The purpose of the Synthesis Paper is to provide a summary and analysis of an assigned reading for the week. The Synthesis Paper will be on an assigned chapter reading from the textbook for the week or an additional reading for the week.
Synthesis Paper will be in a research paper format and include: a cover page, (abstract is not necessary), introduction/background of the reading assignment topic, thesis (content and focus of the reading assignment topic), conclusion and recommendations, and a reference page.
The paper must be in APA format – in-text citations and references
Your paper will contain scholarly references – peer reviewed scholarly articles, published books, government or academic websites (.gov, .org., .edu), etc. You will obviously cite and use the assigned reading as a source (reference) for your Synthesis Paper, but you must also include additional scholarly sources (references) for the synthesis paper. Your reference page will be your last page.
Content of Synthesis Paper:
provide a brief background/summary of assigned reading – what is the assigned reading about – crime scene, staging, manner of death, investigative strategies, techniques, or skills, victimology, associates, etc.?
What do you feel are the important investigative strategies, skills or techniques? Discuss why they are important – specific to the assigned reading
Consider how improper investigative strategies, skills or techniques (specific to the reading) can hinder or damage an investigation
Use additional sources (references) describing the strategies, skills or techniques – does the additional source support the skill or technique discussed in the reading?
Give your opinion, supported by research and/or theory, on how you would conduct an effective investigation related to the assigned reading
Provide a conclusion and include recommendations on the assigned reading – what are the most important investigative strategies, skills or techniques that can be used to determine the manner of death or that can be used to effectively investigate the nature of the investigation described in the assigned reading
Example for Synthesis Paper: for Chapter 1 in Practical Homicide Investigation (textbook), there are numerous investigative strategies, skills, and techniques to discuss, such as, assess the victimology of the deceased, evaluate the type of injuries of the victim, conduct forensic examinations to establish and ascertain facts of the case, establish behavior or victim and suspect, reconstruct and evaluate the event, conduct and process all death investigations as if they were homicide cases, etc.
Length of Synthesis Paper: this is a graduate synthesis paper, it should be academically written, concise, and to the point. For graduate papers, I do not like to give specific page lengths. At this point in your academic career, you should be able to gauge when you have written a paper that meets all of the criteria without meeting specific page length requirements. As a guide though, the Synthesis paper should be approximately 4 -5 pages (excluding cover page and reference page). The paper should be concise and to the point. I will only read up to 5 pages in length (excluding cover page and reference page), so don’t waste your time writing over 5 pages of content. Anything over 5 pages of content will not be graded. For example, if your opinion, conclusion, and/or recommendation are after page 5 of content, it will not be graded and you will lose points for those criterion.
Be innovative and creative! Each reading assignment will have a bunch of information and content. Even if the reading assignment is a shorter assignment, there will be plenty of key words and phrases in the reading that you can research to find out additional information to write about in your paper.
- Research and Support Material Worksheet
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