The Best Student’s Guide on How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Posted on: 15th April 2020

When you hear the words synthesis essay for your first time, you might feel a little bit intimidated. This feeling is typical in most students as you are never sure how to handle such a topic, especially if you don’t have prior experience. 

In this guide, the custom writing experts show you the best way to write a synthesis essay. As such, you’ll be more confident the next time you are assigned such a task. 

Read on to discover more on how to write a synthesis essay. Need an example of a synthesis essay as well? No problem. We’ve got you.

So, What Is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is almost similar to an argumentative essay, but it’s easier to handle. So, it is an essay that needs you to combine different perspectives, paradigms, and concepts from different sources and turn them into various arguments that help to show your unique point of view.

When writing a synthesis essay, you should make sure that your summary contains facts from high-quality sources. You can start by taking a specific stance then building your arguments while working your way to the conclusion. 

While drafting the ideas and adding arguments, you should gather information from different sources and identify the exact relationship between the concepts. That way, you can integrate them excellently and form a persuasive stance.

We would mostly recommend that you use expansive topics when writing your essay. To write a good synthesis essay, make sure your theme revolves around social studies or community, including those about healthcare areas and cutting-edge technology. Why? Writing on these topics gives you great room to discuss various debatable aspects.

So, you should look for exciting synthesis essay topics that can attract lots of people’s attention quickly. An excellent synthesis essay example that you can write on is, “Should cellphone use be banned while driving?” Such a topic provides you with many angles to use when writing, thus allowing you to come up with great content. Other synthesis essay topics that you can write on are.

  • Should TV and movies be more diverse?
  • Does playing video games provide any educational value to kids?
  • Should the youth be allowed to use tablets and cellphones?
  • Should employees have any tattoos?
  • Which one is better between homeschooling kids and taking them to a public school?

However, you can always choose from other essay topics based on your personal preferences or research.

Types of Synthesis Essays

There are two significant types of synthesis.

1. Explanatory synthesis essays 

2. Argument synthesis essays

Explanatory Synthesis Essays

This type is the most common as it helps the readers to understand the topic in question better. So, instead of creating an argument about a particular issue, it focuses on explaining and providing more details.

In an explanatory synthesis essay, you must explain the topic using quality sources and present them objectively. Therefore, for every fact that you present, there should be some credible sources.

Argumentative Synthesis Essays

The primary goal of an argumentative synthesis essay is to argue a specific topic and justify it with some evidence. So, here you have to state your stand on the subject, make some supporting claims, and then provide proof.

Writing a Synthesis Essay Step-by-Step

1. Read and Find a Suitable Topic

If your professor or teacher gave you a prompt, make sure you read it carefully and follow all the instructions. Doing that also allows you to understand the synthesis paper’s purpose. 

Also, ensure you look for a debatable topic such as aggression/ violence, gun control, and video games.

2. Reread the Sources/ Find Sources

For every synthesis essay that you write, you’ll need around three to seven sources. However, the number of sources that you should include in the paper can vary. So, it is crucial that you first confirm from your instructor before you start writing.

If the teacher provides predetermined sources, then ensure you read them carefully and take some notes. Most probably, the sources he/she will give you will present different viewpoints of the topic hence making the writing process more manageable.

3. Form the Thesis Statement

When formulating your thesis, you have to ensure you keep your paper’s purpose in mind. That way, you can formulate a great argument that will express an excellent case for your essay.

4. Craft the Synthesis Essay Outline

Creating a synthesis essay outline allows you to prevent your work from appearing too scattered or messy hence enabling you to have a high-quality paper at the end.

5. Write your First Draft

When writing your synthesis essay, you must focus more on one theme, viewpoint or topic. In case you want to state different points, you must dedicate different sections for all of them.

Also, cite every source correctly with Chicago, Harvard, or APA writing styles while ensuring you write in the third person since synthesis essays are mostly academic. Therefore, you must avoid writing in the first person unless your instructor says so.

6. Edit your Synthesis Essay 

After writing everything, go through the entire paper. Revising it for about two or three times enables you to notice any grammatical or formatting errors you might have made and correct them. That way, you can have a clearer and better quality paper.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay Introduction?

An introduction is a vital part of your synthesis essay as it shows your stand in the topic hence enabling the reader to determine which side of the argument your paper will be. So, use the following methods to write a great intro.

