How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

A synthesis essay requires you to work with multiple sources. You combine the information gathered from them to present a well-rounded argument on a topic. Are you looking for the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing? You’ve come to the right place!

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In this guide by our custom writing team, you will find:

  • a step-by-step writing guide;
  • a list of 34 synthesis essay topics;
  • a full essay sample in MLA format.
  • 📚 Synthesis Essay Definition
  • 📝 Essay Types
  • ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
  • ✍️ Topics & Prompts
  • 📑 Example & Formatting Tips

📚 What Is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is an assignment that requires a unique interpretation of a particular topic using several reliable sources. To write it, you need to understand, analyze, and synthesize information. That is why this type of essay is used in the AP Lang exam to assess students’ reasoning skills.

The key features of the synthesis essay are:

  • Debatable topic . If your goal is to write a good synthesis essay, it’s necessary to choose an arguable topic. It’s best to choose something that people have different opinions about. This will allow you to use many sources with various viewpoints for your synthesis.
  • Clear thesis statement. It’s a sentence that briefly describes the main idea of your essay.
  • Reliable sources to prove your thesis . For a synthesis essay, your opinion is not enough. You also need to find the evidence. Keep in mind that simply reading an online encyclopedia won’t do; make sure to choose only reliable sources.

What Does It Mean to Synthesize Information?

Synthesis is a process that has huge importance in nature, science, and our everyday life. The word stems from Ancient Greek “synthesis,” which means “putting together.” In general, synthesis is the combination of components to form a connected whole.

The picture shows examples of synthesis usage in various spheres: biochemistry, physics, and sound creation.

In everyday life, we usually resort to it to synthesize information . This means taking the data from different sources and bringing it together. This process is the opposite of analyzing:

  • For an analysis , you break problems into pieces,
  • For a synthesis , you combine separate elements into a whole.

We use synthesis for analysis papers, research papers, argument papers, and business reports.

What Does Synthesis Mean in Writing?

Synthesis in writing means summarizing and connecting different sources considering a particular topic. Although synthesis and analysis are two opposite things, they usually go together in synthesis essays. The process consists of 2 stages:

  • Conduct the analysis. For that, you break down a problem into parts and analyze the sources. It’s helpful to highlight everything regarding your topic while reading.
  • Carry out the synthesis. The next step is to formulate an opinion and combine the highlighted information from the sources.

Synthesis is not only used in writing but also in reading comprehension . It’s useful to do this kind of reading while studying your sources. There are three reading comprehension stages:

  • Your previous knowledge about the topic.
  • Expansion of your knowledge while you are reading.
  • Understanding of the problem when you have finished reading.

So, synthesized reading comprehension means combining three stages in one and formulating one statement.

Synthesis vs Summary: What Is the Difference?

A summary is a paraphrasing of the written source in your own words. For a good summary, it’s necessary to include all of the text’s key elements. Meanwhile, synthesis means combining different ideas from different sources. You don’t have to include all the key points; just choose everything related to your topic.

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The picture explains the difference between a synthesis and a summary.

Both of these techniques are used for the synthesis essay:

  • The summary goes in the conclusion. You briefly sum up your paper’s main ideas.
  • Synthesis goes in the body paragraphs. Here, you combine multiple sources to prove a point.

📝 Synthesis Essay Types

There are two main types of a synthesis essay: argument and explanatory synthesis.

Both of them require working with multiple reliable sources and analyzing information. The only difference is that an argument synthesis essay requires your own opinion, while an explanatory synthesis essay does not.

Argument Synthesis Essay: Outline and Definition

As you already know, an argument synthesis essay requires you to state your own opinion about the given topic and back it up with several reliable sources. The purpose of such an essay is to persuade the reader that your point is correct.

Here’s what an argument synthesis essay consists of:

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Explanatory Synthesis Essay: Definition and How to Write

An explanatory informative synthesis essay requires you to stay neutral towards the problem you are discussing. This means you cannot express your own opinion considering the given question or a problem. Your task is just to inform the reader. That’s why this essay type is also called informative synthesis.

Check out this explanatory essay outline:

✅ How to Write a Synthesis Essay Step by Step

When it comes to the synthesis essay outline, it’s not too different from other assignments. Have a look at this template:

The picture shows a synthesis essay outline: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

How to Synthesize: Working with Sources

After you’ve decided on your topic, it’s time to figure out how to synthesize articles into one text. This is how you do it:

  • Choose reliable sources: the ones printed in journals or published on academic websites.
  • Become familiar with them and see if they fit into your essay.
  • Try to find a few sources for each point. It will increase your essay’s reliability.
  • Relate each source to your arguments and see similarities between them.
  • Don’t forget to list every source in the references.

When you are done with a comprehensive analysis of related literature, try to step back and imagine a person who has a different opinion on this topic. Think of some arguments that they can provide to prove their opinion. After you have the list of arguments, find the written evidence of why they are wrong and put them in your essay.

Analyzing and organizing sources is the first and very important step for the synthesis essay. So make sure you do understand what the text means before using it as a reference.

Synthesis Essay Outline: How to Write

For structuring your essay, it’s useful to try mapping . This technique means combining the information from different sources and rearranging it to create a new direction. To do it, you need to analyze the authors’ ideas and come up with your own conclusions.

The best way to do that is called synthesis matrix or graphic organizer. It’s a chart that you can make when you start working on your essay. Here you have a horizontal column that states the main ideas and a few vertical columns that present sources. Your task is to take sources you have chosen and write down the main ideas from them.

Here’s an example of a matrix chart:

While doing that, you will see how many sources contain the same ideas. When you analyze them, you will be able to formulate your thesis backed up with evidence. The synthesis matrix also helps to see new arguments you can cover in your synthesis paper.

How to Write an Introduction for a Synthesis Essay

Now it’s time to start writing the paper. In the introductory part of the essay, you can include:

  • A short yet catchy sentence or a quotation that would present the topic. The start of your essay should make people interested. It’s best to make the first sentence not only informative but also easy to understand.
  • The texts that are used for the essay. Provide the titles and the authors’ names (use the appropriate guidelines depending on the writing style.)
  • The background information which is needed to understand your essay. Definitions of terms or unknown words considering the topic can be included in this part. Otherwise, people may find it hard to understand what they are reading about.

How to Write a Thesis for a Synthesis Essay

A thesis statement is a point of view on a certain problem that you will defend in your essay. It should contain the key points that you want to include in your paper. Here’s how to create a perfect thesis statement:

  • Find several central ideas in the chart.
  • Choose the ones that are repeated the most often and the ones that you feel need to be in your essay.
  • Combine them, and you have a thesis statement with all the key points.
  • Make a draft of the thesis statement. Try to formulate the main idea you want to present in your essay.
  • Elaborate on this idea. Add some details and expand it a bit further.

If the whole picture is coherent, and it conveys exactly what you wanted, then this is your perfect thesis statement. See the example below:

Gender inequality still exists at the workplace: women are less likely to get the most responsible positions, easily lose careers due to maternity leave, and often receive less pay for the same amount of work.

How to Write Synthesis Paragraphs for the Main Body

Your essay’s main body consists of a few paragraphs. Each of them presents a different argument considering the topic. When you start a paragraph, make sure to begin with a topic sentence, which informs the reader about the paragraph’s main idea. Then, include the synthesized sources and elaborate on them.

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when writing the main body:

You can use the following words to present the ideas from your sources. They will help you reflect the authors’ tone:

How to Conclude a Synthesis Essay

There are quite a few ways to conclude the synthesis paper. Have a look at some of the options:

  • Paraphrase the thesis. As you remember, the thesis is the main idea of your essay. The conclusion is a good place to remind your readers about it. When they are done with the reading, they remember the most important thing from your essay.
  • Synthesize the arguments. There is no need to repeat everything you wrote in your essay. Just briefly summarize the most crucial points.
  • Answer the “So what” question. Tell the readers why this topic matters, why you’ve chosen it, and why it’s valuable for the reader.
  • Provide a closure. It’s an effective strategy when you want to make the reader think. Leave them with a strong statement at the end of your essay.

Synthesis Paper Proofreading Tips

When you have finally written your paper, there is still one important thing left to do. You need to check your paper for any grammatical and contextual mistakes. You certainly can do it yourself, but it would be perfect if you could ask somebody else to read it.

The first thing you need to check grammar-wise is the tense you are using. There is no single tense you need to use for the synthesis essay. It depends on the format:

  • If you’re writing in MLA format, use the present tense;
  • For APA essays, you use the past tense.

The next step is to check whether your synthesis essay has everything that’s required. For that, we have prepared the checklist of questions you can ask yourself to proofread your essays.

  • Is there a clear thesis statement?
  • Did you include all of the key points from the synthesis?
  • Are there clear transitions between paragraphs?
  • Did you organize a paragraph around a single idea?
  • Did you use reliable and up-to-date sources?
  • Did you analyze sources rather than just summarize them?
  • Did you mention every source you’ve used?

If you’ve answered “yes” to all the questions—congratulations, you are done with the essay! Otherwise, you need to come back and fix everything that you’ve answered “no” to.

✍️ Synthesis Essay Topics and Prompts

Sometimes, when you don’t have a topic , it is tough to come up with a suitable idea. That is why we have prepared two lists of topics that you can use for any synthesis essay type.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topics

The topics below are suitable for an explanatory synthesis essay:

  • The beginning of Hollywood cinema . Cinema is a huge industry in the USA. Tell the readers about its history. Describe what it was like in the beginning, which movie was the first one, and who started this industry.
  • Tactics on dealing with noisy children.  Sometimes kids can be very loud, especially in public places. Write about different tactics that can help with this issue.      
  • The effects of climate change  on the water cycle.  Climate change has affected the water cycle significantly. Your task is to explain how. 
  • The best American cities to live in.  Provide the list of the best cities and explain why you’ve included them.
  • The importance of a healthy diet . Keeping a healthy diet is beneficial in many ways. Write about all the advantages it brings.
  • Who can become an entrepreneur?  Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. In this essay, you can describe the qualities needed for having your own business.
  • The correlation between overpopulation and poverty . Describe how overpopulation leads to poverty and vice versa.
  • The advantages of taking an active vacation.
  • Cultural shock as a part of moving to a different country.
  • The consequences of the first wave of feminism .
  • Synthesis of Tan and Rodriguez’ essays ideas.  
  • Difficulties you may encounter during the job interview.
  • How does reading prevent Alzheimer’s disease ?
  • The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses . 
  • The connection between  religion and politics  in ruling the country. 
  • What can non-verbal signals tell you about a person ? 
  • The psychology of leadership . 
  • The origins of the most common  stereotypes  about Americans. 
  •   Role of social media in business communication . 
  • The synthesis of personal nursing philosophy concept.  
  • Behavioral components of schizophrenia and psychosis.  
  • Main components of successful entrepreneurship.   
  • Critical components of scientific research.   
  • Change in religion and human beliefs throughout history.  
  • The effect of global warming on modern life. 

Argument Synthesis Paper Topics

The list of topics for the Argument Synthesis Essay:

  • Vaping is better than smoking .  People are starting to exchange cigarettes for vapes and e-cigarettes. In what ways are they less harmful?
  • Rich people should pay higher taxes.  The same percentage of money doesn’t equal for rich and poor people. Explain why the ones who can afford more should share with others.
  • Depression is a disease .  Prove that psychological problems must be recognized as real health issues that should be cured and not ignored.
  • Social media affects young people’s lives.  Social media has a massive influence on people. In this essay, you can discuss which life spheres are the most affected.
  • Beauty pageants should be banned.  Provide the reasons why they should be banned and tell the reader about psychological problems they can cause.
  • People should cut meat from their diet to stop global warming . Describe how the meat industry influences climate change.
  • The voting age should be 25+.  Your task is to show the reasons why the votes of people under 25 should not be taken into account during elections.
  • A healthy lifestyle requires a lot of money.
  • Each healthy man should serve in the military.
  • School bullying should be punished by immediate exclusion.
  • Does friendship exist between men and women?
  • Drinking coffee is a bad habit.
  • Working hard is more important than being talented.
  • Everybody should visit a therapist at least once.
  • Should universities be free ?
  • Artificial intelligence will cause huge unemployment rates.
  • Gaming should not be allowed to children under 18.
  • Components and strategies of social responsibility  
  • Integration of relevant ethical theory and conceptual principles in health care  
  • Children under 10 should be banned from gadgets .  
  • Social media platforms facilitate cyberbullying.  
  • Issues of distance education . 
  • Social media addiction is a serious disease.  
  • Deforestation critically contributes to global warming. 
  • Healthcare should be free for everyone.  

📑 Synthesis Essay Example & Synthesis Essay Format Tips

Now let’s talk about formatting. There are two writing styles you can use for a synthesis essay: APA or MLA. You need to choose the one that is required for your assignment.

We will start with the paper in APA format. It is usually used in science and education.

And these are MLA formatting rules:

Finally, we’ve prepared a synthesis essay sample for you to check out. Feel free to download the PDF file below:

First introduced in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affirmative action policies aim to mitigate the discrepancy in opportunities available for underrepresented social groups by taking into account one’s minority background. The policies have become a pressing public issue that obstructs previously marginalized individuals, particularly in the educational environment.

Thank you for reading the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing. We hope you found it helpful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends. Good luck with your assignments!

🔍 References

  • Writing a Synthesis Essay: Bowling Green State University
  • What Is Synthesis: University of Manitoba
  • Synthesis: Biology Online
  • Reading Strategies: Difference Summarizing and Synthesizing: WordPress
  • Summary, Analysis, Synthesis Definitions: University of Utah
  • Argumentative Synthesis: University of Arkansas
  • How to Synthesize Written Information: Simply Psychology
  • Mapping of Synthesis Essay: University of Nevada, Reno
  • Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix: Florida International University
  • Synthesis Essay: Cleveland State University
  • Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources: Louisiana State University
  • Writing a Conclusion: Texas Women’s University
  • General APA Guidelines: Purdue University
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Advanced Placement (AP)


If you're planning to take the AP Language (or AP Lang) exam , you might already know that 55% of your overall exam score will be based on three essays. The first of the three essays you'll have to write on the AP Language exam is called the "synthesis essay." If you want to earn full points on this portion of the AP Lang Exam, you need to know what a synthesis essay is and what skills are assessed by the AP Lang synthesis essay.

In this article, we'll explain the different aspects of the AP Lang synthesis essay, including what skills you need to demonstrate in your synthesis essay response in order to achieve a good score. We'll also give you a full breakdown of a real AP Lang Synthesis Essay prompt, provide an analysis of an AP Lang synthesis essay example, and give you four tips for how to write a synthesis essay.

Let's get started by taking a closer look at how the AP Lang synthesis essay works!

Synthesis Essay AP Lang: What It Is and How It Works

The AP Lang synthesis essay is the first of three essays included in the Free Response section of the AP Lang exam.

The AP Lang synthesis essay portion of the Free Response section lasts for one hour total . This hour consists of a recommended 15 minute reading period and a 40 minute writing period. Keep in mind that these time allotments are merely recommendations, and that exam takers can parse out the allotted 60 minutes to complete the synthesis essay however they choose.

Now, here's what the structure of the AP Lang synthesis essay looks like. The exam presents six to seven sources that are organized around a specific topic (like alternative energy or eminent domain, which are both past synthesis exam topics).

Of these six to seven sources, at least two are visual , including at least one quantitative source (like a graph or pie chart, for example). The remaining four to five sources are print text-based, and each one contains approximately 500 words.

In addition to six to seven sources, the AP Lang exam provides a written prompt that consists of three paragraphs. The prompt will briefly explain the essay topic, then present a claim that students will respond to in an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources provided.

Here's an example prompt provided by the College Board:

Directions : The following prompt is based on the accompanying six sources.

This question requires you to integrate a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. Refer to the sources to support your position; avoid mere paraphrase or summary. Your argument should be central; the sources should support this argument .

Remember to attribute both direct and indirect citations.


Television has been influential in United States presidential elections since the 1960's. But just what is this influence, and how has it affected who is elected? Has it made elections fairer and more accessible, or has it moved candidates from pursuing issues to pursuing image?

Read the following sources (including any introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that television has had a positive impact on presidential elections.

Refer to the sources as Source A, Source B, etc.; titles are included for your convenience.

Source A (Campbell) Source B (Hart and Triece) Source C (Menand) Source D (Chart) Source E (Ranney) Source F (Koppel)

Like we mentioned earlier, this prompt gives you a topic — which it briefly explains — then asks you to take a position. In this case, you'll have to choose a stance on whether television has positively or negatively affected U.S. elections. You're also given six sources to evaluate and use in your response. Now that you have everything you need, now your job is to write an amazing synthesis essay.

But what does "synthesize" mean, exactly? According to the CollegeBoard, when an essay prompt asks you to synthesize, it means that you should "combine different perspectives from sources to form a support of a coherent position" in writing. In other words, a synthesis essay asks you to state your claim on a topic, then highlight the relationships between several sources that support your claim on that topic. Additionally, you'll need to cite specific evidence from your sources to prove your point.

The synthesis essay counts for six of the total points on the AP Lang exam . Students can receive 0-1 points for writing a thesis statement in the essay, 0-4 based on incorporation of evidence and commentary, and 0-1 points based on sophistication of thought and demonstrated complex understanding of the topic.

You'll be evaluated based on how effectively you do the following in your AP Lang synthesis essay:

Write a thesis that responds to the exam prompt with a defensible position

Provide specific evidence that to support all claims in your line of reasoning from at least three of the sources provided, and clearly and consistently explain how the evidence you include supports your line of reasoning

Demonstrate sophistication of thought by either crafting a thoughtful argument, situating the argument in a broader context, explaining the limitations of an argument

Make rhetorical choices that strengthen your argument and/or employ a vivid and persuasive style throughout your essay.

If your synthesis essay meets the criteria above, then there's a good chance you'll score well on this portion of the AP Lang exam!

If you're looking for even more information on scoring, the College Board has posted the AP Lang Free Response grading rubric on its website. ( You can find it here. ) We recommend taking a close look at it since it includes additional details about the synthesis essay scoring.


Don't be intimidated...we're going to teach you how to break down even the hardest AP synthesis essay prompt.

Full Breakdown of a Real AP Lang Synthesis Essay Prompt

In this section, we'll teach you how to analyze and respond to a synthesis essay prompt in five easy steps, including suggested time frames for each step of the process.

Step 1: Analyze the Prompt

The very first thing to do when the clock starts running is read and analyze the prompt. To demonstrate how to do this, we'll look at the sample AP Lang synthesis essay prompt below. This prompt comes straight from the 2018 AP Lang exam:

Eminent domain is the power governments have to acquire property from private owners for public use. The rationale behind eminent domain is that governments have greater legal authority over lands within their dominion than do private owners. Eminent domain has been instituted in one way or another throughout the world for hundreds of years.

Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then synthesize material from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-developed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the notion that eminent domain is productive and beneficial.

Your argument should be the focus of your essay. Use the sources to develop your argument and explain the reasoning for it. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from, whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the descriptions in parentheses.

On first read, you might be nervous about how to answer this prompt...especially if you don't know what eminent domain is! But if you break the prompt down into chunks, you'll be able to figure out what the prompt is asking you to do in no time flat.

To get a full understanding of what this prompt wants you to do, you need to identify the most important details in this prompt, paragraph by paragraph. Here's what each paragraph is asking you to do:

  • Paragraph 1: The prompt presents and briefly explains the topic that you'll be writing your synthesis essay about. That topic is the concept of eminent domain.
  • Paragraph 2: The prompt presents a specific claim about the concept of eminent domain in this paragraph: Eminent domain is productive and beneficial. This paragraph instructs you to decide whether you want to defend, challenge, or qualify that claim in your synthesis essay , and use material from at least three of the sources provided in order to do so.
  • Paragraph 3: In the last paragraph of the prompt, the exam gives you clear instructions about how to approach writing your synthesis essay . First, make your argument the focus of the essay. Second, use material from at least three of the sources to develop and explain your argument. Third, provide commentary on the material you include, and provide proper citations when you incorporate quotations, paraphrases, or summaries from the sources provided.

