How to Write a Synthesis Essay Without Problems

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Writing is never an easy process, and every time you get a writing assignment, you tend to become a bit depressed and frustrated. Even when the topic seems abundantly clear and you have enough time to work on your essay, it doesn't necessarily mean you will end up getting the expected result. If you are under serious time constraints or overloaded with other assignments, completing the paper in a short-term perspective doesn't look realistic at all. That causes students to search for all kinds of guidance and helpful recommendations, but the problem is that the information they come up with is too fragmentary and, therefore, cannot be regarded as very useful. Our guide on how to write a synthesis essay has been developed as the ultimate collection of recommended tips, ideas and examples meant to take the stress out of your synthesis writing and make it more enjoyable and successful.

What is a Synthesis Essay — Definition and Features

When writing a synthesis essay, pay attention to its purpose, peculiar features, as well as things that help differentiate this type of academic writing from others. You also need to understand the concept of your essay, since it influences the choice of the essay category and, thus have a direct bearing on the finished product.

  • What is the purpose of this type of essay?
    The purpose of this essay type is to establish a connection between different parts of scholarly work, topic or aspect. To achieve a solid essay, you should infer relations between various separate sources, synthesizing and incorporating this information into your essay.
  • How does synthesis essay definition help you understand the general idea of the paper?
    Taking into account that synthesis essay writing could be less formal in some aspects, we recommend that you try and understand the meaning of this definition. So, the synthesis essay could be defined as a piece of academic writing which examines a particular viewpoint concerning a specific idea, area or topic and is supported by a combination of different sources.
  • What are the differences between the main essay categories?

There are three main types of the synthesis essay:

  1. the argument synthesis writing, which should logically present information and have a sound thesis introducing the author's viewpoint;
  2. the review essay, which is mostly written in the form of discussion, covering the previously written material and connecting it with the current situation in the area; it should also state what needs be done to address the problem more relevantly and solidly;
  3. the explanatory (or background synthesis), which aims to help the audience perceive the topic without presenting the author's viewpoint; in this case, you only present facts and information, so the thesis statement doesn't need to be solid.

Synthesis Essay Format General Info

The format of a synthesis essay always depends on what style will be specified in your teacher's requirements. As you probably know, the most common academic styles and formats are APA, MLA, and Chicago, so once you've made up your mind about the topic, you will most likely be using one of them. For example, if your topic is connected with Education, Psychology, and Science, you should stick with APA; use MLA for Humanities and Chicago for Business, Fine Arts and History. If you need more information on each of the three formatting styles, we recommend that you consult numerous guides available on the Internet.

Synthesis Essay Structure and Main Parts

Depending on the category you've chosen, you may consider using several strategies to figure out how to start a synthesis essay most efficiently. Being the most demanding, the argumentative synthesis essay is usually written for the AP test, so if this is the case, you should stick with the general rules of formatting academic essays. You can apply different techniques for two other cases, so let's discuss some of them:

  • Illustration or a direct quote. You can use them to present the main idea of your paper or show the relationships between things you are going to discuss.
  • Strawman technique. Using this approach, you have to present an argument which is opposite to your essay's thesis, demonstrating the drawbacks and weak points of the counter-argument. It shows that you are aware of the different point of view and are ready to discuss it and prove your point.
  • Comparison and contrast technique. This structure is used to compare and contrast two different points of the topic you are researching.
  • Concession. This approach is very close to the Strawman technique. However, you are to focus on the validity of the counter-arguments presented in your paper. As a rule, this technique is used when your readers are supposed to have the opposing viewpoint.

Engaging Introduction

So, how to start a synthesis essay introduction in such a way as to demonstrate to the readers that your essay is worth reading? First of all, don't forget to use the previously described ideas if the essay type allows you to think outside the box and be a bit more creative. However, any essay needs a good introduction, which is why the best approach here would be not to start with the thesis statement, but rather include some general background info connected with the topic. By narrowing down this info, you should be able to move on to the thesis and present the main points of your essay more efficiently.

Informative Essay Body

When following the 5-paragraph format, make sure that your essay is logically and properly structured. Usually, the body paragraph for a synthesis essay consists of at least three parts which present the main points described in your introductory part.

Good Conclusion

Writing the conclusion can be difficult because by this point you seem to have addressed every aspect and, therefore, have nothing to add or paraphrase. If you are looking for information on how to write a conclusion for a synthesis essay, consider checking out these simple and yet very effective tips:

First, you need to address your essay thesis. It is important that you do not repeat it, but rather restate it in different words. It also helps create a connection between all of the essay's parts, which is something the majority of students hardly ever do.

Second, try and change the focus of your research by outlining only the most important information. To achieve this, group your ideas in a slightly different manner.

Third, connect the synthesis you've performed with your essay's general topic to show your readers how your research can supplement the topic, thus helping them see it from a different perspective.

Synthesis Essay Outline Basics

Unlocking the secret of how to write a good synthesis essay is impossible without creating the essay outline. Please, keep in mind that your essay outline will also depend on the academic style, so make sure to check the instruction before you start working on it.

Your general essay plan may have the following structure:

  • Essay introduction
    • Thesis statement
    • First argument/topic sentence
    • Second argument
    • Third argument
  • Body text
    • First argument
      • Evidence
      • Analysis/Reflection
    • Second argument
      • Evidence
      • Analysis/Reflection
    • Third argument
      • Evidence
      • Analysis/Reflection
  • Conclusion
    • References (Works cited)

Useful Synthesis Essay Tips

Please, have a look at some extra tips for writing a synthesis essay we have prepared for you:

  • Choose a topic suitable for this essay type.
  • Pay attention to the sources you are going to use.
  • Write the essay from the the third person's point.
  • Make the essay flow well-organized and logically by using various transition words and pertinent phrases.
  • Make sure you have enough time to revise and proofread your paper.
  • Adjust citations according to the style chosen.
  • Make sure your title reflects the main idea of your essay.

6 Good Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. What are the approaches of working with dyslexic kids in ESL classroom?
  2. How does the Internet influence the overall literacy?
  3. What factors influence the development of feminism?
  4. Why do commercials influence us?
  5. What makes us good citizens?
  6. How did the education system change due to technological advances?

With our professional guidelines and writing tips, you will succeed in preparing a good synthesis essay easily!