Synthesizing the American dream final assignment

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Synthesizing the American DREAM - final assignment

English III

Your assignment is to synthesize at least two to three sources and your own observations to defend, challenge, or qualify the following statement:

America still provides access to the American Dream, to the “tired, the poor, and the huddled masses.”
This essay requires you to integrate a variety of sources (2-3) into a coherent, well-written argumentative essay. Be sure to refer to the sources and employ your own observations to support your position.

Your argument should be central; the sources and your observations should support this argument.

  • What does “defend” mean?

  • What does “challenge” mean?

  • What does “qualify” mean?


  1. What are the elements of a strong synthesis paper?

  1. Revisit and carefully consider the various texts (sources) from the unit to identify two to three sources that might be relevant to your position.


  1. Draft your own position on the issue. Consider two or three possible positions you could take and then decide which of those positions you really want to take. Be careful not to generalize, but instead consider the nuances and complexities of the topic.

  1. Imagine presenting your position on the issue to each of the authors of your sources. Create an imaginary conversation between you and the author of the source discussing the following questions, and record your findings.

  • Would the author/creator agree with your position? Disagree? Why?

  • Would the author/creator want to qualify your position? Why and how?

  • Does the author make a specific claim about your issue?

  • What assumptions or beliefs are either spoken or unspoken (implicit or explicit)?


Compose your essay considering the elements of argumentation. Be sure to develop the case for your position by incorporating within your own thinking the conversations you had with the authors of the primary sources.

  • You should feel free to say things like “Source A would disagree with my viewpoint, but here is why I still maintain my position” or “Source B would agree with the majority of my position but would offer a slightly different perspective in this area.”

  • Don’t forget to cite your sources appropriately in the text itself. (Source A), (Source B)

  • At the end of the essay, list what your sources are. (Example: Source A – “I Hear America Singing”)

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