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College students struggle with synthesis assignments, often producing serial summaries of texts (for example, Aitchison & Lee, 2006; Bloom, 1956). Graphic organizers visualize the connections between information in multiple texts (for example, Daher & Kiewra, 2016; Hall & Strangman, 2008). This essay introduces the Mapping the Conversation exercise as such a graphic organizer and discusses its set-up and execution. The exercise challenges students’ critical thinking and actively engages them in the writing process, ultimately aiding students in producing complex and concise syntheses. The exercise was originally developed for a first-year writing course but can be adapted for advanced writers and courses across all majors.
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