1. Identify the most influential position throughout the topic. When writing an ap lang synthesis essay, it does not always matter which side of the argument you favor. Therefore, you have to take some time to determine the position that it is easier to get more points as it will enable you to write faster 

2. Test your stance by writing a short thesis statement. If it sounds good, then you can stick with it for a while. However, remember that you will tweak it later when writing the intro to ensure that it correctly portrays what your entire essay will be about

3. Write about two or three sentences explaining more about your stand in the paper


The United States of America employs democracy, which is an excellent way of governing a country. Democracy mostly implies that the most significant number of people should be involved in decision making. Although the media in the United States says its primary goal is supplying critical information to the citizens, its impact upon Americans, especially in the elections, has not done much to ensure more participation. Doing so has created a different kind of identity for the U.S. president.

4. Have some sentences identifying your sources. That way, you can show that your readers that you are comparing and contrasting ideas from different sources. While he argues/ claims is an excellent example of how to start a synthesis essay. Also, ensure you include the title, author’s name, and some background information about the writer if necessary.


When the government adds some freedom acts in the constitution, it is usually pushing for the citizen’s liberty or its freedom to spy on the people freely. George Orwell well demonstrates this hidden agenda in his novel-1984.

5. Write another sentence to help show the relationship between the sources in your paper, then connect it to the thesis.


Most aspects of George’s visions are happening in today’s world and on a considerable scale. All George Orwell’s writings illustrate most elements of his dark image in present America by demonstrating its hidden technology applications in lots of things.

How to Write the Body Paragraphs?

Below, are vital steps to follow that will help you ensure that your synthesis essay has a great body:

1. Pick about three points to discuss from your list while ensuring you choose those that can you can easily back up

2. Decide the order in which you will discuss the three points in the essay

3. Write a great sentence that helps to identify the point that you will consider in your first body paragraph

Including a counter or concession argument in the topic sentence is vital as it will allow you to ensure your topic sentence is more persuasive. The counter-argument can even be a subordinate clause.

Also, a synthesis essay is usually easier to read if you start your paragraphs with a transition. Check out these examples to help you understand more.

Examples of a Synthesis Essay Concession Argument

Example 1

To begin, the assumption of using media sources to relay the news to the citizens is a good one as TVs have always helped to ensure that vital information reaches the entire nation, thus providing a feeling of direct contact.

Example 2

All in all, the United States must make sure it follows everything democracy entails, including involving the nation more since it portrays itself as a perfect example of democracy. That way, it can grow faster and more effectively as a nation.

Writing a Synthesis Essay Conclusion

Another major stumbling block that most students face when writing a synthesis essay is crafting the introduction. Some students find it easy to write the introduction and main body compared to the conclusion. 

The best way to write the conclusion is by restating the thesis statement and summarizing your main points. You can also try writing a powerful final sentence since doing that helps to win over the audience.

Tips to Help You Write a Great Synthesis Essay

Understand the Purpose

Understanding your paper’s mission helps you to have an idea of the best way to structure the essay. Therefore, you must refer to the essay prompt more often if you have any. Doing that will enable you to stick to the main topic hence allowing you to ensure more accuracy and relevance.

Look for Some Sample Essays

If it is your first time writing a synthesis essay, then you should look for several examples online. The synthesis essay examples allow you to observe different styles of structuring, tone, and even style. That way, you can come up with a unique but relevant style to write your essay.

Do Not Just Summarize

Sometimes, you might feel the temptation to simply summarize the information in your sources but avoid doing that. Why? A synthesis essay usually needs you to analyze the sources and voice out your thoughts. So, summarizing what other authors have said will just make you lose some marks.

If your teacher did not specify how many sources you should use, then you can add as many as you want. However, remember to evaluate them to ensure you use the most accurate ones.

Organize your Ideas

When organizing viewpoints and arguments, arrange them from the most compelling points to the least. That way, the reader can see the paper as a strong piece from first glance.

Research Extensively

If your school or college has an EBSCO host database or any other research portal, then use it to your advantage. Doing this and using the campus library will enable you to access more information from articles, fact sheets, journals, and books, thus allowing you to ensure the essay has more diversity.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Make sure you look for some time to read about writing synthesis essays. That way, you get many vital tips that you can use to improve your skills. You can even practice writing synthesis essays to help you always to deliver your assignments on time.

Need Assignment Help with a Synthesis Essay?

Synthesizing is the process of bringing two things to make one. As such, a great synthesis essay requires combining various sources to support your thesis statement. As such, you must perform extensive research from multiple journals. Sounds like too much work?

Maybe looking at some of the synthesis essay examples in our archives can help. Better yet, you can leave the assignment to our essay writing service. We have a team of writing nerds, all ready and willing to write your synthesis essay from scratch. Allow us to write your synthesis essay in a few hours. Place an order now and get an estimate ASAP.

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