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Writing Assignment #2
The Four-Source

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Essay: Basic Synthesis

  • Summary of assignment
  • • Task: The four-source essay asks you to synthesize the arguments of four sources.
    • Length: Minimum of 1000 words. The instructor will give you comments on the first draft
    and let you know if you need more development beyond 1000 words.
    • Format: APA
    • Sources: Four sources, all of which you will find through library searches. If you haven’t
    firmly chosen a topic for WA#1, you will select a topic of your choice, conduct searches in
    the library databases, focus the topic, and determine four sources to use in this essay. (Of
    course, you may have chosen a firm topic that you used for WA#1. Four of these five sources
    are appropriate to use for WA#2 unless your instructor indicates otherwise.)

    o All of your sources must be from scholarly journals or credible trade journals.

    No sources can be from popular journals.
    o Please use only four sources. Please do not incorporate more than four sources into
    this essay.

  • Articles to Use for the Essay
  • For this essay, you will select four articles on a topic of your choice. The articles should be on the
    same topic but feature different perspectives, opinions, or conclusions about some aspects of the

    For example, if you are majoring in cybersecurity, you might locate four articles about the need for
    improved training for employees on mobile security issues. The four articles might take different
    angles on the topic, perhaps even disagreeing in some respects.

    To use another example, if you are majoring in criminal justice, you might locate four articles on the
    CSI Effect. The articles should take different perspectives on the topic. Perhaps one or two of them
    say that the CSI Effect exists and one or two say that it does not exist. Or perhaps all agree that it
    exists but they all take slightly different approaches to addressing the problem.

  • Organization for this Essay
  • You will write an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement will
    demonstrate what the various sources say on the topic.

    You will also have various body paragraphs that show synthesis. In synthesizing sources, you
    will divide your paper into themes.

    For example, let us assume that you find four articles on the need for improved training for
    employees on mobile security issues. In this situation, assume that the four articles emphasize
    different issues. One emphasizes the costs of data breaches to companies. Another emphasizes
    reasons that employees do not practice safe cybersecurity practices. Another discusses methods for
    training employees. Another mentions costs of training for such initiatives.

    You might divide the paper into two categories:

    • Reasons for implementing a training program
    • Methods of and costs involved in implementing a training program

    After developing the body of your essay, you will want to write a strong conclusion. Remember to
    summarize the material developed in the body in the conclusion. You might also consider calling
    for further research on the topic in your conclusion.

  • Point of view
  • For this essay, you will use third-person point of view.

    Please do not use first person point of view (e.g., “I,” “me,” “we”) in writing this essay.

    In addition, please do not use second-person point of view (“you” or “your”) in writing this essay.

    For example, instead of “Smith argues that, as a director, you have a duty to coordinate
    cybersecurity efforts…” you would write, “Smith argues that directors have a duty to coordinate
    cybersecurity efforts…”

  • APA Style
  • The paper should be formatted in APA style. The Week 3 link “APA 7th edition example
    student essay”. In summary, you should observe the following:

    • Use one-inch margins.
    • Double space.
    • Use size 12 Times New Roman font.
    • Include page numbers.
    • Include a title page.
    • Include a “References” page on which you list the four articles in APA style
    • Do not include an abstract. This paper is not long enough to warrant an abstract.

  • Submitting the assignment:
  • You will submit a first draft of the essay to the assignment folder. The first draft will not be
    graded. The instructor will provide comments to it.

    After receiving comments from the instructor, you will submit a revised draft. The final draft
    will be graded.

  • Helpful Resources
  • • Kennedy, M.L. and Kennedy, W., “Synthesis,” from Writing in the disciplines: A reader and
    rhetoric for academic writers. This chapter in in the e-reserves of our class. It provides an

    excellent description of an exploratory synthesis essay, a literature review, and a thesis-driven
    synthesis essay.

    • Graff, G. and Birkenstein, C., They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic
    Writing with Readings. This chapter in in the e-reserves of our class. It mentions various
    techniques to apply in stating what an author said and your response to the author. It is
    recommended that you read through that chapter so that you might apply these techniques
    to this essay.

      Summary of assignment
      Articles to Use for the Essay
      Organization for this Essay
      Point of view
      APA Style
      Submitting the assignment:
      Helpful Resources


    Analytical/Critical Annotated Bibliography: The Effects Humans Have on the Environment

    Analytical/Critical Annotated Bibliography: The Effects Humans Have on the Environment

    Buscardo, E., Souza, R. C., Meir, P., Geml, J., Schmidt, S. K., Da Costa, A. C., & Nagy, L. (2021). Effects of natural and experimental drought on soil fungi and biogeochemistry in an Amazon rain forest. Communications Earth & Environment, 2(1), 1-12. DOI:

    This article provides overall information on the relationship between humans and land. Humans have exerted a lot of influence on the land, through global warming, infrastructure, and agriculture. The article, thus, tries to explain the need to understand contemporary and past ecological and environmental responses to better adapt and predict future changes and minimize the impacts of climate change. The article also tries to explain early human impacts on the environment. According to the authors, 1950 was the start of the rapid, worldwide, human-driven transformation of the climate and environment. The article goes on to illustrate how soil changes in response to various environmental drivers. It also explains how infrastructure influences the environment. This source is a published article under Nature – the top multidisciplinary science journal in the world. The article is reliable and credible and can be useful for pursuing more research on the impacts of human activities on the environment.

