All you, probably, know what an essay means. But the word “synthesis” gets every student a little bit confused and lost. Well, fortunately, we know how to help you, and this article would be your ultimate writing guide explaining how to write a synthesis essay. Let’s start from the beginning.
What is a Synthesis Essay?
Many students wonder, “What is a synthesis essay?” A synthesis essay is all about combination. While writing this essay type, you stay focused on different factors and ideas at once. The task contains a sample text that an author should analyze.
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Actually, analysis of the given content is a key point in the entire synthesis essay writing. You need to work directly with that prompt and find its purpose, writing style, rhetoric, and the main argument. You must tell what the author of that prompt wanted to express and what his tools were. Your own essay should be built around that text and your main argument.
Having an answer to the question, “What is a synthesis essay?” is not enough to demonstrate the best results in your English writing class.
How to Write a Synthesis Essay?
To understand how to write a synthesis essay, it is necessary to memorize 4 basic elements of a synthesis paper:
- Synthesizing sources
- Working on a thesis/main argument
- Formatting the paper
- Talking about the content
A writer is given a prompt to study. These are the instructions prepared by the tutor (e.g., ‘argue to support your hobby which assists in challenging college assignments’).
Draft a tentative thesis statement – the main argument of the entire paper. It is the initial idea which comes to the writer’s mind on the proposed topic. Without a good research, it is impossible to make a candy out of this idea; support your words by the credible information you find either online or in the library. An example: “I think my passion for drinking Coke positively impacts my academic performance as caffeine stimulates brain activity.”
Once the thesis is ready, move to the time-consuming procedure of selecting sources. This is a primary research one must conduct to gather evidence. The sources make people believe the writer’s claim makes sense. You may study information from 6-7 good sources, but a couple of them will help to develop a powerful thesis statement. Among all sources, use credible, up-to-date pieces:
- Books and e-books
- Other essays
- Journal and scholarly articles
- Graphics and images
The credibility of sources depends on the relevance of chosen topic. The close reading is the process which follows any good research. Prepare annotated bibliography (list applied sources), highlight all main text ideas, and take notes during this procedure. Try to connect the best ideas with your synthesis essay writing.
Synthesis Essay Example (Sources)
Evaluating the value of the selected sources is the thing you should do before writing a synthesis essay. try to come up with innovative ideas for the prompt.
To understand how to interpret the prompt and choose sources, we have prepared several examples associated with Coke. You have chosen 8 different sources to speed up your writing. The writer decides Sources number 2, 3, and 4 agree with the main view (thesis). These sources help to prove drinking Coke assists in improving academic performance.
Source 2. Your synthesis paper writing benefits from choosing a documentary about the production of Coke. The documentary reflects the entire process, listing ingredients necessary for the proper human brain activity. The documentary provides necessary information to make your essay essential.
Source 3. One of the English synthesis essays you choose from the existing academic archives online explains the impacts Coke has on some other body parts.
Source 4. Select a source in English which breaks negative stereotypes about your favorite drink. Many parents do not allow their children drink this beverage because of the existing myths; try to prove the opposite using your essay’s arguments. An expert adds:
“If it is a presentation, use the graphic story to illustrate your thesis and supporting evidence. Show the never-ending confrontation between the Coke lovers and haters to prove you respect both sides. Do not ignore naming the negative effects of the drink! It is important to reply to any objections to provide the target audience with an unbiased point of view.”
Mary Ladder, Professor of Literature at GONZAGA UNIVERSITY, US
Types of Synthesis Essay Writing
Two types of synthesis essay writing exist:
- Explanatory synthesis essay
- Argument synthesis essay
The explanatory synthesis essay aims to make the reading audience understand the chosen topic. The writer makes an attempt to break the whole topic into separate parts to represent each of them clearly. The explanatory essay is made of the detailed interpretations of objects, locations, events, people, or state of affairs. The writer reflects information in an objective, sober manner. The writer skips obvious details of the analyzed text. Such paper tends to have different sections.
The argument synthesis essay is about proving your main claim is correct through using various effective persuasive methods. A student must apply credible sources in English to support his information. The argumentative synthesis essay writing involves many facts, statistics, in-text citations, quotes, and other techniques used to prove the specific view.
Synthesis Essay Topics
Your synthesis paper should be built around a prompt with perspective for negotiation and discussion. For example, you may analyze text written in Germany during WWII and get your argument with view on modern society and history of that period. It should be content with various views possible. Some good topics to write your synthesis essay:
Good synthesis essay topics would be ones that are debatable, for example:
- DST (Daylight Saving Time)
- Wage and its minimum
- Nature protection
- Weapon control
- Social media and its influence on humanity
How to Write a Thesis for a Synthesis Essay?
You need to read the prompt. Even if you are familiar with the target source, push yourself to read it once more; realize your position. Do you support the example text or have a negative review? Structure your claim and write it down for the whole synthesis essay; move to the synthesis essay outline.
Synthesis essay outline writing
Lots of students just don’t realize how important this step is for writing any type of essay or other academic papers. It is the best point to get your essay structure right. The outline is your road map. If you write a typical synthesis essay with three parts (Introduction, Body, Conclusion), you should write three different parts in your outline. Write down all the arguments, supporting facts, and evidence in a proper structure order.
Each argument should approve the statement you are supporting; acknowledge factors that go against your main thesis and idea. This step will make your essay even stronger and more diverse. Please note, that analysis does not mean summarizing - you need to answer related topic questions.
