When asked to write a synthesis essay, many high school or college students question the word “synthesis.” What does it mean to synthesize?
Well, the dictionary tells us that synthesis is the combination of ideas to form a theory; the thesaurus provides synonyms such as fusion, blend, and creation. So ultimately, you are creating a combination of what your
A synthesis essay is a type of writing where you combine several elements or parts to form a whole.
In high school and college, it’s one the most common types of assignment in an English class.
The synthesis requires you to do profound research on your topic and collect data from other sources before combining them into many paragraphs that make logical sense when read by someone else.
For example, “A person must gather information about their subject matter while at the same time organizing this material.”
This lesson will guide you through how to write a synthesis essay.
What is a Synthesis Essay?
The synthesis essay is a research-based paper that requires students to collect sources or articles and reports which support their viewpoint.
The student then takes these points of view and puts them together to prove the argument they are trying to make for a given topic.
Additionally, it draws upon different mediums like novels, lectures, etc. If you want your perspective on an issue addressed by someone else’s opinion, this type of writing will do just fine.
A synthesis essay is similar to an argumentative essay only that in a synthesis essay you need to have available sources to reinforce your arguments.
Mostly, a synthesis essay is provided by an instructor.
A synthesis is both easy to work with and at the same time, has its own challenges.
Specifically, synthesis essay writing requires you to come up with a position while still considering the several relations between the existing sources.
Types of Synthesis Essay
There are two types of synthesis essays: Explanatory synthesis and Argument synthesis.
Essays involve the author’s interpretation and analysis of a text, event, or experience to explain it thoroughly for an audience.
An explanatory synthesis is a thorough explanation of a term that helps the reader understand it. It includes careful reading and presentation of facts in an easy-to-understand format.
The goal is not to persuade but rather provide information about how something works so that readers can do their research on the topic if they want more details.
Explanatory Synthesis Essay Sampleexplanatory-synthesis-essay
The Argumentative Synthesis
In contrast with explanatory synthesis papers, which focus on providing facts through explanation instead of argumentative reasoning (which will be discussed shortly), argumentative syntheses require you as the writer to argue your point persuasively by using evidence from texts/sources.
With the argumentative synthesis paper, you can present a strong thesis statement that is arguable in a rational way.
The writer of this type of essay may add relevant information, data, or sources to back its topic and an even more compelling read.
Argumentative Synthesis Essay Sampleargumenttaive-synthesis-essay
A Literature Review Synthesis Essay
This essay is a common assignment for students in social sciences and medicine.
They comb through previous literature on certain topics to outline the prominent themes, which helps them write an analysis that can help you define what has already been well researched and studied about this topic as well as what hasn’t yet been examined enough.
The author believes this will reveal aspects of their problem or subject matter while also justifying specific research studies they might want to do themselves later down the line when more information becomes available.
In Synthesis essays, verbs are used to convey ideas and feelings about a topic. Below is a list of some common ones:
Argumentative: disagrees, confirms, affirms, concedes, rejects, insists,
Explanatory: suggests, claims, states, verifies, reveals, finds
Literature Review: speculates, proposes, holds, advises, predicts, mentions,
The tone in the explanatory and literature review synthesis papers is almost identical, with some verbs interchangeable depending on context.
What is an AP Lang Synthesis Essay?
The Advanced Placement Language (AP Lang) is a college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum course that tests students’ writing abilities.
To make such an essay, they are given multiple sources about the same topic and asked to form a claim or argument about it while creating a compelling piece on this issue.
AP Lang Synthesis Essay Sampleap-lang-synthesis-essay-sample
Synthesis Essay Structure
For you to present your message efficiently, you require to follow a specific structure when writing a synthesis essay.
Your content should have an introduction.
The introduction should have one statement that has a summary of the synthesis.
Organize the body by points, theme, topic, or possible similarities. Your synthesis essay should be organized so that others can understand the sources and evaluate your comprehension of them and their presentation of specific data, themes, etc
The organization of your content depends on the patterns which appear in the relevant content.
However, the body should always start with the information in the following paragraph concerning a particular topic.
While writing a synthesis essay, it is of essence you use more than one source.
Also, you must indicate the differences or similarities with the sources you are using in an informative manner.
It is essential to ensure that the body has appropriate content that is not biased to avoid weakening the synthesis essay.
After completing the body, ensure you write a conclusion.
The conclusion provides final touches such as either comments or suggestions.
Providing an interpretation to your essay will be of the essence in your conclusion
What remains now on the synthesis essay is proofreading, polishing, and submission.
The synthesis essay structure refers to how the author presents his or her ideas to you, the reader. Six different structures will be highlighted in this section;
Climactic order –In this structure, the writer outlines a persuasive argument strategy in which you begin with your least convincing points and then end by making an impression. The idea is that people will tend to remember the last point they heard more than any others, so it’s best not to save all of their arguments for last when one could be used as a “hook” on which readers can hang everything else.
Chronological order –This order can be particularly useful in synthesizing arguments. This is because it will organize the thoughts and ideas into a logical sequence that builds on one another, making for a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships between them. It cannot apply to argumentative essays.
Logical order – There are many benefits to ordering your ideas in the right order. If you have many ideas for your paper that build on each other in some way or another, chronologically ordering them will help readers easily follow along and understand where one point ends and another begins! However, this technique cannot apply if you are writing an argumentative essay because then all points would need equal attention from start to finish; no matter what order they were presented.
Anticlimactic order –This is the opposite of climatic order. You will start with the most important point and move down to more minor points, which might be less persuasive for an argumentative essay.
Problem/solution order –Your essay should start with a problem. The rest of your work will be devoted to explaining different ways you can solve this issue in the order that seems best for your argument.
Comparison and contrast order –In this type of work, the writer must evaluate both sides and analyze their similarities as well as distinctions from one another to come up with a conclusion about which idea they feel has more merit. A comparison or contrast can be used if necessary but often there will only be two sources being evaluated at once