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How to write a synthesis essay

Synthesis paper is a work that compounds more than one source to create a new piece of work. The approach consists of inferring an idea with adequate references in addition to supporting it with credible sources and not just providing a statement made by oneself. It is familiar to research paper in a way that consists of the same browsing and research process; however, a synthesis essay consists of time and topic restrictions while research papers do not, thereby having a predetermined time frame and a decided topic.

Main components of a synthesis paper

Synthesis paper comprises four primary parts that are synthesizing sources, composing the thesis or claim, formatting the essay, and talking with the text. To incorporate well, one needs to comprehend the prompt, draft a tentative thesis, choose sources, read carefully, and then evaluate sources. Developing the tentative thesis refers to beginning the first draft of the prompt. This statement is the first idea one has when jumpstarting the research. After the resources get chosen, this thesis may come to the modification or adjustment round to reflect the sources' opinion. Close reading comprises the process of annotating, highlighting, or note-taking. Evaluating sources means that main ideas from close readings come to use to justify the source of the claim. The sources that result in getting decided upon will help construct a new approach for the prompt.

Choosing the topic

One should start writing a synthesis paper after carefully considering and selecting a topic that is interesting to one and the others who are to read the article. For instance, a theme like "Is there enough evidence to confidently state that racism still widely exists in contemporary society today?" could bring forward arguments like police brutality, affirmative action, and unbalanced incarceration rights. As apparent from these examples, one needs to provide a set of consistent data that gives an account to support the argument one would like to put forward. This could mean tackling some of the very controversial issues prevalent in society today since they would be highly commendable and readable, not leading up to monotony. Keeping up with such a structure would enable one to come up with an idea, argue about it, and then defend it as well. One should avoid clichés since it makes the readers lose interest once they start predicting what comes next. Make sure the topic and sources used are not a thing of the past that is conventional ideas and perspectives are not outdated sources that must result in eradication. Instead, fresh new content would brew spur insight and interest within the reader; hence one needs to leave the conventional practice and try to be more contemporary. When doing so, do not get frightened of picking up controversial topics.

Information gathering

After carefully choosing the topic, comes the information gathering. Gathering all the contents and presenting it in a bonafide method is an essential most criterion to avoid plagiarism since academic work requires authenticity as the utmost standard. To create genuine content, one needs to transform all the data into their own words. After this comes the part of synthesizing the information sources by combining them, comparing them, contrasting them, and then finally adding one's point of view. Writing the outline of the paper would help develop the structure for the essay, which will include three fundamental parts, which are the introduction, main body subdivided into two or more paragraphs, and finalizing it with a conclusion. Now the paragraphing would aid in differentiating between the various sources and different evidence gathered to complement and supplement the general idea behind the question. This would go in a rough draft that would shape the fair and final selection of the work.

Amplify the main elements of the outline and create a full value text. It is essential to formulate a thesis that serves as the principal idea that comes to a portrayal in the synthesis essay. Frequently thesis becomes the final sentence of the introductory paragraph: it includes the statement of the topic and the writer's opinion. By introducing the topic of discussion, one adds the background information to it as well. Now there are the sources that will come to use to prove the idea one has come up with. To finish the introduction, explain the main idea, and indicate the thesis statement. This sentence is going to appear as the focus of the synthesis essay. Do not forget that the thesis is to take a clear stance and be logically backed up by several different sources. Hence all introductions should include an intriguing lead, a bridge to the thesis that is the keywords indication the body of the paragraphs.


When outlining, one should note the main points that could lead to possible support to the claim made. Outlining includes the research part as well. First of all, it is important to carry out the necessary research and find what should be included in the paper. Plan what is going to get covered, including the arguments, counter-arguments, and refutation by starting with the weakest argument and ending with the strongest. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that includes the central idea that comes into the discussion in the paragraph as well as the source supporting it. There are two ways to write this: claim and reason or reason and claim. Support the point by citing different references. Bifurcate the evidence. Do not out space.

It is also necessary that the word count of the entire synthesis paper is divided among parts so that a writer knows how much information is going in which part of the paper. In outlining the paper, it is necessary to fragment out the ideas theories and concepts so that they are not skipped while finalizing the paper.