So basically, you'll have to agree with, disagree with, or qualify the claim stated in the prompt, then use at least three sources substantiate your answer. Since you probably don't know much about eminent domain, you'll probably decide on your position after you read the provided sources.

To make good use of your time on the exam, you should spend around 2 minutes reading the prompt and making note of what it's asking you to do. That will leave you plenty of time to read the sources provided, which is the next step to writing a synthesis essay.

Step 2: Read the Sources Carefully

After you closely read the prompt and make note of the most important details, you need to read all of the sources provided. It's tempting to skip one or two sources to save time--but we recommend you don't do this. That's because you'll need a thorough understanding of the topic before you can accurately address the prompt!

For the sample exam prompt included above, there are six sources provided. We're not going to include all of the sources in this article, but you can view the six sources from this question on the 2018 AP Lang exam here . The sources include five print-text sources and one visual source, which is a cartoon.

As you read the sources, it's important to read quickly and carefully. Don't rush! Keep your pencil in hand to quickly mark important passages that you might want to use as evidence in your synthesis. While you're reading the sources and marking passages, you want to think about how the information you're reading influences your stance on the issue (in this case, eminent domain).

When you finish reading, take a few seconds to summarize, in a phrase or sentence, whether the source defends, challenges, or qualifies whether eminent domain is beneficial (which is the claim in the prompt) . Though it might not feel like you have time for this, it's important to give yourself these notes about each source so you know how you can use each one as evidence in your essay.

Here's what we mean: say you want to challenge the idea that eminent domain is useful. If you've jotted down notes about each source and what it's saying, it will be easier for you to pull the relevant information into your outline and your essay.

So how much time should you spend reading the provided sources? The AP Lang exam recommends taking 15 minutes to read the sources . If you spend around two of those minutes reading and breaking down the essay prompt, it makes sense to spend the remaining 13 minutes reading and annotating the sources.

If you finish reading and annotating early, you can always move on to drafting your synthesis essay. But make sure you're taking your time and reading carefully! It's better to use a little extra time reading and understanding the sources now so that you don't have to go back and re-read the sources later.


A strong thesis will do a lot of heavy lifting in your essay. (See what we did there?)

Step 3: Write a Strong Thesis Statement

After you've analyzed the prompt and thoroughly read the sources, the next thing you need to do in order to write a good synthesis essay is write a strong thesis statement .

The great news about writing a thesis statement for this synthesis essay is that you have all the tools you need to do it at your fingertips. All you have to do in order to write your thesis statement is decide what your stance is in relationship to the topic provided.

In the example prompt provided earlier, you're essentially given three choices for how to frame your thesis statement: you can either defend, challenge, or qualify a claim that's been provided by the prompt, that eminent domain is productive and beneficial . Here's what that means for each option:

If you choose to defend the claim, your job will be to prove that the claim is correct . In this case, you'll have to show that eminent domain is a good thing.

If you choose to challenge the claim, you'll argue that the claim is incorrect. In other words, you'll argue that eminent domain isn't productive or beneficial.

If you choose to qualify, that means you'll agree with part of the claim, but disagree with another part of the claim. For instance, you may argue that eminent domain can be a productive tool for governments, but it's not beneficial for property owners. Or maybe you argue that eminent domain is useful in certain circumstances, but not in others.

When you decide whether you want your synthesis essay to defend, challenge, or qualify that claim, you need to convey that stance clearly in your thesis statement. You want to avoid simply restating the claim provided in the prompt, summarizing the issue without making a coherent claim, or writing a thesis that doesn't respond to the prompt.

Here's an example of a thesis statement that received full points on the eminent domain synthesis essay:

Although eminent domain can be misused to benefit private interests at the expense of citizens, it is a vital tool of any government that intends to have any influence on the land it governs beyond that of written law.

This thesis statement received full points because it states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning on the issue of eminent domain. It states the author's position (that some parts of eminent domain are good, but others are bad), then goes on to explain why the author thinks that (it's good because it allows the government to do its job, but it's bad because the government can misuse its power.)

Because this example thesis statement states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning, it can be elaborated upon in the body of the essay through sub-claims, supporting evidence, and commentary. And a solid argument is key to getting a six on your synthesis essay for AP Lang!

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Step 4: Create a Bare-Bones Essay Outline

Once you've got your thesis statement drafted, you have the foundation you need to develop a bare bones outline for your synthesis essay. Developing an outline might seem like it's a waste of your precious time, but if you develop your outline well, it will actually save you time when you start writing your essay.

With that in mind, we recommend spending 5 to 10 minutes outlining your synthesis essay . If you use a bare-bones outline like the one below, labeling each piece of content that you need to include in your essay draft, you should be able to develop out the most important pieces of the synthesis before you even draft the actual essay.

To help you see how this can work on test day, we've created a sample outline for you. You can even memorize this outline to help you out on test day! In the outline below, you'll find places to fill in a thesis statement, body paragraph topic sentences, evidence from the sources provided, and commentary :

  • Present the context surrounding the essay topic in a couple of sentences (this is a good place to use what you learned about the major opinions or controversies about the topic from reading your sources).
  • Write a straightforward, clear, and concise thesis statement that presents your stance on the topic
  • Topic sentence presenting first supporting point or claim
  • Evidence #1
  • Commentary on Evidence #1
  • Evidence #2 (if needed)
  • Commentary on Evidence #2 (if needed)
  • Topic sentence presenting second supporting point or claim
  • Topic sentence presenting three supporting point or claim
  • Sums up the main line of reasoning that you developed and defended throughout the essay
  • Reiterates the thesis statement

Taking the time to develop these crucial pieces of the synthesis in a bare-bones outline will give you a map for your final essay. Once you have a map, writing the essay will be much easier.

Step 5: Draft Your Essay Response

The great thing about taking a few minutes to develop an outline is that you can develop it out into your essay draft. After you take about 5 to 10 minutes to outline your synthesis essay, you can use the remaining 30 to 35 minutes to draft your essay and review it.

Since you'll outline your essay before you start drafting, writing the essay should be pretty straightforward. You'll already know how many paragraphs you're going to write, what the topic of each paragraph will be, and what quotations, paraphrases, or summaries you're going to include in each paragraph from the sources provided. You'll just have to fill in one of the most important parts of your synthesis—your commentary.

Commentaries are your explanation of why your evidence supports the argument you've outlined in your thesis. Your commentary is where you actually make your argument, which is why it's such a critical part of your synthesis essay.

When thinking about what to say in your commentary, remember one thing the AP Lang synthesis essay prompt specifies: don't just summarize the sources. Instead, as you provide commentary on the evidence you incorporate, you need to explain how that evidence supports or undermines your thesis statement . You should include commentary that offers a thoughtful or novel perspective on the evidence from your sources to develop your argument.

One very important thing to remember as you draft out your essay is to cite your sources. The AP Lang exam synthesis essay prompt indicates that you can use generic labels for the sources provided (e.g. "Source 1," "Source 2," "Source 3," etc.). The exam prompt will indicate which label corresponds with which source, so you'll need to make sure you pay attention and cite sources accurately. You can cite your sources in the sentence where you introduce a quote, summary, or paraphrase, or you can use a parenthetical citation. Citing your sources affects your score on the synthesis essay, so remembering to do this is important.


Keep reading for a real-life example of a great AP synthesis essay response!

Real-Life AP Synthesis Essay Example and Analysis

If you're still wondering how to write a synthesis essay, examples of real essays from past AP Lang exams can make things clearer. These real-life student AP synthesis essay responses can be great for helping you understand how to write a synthesis essay that will knock the graders' socks off .

While there are multiple essay examples online, we've chosen one to take a closer look at. We're going to give you a brief analysis of one of these example student synthesis essays from the 2019 AP Lang Exam below!

Example Synthesis Essay AP Lang Response

To get started, let's look at the official prompt for the 2019 synthesis essay:

In response to our society's increasing demand for energy, large-scale wind power has drawn attention from governments and consumers as a potential alternative to traditional materials that fuel our power grids, such as coal, oil, natural gas, water, or even newer sources such as nuclear or solar power. Yet the establishment of large-scale, commercial-grade wind farms is often the subject of controversy for a variety of reasons.

Carefully read the six sources, found on the AP English Language and Composition 2019 Exam (Question 1), including the introductory information for each source. Write an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources and develops your position on the most important factors that an individual or agency should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Source A (photo) Source B (Layton) Source C (Seltenrich) Source D (Brown) Source E (Rule) Source F (Molla)

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis presents a defensible position.
  • Select and use evidence from at least 3 of the provided sources to support your line of reasoning. Indicate clearly the sources used through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Sources may be cited as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the description in parentheses.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Now that you know exactly what the prompt asked students to do on the 2019 AP Lang synthesis essay, here's an AP Lang synthesis essay example, written by a real student on the AP Lang exam in 2019:

[1] The situation has been known for years, and still very little is being done: alternative power is the only way to reliably power the changing world. The draw of power coming from industry and private life is overwhelming current sources of non-renewable power, and with dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, it is merely a matter of time before coal and gas fuel plants are no longer in operation. So one viable alternative is wind power. But as with all things, there are pros and cons. The main factors for power companies to consider when building wind farms are environmental boon, aesthetic, and economic factors.

[2] The environmental benefits of using wind power are well-known and proven. Wind power is, as qualified by Source B, undeniably clean and renewable. From their production requiring very little in the way of dangerous materials to their lack of fuel, besides that which occurs naturally, wind power is by far one of the least environmentally impactful sources of power available. In addition, wind power by way of gearbox and advanced blade materials, has the highest percentage of energy retention. According to Source F, wind power retains 1,164% of the energy put into the system – meaning that it increases the energy converted from fuel (wind) to electricity 10 times! No other method of electricity production is even half that efficient. The efficiency and clean nature of wind power are important to consider, especially because they contribute back to power companies economically.

[3] Economically, wind power is both a boon and a bone to electric companies and other users. For consumers, wind power is very cheap, leading to lower bills than from any other source. Consumers also get an indirect reimbursement by way of taxes (Source D). In one Texan town, McCamey, tax revenue increased 30% from a wind farm being erected in the town. This helps to finance improvements to the town. But, there is no doubt that wind power is also hurting the power companies. Although, as renewable power goes, wind is incredibly cheap, it is still significantly more expensive than fossil fuels. So, while it is helping to cut down on emissions, it costs electric companies more than traditional fossil fuel plants. While the general economic trend is positive, there are some setbacks which must be overcome before wind power can take over as truly more effective than fossil fuels.

[4] Aesthetics may be the greatest setback for power companies. Although there may be significant economic and environmental benefit to wind power, people will always fight to preserve pure, unspoiled land. Unfortunately, not much can be done to improve the visual aesthetics of the turbines. White paint is the most common choice because it "[is] associated with cleanliness." (Source E). But, this can make it stand out like a sore thumb, and make the gargantuan machines seem more out of place. The site can also not be altered because it affects generating capacity. Sound is almost worse of a concern because it interrupts personal productivity by interrupting people's sleep patterns. One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support.

[5] As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and the consequences. But, by balancing economics, efficiency, and aesthetics, power companies can create a solution which balances human impact with environmental preservation.

And that's an entire AP Lang synthesis essay example, written in response to a real AP Lang exam prompt! It's important to remember AP Lang exam synthesis essay prompts are always similarly structured and worded, and students often respond in around the same number of paragraphs as what you see in the example essay response above.

Next, let's analyze this example essay and talk about what it does effectively, where it could be improved upon, and what score past exam scorers awarded it.

To get started on an analysis of the sample synthesis essay, let's look at the scoring commentary provided by the College Board:

  • For development of thesis, the essay received 1 out of 1 possible points
  • For evidence and commentary, the essay received 4 out of 4 possible points
  • For sophistication of thought, the essay received 0 out of 1 possible points.

This means that the final score for this example essay was a 5 out of 6 possible points . Let's look more closely at the content of the example essay to figure out why it received this score breakdown.

Thesis Development

The thesis statement is one of the three main categories that is taken into consideration when you're awarded points on this portion of the exam. This sample essay received 1 out of 1 total points.

Now, here's why: the thesis statement clearly and concisely conveys a position on the topic presented in the prompt--alternative energy and wind power--and defines the most important factors that power companies should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Evidence and Commentary

The second key category taken into consideration when synthesis exams are evaluated is incorporation of evidence and commentary. This sample received 4 out of 4 possible points for this portion of the synthesis essay. At bare minimum, this sample essay meets the requirement mentioned in the prompt that the writer incorporate evidence from at least three of the sources provided.

On top of that, the writer does a good job of connecting the incorporated evidence back to the claim made in the thesis statement through effective commentary. The commentary in this sample essay is effective because it goes beyond just summarizing what the provided sources say. Instead, it explains and analyzes the evidence presented in the selected sources and connects them back to supporting points the writer makes in each body paragraph.

Finally, the writer of the essay also received points for evidence and commentary because the writer developed and supported a consistent line of reasoning throughout the essay . This line of reasoning is summed up in the fourth paragraph in the following sentence: "One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support."

Because the writer did a good job consistently developing their argument and incorporating evidence, they received full marks in this category. So far, so good!

Sophistication of Thought

Now, we know that this essay received a score of 5 out of 6 total points, and the place where the writer lost a point was on the basis of sophistication of thought, for which the writer received 0 out of 1 points. That's because this sample essay makes several generalizations and vague claims where it could have instead made specific claims that support a more balanced argument.

For example, in the following sentence from the 5th paragraph of the sample essay, the writer misses the opportunity to state specific possibilities that power companies should consider for wind energy . Instead, the writer is ambiguous and non-committal, saying, "As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and consequences."

If the writer of this essay was interested in trying to get that 6th point on the synthesis essay response, they could consider making more specific claims. For instance, they could state the specific benefits and consequences power companies should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm. These could include things like environmental impacts, economic impacts, or even population density!

Despite losing one point in the last category, this example synthesis essay is a strong one. It's well-developed, thoughtfully written, and advances an argument on the exam topic using evidence and support throughout.


4 Tips for How to Write a Synthesis Essay

AP Lang is a timed exam, so you have to pick and choose what you want to focus on in the limited time you're given to write the synthesis essay. Keep reading to get our expert advice on what you should focus on during your exam.

Tip 1: Read the Prompt First

It may sound obvious, but when you're pressed for time, it's easy to get flustered. Just remember: when it comes time to write the synthesis essay, read the prompt first !

Why is it so important to read the prompt before you read the sources? Because when you're aware of what kind of question you're trying to answer, you'll be able to read the sources more strategically. The prompt will help give you a sense of what claims, points, facts, or opinions to be looking for as you read the sources.

Reading the sources without having read the prompt first is kind of like trying to drive while wearing a blindfold: you can probably do it, but it's likely not going to end well!

Tip 2: Make Notes While You Read

During the 15-minute reading period at the beginning of the synthesis essay, you'll be reading through the sources as quickly as you can. After all, you're probably anxious to start writing!

While it's definitely important to make good use of your time, it's also important to read closely enough that you understand your sources. Careful reading will allow you to identify parts of the sources that will help you support your thesis statement in your essay, too.

As you read the sources, consider marking helpful passages with a star or check mark in the margins of the exam so you know which parts of the text to quickly re-read as you form your synthesis essay. You might also consider summing up the key points or position of each source in a sentence or a few words when you finish reading each source during the reading period. Doing so will help you know where each source stands on the topic given and help you pick the three (or more!) that will bolster your synthesis argument.

Tip 3: Start With the Thesis Statement

If you don't start your synthesis essay with a strong thesis statement, it's going to be tough to write an effective synthesis essay. As soon as you finish reading and annotating the provided sources, the thing you want to do next is write a strong thesis statement.

According to the CollegeBoard grading guidelines for the AP Lang synthesis essay, a strong thesis statement will respond to the prompt— not restate or rephrase the prompt. A good thesis will take a clear, defensible position on the topic presented in the prompt and the sources.

In other words, to write a solid thesis statement to guide the rest of your synthesis essay, you need to think about your position on the topic at hand and then make a claim about the topic based on your position. This position will either be defending, challenging, or qualifying the claim made in the essay's prompt.

The defensible position that you establish in your thesis statement will guide your argument in the rest of the essay, so it's important to do this first. Once you have a strong thesis statement, you can begin outlining your essay.

Tip 4: Focus on Your Commentary

Writing thoughtful, original commentary that explains your argument and your sources is important. In fact, doing this well will earn you four points (out of a total of six)!

AP Lang provides six to seven sources for you on the exam, and you'll be expected to incorporate quotations, paraphrases, or summaries from at least three of those sources into your synthesis essay and interpret that evidence for the reader.

While incorporating evidence is very important, in order to get the extra point for "sophistication of thought" on the synthesis essay, it's important to spend more time thinking about your commentary on the evidence you choose to incorporate. The commentary is your chance to show original thinking, strong rhetorical skills, and clearly explain how the evidence you've included supports the stance you laid out in your thesis statement.

To earn the 6th possible point on the synthesis essay, make sure your commentary demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the source material, explains this nuanced understanding, and places the evidence incorporated from the sources in conversation with each other. To do this, make sure you're avoiding vague language. Be specific when you can, and always tie your commentary back to your thesis!


What's Next?

There's a lot more to the AP Language exam than just the synthesis essay. Be sure to check out our expert guide to the entire exam , then learn more about the tricky multiple choice section .

Is the AP Lang exam hard...or is it easy? See how it stacks up to other AP tests on our list of the hardest AP exams .

Did you know there are technically two English AP exams? You can learn more about the second English AP test, the AP Literature exam, in this article . And if you're confused about whether you should take the AP Lang or AP Lit test , we can help you make that decision, too.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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tips for writing a good synthesis essay

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Your Guide From Start to Finish

tips for writing a good synthesis essay

Did you know that every day, the average person encounters an overwhelming amount of information equivalent to reading approximately 174 newspapers? In today's information age, we are bombarded with data from multiple sources: news articles, social media updates, scientific studies, and more. This relentless influx of information can leave us feeling like we're drowning in a sea of facts, opinions, and statistics. However, the ability to synthesize and make sense of this deluge of data is a critical skill in our modern world.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Short Description

In this article, you will not only learn how to navigate the sea of information but also harness it to craft compelling synthesis essays. We'll take you through key steps and tips, unveiling the secrets of successful synthesis essay writing. Discover the format that will give your work structure and clarity, and learn the art of choosing a synthesis essay topic that engages readers and stimulates critical thinking. Whether you're a student aiming to excel in your academic assignments or a writer seeking to convey complex ideas effectively, this handbook has you covered. It equips you with the tools, strategies, and real-world examples needed to create impactful synthesis essays that not only make sense of the data but also captivate your audience. So, let's dive in and discover how to transform fragmented information into coherent and persuasive essays that leave a lasting impression.

What Is a Synthesis Essay: Understanding Its Nature and Purpose

According to our ' write paper for me ' experts, a synthesis essay is the ultimate connector in the world of writing. It's not just about putting together a bunch of facts and opinions; it's about making sense of them. Think of it as creating a comprehensive map from scattered puzzle pieces.

The goal of writing a synthesis essay is more than just presenting information; it's about digging deeper. It challenges you to take various sources, like articles, studies, or arguments, and find the common threads between them. Then, you use these connections to build a strong, convincing argument.

In our information-packed world, this kind of essay is a tool for serious thinkers. It lets you explore how different ideas fit together, and it's a way to present a well-thought-out view on complex topics. Whether you're working with literature, science, history, or current events, it lets you show off your analytical skills and present a well-rounded perspective. It's not just about sharing knowledge; it's about revealing insights by connecting the dots between different pieces of information.

Explanatory vs. Argumentative Synthesis Essays: Key Differences

In the realm of synthesis essays, two primary types often surface: explanatory and argumentative. Understanding the distinction between these two is crucial because it shapes the purpose, tone, and approach of your essay.


An explanatory synthesis essay does exactly what their name suggests—they explain. These essays aim to provide an objective and balanced view of a topic by gathering information from various sources and presenting it in a clear, organized manner. The goal here is not to take a stance or persuade but to inform and elucidate. They often serve as comprehensive overviews of a subject, breaking down complex concepts, theories, or ideas for a broader audience. These essays rely heavily on factual data and expert opinions to present a comprehensive picture, steering clear of personal bias or persuasion.


