How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Matt Ellis

Synthesis essays are common assignments in both high school and university, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy or that everyone knows how to write them. In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know in order to write one yourself. We talk about synthesis essay structure and offer some general tips, plus we clarify any confusion between a synthesis essay versus an argumentative essay.

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What is a synthesis essay?

A synthesis essay is a type of essay that combines points, data, and evidence from multiple sources and turns them into one idea that the writing revolves around. In other words, the writer synthesizes their own idea using other sources’ research and points. Usually, synthesis essays are a type of analytical essay , but they have crossover with other types of essays as well, such as argumentative essays .

The central idea in a synthesis essay is represented by the thesis statement , a sentence that succinctly explains the main point of the essay. In a synthesis essay, this “new” idea usually consolidates the main points and/or findings of other sources.

Synthesis essay structure

Creating a solid synthesis essay structure is one of the hardest parts of writing a synthesis essay. Unlike most other essay outlines , an outline for a synthesis essay has to include points from multiple sources, and such combinations don’t always have a logical or chronological sequence. To help you out, here are three strategies for creating a synthesis essay structure and sample outlines that you can use as templates.

Synthesis essay structure 1: By topic

The first kind of synthesis essay structure involves discussing each topic individually, mentioning each source’s perspective on it, and then moving on to the next topic. This approach lets you compare or join together points made by different sources about the same specific topic.

Structuring your synthesis essay by topic works best for more complicated ideas with different aspects that should be explored individually.

Example outline:

I. Introduction A. Thesis statement

II. Topic 1 A. Source A discussing Topic 1 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source A about Topic 1 2. Another point or piece of evidence/data from Source A about Topic 1 3. [Etc.]

B. Source B discussing Topic 1 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source B about Topic 1 2. [Etc.] 

III. Topic 2 A. Source A discussing Topic 2 B. [Etc.] 

IV. Topic 3 A. [Etc.]

[You can keep going like this with as many topics as you need.]

V. Conclusion A. Revisit thesis statement

Synthesis essay structure 2: By source

Alternatively, you can organize your synthesis essay structure by source: You discuss the main points of one source together and then move on to another source. This approach lets you compartmentalize the main points according to where they come from but ultimately bring together the main points from different sources.

Structuring your synthesis essay by source works best when you want to emphasize the sources themselves over the points they make. For example, if you were using this type of structure for an argumentative essay, you might want to fully discuss the source you’re refuting before making your counterargument.

II. Source 1 A. Source 1 discussing Topic A 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source 1 about Topic A 2. Another point or piece of evidence/data from Source 1 about Topic A 3. [Etc.]

B. Source 1 discussing Topic B 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source 1 about Topic B 2. [Etc.]

III. Source 2 A. Source 2 discussing Topic A B. Source 2 discussing Topic B C. [Etc.]

IV. Source 3 A. [Etc.]

[You can keep going like this for all your sources.]

V. Conclusion 1. Revisit thesis statement

Synthesis essay structure 3: Combine

The synthesis essay structures above are by no means set in stone. You’re free to adapt or modify them however you need and can even combine them.

For example, what if there’s a special source that stands out from the others? You could begin your synthesis essay by discussing each topic individually so that your reader understands the issue. Then you could switch it up and include a section just for that one special source, explaining that source’s stance on the previously discussed topics.

3 tips for writing a synthesis essay

1 come up with a strong thesis statement.

As mentioned above, a thesis statement is a single sentence that briefly explains the main point of your essay. In a synthesis essay, the thesis statement should effectively bring together the ideas and points from multiple other sources.

Part of writing a strong thesis statement comes from choosing your essay topic . Pick a topic that is broad enough to have sufficient research and enough other sources discussing it but specific enough that you can cover everything.

As for writing the actual thesis statement, a helpful method is to phrase your topic as a question and then answer it. The answer could be a good start to your thesis statement sentence. For example, let’s say your topic is how Denmark came to be first in clean energy. You could phrase the question and answer as:

Q: “Why is Denmark the leading country in renewable energy?”

A: “Denmark is first in clean energy thanks in part to energy conservation from district heating, combined heat-and-power stations, and its use of small, locally based power plants instead of larger ones.”

That answer could double as your thesis statement and mentions some of the other types of sources you use in your essay.

2 Read all the sources carefully

A synthesis essay is only as good as its sources. The nature of a synthesis essay is to build on its sources, so you need to choose the best ones and understand each of them thoroughly.

Make sure you comb through your sources so you don’t miss a good point or piece of evidence you could use in your essay. It helps to come up with your thesis statement early on so you can look for points related to it when you’re reading.

3 Write a gripping introduction

One of the keys to any good essay, synthesis or not, is a strong opening. This is partially determined by your thesis statement, but the other sentences in your introduction also make a big impact.

For starters, you can learn how to write a hook . In writing, a hook is something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to keep reading. Hooks can essentially be anything interesting. Some common strategies for writing hooks include using personal anecdotes to create an emotional connection or providing exciting facts/statistics that the reader might not know.

Additionally, the introduction should also explain the scope of your topic and set the scene for people who aren’t familiar with it. The goal of the introduction is to prepare the reader for what follows so that afterward you can transition straight into making your points.

Synthesis essay vs. argumentative essay

Synthesis essays are often compared to argumentative essays, which attempt to refute, debunk, or criticize existing ideas or other research. The truth is that the two are not mutually exclusive. Although synthesis essays tend to be analytical or expository, they can also be argumentative.

A synthesis essay is any essay that combines ideas from multiple sources to create a new unified idea. If that new idea is a rebuttal to a preexisting idea and the entire essay is written as a critique, then the essay would be both synthesis and argumentative.

Synthesis essay FAQs

A synthesis essay is a type of essay that combines points, data, and evidence from multiple sources and turns them into one unified idea. In other words, the writer synthesizes their own idea using other sources’ research and ideas.

What is a good synthesis essay structure?

Traditionally, the common approaches to creating a synthesis essay structure are organizing by topic or organizing by source. The former means you discuss each source’s perspective on a topic before moving to the next topic; the latter means you discuss one source’s stance on each topic and then move to another source. You can also create a hybrid structure of the two for particular subjects.

What is the difference between a synthesis essay and an argumentative essay?

Synthesis essays are often contrasted with argumentative essays, but the truth is that the two are not mutually exclusive. For example, an argumentative essay can use the format of a synthesis essay—combining points from multiple sources to form a new unified idea—in order to refute a preexisting idea.

thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

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Advanced Placement (AP)

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If you're planning to take the AP Language (or AP Lang) exam , you might already know that 55% of your overall exam score will be based on three essays. The first of the three essays you'll have to write on the AP Language exam is called the "synthesis essay." If you want to earn full points on this portion of the AP Lang Exam, you need to know what a synthesis essay is and what skills are assessed by the AP Lang synthesis essay.

