Synthesis Essay - A Detailed Writing Guide for Students

Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay is the most common type of assignment in high school and college. It's an essay where you compose or combine several elements to form one whole project.

A synthesis essay is a writing assignment where you create your own argument. You need to prove it through research and statistics, which typically means starting with an opinion or idea that stands in contrast to the general consensus on something (i.e., counterargument).

This blog can help you in writing this type of essay well. Here, you get all the necessary information to craft your synthesis essay that will impress your teacher.

Synthesis Essay Definition

As per the synthesis essay definition, it is an essay where a writer gathers information from several sources and then synthesizes it to support the thesis statement. Thus, for a great essay, you need to collect ideas that support your topic and claim.

Moreover, the essay is made up of ideas and conclusions based on the reviewed information. Also, synthesis essays can share similarities with analysis, argumentative, or compare and contrast essays.

A good essay is based on thorough research. The research helps to combine various previously conducted relevant studies. It provides you with the basis to create a strong perspective on a topic.

Purpose of Synthesis Essay

Synthesis essays are one of the most engaging types you can face. This type of essay for college or university students is designed to demonstrate that they're able to deal with extensive research.

The main purpose of this essay is to:

  • Demonstrate your ability to prove an argument.
  • Show critical and analytical skills.
  • Make sense of the sources and help the reader to understand them in-depth.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the main subject.
  • Enhance your research skills.

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Synthesis Essays Types

Synthesis essays can be categorized into two different types. Each type of essay has a unique purpose for writing. These are;

  1. 1. Explanatory Synthesis Essay

    It is also known as a research synthesis essay. In this type, the author explains the issue in detail. Also, this type is normally used in social studies, literature, and history classes.

    Take a look at this example and better understand this essay type.

    Expository Synthesis Essay

  2. 2. Argumentative Synthesis Essay

    This type focuses on the writer’s thoughts and explains a topic from an impartial viewpoint. Its main aim is to persuade the reader and support the argument with evidence.

    The following is an example for your ease.

    Argumentative Synthesis Essay

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Synthesis Essay Topics

For an engaging and creative essay, it's important to find the right topic - one that will make people take notice.

For your help, we gathered some great topics that you can use for your essay.

Social Media Synthesis Essay Topics

  • The influence of social media on kids.
  • Are reality shows on social media websites based on reality?
  • Are social media sites productivity killers?
  • The effects of Instagram on young adults
  • Social media and globalization
  • Social media and stalking
  • Does Facebook threaten people’s privacy?
  • Has social media killed our privacy?
  • Social media usage and impact
  • Importance of social media

Education Synthesis Essay Topics

  • How do you improve the English language?
  • How do you cite sources in a research paper?
  • Should higher education be free?
  • Why is college the goal of many young people?
  • What is the most effective way of providing education to kids?
  • Should higher education be affordable?
  • Can students take in an individualized education program?
  • Is education better at top-ranked universities?
  • How does the dress code affect a student’s performance?
  • Should students take part in a sports competition?

Technology Synthesis Essay Topics

  • How does artificial intelligence help software houses?
  • How does machine learning improve the working of the system?
  • Everyone should have free access to the latest mobile technology.
  • Why are video games popular among kids?
  • Does technology promote better productivity?
  • The effects of technology on children's minds
  • How does technology improve the education system?
  • The use of technology in medicine
  • Benefits of using technology at home
  • Has technology changed our definition of magic?

Society Synthesis Essay Topics

  • Why is obesity becoming an increasing problem?
  • How does community service serve as an effective solution?
  • Borderline personality disorder in teenagers.
  • Are church communities still important?
  • Should the use of drugs and smoking should be banned?
  • How does nicotine addiction lead to poverty?
  • How do video games threaten society?
  • How do intelligence tests segregate society?
  • Why do job seekers need agility?
  • Role of parents in kids growing

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How to Start a Synthesis Essay?

When you start writing the essay, make sure to know your purpose and develop your perspective on the subject. A perfect essay requires that you present information in an organized way.

The following are the steps you should follow to start your essay well.

  • 1. Choose a Topic

    The topic selection is the first step of starting the essay. When you choose the topic, you should know the audience’s interest and knowledge level. Also, the essay topic should never be too broad or narrow, so you can easily write about it.

    Moreover, when you choose the essay topic, make sure that the data is easily available. Otherwise, you spend a lot of time in the research phase.

  • 2. Gather Information

    Once you select the essay topic, start collecting data for your essay. Again, read your sources carefully and gather pertinent information that helps to develop a strong thesis statement.

  • 3. Synthesis Essay Thesis Statement

    Synthesis writing always includes a thesis statement, which is the main argument of the essay. The thesis statement summarizes an essay's main point. It conveys your stance to the reader.

    The following example gives you an idea of how to write the thesis statement for an essay.

    Free College Education

    Every year, the cost of higher education in the US rises by around 28%. This leads to over 55% of students not being able to afford college. If fees continue to rise, soon no one will be able to afford higher education. However, providing free education can significantly support society, ensure equality, and lead to a more educated and productive workforce.

  • 4. Synthesis Essay Outline

    An outline is essential for any essay. Without it, you will be writing your draft haphazardly and will have no idea what the purpose or focus of your essay is.

    Creating a quality outline only takes time and research but will ultimately help you in your entire writing phase.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

After creating the outline of your essay, start writing the essay. Every well-structured essay has the following three parts.

  • 1. Synthesis Essay Introduction

    An essay introduction is the first and an important part where you can easily grab the reader’s attention. The introduction of the essay contains several elements:

    • Hook Statement: Start the essay with an interesting hook statement. It might be a question, fact, statistics, or quote about your topic.
    • Background Information: After the hook statement, provide some background information about the topic.
    • Thesis Statement: Conclude the introduction with a thesis statement that will describe the essay’s main purpose.