On the flip side, argumentative synthesis essays are all about persuasion. They delve into the synthesis process with the primary objective of taking a stance on a particular issue or topic. They gather information from various sources not only to present a well-rounded view but also to build a compelling argument. Argumentative synthesis essays seek to convince the reader of a specific viewpoint, drawing upon the gathered information as evidence to support their claims. These papers are inherently opinionated and employ rhetorical strategies to sway the reader's perspective.

And if you're keen on knowing how to write an informative essay , we've got you covered on that, too!

Synthesis Essay Structure

A well-structured synthesis essay is like a sturdy building—it stands strong on a solid framework. Here's a basic outline for understanding how to write a synthesis essay:

1. Introduction:

  • Start with a hook or engaging fact to grab your reader's attention.
  • Provide some context about the topic and the sources you'll be synthesizing.
  • Present a clear, concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument or viewpoint.

2. Background Information (Optional):

  • If your topic requires it, offer some background information to help your reader understand the context of the sources you're using.

3. Body Paragraphs:

  • Each paragraph should focus on a single sub-topic or source.
  • Begin with a clear topic sentence that relates to your thesis.
  • Introduce the source you're about to synthesize and its main points.
  • Incorporate evidence from the source (quotes, paraphrases, or summaries) to support your points.
  • Analyze and interpret the source, explaining how it relates to your thesis and other sources.
  • Consider counterarguments and address them if necessary.
  • Transition smoothly between paragraphs to maintain the essay's flow.

4. Synthesis:

  • In this crucial part, you connect the dots between your sources. Show how they intersect, diverge, or complement each other.
  • Highlight common themes, patterns, or contradictions among the sources.
  • Use your analysis to build a coherent argument or perspective.

5. Counterargument (Optional):

  • If applicable, acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counter them with reasoned arguments.

6. Conclusion:

  • Restate your thesis and summarize your main points concisely.
  • Emphasize the significance of your argument and its broader implications.
  • Leave the reader with a thought-provoking closing statement or a call to action.

7. References or Works Cited:

  • Include a list of all the sources you used in your essay, following the appropriate citation style (e.g., MLA, APA).

Remember, the effectiveness of your paper depends not only on what you say but how you say it. Clear organization, logical transitions, and well-supported arguments are key elements in building a compelling structure.

Choosing a Synthesis Essay Topic: A Guide to Decision-Making

Selecting the right synthesis essay topics is akin to laying a strong foundation for a successful project. Remember that choosing essay topics is just the beginning; the synthesis process will require you to critically evaluate and connect various sources to construct a coherent argument or perspective. Here's a systematic approach to help you make an informed choice:

choosing a synthesis essay topic

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Key Steps and Tips

Similar to a compare and contrast essay , writing a synthesis essay requires a systematic approach to effectively merge information from multiple sources into a coherent and persuasive argument. Here are the key steps and tips to guide you through the process:

1. Understand Your Purpose:

  • Clarify whether you are writing an explanatory or argumentative synthesis essay, as this will shape your approach and tone.

2. Select and Analyze Sources:

  • Carefully choose credible and relevant sources that contribute to your synthesis essay topic. Ensure a balance between different types of sources, such as academic articles, books, and reputable websites.
  • Analyze each source critically. Identify the main ideas, arguments, and evidence presented.

3. Develop a Strong Thesis Statement:

  • Craft a clear, concise thesis statement that conveys your main argument or perspective. Your thesis should guide the entire essay.

4. Organize Your Essay:

  • Structure your essay with a well-organized outline. Typically, it includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your topic, using evidence from your sources to support your points.

5. Use Effective Transition Sentences:

  • Utilize transition sentences to connect paragraphs and ideas smoothly. This helps maintain the flow of your essay.

6. Synthesize Information:

  • In the body paragraphs, synthesize information from your sources. Discuss how each source contributes to your thesis and identify common themes or contradictions.

7. Avoid Summarization:

  • Resist the temptation to merely summarize your sources. Instead, engage with them critically and use them as building blocks for your argument.

8. Address Counterarguments (if applicable):

  • Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counter them with well-reasoned arguments. This demonstrates a thorough understanding of the topic.

9. Craft a Strong Conclusion:

  • In your conclusion, restate your thesis and summarize your main points. Emphasize the significance of your argument or insights.

10. Revise and Proofread:

  • Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammar errors.
  • Make sure your citations are accurate and consistent with the chosen citation style (e.g., MLA, APA).

11. Seek Feedback:

  • Consider getting feedback from peers, instructors, or writing centers to improve the quality of your essay.

12. Edit for Conciseness:

  • Remove unnecessary repetition and ensure your writing is concise and to the point.

By following these key steps and tips, you'll be well-prepared to master how to write a good synthesis essay. Remember that practice and patience will help you refine your skills in synthesizing information and presenting it persuasively.

Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay

A key factor in working on a synthesis paper is doing a proper analysis of a given text or prompt. To successfully analyze it, you must comprehend the text’s purpose, rhetoric, and the argument the author claims. In other words, you are answering the question: “So what?” Then, you must build your application, and write your work around that.

  • Avoid titling the assignment as ‘synthesis essay’ followed or preceded by a relevant title.
  • Remember to address your readers appropriately.
  • Use precise vocabulary. Don’t be shy about using a dictionary.
  • Use a clear sentence structure. Avoid using passive voice.
  • Proofread and correct errors: spelling, comma errors, subject-verb agreements, plurals, possessives. And avoid using the word “you.”
  • Make sure your citations are correct.
  • Make use of sentence and paragraph transitions.

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Writing Techniques

Make use of Summarizing: One of the simplest methods of organization. It allows you to summarize the sources that possess the highest amount of relevance. The issue with this is that this method doesn’t include any of your independent thoughts.

Examples: Paraphrase source material. Write segments of sources in your own words. Quoting sources can also be used under this technique. In every case of using examples, make sure to cite the source.

Multiple Reasons: Using multiple reasons – typically two – is known to be an extremely effective method.

Strawman: Present one argument against your thesis. Though, make sure the argument is not very strong. The advantage of this method is to teach awareness of the other side of the argument. This type of evidence presents an introduction and description. It is followed by the opposing view and a decisive factor.

Concession: This technique illustrates the opposing viewpoint. It shows the positives being much stronger than the negatives.

Compare and Contrast: The compare and contrast method allows writers to examine two sources at once. Comparing shows similarities, as contrasting shows the differences. Illustrating an in-depth analysis of your chosen topic is possible.

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Synthesis Essay Format

The format of your synthesis paper depends on the specific style required by your teacher or professor. The most commonly used styles include MLA, APA, and Chicago. Each of these styles serves different academic disciplines: APA is prominent in Education, Psychology, and Science; MLA is employed for citations in Humanities; and the Chicago style finds application in Business, History, and Fine Arts.

synthesis essay format

Synthesis Essay Example

In this section, we present two synthesis essay examples that exemplify the practical application of the synthesis process. They delve into intriguing topics and serve as practical guides for those looking to master the art of writing this kind of paper.

Synthesis Essay Example MLA

An article published by Jean Twenge clearly warns readers that the rise in the use of smartphones in the modern world is ruining teenagers. Furthermore, the author makes a sensational claim that the rise in social media and smartphone usage are creating a metaphorical earthquake, the likes of which have never been previously witnessed in the world. The author provides pieces of evidence from other studies concerning the issue, as well as personal observations—all of which support Twenge’s claim. According to Twenge, the main theory for claiming that smartphone and social media usage result in destroying a generation is that increased use of these two platforms results in mental depression and other mental problems. This paper will mainly refute the claims of the author by focusing on the issues raised by the author’s work.

Sample Synthesis Paper APA Style

Society has various aspects that signify the difference in lifestyles and behaviors amongst individuals in a community. Language is one of these essential aspects that help to identify individuals in a society. Identification of a common language will generalize a specific group of individuals possessing the same culture, even if they are from different races. In this essay, let’s examine how language defines our identity in society. Let’s also look at how two different authors have given different views about how language defines black schoolchildren in the Oakland School District.

Synthesis Essay Tips

Crafting an impactful paper requires a thoughtful approach and strategic techniques. Here are five essential tips for writing a synthesis essay:

1. Careful Source Selection:

  • Choose diverse, credible sources that provide different perspectives on your topic. Ensure that your sources are recent and relevant to the subject at hand.

2. Effective Source Integration:

  • Avoid summarizing your sources; instead, integrate them into your essay by analyzing, comparing, and contrasting their ideas. Show the relationships between sources to create a coherent narrative.

3. Maintain a Balanced Tone:

  • When learning how to write a synthesis essay, remember to strike a balanced tone in your writing. While you may have personal opinions, synthesis essays require objectivity. Present various viewpoints fairly and without bias.

4. Focus on Synthesis, Not Summary:

  • Remember that synthesis essays are about connecting ideas, not just summarizing sources. Analyze the relationships between sources and provide insights into how they interact to form a cohesive argument.

5. Address Counterarguments Thoughtfully:

  • Similar to working on persuasive essays topics , engage with counterarguments in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Address opposing viewpoints, and then explain why your perspective holds stronger ground. This demonstrates a well-rounded understanding of the topic.

What Makes Synthesis Significant?

Synthesis is significant because it fosters critical thinking and intellectual growth. It allows individuals to connect diverse ideas, information, and viewpoints from multiple sources, creating a holistic understanding of complex topics. Synthesis is vital in academic, professional, and real-world contexts, enabling us to make informed decisions, formulate persuasive arguments, and solve intricate problems. Ultimately, it empowers us to synthesize not only information but also our thoughts, fostering deeper comprehension and enriched perspectives. If you're looking for assistance in writing a paper, you can consider the option to order essay from our expert writing service.

How Should You Conclude a Synthesis Essay?

Writing a synthesis essay conclusion effectively is crucial to leaving a lasting impression on your readers. In one concise paragraph, you can encapsulate your conclusion as follows:

When unsure how to write a conclusion , remember that it should succinctly restate the thesis, offer a brief recap of the main supporting points, and emphasize the broader significance of the synthesized information. This final paragraph should leave readers with a sense of closure while reinforcing the importance of the central argument, ensuring that your essay's impact endures beyond the last word.

Concluding Thoughts

In crafting a synthesis essay, the key lies in selecting diverse, credible sources, integrating them effectively to create a coherent argument, and maintaining objectivity. Employ clear transitions, address counterarguments thoughtfully, and prioritize analysis over a mere summary. With these strategies, you'll produce essays that inform, persuade, and captivate your audience!

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Last Updated: February 3, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 12 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,104,268 times.

Writing a synthesis essay requires the ability to digest information and present it in an organized fashion. While this skill is developed in high school and college classes, it translates to the business and advertising world as well. Scroll down to Step 1 to begin learning how to write a synthesis essay.

Examining Your Topic

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 1

  • Argument synthesis: This type of essay has a strong thesis statement that presents the writer's point of view. It organizes relevant information gathered from research in a logical manner to support the thesis' point of view. Business white papers known as position papers often take this form. This is the type of synthesis essay that students will write during the AP test.
  • Review: Often written as a preliminary essay to an argument synthesis, a review essay is a discussion of what has been written previously on a topic, with a critical analysis of the sources covered. Its unstated thesis is usually that more research needs to be done in that area or that the topic problem has not been adequately addressed. This type of paper is common in social science classes and in medicine.
  • Explanatory/background synthesis: This type of essay helps readers understand a topic by categorizing facts and presenting them to further the reader's understanding. It does not advocate a particular point of view, and if it has a thesis statement, the thesis is a weak one. Some business white papers take this form, although they are more likely to have a point of view, if understated.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 2

  • Example of a broad topic narrowed down into a reasonable synthesis essay topic: Instead of the broad topic of Social Media, you could discuss your view on the effects texting has had on the English language.
  • If you've been assigned a topic as part of a class, make sure you read the prompt carefully and fully understand it.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 3

  • Keep in mind that it's better to do three sources well than to do five sources incompletely.
  • Annotate each source by writing notes in the margins. This allows you to keep track of your train of thought, developing ideas, etc.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 4

  • Example: Texting has had a positive impact on the English language as it has helped the millennial generation create their own form of the language.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 5

  • If you wish to take on a claim by an opponent of your idea, and to poke holes in it, you should also find some ideas or quotes that go against your thesis statement, and plan ways to disprove them. This is called a concession, refutation, or rebuttal, which can strengthen your argument if you do it well.
  • Example : For the thesis statement listed above, excellent sources would include quotes from linguists discussing the new words that have developed through 'text-speak', statistics that show the English language has evolved with almost every generation, and facts that show students still have the ability to write with the use of grammar and spelling (which your opponents would bring up as the main reason texting has had a negative effect on the English language).

Outlining Your Essay

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 6

  • The introductory paragraph: 1. An introductory sentence that acts as a hook, capturing the reader's interest. 2. Identification of the issue you will be discussing. 3. Your thesis statement.
  • The body paragraphs: 1. Topic sentence that gives one reason to support your thesis. 2. Your explanation and opinion of the topic sentence. 3. Support from your sources that backs up the claim you just made. 4. Explanation of the significance of the source(s).
  • The conclusion paragraph: 1. State further significance of your topic from the evidence and reasons you discussed in the essay. 2. A profound thought or thoughtful ending for your paper.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 7

  • Example/illustration. This may be a detailed recount, summary, or direct quote from your source material that provides major support for your point of view. You may use more than one example or illustration, if your paper calls for it. You should not, however, make your paper a series of examples at the expense of supporting your thesis.
  • Straw man. With this technique, you present an argument opposed to the argument stated in your thesis, then show the weaknesses and flaws of the counter-argument. This format shows your awareness of the opposition and your readiness to answer it. You present the counter-argument right after your thesis, followed by the evidence to refute it, and end with a positive argument that supports your thesis. [6] X Research source
  • Concession. Essays with concessions are structured similar to those using the straw man technique, but they acknowledge the validity of the counter-argument while showing that the original argument is stronger. This structure is good for presenting papers to readers who hold the opposing viewpoint.
  • Comparison and contrast. This structure compares similarities and contrasts differences between two subjects or sources to show the facets of both. Writing an essay with this structure requires a careful reading of your source material to find both subtle and major points of similarity and difference. This kind of essay can present its arguments source-by-source or by points of similarity or difference.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 8

  • Summary. This structure presents summaries of each of your relevant sources, making a progressively stronger argument for your thesis. It provides specific evidence to support your point of view, but usually omits presenting your own opinions. It's most commonly used for background and review essays.
  • List of reasons. This is a series of sub-points that flow from the main point of your paper as stated in its thesis. Each reason is supported with evidence. As with the summary method, reasons should become progressively more important, with the most important reason last.

Writing Your Essay

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 9

  • Your essay should have an introductory paragraph that includes your thesis , a body to present evidence that supports your thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes your point of view.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 10

  • Lengthy quotes of three lines or more should generally be set off as block quotes to better call attention to them. [9] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Finalizing Your Essay

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 12

  • Ask someone else to proofread your paper. The saying “two heads are better than one” still holds true. Ask a friend or colleague what would they add or remove from the paper. Most importantly, does your argument make sense, and is it clearly supported by your sources?

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 13

  • Read the paper aloud to guarantee that you don't accidentally add in or take out words when reading in your head.
  • If you can, get a friend or classmate to proofread your essay as well.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 14

  • Example of citing in an AP synthesis essay: McPherson claims “texting has changed the English language in a positive way--it has given a new generation their own unique way to communicate” (Source E).
  • For college essays, you'll most likely use MLA format. Whichever format you use, be consistent in its use. You may also be asked to use APA or Chicago style.

Image titled Write a Synthesis Essay Step 15

  • Example title: : English and the iPhone: Exploring the Benefits of 'Text-Speak'

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  • Just as your title should fit your essay instead of writing your essay to fit the title, your thesis, once chosen, should direct your subsequent research instead of subsequent research altering your thesis � unless you find you've adopted an unsupportable thesis. Thanks Helpful 21 Not Helpful 8

tips for writing a good synthesis essay

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a synthesis essay, start by coming up with a thesis statement that you can support using all of the sources you've read for your essay. For example, your thesis statement could be "Texting has had a positive impact on the English language." Once you've got your thesis, go through your sources to find specific quotes, facts, and statistics that back up your claim. Structure your essay so it has an introduction that includes your thesis statement, a body that includes your arguments and evidence, and a conclusion that wraps everything up. For more tips on structuring your synthesis essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay

How to Write a Synthesis Essay

4-minute read

  • 31st May 2023

Are you writing a synthesis essay? This is a paper that combines information from a variety of sources to form a new idea. Essentially, you’re synthesizing existing concepts and arguments to create something original.

As a student, you’ll probably have to write a synthesis essay at some point. Read on for our step-by-step guide on how to write one effectively.

Step 1. Define Your Idea or Argument

If you haven’t done so already, decide on a topic to write about. Read up about it using a variety of credible sources and make detailed notes while you research. Make sure you keep track of the sources you decide to pull information from so that you can cite them properly later.

Make a list of key points from your research. Once you have a good selection of material to work with, start developing your own idea or argument. This will be the focus of your essay.

Step 2. Create an Outline

Synthesis essays generally follow this format: an introduction, a handful of main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It’s a good idea to come up with an essay plan before you start writing so that you can keep things organized while you work.

The outline is mainly helpful for deciding what to include in your body paragraphs. Decide what supporting points (and counterarguments ) from your research you want to include, and which order you want to discuss them in. You should have enough information to flesh out one paragraph for each point.

Step 3. Write Your Introduction

In your introduction, you should open with something that hooks the reader and captures their attention. Then, state your argument or idea (i.e., your thesis statement) and briefly summarize the material you’ll be including in your essay. You should also include any relevant background information here.

Step 4. Write the Body Paragraphs

Using your outline, discuss each point from your source material in more depth, devoting a body paragraph to each. Explain the information from the outside source, including appropriate citations, and discuss how it connects with your idea.

It’s a good idea to mostly focus on points that support your argument, but you should also include a paragraph with a counterargument or two. This means discussing a perspective that doesn’t necessarily align with your idea, and then explaining why your argument still works.

Step 5. Tie It All Together With a Conclusion

The conclusion should leave the reader feeling convinced of your idea. Restate your point clearly and summarize the main points you’ve discussed. You could also offer any concluding reflections on the topic.

Different Types of Synthesis Essays

While you can follow our steps for any type of synthesis essay, yours will probably fall under one of two categories: explanatory or argumentative.

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Argumentative essays are as they sound – they present an argument. With an argumentative essay, you’ll take a more definitive stance on something and use your supporting material to persuade the reader.

Explanatory essays don’t necessarily take a side one way or the other. Rather, they focus on developing and explaining a concept thoroughly. Knowing which type of essay you’re writing will help you to gather more effective source material for your purpose.

Cite Your Sources

Since synthesis essays are particularly dependent on outside material, it’s especially important that you cite your sources correctly. Familiarize yourself with your referencing system before you start researching so you know what information you need to keep track of, and include appropriate citations whenever you use someone else’s work.

At the end of the essay, you’ll need to compile your sources into a reference list following the requirements of your style guide.

Summary: Writing a Synthesis Essay

Hopefully, this post has helped you to feel more confident in writing a synthesis essay. Choose a topic first, do your research, keep track of your sources, and develop an argument or idea. From there, you can organize your thoughts into an outline and get to writing!

Once you’ve created a first draft, make sure you send it our way! We’ll check it for errors in grammar, spelling, referencing, and more. Try it out for free today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a synthesis essay.

A synthesis essay gathers ideas and viewpoints from several different sources and ties them together to form a new concept.

How long is a synthesis essay?

Synthesis essays usually follow the five-paragraph format, with an introduction, three main body paragraphs discussing different points, and a conclusion.

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Synthesis Essay Writing

Barbara P

Learn How to Write a Synthesis Essay With Examples

11 min read

Published on: Jun 30, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022

Synthesis Essay

On This Page On This Page

A synthesis essay is a type of essay where you compose or combine several elements or parts to form a whole. It is one of the most common types of essay assignments in high school and college.

This type of essay requires you to do a profound research, collect data from one or more sources, and then combine them.

This blog will guide you to write a synthesis essay, along with some amazing topics and examples. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to choose an effective topic, assert a strong claim, collect and combine data, and then create a well-written and original essay.

