How to write a Good Synthesis Essay and Score the best Grade

author By Mary Boies

Writing a synthesis essay always looks like a massive mountain to climb, especially for those who have never written one. We want to say it is not, but for some students, it actually is. Nevertheless, with the help of this guide, any competent college student should be able to develop a quality synthesis essay. This is because this guide covers everything important there is to know about synthesis essay writing.

How to write a synthesis Essay like a pro

So, if you need all the important knowledge about synthesis writing, you should definitely read this guide. If you want urgent help from experienced tutors, you should use our assignment help services. We have got dozens of superior quality tutors who are ready to help students to complete any type of college assignment within the shortest time possible. They can start completing your synthesis as soon as this very hour.

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What is a synthesis essay?

A synthesis essay is simply an academic writing assignment involving the organized discussion of ideas. The typical synthesis essay assignment will require you to research to collect information from various sources and then synthesize (combine) the information to answer the essay prompt.

As a college student, you should expect a synthesis essay assignment every now and then. This is because professors regularly give such assignments to help students become better researchers and synthesizers of the information they gather.

The key thing to remember when given a synthesis essay assignment is that synthesizing is not about summarizing or reviewing the information you have gathered. Instead, it is all about making sense of the information you’ve collected and organized it correctly to answer the essay prompt.

Types of synthesis essays

There are three widely accepted types of synthesis essays – explanatory synthesis essays, argumentative synthesis essays, and literature review synthesis essays.

1. Argumentative synthesis essays

Argumentative synthesis essays are the most common type of synthesis essays. Sometimes they are simply called argumentative essays. The biggest difference between these essays and other types of essays is how the former is written. Argumentative essays are written by taking a position on the topic and then defending it. The position is often taken directly in the thesis statement.

Once you pick a position when writing an argumentative synthesis essay, you should stick to it throughout. Yes, you should provide counterarguments in the second-last paragraph of your essay. Still, they shouldn’t be stronger than your main argument. And they should be followed with a rebuttal.

2. Explanatory synthesis essays

Explanatory synthesis essays are the easiest synthesis essays to write. Writing explanatory essays simply involves gathering information from several sources with the aim of answering the essay prompt. Then synthesize or organize the collected information to make sure it perfectly answers the essay prompt. College professors like giving explanatory synthesis essays to help students learn more about specific topics. The learning usually occurs during the research and synthesis of information.

After gathering information for a synthesis essay, the most preferred way to synthesize it is to organize it into key themes. These themes should then be organized from the most important to the least important. The aim is to make sure the essay written is a paper that shows good research on the topic and, at the same time, it is a conclusive answer to the essay prompt.

3. Literature review synthesis essays

Literature review synthesis essays are common in medicine and social science courses.  A typical literature review synthesis essay requires you to look closely at specific literature on a topic and identify the common themes. When closely looking at the literature, you need to identify the well-covered themes and those that haven’t.

This is very important as one of the objectives of writing a literature review is to identify gaps in the literature for further research. So identifying themes that haven’t been well-covered is crucial when writing a literature review. It is vital for further research.

Synthesis Essay Structure

When writing a typical synthesis essay, you must follow the standard essay structure to make sure your essay is as easy to follow as possible. The standard essay structure is the 5-paragraph structure. While the synthesis essay structure is similar to the formal essay structure, it is also slightly different.

Learn the key differences below.

1. Synthesis essay introduction

A typical synthesis essay will have a clear introduction paragraph as the first paragraph.  The introduction should present the topic you want to talk about and how you want to do it. In other words, the introduction should give a concise general overview of the topic and the ideas that will be discussed.

The most important part of an introduction paragraph in a synthesis essay is the thesis statement. This is because the thesis statement is the central argument that will show what the paper is all about.

The typical synthesis essay thesis statement will be one or two lines long. It will also be precise and impactful. The introduction itself will be similar. While it will undoubtedly be several lines long, it should be precise and impactful to give your reader something to look forward to in your essay.

2. Synthesis essay body paragraphs

After the introduction, a typical synthesis essay will include three body paragraphs. In these body paragraphs, you should show that you have done good research and that you have synthesized the research well to complete the essay.

The typical structure for an argumentative synthesis essay will have two body paragraphs supporting the thesis and the next body paragraph presenting the biggest counterargument or counterarguments. The counterargument should include a rebuttal to complete the body paragraph.

When writing the body paragraphs a synthesis essay, you present your arguments and ideas to win over the reader. Therefore, you must make sure you develop your body paragraphs carefully. Then, when somebody looks at them, they are easy to read and understand.

3. Conclusion

A synthesis essay must have a definitive conclusion paragraph like any other academic writing. The conclusion should restate the thesis and the main arguments in your essay. It should be the easiest thing for you to write in your essay because you do not need to do any further research.

You simply need to paraphrase your key points and write a concluding sentence. The concluding sentence should be a thought-provoking idea or sentence to ensure the reader is thinking about the right thing or things after they are done reading.

Sample Synthesis Essay Outline

The basic structure of a synthesis essay includes several key elements. Discover them in the sample synthesis essay outline below for the topic, “Should assault rifles be banned in the USA?”

