Explanatory Synthesis Assignment
This essay assignment requires that you compose an explanatory synthesis on one of the following subjects: obedience to authority, drawing on the sources provided by
your textbook. One way to approach this topic might be to answer a research question like one of these:
• What is the extent to which we are supposed to follow the orders of authority figures?
• What is the connection between human nature, obedience, and violence?
• What are some of the moral dilemmas associated with obedience to authority?
• What is the relationship between situational forces, peer or social pressure and obedience to authority?
You might also consider using one of the prompts on pages 662-64 of your textbook, under the heading “Synthesis Activities.”
• Must be primarily explanatory (primary purpose to convey information
• Must accurately represent source material.
• Must use at least 3 sources from Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum (Ch. 15) and two other external sources, peer-reviewed books and articles on the
• Clear thesis and subclaims
• Organized by idea, not by source
• Reasonable summaries of source material
• Detailed support of claims
• Quotes and paraphrases accurately cited
• Strong organization throughout
• Clear introduction, transitions, and conclusion
• Must conform to the general standards of Written Standard English (spelling, usage, grammar, punctuation)