Give this complete synthesis essay writing guide a quick read.

What is a Synthesis Essay?

According to the synthesis essay definition,

“It is an essay that takes a stance on a particular topic and then backs it up by combining the data collected from multiple sources. It is a combination and fusion of different sources that have a common point of view and shape a common claim through it.”

The writer chooses a viewpoint and presents a claim and its supporting evidence to prove it. For these types of essays, you need to collect ideas and points that support your essay topic and your argument.

It draws upon sources like articles, essays, reviews, fiction, lectures, interviews, research papers, and observations. The students utilize them to collect supporting claims for their research topic.

The essay writing process is consist of four major components

  • Combining data from different sources
  • Presenting a claim
  • Crafting the essay
  • Talking with the text

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Synthesis Essay Types

There are two types of a synthesis essay:

1. The Explanatory Synthesis

An explanatory synthesis explains a term so that the reader can understand it easily. An explanatory or background synthesis helps the readers understand a specific topic. It includes careful reading and presentation of the facts and information.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Sample

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Sample (PDF)

2. The Argumentative Synthesis

Just as the explanatory essay focuses on presenting and explaining a topic from an impartial viewpoint. Argumentative synthesis supports a specific argument or claim and presents it in a rational manner.

The argumentative synthesis paper presents a strong thesis statement that is arguable and debatable as well.

To support the claim, the writer adds relevant information, data, and sources to back its topic and present it in a logical flow.

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Sample

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Sample (PDF)

What is an AP Lang Synthesis Essay?

An AP Lang, Advanced Placement Language, is a college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum course. The purpose of assigning such essays is to test and analyze the students’ writing abilities, language command, and understanding capabilities.

For writing this essay, students are given multiple sources to analyze. They are asked to form a claim or argument about the given topic and formulate an effective essay on it.

AP Lang Synthesis Essay Sample

AP Lang Synthesis Essay Sample (PDF)

Synthesis Essay Topics

Some prominent topic ideas for your essay are:

Social Media Synthesis Essay Topics

  • Social media and its impact on the next generation
  • The impact of social media on doing business
  • Social networks require censoring
  • The right age to join social media
  • Does Instagram promote stereotyping?
  • Social media and stalking
  • Discuss the importance of social media.
  • Has social media killed our privacy?
  • Is social media bad for society?
  • The world before and after social media

Education Synthesis Essay Topics

Should higher education be free?

  • Learn how to write a good essay
  • Should students be allowed to direct their own education?
  • Exploring the impact of the high cost of higher education.
  • Homeschooling vs. traditional school
  • Can technology positively impact education?
  • Is education better at top-ranked universities?
  • Should higher education be affordable?
  • Is it necessary to get help from essay writing services?
  • Does technology help students to learn the English language?

Technology Synthesis Essay Topics

  • Does technology promote the culture of entertainment?
  • Are smart homes a good thing?
  • Is there such a thing as privacy on the internet?
  • Modern technology and the building of smart cities.
  • The use of mobile technology by society
  • Is technology a threat to the traditional classroom?
  • Has technology changed our definition of magic?
  • Does technology affect our lives?
  • Technology improves our daily life
  • Online security

Society Synthesis Essay Topics

  • Millennials are more interested in gaining experience than stability. Agreed?
  • It is a good idea to use plastic and its role in increasing global carbon footprint
  • Global warming and its impact on floods
  • Climate change is a global phenomenon.
  • What role does the death penalty play in reviving or destroying law and order?
  • Sugary drinks and fast food are the topmost reasons for obesity in children.
  • Having a higher education is better than being a college dropout.
  • Perfume and body sprays are key players in increasing global warming
  • Video games are increasing violent behavior in children.
  • Employment is necessary

Finding great and impactful  synthesis essay topics  may be difficult, but a little hard work and a good brainstorming session will definitely do the trick.

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How to Start a Synthesis Essay?

Since it is a specialized form of writing, there are a few techniques through which you can nail this essay. These techniques will help you start writing the essay, and you can avoid common errors and mistakes.

Compile the Data

Probably the simplest technique of all, it involves compiling and explaining your most relevant sources and summarizing them. It does not include any of your original thoughts or views and is solely based on summarizing the sources.

Examples and Visuals

Claims and viewpoints are best explained through visuals. You can add quotes or examples from other sources as well as your own original experiences. Visuals like graphs, charts, and real-life events and photos can be added to create a lasting impact.

Presenting Two or More Supporting Reasons

In this technique, you put your claim forward and support your thesis by giving relevant reasons. You prove the statement true by presenting multiple reasons and evidence.

Straw man Technique

Ever saw someone putting the opposing views in their discussion? This is called the straw man technique.

You put the opposing views or evidence first and then present the reasons why you do not support that claim. It shows your knowledge of the other side of the story and the reasons you are refuting it.

Concession Technique

The concession technique accepts the valid point of opposition but argues and proves that your point of view has more positive points than the other. The technique is particularly helpful when the audience is of opposing views.

Comparison and Contrast Technique

Here you present both the comparing and contrasting views simultaneously while analyzing the similarities and differences between the two. By this technique, you could study the topic as a whole, which may not be possible when working through other techniques.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

The process of writing a synthesis essay is not difficult if you follow these steps.

1. Choose a Topic

To make the writing process easier, choose a topic that is neither too broad nor narrow. Use brainstorming techniques and choose the best one for your essay.

2. Collect Information

Collecting data for an essay is the necessary step. You need to go through several sources and gather relevant information, which will help you develop your thesis statement.

3. Synthesis Essay Thesis Statement

A good  thesis statement  should present the main idea of your paper in a way that will engage readers. It's important to include key points and arguments.

4. Synthesis Essay Outline

The  synthesis essay outline  generally consists of the following components.

Synthesis Essay Introduction

Start your  essay introduction  with an interesting and engaging hook statement. The start is the most important part of your essay.

If you do not want your readers to leave your essay in the middle, make sure that the opening is strong. Explain and elaborate on the main topic and present the thesis statement.

Synthesis Essay Introduction Example

Tuition fees for colleges and universities have been gradually increasing for many years. The main reason for the high fees is that many years ago, higher education was seen as a privilege. However, things have changed a lot since then. Even though free higher education still sounds like a dream, the wealth of one's family really should not determine their future.

Synthesis Essay Body Paragraphs

You can add as many supporting points as you want, but make sure that each paragraph starts with an argument, or claim, backed with specific evidence. The paragraphs should follow your ideas and claims rather than moving around the source materials.

Synthesis Essay Body Paragraphs Example

We need to provide free higher education in order to improve our societies. More accessible education will lead to more people being educated. These people will be better able to solve problems and understand their society. Additionally, free higher education will help reduce the difference between social classes.

Synthesis Essay Conclusion

Just like a strong opening, a strong and memorable closing is important to conclude your essay. Instead of just adding anything vaguely and without any connection, it is better to add the statement of your essay and your reasons for supporting them.

Synthesis Essay Conclusion Example

The cost of higher education has gotten too expensive for many students. This leads to more people living lives they don't want - working hard at low-paying jobs. This gap between classes gets bigger, and more people become poor. To fix this, we need to make higher education free and accessible for everyone.

5. Finalize your Essay

You will be doing a final check of your synthesis essay before you submit it. Ensure that all the requirements for an ideal paper are met, including grammar and spelling errors and proper formatting in accordance with university standards.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay for AP Lang?

Writing a synthesis essay is an essential part of the AP Lang exam, and students have to showcase their skills through it.

The following steps are involved in writing an AP Lang synthesis essay:

  • Reading the sources closely
  • Analyzing the text thoroughly
  • Establishing a point of view based on it
  • Concluding the entire essay
  • Use APA or  Chicago style  to cite your sources

Synthesis Essay Structure

The six structures that will be highlighted in this guide are how the author presents the essay's ideas to the reader.

Synthesis Essay Writing Tips

Here are some essential tips for a synthesis essay:

  • Use your sources to support your claims and point of view reasonably.
  • Present original thoughts and ideas and prove the claims with substantial evidence.
  • The paper should be logically and seamlessly organized. All the ideas must form a rapport in a way that guides the reader.
  • All body paragraphs should have topic sentences that are the main points. Once the ideas are compiled, the paper should present the main ideas thoroughly.
  • The paper should have easy and precise words and the use of vocabulary should be careful and natural.
  • Proofreading is key to a great synthesis essay. The paper should be crisp and clean from any grammar and spelling errors.

Synthesis Essay Examples

Here we have provided some amazing  synthesis essay examples  to help you know the synthesis essay format.

Synthesis Essay Examples (PDF)

Synthesis Essay Example for Student

Synthesis Essay Example for Student (PDF)

Synthesis Essay Template (PDF)

Hopefully, now you know everything about writing a synthesis essay. If you are still confused and looking for professional help, we are here to help you choose a topic and prepare your custom essay successfully.

Contact  now to get a well-written, worthy paper. Place your  order  now to buy original essays from the best  essay writing service .

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a synthesis essay argumentative.

A synthesis essay does present an argument however it is not a type of argumentative essay. Both have entirely different purposes and outlines.

Do you use quotes in a synthesis essay?

Quotes should only be used as short phrases or snippets so they don't get confusing for readers. When working with sources in your essay, it's important to keep the flow of written words and not disrupt any sentences.

What are the goals of a synthesis essay?

When you write a synthesis essay or paper, your goal is to combine different works on the same subject into one cohesive message. This means that you need to show the connection between all of the different sources that you are discussing.

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9 Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay (+ 10 Topic Ideas)

Stefani Holloway

Table of contents

You must have heard the word ‘synthesis’ in one of your chemistry classes.

Synthesis is defined as “the combination of components or elements to form a connected whole” -- and no, writing a synthesis essay has got nothing to do with chemistry experiments.

Going by definition, a synthesis essay consists of combining ideas from different sources and making correlations to write an essay. These sources could be articles, fictional stories, lectures, interviews, or even research studies.

In this article, we will take you through nine solid tips for writing a synthesis essay, along with X topic ideas to get you started.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: 9 Tips to Succeed

Before we move on to the tips, let’s first understand the different types of synthesis essays:

  • Explanatory synthesis essays
  • Argumentative synthesis essays

While explanatory synthesis essays are focussed on giving a better understanding of the topic and presenting facts, argumentative essays, on the other hand, are about presenting your point of view or making an argument and justifying it through the course of the essay.

Writing a synthesis essay might seem unlike writing the usual essays you’ve come across, but hey, that’s what we’re here for.

Let’s take a look at nine tips for writing a synthesis essay and getting the grades you desire.

Understand the prompt

Are you being asked to make an argument, compare and contrast or evaluate a text? Spend some time reading the synthesis essay prompt and understanding what’s expected from you. If required, underline keywords or phrases that define the purpose of the assignment.

Here are some important words to look out for in prompts

  • Compare and contrast

Have questions? Don’t hesitate to ask your instructor. You rather ask questions and get all your doubts cleared before you start work on the essay.

Select your sources carefully

A synthesis essay is entirely dependent on the sources you choose -- they form the basis of your essay so you have to make this crucial step count.

Selecting sources is like selecting an essay topic. If you choose the wrong one, you’re likely to do an awful job at writing the essay. While some instructors share the sources for the assignment, there are others who give you the freedom to choose your own.

So, if the latter applies to you, you need to choose at least two to three sources for the essay. The idea is to choose a topic, find sources that speak about it, and look for correlations.

For example, if you’re talking about the impact of social media on teenagers, look up existing information or studies on this. There will be differing viewpoints -- some in favor and others against.

Your job is to highlight their relationship and draw your own conclusion.

Here’s a video by Honors College student Miranda Carve on how to deal with multiple sources while writing essays

Do in-depth reading

In order to do justice to the synthesis essay, you’ll need to know your sources inside out. That means you can’t afford to skim articles or read them only once.

Thorough research and reading help you see correlations and develop your own point of view on the topic. The more you read, the more perspective you get, helping you write an effective synthesis essay.

So, read and re-read till you’re convinced you can proceed to the next step. It’s important to make notes, highlight points and summarize central ideas as you go from one source to the other. These notes will serve as the foundation for a strong synthesis paper.

Identify themes

Identifying themes across the sources, you’re studying is important because it lets you find a common connecting factor and base your synthesis essay on it without getting overwhelmed.

For instance, while doing research and writing the essay, you need to know what you’re exploring in order to write a tighter essay. It can be the overarching idea or central concept -- regardless of what it is, it should be present across all the sources, helping you study their relationships and write about them.

Formulate the thesis statement

So you’ve identified the key sources and established the key theme you want to explore. Now, it’s time to formulate a thesis statement.

The thesis statement is meant to reflect your claim and the core idea behind the synthesis essay. It’s as good as a one or two-line summary of your entire paper.

Even though this statement comes at the end of the introductory paragraph, it’s always a good idea to devise a working thesis that will give your paper direction and help you make claims that have a direct relation to the thesis statement.

Create an outline

Just like every academic paper, even a synthesis essay requires planning and outlining before you hop on to writing it.

Creating an outline helps you ensure your points flow in a logical fashion while making sure you haven’t missed out on anything.

Here’s what a synthesis essay outline includes

Introduction - starts with a hook , introduces the sources with the title and author names, offers background information, and ends with the thesis statement;

Body - every paragraph is dedicated to exploring a single theme or aspect, with examples and evidence;

Conclusion - highlight the significant themes and the underlying connections between the sources.

Explore every idea in detail

For a minute, let’s go back to the body paragraph. You’re expected to outline every topic or theme you’re exploring and dedicate one body paragraph to each.

Make sure the paragraphs are arranged in a logical order. Use this section to bring out similarities, differences, and correlations between the sources. This is where your research will come in handy -- go back to your notes and make it a point to use examples and evidence from the reading you’ve done.

Use direct and indirect references from the sources. However, be sure to cite sources accurately, so the instructor knows when you’re quoting an external source and when you’re expressing your analysis. Doing this protects you from unintentional plagiarism, which has serious consequences.

Interpret (don’t summarize)

There is a huge difference between summarizing and interpreting. Writing synthesis essays requires you to interpret and evaluate sources and not summarize them.

Don’t just resort to saying what the sources are saying. It’s equally important to illustrate your point of view, observations, and analysis -- that’s what you will be graded for.

A good way to approach this is to consider yourself as a participant in the conversation. Let’s say source A says something, and source B has opposing views. Imagine you’re the third person in the room -- what do you think?

Are you just summarizing what they’re saying, or are you pushing yourself to interpret their differing point of view and form your own?

Edit and proofread

We find it necessary to always mention this point because students find it very convenient to skip this step without realizing what a grave essay writing mistake that is.

So, don’t be that person who gets too lazy to edit and proofread their synthesis essay. Read it at least two to three times to check for any spelling and grammatical errors, ensure your points flow logically, and check whether you’ve cited your sources accurately.

It’s also a good idea to get a friend or family member to read the essay, so you get a fresh set of eyes on your paper.

We always recommend keeping editing and proofreading for the next day as opposed to doing it right after you’re done writing because, in the case of the latter, you’re likely to be exhausted, which impairs your ability to proofread with precision.

10 Synthesis Essay Topic Ideas for Inspiration

1. The only purpose of life is to be truly alive.

2. Money cannot make you happy.

3. Happiness is not God’s gift but a result of hard work.

4. Never forget who you are and what is essential for you.

5. Overthinking about life distracts you from it.

6. Dreams are not enough; you need to act.

7. Time has more value than money.

8. Unmade choices can rob your happiness.

9. Joy and sorrow are inevitable realities of life.

10. The person that does not want to create intends to destroy.

Conclusion: Master these Tips for Writing a Winning Synthesis Essay

Yes, the thought of writing synthesis essays might be intimidating because they aren’t like the other essays you’ve written in the past.

From doing a deep dive into the sources to writing an essay that highlights connections while drawing your own conclusion -- the process sure sounds exhausting, but with these tips , we’re sure you’ll be in a better place to tackle this assignment.

In spite of this, if you’re stuck and need help with your synthesis essay, write to us at Writers Per Hour. Our expert synthesis essay writers are here to help you write an effective paper that’s custom-written to suit your requirements and, oh, did we mention, 100% plagiarism-free.

Last edit at Jul 27 2023

Stefani Holloway

Stefani Holloway

Stefani is a professional writer and blogger at Writers Per Hour . She primarily contributes articles about careers, leadership, business, and writing. Her educational background in family science and journalism has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. She especially enjoys preparing resumes for individuals who are changing careers.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay

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how to write a synthesis essay

A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Synthesis Essay

Essay writing has always confused students. While your pals write informative or argumentative essays, you are left alone with a synthesis essay. What the heck is it? Does it imply synthesizing new materials for NASA rovers?

If you have no idea what a synthesis essay is and how to write one, you’re in the right place. Today, you will learn all about writing synthesis essays, from outline specifics to editing tips for the highest grades. So check the synthesis essay definition from our essay service below.

What is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay definition might seem daunting, but it appears straightforward if you know what synthesis means. To synthesize means to combine and mix different parts into a whole. In essay writing, synthesizing means researching, reviewing, and evaluating various sources and deriving conclusions based on these sources. In other words, writing a synthesis essay means making up ideas and conclusions based on the reviewed information. Scholars differentiate a couple of synthesis essay types:

Expository Synthesis Essay

An informative/expository synthesis essay aims to explain a concept or idea comprehensively and leave any questions behind. For instance, medical reviews fall into the explanatory synthesis writing category. In essence, for a medical overview, one collects, evaluates, and analyzes different medical studies to synthesize a conclusion.

Argumentative Synthesis Writing

An argumentative synthesis essay aims to prove a thesis statement with different sources of evidence. For example, let’s say your topic is: Do video games trigger violence in teenagers? Once you know the subject, you will start researching it and collecting both supporting and disproving evidence.

Then, you will come up with the thesis statement. In it, you can make the following statement: insufficient supervision and living conditions, systemic humiliation, and corporal punishment rather than video games are the main drivers of youth violence.

After that, you will provide supportive evidence and evaluate counterarguments, just like you will do while writing a regular argumentative essay. However, the number of sources is the crucial point that differentiates a synthesis essay from an argumentative one. In a synthesis essay, you need to derive a particular thesis-supporting argument from at least three sources.

The Purpose of a Synthesis Essay

Writing a synthesis essay is all about evaluating and synthesizing different research pieces or proving your thesis with arguments based on multiple sources.

As for a synthesis essay as an academic writing task, it has the following purposes:

  • To let you practice analyzing different information sources
  • To enhance your research skills
  • To improve your critical and logical thinking
  • To boost your ability to back up your statements and ideas

How to Choose a Topic for a Synthesis Essay?

Choosing a topic for a synthesis essay might be challenging since a significant part of your writing success depends on the selected or given subject. It’s much better to choose a theme for your essay by yourself since this gives you much more space for creativity. Now let’s check some tips for picking the best subject for your synthesis essay:

Choose a Controversial Topic

The Earth orbits the Sun, and there is nothing to argue on. Who would ever disagree with that? Therefore, you have to avoid non-debatable topics. Otherwise, you will fail to build a written discussion since you will struggle to bring meaningful counter-evidence to your thesis.

Choose a Well-Researched Topic

You may want to write a synthesis essay on a topic of your interest. It’s an excellent approach as long as you can do enough research on your subject. If you fail to find relevant studies, you will have to switch to a different, well-researched idea.

Focus on Specific Ideas

Choosing some generic topics like discrimination will force you to scatter your attention around the subject’s different aspects. Will you write about racial or age discrimination? In the United States or Mongolia? The topic of inequality is too generic to cover all its aspects in a single essay. Consequently, you need to pick narrower subjects like pregnancy discrimination in the workspace, for example.

Check for Meaningful Ideas

You may struggle to come up with the topic for your essay, and that’s normal. To saturate your mind with compelling ideas, you need to do some brainstorming and look up for synthesis essay topics on the Internet or in books. You may find hundreds of essay topics and choose the one you like the most.

How To Write a Synthesis Essay?