In this article, we'll explain the different aspects of the AP Lang synthesis essay, including what skills you need to demonstrate in your synthesis essay response in order to achieve a good score. We'll also give you a full breakdown of a real AP Lang Synthesis Essay prompt, provide an analysis of an AP Lang synthesis essay example, and give you four tips for how to write a synthesis essay.

Let's get started by taking a closer look at how the AP Lang synthesis essay works!

Synthesis Essay AP Lang: What It Is and How It Works

The AP Lang synthesis essay is the first of three essays included in the Free Response section of the AP Lang exam.

The AP Lang synthesis essay portion of the Free Response section lasts for one hour total . This hour consists of a recommended 15 minute reading period and a 40 minute writing period. Keep in mind that these time allotments are merely recommendations, and that exam takers can parse out the allotted 60 minutes to complete the synthesis essay however they choose.

Now, here's what the structure of the AP Lang synthesis essay looks like. The exam presents six to seven sources that are organized around a specific topic (like alternative energy or eminent domain, which are both past synthesis exam topics).

Of these six to seven sources, at least two are visual , including at least one quantitative source (like a graph or pie chart, for example). The remaining four to five sources are print text-based, and each one contains approximately 500 words.

In addition to six to seven sources, the AP Lang exam provides a written prompt that consists of three paragraphs. The prompt will briefly explain the essay topic, then present a claim that students will respond to in an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources provided.

Here's an example prompt provided by the College Board:

Directions : The following prompt is based on the accompanying six sources.

This question requires you to integrate a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. Refer to the sources to support your position; avoid mere paraphrase or summary. Your argument should be central; the sources should support this argument .

Remember to attribute both direct and indirect citations.

Introduction

Television has been influential in United States presidential elections since the 1960's. But just what is this influence, and how has it affected who is elected? Has it made elections fairer and more accessible, or has it moved candidates from pursuing issues to pursuing image?

Read the following sources (including any introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that television has had a positive impact on presidential elections.

Refer to the sources as Source A, Source B, etc.; titles are included for your convenience.

Source A (Campbell) Source B (Hart and Triece) Source C (Menand) Source D (Chart) Source E (Ranney) Source F (Koppel)

Like we mentioned earlier, this prompt gives you a topic — which it briefly explains — then asks you to take a position. In this case, you'll have to choose a stance on whether television has positively or negatively affected U.S. elections. You're also given six sources to evaluate and use in your response. Now that you have everything you need, now your job is to write an amazing synthesis essay.

But what does "synthesize" mean, exactly? According to the CollegeBoard, when an essay prompt asks you to synthesize, it means that you should "combine different perspectives from sources to form a support of a coherent position" in writing. In other words, a synthesis essay asks you to state your claim on a topic, then highlight the relationships between several sources that support your claim on that topic. Additionally, you'll need to cite specific evidence from your sources to prove your point.

The synthesis essay counts for six of the total points on the AP Lang exam . Students can receive 0-1 points for writing a thesis statement in the essay, 0-4 based on incorporation of evidence and commentary, and 0-1 points based on sophistication of thought and demonstrated complex understanding of the topic.

You'll be evaluated based on how effectively you do the following in your AP Lang synthesis essay:

Write a thesis that responds to the exam prompt with a defensible position

Provide specific evidence that to support all claims in your line of reasoning from at least three of the sources provided, and clearly and consistently explain how the evidence you include supports your line of reasoning

Demonstrate sophistication of thought by either crafting a thoughtful argument, situating the argument in a broader context, explaining the limitations of an argument

Make rhetorical choices that strengthen your argument and/or employ a vivid and persuasive style throughout your essay.

If your synthesis essay meets the criteria above, then there's a good chance you'll score well on this portion of the AP Lang exam!

If you're looking for even more information on scoring, the College Board has posted the AP Lang Free Response grading rubric on its website. ( You can find it here. ) We recommend taking a close look at it since it includes additional details about the synthesis essay scoring.

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Don't be intimidated...we're going to teach you how to break down even the hardest AP synthesis essay prompt.

Full Breakdown of a Real AP Lang Synthesis Essay Prompt

In this section, we'll teach you how to analyze and respond to a synthesis essay prompt in five easy steps, including suggested time frames for each step of the process.

Step 1: Analyze the Prompt

The very first thing to do when the clock starts running is read and analyze the prompt. To demonstrate how to do this, we'll look at the sample AP Lang synthesis essay prompt below. This prompt comes straight from the 2018 AP Lang exam:

Eminent domain is the power governments have to acquire property from private owners for public use. The rationale behind eminent domain is that governments have greater legal authority over lands within their dominion than do private owners. Eminent domain has been instituted in one way or another throughout the world for hundreds of years.

Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then synthesize material from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-developed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the notion that eminent domain is productive and beneficial.

Your argument should be the focus of your essay. Use the sources to develop your argument and explain the reasoning for it. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from, whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the descriptions in parentheses.

On first read, you might be nervous about how to answer this prompt...especially if you don't know what eminent domain is! But if you break the prompt down into chunks, you'll be able to figure out what the prompt is asking you to do in no time flat.

To get a full understanding of what this prompt wants you to do, you need to identify the most important details in this prompt, paragraph by paragraph. Here's what each paragraph is asking you to do:

  • Paragraph 1: The prompt presents and briefly explains the topic that you'll be writing your synthesis essay about. That topic is the concept of eminent domain.
  • Paragraph 2: The prompt presents a specific claim about the concept of eminent domain in this paragraph: Eminent domain is productive and beneficial. This paragraph instructs you to decide whether you want to defend, challenge, or qualify that claim in your synthesis essay , and use material from at least three of the sources provided in order to do so.
  • Paragraph 3: In the last paragraph of the prompt, the exam gives you clear instructions about how to approach writing your synthesis essay . First, make your argument the focus of the essay. Second, use material from at least three of the sources to develop and explain your argument. Third, provide commentary on the material you include, and provide proper citations when you incorporate quotations, paraphrases, or summaries from the sources provided.

So basically, you'll have to agree with, disagree with, or qualify the claim stated in the prompt, then use at least three sources substantiate your answer. Since you probably don't know much about eminent domain, you'll probably decide on your position after you read the provided sources.

To make good use of your time on the exam, you should spend around 2 minutes reading the prompt and making note of what it's asking you to do. That will leave you plenty of time to read the sources provided, which is the next step to writing a synthesis essay.

Step 2: Read the Sources Carefully

After you closely read the prompt and make note of the most important details, you need to read all of the sources provided. It's tempting to skip one or two sources to save time--but we recommend you don't do this. That's because you'll need a thorough understanding of the topic before you can accurately address the prompt!

