Document Sample
					                       CREATING YOUR SYNTHESIS MATRIX
It is probably best to begin your chart by labeling the columns both horizontally and
vertically. The sample chart below illustrates how to do this.
                  Topic: ______________________________________

               Source #1       Source #2      Source #3       Source #4      Source #5
Main Idea A

Main Idea B

Label the columns across the top of your chart with the author’s last name or with a few
keywords from the title of the work. Then label the sides of the chart with the main ideas
that your sources discuss about your topic. As you read each source, make notes in the
appropriate column about the information discussed in the work, as shown in the
following chart. (You can also group the readings by sub-idea. Both examples are given.)

        After your chart is complete, notice patterns of information. You may find that
your sources, at times, discuss very similar material, or that they sometimes deal with
completely different aspects of your topic. These patterns can be useful in creating a
thesis statement that can guide your writing and keep you focused as you begin your
    Here is an example of a filled out matrix (first row by source, second row by idea):

                  Source #1        Source #2              Source #3        Source #4             Source #5
Main Idea A                        It is an issue that    According to     A recent study by     Whitley,
                  Academic         has garnished          Lupton and       West,                 Nelson, and
Academic                           attention and it is    Chapman’s        Ravenscroft, and      Jones (1999)
                  cheating is
dishonesty is     recognized as    considered a           study            Shrader (2004), in    reviewed 107
a pervasive       a highly         serious problem        (2000), about    a rare                studies related
problem in        prevalent and    among college          55% of the       natural               to cheating
                  ongoing          students (Crown &      United States    experiment had        among college
education                          Spiller, 1998;         students         found 74% of the      students and
                  problem at all
                  grade level      McCabe &               reported that    students cheated      found an
                  (Finn &          Trevino, 1996).        they had         on a take-home        average of
                  Frone, 2004).                           cheated          test.                 70.4% of
                                                          during their                           students had
                                                          college lives.                         cheated, 43.1%
                                                                                                 had cheated
                                                                                                 40.9% had
                                                                                                 cheated on
                                                                                                 and 47% had

                  Gender           Attitudes              Views on         Grades/GPA/class      Outside life
                                                          Types of         environment
Main Idea B       Roig and         Bernardi, Metzger,     Not all          grades negatively     Lawson (2004)
                  Caso (2005),     Bruno, Hoogkamp,       cheating is      correlate to          identified
What causes       reported no      Reyes, and             viewed alike     cheating (Nowell      relationship
a student to      significant      Barnaby’s (2004)       (Pincus &        & Laufer, 1997).      between
engage in         difference in    study indicate         Schmelkin,                             engaging in
academically      plagiarism       a highly significant   2003).           Adjunct               unethical
                  between          association                             instructors and       behaviors in an
dishonest         genders.         between students’      Lupton et                              academic
                                                                           class size are both
behaviors?                         attitudes on           al.’s study      positively            setting and
                  Crown and        cheating, academic     (2000),          correlated with       attitudes
                  Spiller’s        integrity, and         American         cheating. Nowell      toward
                  review (1998)    academic               students did     & Laufer, 1997).      behaviors in
                  did not find     dishonesty/honesty.    not believe                            business.
                  significant                             that giving
                  gender           Attitudes toward       someone past                           Sims (1993)
                  differences.     cheating differed      exams or                               positive
                                   considerably           using exams                            relationship
                  Females          among                  from a prior                           between the
                  consistently     Russia, the            semester was                           level of
                  report lower     Netherlands, Israel,   cheating,                              dishonesty at
                  cheating rates   and the United         whereas the                            school and
                  than males       States (Magnus, et     Polish                                 work.
                  (Davis et al.,   al 2002).              students
                  1992;                                   did.

Adapted from