Before you even start your essay, it is important to explain what the word "synthesis" means. It is a mix of elements used to draw the whole picture. That is how one can conclude that a synthesis essay stands for the sort of essay which combines various points into a whole to defend so-called thesis statement. A thesis is the main idea of the essay. Students should write it in the last sentence of their introduction. Frequently, it comes with a piece that a student has to observe.
The main success factor of writing a good synthesis essay is an in-depth research based on the relevant sources. A student has to perceive the goal of the analyzed content, its rhetoric, and the arguments suggested by the author. To make it short, the writer simply has to provide an answer to the question: "So what?" Type in your personal claim. The rest of your synthesis essay in English should be built around that main sentence.
What is a synthesis essay
A synthesis essay is a paper where an author analyzes a few sources and determines their connection to the essay's thesis. The definition of a synthesis essay would be incomplete without reviewing its purpose. This piece of writing aims to check your ability to infer relationships between different sources, like other essays, articles, some non-written sources, lectures, fiction, interviews, and even observations. In an academic synthesis essay, students explicit the relationships among separate sources, and the professor checks their ability and skills to understand, focus on the literature, and effectively summarize the gathered sources. Beyond a summary or partial summaries of the sources, students should make judgments based on the critical reading of the sources.
What does it mean to make a synthesis or synthesize
The term synthesis refers to written discussions that draw on a single source or a number of sources. Suppose you are asked to synthesize a particular claim or research question. In that case, it means that you are expected to show, allege, warn, advise, admit, complain, hold, predict, propose, acknowledge, speculate, suggest some information from the credible materials in your discussion.
Types of synthesis
Synthesis is an effective method for analyzing papers and examining the related theories, incorporating multiple sources, comparing differing views, supporting a coherent claim, or even exploring business ideas and building a coherent plan in business reports. Depending on the purpose of synthesis use, there are two types of synthesis, an explanatory and an argumentative synthesis, that give the opportunity to synthesize any kind of data efficiently.
An explanatory synthesis is a helpful tool in understanding a topic. To put it differently, writers provide a detailed explanation of how they divided a subject into particular parts to present them to readers in an orderly fashion. Explanations may involve:
- descriptions of some objects
- descriptions of places
- descriptions of events
- descriptions of the sequence of events
- descriptions of the state of affairs.
The central aim of explanatory essay writing is to present specific facts in a rationally objective manner.
Writing an argumentative synthesis essay in your course, you are expected to present your point of view that will be supported by numerous relevant facts found in analyzed sources. You should also remember to apply the required logical manner to the arguments presented throughout the essay. An argumentative synthesis includes a debatable thesis, so that reasonable people could disagree with it.
Choose Synthesis Essay Topic Before You Write the First Page
Sometimes, the teacher does not provide a specific topic or question to answer. In that cases, the student has a right to select any topic for his synthesis essays. Mind that your entire writing will be limited to the chosen question, so make your decision wisely. Select a topic for which it would be easy to write as many arguments as needed. Usually, there are 3-5 arguments in the academic essay.
The prompt has to be debatable. It has to motivate the readers to continue the discussion. Several centuries ago, the US population would support the ideas of Andrew Jackson concerning the negative sides of Native American people. However, today the situation is completely different. Any sort of discrimination is forbidden in the United States. The way you select the primary questions depends on your specific task. Make sure to decide on the text that may have opposing views. In other words, choose an article with the strong argument which may encourage your readers not just to read the synthesis essay from cover to cover, but also go on discussing the selected questions.
The best topics for your process of writing a synthesis essay would always sound negotiable like these examples:
- Minimum salary
- For and against abortions
- Global warming
- Regulations for immigrants
- Daylight storage
- Gun control
- Drug abuse
- Social media
- Artificial intelligence
- Political authorities
- Alcohol and tobacco restrictions
- Anorexia nervosa
It is easy to find the sufficient amount of information on any of these essay topics as they are relevant for people of all times, ages, and nationalities.
Writing Thesis Statement and Outline Page
After you decide on your topic or main questions to discuss, move to your sources. Make sure all gathered sources are related to your essay topic. Also, they have to be no older than 5-10 years as things change dynamically.
Thoroughly study all sources to get the main point. Select the best sources to use citations from them in your essay. It will serve as a perfect evidence to support your argument. Structure your claim. Write down thesis statement which is the main idea of the whole synthesis essay.
Thesis example: With the help of historical episodes, it is possible to point to the human evolution based on how infinity was interpreted in different epochs.
Another example: Only through an understanding of the causes of medical mistakes and their prevention on the early stages, the number of medical gaps will go down as well as the number of unintentional deaths in the United States.
You can view more example online without paying a cent.
As for the outline, this is a plan of your synthesis essays. Writing this part will assist you in maintaining the structure of your essay. In case your essay is going to have three main sections, divide the outline into three chunks respectively. Insert evidence to support your thesis, include sub-arguments along with all specific points. Every part should have a name (except for the introduction and conclusion- you may leave them this way). Every point (which is also an argument) must prove the major claim of your essay. Avoid additional information or tangents as these elements may hinder the essay. It is recommended to write down the information which contradicts with your thesis. It will make the essay more persuasive. Your synthesis essay has to be as strong as possible.
