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Writing Resources

This guide contains all of the ASC's writing resources. If you do not see a topic, suggest it through the suggestion box on the Writing home page.

Learning about Synthesis Analysis

What Does Synthesis and Analysis Mean?

Synthesis: the combination of ideas to

  • form a theory, system, larger idea, point or outcomeSynthesis, Analysis, and Evaluation
  • show commonalities or patterns

Analysis: a detailed examination

  • of elements, ideas, or the structure of something
  • can be a basis for discussion or interpretation

Synthesis and Analysis: combine and examine ideas to

  • show how commonalities, patterns, and elements fit together
  • form a unified point for a theory, discussion, or interpretation
  • develop an informed evaluation of the idea by presenting several different viewpoints and/or ideas

Key Resource: Synthesis Matrix

Synthesis Matrix

A synthesis matrix is an excellent tool to use to organize sources by theme and to be able to see the similarities and differences as well as any important patterns in the methodology and recommendations for future research. Using a synthesis matrix can assist you not only in synthesizing and analyzing,  but it can also aid you in finding a researchable problem and gaps in methodology and/or research.

Synthesis Matrix

Use the Synthesis Matrix Template attached below to organize your research by theme and look for patterns in your sources.Use the companion handout, "Types of Articles" to aid you in identifying the different article types for the sources you are using in your matrix. If you have any questions about how to use the synthesis matrix, sign up for the synthesis analysis group session to practice using them with Dr. Sara Northern!

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