A synthesis essay is a written piece that combines information from different sources and presents it in a structured manner. This skill can be learned in college and high school, but it also applies to business and advertising. Scroll down to Step 1 for more information about how to write a synthesis essay.
Learn the basics of a synthesis article. A synthesis essay’s purpose is to connect parts of different works with the ultimate goal of supporting and presenting a claim about a topic. This means that when you research a topic, you look for connections you can make into a solid perspective. These are the different types of synthesis essays:
synthesisessaytopics.com Argument synthesis: This essay presents the writer’s view. This organizes the relevant information from research in a logical way to support the thesis’ view. This form is often used in position papers, or business white papers. This is the type synthesis essay students will be writing during the AP exam.
Review: A review essay is often written to provide a summary of previous work on a topic and a critical analysis. The unstated thesis of a review essay is that there needs to be more research in the area or that the topic has not been sufficiently addressed. This type of paper is very common in medical and social sciences classes.
Explanatory/background synthesis: This type of essay helps readers understand a topic by categorizing facts and presenting them to further the reader’s understanding. The essay does not advocate any particular viewpoint, and the thesis statement is weak if it contains a thesis statement. This form is used by some business white papers, but they may have a point-of-view if it’s not overstated.
Select a topic that is suitable for a synthesis essay. The topic should be broad enough to draw together several similar sources, but not too broad to bring together widely dissimilar sources. You may find it helpful to do some research before you make a decision on what topic you will choose. If you are writing a synthesis essay in a class, however, you might be given a topic to choose from or assigned one.
Example of a topic that has been narrowed to a synthesis essay topic. Instead of discussing the topic of Social Media, it is possible to discuss the impact texting has on the English language.
You have been given a topic to study as part of a class. Make sure you carefully read and understand the prompt.
Carefully read and choose your sources. Your sources will be provided if you take the AP exam. You will usually need to choose at least three sources for the essay. It’s a good idea if you have enough time to read through each source thoroughly. Find material in your sources that is relevant to your argument (the reason you are writing the essay).
It’s better to learn from three sources than to get five wrong.
Notes in the margins can be used to annotate every source. This will allow you to track your thoughts, develop ideas, and so on.
Create a thesis statement. After you have reviewed the information provided or done some research outside of your home, you will need to form an opinion about your topic. The thesis is the central idea of your essay. Your thesis should contain the topic and your view. It should be a complete sentence. Your thesis statement depends on how long the essay is. It can either be the first sentence or the last sentence in the first paragraph. 
Example: The millennial generation has created their own version of English through texting.
For supporting information, re-read your sources. Look through all your sources to find key statistics, quotes, ideas, facts, and other information that supports your thesis. Write down the information you find. These will be used throughout your essay.
You should find quotes or ideas that contradict your thesis statement if you want to challenge an opponent’s claim. Also, plan to prove them wrong. If you do this well, it is known as a concession, refutation or rebuttal. This can help strengthen your argument.
Example: To support the thesis statement, you can use quotes from linguists to discuss the new words created through text-speak. Statistics that show that the English language has changed with nearly every generation and facts that show that students still have the ability write using grammar and spelling (which opponents will point out as the main reason that texting has negatively affected the English language).
Draw out the structure of your thesis. This can be done in a formal outline, or you can just draw it out. But the most important thing is how you present your material. The graders will require a certain structure if you write this paper for an AP exam. The structure is as follows
- A hook sentence, which grabs the attention of the reader. 2. Identify the topic you are going to be discussing. 3. Your thesis statement.
The body paragraphs should be: 1. The topic sentence should give one reason for your thesis. 2. Your explanation and opinion on the topic sentence. 3. You can get support from your sources to back up the claims you have made. 4. Explanation of source(s) significance
The conclusion paragraph: The conclusion paragraph: 1. 2. Your paper should contain a thoughtful conclusion or a profound thought.