I. Introduction

  1. Hook statement: Thousands of people are needlessly killed every year by assault rifles in the USA. This is a pandemic that has to be stopped.
  2. Background info on the topic
  3. Thesis statement: The manufacture and private possession of a firearm should be made illegal in the USA.

II. Body Paragraph 1

  1. First supporting argument: Banning assault rifles can reduce the needless killings across the USA.
  2. Evidence: Buffalo, NY shooting
  3. Explanation/analysis

III. Body Paragraph 2

  1. Second, supporting argument: The majority of the American public supports banning assault rifles.
  2. Evidence: National sheriffs’ association.
  3. Explanation/analysis

IV. Body Paragraph 3

  1. Opposing argument: Banning assault rifles will not reduce killings.
  2. Explanation
  3. Refutation: Low murder rates in countries where guns are kept out of private hands show that banning assault rifles can work.

V. Conclusion

  1. Thesis restatement: Many preventable deaths, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people, occurs annually through assault rifles. This is a huge problem that has to be stopped.
  2. Summary of key arguments
  3. Closing statement: For the sake of those needlessly murdered using assault rifles, we must come together as a nation to keep such guns out of private hands.

The sample synthesis essay outline above shows the most important elements of a synthesis essay outline. It also shows how to create a good synthesis essay outline. With an outline like the one above, you should be able to write an excellent synthesis essay on any topic effortlessly.

When you use an outline to plan your essay, you automatically ensure it has a good structure and a basic level of organization. All you need to do to ensure your paragraphs have a solid logical flow when writing them is to develop a well-structured and well-organized paper.

How To Write a Synthesis Essay - A Step-By-Step Guide?

An excellent synthesis essay is like a good story. It explains or supports a key argument by walking the reader through a series of supporting arguments and evidence. Follow the steps below to develop an excellent synthesis essay.

1. Choose an interesting topic

Suppose your essay prompt allows you to write a synthesis essay on any topic. In that case, you should choose an interesting topic. Choosing an interesting topic will result in an interesting essay, which will increase your chances of getting an excellent grade for your essay.

If the essay prompt presents you with two or three topics, simply choose the easiest one to write an essay on. This will make your work easy. On the other hand, if the essay prompt requires you to write a synthesis essay on a specific topic, simply skip this step and jump to STEP 2 below.

2. Do research

Once you have your topic, you should do extensive research. Find out everything important about the topic on the internet, in the library, or in the online databases that you can access.

As you find out important stuff about the topic, you should note down everything that can help you answer the essay prompt. You should also note down the source of every note you decide to take. This will help you with referencing later on.

Make sure you only take notes from credible sources that are objective and unbiased. Doing this will ensure you do not lose marks for references during grading.

2. Create an outline

Once you have done extensive research on the topic and are confident that you have gathered all the information you will need to answer the essay prompt, you should create an outline. An outline is simply an essay-writing plan. It is sort of a map that will guide you when you write the actual essay.

Use the sample synthesis essay outline above this section to create your outline. When creating an outline, the first thing you need to do is make a thesis statement. The second thing you need to do is identify the main arguments you will use to support your thesis statement.

Once you’ve got your thesis statement and key supporting arguments, you should find it easy to create a good outline. Make sure your outline is even more comprehensive than the sample above. Doing this will make the next step a piece of cake.

3. Start writing your synthesis essay

After creating a comprehensive synthesis essay outline, the next thing you need to do is to start writing your essay. First, start writing your essay by writing the introduction. Since you already have a comprehensive outline, you already have a hook statement.

Simply write down the hook statement in your essay draft and start writing your introduction following your outline. Once you are done writing the introduction paragraph, write the body paragraphs and the conclusion. Writing a typical synthesis essay (once you have created the outline) should take you less than 2.5 hours.

When writing each paragraph, keep in mind the paragraph hamburger structure. In other words, make sure each paragraph has a topic sentence, detailed sentences, and a closing sentence. And make sure the flow from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph is excellent.

4. Add in-text citations and a references page

After you are done writing your essay, you should add in-text citations in the right places in your text and add a references page. Make sure your in-text citations and references page follow the style format you were asked to follow in the essay prompt.

If you already cited your text when writing your essay, as most successful students do, simply skip this step. However, some students add in-text citations are they write each paragraph in their essays. They find adding citations this way to be much more convenient.

5. Proofread and Edit

Once you are done writing your essay and adding in-text citations and a references page, you should proofread your work. However, you shouldn’t do it immediately. Because if you, you will fail to catch many mistakes since your mind is tired. So take full daybreak if you can before you proofread your work.

After taking a break, read your essay out loud. This will help you to identify mistakes, including grammar and punctuation errors. It will also help you hear how each sentence sounds. You should rewrite all the long, vague, and bad-sounding sentences.

Once you proofread your synthesis essay, it will be ready for submission.

Tips for Writing an A-Grade Synthesis Essay

If you want to write an excellent synthesis essay, read and internalize the tips below before following the synthesis essay writing guide steps above.

