Articles must be chosen from peer-refereed journals, such as the following, among others:
– Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
– International Journal of the Sociology of Language
– Multilingua Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication
– Language and Identity
– Language in Society
– Annual Review of Applied Linguistics
– Language and Politics
The guidelines for syntheses writing are provided further below.
4. SYNTHESES WRITING:
What is a synthesis? Your performance in this class will be assessed in terms of what I call a synthesis – a critical, contrastive and comparative essay on a given topic – of approximately 3-4 pages in response to a prescribed reading or set of readings. There will be four syntheses, and these will serve as a basis for discussion in class and for evaluation. Synthesis writing involves selecting one or two (or at the most three) themes and showing how they are developed in the prescribed reading; responding critically to the authors’ arguments, findings and conclusions; relating the themes to your own experiences and concerns speculating about potential topics for future investigations. In other words, a synthesis is not a mere summary of the readings. I (and possibly your fellow students) will assess your synthesis by dialoguing with you: writing comments, queries and questions in the margin.
The guidelines or requirements for syntheses writing and the expectations within the academic discourse community are given below. The practice of syntheses writing is intended to feed into your other writing tasks including examination, research proposal, and drafts of future projects for advanced studies (e.g., MA, PhD).
Guidelines for syntheses writing
1. Indicate explicitly from the start what theme/s (e.g., power manipulation, resistance to power, etc.) you propose dealing with, how you are going to structure the synthesis, and signal clearly when you move from one theme to another. i.e. show responsibility to the reader.
2. Explain carefully how the authors develop the theme, before you insert your own observations (i.e. interact with the authors’ views).
3. Substantiate the claims/assertions you make yourself by indicating what you base them on e.g. personal experience/observation.
4. Show that you are an active participant in your writing/ find your own voice i.e. Take responsibility for your own beliefs; share your uncertainties; state what you think the issues ought to be; take responsibility for the definitions you are working with; say what you think; choose what to refer to; use your own style.
5. Relate themes to your own experience; agree or disagree with your sources, substantiating your views by referring to what you have experienced/observed.
6. Explain why the points are interesting or exciting, or why you agree or disagree. Don’t just indicate that you found a point made by one of the sources interesting or exciting, or that you agreed or disagreed with it.
7. Arising from your discussion of the themes, speculate about possible research questions/topics.
8. List your references at the end of your synthesis