Writing a synthesis essay involves the following steps:

  • Researching the topic 
  • Checking for valid information sources
  • Creating an essay outline
  • Developing a thesis statement
  • Analyzing sources to support your thesis statement
  • Writing your essay
  • Proofreading your paper
  • Getting a high grade

MEAL Approach

The MEAL approach is an excellent way to arrange your body paragraphs so that they sound clear and logical. MEAL stands for:

The main idea means the same as a thesis statement, except that it applies to a particular paragraph rather than an entire paper. It is a topic sentence that opens an essay body section.

Evidence serves to explain a paragraph’s main idea in a paper and supports it with facts and statistics.

Once you have found striking evidence for your paragraph’s topic sentence, the analysis is used to answer the ‘so what’ question and give meaning to your arguments.

A link is used to summarize an essay body section and connect it to the next one. 

Overall, an essay paragraph contains the following:

  • The main idea/topic sentence
  • The link/conclusion/transition to another body section

Synthesis Essay Outline

Make up an outline after deciding on your topic and checking sources. Don’t hesitate to write headings since you will elaborate on them while writing your draft.

You can follow a classic five-paragraph structure and modify it depending on your topic complexity and required word count. So check the synthesis essay structure below:


How to start a synthesis essay the right way? An essay introduction contains several elements:

  • A hook. Begin your essay with a striking passage to grab readers’ attention. It might be a provocative question, an eye-opening fact, or shocking statistics about your topic.
  • Background information. After placing the essay hook, you need to explain to your reader why your topic matters. So include a couple of sentences regarding your subject’s significance.
  • A thesis statement. Finally, you need to include the main idea that you will describe in your essay – that will be your thesis statement. At the end of your introduction, you need to make a smooth and logical transition to your body paragraphs.

In the main part, you can include as many paragraphs as you need to cover your topic to the fullest.

Let’s assume you will write about whether animal testing is justified. Your paper body might look like this:

H2 What is Animal Testing?

H2 Top Animal Testing Applications

H3 Animal Testing in Producing Save Products for Humans

H3 Animal Testing in Developing New Treatments

H3 Animal Testing for Genetic Studies

H2 Top Reasons to Avoid Animal Testing

H2 Animal Testing Alternatives

H3 Flaws of Current Animal Testing Alternatives

H2 Seeking a Reasonable Compromise

A synthesis essay conclusion summarizes the entire essay and answers whether your thesis statement makes sense or not. An essay finale should also contain several elements:

  • A rephrased thesis statement
  • A summary of your essay’s body sections
  • A final closing sentence to sum up the entire paper

Synthesis Essay Examples

Even though writing a synthesis essay is a task not everyone can complete excellently from the first attempt, it is much easier to do that once you have relevant samples to lean on. Feel free to check the following synthesis essay example and use it as a basis for your own writing:  

Synthesis Essay Writing Tips

The following tips will help you finish your synthesis essay a couple of hours earlier than usual and get a higher grade at the same time. So check the pro writing tips below:

Outline Your Essay

“I’ll think of my essay later. I’ll come up with ideas without writing an outline first.” That’s a common yet wrong approach since you will fail to follow the essay direction this way. Besides, you will spend more time thinking of your essay ideas instead of having a prepared foundation for writing them out. 

Use Writing Tools

Creating a reference list, editing, and proofreading your essay on your own is the right approach. But why not use writing tools to save time on building your bibliography and spotting more errors? The following tools will help boost your grades:

  • Citation machines for organizing your synthesis essay format and listing used sources.
  • Grammar and spelling checkers. A good rule of thumb is to use Grammarly to polish your text.
  • Plagiarism checkers to ensure your piece is 100% unique.

Elaborate on Your Essay Introduction in the End

An experienced essay writer will edit their paper introduction in the end, after the conclusion is done. Just after using all research, constructing arguments, and grasping all angles of your topic you can make a much more engaging essay introduction.

Besides, you can elaborate on your thesis statement. So editing your introduction is an excellent way to make your paper sound more convincing and logical.

Effective Proofreading Approaches

Many articles on the web will tell you how to write a synthesis essay. But only a few will explain how to edit and proofread one. In practice, editing is as important as writing. You should never neglect this part. So follow these tips to edit and proofread your essay like a pro:

  • Grammar and spelling checkers are a must
  • Let your eyes have a rest. Once you finish your draft, take at least half an hour off. The crucial point is to distract yourself from writing for this period. Then, return to your piece and start editing.
  • Use a different font to proofread your piece. In this way, you will trick your brain that your text is something it hasn’t previously seen. This approach will help you spot more errors.
  • Enlarge your font. Increasing the font size will help you spot more spelling mistakes.
  • Proofread your essay three times. First, elaborate on the logic, style, tone, and consistency of your writing. For the second time, check your text for grammatical and spelling mistakes. For the third time, reread your text.

Write My Synthesis Essay for Me, Please!

Synthesis writing is easier than most students think. In practice, all the “complicated synthesis stuff” means generating arguments based on multiple sources. Indeed, some concepts and terms might seem complex because of their sophisticated name. Yet, writing synthesis essays is fairly easy.

However, if you have tons of assignments alongside academic writing, you can ask expert Ph.D. writers from our essay writing service to craft well-researched, original papers for you. Feel free to register on our website and place an order.

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Synthesis Essay Examples | Tips to Write a Winning Synthesis Essay

Mar 23, 2023

tips for writing a good synthesis essay

Are you tired of sifting through countless articles on how to write a synthesis essay? Look no further! Our comprehensive guide will help you master the art of synthesis writing!

One of the more interesting assignments you could get is writing a synthesis essay. College and university students write these papers to show that they can conduct extensive research, analyze complex ideas, and present an argument's essential building blocks.

The ideal synthesis paper will synthesise the information from multiple sources and advocate for a unique central thesis. Finding the synthesis statement will allow you to integrate it with other theses, leading to a more well-organized synthesis essay. is an AI-powered application that can assist you in writing a synthesis essay if you've ever pondered how to do so. In just a few minutes, this artificial intelligence can compose a full thesis. In other words, if you want your essay to look and read just like it was written by a person, this is the service to use.

What is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is a type of academic writing that requires the student to combine different ideas, arguments, or information from various sources into a coherent and well-supported essay.

The goal of a synthesis essay is to demonstrate the writer's ability to critically analyze and evaluate a variety of sources, draw connections between them, and present a well-reasoned argument that supports a particular thesis statement.

The sources used in a synthesis essay can come from a variety of places, including academic journals, books, newspapers, magazines, and websites. The writer must analyze each source carefully and determine how it relates to the topic at hand. They must also evaluate the credibility of each source and decide which ones are most relevant and useful for their argument.

To write a successful synthesis essay, the writer must follow a specific format. The essay should have an introduction that includes a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. 

The body paragraphs should each focus on a different aspect of the argument, using evidence and examples from the sources to support the writer's claims. The essay should also include a counterargument that addresses potential criticisms of the writer's position.

One of the most challenging aspects of writing a synthesis essay is organizing the information from the sources into a coherent argument. The writer must determine which sources are most relevant and useful for their argument and then decide how to incorporate them into the essay. They must also be able to synthesize the information from the sources in a way that is clear and easy to follow.

Another challenge of writing a synthesis essay is avoiding plagiarism. Because the writer is using information and ideas from other sources, they must be careful to give credit to the original authors. 

They must also be careful not to copy and paste information directly from the sources without proper citation. Writing a successful synthesis essay requires critical thinking, careful organization of information, and proper citation to avoid plagiarism.

Different Types of Synthesis Essay

There are generally two types of synthesis essays: explanatory synthesis essays and argumentative synthesis essays.

Explanatory Synthesis Essays: 

This type of essay aims to explain a topic or issue to the reader. The writer collects information from different sources and presents it in a clear and organized way, highlighting the key points and explaining how they relate to the topic. The goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, without taking a particular stance or arguing a specific point of view.

Argumentative Synthesis Essays: 

This type of essay aims to persuade the reader to adopt a specific point of view or take a particular action. The writer collects information from different sources and uses it to build a case for their argument. The goal is to present a well-supported argument that convinces the reader to agree with the writer's position.

Both types of synthesis essays require the writer to critically analyze and evaluate different sources, draw connections between them, and present a well-reasoned argument. However, the key difference between the two types is the writer's goal: to explain in the explanatory synthesis essay and to persuade in the argumentative synthesis essay.

Things to Consider When Writing a Synthesis Essay

A successful synthesis essay should contain several key elements that work together to create a well-supported argument. Here are some of the most important elements that a writer should include in their synthesis essay:

A Clear Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is the central argument of the essay. It should be clear, concise, and specific, outlining the main point that the writer is trying to make.

Well-Organized Paragraphs: The body paragraphs of the essay should be well-organized and easy to follow. Each paragraph should focus on a single idea or point, and the information presented should be relevant to the thesis statement.

Evidence from Sources: The writer should use evidence from a variety of sources to support their argument. They should be careful to use only credible sources and to properly cite all of their sources using the appropriate citation style.

Analysis and Interpretation: The writer should not simply summarize the sources they are using. They should also analyze and interpret the information presented, highlighting key points and drawing connections between different sources.

Counterarguments: The writer should acknowledge potential counterarguments to their position and address them in their essay. This shows that the writer has considered multiple perspectives and is able to make a strong case for their position.

Transition Words and Phrases: The writer should use transition words and phrases to help the reader follow the logical flow of their argument. These words and phrases help to connect different ideas and make the essay easier to read and understand.

Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement in a new way. It should also provide a final thought or call to action that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

A successful synthesis essay should have a clear thesis statement, well-organized paragraphs, evidence from sources, analysis and interpretation of the information presented, acknowledgement of counterarguments, use of transition words and phrases, and a conclusion that summarizes the main points and provides a final thought or call to action.

By including these elements in their essay, the writer can create a well-supported argument that is easy to follow and understand.

How Can You Write a Synthesis Essay?

Writing a synthesis essay requires careful planning, research, and organization. Here are the steps to follow when writing a synthesis essay:

Choose a Topic: The first step is to choose a topic for the essay. This topic should be broad enough to allow for multiple perspectives and sources, but specific enough to be manageable. Once the topic has been chosen, the writer should develop a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay.

Conduct Research: The next step is to conduct research on the topic. This research should include a variety of sources, such as academic journals, books, newspapers, magazines, and websites. The writer should be sure to evaluate the credibility of each source and determine which ones are most relevant and useful for their argument.

Create an Outline: With the research in hand, the writer should create an outline for the essay. This outline should include the thesis statement, main points, and evidence from sources that support each point. The writer should also consider potential counterarguments and how to address them in the essay.

Write the Essay: Using the outline as a guide, the writer should begin writing the essay. Each paragraph should focus on a single idea or point, with evidence from sources to support the argument. The writer should be sure to properly cite all sources using the appropriate citation style.

Revise and Edit: Once the first draft of the essay is complete, the writer should revise and edit it carefully. This includes checking for spelling and grammar errors, as well as ensuring that the essay flows logically and is easy to follow. The writer should also consider the feedback of others, such as peers or professors, and make any necessary revisions based on that feedback.

Finalize the Essay: After revising and editing the essay, the writer should finalize it by formatting it according to the appropriate guidelines and double-checking all citations and references.

In conclusion, writing a synthesis essay requires careful planning, research, and organization. By following these steps, the writer can create a well-supported argument that is easy to follow and understand.

Tips for Writing A Synthesis Essay

Here are some tips you can use when writing a synthesis essay:

Draft freely: When drafting the essay itself, try not to be too judgmental of your work too early on. You can get your thoughts down on paper this way, and then edit your writing later.

Read thoroughly: Interpreting texts and drawing new conclusions from what you've read is the backbone of a synthesis essay. You can improve the clarity of your writing by reading extensively, taking notes, and looking up any words or ideas you don't understand.

Take a printout:  If you want to double-check the structure of your essay before turning it in, printing it out is a good idea. You could verify consistency in formatting by comparing it to a template or sample.

Read it aloud: If you read your essay aloud to yourself, you can pick up on any sections that are confusing or need to be revised. You should think about doing this in order to catch any stray language or spelling errors.

What is the Structure of a Synthesis Essay?

The structure of a synthesis essay is similar to that of any other essay. It includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, there are some specific elements that are unique to a synthesis essay.

Introduction: The introduction should provide background information on the topic and end with a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay.

Body paragraphs: The body paragraphs should be organized around different aspects of the argument, with each paragraph focusing on a single idea or point. Each paragraph should include evidence from sources to support the argument and include a proper citation. It is important to smoothly transition between paragraphs and to address potential counterarguments.

Synthesis: The synthesis part of the essay is where the writer brings together information from different sources to support their argument. This means summarizing and analyzing the information from different sources and showing how they support the thesis statement.

Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the argument and restate the thesis statement in a way that brings the essay to a satisfying close. It should not introduce any new information, but rather, provide a final perspective on the topic.

Bibliography: Include a source list at the conclusion of your paper to correctly credit your research materials, whether you're using the APA, MLA, AP, or Chicago Manual of Style guidelines. This section, which includes a summary of in-text citations, can occupy up to two pages of your work.

Overall, a synthesis essay should have a clear and logical structure that effectively presents the writer's argument and supports it with evidence from multiple sources.

2 Examples of Synthesis Essays

Never forget who you are and what is essential for you


The idea of "never forget who you are and what is essential for you" is a powerful reminder to stay true to oneself, to one's values, and to one's goals in life. It is easy to lose track of what is important when we are bombarded with distractions, societal expectations, and peer pressure.

However, staying focused on what truly matters can help us navigate life's challenges and find fulfillment and happiness. In this essay, I will synthesize the importance of knowing oneself and what is essential in life.

Knowing Yourself

The first step in never forgetting who you are is to know yourself. This means understanding your values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Self-awareness is crucial in personal growth and development. When we know ourselves, we can make better decisions, set realistic goals, and communicate effectively with others.

It is essential to take time to reflect on our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This can be done through journaling, meditation, or therapy. By knowing ourselves, we can avoid getting lost in the noise of the world and stay grounded in our truth.

What is Essential?

Knowing what is essential in life is subjective and varies from person to person. However, there are a few universal essentials that can guide us in our journey. These include health, relationships, purpose, and personal growth. Our physical and mental well-being is vital for us to function at our best.

Building and maintaining positive relationships with our family, friends, and community can bring joy and support to our lives. Having a sense of purpose, whether it is through work, hobbies, or volunteering, gives us a reason to wake up in the morning. Finally, personal growth and learning are essential for us to evolve as individuals and reach our potential.

Staying True to Yourself

Staying true to oneself requires a strong sense of self-awareness, confidence, and courage. It means not compromising one's values or beliefs to please others or fit in with societal norms. It is easy to get caught up in the pressure of conforming to what is expected of us.

However, staying true to oneself is the key to authenticity and happiness. It is important to trust one's intuition, voice, and choices. It may not always be easy, but it is necessary to honor oneself and live a fulfilling life.

Challenges in Staying True

Staying true to oneself is not always easy, and there are various challenges that can arise. Peer pressure, societal expectations, and fear of rejection can make it challenging to stay true to oneself. It can be tempting to compromise one's beliefs to fit in or avoid conflict.

However, it is important to remember that staying true to oneself is the only way to live a fulfilling life. It may require courage, vulnerability, and resilience, but it is worth it in the end.

In conclusion, never forgetting who you are and what is essential for you is crucial for personal growth, fulfilment, and happiness. Knowing oneself, understanding what is essential, and staying true to oneself are the key ingredients to living an authentic life. 

It may not always be easy, but it is worth the effort. We all have the power to shape our lives and create the reality we want. By staying true to ourselves, we can navigate life's challenges and find purpose and meaning in our journey.


Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper Collins, 1990.

Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ. Bantam Books, 1995.

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. New World Library, 1999.

Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth About Overthinking About Life Distracts You From It

As human beings, it is natural to contemplate our purpose and existence, but overthinking about life can be detrimental. Overthinking can lead to anxiety, stress, and a loss of focus on the present moment. Instead of living in the moment, we get caught up in hypothetical scenarios and worst-case scenarios that distract us from reality.

In this essay, we will explore how overthinking about life distracts us from living it and what we can do to break free from this cycle.

The Negative Effects of Overthinking

Overthinking can be paralyzing and can prevent us from taking action. It can cause us to doubt ourselves and our abilities, leading to inaction and missed opportunities. Additionally, overthinking can lead to anxiety, which can affect our physical health, sleep patterns, and overall well-being.

When we focus too much on what could happen or what we could have done differently, we lose sight of the present moment, which can lead to a lack of enjoyment and appreciation for life.

Overthinking and Decision-Making

Overthinking can also have a negative impact on decision-making. When we overthink, we can become indecisive and take longer to make decisions. We may also struggle to weigh the pros and cons effectively, leading to poor decision-making. This can lead to regret and dissatisfaction with the outcome, which can further fuel the cycle of overthinking.

Breaking Free from Overthinking

Breaking free from overthinking requires a conscious effort to focus on the present moment. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings. These techniques can help us observe our thoughts without judgment and bring us back to the present moment.

Another technique is to set aside a specific time each day to reflect on our thoughts and feelings. This can be done through journaling, talking to a friend or therapist, or simply taking a few minutes to reflect. By setting aside a specific time to reflect, we can avoid getting caught up in overthinking throughout the day.

Finally, it is important to take action and make decisions, even if they are not perfect. By taking action, we can break the cycle of overthinking and move forward. We can also learn from our mistakes and adjust our approach in the future.

In conclusion, overthinking life can distract us from living it. It can lead to anxiety, stress, and indecision, which can prevent us from taking action and enjoying life. By practising mindfulness techniques, setting aside time for reflection, and taking action, we can break free from the cycle of overthinking and live in the present moment.

Brach, T. (2003). Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. Random House.

Harris, S. (2014). 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story. It Books.

Kross, E., & Ayduk, O. (2017). Self-Distancing: Theory, Research, and Current Directions. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 81-136.

Segerstrom, S. C. (2018). Optimism and Resources: Effects on Each Other and on Health over Time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(1), 107-126.

Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Winton, A. S. W., Karazsia, B. T., Myers, R. E., Latham, L. L., & Singh, J. (2007). Mindful Parenting Decreases Aggression, Noncompliance, and Parenting

Final Words

Of course, synthesis essays can be daunting because they are so different from the essays you've written before. This task may seem daunting at first, but with these pointers in mind, you should be able to take on the research, analysis, and writing necessary to earn a passing grade.

However, if you find yourself stuck and in need of assistance with your synthesis essay, you can use to quickly and convincingly compose an essay on any subject in the style of a human writer. This AI-powered tool can help you quickly craft a thesis statement on any given subject. If you're a student who often finds yourself stuck when trying to complete writing assignments, can be a lifesaver.

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Synthesis Essay Guide

Synthesis Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Synthesis Essay: Step by Step Guide With Easy Tips

By: Nathan D.

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Apr 6, 2021

Synthesis Essay

Writing a synthesis essay is one skill that has been seen to translate easily from academia into all aspects of business and advertising. One way this plays out is through the ability to take on massive amounts of information quickly. So you can provide concise summaries or syntheses.

Scroll down below if you want some tips on how to write a perfect synthesis essay.

Synthesis Essay

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What is A Synthesis Essay?

For the synthesis essay, you need to combine different ideas from various sources and present them in an argument that reflects your point of view.

Synthesis essays are easier to write than argumentative ones because there is an abundance of ideas and arguments in your write-up for a strong impact. So don’t simply present a plain summary but use strong evidence from researchable sources to support them.

While drafting ideas and adding various arguments, you’ll need to gather information from multiple sources. Identify the relationships between the concepts and integrate them into a persuasive stance. Start by taking up an impactful stance, and build your arguments and topic sentences around it.

How to Start a Synthesis Essay?

When writing an essay, it is important to know your purpose and develop a well-organized perspective. To do this, you should follow some steps that will help in your writing phase. These are:

1. Choose a Topic

Before you start writing the synthesis essay, it is important to choose a good topic. When brainstorming for an essay topic, avoid topics that are too broad or narrow in scope.

2. Gather Information

Once you have chosen your essay topic, start collecting the data for it. Use several sources and gather relevant information that will help develop your thesis statement.

3. Synthesis Essay Thesis Statement

The thesis statement should summarize the main idea of your essay. It's a short but important sentence that will make it easier for readers to follow along and access all points in further reading material about this topic.