1. Proofread your work thoroughly

The only way to ensure your essay is perfect is to proofread it. However, most students do not know how to proofread their essays thoroughly. Proofreading your essay thoroughly involves proofreading it in three different ways.

The first way is through the use of or a similar grammar editor. This will help you to catch and eliminate all the basic errors.

The second way is through the help of a friend. Simply ask a friend to read it and highlight all the mistakes they find. This will help you to catch the errors missed during the first review.

The third way is to proofread it yourself by reading it out loud. This will help you to catch and eliminate all the remaining errors.

2. Create a detailed outline

Many students choose not to create an outline before writing an essay when they are not explicitly asked to create one. However, you should not be like most students. Only a very small fraction of students can write a well-organized and nice-flowing essay without an outline. So always create an outline if you want your essays to have basic-level organization.

3. Take your time to write a good intro

Your synthesis essay will have three major parts – an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Perhaps the most important part of the three major parts is the introduction. You should take your time to write it because a good introduction will hook the reader and increase your chances of getting a high grade in your essay.

4. Do extensive research

The most important thing you need to do when writing a synthesis essay is extensive research. Because if you do extensive research, you will get the important information you will need to combine (synthesize) to create an amazing synthesis essay.

5. Read your work from your professor’s perspective

When you finish writing your essay and proofreading it, you should read it one more time. This time you should put yourself in your professor’s shoes. In other words, try to read your essay from your professor’s perspective. Doing this will help you to be more critical when reviewing your essay. And this will help you to edit your essay and make it even better.

6. Use the right vocabulary

The objective of a typical synthesis essay is to combine pieces of information to explain something or support an argument. And the best way to fulfill this objective is to use the right sentences and words. Use words that are impactful and that stimulate the imagination. Avoid being vague or wordy, especially when you do not need to.

7. Make sure all your paragraphs have a clear structure

The typical paragraph structure has a topic sentence, details, and a closing sentence. Make certain all your paragraphs, at the very least, follow this basic structure. If you do this, you will ensure your paragraphs, and your entire essay is easy to understand. Also, try to make sure all your paragraphs are roughly the same size. This will make your essay appear more organized and more appealing.

6. Use transition words generously

Transition words and phrases are critical when writing any type of essay. This is because they are the key to good flow. If you want any kind of essay to have a good flow at the sentence level, you should learn about transition words and use them generously.

7. Watch out for plagiarism

We all know plagiarism, right? It is when you copy texts directly without paraphrasing, right? That is the most egregious form of plagiarism, but it is not the most common one. The most common form of plagiarism is correctly paraphrasing a point, an idea, or a text but failing to indicate the source. Anytime you get an idea or point from somewhere else, it is always good practice to cite its source.

8. Do not ignore writing a good title

Many students do not take the time to write a good title. This is wrong because a good title is also a way to hook the reader to read your entire essay. So try to take time when writing your essay title and make it as interesting as possible.

Synthesis Essay Topics

Sometimes professors or teachers ask you to write a synthesis essay on a topic of your choice. If you have been asked to write a synthesis essay on any topic, simply look at the sample essay topics below. Doing this will inspire you to develop your synthesis topic.

  1. Do mega internet corporations threaten our privacy?
  2. Does extensive social media use affect teenage development?
  3. What are the adverse effects of extensive social media use?
  4. What are the positive impacts of social networks?
  5. Do social media networks promote extremism?
  6. Should assault rifles be banned in the USA?
  7. Should recreational marijuana be decriminalized countrywide?
  8. Has technology helped to improve learning over the last decade?
  9. Should college athletes be paid when playing college games?
  10. Is homeschooling the right way to go?
  11. Should colleges have a strict dress code to prevent distractions?
  12. Are video games promoting violence and extremism?
  13. Are graphic novels promoting violence and extremism?
  14. Should pornography be banned in the USA because of its effects?
  15. Will machines replace workers in the near future?
  16. What socialism is a much better system than capitalism?
  17. What are the lasting effects of colonialism, especially in Africa?
  18. Are driverless cars and trucks the way to go?

19 Is nuclear energy clean energy?

  1. What are the leading causes of homelessness in the Western World?
  2. Does AI pose a threat to our world as we know it?
  3. Should euthanasia be banned?
  4. Should the rich pay more taxes?
  5. Can universal basic income end world poverty?
  6. What are the pros and cons of free healthcare?
  7. Should college education be made free in the United States?
  8. Should all police departments be defunded?
  9. Is the death penalty ever justified?
  10. Can violent online material negatively affect child development?
  11. What are the benefits of immigration to society?

Final Words!

A synthesis essay thoroughly analyzes various sources to support or prove a thesis or a central claim.  It is not easy to write a synthesis essay, but it is something that can definitely be done. The knowledge we have shared in this paper is enough to help you write an excellent synthesis essay.

If you still cannot write a synthesis essay for some reason, you should let us help you. We have got dozens of tutors who can start completing your synthesis essay assignment within a moment’s notice. Moreover, they can deliver custom, well-researched, well-developed, and well-referenced synthesis essays ASAP!

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