How to Write a Synthesis Essay

If you have never heard about a synthesis essay, you will be surprised to find out that you have already used this type of writing while doing some tasks for university or school.

The name for this paper is a bit confusing, but it is not that much special or difficult.The word “synthesis” means the combination of some components into the whole. It is a type of analysis in different scientific branches. Then what is a synthesis essay? It is a type of writing which focuses on combining and comparing various sources which serve as parts of a whole.

Teachers often give such tasks to students when they need to use several references in one essay. It is the best way to evaluate how people use critical thinking.In this article, you can find out the main steps about how to write a synthesis essay on any topic. The mentioned below key recommendations can be useful for other writing tasks.

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 Main steps in writing a synthesis essay

You should follow a common order of writing a paper while preparing synthesis essay examples. Also, you need to pay attention to specific steps which are individual for this kind of paper.

Step 1. Analyze the topic and task requirements

Lots of students read the prompt superficially. The task description consists of several sentences, and you need to examine each word carefully. Underline the key information and write down the synonyms. If there are questions to answer, enumerate how many questions are written.

Teachers give lots of points for answering the task prompt.

Step 2. Prepare a list of sources

There are some tasks which contain the sources, and the writer just needs to read them. However, in most cases, you have to find the references alone.

It takes time, but this search can help you understand the topic better. Visit libraries, look for the online information, and choose the most suitable ones. Don’t forget that sources such as Wikipedia are not considered reliable in academic writing. Search scientific journals that publish online articles, and search the theme that you need.

Step 3. Combine and contrast the information from the sources.

Before you start writing the essay, you need to analyze your sources. Classify them into different groups of similarity.

If the authors discuss opposite viewpoints, you can also make a group of opposite opinions. This classification will help you structure the paper.

Good Tips for Your Writing

  • Analyze no more than two sources within one paragraph. If you write too many references, the reader may get confused and lose the logical argumentation.
  • Give your opinion to each viewpoint. Don’t rely on the other’s words only. You need to explain how certain authors treat the topic of discussion and give your evaluative thought.
  • If you analyze the idea which is opposite to yours, describe it without offense.State its strong and weak sides. You should try to be objective as much as possible.
  • Prepare a strong thesis statement which is based on your opinion.
  • Don’t lose your voice while evaluating other thoughts.It means that you have to begin and finish with one clear tentative objective. A synthesis essay is not a production for reflection. You should be sure in what you are convincing the reader.

Interesting Methodologies for Your Paper

There are lots of techniques which can help you cope with writing synthesis essay examples.

Some students like to use only one methodology. However, it is the best variant to combine several techniques in one paper.


It is not the most difficult means of writing a sample synthesis essay, but it does require lots of efforts. You need to know the main information about each source and select the most significant data.

The negative side of the summary is that there is no critical approach. You don’t analyze the facts but just mention them. The positive aspect is that it gives you a basic ground for relevant examples and proofs.

Giving reasons

You can use each reference as a source for examples and specific evidence.

Choose several reasons which prove your thesis and use them as examples. It is an effective method for research paper because you are never run out of instances. Furthermore, by citing other works, you show that your work is based on thorough research.

Strawman methodology

It is an interesting strategy which can be useful not only for a synthesis essay.

Here you need to use an argument which is opposite to your tentative objective. And you don’t use it to show that you are wrong. You add it to show that other opinions are flawed. The most considerable advantage of the Strawman methodology is that you illustrate your awareness of other sides of the argument and you show weak as well as strong sides.

In the end, you need to prove the reader that the counterargument is not effective enough to change your strong thesis.

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