Synthesis writing combines two or more articles in a meaningful way.  In composition courses, “synthesis” commonly refers to writing about printed texts, drawing together particular themes or traits that you observe in those texts and organizing the material from each text according to those themes or traits.  For this assignment, you will be writing a thesis-drive synthesis meaning that you will come up with a thesis that responds to the question – What is standard about English? Students will use the three texts we have read for this unit to respond to this question. Refer to “How to Synthesize Information.”


  1. “What is Standard English?”
  2. John McWhorter: “There’s Nothing Wrong with Black English”
  3. Richard Nordquist: “What Is a Tweet?”


Writing the Essay

A synthesis essay should be organized so that others can understand the sources and evaluate your comprehension of them. The following format works well:

Introduction [1st paragraph]

The introduction should include a SHORT definition of Standard English.  This should be followed by your thesis, which responds to the question “What is standard about English?”

Summary of 1st Source [2nd Paragraph]

Summarize “What is Standard English?” and discuss any conclusions you have drawn about the nature of English and its evolution. (See “How to Write a Summary”)

Response to the Question [Several Paragraphs]

Expand on the conclusions you have drawn from “What is Standard English?” Think about the following questions.

  1. Build on the conclusions you have drawn from your reading of “What is Standard English?”
  2. How does Black Vernacular English (BVE) relate to Standard English? Is it non-standard English or a variant of Standard English?
  3. How has English continued to change in the age of social media? Each paragraph should include the following:
  • A topic sentence that identifies the subject of the paragraph
  • Includes evidence from the articles that supports your claim
  • Clearly indicates which material comes from which source using lead in phrases and in-text citations.
  • Shows the similarities or differences between the different sources in ways that make the paper as informative as possible
  • Includes quotes from the sources


Students should finish their essay by driving home their response to the question posed at the beginning. Perhaps conclude your essay with a quote or a question.

Essay Requirements

  1. Compose an essay of 1000 words depending on the assignment (with the number of words identified in parentheses at the end).
  2. The Essay must followed the outline identified in “Writing the Essay” above.
  3. Essay must be typed, paginated, double-spaced essay in 12-point font with 1” margins.
  4. Include your name and the author and title of the work in the top left-hand corner.
  5. Include the following: an introduction including a THESIS STATEMENT, body paragraph, and a conclusion.
  6. Include proper in-text citations and a properly formatted works cited page. See the proper entry for each of the articles you will analyze below.
  7. Compose an essay in Standard English with few errors in punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and capitalization. You should proofread your essay before submitting or have someone else proofread it for you.
  8. Submit the essay BY THE DUE DATE.


All papers must contain the student’s name and a title and are to be written in standard MLA format: double-spaced with 12 point font in Times New Roman and 1” margins on all sides.  You must cite your two sources using in-text citations according to the standard MLA format and you must include a properly formatted works cited page.

Citing Sources and the Works Cited Page

Within the text of your paper, you must cite the author of the essay you are analyzing (King 2).  In addition, your works cited page should include the three texts you will use in this essay.

McWhorter, John. “There’s Nothing Wrong with Black English.” Canvas. ENG 112.   Summer 2020.

Nordquist, Richard. “What Is a Tweet?” Canvas. ENG 112. Summer 2020.

“What is Standard English?” Canvas. ENG 112. Summer 2020.

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