The approach to a problem can be either analytic or synthetic. The analytic method is characterized by breaking down; the synthetic method, by building up. The analytic method seeks to find the pertinent factors of a problem or to identify the components of a material under study, to separate these factors and components, and to measure their quantity. The synthetic method attempts to correlate information, to bring together new combinations of matter and of ideas, and to create new matter or devise new concepts which unify apparently diverse phenomena. The analysis phase of scientific work demands close study, diligence, and care; the synthesis requires insight, imagination, and inspiration.
In any worthy scientific task both methods are used.
—Diehl & Smith 1952:1
Diehl, Harvey, and G. Frederick Smith. 1952. Quantitative analysis, elementary principles and practice. New York: Wiley.