For the sample exam prompt included above, there are six sources provided. We're not going to include all of the sources in this article, but you can view the six sources from this question on the 2018 AP Lang exam here . The sources include five print-text sources and one visual source, which is a cartoon.

As you read the sources, it's important to read quickly and carefully. Don't rush! Keep your pencil in hand to quickly mark important passages that you might want to use as evidence in your synthesis. While you're reading the sources and marking passages, you want to think about how the information you're reading influences your stance on the issue (in this case, eminent domain).

When you finish reading, take a few seconds to summarize, in a phrase or sentence, whether the source defends, challenges, or qualifies whether eminent domain is beneficial (which is the claim in the prompt) . Though it might not feel like you have time for this, it's important to give yourself these notes about each source so you know how you can use each one as evidence in your essay.

Here's what we mean: say you want to challenge the idea that eminent domain is useful. If you've jotted down notes about each source and what it's saying, it will be easier for you to pull the relevant information into your outline and your essay.

So how much time should you spend reading the provided sources? The AP Lang exam recommends taking 15 minutes to read the sources . If you spend around two of those minutes reading and breaking down the essay prompt, it makes sense to spend the remaining 13 minutes reading and annotating the sources.

If you finish reading and annotating early, you can always move on to drafting your synthesis essay. But make sure you're taking your time and reading carefully! It's better to use a little extra time reading and understanding the sources now so that you don't have to go back and re-read the sources later.

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A strong thesis will do a lot of heavy lifting in your essay. (See what we did there?)

Step 3: Write a Strong Thesis Statement

After you've analyzed the prompt and thoroughly read the sources, the next thing you need to do in order to write a good synthesis essay is write a strong thesis statement .

The great news about writing a thesis statement for this synthesis essay is that you have all the tools you need to do it at your fingertips. All you have to do in order to write your thesis statement is decide what your stance is in relationship to the topic provided.

In the example prompt provided earlier, you're essentially given three choices for how to frame your thesis statement: you can either defend, challenge, or qualify a claim that's been provided by the prompt, that eminent domain is productive and beneficial . Here's what that means for each option:

If you choose to defend the claim, your job will be to prove that the claim is correct . In this case, you'll have to show that eminent domain is a good thing.

If you choose to challenge the claim, you'll argue that the claim is incorrect. In other words, you'll argue that eminent domain isn't productive or beneficial.

If you choose to qualify, that means you'll agree with part of the claim, but disagree with another part of the claim. For instance, you may argue that eminent domain can be a productive tool for governments, but it's not beneficial for property owners. Or maybe you argue that eminent domain is useful in certain circumstances, but not in others.

When you decide whether you want your synthesis essay to defend, challenge, or qualify that claim, you need to convey that stance clearly in your thesis statement. You want to avoid simply restating the claim provided in the prompt, summarizing the issue without making a coherent claim, or writing a thesis that doesn't respond to the prompt.

Here's an example of a thesis statement that received full points on the eminent domain synthesis essay:

Although eminent domain can be misused to benefit private interests at the expense of citizens, it is a vital tool of any government that intends to have any influence on the land it governs beyond that of written law.

This thesis statement received full points because it states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning on the issue of eminent domain. It states the author's position (that some parts of eminent domain are good, but others are bad), then goes on to explain why the author thinks that (it's good because it allows the government to do its job, but it's bad because the government can misuse its power.)

Because this example thesis statement states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning, it can be elaborated upon in the body of the essay through sub-claims, supporting evidence, and commentary. And a solid argument is key to getting a six on your synthesis essay for AP Lang!

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Step 4: Create a Bare-Bones Essay Outline

Once you've got your thesis statement drafted, you have the foundation you need to develop a bare bones outline for your synthesis essay. Developing an outline might seem like it's a waste of your precious time, but if you develop your outline well, it will actually save you time when you start writing your essay.

With that in mind, we recommend spending 5 to 10 minutes outlining your synthesis essay . If you use a bare-bones outline like the one below, labeling each piece of content that you need to include in your essay draft, you should be able to develop out the most important pieces of the synthesis before you even draft the actual essay.

To help you see how this can work on test day, we've created a sample outline for you. You can even memorize this outline to help you out on test day! In the outline below, you'll find places to fill in a thesis statement, body paragraph topic sentences, evidence from the sources provided, and commentary :

  • Present the context surrounding the essay topic in a couple of sentences (this is a good place to use what you learned about the major opinions or controversies about the topic from reading your sources).
  • Write a straightforward, clear, and concise thesis statement that presents your stance on the topic
  • Topic sentence presenting first supporting point or claim
  • Evidence #1
  • Commentary on Evidence #1
  • Evidence #2 (if needed)
  • Commentary on Evidence #2 (if needed)
  • Topic sentence presenting second supporting point or claim
  • Topic sentence presenting three supporting point or claim
  • Sums up the main line of reasoning that you developed and defended throughout the essay
  • Reiterates the thesis statement

Taking the time to develop these crucial pieces of the synthesis in a bare-bones outline will give you a map for your final essay. Once you have a map, writing the essay will be much easier.

Step 5: Draft Your Essay Response

The great thing about taking a few minutes to develop an outline is that you can develop it out into your essay draft. After you take about 5 to 10 minutes to outline your synthesis essay, you can use the remaining 30 to 35 minutes to draft your essay and review it.

Since you'll outline your essay before you start drafting, writing the essay should be pretty straightforward. You'll already know how many paragraphs you're going to write, what the topic of each paragraph will be, and what quotations, paraphrases, or summaries you're going to include in each paragraph from the sources provided. You'll just have to fill in one of the most important parts of your synthesis—your commentary.

Commentaries are your explanation of why your evidence supports the argument you've outlined in your thesis. Your commentary is where you actually make your argument, which is why it's such a critical part of your synthesis essay.

When thinking about what to say in your commentary, remember one thing the AP Lang synthesis essay prompt specifies: don't just summarize the sources. Instead, as you provide commentary on the evidence you incorporate, you need to explain how that evidence supports or undermines your thesis statement . You should include commentary that offers a thoughtful or novel perspective on the evidence from your sources to develop your argument.

One very important thing to remember as you draft out your essay is to cite your sources. The AP Lang exam synthesis essay prompt indicates that you can use generic labels for the sources provided (e.g. "Source 1," "Source 2," "Source 3," etc.). The exam prompt will indicate which label corresponds with which source, so you'll need to make sure you pay attention and cite sources accurately. You can cite your sources in the sentence where you introduce a quote, summary, or paraphrase, or you can use a parenthetical citation. Citing your sources affects your score on the synthesis essay, so remembering to do this is important.

