76-101 A & B, FALL, 2000
Assigned: Friday, October 6, 2000
Due: First draft (2 copies), See Syllabus for Due Date; Final draft (to be handed
in with the first draft I've commented on and the grading criteria):
See Syllabus for Due Date.
Length: Double-spaced: 4-5 pages.
Write a paper that explores science studies from a perspective of your
choosing. This paper should define the problem (or common point(s)) at
stake in your discussion and explore that problem with the help of at least
four essays you've read so far. Your task is to use synthesis to analyze
this problem. (A synthesis grid of your making can help you here). You might
write about the social in science, ideology in science, gender and science,
science and objectivity, science and education, the relationship of science
and technology, etc., or a topic of your choice which is discussed by the
authors you choose.
By "synthesis," I mean the task of mapping out the terrain navigated by
this group of texts in regards to the problem you've chosen. As in the
summary assignment, the key word here is connection. But whereas in
summary, the job was to connect the internal bits of one argument, the
job here is to connect the arguments of a number of texts together under
your guiding hand. To employ our other main metaphor in this unit, the
task is to put these texts in conversation with each other.
By "analysis," I mean defining your problem through a guided tour of
these essays. You are not supposed to come up with a solution to your
problem, but rather explore your problem and its ramifications via a tour
of these essays. Your argument's goal is for your reader to gain a proper
understanding of the problem.
Finally, remember the lessons of summary: to write a good
synthesis/analysis, you must be able to understand not only what authors
are saying, but what they are doing.
Hint: You will waste a lot of time if you proceed as if this were a
compare/contrast assignment, in which each paragraph has for a subject
one text and you discuss the similarities and differences of that text
with the others within that paragraph. Rather, organize your paper around
issues and arguments so that you're dealing with one topic and a bunch of
texts in each paragraph, and thus synthesizing arguments and creating
something new, not simply rehashing, separately, the arguments of the
Grading Criteria for Synthesis/Analysis Paper
(Please attach to back of final draft, with first draft behind, and staple).
/30 I. Introduction (30 total points)
/10 A. Concise, clear introduction of problem(s).
/10 B. Clear thesis statement: statement which makes a general statement
characterizing the domain of argument surrounding your problem. (Here's an
example--don't use it!--"While there is a strong contingency of contemporary critics who challenge the notion of objectivity as propounded by Hubble (note: this would only work after having briefly introduced that notion via Hubble, and generally defined it), a number of conservative defenders have arisen to fortify that notion, and to discredit its detractors." Notice how the thesis is abstract enough to stand for a debate around objectivity, not unduly limiting the discussion to one particular point, yet still
saying something substantive about the debate).
/10 C. Forecasting statements (road map of the rest of the paper, mapping
of camps--what, who you will be discussing). The mapping should follow shortly after the thesis (in the following paragraph.), and should trace, in slightly more detail, the thesis that you just made. You will forecast, generally, what you will say about who says what--but all in connection with each other. Here, you will divide the authors into
camps, and define how they are thus divided. Notice how the above thesis ties the interlocutors together in a debate. You continue that kind of connection in the mapping and throughout the body of the paper).
/35 II. Structure (30 points)
/10 A. Clear topic sentences which introduce the sub-topics in each of your
paragraphs and show how each sub-topic is relevant to the thesis (and topic) of the
paper. Stick to one topic per paragraph.
/10 B. Supporting evidence from the texts, including relevant and
appropriate quotations with explications.
/15 C. Organization, structure and development which connects sub-
topics/paragraphs, foregrounding the important issues, with understandable
transitions between the topics/paragraphs.
/30 III. Content (35 points)
/10 A. Presentation of a strong argument which does more than reiterate
what has been said in class, but rather shows fresh insight into the material.
/10 B. Arguments which demonstrate a solid grasp of, and a thoughtful
response to, the readings. (Interpretation).
/10 C. Writing that is adequate to the complexities of the material and
maintains a strong sense of purpose in arguing its point.
/5 IV. Technical Proper citation, quotation, grammar, spelling, etc.