Attention AP Lang-ers (mostly):
Many of you will see the comment: “Source Orientation” all over your synthesis essays. This is a serious problem, associated with a major penalty on the AP Exam. Fortunately there’s a simple fix.
This “error” has many variations, but generally entails:
a) summarizing the source
b) commenting on the source
c) really anything that involves writing about the source
note: This is considered an error because it is not appropriate for the purpose of the piece: You should NOT be engaged in a discussion of the sources, at least not in this specific type of essay. Instead, you SHOULD be presenting a topical argument that utilizes the sources for support or refutation.
How do I “fix”?
- Absorb or integrate the source into your argument, as if the ideas were your own
- Provide a conspicuous citation [Source D]
Mistake: “The benefits of ethnically varied literature are quite pronounced. Source E notes that ‘culturally authentic children’s literature enhances language development and thought processes…'”
Fix: “In today’s schools one of the highest priorities should be ensuring that educators teach with a diverse set of texts. Not only will this promote empathy and respect for others, but providing ‘culturally authentic children’s literature’ also ‘enhances language development and thought processes…'” [Source E].