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Keep reading for a real-life example of a great AP synthesis essay response!

Real-Life AP Synthesis Essay Example and Analysis

If you're still wondering how to write a synthesis essay, examples of real essays from past AP Lang exams can make things clearer. These real-life student AP synthesis essay responses can be great for helping you understand how to write a synthesis essay that will knock the graders' socks off .

While there are multiple essay examples online, we've chosen one to take a closer look at. We're going to give you a brief analysis of one of these example student synthesis essays from the 2019 AP Lang Exam below!

Example Synthesis Essay AP Lang Response

To get started, let's look at the official prompt for the 2019 synthesis essay:

In response to our society's increasing demand for energy, large-scale wind power has drawn attention from governments and consumers as a potential alternative to traditional materials that fuel our power grids, such as coal, oil, natural gas, water, or even newer sources such as nuclear or solar power. Yet the establishment of large-scale, commercial-grade wind farms is often the subject of controversy for a variety of reasons.

Carefully read the six sources, found on the AP English Language and Composition 2019 Exam (Question 1), including the introductory information for each source. Write an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources and develops your position on the most important factors that an individual or agency should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Source A (photo) Source B (Layton) Source C (Seltenrich) Source D (Brown) Source E (Rule) Source F (Molla)

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis presents a defensible position.
  • Select and use evidence from at least 3 of the provided sources to support your line of reasoning. Indicate clearly the sources used through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Sources may be cited as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the description in parentheses.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Now that you know exactly what the prompt asked students to do on the 2019 AP Lang synthesis essay, here's an AP Lang synthesis essay example, written by a real student on the AP Lang exam in 2019:

[1] The situation has been known for years, and still very little is being done: alternative power is the only way to reliably power the changing world. The draw of power coming from industry and private life is overwhelming current sources of non-renewable power, and with dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, it is merely a matter of time before coal and gas fuel plants are no longer in operation. So one viable alternative is wind power. But as with all things, there are pros and cons. The main factors for power companies to consider when building wind farms are environmental boon, aesthetic, and economic factors.

[2] The environmental benefits of using wind power are well-known and proven. Wind power is, as qualified by Source B, undeniably clean and renewable. From their production requiring very little in the way of dangerous materials to their lack of fuel, besides that which occurs naturally, wind power is by far one of the least environmentally impactful sources of power available. In addition, wind power by way of gearbox and advanced blade materials, has the highest percentage of energy retention. According to Source F, wind power retains 1,164% of the energy put into the system – meaning that it increases the energy converted from fuel (wind) to electricity 10 times! No other method of electricity production is even half that efficient. The efficiency and clean nature of wind power are important to consider, especially because they contribute back to power companies economically.

[3] Economically, wind power is both a boon and a bone to electric companies and other users. For consumers, wind power is very cheap, leading to lower bills than from any other source. Consumers also get an indirect reimbursement by way of taxes (Source D). In one Texan town, McCamey, tax revenue increased 30% from a wind farm being erected in the town. This helps to finance improvements to the town. But, there is no doubt that wind power is also hurting the power companies. Although, as renewable power goes, wind is incredibly cheap, it is still significantly more expensive than fossil fuels. So, while it is helping to cut down on emissions, it costs electric companies more than traditional fossil fuel plants. While the general economic trend is positive, there are some setbacks which must be overcome before wind power can take over as truly more effective than fossil fuels.

[4] Aesthetics may be the greatest setback for power companies. Although there may be significant economic and environmental benefit to wind power, people will always fight to preserve pure, unspoiled land. Unfortunately, not much can be done to improve the visual aesthetics of the turbines. White paint is the most common choice because it "[is] associated with cleanliness." (Source E). But, this can make it stand out like a sore thumb, and make the gargantuan machines seem more out of place. The site can also not be altered because it affects generating capacity. Sound is almost worse of a concern because it interrupts personal productivity by interrupting people's sleep patterns. One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support.

[5] As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and the consequences. But, by balancing economics, efficiency, and aesthetics, power companies can create a solution which balances human impact with environmental preservation.

And that's an entire AP Lang synthesis essay example, written in response to a real AP Lang exam prompt! It's important to remember AP Lang exam synthesis essay prompts are always similarly structured and worded, and students often respond in around the same number of paragraphs as what you see in the example essay response above.

Next, let's analyze this example essay and talk about what it does effectively, where it could be improved upon, and what score past exam scorers awarded it.

To get started on an analysis of the sample synthesis essay, let's look at the scoring commentary provided by the College Board:

  • For development of thesis, the essay received 1 out of 1 possible points
  • For evidence and commentary, the essay received 4 out of 4 possible points
  • For sophistication of thought, the essay received 0 out of 1 possible points.

This means that the final score for this example essay was a 5 out of 6 possible points . Let's look more closely at the content of the example essay to figure out why it received this score breakdown.

Thesis Development

The thesis statement is one of the three main categories that is taken into consideration when you're awarded points on this portion of the exam. This sample essay received 1 out of 1 total points.

Now, here's why: the thesis statement clearly and concisely conveys a position on the topic presented in the prompt--alternative energy and wind power--and defines the most important factors that power companies should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Evidence and Commentary

The second key category taken into consideration when synthesis exams are evaluated is incorporation of evidence and commentary. This sample received 4 out of 4 possible points for this portion of the synthesis essay. At bare minimum, this sample essay meets the requirement mentioned in the prompt that the writer incorporate evidence from at least three of the sources provided.

On top of that, the writer does a good job of connecting the incorporated evidence back to the claim made in the thesis statement through effective commentary. The commentary in this sample essay is effective because it goes beyond just summarizing what the provided sources say. Instead, it explains and analyzes the evidence presented in the selected sources and connects them back to supporting points the writer makes in each body paragraph.

Finally, the writer of the essay also received points for evidence and commentary because the writer developed and supported a consistent line of reasoning throughout the essay . This line of reasoning is summed up in the fourth paragraph in the following sentence: "One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support."

Because the writer did a good job consistently developing their argument and incorporating evidence, they received full marks in this category. So far, so good!

Sophistication of Thought

Now, we know that this essay received a score of 5 out of 6 total points, and the place where the writer lost a point was on the basis of sophistication of thought, for which the writer received 0 out of 1 points. That's because this sample essay makes several generalizations and vague claims where it could have instead made specific claims that support a more balanced argument.

For example, in the following sentence from the 5th paragraph of the sample essay, the writer misses the opportunity to state specific possibilities that power companies should consider for wind energy . Instead, the writer is ambiguous and non-committal, saying, "As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and consequences."

