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Synthesizing Sources

Getting Started

When synthesizing, we combine different thoughts or voices together into a unified whole. 
is a creative process, 
includes critical analysis, and 
integrates different ideas from literature that are focused on a specific problem or research question. 
Synthesizing is not just a series of article summaries.
To synthesize, you need to fit the ideas your different sources have on a subject together like a puzzle.
You show the whole picture by "combin[ing], reorganiz[ing], and integrat[ing] concepts and perspectives on the topic to create new theoretical formulations and ways of thinking about [a] topic" (Torraco, 2016, p. 420).
The information throughout this section on synthesizing sources is based on the following sources:

Frye, A. (n.d.). How to synthesize articles for a paper [PowerPoint presentation]. Retrieved from


Torraco, R. J. (2016). Writing integrative literature reviews: Using the past and present to explore the future. Human Resource Development Review,

          15(4), 404-428.

Westlake, C. (2012). Practical tips for literature synthesis. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 26(5), 244-249.