The structure for your essay will largely depend on the topic you choose and what side of the argument you support. You’ll express this in a thesis statement that will form a pivotal part of your write-up. It has to be clear and believable enough to impact mindsets.

Start by composing research ideas into a strong thesis statement that is a lucid description of your stance or paradigm. It has to be strong enough to convince your reader to read on clearly defining your stance. And how you’ll approach the topic with different perspectives and valid supporting material.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

Here are the steps you need to follow for writing a great synthesis essay.

1. Create an Outline

Expand on your argument or thesis statement by creating a synthesis essay outline. It is a logical structuring of your collated information and concepts. Essentially your outline must indicate a multitude of sub-arguments extracted from your main argument and evidence to support your thesis.

2. Focus on Creating a Catchy Introduction

The purpose of writing an introduction is to offer a clear insight into the essence of your topic, argument basics, and the primary purpose of your write-up. The intro is essentially a reflection of your thesis statement. So the more eloquent your description, the higher your chances of impressing the readers with gripping content.

3. Organize Your Thoughts

Use the body paragraphs to organize your thoughts into a logical flow that clearly explains each perspective for your position. Ideally, the body of your essay should be divided into short paragraphs, each highlighting a specific point of view.

Make sure you provide ample supporting evidence to present your ideas convincingly. The good idea is to categorize or group concepts after you read your sources. Then present them as one unique theme or feature.

Focus on synthesizing ideas based on paradigms that highlight core features from your thesis statement. And use apposite words to create the right kind of impact.

4. Highlight Vital Concepts

Usually, synthesis essays are more descriptive and informative. So, the presented facts and ideas must explain the relationship between different sources and how they address the topic.

Look for similarities and differences in how various sources explain your position, analyze it, and examine it from different angles.

Similar to an argumentative essay, point out both sides of your chosen paradigm. Also, the favorable position and the opposing argument before reaching the final conclusion.

5. Include Influential Conclusive Remarks

Your conclusive paragraph must be a resounding culmination of your position for the synthesis. Include a summarized version of all the sub-arguments from your thesis statement and connect these with your concluding words.

Also, mention your specific thoughts and perspective on these highlighted sub-arguments that link back to your stance. In short, your essay should have a clear sense of direction, a coherent structure, and a compelling narrative.

6. Proofread and Edit

Lastly, the most important step for writing any type of essay is to proofread it.

This gives you a chance to perfect your paper by getting rid of grammar and spelling errors. Unfortunately, your first draft will have several irrelevant details and errors that need editing at this stage.

Synthesis Essay Outline

Before starting the actual writing process, it will be good to make an outline for the essay. A good outline will serve as the backbone for your essay, and it will help you keep track of all the information in the paper.

The basic structure of an outline is given below:

Synthesis Essay Examples

Completing a synthesis essay can sometimes become a tough task even for experienced students. If you want to make sure that your essay is perfect.



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Synthesis Essay Topics

Look for a sample synthesis essay or interesting synthesis essay topics that will attract the reader’s interest and attention.

There are a variety of topics that you can examine for your synthesis essay.

When it comes to synthesis essays, the main objective is to test the writer’s ability to conduct research and relating different information.

Here is a list of interesting synthesis essay ideas that you can have a look at.

  • Zero tolerance policies: pros and cons
  • Essay on global warming
  • How to encourage a reluctant reader?
  • Factors influencing fashion
  • Should high school athletes be drug tested?
  • Is war good or bad?
  • Should young people be allowed to use cell phones and tablets?
  • What’s more productive for children: homeschooling or public school?
  • Are video games an educational experience for kids?
  • Should cellphone use be banned while driving?

Tips for Writing a Good Synthesis Essay

Here are some expert synthesis essay writing tips that you can follow for writing a great essay on your own.

  • For a successful synthesis essay, you need to use sources with valuable information.
  • Coming up with a synthesis essay outline is an integral part of creating your argument. It will help you know if you have enough points to make the argument or whether it needs more material for people to understand what's going on.
  • The first thing you need to do is to study the topic carefully to understand its purpose. Go a little deeper to understand the idea and concept behind the topic.
  • Do read your sources carefully, then summarize and document them.
  • Do add examples and evidence from the source to support your ideas and claims. Do cite your sources as you go.
  • Do elaborate on main ideas and organize them logically.
  • Do aim to attract the reader’s attention by opening with an interesting thought. Set the right tone to make them want to read further.
  • Do make use of logical transitions to move from one idea to another smoothly. Logically connect your ideas.
  • Don’t present someone else’s work as your own. Do not copy! Plagiarism is a crime that you don’t want to get caught committing.
  • Don’t take help from a single source. Having more than one source provides you with more options. In addition, it helps you to compare and contrast different facts and evidence to support your argument.
  • Don’t expect to finish in an hour or even a day. Give yourself a flexible timeline to finish.
  • Don’t be rigid when it comes to making changes to an idea. There’s always room for improvement.
  • Don’t write using a passive voice and use simple English language words.

We hope that these steps and guidelines help you in crafting your essay. However, if you are faced with any confusion or difficulty in writing, you can contact us at  .

We have the best team of qualified and experienced writers. We can write any type of academic assignment, whether an argumentative essay or synthesis paper, with the quality writing that will score you well on your assignments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you use quotes in a synthesis essay.

A synthesis essay requires you to construct an argument by using sources and providing citations. If you use information from the sources, make sure to put it in quotes or cite them properly.

What is a topic sentence in a synthesis essay?

A topic sentence is a statement that expresses your main idea and helps you to keep track of the points in your paragraph. This type of sentence should introduce one reason supporting what you are saying without going into too much detail or repetition.

What should you not do in a synthesis essay?

You should not build your synthesis essay around the opinions of others, it would defeat the whole purpose of writing a synthesis paper where you are supposed to defend your stand by using evidence from both sides and formulating an opinion on what's right or wrong.

Nathan D.

Education, Research

Nathan completed his Ph.D. in journalism and has been writing articles for well-respected publications for many years now. His work is carefully researched and insightful, showing a true passion for the written word. Nathan's clients appreciate his expertise, deep understanding of the process, and ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly.

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Are you tasked with writing a synthesis paper but unsure what it means and how to go about writing it? If you're struggling with this essay type, you're not alone. A good number of students also find it challenging.

But the good news is that we are going to demystify it in this explainer article which has been carefully written to be as clear as possible. We'll cover significant ground starting from the meaning, the stepwise process of creating one, a sample outline, and some topic ideas.

Get the Basic Definition

Let's begin by understanding the defining word - synthesis. What does it mean to synthesize? It implies forming something new and whole using components/parts from different sources. Accordingly, in such a piece of writing the author blends data from various references to develop their write-up. But what kind of write-up are we referring to? A synthesis essay can be one of the following two kinds.

  • Explanatory.

This type of synthesis writing is aimed at clarifying and simplifying a topic, thereby helping the reader gain a greater comprehension. The writer basically breaks it down into well-structured and ordered parts and then explains each of them as lucidly as possible. In doing so, analogies, metaphors, similes, and other literary devices aid in clarifying concepts, mechanisms, and relationships. When correctly done, the write-up should be focused and objective and also improve the reader's understanding of the topic.

  • Argumentative.

As the name suggests, this type of synthesis is about arguing in favor or against a certain point of view. It requires utilizing outsourced data to advance the writer's argument or claim. The topics of argumentative synthesis are typically contentious and, by extension, highly debatable.

The sources of information used can be written or non-written. Written sources include books, journals, newspapers, and other periodicals. The non-written include lectures, video interviews, radio commentaries and interviews, audio records, and the likes.

Also, bear in mind that the reason you write your essay depends on the specifics of your assignment. But it will usually be either explanatory or argumentative.

Step-by-Step Writing Process

Now that you have acquired an understanding of the meaning of a synthesis essay, the next step here is to learn the steps you have to take in writing your own paper.

Being the first step of the process, planning enables you to metaphorically "put all houses together" (select your sources and organize your work) before you start writing. It involves a number of steps that will help you prepare your content and speed up your actual writing.

What topic you write about would depend on the requirement of your assignment. If you're given a specific one, ensure you understand what you're expected to cover therein. Your title should convey the focus or aim of your essay. At this point, you should have determined what your thesis is.

At this step, you'll need to search for sources of information that can help you develop your essay. Once you've done that, you have to go through each of the materials with a goal to understand their relevance/connection. Draw relationships between a number of different sources and use your writing to clarify the relationship. This implies that before that can be done, you need to understand the source materials and what main ideas they convey.

It is those ideas that will form the basis of your understanding and subsequently the connections you establish between them in your writing. As you closely study the sources that are relevant, your goal should be to establish its main ideas or what conclusions they arrive at. You'll also have to decide whether they are reliable or acceptable as it concerns quality. Take note of pieces of evidence that support your thesis.

The information could be supporting statistics, statements made by individuals, important events as they were recorded, etc. You have to ask yourself, "Why does this matter in developing my thesis and what are the relationships between this and other sources?" To help you draw the connection between the different sources, note down what each represents. For example, is source 1 a counter evidence for source 2, or is source 2 a corroboration of source 1?

Your writing has to be well-structured into sections and paragraphs. An outline is a tool that allows you to accomplish this. The main ideas from your research should be organized sequentially.

The essay has to be made up of 3 usual sections.

The opening paragraph should provide a brief overview of the topic and motivate the reader to continue reading. It should also include your thesis that holds your main claim or aim of writing.

This paragraph is where the bulk of your writing should be. The body paragraphs should be ordered logically with a sequence. Each paragraph should convey a major idea or argument. A clear connection to your thesis should be found in all pieces of evidence you use. The more there are, and the clearer the connection, the more compelling your synthesis essay will be. Also, you need to show how each idea that supports your thesis is connected to the other that follows in the next paragraph.

As this final section, the concluding paragraph should bring out the main point of your essay in a brief manner. Using one specific supporting instance from the body will suffice.

This final stage is where you get to carefully read through your essay several times to proofread and edit it. Are there mistakes? The ones you should avoid when writing include grammar mistakes, misspellings, lack/misuse of punctuation marks. If there are, you would have to correct them. You have to ask yourself, "How has the thesis been supported?", "Are there better ways I can explain an idea or make an argument?".

Creating the Structure of Your Essay

You may wonder, "What should my outline look like?". Truth is, there is not a single way of creating an outline that applies universally. Although the fundamental idea or purpose stays the same, the way your outline appears can vary significantly from that of your fellow students. That's OK. The most crucial point to remember is that it is meant to be your tool for organizing the structure and flow of your paper. Below we present an example outline. This is only a sample to help you with creating your own.

Essay Topic: Home-grown terrorism: Exploring the radicalization of youth in western countries.

  • Begin with an anecdote or a statistic about radicalized youth.
  • Highlight the significance or importance of the issue.
  • Provide the thesis statement or aim of the essay here.

Notable reasons (social, religious, economic) why young people fall prey to radicalization.

How and where it can take root in western countries (use some specific stories as supporting example).

What can be done by western governments and families to stem the tide?

  • Paragraph 5 (Conclusion)

Creatively reiterate the thesis statement and use one supporting example.

11 Good Topic Ideas for Your Synthesis Paper

Now that you have learned what a synthesis paper is and how to write one, we'll explore the topic ideas you could use in this section. Hopefully, you'll find a few that will ignite your imagination and quickly direct you to the preferred topic. Words of advice - always work on a topic you find interesting. Another good reason you should select a topic would be to expand your knowledge on it.

  • Slowly cooking the planet Earth. The impact and dangers of global warming
  • The Congress versus the President. Understanding the 2019 government shutdown.
  • Changing skies. How has commercial aviation changed since 2000?
  • The media disruption. How effective is Social media in shaping information dissemination and public perception of truth?
  • Going separate ways after tying the knot. The harm of the divorce on the children's upbringing.
  • Pop culture evolution. How social media is affecting fame and how it's created?
  • Understanding the evolution of space flights in the 21st century.
  • Home-grown terrorism. Exploring the radicalization of youth in western countries.
  • Preserving history. What aspects of Native Americans culture is still alive in the 21st century?
  • Role of high school football in academic outcomes. Does it positively influence academic performance?

Before we close the curtain on the synthesis paper writing, remember that you can always avail yourself of some assistance from a custom writing service. We have skilled and proven essay writers who have written high-scoring essays of all kinds - narrative, descriptive, argumentative, you name it. They've done them exceedingly well and can create the paper you need. Given their vast writing experience, you should be confident that you're going to get your own paper of high quality and also score the high assignment grade you desire.

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How to write a synthesis essay

tips for writing a good synthesis essay

When writing a synthesis essay for college or high school assignment, you will need to spend some time researching the pros and cons of each alternative solution. You might consult several experts or look at a book concerning your topic. Perhaps visit a website that includes information about your topic from both sides of the question; these tend to be more reliable than those who have self published their own books or articles on the subject. Include quotations from other sources as well as directly stating what you think.

A good synthesis essay should leave its readers feeling that, although they may disagree with some parts of your argument, gave them good reason to agree with the rest.

A good synthesis essay takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of each side. It should make an educated statement that combines both sides to create a new perspective on the original issue. This is a courageous and necessary tactic, especially when you are writing on some controversial topic where there has been constant debate for many years and no real resolution; for example, abortion or capital punishment; things like this may never really change your point of view.

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A student who is writing a synthesis essay should be prepared for criticism from readers of the paper. This is because they will expect you to provide support for your contention, and if he/she reads nothing about it in your paper, or even worse yet sees one side but not another, they will feel that you have not done an adequate job of researching and understanding the issue.

Because most issues are quite complicated, failing to address all sides can leave a reader hanging with unanswered questions. It is important to remember that the reader has no idea what you left out, it could be something very important.

What is a synthesis essay?

A synthesis essay is very similar to an analysis essay in its structure. However, a synthesis essay is utilized for the purpose of outlining and explaining the major points of two different arguments or concepts, rather than just one. The elements that are included in a synthesis essay will be different from those found in an analysis paper.

A synthesis paper is written so as to come up with a new concept, idea or theory on a topic which involves combining different strands of thoughts/ideas. This can also include comparing and contrasting two differing arguments which have been given by two authors on the same topic, so as to conclude on an agreed final stand point or thought. The words “combining” or “synthesis” are used interchangeably when referring to this type of writing.

There are generally four stages of writing a synthesis paper; these are:

  • Survey/selecting the literature that you need for synthesis essay (Primary sources)
  • Interpreting the data in those sources
  • Coming up with your own conclusion on an issue
  • Combining different learners’ conclusions on an issue so as to form one final concept, idea or theory (synthesizing).

A synthesis essay is meant to be just like your opinion and thoughts put out there onto a page. It needs to be original, clear and without slang language, so that it can give other people who may read it something new to think about.

It is also important to note that because this paper will likely include your personal opinion and thoughts on an issue, so even though there may be some facts/statistics involved in it (from the previous sources), you would want to keep those separate from the objective data. Instead of saying things like “Various researchers found…” or “Smith argues…”, instead try using words like “This shows…or This implies….” 

A synthesis essay can either be written with two opposing sides on one topic being compared and contrasted/ combined , OR two different issues or topics being compared and contrasted / combined . The first one is easier because it involves taking two sides of a concept which have already been written about and combining them into one solid opinion. For this sort of paper you will want to pick two good sources that are at least 200-300 words long each so that they can provide enough material for you to synthesize together.

The other type would be more difficult because it requires you sifting through lots of information/sources , which may also disagree with each other in order to come up with your own final thought/concept after reading the material. As an example let’s say you needed to write a synthesis essay about what love is. You could pick any two sources from the library or online that discussed this topic and analyze each of them, coming up with your own idea on the subject after you have read it all.

One last point worth mentioning is that both types do require certain characteristics of writing in order for them to be successful. Both papers will need enough evidence/facts from existing literature , but most importantly they will require a conclusion that clearly shows how the authors came up with their overall final thought/theory . It should also tie in earlier parts of the paper as well as include statistics, quotations and other details mentioned throughout the text. References are not necessary either, but something like Harvard referencing would do fine.

Structure of a synthesis essay – Outline, Format

The actual writing of a synthesis essay needs to be organized using the TASK structure, which incorporates an introduction section , 2-3 body paragraphs and a conclusion/summary.

One example way of how to structure a synthesis essay can be seen below:


A good synthesis essay introduction should include:

  • the thesis statement,
  • 3-5 key facts suggested by your literature sources
  • Any definitions that need to be made clear.
  • It should also have its own topic sentence.

To start your essay, a good introduction paragraph for an essay should contain an overview of the most significant points and a brief statement regarding your position regarding each side. This will make it easier for readers to understand and follow the rest of the argument in the essay.

Body paragraphs :

  • 1st body paragraph
  • 2nd body paragraph
  • 3rd body paragraph

A good synthesis essay body paragraphs should not include quotes from other authors, instead it will be a new concept that you have thought up from the material that you have already read.

Conclusion :

A good way to end a synthesis essay is to write a conclusion that summarizes all the main body paragraphs as well as provide some final thoughts on the issue at hand. A good way to start this section would be by recapitulating what was discussed in the previous 3-4 paragraphs (body) before trying to give it some meaning or making any grand statements about where things currently stand with regard to this topic.

Read more here on how to end an essay .

How to start a synthesis essay

To start a synthesis essay the following tips might be helpful. Also refer to the guidelines on how to start off an essay .

In the opening of a synthesis essay the writer should present the issue under scrutiny and explain its importance to society or culture. In order to do so, use specific examples from history, art and literature, etc., which further support your main point. Now you will have an opportunity to present your own opinion on the matter and overturn other people’s view on this matter by using evidence presented in previous paragraphs. The last sentences of your essay should sum up all your arguments.

In conclusion we can say that a good introduction includes three important parts:

  • generalizing statement about the issue at hand;
  • thesis statement, which is followed by introducing a counterargument;
  • finally, one should create summarizing statements that summarize all of the previously mentioned ideas.

As for the body of a synthesis essay, it should include three or four paragraphs which present opposing opinions and counterarguments. Each paragraph should be followed by an introduction that will tell the reader what is going to be discussed in that particular paragraph.

The last section of a good synthesis essay contains your own argument in favor of one side of this issue using evidence from previous paragraphs. In order to do so you can also use images, pictures or videos from other sources (like YouTube) and connect them with arguments made in previous paragraphs. The last sentences of this part summarize all ideas presented earlier on in this article. One needs to remember not to write long introductions but instead create short statements about what has already been stated.

In the end, it is important to remember that introduction and conclusion are two most important parts of an essay. If you start an essay well your reader will stay on with you until the very last sentence. The same goes for ending, if there are no good conclusions at the end of a paper, your reader or professor might not take anything from this synthesis essay.

Synthesis essay example on pros and cons of gun control

Synthesis Essays can convey more than one idea in reference to opposing arguments. For instance.. A person could write a paper addressing the pros and cons of gun control from two different points of view: a) safety b) personal freedom as it pertains to self-defense and/or hunting. While writing the essay, it would be important to include a mixture of both sides of the argument.

The first paragraph could address the safety issue by introducing information about deaths and injuries due to gun violence. A good introduction should also discuss several ideas that are associated with the topic at hand.

The second paragraph may then focus on self-defense as well as hunting; if done correctly, these two paragraphs will lay a foundation for future points you want to make in your paper. They will also help establish an agenda or thesis statement for supporting your claim when you introduce it later on in your paper.

This type of essay works best when each idea is followed up with facts/statements that support those claims. By doing this correctly, you can build off of your points instead of simply saying one thing then moving on to a new subject. Good synthesis essays also require that you use credible information and avoid editorial comments.

Tips when writing controversial synthesis essays

• Lead with your strongest argument.

• Make sure you support the conclusion with statements from at least two other sources.

• Do not change the original word order in each of the quoted sources; otherwise, it defeats the purpose of using them as evidence to support your own statement in that they will be incomprehensible to readers who are unfamiliar with these texts.

Create a cluster map of the main ideas: The first thing I did when writing my synthesis essay was to create a cluster map of the main ideas included throughout the papers. Once this was complete, it became much easier for me to pick and choose what I wanted to include in my own paper.

