Analysing and synthesising ideas
When readers take apart a text they have read, examine it from their own viewpoint, and put it back together again, they make it their own. When they compare different texts, drawing out similarities and differences and deciding on the reasons for these, they create a new web of knowledge. As they analyse and synthesise, readers identify ideas, information, or features in a text, reflect on these in relation to their existing knowledge and cultural values (or to ideas from other texts), and form conclusions, interpreting the text’s meaning by drawing ideas together. Analysing and synthesising is a creative process that can enable readers to take ownership of the texts they read and the ideas and information in them.
Analysing and synthesising is a valuable strategy to use when bringing a more critical perspective to a text, for example, during a second reading or subsequent, closer readings.
What readers do
- identify and reflect on the ideas, features, or structures of a text (or texts) and consider how they link to the other ideas, features, or structures and to the reader’s prior knowledge and experience
- look for common elements, for example, similarities in the writer’s use of imagery within a text or similarities in ideas across several texts, in order to reach a conclusion that relates to their learning goal or reading purpose
- use this conclusion to inform their thinking and generate new ideas to help them meet their learning goal or reading purpose.
How teachers can support learners
- Work with a partner to identify the part where the mood changes and to find out how the author has created this change of mood.
- You’ve noticed that some reports on how tourism affected the island suggest that it’s harmful and others that it’s benefi cial. Can you account for this? Have you considered the writers’ purposes for each text?
- I’ve been thinking about that coach, what he says and does, how there’s a mystery about his past, the way the writer describes him, and what I would expect a coach to say and do – and I don’t think he can be trusted!
- You’ve suggested to me that the author delivers an important message about responsibility. You’ve worked this out by tracking how Victoria’s character changes, and you’ve supported this with a clear example of how she reacts quite differently to the problem in the last chapter.
- This letter to the editor contains more or less the same facts as the conservation website that we looked at yesterday, but the two texts use the information for a different purpose and audience. The different structures of the texts will give you some clues about what the different purposes are.