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Tackling Information Problems (TIP): Synthesize information

Information Literacy tutorial for undergraduate students

Synthesize information

Now that you have found enough sources to complete your paper, you need to 'synthesize' information from the gathered sources in order to answer your research question. 

What is synthesizing?

'Synthesis’ is from the classical Greek and means 'the putting together of parts or elements to form a whole'. Synthesizing information includes:

  • analyzing the sources you selected;
  • taking relevant ideas (e.g. conflicting information and/or viewpoints) from these sources;
  • combining these ideas with existing knowledge to create new knowledge.

Note that each person will synthesize the same information in a unique and personal way, based on his or her's knowledge base.