Take notes during research: Another way you can make sure your paper is well-organized is by taking notes as you read each source individually. Writing down key phrases, such as important statistics or quotes that could be used later on in your own exegesis essay will help you keep track of all the important information found in them. For instance, if an author makes a statement that could be interpreted more than one way but seems to lean toward your own argumentation, note it down or make some sort of comment on it to yourself so you can remember to use that in your own writing.

Synthesis Essay Example: controversial topics on cloning or stem cell research

When writing synthesis essays on controversial topics such as cloning or stem cell research, make sure to always include credible sources from both sides before advancing any claims yourself; otherwise, you run the risk of becoming biased toward one side and have no way of knowing whether or not your statements are accurate.

You also want to aim for a neutral tone when writing synthesis essays. That is, try not to make any statements that are too subjective or makes sense only to you; you do not want your paper to come off as biased because it will undermine what credibility you have earned with your readers/instructors.

The last section in this example contains a great general philosophy statement: the author believes that more research and inclusion of sides is all that is needed in order for us to proceed further down the road of cloning and stem cell research.

In conclusion, synthesis essays can be interesting to read and challenging to write; however, they are not as easy as choosing a side from two alternatives. It comes with practice being able to find a middle ground where neither side loses too much standing but both sides gain in some way or another.

Tips when writing college synthesis paper

Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when writing synthesis papers :

  • Avoid plagiarism : Don’t use an academic paper as the basis of your own paper. You may only use sections or pieces of it that you actually feel are important/relevant to whatever topic/issue you are writing on, but don’t just copy and paste an entire paper. If you do this then it will be considered plagiarism , which is taken very seriously in academic circles.
  • Debate both sides of the topic : Don’t try to focus too much on each side of a debate, instead make sure that they both still have their own separate opinions . Also, even if one seems correct at first glance, don’t just stick with them because other sources might have different opinions worth mentioning.
  • Avoid using irrelevant information : Avoid using quotes from other people unless the information is direct or relevant to what you are writing about.
  • Analyze issues instead of summarizing : Don’t just summarize everything that you read in your sources, analyze them as well.
  • Use multiple academic sources : Use both points of view from other authors, also known as sources, to form your own debatable thoughts/concepts instead of sticking with just one person’s ideas.
  • Use transition words when writing your synthesis essays : Make sure to use transitional words and phrases to make your paper more cohesive as a whole.
  • Maintain the structure of a synthesis essay : Don’t forget the must have elements in any synthesis essay such as an introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs and a conclusion.

Synthesis essay writing help

Need help synthesis essay? Ask Professors for assistance. Hire the best synthesis essay writers will help you to write a synthesis essay by improving your skills and knowledge. You can also get your own custom essay written by professionals at a cheap price.

Get your synthesis essay edited and proofread

We are a professional editing and proofreading service for students who need assistance with writing an accurate, well-structured paper. All of our editors have expertise in english grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and overall writing style.

If you are struggling to meet the deadlines or spend too much time on your papers because of being disorganized but still want to get a good grade then you can always ask us for help at any stage of writing a synthesis paper. From choosing reliable sources to creating a good synthesis paper outline – we will assist you in every step to ensure that all your requirements are met accordingly, resulting in perfect college synthesis essay written for you and delivered on time!


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How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Guide to Synthesis Essays

How to write a synthesis essay: expert tips to boost your knowledge.

College is an exciting period in students’ lives but also fraught with challenges. Suppose you began thinking, “How to write a synthesis essay?” you must have already encountered some of them. Perhaps your schedule is full, and you don’t have time to do another task. It could be that earning money is your priority now, and spending hours on boring homework isn’t a part of your plans. Illness or exhaustion are also relevant reasons that could stop you from doing your duty as a student and force you to seek help. Luckily, these days, it’s always just at your fingertips! TopEssayWriting is a loyal helper who assisted thousands of students throughout the years. We write, edit, and proofread different types of academic content. We also share guides full of insights from our experts. Use this one to learn everything about writing a synthesis essay.

What Is a Synthesis Essay: Definition, Types, and Other Basic Facts

Before we get to an actual writing process, let’s understand the definition of this interesting but challenging task. Synthesis essay is a piece of writing that incorporates different ideas from several sources and combines them into one single paper. The goal here is to demonstrate the relationship between various subjects and explore their impact on each other and the outside world. But enough of the theory: seeing examples always helps better. Imagine that you read one article dedicated to exploring an overly soft approach the USA uses with terrorists. Then, you read another article about the catastrophic impacts of global warming on our planet. The third source investigates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These three articles focus on different topics, but you can combine them into one essay. How to do it, though? If you are a student who never tried writing a synthesis essay before, you might find it difficult. Integrating arguments coherently takes effort, as you need to find an ideal combination of topics that makes sense. It mustn’t look forced, and it should be something you are actually interested in researching. You might need to find other sources to support your arguments, too. A top essay writer could do it with no problem because they already have experience in this sphere. For example, they could write a paper about how American soft policies unnecessarily extend the war in Ukraine and how this war further fuels global warming. Overall, two main types of synthesis essays are explanatory and argumentative. We’ll explore both so that you’ll know how to write them.

Two Major Types of Synthesis Papers

How to write synthesis paper of an explanatory type? The clue is in its name: Writers must explain their topic to their audience. There is no need to argue or prove anything, just make certain you understand what you’re writing about and break concepts down in a clear manner. Using our example, we’d explain what soft policies the US uses and how negatively they affect the situation in Ukraine; we’d define the concept of global warming and show the connection between its deterioration and the war. By the end of the essay, our readers would have no questions left. This type of synthesis essay might sound easy, but if you ever felt the need to say, “I want someone else to write my Capstone project for me,” you’ll understand the problems that come with it. You still need to do complex research to illustrate your point and have the skills to link everything together smoothly.

Now, you know what a synthesis paper is, but what’s up with the argumentative type of it? Once again, all you need to know is already in the name of this task. Simply explaining the topic isn’t enough here, writers must choose a position and argue in its favor, listing points and refuting counter-arguments. To meet these criteria, we could argue why the American approach of catering to terrorists out of fear is erroneous. We need to show how many atrocities Russia can commit in Ukraine, listing global warming as one of its numerous negative effects. Naturally, we’d pick relevant research sources to make our position stronger and more convincing.

Accurate Synthesis Essay Structure: Theory and Examples

When writing a synthesis essay, students should follow the same standard structure they stick to in other academic papers. Our experts listed these steps and offered detailed descriptions plus examples for each part. If you don’t plan to order graduate school essay writing service from professionals and are determined to write everything by yourself, take a look. We guarantee that after this, you won’t have questions left.

  • Hook . The first sentence must be a bright introduction of your topic. It should be interesting, moving, or powerful to entice readers into reading further.
  • Background . Identify sources that your paper is based on. In our case, this would be three articles: one mentioning US policies with terrorists, the second one exploring the Ukrainian war, and the third one investigating climate change.
  • Relevance . You know how to write a synthesis essay introduction that intrigues your readers with a hook, but the relevance part helps secure their interest. Explain why your topic matters and prove that exploring it is worth it.  
  • Thesis . This is the last sentence of the introduction, but since it plays a huge part in the entire paper, we’ll describe it in a separate category.

On to an example. We chose to write an explanatory synthesis essay on the topic we already introduced about the Russia-Ukraine war. This is what an ideal introduction for it could look like: The ruination of millions of lives, torture, and destruction of land and property are only some impacts of full-scale wars, and guilt for it might lie on multiple parties at once. As Berret (2019) mentions in his article, an overly soft approach of the USA to terrorist countries like Iran, North Korea, and Russia creates risks for non-nuclear governments that are smaller in size and have no way of protecting themselves. The war Russia unleashed in Ukraine is horrifying, and in accordance with Smith (2023), it already caused crises on multiple levels, from economic to immigration ones. Stevenson’s (2022) article makes it clear why intensifying global warming can fall into the same category. A close connection exists between these three phenomena, and studying them is the only way to learn the lesson and make the world safer in the future.

  • Thesis . The thesis is vital in any synthesis essay structure. It reflects the main point of your paper and reveals what exactly you are going to explore in it. You must reference it in every opening sentence of your body and in your conclusion. Make it strong, and never use filler phrases like “This paper…” and such. Here’s an example:

As a superpower, the US dictates how terrorists are treated, and by limiting its help to Ukraine, it encourages Russia, which continues waging the terrible war that endangers the planet, intensifying the global warming effect tenfold.       

  • Opening sentence . Link it with a part of your thesis: This line must demonstrate what the paragraph is going to be about.  
  • Claim . State your main point.
  • Elaboration and support . Elaborate on it while relying on other academic sources for support. You can have several related claims and explanations throughout the paragraph.
  • Closing sentence . Summarize what you discussed in a paragraph or create bridges toward the next paragraph.

What does a synthesis essay look like with a body? We crafted one paragraph as an example. Use it as a guide.

The USA is a large and influential country that sets the tone for the treatment of terrorists, and its fear of escalation prolongs the war in Ukraine, leading toward current and future disasters as the climate change problem intensifies. The US has a vast arsenal of weapons, even 25% of which could help Ukraine win the war (Rodgers, 2023). However, it declines to send them because, as it states, it does not want to escalate the situation (Joel, 2023). It means Ukraine is forced to defend itself with few weapons against a much more powerful enemy who uses every terrorist tactic to achieve results. This resulted in multiple deaths that could have been prevented. Russia has free reign to do what it wants: even after going as far as exploding the Kakhovka dam, it faced no repercussions from the US. This encourages it to keep terrorizing Ukraine. Apart from the loss of lives, the war affects global warming. The constant battle smoke accumulates in the atmosphere (Raynold, 2022). Multiple companies started manufacturing more weapons, which aggravated nature further. The US’ refusal to help Ukraine end the war swiftly endangers the world and encourages other terrorists to use force to get what they want.

  • Restated thesis . Repeat thesis, but follow synthesis essay tips: don’t copy it directly. This would only get you in trouble.
  • Repetition of main points . Remind your readers what main ideas you discussed in the body. Like with the thesis, be careful and use new word combinations. Never copy-paste info you already wrote down in other paragraphs.
  • Possible solution . Propose a solution that could solve the problem you identified.

How to write a conclusion for a synthesis essay? This is our example:

The US holds large sources of power, but its soft attitude keeps encouraging terrorists, including Russia, which continues to ravage Ukraine and kill its people, provoking an imminent global warming disaster. Refusing to deliver an adequate supply of weapons to Ukraine means giving Russia permission to keep committing atrocities without fearing punishment. The impacts can affect the entire world, poisoning it with heat at increased speed. Applying a decisive approach is the only way to stop the terrorists and protect the planet from further deterioration.

Strategies for Choosing a Topic for Your Synthesis Essay

How to write a winning synthesis paper? Students should come up with a good topic first and foremost. If you don’t like the subject you’re exploring, making it sound interesting is going to be difficult. Try picking something that you like at least a little bit. Think about your interests: What are your hobbies? They could hide a plethora of useful ideas. Go online and check your search history: it might offer some topics you forgot but were curious about. Discuss potential ideas with your family or friends, or search online lists with ideas. Multiple academic platforms develop them to help students out.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay Outline & Format It Properly

Outlines help save you time. Many students want to know how to write an essay fast but they think an outline is only going to complicate matters. This is not true. Sure, you might need to waste some time on it, but in the end, you’ll preserve hours. Write down parts of an essay as we did above: intro, body, and conclusion. Brainstorm and add a line or two with ideas to each of them. It could be something as simple as “Body paragraph 1: why the US is not doing enough.” This will help you stick to a specific structure — you won’t get lost in your thoughts after you start writing.

But apart from writing a synthesis essay outline, students should also know how to format their papers. MLA, APA, plus Chicago are the most common styles. Have a look at these quick tips for each of them.

  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt.
  • Add 1-inch margins from all sides.
  • Include your last name and page number in the upper right corner on every page.
  • No separate title page.
  • Make a header with your and your professor’s name, course number, plus submission date.
  • Make a works cited list.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay in APA

  • Same as with MLA: use Times New Roman 12 pt. and 1-inch margins
  • Make a separate title page
  • Write an abstract summarizing your synthesis essay
  • Add a page number to the top right corner
  • Create list with references

Chicago Synthesis Essay Format

  • Like with other styles, go for Times New Roman 12 pt, and one-inch margins
  • Have a title page with title, name, date
  • Choose double-spacing
  • Create footnotes for in-text citations
  • Make a bibliography list

Final Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay

We shared most strategies that should help students create the best synthesis essays. Still, as a final touch, we’d like to offer a few more tips. Try using them and writing will become easier!

  • Make up a good title. Never title your works as “synthesis essay” or anything similar. Show more creativity: readers like this.
  • Use academic language. Never use contractions or phrasal verbs. Diversify your vocabulary.
  • Keep synthesizing information. Don’t forget about referring to at least two sources and integrating ideas from them.  
  • Keep paragraphs readable. Don’t make them shorter than 5 sentences or longer than 200 words.
  • Edit your paper. Proofread your text. Students who aren’t sure how to edit an essay could always ask for professional help. This would ensure cleanliness of their paper.

Hesitating about Writing Your Essay? Order It from the Best Experts

Knowing synthesis essay definition and following tips is a sure way of writing a fantastic paper. But if you find yourself struggling at any step, consider asking for help. Contact our diligent experts and hire a writer who’ll craft a flawless paper in your stead. They could write it from scratch, edit it, or rewrite it. Formulate your order and relax at last!

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Synthesis Essay

Synthesis Essay Example

Caleb S.

Synthesis Essay Examples: Learn From Powerful Example

Published on: Jun 13, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023

Synthesis Essay Example

On This Page On This Page

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of writing a compelling synthesis essay?

As a student, it can be frustrating to craft brilliant arguments that captivate readers and secure high marks. But fret not! We have the perfect solution to alleviate your writing woes. 

In this blog, we present a collection of synthesis essay examples that will provide practical insights to overcome your writing hurdles. We will also discuss some synthesis essay topics and tips to write a good synthesis essay. 

So, say goodbye to confusion and embrace the clarity that comes from learning through real-life examples. 

Without further ado, let's start with the blog!

What is Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is defined as: 

A type of academic writing that involves combining information from multiple sources to create a coherent argument on a specific topic. 

The goal of a synthesis essay is to:

  • Analyze the sources
  • Draw connections between sources
  • Present a unique perspective that integrates the information from the sources.

Synthesis Essay Examples

In this section, we will explore different examples of synthesis essays. Examples are a valuable tool for learning complicated concepts and understanding the format of a synthesis essay. 

By examining these examples, you can see how the information from multiple sources is effectively utilized to build a cohesive argument.

Let's take a look at the sample synthesis essays below:

Synthesis Essay Introduction Example

Synthesis Essay Thesis Statement Example

Synthesis Essay Example Outline

AP High School Synthesis Essay Example

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Example

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Example

Poetry Synthesis Essay Sample

Technology Synthesis Essay

AP English Language and Composition Synthesis Essay

Synthesis Essay Example College Board

Synthesis Essay Example Ap Lang

Synthesis Essay Example MLA

Synthesis Essay Example APA

How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

Writing a synthesis essay can be an engaging and challenging task. It requires you to bring together information from multiple sources, analyze different viewpoints, and form a cohesive argument. 

To help you navigate the writing process and create a well-structured synthesis paper, here are some essential steps:

Step#1 Understand the Assignment and Gather Relevant Sources

Before you begin writing, carefully read and understand the assignment prompt. Identify the main theme or topic and the sources you need to analyze and synthesize. 

It's crucial to gather a variety of sources, such as scholarly articles, books, and reputable websites. By doing so you can ensure a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

Step#2 Create a Synthesis Essay Outline

A well-structured essay is essential for a good synthesis essay. Create an outline that organizes your thoughts and arguments logically. 

Your synthesis essay outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section should be clear and concise, providing a roadmap for your essay.

Synthesis Essay Outline -

Step#3 Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the central argument of your synthesis essay. It should be concise and clearly state your stance on the topic. A good thesis statement guides the direction of your essay and provides a framework for your synthesis.

Step#4 Evaluate and Analyze Sources

Thoroughly evaluate and analyze each source you've gathered. Identify the main ideas, key arguments, and supporting evidence presented in the sources. Look for common themes, patterns, or conflicts among the sources. This analysis will serve as the foundation for synthesizing the information in your essay.

Step#5 Synthesize Information

In the body paragraphs of your essay, synthesize the information from your sources. Do not summarize each source individually. Instead, aim to present a coherent analysis of the information by integrating different viewpoints and supporting evidence. 

Make sure to attribute the ideas to the appropriate sources through in-text citations.

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Step#6 Organize Your Synthesis

Organize your synthesis logically within each paragraph. You can structure your paragraphs based on themes, conflicting viewpoints, or supporting evidence. Ensure a smooth flow of ideas and transitions between paragraphs to maintain coherence and clarity.

Step#7 Craft a Strong Conclusion

In your conclusion, summarize the main points discussed in your essay and restate your thesis statement. Emphasize the significance of your findings and provide a thoughtful reflection on the topic. Leave your readers with a lasting impression and a sense of closure.

Check out this informative video to learn more about synthesis essays!

Synthesis Essay Format

Let’s take a look at the basic synthesis essay format:

  • Introduction : Introduce the topic and provide background information. Present your thesis statement.
  • Body paragraphs: Analyze and synthesize the information from your sources, supporting your thesis statement.
  • Conclusion : Summarize your main points and restate your thesis. Provide a thoughtful reflection on the topic.

Synthesis Essay Topics

Here are synthesis essay example topics in different subject domains:

  • The impact of technology on climate change mitigation efforts.
  • Synthesis of renewable energy sources for a sustainable future.
  • The ethical implications of genetic engineering and synthetic biology.
  • Synthesizing scientific research to understand the effects of sleep on human health.
  • Exploring the potential benefits and risks of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

Social Sciences:

  • Synthesizing theories of social inequality to understand its impact on marginalized communities.
  • The role of media in shaping public opinion and political discourse.
  • Synthesizing psychological and sociological perspectives on addiction and substance abuse.
  • Analyzing the impact of globalization on cultural diversity and identity.
  • Synthesizing different approaches to criminal justice reform for reducing recidivism rates.


  • The portrayal of gender roles and stereotypes in classic and contemporary literature.
  • Synthesizing different literary techniques used to convey the theme of love in poetry.
  • Comparing and contrasting the themes of justice and revenge in various Shakespearean plays.
  • Synthesizing the works of different postcolonial authors to understand the impact of colonialism on identity.
  • Exploring the use of symbolism in dystopian literature to critique societal norms.
  • Synthesizing different historical perspectives on the causes of World War II.
  • The impact of the Enlightenment on the American and French Revolutions.
  • Synthesizing primary sources to understand the experiences of enslaved individuals during the transatlantic slave trade.
  • Analyzing the effects of the Industrial Revolution on social and economic conditions in 19th-century Europe.
  • Comparing and contrasting the approaches to decolonization in Africa and Asia.


  • Synthesizing different perspectives on the ethical implications of autonomous vehicles.
  • The impact of social media on communication and interpersonal relationships.
  • Synthesizing the benefits and risks of data mining in the era of big data.
  • Analyzing the role of technology in addressing global challenges such as poverty and climate change.
  • Exploring the potential applications of blockchain technology in various industries.

These topics should provide you with a starting point for your synthesis essay in different subject domains. Remember to conduct thorough research and present a balanced synthesis of different sources and perspectives.

Need more topics? Check out our synthesis essay topics blog and get plenty of ideas!

Tips for a Good Synthesis Essay

Here are some tips to write an outstanding synthesis essay: 

Synthesis Essay Writing Tips -

  • Choose a topic that is broad enough to have sufficient sources but narrow enough to focus your analysis effectively.
  • Take notes while reading and analyzing your sources to keep track of key points and ideas.
  • Use in-text citations and include works cited page to give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism.
  • Maintain a balanced approach by presenting different viewpoints and addressing counterarguments.
  • Edit and revise your essay for clarity , coherence, and grammar mistakes.

In conclusion, writing a good synthesis essay requires careful planning, thorough research, and effective organization. By following a proper synthesis essay structure and employing proper writing techniques, you can write a strong synthesis essay.

