Why It Matters: Analysis and Synthesis

The skills of analysis and synthesis are vital to academic writing; they are necessary for you to establish your ethos with fellow scholars and professionals in your field. In academic writing, you must first research and understand the conversation around a specific topic before you can attempt to add to it. In order to understand this conversation, you need to locate credible and recent academic sources on the topic, analyze them individually, and then synthesize them in order to identify patterns, trends, gaps, limitations, etc.

In this unit, we will discuss the importance of analyzing each source individually, and then synthesizing them with other, similar sources to understand the current state of the research surrounding the topic. Basically, if you want to learn more about your field, you must read credible sources that are backed by primary and secondary research; you must learn to understand these sources in isolation as well as how they fit together.