Skip to Main Content

Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing: Synthesize Sources

Synthesize Sources

  • Make connections between sources. Do they take similar approaches? Do they build upon one another? Do they disagree? 

  • What sort of evidence do they use? What themes do they explore? 

  • Do you agree or disagree with the sources? Do any support your claims? Do any challenge or extend your ideas? 


They Say, I Say by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein provides templates to frame the many “moves” expert writers make in academic writing. See the index for a complete list of templates. Their templates for synthesizing sources are especially helpful and will give you a format for: 

  • Introducing ongoing debates 

  • Agreeing and/or disagreeing with sources 

  • Making concessions while still standing your ground 

  • Introducing your point of view 

Evaluating your Resources in Light of your Thesis