Arguing to Inquire:. What is Inquiry?. Inquiry is joining a conversation, an ongoing exchange of opinions about some controversial topic, and therefore involves many arguments advanced by many people.
Arguing to Inquire:
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Inquiry is joining a conversation, an ongoing exchange of opinions about some controversial topic, and therefore involves many arguments advanced by many people.
Having something to say depends on knowing what others have said then you may compare their perspectives.
What is Synthesis?
Comes from the Greek word for “putting together.”
Point-by-point reconciliation usually impossible.
Aim for a partial synthesis, where you consider the best insights from each, combine them with your own insights on the topic, and thereby creating a new perspective.
In order to “put it all together,” you must ask the same questions of each source.
Questions to Ask for Active Reading
What is the central question or issue addressed in all the texts?
What are the key terms or concepts used in discussing this question/issue and how do the writers define these terms? Is there disagreement about the meaning of key terms?
What do the authors have to say about the question, and where do their answers agree or disagree on points in common? When Perspectives disagree, How do you assess the arguments of each author? Whose views have more validity, and why?
What conclusions or insights in to the central question have you been able to reach as a result of comparing perspectives on it?
Final Notes On Inquiry/Synthesis Writing
Where you find agreement, you will find the current state of informed opinion.
Where there is disagreement, you will find the controversy and true question/issue.
Your paper should open with the central question to explore, not with your own thesis on the question.
Don’t use rhetorical questions for this but merely introduce the issue that the sources are disagreeing on.