Synthesis Essay – A Step by Step Guide & Examples

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Synthesis Essay

In a synthesis essay, you need to combine the ideas of more than one source with your own. It aims to connect themes from various texts and arrange them according to common themes.

It is a reading-to-write type of essay, and the high school students take it as a challenging task. Therefore, in this blog, we give a detailed overview of the synthesis essay for your ease. Learn how to write a winning synthesis paper that will impress your teacher.

Synthesis Essay Definition

A synthesis essay is a type of essay in which an essay writer takes a unique viewpoint about the central idea, theme, or topic and supports it with strong evidence. The writer combines two or more sources to form a complete opinion about the subject.

Therefore, for a synthesis essay, you need to gather ideas that support your claim and topic. Write it in a way where you analyze a few sources and determine their connection to the essay thesis.

The purpose of the synthesis essay is to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the main subject
  • Illustrate the knowledge of the smaller issues of the topic
  • Prove critical, analytical, and evaluation skills
  • Show your ability to prove an argument

A good synthesis essay has some key elements that make it a successful essay. Here are some elements:

  • Gather information from the sources using different sentences and phrases
  • Composing a claim or thesis
  • Format the essay and help the reader to understand your essay in great depth

Types of Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay is written for different purposes. There are two main types of synthesis essay which includes:

  1. 1. Expository Synthesis Essay

    In an expository synthesis essay, the author explains the issue in detail as much as possible. It is also known as a “research synthesis essay.” Therefore, it is mainly used in literature, social studies, and history classes. Have a look at the following document to get a better idea.

  2. 2. Argumentative Synthesis Essay

    An argumentative synthesis essay is based on the writer's thoughts. Here, use reliable sources to prove the author’s point of view. However, its main purpose is to persuade the reader and support the argument with strong evidence. Check out the following document to understand better.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

When you start writing the essay, you have to know your purpose and develop your perspectives and interpretations about the subject. A synthesis essay requires the ability to present information in an organized way.

Here are a few main steps that you should follow and create a well-written essay.

1. Choose an Interesting Topic

Before you start writing the synthesis essay, choose a good topic. The writing process becomes easy when the writer understands the topic, concept, audience, and writing style.

The essay topic should neither be too broad or too narrow, so you can easily gather several sources together.

When you select the essay topic, brainstorm the topic ideas and check selected topics in-depth to see if any of them take your interest.

2. Gather Information

Once you select the essay topic, start collecting the data for your essay. Go through several sources and gather relevant information. With the help of information, you will easily develop your thesis statement.

3. Synthesis Essay Thesis

The thesis statement will present the main idea of the essay. It should include the topic and state your point of view on that topic.

Synthesis essay thesis statement gives a brief overview of the topic and engages the reader to find out more about the claim through further reading.

4. Synthesis Essay Outline

The essay outline serves as a guide in the entire writing phase. Before you start writing the essay, it is essential to outline the essay.

Creating the perfect outline will help structure your ideas and plan your work. A detailed outline will save your time when you start writing the essay.

A synthesis essay outline consists of the following sections:

  • Synthesis Essay Introduction

    A synthesis essay introduction is an important part of the essay. Start the essay with an interesting hook statement, and it can be a quote, fact, or statistics. After the hook statement, start providing some background information about the topic.

    At the end of the introductory paragraph, write the thesis statement to convey your essay’s basic idea. Therefore, the readers can take an interest in reading the whole essay.

  • Synthesis Essay Body Paragraphs

    Write the synthesis essay body paragraph with a MEAL approach – Main Idea, Evidence, Analysis, and Link Back.

    This approach is discussed below in detail.

    • Main Idea: It is the place where you claim the topic and present the argument. At the start of each paragraph, use a topic sentence to introduce the main idea.
    • Evidence: It is a quote or a fact from the sources used for an essay. Support your statement with strong evidence.
    • Analysis: In this step, you have to specify how the evidence proves your argument.
    • Link Back: Link back to the main claim of the essay. Sources are essential to approve your claims.
    Synthesis Essay Body Paragraphs
  • Synthesis Essay Conclusion

    It is the stage where you close your essay. Restate the main points and the thesis statement of your essay in the conclusion section. Summarize the sources and include a call to action to encourage readers to do further research.

5. Finalize Your Synthesis Essay

It is the final step where you revise and proofread your essay. Read your essay and remove all the grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Check the essay format and make sure that your synthesis essay meets all your requirements.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay for AP Lang?

A synthesis essay is a piece of writing that combines information and ideas from two or more sources. This essay is an important part of the AP Lang exam and requires proper planning.

The writing process of the AP Lang essay is not difficult. Therefore, for your ease, we gathered some steps for writing the AP Lang synthesis essay.

  • Read and analyze the prompt carefully
  • Read the sources closely
  • Defend, challenge, or qualify your claim
  • Draft your essay
  • Use proper citation style
  • Proofread the essay before submitting it

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Synthesis Essay Examples

Here are some examples that help you in writing the perfect synthesis essay.

College Synthesis Essay Example

Synthesis Essay Structure

Synthesis Essay Sample

Synthesis Essay Rubric

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Synthesis Essay Topics

When you choose the synthesis essay topic, make sure to have a strong opinion. With this, you can easily form a unique view of the subject.

Here are some good ideas and topics that help in your essay writing phase.

  • Does Instagram promote stereotyping?
  • Do video games make the players more violent?
  • Why are comic heroes the best people for modern kids?
  • The role of race in the modern university environment.
  • Should schools allow students to grade their teachers?
  • The contribution of air pollution to global warming.
  • Importance of the government controlling our diet.
  • How the use of fossil fuels impacts global warming.
  • Impact of social media in education.
  • How to improve the English language?

Choose the topic from the list mentioned above and write a great synthesis essay.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is synthesis essay argumentative?

An argumentative essay argues something. A synthesis essay has a point of view, but it also provides evidence to support the claims in the body. The difference is that an argumentative essay includes denial to counter arguments against their opinion.

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