Synthesis essay outline
Before you start writing your synthesis essay, the best way to follow the necessary direction is to create a detailed outline beforehand. As far as synthesis' purpose is to analyze a few sources and determine their connection to the essay's thesis, such essays can be organized by source or by criteria, where topic sentences characterizethe passage or the criteria accordingly.
The outline of a synthesis essay organized by source
I. Introduce an essay, state your thesis
II. Summarize the first passage
- First passage viewpoint
- Second passage viewpoint
III. Summarize second passage
- First passage viewpoint
- Second passage viewpoint
IV. Discussion and Sum up
The outline of a synthesis essay organized by criteria
I. Introduce essay, state thesis
II. Introduce first criterion
- View on the first criterion
- View on the second criterion
- View on the first criterion
- View on the second criterion
IV. Conclusion and discussion
How to write a synthesis essay
To write a good synthesis essay, you should follow a step-by-step writing process that would be effective in synthesizing. A step-by-step approach is a great opportunity to plan your time beforehand and follow the necessary essay format strictly. There are listed all the necessary steps in writing a synthesis essay of any type below:
Step 1: Consider the purpose of writing; select and read sources.
Step 2: Formulate a thesis statement.
Step 3: Re-read the sources and make notes.
Step 4: Develop an organizational plan or outline (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion)
Step 5: Write your first draft (pay attention to sentences' structure, outline the background information).
Step 6: Document sources according to the necessary format.
Step 7: Revise your draft for errors and prepare a final version of a synthesis essay.
What about the Writing Style?
Formatting is an important condition of the successful synthesis essay. Academic writing defines several formats. Their names are related to the scientific or educational organizations that established these styles.
The most widespread formats are:
The first one is applied to the essays in Humanities. The second one is used while writing essays on Education, Psychology, and Science. Turabian or Chicago format is excellent for Business, History, and Fine Arts.
There is a Purdue Owl guide available online for free which can tell more about each of the existing academic writing styles. It has all the details about MLA and APA, while Easybib and some other online citation generators help students to format essays automatically. Simply insert your external sources to get proper citations for them.
Here are the basic nuances to consider:
- Times New Roman
- 12 pt font
- Double-spaced text
- 1" margins all around
- Top right of the page should have student's last name and page number
- Titles and headings are put in the center
- The header must have your name, your professor's name, course number, and the full date (dd/mm/yy)
- The last page is Bibliography page (a.k.a. Works Cited or References)
It is an example of MLA synthesis essay. Other examples and templates are available online for free. You can find an example of a page in APA style here.
Features of an AP Synthesis Essay in English
AP English Language and Composition is a separate academic course. Students who are enrolled in this class must perform a deep understanding of the subject matter through using various sources and operating with the information they already know. Grammar, spelling, structure, and originality might be insufficient to receive the highest score on your AP exam. The writing has to be "defending, challenging, qualifying the claim." Once you obtain the course syllabus, it is better to study it to learn the exact test dates and what it would look like.
It is important to concentrate on three main branches of the AP English and Composition. Those are argument, synthesis, and rhetoric. That is why all three elements should be present in your synthesis essay. Let’s have a closer look.
The argument is the simplest part; it's about writing your thesis and gathering evidence from the selected sources to defend your ideas. Prove to your reader that your point of view is correct.
Synthesis demands that a student reads multiple sources and defines pros and cons of the chosen topic (or for and against, if you wish). It is critical as it helps to create your personal claim.
Rhetorical analysis is all about the author and his goals. It has to explain the purpose of writing as well as describe the target audience. Finally, it explains the ways in which the writer attracts the readers and structures the claim.
Useful Prompts Associated with Writing Synthesis Essay
Memorize these acronyms to be able to answer all questions of your synthesis essay properly.
Advice #1: SOAPS
It's all about determining the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, and subject.
Have a look at our example: The American Health Association believes that only through an understanding of the causes of medical mistakes and their prevention on the early stages, the number of medical gaps will go down as well as the number of unintentional deaths in the United States.
Speaker: The American Health Association has a bias against the inexperienced medical personnel.
Occasion: The American Health Association has held its meeting on Abbey Square, New York, on the 10th of November 2016.
Audience: The report written by The American Health Association was addressed to the doctors of the main regional hospitals in NY.
Purpose: The American Health Association tries to point to the main causes of unintentional deaths in the US hospitals. It performs against the improper medical treatment.
Subject: The subject is the increased number of fatal outcomes due to the lack of healthcare education and professionalism of the local personnel.
It would be a great strategy for any sort of textual analysis. When you are reading the selected piece, make an attempt to pinpoint Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Sentence Structure. Add whatever seems more vivid to you into your analysis.
As you can see, it is not that easy to write a synthesis essay. Many students have problems either with writing or analyzing sources. Luckily, there is an opportunity to order an instant help with synthesis essay for an affordable price. When you face any doubts, turn to the expert online service which will write the whole essay to bring you to the highest score!
Synthesis essay example
To get an overview of how a persuasive synthesis essay should look like and how to argue properly, have a look at the essay example provided below:
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