If the writer of this essay was interested in trying to get that 6th point on the synthesis essay response, they could consider making more specific claims. For instance, they could state the specific benefits and consequences power companies should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm. These could include things like environmental impacts, economic impacts, or even population density!

Despite losing one point in the last category, this example synthesis essay is a strong one. It's well-developed, thoughtfully written, and advances an argument on the exam topic using evidence and support throughout.

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4 Tips for How to Write a Synthesis Essay

AP Lang is a timed exam, so you have to pick and choose what you want to focus on in the limited time you're given to write the synthesis essay. Keep reading to get our expert advice on what you should focus on during your exam.

Tip 1: Read the Prompt First

It may sound obvious, but when you're pressed for time, it's easy to get flustered. Just remember: when it comes time to write the synthesis essay, read the prompt first !

Why is it so important to read the prompt before you read the sources? Because when you're aware of what kind of question you're trying to answer, you'll be able to read the sources more strategically. The prompt will help give you a sense of what claims, points, facts, or opinions to be looking for as you read the sources.

Reading the sources without having read the prompt first is kind of like trying to drive while wearing a blindfold: you can probably do it, but it's likely not going to end well!

Tip 2: Make Notes While You Read

During the 15-minute reading period at the beginning of the synthesis essay, you'll be reading through the sources as quickly as you can. After all, you're probably anxious to start writing!

While it's definitely important to make good use of your time, it's also important to read closely enough that you understand your sources. Careful reading will allow you to identify parts of the sources that will help you support your thesis statement in your essay, too.

As you read the sources, consider marking helpful passages with a star or check mark in the margins of the exam so you know which parts of the text to quickly re-read as you form your synthesis essay. You might also consider summing up the key points or position of each source in a sentence or a few words when you finish reading each source during the reading period. Doing so will help you know where each source stands on the topic given and help you pick the three (or more!) that will bolster your synthesis argument.

Tip 3: Start With the Thesis Statement

If you don't start your synthesis essay with a strong thesis statement, it's going to be tough to write an effective synthesis essay. As soon as you finish reading and annotating the provided sources, the thing you want to do next is write a strong thesis statement.

According to the CollegeBoard grading guidelines for the AP Lang synthesis essay, a strong thesis statement will respond to the prompt— not restate or rephrase the prompt. A good thesis will take a clear, defensible position on the topic presented in the prompt and the sources.

In other words, to write a solid thesis statement to guide the rest of your synthesis essay, you need to think about your position on the topic at hand and then make a claim about the topic based on your position. This position will either be defending, challenging, or qualifying the claim made in the essay's prompt.

The defensible position that you establish in your thesis statement will guide your argument in the rest of the essay, so it's important to do this first. Once you have a strong thesis statement, you can begin outlining your essay.

Tip 4: Focus on Your Commentary

Writing thoughtful, original commentary that explains your argument and your sources is important. In fact, doing this well will earn you four points (out of a total of six)!

AP Lang provides six to seven sources for you on the exam, and you'll be expected to incorporate quotations, paraphrases, or summaries from at least three of those sources into your synthesis essay and interpret that evidence for the reader.

While incorporating evidence is very important, in order to get the extra point for "sophistication of thought" on the synthesis essay, it's important to spend more time thinking about your commentary on the evidence you choose to incorporate. The commentary is your chance to show original thinking, strong rhetorical skills, and clearly explain how the evidence you've included supports the stance you laid out in your thesis statement.

To earn the 6th possible point on the synthesis essay, make sure your commentary demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the source material, explains this nuanced understanding, and places the evidence incorporated from the sources in conversation with each other. To do this, make sure you're avoiding vague language. Be specific when you can, and always tie your commentary back to your thesis!

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What's Next?

There's a lot more to the AP Language exam than just the synthesis essay. Be sure to check out our expert guide to the entire exam , then learn more about the tricky multiple choice section .

Is the AP Lang exam hard...or is it easy? See how it stacks up to other AP tests on our list of the hardest AP exams .

Did you know there are technically two English AP exams? You can learn more about the second English AP test, the AP Literature exam, in this article . And if you're confused about whether you should take the AP Lang or AP Lit test , we can help you make that decision, too.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis Essay + Example

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AP English Language and Composition, commonly known as AP Lang, is one of the most engaging and popular AP classes offered at most high schools, with over 535,000 students taking the class . AP Lang tests your ability to analyze written pieces, synthesize information, write rhetorical essays, and create cohesive and concrete arguments. However, the class is rather challenging as only 62% of students were able to score a three or higher on the exam. 

The AP Lang exam has two sections. The first consists of 45 multiple choice questions which need to be completed in an hour. This portion counts for around 45% of your total score. These questions ask students to analyze written pieces and answer questions related to each respective passage.  All possible answer choices can be found within the text, and no prior knowledge of literature is needed to understand the passages.

The second section contains three free-response questions to be finished in under two hours and 15 minutes. This section counts for 55% of your score and includes the synthesis essay, the rhetorical essay, and the argumentative essay.

  • The synthesis essay requires you to read 6-7 sources and create an argument using at least three sources.
  • The rhetorical analysis essay requires you to describe how a piece of writing evokes specific meanings and symbolism.
  • The argumentative essay requires you to pick a perspective of a debate and create an argument based on the evidence provided.

In this post, we will take a look at the AP Lang synthesis essay and discuss tips and tricks to master this part of the exam. We will also provide an example of a well-written essay for review.  

The AP Lang synthesis essay is the first of three essays included in the Free Response section of the AP Lang exam. The exam presents 6-7 sources that are organized around a specific topic, with two of those sources purely visual, including a single quantitative source (like a graph or pie chart). The remaining 4-5 sources are text-based, containing around 500 words each. It’s recommended that students spend an hour on this essay—15 minute reading period, 40 minutes writing, and 5 minutes of spare time to check over work.

Each synthesis essay has a topic that all the sources will relate to. A prompt will explaining the topic and provide some background, although the topics are usually broad so you will probably know something related to the issue. It will also present a claim that students will respond to in an essay format using information from at least three of the provided sources. You will need to take a stance, either agreeing or disagreeing with the position provided in the claim. 

According to the CollegeBoard, they are looking for essays that “combine different perspectives from sources to form a support of a coherent position.” This means that you must state your claim on the topic and highlight relationships between several sources that support your specific position on the topic. Additionally, you’ll need to cite clear evidence from your sources to prove your point.

The synthesis essay counts for six points on the AP Lang exam. Students can receive 0-1 points for writing a thesis statement, 0-4 based on the incorporation of evidence and commentary, and 0-1 points based on the sophistication of thought and demonstration of complex understanding.