    Below is an example for your ease.

    Should higher education be free?

    Tuition fees for colleges and universities have been gradually increasing over many years. The main reason for the increase in tuition is that, a long time ago, people saw higher education as a privilege. However, things have changed a lot since then. Even though free higher education still sounds like a good idea, the wealth of one's family should not determine their future.

  • 2. Synthesis Essay Body Paragraphs

    After the introduction, write the essay’s body paragraphs and use the MEAL approach - Main Idea, Evidence, Analysis, and Link back.

    • Main Idea: Present the argument and claim the topic. Use a topic sentence to introduce the main idea.
    • Evidence: Support your topic sentence with strong facts and evidence.
    • Analysis: Describe and prove your point.
    • Link back: In this step, you write the paragraph's concluding sentence. This sentence should link back to the main claim of the essay.

    Now, let's look at some examples of synthesis essays to help you write your own.

    Should higher education be free?

    We need to provide free higher education to improve our societies. When people have access to education, they can learn more and solve problems better. This will help reduce the gap between different social classes.

  • 3. Synthesis Essay Conclusion

    The conclusion is the last step of the essay, where you summarize the entire essay and answer whether or not your thesis statement makes sense. The essay conclusion should contain several elements:

    • Restate the thesis statement.
    • Essay main points.
    • A final closing sentence.

    Below is an example that gives you an idea of how to conclude your essay.

    Should higher education be free?

    The cost of higher education has gotten too expensive for many students. This leads to more people working jobs they don't want and makes it difficult for them to make ends meet. This creates a bigger gap between the classes and increases the rate of poverty. We need to make sure that everyone has a choice and make higher education free and accessible for everyone in order to fix this problem.

  • 4. Proofread

    When you finish writing the essay, start the proofreading phase. First, remove all the complex words or sentences that are difficult for the readers. Also, eliminate all the grammatical, vocabulary, and punctuation mistakes.

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    Synthesis Essay Structure

    A synthesis essay typically follows the five-paragraph essay structure, but there are slight differences. Take a look at the below table and know how a synthesis essay is structured in different ways.

    Structure Description
    Logical Order This is useful if the ideas are related. If the first ideas are easier to understand than the latest ones, it is helpful for people to understand the earlier ideas before getting to the later ones.
    Chronological Order This cannot be used to argue, but it can be used to organize thoughts in essays that show how ideas are related. This is helpful when the writer wants readers to see how ideas are connected. The order of ideas can also be helpful for explaining why something happened.
    Climatic Order You should present your arguments in this order: the least important or persuasive first, and the most important or persuasive last. This is because the reader will remember the last argument more clearly, and so will remember the most important point.
    Problem/Solution Order The essay begins by discussing the problem. The rest of the essay is used to provide solutions to the problem in any order you choose.
    Anticlimactic Order This is the order of ideas that are in the opposite way of an argumentative essay. The most important ideas will come first, and then the weaker ones. This can be helpful when you are trying to make your argument stronger.
    Comparison and Contrast Order There are two main ways to compare and contrast ideas in a synthesis essay. You can summarize each source and then talk about the similarities and differences. Or you can present each idea block by block.

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    Synthesis Essay Writing Tips

    Here are some tips from our experts on how to write a synthesis essay. Follow them and create a great essay in no time.

    Research: When looking for information to use in your research, it is important to make sure that the data is valid and has not been disproven elsewhere. Do not be afraid to do extensive research, and read widely before synthesizing the information.

    Create an Outline: You will be able to organize your thoughts better by creating an outline for your synthesis essay.

    Use Hook Statement: To write an effective essay, you need to hook your reader from the first line.

    Use Good Words: The goal of an essay is to communicate your ideas clearly and make a convincing argument. This is done by using precise, vivid words.

    Paragraph Structure: A paragraph should be neither too long nor too short. It should have a topic sentence that introduces the main idea.

    Use Transition Words: In order to create a well-organized and cohesive essay, it is important to use transition words that will smoothly connect one sentence or paragraph to the next.

    Proofreading: No matter how well-written your synthesis essay is, if there are mistakes in grammar and sentence structure, people may not bother to look for your points. Thus, try to remove all the mistakes.

    Cite Sources: You should always cite your sources when you write something. This is because plagiarism is bad and can get you in trouble.

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    Synthesis Essay Examples

    Take a look at these synthesis essay examples to see how you can make your own essay more interesting and engaging.

    Synthesis Essay Structure

    Synthesis Essay on Diversity

    Ap Lang Synthesis Essay

    Synthesis Essay AP Lang Outline

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How should a synthesis essay start?

    There are several ways to get started with writing it. One way is by offering some intriguing fact that may not be well known or something you find interesting about your topic. Then, share it in an opening sentence for the introduction paragraph. Another option would be to start the essay with a famous quote related to your topic.

    What type of essay is a synthesis essay?

    A synthesis essay is a written discussion of ideas. It involves gathering information from several sources and then synthesizing it.

    How do you end a synthesis essay?

    Here are some steps that you should follow while ending the essay.

    1. Summarize the main points.
    2. Rephrase the thesis statement.
    3. Closing sentence.

    How do you introduce a synthesis essay?

    Here are some ways that will help you to introduce a synthesis essay.

    • Address the main idea of your essay
    • State the main argument

    How many paragraphs is a synthesis essay?

    The five-paragraph structure is a basic starting point for synthesizing essays. There is a slight variation; however, it depends on your topic and teacher requirements.

    Are a synthesis paper and synthesis essay the same?

    No, they both are different. The synthesis paper is like creating any other type of thesis, and a synthesis essay is a written discussion of ideas.

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