Start writing your essay early to allow ample time for the writing process, revisions, and edits. With practice and persistence, you can develop your skills in crafting compelling synthesis essays.

Still do not know how to start with your synthesis essay? Do not worry! is here to help.

Our dedicated essay writing service is readily available to help you with your writing endeavors. Don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced professionals today!

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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Writing Synthesis Essay: Make it Easy with Our Comprehensive Guide

14 Jul 2023

Being a student is a challenging task, as you have to handle different types of essays, particularly synthesis essays. What is synthesis in writing? Such creative writing helps students to develop research skills, conduct a thorough analysis and improve their writing skills. Also, it boosts their abilities to deliver original ideas, arguments, and clear explanations of particular viewpoints. Students might often receive such writing tasks for the AP English language exam. We know how challenging it can be for them to write a synthesis essay.

With this in mind, we uncover the key points of synthesis writing in this review, which are the following:

  • The answer to “What is a synthesis paper?”
  • Main types of synthesis essays.
  • Best advice on how to write a synthesis essay.
  • The list of synthesis essay topic examples.

If you find it difficult to start with your AP Lang synthesis essay, you can get help from our PapersOwl service. The best experts in academic writing await you to bring up a good synthesis essay with a high assessment grade.

Purpose and Objectives of a Synthesis Essay

First and foremost, it is vital to understand a synthesis essay definition. It is a type of essay in which you should provide justified arguments, ideas, or statements based on a particular point of view. Composing a synthesis essay requires much time and effort. You must analyze many credible sources to collect specific data and create a unique research paper. Synthesizing sources has to do with analyzing them, but not vice versa. You should provide an in-depth analysis of each source and then combine the similarities or the differences between them into one coherent and well-structured essay. The next section uncovers this matter.

Key Features and Components in Synthesis Essay Writing

A synthesis essay counts a few types depending on the objectives to reveal. But essential synthesis essay components are the same and consist of three main parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion. The introductory paragraph should be catchy and highlight the main points of your paperwork due to a good thesis statement. The main body should include at least three paragraphs separated by exposing different thoughts, arguments, or explanations. The conclusion should also leave a spot for meditating for your reader on what you have disclosed in it. Further, we explain three types of synthesis papers and their specifications.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay

This type of synthesis essay involves disclosing various facts, views, or points. That’s why it is required to explore many reliable sources to get as much relevant information about a topic under investigation as possible. Thus, a writer can explain the emergence of certain points of view and facts. This writing task helps high school and college students do deep research, compare facts and perspectives, and deliver a detailed synthesis analysis essay. It is essential to complement each statement with specific evidence and statistical data. This will underline the relevance of the information introduced in an essay and make it meaningful and reasonable.

Argument Synthesis Essay

When writing argumentative essays , one must choose a specific topic and present arguments supporting or opposing viewpoints. This writing assignment incorporates two objectives: gather and systemize information revealing the main topic and argue them from your perspective. It requires creativity and deep knowledge of the field and aspect you must put on paper. Writing an argumentative essay is not an easy task. You should stick to a particular perspective and move on to exposing it. It is crucial to provide enough facts and proof to convince your reader that your viewpoint is noteworthy.

Review Synthesis Essay

Review synthesis essays are often parts of larger projects and are used to make reviews of particular aspects, for example, in medicine and social sciences. When composing this type of essay, you should provide full information about the examined object, state, or problem. The literature review should contain as many key points and peculiarities as possible. Thus, it will draw a complete picture of an aspect that will bring clarification and worth to your topic. To hook your reader from the very onset, you should articulate a good synthesis thesis statement in your introductory paragraph.

Common Topics Encountered in Synthesis Essays

To help you with a topic choice for your AP Lang synthesis essay, we listed some from different fields and sciences. The first of three essays is about AI technology. We tried to single out the most relevant example prompt topics for you to get started with. Check them out below.

  • Artificial intelligence: Big threat or valuable tool for modern society
  • Cryptomarket: The ups and downs
  • Technology in the traditional classroom: A threat or benefit?
  • Explain whether testing new drugs on animals is ethically permissible
  • Should alternative medications be covered by insurance?
  • Disturbance regimes under Global Warming
  • Explaining how the American way of life contributes to global warming
  • Distance education: Its effect on college students on campus
  • Can modern people keep complete control over their life?
  • Nuclear or solar power: Benefits and Demerits
  • Explain the impact of gas fuel plants
  • Remote work impact on people: How is their physical activity?
  • Explain the role of sport in the American education system
  • Is it possible to buy happiness for money?
  • The basic survival skills everyone should know

Tips on How to Write Synthesis Essay

It is easier said than done when it comes to writing a synthesis essay. That is true, and for this reason, we outlined the list of valuable synthesis essay tips we consider the most essential to focus on. They are helpful for both writing an AP lang synthesis essay and a term assessment. Check them out.

Conduct Thorough Research

A good paper is regarded to be meaningful when based on deep and all-encompassing research. Don’t neglect to provide a thorough exploration of your topic. The more information you find, the more valuable and reasonable your essay will be. But make sure you use credible sources to summarize and synthesize data. Once you have a viewpoint to reveal, look for sources that support it or oppose it so that you can use them to substantiate your perspective.

Look from Diverse Perspectives

When willing to express one particular point or argument, consider other perspectives that might contradict your ideas. Why is it important? You should be aware of all main arguments or acceptances occurring around your topic. It is essential to study different points of view that emerged on the basis of your theme or aspect under study. This could help you disclose another side or significance of your essay topic and change the focus of the main content you want to unleash. Doing this can reveal a new perspective, idea, or aspect of your synthesis essay’s research.

Choose an Organizational Method for Your Synthesis Essays

Although an essay has a standard structure, your content should be well-composed and introduced coherently. All data should be outlined so a reader will enjoy the smooth turn of one statement to another. Depending on the field and aspect you are to prepare a synthesis essay about, there are three methods to organize the content in your paper. They are the following:

Chronological Method

If you operate dates or other significant events in your review or argumentative essay, it makes sense to present them in chronological order. Every fact should be justified in accordance with its development. So later, you can introduce your perspective or statement that will explain the impact of prior events. For example, when revealing a particular historical period of the US, you should first mention all important events chronologically. So then, you can argue your idea about the changes they brought to the country from a political or international perspective.

Thematic Method

A synthesis paper can be written for any field of science to represent a shorter version of facts, viewpoints, research results, etc. That’s why students can come across some topics that require uncovering a few themes in one essay. It is where a thematic method of content organization takes place. You should determine what notions or terms should be mentioned and revealed in your paper. Then, think of what term might explain or continue a key message of another term. Once you find out this detail, you should present each term one after another, keeping coherence in the information flow.

Point-by-point Method

As synthesis papers deal with different ideas, arguments, viewpoints, etc., comparison as a research method has a place. You can operate with many hypotheses, approaches, ideas, and arguments, so comparing them and finding their similarities and differences makes sense. This content organization method involves explaining one point of the synthesis statement, then another point to compare further.

Make a Synthesis Essay Outline to Structure Content

Earlier, we emphasized the importance of orchestrating your main content under study. This section covers the crucial thing in writing a synthesis essay: an outline. The outline is a great synthesis essay template for structuring your entire paper. We recommend you always stick to it once you define your essay's topic and objective. Thanks to the synthesis essay outline, you will be able to keep your focus on the angle of your work.

If you want to deepen your knowledge, previously, we prepared a guide on how to write a synthesis essay outline . The outline of your essay must include 3 main components, but it can vary, and mostly the main difference is in a short and cited presentation of the thoughts you want to reveal in your essay. Below, we introduce a brief synthesis paper outline structure:

Introductory part

The beginning of your synthesis essay mustn’t be too long. It is enough to disclose your objective, the main topic, and a strong thesis statement in one paragraph. It doesn’t make sense to keep a reader’s attention for long in the introduction, explaining what you are going to describe or argue in detail. Present it shortly and precisely.

Body paragraph

In this part of the essay, you should introduce all you have researched, analyzed, and systemized. Likewise, you should expose your material in a minimum of three paragraphs. Each part has an appropriate synthesis paragraph structure. In the outline, we recommend you craft a bullet list of three here and note shortly what points you want to describe in each paragraph.

This is a summarizing part of the essay where you conclude all information introduced in your synthesis essay. It is essential to repeat thesis statements here. It also should be concise.

Write an Engaging Introduction

A good synthesis essay should get a reader engaged straight from its introduction. An introductory part should be composed in an interesting way to keep reading your essay. Here is where a reader finds out about the background of the topic and what main problems or ideas will be discussed. Such information should be catchy, and it is essential to make the first opening sentence sharper.

Another important thing in the introduction is crafting a hooky synthesis essay thesis statement. The thesis will be like a compass to the main points of your essay. Try to make the topic sentence specific and intriguing by matching your essay objectives.

Introduction synthesis essay example: When it comes to running a successful business, there's no doubt that having the right people on board is crucial. After all, a company is simply a group of individuals working together towards a common goal. However, not enough emphasis is placed on what the "right" people actually look like. That's why I wanted to bring attention to an often overlooked but incredibly important attribute: resistance. In this article, I'll explain what resistance is, why it matters, and how you can identify it in potential team members.

Critically Analyze Sources and Identify Their Relevance to the Thesis Statement

A thesis presents a key message of your paper. This is what both reveals the focus of an essay and captures a reader’s attention. That’s why it requires exploring many sources carefully and critically analyzing them to identify their relevance. So then, you can formulate a strong thesis statement that will combine the key points of the synthesis essay. The more valuable data you find and analyze, the more precious your thesis.

Support Your Arguments

Every thought, idea, assumption, and definition from your thesis statement must be justified by supporting arguments. No one will get involved in a piece that tells about everything and nothing simultaneously when there is no evidence and proof of mentioned facts. This point is vital as your perspective must have a background, and you should explain the reasons you provide a particular argument or viewpoint.

Extensive research and analysis of credible sources allow students to come up with exciting and valuable solutions, ideas, and directions. That’s why the time spent on deep study will always pay you back. It is a very significant component in writing argumentative synthesis essays. So, make sure you find supporting arguments for the idea or perspective you want to convey to a reader. This will increase the persuasiveness and worthiness of your message in the essay.

Address Counterarguments

Sometimes, it is difficult to persuade someone when many counterarguments make your point of view unworthy. The same might happen when you decide to start a synthesis essay and prove your opposite perspective. This task is challenging and requires thorough research of counterarguments. Only by having analyzed a massive set of information, one can provide reasonable comparisons and meaningful explanations to let a reader take their perspectives into account. Here are a few helpful tips on how to maintain a persuasive stance while considering opposing viewpoints:

  • Study all counterarguments that might be according to your viewpoint;
  • Learn the background of the counterarguments;
  • Find out what consequences they can lead to (if they are negative);
  • Weigh the influence of opposing arguments and find their weak points;
  • Justify your viewpoints clearly and precisely with supporting evidence;
  • Provide comparative analysis to underline the significance of your perspective;
  • Never ignore the counterarguments in your informative synthesis essay paper.

Craft a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion is the last but not least component of a synthesis essay structure. The train of thoughts and ideas kept during the entire paper shouldn’t be interrupted instantly. It must have an excellent finalizing part where you sum up all mentioned in your essay and leave a good touch for your reader.

To craft a strong conclusion, you should present an overview of your research and note the main points of your argument or perspective. But remember, the conclusion doesn’t have to be too long and saturated. It should be brief, concise, and precise. Remember to remind your reader of your thesis statement and emphasize the relevance and significance of your essay’s topic.

Conclusion synthesis essay example: Through our research, we have identified effective strategies for dealing with repetitive motions in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is clear that multiple behavior modification therapies are important for improving this behavior. Further exploration into behavior modification techniques could lead to finding more therapy techniques that can greatly improve the lives of those with repetitive motion behaviors. We believe that this research can make a significant impact in helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder lead more fulfilling lives.

Proofread and Edit Your Essay

Even if you think your work is impeccable, it needs to be proofread and edited. While you are concentrating on the writing process, you might skip some other nuances. This can be punctuation, typos, grammatical errors, and incorrect sentence order. For this reason, a synthesis essay must go through thorough proofreading to detect any kind of errors. Apart from this, you can split one body paragraph into two, for example, if you find different points discussed in it. Crafting a synthesis essay is as essential as the writing itself. You should also format it using a particular format style to handle a well-structured, edited, and formatted essay.

Bottom line

Wrapping up, we encourage you to follow our tips on how to write a good synthesis essay. Although any type of writing isn’t easy work, you can do it well with the help of good supporting sources available on our website. If you are short of time and understand that you can’t cope with this task, you can find an expert who writes essay for you to meet your deadlines. But if you decide to make it up alone, make sure to craft an outline and follow all the insightful tips mentioned in this article.

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tips for writing a good synthesis essay


  1. FREE 6+ Synthesis Essay Examples & Samples in PDF

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  3. Synthesis Essay Example and Definition at KingEssays©

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  5. Synthesis Essay Instructions

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  6. Tips for Writing the Synthesis Essay

    tips for writing a good synthesis essay


  1. Writing a Synthesis

  2. Essay Writing

  3. Academic Writing Unveiled: Differentiating It From Other Writings

  4. What is Synthesis?? (Explanatory Synthesis) BA/BSW 3rd Year Compulsory English New Syllabus

  5. Essay examples I The best online essay

  6. Essay writing I Structure of an Essay I Parts of Essay I How to write a Perfect Essay


  1. Guide to Synthesis Essays: How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    1. Introduction: The foundational ideas of your essay are expressed in the introductory paragraph. You will address the general landscape of ideas around your topic, introducing some of your sources. You will also introduce the argument to be made through a thesis statement, which succinctly states your primary argument in a sentence or two.

  2. How To Write a Good Synthesis Essay (Plus 7 Steps and Tips)

    Updated June 24, 2022. Throughout school, you might have to write various types of essays for different classes. In many of them, you can write synthesis essays that prompt you to evaluate and interpret different texts on a topic to plan your own ideas. Learning more about this type of essay can help you prepare if an instructor assigns one to you.

  3. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

    Clear thesis statement. It's a sentence that briefly describes the main idea of your essay. Reliable sources to prove your thesis. For a synthesis essay, your opinion is not enough. You also need to find the evidence. Keep in mind that simply reading an online encyclopedia won't do; make sure to choose only reliable sources.

  4. How to Write a Perfect Synthesis Essay for the AP Language Exam

    Assignment. Read the following sources (including any introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that television has had a positive impact on presidential elections.

  5. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: The Ultimate Handbook 2023

    Topics. Essay Writing. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Your Guide From Start to Finish. Written by. Adam J. September 4, 2023. 13 min read. Did you know that every day, the average person encounters an overwhelming amount of information equivalent to reading approximately 174 newspapers?

  6. Synthesis

    When asked to synthesize sources and research, many writers start to summarize individual sources. However, this is not the same as synthesis. In a summary, you share the key points from an individual source and then move on and summarize another source. In synthesis, you need to combine the information from those multiple sources and add your ...

  7. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Part 1. Examining Your Topic. Download Article. 1. Understand the concept of a synthesis essay. The purpose of a synthesis essay is to make insightful connections between parts of a work, or multiple works, with the goal of ultimately presenting and supporting a claim about a topic.

  8. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Step 1. Define Your Idea or Argument. If you haven't done so already, decide on a topic to write about. Read up about it using a variety of credible sources and make detailed notes while you research. Make sure you keep track of the sources you decide to pull information from so that you can cite them properly later.

  9. Synthesis Essay

    11 min read. Published on: Jun 30, 2019. Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022. What is a Synthesis Essay? Synthesis Essay Types. What is an AP Lang Synthesis Essay? Synthesis Essay Topics. How to Start a Synthesis Essay? How to Write a Synthesis Essay? Synthesis Essay Structure. Synthesis Essay Writing Tips. Synthesis Essay Examples.

  10. PDF Writing a Synthesis Essay

    Tips for an effective synthesis essay: . • Establish your purpose to shape the way you want to argue and form your thesis. The thesis is the main claim or idea of your essay. • Select your sources and become familiar with them so that you can discuss them in relationship to your thesis and supporting argument(s).

  11. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    1. Argument Synthesis Essay. This essay's purpose is to debate or argue on a certain topic or issue. It justifies its claims by providing evidence in the body of the essay. In contrast to the explanatory essay, you will perform the same thing as if you were writing a typical argumentative paper.

  12. How to Write a Surprisingly Good Synthesis Essay

    Yes! Show me examples. A great topic for a synthesis essay is one that encourages you to choose a position on a debatable topic. Synthesis topics should not be something that's general knowledge, such as whether vegetables are good for you. Most everyone would agree that vegetables are healthy, and there are many sources to support that.

  13. 9 Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay (+ 10 Topic Ideas)

    Let's take a look at nine tips for writing a synthesis essay and getting the grades you desire. Understand the prompt. Are you being asked to make an argument, compare and contrast or evaluate a text? Spend some time reading the synthesis essay prompt and understanding what's expected from you.

  14. 6 Killer Tips to Writing an Excellent Synthesis Essay

    6 Killer Tips to Writing an First-rate Synthesis Essay. By Nick. 0. 0 Shares . ... How to Write one Synthesis Essay: 15 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow. This post will take thee through the motions of text a synthesis essential, and wish poor you with useful tips along one way. Hopefully, the information contained here will be of greater help ...

  15. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: The Best Tips and Tricks

    Blog. Essay writing guides. Writing Guide Navigation. What is an essay. Essay format. Essay structure. Types of essay. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: The Best Tips and Tricks. Updated 09 Jun 2023. The first emotion students often have when they hear the words "synthesis essay" is bewilderment.

  16. The A-Z Guide to Synthesis Essay Writing Like a Pro

    Mar 15, 2023. How to Write a Synthesis Essay. Author: Marina Kean. Essay Writing Guides. A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Synthesis Essay. Essay writing has always confused students. While your pals write informative or argumentative essays, you are left alone with a synthesis essay. What the heck is it?

  17. Synthesis Essay Examples

    Mar 23, 2023. Are you tired of sifting through countless articles on how to write a synthesis essay? Look no further! Our comprehensive guide will help you master the art of synthesis writing! One of the more interesting assignments you could get is writing a synthesis essay.

  18. How To Write A Synthesis Essay

    1. Choose a Topic. Before you start writing the synthesis essay, it is important to choose a good topic. When brainstorming for an essay topic, avoid topics that are too broad or narrow in scope. 2. Gather Information. Once you have chosen your essay topic, start collecting the data for it.

  19. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Argumentative. As the name suggests, this type of synthesis is about arguing in favor or against a certain point of view. It requires utilizing outsourced data to advance the writer's argument or claim. The topics of argumentative synthesis are typically contentious and, by extension, highly debatable.

  20. Writing a synthesis essay

    Contents. What is a synthesis essay? A synthesis essay is very similar to an analysis essay in its structure. However, a synthesis essay is utilized for the purpose of outlining and explaining the major points of two different arguments or concepts, rather than just one.

  21. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    Final Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay. We shared most strategies that should help students create the best synthesis essays. Still, as a final touch, we'd like to offer a few more tips. Try using them and writing will become easier! Make up a good title. Never title your works as "synthesis essay" or anything similar.

  22. 12+ Synthesis Essay Examples to Inspire You

    Blog. > Synthesis Essay. > Synthesis Essay Example. Written by Caleb S. Synthesis Essay Examples: Learn From Powerful Example. 7 min read. Published on: Jun 13, 2023. Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023. On This Page. What is Synthesis Essay? Synthesis Essay Examples. How to Write a Synthesis Essay? Synthesis Essay Topics.

  23. The 9 Best Tips for Using AI Prompts for Writing

    Matt Ellis. Updated on August 7, 2023 Professionals Writing Tips. How do you get better writing using AI? To get better results with AI writing generators like ChatGPT or Grammarly, you have to know how to talk to them. That means knowing the best AI writing prompts and when and how to use them.

  24. Writing Synthesis Essay: Make it Easy with Our Comprehensive Guide

    Best advice on how to write a synthesis essay. The list of synthesis essay topic examples. If you find it difficult to start with your AP Lang synthesis essay, you can get help from our PapersOwl service. The best experts in academic writing await you to bring up a good synthesis essay with a high assessment grade.