While this essay seems extremely overwhelming, considering there are a total of three free-response essays to complete, with proper time management and practiced skills, this essay is manageable and straightforward. In order to enhance the time management aspect of the test to the best of your ability, it is essential to divide the essay up into five key steps.

Step 1: Analyze the Prompt

As soon as the clock starts, carefully read and analyze what the prompt asks from you. It might be helpful to markup the text to identify the most critical details. You should only spend around 2 minutes reading the prompt so you have enough time to read all the sources and figure out your argument. Don’t feel like you need to immediately pick your stance on the claim right after reading the prompt. You should read the sources before you commit to your argument.

Step 2: Read the Sources Carefully

Although you are only required to use 3 of the 6-7 sources provides, make sure you read ALL of the sources. This will allow you to better understand the topic and make the most educated decision of which sources to use in your essay. Since there are a lot of sources to get through, you will need to read quickly and carefully.

Annotating will be your best friend during the reading period. Highlight and mark important concepts or lines from each passage that would be helpful in your essay. Your argument will probably begin forming in your head as you go through the passages, so you will save yourself a lot of time later on if you take a few seconds to write down notes in the margins. After you’ve finished reading a source, reflect on whether the source defends, challenges, or qualifies your argument.

You will have around 13 minutes to read through all the sources, but it’s very possible you will finish earlier if you are a fast reader. Take the leftover time to start developing your thesis and organizing your thoughts into an outline so you have more time to write. 

Step 3: Write a Strong Thesis Statement 

In order to write a good thesis statement, all you have to do is decide your stance on the claim provided in the prompt and give an overview of your evidence. You essentially have three choices on how to frame your thesis statement: You can defend, challenge or qualify a claim that’s been provided by the prompt. 

  • If you are defending the claim, your job will be to prove that the claim is correct .
  • If you are challenging the claim, your job will be to prove that the claim is incorrect .
  • If you choose to qualify the claim, your job will be to agree to a part of the claim and disagree with another part of the claim. 

A strong thesis statement will clearly state your stance without summarizing the issue or regurgitating the claim. The CollegeBoard is looking for a thesis statement that “states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning on the issue provided in the prompt.”

Step 4: Create a Minimal Essay Outline

Developing an outline might seem like a waste of time when you are up against the clock, but believe us, taking 5-10 minutes to outline your essay will be much more useful in the long run than jumping right into the essay.

Your outline should include your thesis statement and three main pieces of evidence that will constitute each body paragraph. Under each piece of evidence should be 2-3 details from the sources that you will use to back up your claim and some commentary on how that evidence proves your thesis.

Step 5: Write your Essay

Use the remaining 30-35 minutes to write your essay. This should be relatively easy if you took the time to mark up the sources and have a detailed outline.  Remember to add special consideration and emphasis to the commentary sections of the supporting arguments outlined in your thesis. These sentences are critical to the overall flow of the essay and where you will be explaining how the evidence supports or undermines the claim in the prompt.

Also, when referencing your sources, write the in-text citations as follows: “Source 1,” “Source 2,” “Source 3,” etc. Make sure to pay attention to which source is which in order to not incorrectly cite your sources. In-text citations will impact your score on the essay and are an integral part of the process.

After you finish writing, read through your essay for any grammatical errors or mistakes before you move onto the next essay.

Here are six must-have tips and tricks to get a good score on the synthesis essay:

  • Cite at least four sources , even though the minimum requirement is three. Remember not to plagiarize and cite everything you use in your arguments.
  • Make sure to develop a solid and clear thesis . Develop a stable stance for the claim and stick with it throughout the entire paper.
  • Don’t summarize the sources. The summary of the sources does not count as an argument. 
  • You don’t necessarily have to agree with the sources in order to cite them. Using a source to support a counterargument is still a good use of a source.
  • Cite the sources that you understand entirely . If you don’t, it could come back to bite you in the end. 
  • Use small quotes , do not quote entire paragraphs. Make sure the quote does not disrupt the flow or grammar of the sentence you write. 

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Here is an example prompt and essay from 2019 that received 5 of the 6 total points available:

In response to our society’s increasing demand for energy, large-scale wind power has drawn attention from governments and consumers as a potential alternative to traditional materials that fuel our power grids, such as coal, oil, natural gas, water, or even newer sources such as nuclear or solar power. Yet the establishment of large-scale, commercial-grade wind farms is often the subject of controversy for a variety of reasons.

Carefully read the six sources, found on the AP English Language and Composition 2019 Exam (Question 1), including the introductory information for each source. Write an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources and develops your position on the most important factors that an individual or agency should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Source A (photo)

Source B (Layton)

Source C (Seltenrich)

Source D (Brown)

Source E (Rule)

Source F (Molla)

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis presents a defensible position.
  • Select and use evidence from at least 3 of the provided sources to support your line of reasoning. Indicate clearly the sources used through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Sources may be cited as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the description in parentheses.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

[1] The situation has been known for years, and still very little is being done: alternative power is the only way to reliably power the changing world. The draw of power coming from industry and private life is overwhelming current sources of non-renewable power, and with dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, it is merely a matter of time before coal and gas fuel plants are no longer in operation. So one viable alternative is wind power. But as with all things, there are pros and cons. The main factors for power companies to consider when building wind farms are environmental boon, aesthetic, and economic factors.

[2] The environmental benefits of using wind power are well-known and proven. Wind power is, as qualified by Source B, undeniably clean and renewable. From their production requiring very little in the way of dangerous materials to their lack of fuel, besides that which occurs naturally, wind power is by far one of the least environmentally impactful sources of power available. In addition, wind power by way of gearbox and advanced blade materials, has the highest percentage of energy retention. According to Source F, wind power retains 1,164% of the energy put into the system – meaning that it increases the energy converted from fuel (wind) to electricity 10 times! No other method of electricity production is even half that efficient. The efficiency and clean nature of wind power are important to consider, especially because they contribute back to power companies economically.

[3] Economically, wind power is both a boon and a bone to electric companies and other users. For consumers, wind power is very cheap, leading to lower bills than from any other source. Consumers also get an indirect reimbursement by way of taxes (Source D). In one Texan town, McCamey, tax revenue increased 30% from a wind farm being erected in the town. This helps to finance improvements to the town. But, there is no doubt that wind power is also hurting the power companies. Although, as renewable power goes, wind is incredibly cheap, it is still significantly more expensive than fossil fuels. So, while it is helping to cut down on emissions, it costs electric companies more than traditional fossil fuel plants. While the general economic trend is positive, there are some setbacks which must be overcome before wind power can take over as truly more effective than fossil fuels.

