Help your readers understand the debate
The goal of this technique is to create a written synthesis of the debate.
In creating the synthesis tree, you created a map of the debate around an issue. The written synthesis helps your readers survey the territory of an issue.
Using your synthesis tree, you will create an outline of a written synthesis that converts the elements of a tree into a linear order, then convert this outline to prose.
In this technique, you have to convert your graphical synthesis tree into linear, written prose. This means you will have to choose an ordering of points in the tree and help your readers move between them.
In narrating your synthesis tree, you usually start at the top and work your way down. But when you get to a split in the tree, you have to decide which branches to present first. There are several ways you can order the branches:
After you've decide how to order your points, you'll have to add transitions to help your reader follow them. Here are some common transitions that are often useful.
To distinguish majority from minority positions:
To distinguish major camps:
To add minor disagreements:
In addition, you can also use the common transitions you looked for when reading and marking the authors' texts:
(Kaufer, Geisler, & Neuwirth 1989, p. 33).
Start at the top of the synthesis tree and work down. At each branch, decide whether to order the points by:
Draft the introduction by either:
Using the body outline you created earlier, characterize each author's position by:
Conclude with a general reflection about the controversy by telling your readers where the community is and what remains to be done. Consider:
Make the synthesis easier for readers to follow by: