THE SYNTHESIS MATRIX: A GRID OF COMMON POINTS TO SYNTHESIZE RESEARCH California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Purpose of the Synthesis Matrix Academic assignments like literature reviews, theses, and dissertations require a thorough synthesis of the relevant literature of a topic. This means that one must locate the different research sources regarding a topic, compare the research, and identify where there may be similarities, gaps, or inconsistencies of themes. A synthesis matrix is a useful tool for synthesizing sources to compare studies. It is also commonly used to find areas of research that require additional study. Need additional notes? Click Here!
Use of the Synthesis Matrix The synthesis matrix can be used to compare and contrast components of a research study (i.e., methodology, research participants, results, etc.) Or it can be used to compare and contrast themes across studies. Oftentimes, it useful to create two separate synthesis matrices during the research process: one for comparing components of studies, and one for comparing themes.
Research question: What roles does capital punishment play in American society? Possible answers: Capital punishment plays the role of deterrence, revenge, oppression, and political leverage. Stenhouse, B. (1969) Patterson, J. (2010) Zaman, H. (2010) Fryckenberg, A. (2013) Lystne, N. (2013) Ochoa, O. (2013) DeterrenceRevenge Oppression Political Leverage “Capital punishment strongly deters crime” p. 16 “The death penalty does not discriminate” p. 2 “All too many politicians will agree to kill another man in order to remain in power” p. 44 “Using capital punishment only sanctions revenge” p. 8 “Many offenders are not even aware of the capital punishment laws in their states” p. 45 “Research indicates that capital punishment is not a statistically significant deterrent of crime” p. 12 “Capital punishment only serves to provide a model for murder” p. 56 “New research shows that grieving families would prefer that offenders suffer in jail” p. 56 “The death penalty does not add any significant deterrent effect above that of long- term imprisonment” p. 1 “It is illogical to kill others to prove killing is wrong” p. 30 “The death penalty is used against the poor, oppressed, mentally ill, juveniles, foreign nationals, and mentally retarded.” p. 5 “States without the death penalty have consistently lower murder rates” p. 4 “Children as young as 16 can be put to death. Some lawmakers are working to bring the age down to just 11 years old” p. 44 “Capital punishment is not justice: it is revenge” p. 17 “Politicians are unconcerned with the lives lost so long as their job is not” p. 55 “Capital punishment is just one more method of oppression in disguise” p. 23 “Local politicians support capital punishment” p. 7 “Death penalty critics question whether racial discrimination exists since 80 percent of those who are put to death had white victims” p. 1
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