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Defend, Challenge, Qualify. Support Argue Validate. What is synthesis?. I think this is the best way to think about the synthesis prompt. combines essay w/ known schema of conversation ---------------------------------------->. entering a conversation about a topic.

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defend challenge qualify

Defend, Challenge, Qualify




what is synthesis
What is synthesis?

I think this is the best way to think about the synthesis prompt.

combines essay w/ known schema of conversation


  • entering a conversation about a topic.
  • supporting your own ideas with outside sources.
  • noticing how sources connect to one another and to your own ideas.
  • grouping sources in meaningful ways based on these connections

You need to persuasively agree, disagree or qualify a stated claim through a well-reasoned presentation of evidence developed from observation, experience, or reading.

  • Your response should display careful thought and detailed development of evidence.
  • You need to include a sound argument with persuasive force.
  • When you write, support the claim with what the authors say
  • Find a minimum of 3 reasons that ‘prove’ your defense
  • Use quotations in your response
  • Logically explain why the author’s words are valid
  • After reading all the documents – determine reasons why you don’t agree with the claim
  • Find specific citations that you are challenging
  • Explain your assertions
  • Consider a better argument
  • Defend
  • Validate the parts of the claim that make sense
  • Find evidence
  • Explain why it is reasonable to support these statements
  • Challenge
  • Argue the points that don’t seem logical to you
  • Find evidence
  • Provide an explanation proving your position
laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified
Laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified

Our forefathers determined that it is the business of the government to provide all that shall affect our “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Democracy works because the people have entrusted that power to their elected officials. It is government’s right, yes, and its duty to enact laws that best protect and preserve the lives of Americans. Therefore, the government, through our elected officials, has the right to protect citizens and to make judgments regarding how best to protect citizens from themselves. Because society will have to pay (through health and mental care) for a person who harms himself, society has the right to limit a person’s right when he tries to harm himself.


All human beings are distinct entities, possessing a spirit, soul, and body. The right to make private decisions affecting one’s life is a precious one. Any government, even in its best intentions, never has the right to impose its will on its citizens, even when it proposes to protect them from themselves. According to the values of our country, people should have the “liberty” to choose “life” or “happiness” on their own terms.


The Declaration of Independence states that all Americans have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Therefore, it can be argued that our right to “life” sometimes hinges on the government protecting us from ourselves. Thus we have laws such as those prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors and requiring us to wear seat belts in automobiles. Sometimes city, state, or national governments go too far, however, in determining just how American should be protected. Some cities have banned trans fats in restaurants, for instance. When a law crosses over the line from protecting Americans’ lives and begins to interfere with their liberties, then that law has gone too far. Laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified as long as those laws do not infringe upon individual liberty.