[4] Aesthetics may be the greatest setback for power companies. Although there may be significant economic and environmental benefit to wind power, people will always fight to preserve pure, unspoiled land. Unfortunately, not much can be done to improve the visual aesthetics of the turbines. White paint is the most common choice because it “[is] associated with cleanliness.” (Source E). But, this can make it stand out like a sore thumb, and make the gargantuan machines seem more out of place. The site can also not be altered because it affects generating capacity. Sound is almost worse of a concern because it interrupts personal productivity by interrupting people’s sleep patterns. One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support.

[5] As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and the consequences. But, by balancing economics, efficiency, and aesthetics, power companies can create a solution which balances human impact with environmental preservation.

More examples can be found here at College Board.

While AP Scores help to boost your weighted GPA, or give you the option to get college credit, AP Scores don’t have a strong effect on your admissions chances . However, colleges can still see your self-reported scores, so you might not want to automatically send scores to colleges if they are lower than a 3. That being said, admissions officers care far more about your grade in an AP class than your score on the exam.

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thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

Synthesis Essay Writing

Synthesis Essay Examples

Barbara P

13+ Winning Synthesis Essay Examples For Your Inspiration

Published on: Jul 12, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 29, 2023

Synthesis Essay Example

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Learn How to Write a Synthesis Essay Step by Step

Best Synthesis Essay Topics and Prompt Ideas

Synthesis Essay Outline - Template and Examples

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Are you struggling to make sense of synthesis essays, unsure where to begin, or how to enhance your writing?

Many students face the challenge of feeling overwhelmed when trying to blend diverse ideas and sources seamlessly. It can be challenging to create a cohesive piece that draws from various perspectives.

But fear not! 

In this blog, we will provide you with winning synthesis essay examples and valuable insights to enhance your essay writing skills.

So, let’s get started. 

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Understanding What A Synthesis Essay Is

A synthesis essay is a special kind of academic writing where writers blend ideas and information from various sources to create a clear and organized argument.

Unlike other types of essays , a synthesis essay demands the integration of various perspectives to form a new understanding or insight. 

It involves critically examining different sources, and synthesizing them to develop a comprehensive viewpoint on a particular topic. 

Looking at synthesis essay examples can really help you write a great essay. Here's an example of a synthesis essay to inspire you in your own writing:

Synthesis Essay Outline Example

An outline is just like a table of content sections on a page. It consists of categories and subcategories of a given topic that the writer plans to cover in the essay. Below is a synthesis essay outline template that explains the synthesis essay outline in detail. Have a look at it.

Thesis For Synthesis Essay Example

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay - Example

In order to write a good synthesis paper, you need to follow the format and proper procedure. The synthesis essay has an introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs with supportive evidence to back up the topic, and a thesis statement.

And a conclusion paragraph where you answer all the questions while referring back to the main thesis.

Check out this sample template; it will help you learn the basics of synthesis essay structure. 

AP English Language and Composition Synthesis Essay Example

The ap lang synthesis essay requires students to analyze information from various sources to discuss the topic of their essay. Refer to the sample AP language synthesis essay to learn how you can write a perfect synthesis essay.

Synthesis Essay Example Ap Lang

2022 Ap Lang Synthesis Essay Example

Synthesis Essay Examples for Different Formats

Knowing how to write synthesis essays in different styles is important. Given below are some examples of synthesis essays in different formats.

APA Format Synthesis Essay Example

APA (American Psychological Association) is a citation style that provides formatting conventions for student and professional papers. Below is a sample example of an APA-style synthesis essay.

MLA Format Synthesis Essay Example

MLA (Modern Language Association) is another referencing style that allows us to cite the sources in a proper format. Here is an MLA-style synthesis essay example to help you learn the basics of this style.

Different Types of Synthesis Essay Examples

Synthesis essays come in various types, each requiring a unique approach. Explore the following synthesis essay examples tailored to different types, offering a comprehensive overview of how to tackle diverse writing tasks:

College Synthesis Essay Example

This sample PDF is to help the college students to learn the outline, format, and structure of the synthesis essay. You can easily download it and save it with you for further usage.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Example

The explanatory synthesis is intended to explain a particular subject in detail to make it easy to understand for people. Refer to the sample essay given below and see what makes it different from a simple synthesis essay.

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Example

The argumentative synthesis is another type of synthesis essay that is intended to present an argument. The writer presents his claim and supports it with facts and evidence to prove it right. Check out the sample essay given below to understand how it is different from a general argumentative essay.

Eminent Domain Synthesis Essay Example

An eminent domain synthesis essay explores the concept of eminent domain, which is the government's authority to take private property for public use. This type of synthesis essay delves into various aspects of eminent domain, considering legal, ethical, and social perspectives. 

Here’s an example:

Synthesis Essay Example About Social Media

This type of synthesis essay explores the impact of social media on individuals and society. It aims to analyze and synthesize information to construct a well-rounded understanding of the role of social media in our lives. Here’s an example of it:

Synthesis Essay Topics - Examples

Choosing a compelling topic is crucial when writing a synthesis essay. Here are some thought-provoking synthesis essay topics that can inspire your writing:

  • The Impact of Technology on Human Interaction
  • Climate Change and Global Sustainability
  • The Role of Social Media in Modern Society
  • The Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics
  • Education Reform: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Impact of Social Movements on Policy Change
  • Healthcare Access: A Global Perspective
  • Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
  • The Influence of Literature on Society
  • The Future of Work: Remote vs. Traditional

Looking for more topics? Check out this blog on synthesis essay topics for inspiration.

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Tips for Writing an Effective Synthesis Essay

Crafting a compelling synthesis essay goes beyond the writing process; it requires strategic planning and meticulous execution. Here are key tips to ensure your synthesis essay stands out:

  • Select Credible Sources

Begin by choosing reliable and credible sources. Ensure that the information you gather is from reputable authors, organizations, or publications to strengthen the foundation of your essay.

  • Background Information is Key

Provide sufficient background information on your chosen topic. Help your readers understand the context and significance of the subject matter before delving into your argument.

  • Develop a Coherent Argument

Focus on building a clear and coherent argument throughout your essay. Ensure that each paragraph contributes to the overall flow and supports your thesis effectively.

  • Support Your with Evidence

A strong synthesis essay requires a well-supported argument. Back up your claims with evidence from your chosen sources, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the topic.

  • Utilize Sources to Support Each Other

Instead of treating sources in isolation, highlight their relationships. Demonstrate how each source complements or contrasts with others, emphasizing the interconnectedness of your information.

  • Synthesis Essay Requires Critical Analysis

Go beyond summarizing your sources; engage in critical analysis. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source and consider their implications for your argument.

  • Ensure a Supported Argument:

Throughout your essay, consistently reinforce your central argument. Every piece of information should contribute to and reinforce the main thesis, creating a cohesive and persuasive narrative.

