|What happens when your teacher assigns topical research on China?
"Go find out about China!"
You Google China and discover with glee that there are some 220 or more million Web pages devoted to your topic.
For three weeks you gather, save and collect, creating a huge pile of information about China.
As your pile growns into a mountain, your early reactions of glee turn into bliss.
Everyone knows that a clear sign of intelligence and understanding is a huge pile of "stuff."
The Challenge of Synthesis
The trouble with mountains of information is the challenge of synthesizing all those pages into something that looks like a school report.
After three weeks of gathering (without much reading, sorting or sifting), you are suddenly confronted with the monstrous task of compacting all that information into a dozen pages.
If this were kitchen garbage, you could stuff the whole lot into the compactor and turn a switch, but information requires a different process and a different contraption.