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


Mechanical Requirements:

•    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)

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