Putting Info Together

Whether you're writing something online or in print, putting information together is an essential component. Learn some good tactics here.

Examining your thought process

To use information properly, you have to synthesize it. What does this mean in terms of writing blog posts, presentations, and other original content? The answer is simpler than you might think.

Watch the video to learn more about synthesizing information.

Why synthesis is important

"My boss asked me to put together a proposal for an employee rewards program. I thought it would be all right if I just copied and pasted my research into a PowerPoint presentation..." -Amelia
photo of amelia

Synthesis is important when it comes to finding and using information online. Even if you've done a lot of research and feel like you understand the topic, you have to know how to combine it in order to create something new. Otherwise, you won't be able to present your message effectively.

Take Amelia for example. Her supervisor at work asked her to write a presentation/proposal for an employee rewards program. She did a lot of research and found several articles that talked about what other companies are doing to motivate their staffs (including successful brands like Google and IKEA). In fact, Amelia found these articles so compelling that she decided to copy and paste them into her presentation. She didn't include much else. She thought it would be enough to show examples of programs that were known to be successful.

What's wrong with this situation?

Yes, Amelia did a lot of research on employee rewards programs. However, she failed to combine that information into something new: a proposal that would work for her company.

Amelia didn't think she was doing anything wrong when she copied and pasted these articles into her presentation. (She even cited her sources properly.) But her boss was pretty disappointed when she turned in her work. Instead of throwing together her research, Amelia should have tried to synthesize the information. Basically, it should have gone like this:

Research + Amelia's knowledge of her company's needs + personal opinion
= proposal

This would have lead to a much more effective PowerPoint presentation—one that showed her understanding of the topic, as well as her unique perspective. After all, that's what her boss was looking for. Now that Amelia understands this, she'll get it right next time.