To present your thesis, use a more creative format. You should use a more complex structure if you’re not writing an argumentative synthesis essay to pass the AP exam. These are just a few of the many ways you can develop your essay.
Example/illustration. You can use this as a summary, a detailed recount or direct quote from the source material to support your view. If your paper requires it, you may use multiple examples or illustrations. However, you should not make your paper too many examples to support your thesis. Straw man. This technique allows you to present an argument that is not supported by your thesis and then expose the flaws and weaknesses of the counter-argument. This format shows that you are aware of the opposition and that you are ready to address it. The counter-argument is presented right after your thesis. This is followed by evidence to support it. Finally, you end with a positive argument supporting your thesis. Concession. Concession. This structure is great for writing papers that are viewed differently.
Contrast and comparison. This structure shows the similarities and differences between two sources or subjects to highlight their facets. This structure is best used to write essays. You need to carefully read your source material in order find subtle and significant points of similarity or difference. This type of essay can be presented source-by-source, or through points of similarity and/or difference.
Make a outline that is appropriate for a background essay or review synthesis essay. Synthesis essays tend to be focused on supporting a thesis. Background and review essays, however, focus more on the ideas in the sources than the author’s perspective. These synthesis essays can be structured in two ways:
Summary. Summary. This structure provides summaries from each of the relevant sources and makes your thesis stronger. Although it provides evidence that supports your view, it usually does not allow you to express your opinions. This is most often used to write background or review essays.
Liste of reasons. This is a list of sub-points that flow out of the main point of your paper, as stated in its thesis. Each reason must be supported by evidence. Similar to the summary method, the importance of reasons should increase with increasing importance, with the most important reason at the bottom.
Your outline will guide you in your first draft. If you discover new ideas or information in your source materials that support your thesis, be prepared to change your plan. You won’t have the time to write more than one draft if you are writing the synthesis in preparation for the AP exam. So take your time and do it well.
An introduction paragraph should include your thesis and body. A conclusion should summarize your views.
Use the third person. Write in the third person. This means that you use “he,” “she,” and “it” with complete sentences. You should provide enough information to demonstrate your credibility regarding the topic of your essay. Active voice is best, but passive voice can be used in situations where first (“I”) and second (“you”) would not be acceptable.
To make your text flow logically, use transitions between paragraphs. Transitions can be a great way of showing where your sources are supporting one another. Pennington’s paper “Cliffhanger Economics” supports Hallstrom’s theory about price-fixing. She makes these points:
To draw attention to long quotes that are more than three lines in length, it is best to use block quotes.
Revise your essay. This is the time for strengthening arguments and improving transitions between paragraphs and points. Your argument should be as concise and clear as possible. You can read your essay louder to avoid noticing awkward sentences and incoherent arguments.
Ask another person to proofread your paper. It’s still true that “two heads are better then one”. Ask a friend or colleague to suggest what they would add or subtract from the paper. Most importantly, is your argument logical and supported by credible sources?
Your paper should be proofread. Check your paper for grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. Are the proper nouns and names correctly spelled? Are there fragments or run-on sentences? You can correct them as you go.
To ensure that you don’t add or subtract words, read the paper aloud.
If possible, ask a classmate or friend to proofread your essay.
Cite your source material. This means that you should use footnotes in your essay to cite material and a bibliography at the end. For any paraphrased or quoted material, footnotes and intext citations are required. You will not need to use a particular style of citation if you write this essay for an AP exam. However, you must state the source after you cite it.
Example of citing in AP synthesis essays: McPherson asserts that “texting has transformed the English language in a positively way–it’s given a new generation their unique way to communicate” Source E
MLA format is most commonly used for college essays. No matter what format you choose, it is important to use it consistently. You might also be asked to use the APA or Chicago style.
Title your essay. Your essay title should reflect your thesis statement and supporting argument. Your title should be chosen last so that it fits your essay.
Example title: English and the iPhone: Exploring The Benefits of Text-Speak