film must be used.
• A minimum of four pages in MLA format, not including the MLA Works Cited;
• A Works Cited page in MLA format with corresponding in-text citations
Minimum Requirements Length: 4 pages, not including the Works Cited page. Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited page with correct in-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries. Sources: At least three of the resources we have discussed so far.