    Ford, A. K., Jouffray, J. B., Norström, A. V., Moore, B. R., Nugues, M. M., Williams, G. J., … & Ferse, S. C. (2020). Local human impacts disrupt relationships between benthic reef assemblages and environmental predictors. Frontiers in Marine Science, 794. DOI:

    This article explains how human activities are changing the ecosystem. It provides empirical evidence on how human impacts change relationships between environmental drivers and ecological communities. According to the article, humans have become a significant force of change on the planet. Worldwide, ecosystems are being significantly altered by the impacts of climate change. Research claims that ecosystems are being homogenized or reorganized into opportunistic or stress-tolerant communities. Ecological reorganization may significantly change the relationship between the ecosystem with the various climate change and environmental-related drivers. Understanding the role human impacts play in steering ecological reorganization and altering the ecosystem’s relationships with its biophysical environment is important. Locally, sewage input, agricultural practices, and rapidly growing coastal development are reducing the level of water quality, whereas the modernization of fishing methods is promoting overexploitation of fishery resources in the coastal regions. Globally, the strange weather patterns, destructive storms, and the frequency and intensity of temperature anomalies are increasing. This article is a reliable source. It will be useful for pursuing more research as it provides thorough, well-reasoned arguments.

    Galvani, A. P., Bauch, C. T., Anand, M., Singer, B. H., & Levin, S. A. (2016). Human–environment interactions in population and ecosystem health. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(51), 14502-14506. DOI:

    This article talks about how humans interact with the environment. As the human population continues to increase, so too does the human impact on the environment. The dangers of refining, fossil fuel energy consumption, and mining now go beyond proximate or occupational risks to climate change. Some of the detrimental effects of climate change include floods, droughts, and storms. Climate change also has severe consequences on food security, economic stability, and the transmission of infectious diseases. One major challenge facing human beings nowadays is how to provide for the growing population while maintaining what remains of ecosystem and biodiversity services. Cross-sectoral, integrated, and collaborative approaches are, therefore, needed to strengthen the equitability, resiliency, and sustainability of natural resources. This source is a published journal under PNAS (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). PNAS is one of the most-cited scientific journals. The article is a good resource for pursuing more research on the impact of human activities on the environment.

    Rosso Grossman, M. (2018). Climate change and the individual. The American journal of comparative law, 66(suppl_1), 345-378. DOI:

    This article explores the impact of human activities on climate change. Climate change was once considered a future issue but has now moved into the present. Ocean and atmospheric temperatures are rising, the sea level is rising, precipitation is changing, the intensity and frequency of severe weather events are increasing, and the ocean is getting more acidic. The Climate Science Special Report attributes human influence as the major source of climate change since the middle of the 20th century. The emission of GHGs (greenhouse gases) is the major cause of climate change. If the global emissions of GHGs are not minimized, heat waves will affect around seventy-four percent of the world’s population in the year 2100. In Europe, for instance, increasing temperatures will cause weather disasters, such as coastal flooding, heat waves, and climate-related deaths by the year 2100. Reports also indicate that climate change will impact nutrition in developing nations by 2050 since increasing temperatures affect the growth of plant-based proteins. This article can be useful for pursuing more research. It provides detailed, evidence-based arguments.

    Steibl, S., & Laforsch, C. (2019). Disentangling the environmental impact of different human disturbances: a case study on islands. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-8. DOI:

    This article explains the impacts humans have on coastal ecosystems. Our ecosystem is facing several environmental problems. These problems are a result of the increasing human population. And the coastal areas are among the most affected ecosystems. Between fifty percent and seventy-five percent of the world’s population resides close to the coastal regions. Reports indicate that sandy coasts account for around seventy-five percent of the ice-free coastline. Besides their inherent ecological value, sandy shores are a critical element of tourism and travel industries worldwide. Several environmental studies try to discover factors that influence sandy shores ecosystems. Many research findings consider sewage pollution, tourism, beach nourishment, fishing, and bait collecting as the major anthropogenic disturbances that negatively affects the beach ecosystem. This article is a good source and can be useful for pursuing more research. It contains a comprehensive investigation of whether other forms of anthropogenic disturbances in urban areas (i.e., tourist facilities, infrastructure, permanent settlements, etc.) have similar effects on the environment.

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