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Introduction and Reflection:

When analyzing my portfolio of work from the beginning to end of the semester, I
recognized a dramatic improvement in my synthesis skills and my writing style. In our first
synthesis assignment, I analyzed literature in a linear fashion. I began with one literary
piece, then followed with the others in a distinct order which lacked cohesion and failed to
properly demonstrate converging and diverging ideas. In the following example, you can
see how I do not attempt to synthesize within the entire paragraph:

Going clockwise, I connected communitarianism to Hurtados subject of diversity


and community within a higher education institute. She emphasized how an institute
should focus on providing a diverse learning community for the students to promote a
more well rounded student and graduate. Along with believing higher education should
work as a diverse community to improve, the idea of adaptation and affirmative action
within an institute was also a prevailing idea. The subjects of adaptation and community
can be transitioned into our next author in the cycle, Bartholomea.

As you can see, I focus on one author at a time, instead of synthesizing multiple
pieces of literature. Next, I have an example of a literature synthesis from later in the
semester which demonstrates my improvement:

The statistics in both the Beesley and Blodget articles show both the financial burden
and entrepreneurial struggle that come with leaving school despite the hope created by the
success stories and encouragement in the articles by Shapiro and Crane. With two opposing
sides and four accredited journalists split on the subject, I still find one issue. Who is to say
young, successful, entrepreneurial dropouts would not have achieved the same success if they
stayed in school. There are many good examples, but it is possible these people would have
been just as successful, if not more, if they had stayed in school and learned more about their
craft. There is really no sound evidence which shows dropping out contributed to the success
other than starting the timeline sooner. In the final article I read, Entrepreneurs do better
with college - studies, by Nick Leiber, both sides are brought up, but it is concluded that
although there are success stories, more entrepreneurs succeed when they have a degree than
when they do not.

In this example, I synthesized different and similar views while introducing


literature balancing the two converging ideas. In my opinion, I improved significantly.
My writing style has also improved in a way where more flow and cohesion is
present. I have learned to avoid filler words, and have improved my use of transitional
phrases. My writing has benefitted from this, and as a result are more pleasing to read and
fundamentally sound.
The skills I have developed will help me further my education and be applicable as I
continue applying to law schools. Writing ability is a skill which hugely influences
acceptance, and I believe my improved writing will prove to be useful in this scenario.

I hope to continue in improving my writing skills, ultimately developing my ability


to be concise and persuasive, a style of writing I will need for furthering my education past
a bachelors degree.