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Module 1: Grammar Module 2: Sources Module 3: Structure
Home » Module 3 Unit 1: Planning your essay » Grouping your source material - page 5/8
Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively

Is a synthesis grid all I need?

No. A synthesis grid works best as an initial tool for sketching out the topic and the major issues, approaches, ideas and concepts that are relevant to it.

It is particularly useful when you are skim reading your sources trying to get a quick overview of:

  • the breadth of topic.
  • the major researchers in the field.
  • the major approaches and perspectives.
  • significant differences and similarities between individual pieces of research.
  • the major points of agreement or dispute.
  • related areas of research.

The synthesis grid will help you discard sources that are irrelevant or not relevant enough.

It will also help you decide on your next steps. These next steps will involve the identification of your thesis and further research into evidence which supports it.