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AP Lang/Comp Synthesis Research Project: Resources and Assignment Information

Assignment Information

As you know, one of the essay prompts on the AP Language and Composition exam asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic.

For this research project, you will create your own synthesis prompt.  You will be required to find sources, excerpt material, evaluate visuals, and eventually write a paper that utilizes the sources to support an argument.  There will be research, writing, and speaking components to this assignment.

All topics should allow for an argumentative response to a complex issue and must be approved by your teacher.  Topics can fall under the following categories:  Education, environmental science, technology, business ethics and/or policy, government policy and/or funding, medicine, and art.

NOTE: for more specific information on your teacher's assignment, see the links below.


SEARCH TIPS: This database is not a good source for peer-reviewed scholarly articles, although you will find some, you cannot limit your search to them. However, this is a database that specializes in "pro-con" issues, which is helpful for your assignment topics.

To specifically find images in this database, use the Advanced Search, then select the "Images" button.

SEARCH TIPS:  These databases also have great topics of "pro-con" and global issues/topics.  Gale also provides diverse TYPES of resources such as images, videos, newspaper articles, and primary sources within your result list.  

How to Improve Your Search Terms

GALE Academic One File

SEARCH TIPS: Academic One File is the best place to find peer-reviewed academic journal articles.  You can search for peer-reviewed articles here by clicking on the "Advanced Search" link then checking the box that says "Peer-Reviewed Journals." 

You can also limit your results to newspapers by clicking the "News" link and refine it even more by using the "Filter Your Results" on the right hand side. 

Click on the "Images" link to find images pertaining to the topic such as maps, photos, and diagrams.  You can filter the type of image by using the "Filter Your Results" options under "Document Type."

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

ProQuest Central

SEARCH TIPS: This is the best database to search for blog posts, because you can limit your search to find them. Also very useful resource for academic journal and newspaper articles.

Please note that although you can limit your search by Document Type for items such as editorial cartoons and illustrations, the visual might not be available. In most cases, if there is not a PDF link, you will not be able to access the visual.

Use ProQuest Central to limit your search to Source Type TRADE PUBLICATIONS to search for trade articles, and to Document Type to limit your search to editorials and letters to the editor.

Searching Databases -- Search Terms and Advanced Searches