Main body

Next comes the step where the main body gets presented. One needs to fill up the main body with arguments from different sources and give specific examples. The body should at least be divided into three further fragmented paragraphs, each having their focal point of discussion, and this should logically link with the thesis paper, which should, in turn, get supported by two sources. The objective here is to define how the sources reasonably support this idea and how it supports the overall thesis accordingly.


After the main body move to the conclusion.

Here, you end your work with a firm conclusion where you show your support of one or another side of the source. In conclusion, the restatement of the thesis statement takes place in a voice that infers confirmation. Psychologically speaking, if one presents it in an already proven manner, readers would become naturally inclined to agree with it. After this, one goes back through and abridges the connection with the sub idea and thesis statement. Finish it all off by giving an overall concluding statement that explains the primary importance of the thesis statement to the reader. In other words, talk about how your findings impact the situation and what are the steps that are to be done to ensure optimistic advancement in the field.

Rechecking for potential errors

The next step is to check the paper. Go through each supporting idea and make sure there exists an evident and logical connection back to the thesis statement. That marks the essential most of the synthesis essay writing. One needs to proofread and edit the work before submission. Make sure that there are strong transition sentences persuasive text flow, which is incoherence. If there is a chance of others reading it, take this opportunity because others can find many more mistakes in the paper, than you can do by yourself.


Referencing is crucial to gain good marks. Here one list down all the sources from where the information is gathered. While referencing a book, one could use “Author, A.A.. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher. When referencing a website, the format would be something like “Author, A.A..(Year, Month, Date of Publication). Article Title. Retrieved from URL. If one has to reference a journal article, it could go about “Author, A.A (Publication Year). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume (Issue), pp.-pp.” One should never forget a referencing page since it matters a lot.

When doing research, it is essential to make use of scholarly sources rather than popular ones. Using dedicated search engines such as Googles scholar, WorldCat, Online libraries, organizational websites that end with (.org), various institutional websites that have (.edu), and government websites that have (.gov) in the extension, is more appropriate.

Other important guidelines

When synthesizing resources in a paper, one should know when to use a direct quotation. This is to happen when the language is especially clear or expressive, and knowing when it is essential to let the debaters of an issue elaborate their position in their own words. The words of authority give weight to an argument.

The explanation and orientation of the synthesis paper should need to have alignment in close association. Here the evidence must get presented carefully by using one's voice and making sure that the reader is aware of each passage from the source. Make use of the transitional words as emphasized earlier and refrain from the copy-paste method. Lastly, one needs to identify specific passages from each source that may aid in proving the argument.

Then comes the next most instrumental part that is consistent with integration. Effective integration demands summarizing, paraphrasing, and quotation techniques. To be precise, one is using the purpose, support, argument, and background to establish a new way to perceive the topic.

Things to remember

The most important thing to consider when writing a synthesis paper is to comprehend that argument is the foremost attribute. One needs to recognize the complexity of the issue by acknowledging the counter-argument. It is advised that while referencing your paper more, there should be at least one reference in every single paragraph of the paper. Contextualizing the issue in the introduction is also essential.

And most importantly, embed thoughtfully. When synthesizing sources, consider the following. You need to think about the stage time at first; that is when summarizing a source. It tends to be in the spotlight. You should decide how it needs to be in the spotlight, and why it is in the spotlight in the first place. Besides, you should think about how it is connected with other pieces of information and evidence in the paper? For this, think about the target audience, what this audience should know about the source, and what it values. This tackles what the audience would think about the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose of the source. When synthesizing sources, you are to determine the stance or position. Then you could think about the genre that helps shape the way resources get used. For instance, a literature review has an in-depth amalgamation of multitudinous sources. In contrast, a newspaper article would have fewer resources, while college essay marks the least number of resources. When thinking about synthesis, consider the rhetorical situation.

The grouping of sources could take place by analyzing the source summaries carefully. For this, one needs to consider what ideas do they apportion and then ask whether the sources are from within the same discipline. This is vital because it determines the writer's methodologies, theories, and value systems. Assembling of the various generalizations gets done logically and coherently, by not losing track of what is being said. The main focus should be on the ideas and not on the authors of the ideas since it is unlikely to give a good impression. One should remember not to use the first person.

You should be consistent with the use of bibliographic references. Include page numbers for quotes and list all the works that need citation at the end of the paper. Whenever possible, make an effort to employ real-world examples that bolster the overall argument. When you get done with editing, think of a title that best apprehends the thesis.

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