Synthesis essay structure
Synthesis has typical structure, and it looks like that:
- Main argument 1
- Main claim 2
- Main claim 3
Main argument 1
- Analysis of Evidence
Main claim 2
- Evidence Analysis of Evidence
Main claim 3
- Analysis of Evidence
- Restate your main idea and get your view straight
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Synthesis essay formatting
The formats of synthesis essay are also typical for all academic essays. Three most widespread formats include MLA, APA, and Chicago style. Each of these formats has their typical areas of use (APA is mostly used in Psychology, Education, and Science). Chicago style is a common format for business purposes; MLA works best for Humanities.
Synthesis Essay for AP English Language and Composition
AP English Language and Composition is a tough course of dealing with. The main goal of this course is to your knowledge of the subject and understanding of the material you are working with. And your grammar and perfect formatting do not pay that big role in your essay grade. The main factor that influences your grade is about defending your claim and point of view.
Three main areas of AP English and Composition course that you should focus on are:
- The argument is the starting and the simplest point. You just need to come up with your statement and get many supporting facts. It all should work to convince your reader that your view is right.
- Synthesis is the thing that requires some deep research and identifying various areas of one single text. You should identify the agreements and disagreements between sources. It will help to come up with your claim.
- Rhetorical analysis is the direct work with prompt and its author; find what was his rhetorical tools to appeal to the reader. What was the main idea about the text?
General Synthesis Essay Tips
We should talk about acronyms. Main ones that will help you to deal with this essay are:
Speaker: Write who was the speaker or writer of the original source. Tell what you know about his life and background.
Occasion: Identity what was the time and place when the source of your synthesis essay was created; get the reason why it was created. You may come up with your own suggestion and build your text around it.
Audience: Identify the audience of the original text
Purpose: Identify the tone and purpose of the text
Subject: What was the main claim in original piece?
Another strategy to write your synthesis essay: these three points appeal to different factors that you should identify and analyze.
Logos is the reason. If your sample text has various definitions and quotations, you need to constitute a wider range of backup info to get successful with your essay.
Ethos is philosophy: Apply to sources that demonstrate credibility and reliability of speaker.
Pathos is emotions. It works great for vivid imagery texts with strong language - connect your reader with your source emotionally. It is a tough task to change someone’s view if the person is already linked to the source emotionally.
It is a simple explanation of these three elements. To get a higher grade with your AP Lang, you need to read more about it.
1 last tip to write your synthetic essay well is to apply this scheme to your analysis. Get these five factors identified: Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Structure – feel free to add anything else to your analysis in case it is special.
How to get a higher grade with your essay?
Few main factors that influence your grade for synthetic essay writing:
- The effective statement about assigned source and its topic.
- Complete understanding of the source and its subject.
- Synthesis of sources and position identification.
- Writer appeals to his researched arguments, not the source itself.
- Convincing and effective arguments.
- Clear structure and writing style.
- Good organization.
- No grammar or structure mistakes.
- Quotation of the source.
You should note that the best essays with highest grades always are those with the strong writing style. It means that your essay should be a standalone piece - not just a simple exam essay to get it done. Try to develop your own writing style and get your soul into your essay. You may read some examples of the most popular and successful essays to borrow some ideas and other factors to make your own paper stronger.
Some Extra Essay Writing Advice
Well, these were basic tips and facts about s synthesis essay and its writing specifics. It is recommended to read more about analyzing AP English essays from other sources on the web - it will help you to develop a stronger view of the task itself. The most important thing you need to pay attention to is the thesis statement.
This point plays a great role in your essay, and you need to identify it perfectly; it will be a total failure if readers will not understand your view. All your arguments will look like no purpose and ridiculous.
What we want to advice is to ask yourself a question if your thesis statement is really about your feelings and view. If you are writing your essay with some too short deadline on an exam, you need to stress on your argument in every single paragraph. Then connect each of your ideas to the thesis statement. Write down your thesis statement and put it before dealing with your essay - it will help you to focus on it and add it every time you write a new paragraph.
How does a Great Synthesis Essay Example look?
Synthesis essay writing in English is difficult without having a high-quality synthesis essay example in front of your eyes. Students find many free samples of synthesis essay writing in English online. Keep in mind it is important to decide on the synthesis essay type. Mind topic before searching the examples.
If you’re looking for someone to help you with this tough task, you can always call our professionals. Fill in the simplest order form, and all your academic troubles will be solved immediately.
First of all, 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.
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 essay. 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 essay writing 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 essay. 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.
The Structure of Any Type of a Good Academic Essay
Read all sources thoroughly, especially when you work with articles instead of the thick books. Never summarize sources or copy-paste ideas of other authors. It is strictly forbidden. You may write summaries only if you have to write an annotated bibliography. Synthesis denotes analysis instead of the abstracts of your readings.
The example of your essay structure may be:
- Argument #1
- Argument #2
- Argument #3
- Argument 1
- Evidence (cite a source)
- Analysis of Evidence
- Argument 2
- Evidence (cite a source)
- Analysis of Evidence
- Argument 3
- Evidence (cite a source)
- Analysis of Evidence
- Argument 1
- Restate thesis and answer all the questions left behind
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.
Advice #2: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
We are speaking about the reasons, philosophy, and emotion respectively. AP Lang exam requires you to deal with all three Latin words effectively.
When there are some facts and statistics in the chosen text, the writer deals with Logos. Return to the background information all the time to make your synthesis essay as persuasive a possible.
The vivid imagery and powerful words are the signs of Pathos. It is effective for relating the readers to the essay on the emotional level.
If you aim to show the accountability and credibility of your synthesis essay, you deal with Ethos. State some facts that prove your competence in the chosen field so that the audience will have no doubt that you are right.
Watch out as often, Logos, Ethos, and Pathos may lead to the usage of logical fallacies.
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!
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