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Hunter Gross

English 111
Synthesis Paper Reflection
The main objective of this synthesis paper reflection is to help you better understand
my thought process and my particular use of sources. Essentially I will do my best to breakdown
each paragraph to help you better understand my points more clearly and easily so that you
may better help me create an academically well rounded and polished final paper. I will be
honest that this paper was a headache and I spent many hours on the synthesis paper. Each
source I chose was done carefully; I wanted to get this paper as close to finished as possible.
After reading the reviews of my paper I clearly missed that mark.
First and foremost my thesis statement was chosen to encompass the common themes
of the readings that we have read in class. My thesis, scholarly institutions as well as the way
individuals use technology such as the internet, can certainly aid the individual in attaining new
skills and knowledge. attempted to cover how twenty first century components such as the
internet and universities as well as vocational schools effected how people attain certain skills
and knowledge. The first body paragraph I decided to use Jay Mathews because he says college
provides great benefits that one would not receive without college and essentially saying
college is a great choice for all, which gave me great points to stem from and to agree with him.
In the following paragraph I used Thomas Reeves to give a different perspective than just what

Jay Mathews offered. Not only did I want to contradict Mathews I also wanted to engage my
readers and make them think that college isnt the sole means to higher learning in this day and
age which gave me a chance to discuss both views. However Reeves statement seemed to draw
a lot of confusion according to, well, every one of my reviewers (this is no exaggeration), so
instead of trying to change a bunch of things to compensate that paragraph and risk making a
larger mistake I decided to opt for the less is more ideology and discovered the paper flowed
rather nicely without the Reeves statement.
After discussing college as a popular twenty first century means of learning I shifted to
another component of learning in the third paragraph, the internet. Enter Carr, (and his loathed
skimming statement), I decided to discuss the internet as a learning tool because, it was an
easily arguable statement and I already had a multitude of sources I could use in Carrs Is
Google Making Us Stupid and the Pew Research Centers responses to Carrs work. I wanted to
begin using Carr because he is a great launch point for the negatives of the use of the internet.
Then of course I would find a contradictory statement from the Pew Research Center.
Moreover I wished to delve deeper into the use of technology as a learning tool with a bit more
focus on the negative aspects, this provided (I felt) a good push and pull for the reader. I raised
the point that the internet provides multiple distractions for the reader and thus using
examples such as YouTube or gaming sites, I used these examples to make my point of
distraction more relatable for the reader. In avoidance to make the paragraph seem totally one
sided that the internet was bad, I decided to use Sandra Kelly to alleviate some of the bias
when she stated that the internet will be used for smart things by smart people and dumb
things by dumb people.

Extending the use of the internet I addressed the concern of the false information that
the internet provides in an attempt to cover as many bases as could with using the internet as a
learning tool. This is where I decided to use Gene Spafford to re-iterate my point that the
internet has false information. After discussing the pitfalls of the Internet I turned it around to
show that the pitfalls can make a better information seeking individual by using Joshua Fouts.
Fouts stated that the internet makes him a more thorough searcher, thus illustrating that the
pitfalls could be used to our advantage. Again, falling back on the push-pull aspect.
Essentially what I attempted to gear this paper towards was how twenty first century
components such as college and the internet helped us attain skills and I tried to branch from
those two main subjects of my paper (colleges and the internet). I wanted to use the negative
components and positive components in such a way that the reader would see both sides of
the spectrum but ultimately falling back to the point that technology and attending college or
its equivalent was good. This synthesis paper provided me with many late nights and headaches
particularly in the final draft phase. Overall I am glade this experience is over for now.