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Quotes about Synthesizing




"Synthesizing is hard work!"

Second Grade Student


"Synthesizing is like cooking without a recipe.  You take a little bit of this and a little bit of that to create something new and yummy."

Fifth Grade Student


"Synthesizing involves merging new information with existing knowledge to create an original idea, see a new perspective, or form a new line of thinking to achieve insight."

Harvey and Goudvis

Strategies that Work


"Synthesis is the result, the output part of the information process."

Mark Eisenberg

"Tip #5 Synthesis: Putting it all together"


"Synthesis is a process that needs a catalyst to get started.  Some important catalysts are:

  • Reading different texts, images, genres, data, and disciplines.
  • Asking essential questions.
  • Using your new learning to solve a real world problem."

Sharon Grimes
 Reading Is Our Business




As the second grade student said, "Synthesizing is hard work!" because to synthesize you need to combine words and ideas from the text with your thinking about the importance of the words and ideas and then, connect the words and ideas to other concepts.


Many students find the REST note-taking strategy helpful when learning how to synthesize.  REST stands for Record/Edit/Synthesize/Think.  


R - Record important ideas from two different sources* on sticky notes.


E - Edit your notes by putting all of the notes that are similar together and all of the notes that are different together. Ask yourself, "What patterns do I see?"


S - Start to synthesize the notes by combining the important ideas with your own thoughts, ideas, and experiences.


T - Think how the ideas connect to all of the other concepts you know about perhaps from math or science, or maybe from a real world problem you have had.  Write a single narrative that pulls together all of your thinking.


Record your narrative in the Comment box below.  Be sure to cite the two different sources you used so that others can follow the tracks of your thinking!


*Sources can be anything from a magazine article to a picture, poem, textbook, short story, graph, data set, song, sculpture, news broadcast, web site, or podcast.


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