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The Best Guide on How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Synthesis Essay

Writing a synthesis essay is considered one of the most challenging academic assignments in college. We understand this because even the name “synthesis essay” does not help much to reveal what one should do, but there is no need to worry because this guide is here to help you. In this post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to write a synthesis essay.


What is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is a type of academic work that requires you to take a unique viewpoint about a topic, theme, or idea and then to back it with multiple resources. Writing a synthesis essay requires a learner to pin together pieces of information from different sources to build a strong argument that reveals his/her stand.

For most students, writing a synthesis essay, which can take the form of argumentative, review, or explanatory essay, is challenging because they have to summarize major themes and explain the relationship between them. However, the tips on how to write a good synthesis essay we bring out in this post will make the entire process not just simple, but fun too.  

How to Start a Synthesis Essay

The primary goal of a synthesis essay is helping you establish connections between parts of a work and multiple works, aiming to support a claim about a selected topic. Therefore, when you research a topic, you will be checking for connections so that you can present a specific perspective.

Therefore, the first step is selecting the right synthesis essay topics. Try to make the topic broad enough to allow you to pool different related sources together. However, it should not be too broad to get disparate sources for your work.

Once you have picked your topic, it is time to select the preferred sources carefully. We encourage students to select the best sources, preferably only three so that they can comprehensively study, understand the underlying arguments, and establish the connections therein. In addition to examining your topic, make sure also to do the following:

  • Develop a thesis statement. Your thesis is the main idea that you will be presenting in the essay.
  • Relook at the materials, picking statistics, ideas, quotes, and facts that support your thesis. These are the points that will be discussed throughout the essay.

Develop the Outline of Your Synthesis Essay

Like other essays, it is paramount to ensure you develop a synthesis essay outline to guide you when writing the synthesis essay. You can opt to craft a formal outline, or simply have it in your mind. Here is a sample of a common outline that you can consider:

  • Introduction

In this paragraph, you should bring out the background of the study and use a hook to capture the interest of the readers. Make sure also to bring out the thesis statement.

  • Body

In the body of the essay, you should go into the details of the points that you want to discuss. Note that every argument should take its own paragraph.

Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that supports the thesis statement. Then, give your explanation and opinion about the topic sentence, providing additional support from your selected sources.

  • Conclusion: How do you write a synthesis essay conclusion?

To craft a great conclusion for your essay, the first step is restating the thesis statement. Make sure to use different words from than those used in the introduction to avoid sounding repetitive. Then, summarize the main points in a paragraph, and finally provide a profound thought about the paper.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Now that you know the definition of a synthesis essay and have the preferred structure, it is time to get down writing the paper. So, how do you go about writing a synthesis essay?

  • Hone Your Skills Using a Well-written Synthesis Essay Example

Before starting to work on your synthesis essay, you might want to check how other top writers did theirs. So, identify a good sample and try to check how the writer brought out the thesis statement and linked the key points from different sources to support it. It would help if you also took note of how the writer structured the paper. Then, try to make your paper better.

  • Start by Writing a Draft

To craft a winning synthesis essay, you should start by doing a draft following the right outline. This is referred to as a draft because you can deviate from the structure in the event that you get additional information. The draft also means that the paper will undergo several rounds of improvements before the final one is made for submission.

  • Write the Essay in Third Person

When our experts show students how to write a synthesis essay, one of the things they emphasize so much is that you should always use the third person voice. Also, you should try to write the paper in an active voice and make the information look as credible as possible.

  • Use Clear Transitions to Strike a Good Flow

Transitions provide a unique way of showing where your sources support each other. Some common examples of transitions that you should use include terms such as “consequently, hence, therefore, thus, so, accordingly, additionally, again, also, besides, equally important, moreover, and in addition.”

How to Finalize Your Synthesis Essay

After working so hard on your synthesis essay, it is time to finalize the work by polishing it. This step is very important because it allows you to ensure that the argument is sound and sets the stage for the award of top grades. Here are the main steps to use when finalizing your essay:

  • Revise the Essay

Once you are through writing your synthesis essay, you need to revise it severally to ensure that the arguments are strong and the main points flowing well. This involves adding more information to strengthen the main arguments and rearranging them to strike a better flow from the beginning to the end.

You might want to ask a friend or a colleague to help you revise the paper. The advantage of having a third eye check the essay is that he/she does not have the bias that you might have developed when working on the essay. If some additions are recommended, include them and go through the work again.

  • Proofread the paper

Revising your synthesis essay is mainly aimed at helping to ensure all the points are captured and they are flowing well. So, you still need to proofread it. This is another important step that targets to ensure your paper does not have grammatical mistakes, or broken sentences, among other issues.

  • Cite the Sources Well

When your teacher provides essay prompts, he/she will also require students to follow a specific formatting style, such as APA, Harvard, or MLA. Therefore, you should use the recommended formatting style to cite the sources that you used in the essay.  At the end of the essay, you should also use the formatting method to prepare the references list.

  • Title Your Essay

Remember that we said you should start by identifying a good topic before commencing the work of writing your essay. Well, now that you have completed the write-up, you need to go back to the title and ask yourself whether it is presented well. In most cases, you will find that the title will look more appropriate if it is changed a little.

When you are faced with the task of writing a synthesis essay, this guide is all that you need to make it sparkle. However, if you still find it challenging, consider working with our writing experts. They are experts in academic writing, and know how to start a synthesis essay and follow the best outline. Furthermore, they know how to write a conclusion for a synthesis essay and are experts in finalizing the papers to guarantee you top-rated grades. With an expert on your side, you cannot go wrong!

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

How to write a synthesis essay for AP Lang correctly?

Writing a synthesis essay is an essential part of AP Lang. The first step is choosing the topic you are most confident about. Then, read the prompt carefully and analyze all the sources for pertinent connections. Decide your stance, choose the best sources, develop a strong thesis, create a draft, and construct the essay.

What are the best ways to start a synthesis essay?

Before you start writing a synthesis essay, you must decide the stance you will be taking and compose a compelling thesis. Based on this, give a background of the scenario in the introduction that you can build on. Use a strong hook to hold the readers’ attention.

How to structure a synthesis essay?

Before writing a synthesis essay, you must construct a straw man draft that lays down the structure of the essay. Ensure that you have a suitable introduction and conclusion. The body of your synthesis essay must have as many paragraphs as the number of arguments, one for each.

How many paragraphs should your synthesis essay have?

The number of paragraphs you make when writing a synthesis essay depends on the number of arguments you have supporting your standpoint. Three paragraphs for the body is considered the minimum. Other than that, there is obviously the introduction and the conclusion.

How should I end my synthesis essay?

Creating a good conclusion is key to leaving a lasting impact on your readers when writing a synthesis essay. The best way to go about it is to remind the readers of your thesis statement using new words, summing up your main points, and signing off with a thought-provoking assertion.

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