Synthesis Essay Instructions
Prompt: In 700-1,100 words, pick one of these three options:
- Convince a hiring manager in your future field that your choice of areas of study has prepared you well for your proposed future career.
- Convince a graduate school application reviewer that your choice of areas of study has prepared you well for your proposed future graduate program.
- Convince a boss that your choice of areas of study has prepared you well for promotion into another position.
- You may use first person but not second person.
- Your grammar, spelling, and punctuation should be flawless.
- As per college writing best practice, your essay should be thesis driven, and each body paragraph should ideally be centered around a specific area of study. Include introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
- Develop your main points using specific examples of particular classes, information, and skills you learned that will contribute to your career field.
- If you are not pursuing a job, graduate program, or promotion after you graduate (retiring, stay-at-home-parent, graduate school, etc.), convince an audience of your choice how what you have learned will be relevant to your next stage in life.
- Use APA formatting and a title page, but no abstract page is required.
- You should not explain your personal history or the story of how you chose your areas of study. Focus on how your areas of study connect to your future in this field.
- You need to justify all areas of study in your degree, but you can use as many paragraphs or sub-points as you like for each.
- Remember you will succeed if you convince your audience that your areas of study will prepare you well for what comes next, but you are not trying to convince them that they should hire you. Focus on the smaller, simpler question.
- Reliable sources, while not required, will make your argument more trustworthy.
- To begin brainstorming, you can ask yourself, “What relevant skills, knowledge, or experiences did I acquire in earning the credits for each of my areas of study?”
- Note that even if you transferred in credit or received PLA credit for life experiences, you can still use skills learned through those to justify your decisions.
- For many INDS students, their areas of study are a series of choices over the course of several years as they learn of new areas of interest and their career plans evolve; be honest but remember that it is up to you to explain why your skills are relevant to your field, not why you chose them.
- If you have an area of study that seems to no longer apply to your proposed field, you still have to justify it. Be creative and remember back to what you learned; think about how principles, skills, or ideologies might still be relevant.
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