In conclusion, tackling synthesis essays is easier than it seems when armed with the right knowledge. Use the tips and examples provided to boost your skills and approach these essays with confidence.

But if you ever feel stuck, MyPerfectWords.com is here to help. Our team of experts can guide you through the process, ensuring your essays not only meet standards but stand out for their clarity and depth.

Ready to elevate your writing? Hire our essay writing service today!

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Your Guide From Start to Finish

thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

In the fast-paced landscape of today's information age, the average person contends with an astonishing volume of data, akin to reading around 174 newspapers daily. The sources are diverse, ranging from news articles and social media updates to scientific studies and beyond. This constant deluge of information might create a sense of being overwhelmed—a feeling of drowning in a sea of facts, opinions, and statistics. Yet, amidst this information onslaught, the skill to synthesize and extract meaning is indispensable. As we navigate this era of data saturation, the ability to sift through and comprehend this abundance is not just valuable; it's a fundamental skill for navigating the complexities of our modern world.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Short Description

This guide goes beyond merely helping you navigate the sea of information; it empowers you to leverage it for crafting compelling synthesis essays. We'll walk you through crucial steps and tips, revealing the secrets to successful synthesis essay writing. Uncover the format that lends structure and clarity to your work, and master the art of selecting an essay topic that not only engages but also sparks critical thinking. So, let's delve in and discover how to transform fragmented information into coherent and persuasive essays that leave a lasting impression.

What Is a Synthesis Essay: Understanding Its Nature and Purpose

According to our ' write paper for me ' experts, the synthesis essay emerges as a dynamic catalyst in the realm of composition. Beyond the act of assembling disparate facts and opinions, it's a nuanced process of weaving coherence. Envision it as constructing an intricate tapestry from scattered threads.

The purpose of writing a synthesis essay extends far beyond the mere presentation of information; it beckons a deeper intellectual dive. This genre challenges writers to extract commonalities from diverse sources—be they articles, studies, or arguments—and leverage these connections to construct a compelling and persuasive narrative.

In our era of information saturation, this essay form has become an indispensable tool for insightful minds. It not only permits exploration of how diverse ideas interconnect but also serves as a platform for articulating well-considered perspectives on intricate subjects. Whether navigating through the realms of literature, science, history, or contemporary affairs, this kind of essay becomes a showcase of analytical finesse, offering a holistic viewpoint. It transcends the role of a mere knowledge conveyor; instead, it unveils profound insights by adeptly linking diverse pieces of information.

Explanatory vs. Argumentative Synthesis Essays: Key Differences

In the domain of synthesis writing, two primary categories come to the fore: explanatory and argumentative. Grasping the distinction between these is pivotal as it defines the purpose, tone, and approach of your essay.

Explanatory :

An explanatory synthesis essay precisely lives up to its name—it explains. These essays strive to offer an unbiased and well-balanced perspective on a topic by collecting information from various sources and presenting it in a clear, organized manner. The aim here is not to adopt a stance or persuade but rather to inform and clarify. Often serving as comprehensive overviews, they break down intricate concepts, theories, or ideas for a wider audience. These essays heavily lean on factual data and expert opinions to provide a thorough picture, steering clear of personal bias or persuasion.

Argumentative :

Conversely, argumentative synthesis essays are all about persuasion. They engage in the synthesis process with the primary goal of taking a stance on a particular issue or topic. They gather information from various sources not only to present a well-rounded view but also to construct a compelling argument. Argumentative essays aim to convince the reader of a specific viewpoint, leveraging the gathered information as evidence to support their claims. These papers inherently express opinions and employ rhetorical strategies to sway the reader's perspective.

And if you're keen on knowing how to write an informative essay , we've got you covered on that, too!

Synthesis Essay Structure

Knowing how to write a synthesis essay effectively is comparable to constructing a resilient building—it relies on a strong foundation. To guide you through this process, consider the following structured approach:

Introductory Paragraph: 

  • Creating a robust synthesis essay is comparable to constructing a resilient building—it relies on a strong foundation. To guide you through this process, consider the following structured approach:
  • Start with an engaging hook or an intriguing fact to immediately capture your reader's attention. Provide contextual information about your topic and the sources you'll be synthesizing. Present a concise and clear thesis statement outlining your primary argument or viewpoint.
  • If your topic requires it, incorporate background information to help readers understand the context of the sources.

Body Paragraphs:

  • Dedicate each paragraph to a specific sub-topic or source. Begin with a clear topic sentence directly related to your thesis. Introduce the source you're synthesizing and outline its key points.
  • Support your arguments with evidence from the source, employing quotes, paraphrases, or summaries. Analyze and interpret the source, elucidating its connection to your thesis and other sources.
  • Address counterarguments if relevant, ensuring a comprehensive exploration. Transition seamlessly between paragraphs to maintain the fluidity of your essay.
  • This pivotal section serves as the nexus between your sources, revealing intersections, divergences, or complementary aspects.
  • Highlight common themes, patterns, or contradictions among your sources.
  • Leverage your analysis to construct a coherent argument or perspective.
  • If pertinent, acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counter them with well-reasoned arguments.

Conclusion:

  • Restate your thesis and succinctly summarize the main points of your essay.
  • Emphasize the significance of your argument, elucidating its broader implications.
  • Conclude with a thought-provoking statement or a compelling call to action.

References:

  • Include a comprehensive list of all sources used in your essay, adhering to the prescribed citation style (e.g., MLA, APA).

Choosing a Synthesis Essay Topic: A Guide to Decision-Making

Selecting essay topics marks just the starting point; the synthesis process demands a critical evaluation and connection of various sources to construct a coherent argument or perspective. Here's a systematic approach to guide you in making an informed choice when choosing synthesis essay topics:

choosing a synthesis essay topic

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Key Steps and Tips

Much like a compare and contrast essay , the process of writing a synthesis essay demands a systematic approach to effectively integrate information from various sources into a cohesive and compelling argument. Here are essential steps and insights to assist you throughout this journey:

  • Clarify Your Purpose

Define whether you are composing an explanatory or argumentative synthesis essay, as this choice will shape your approach and tone.

  • Source Selection and Analysis

Carefully pick credible and pertinent sources that contribute to your synthesis essay topic. Maintain a balance among different source types, such as academic articles, books, and reputable websites. Critically analyze each source, identifying the main ideas, arguments, and evidence presented.

  • Formulate a Strong Thesis Statement

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that communicates your central argument or perspective. Your synthesis essay thesis statement should serve as the guiding force for the entire essay.

  • Structure Your Essay

Organize your essay with a well-structured synthesis essay outline, typically featuring an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should center on a specific aspect of your topic, utilizing evidence from your sources to support your points.

  • Employ Effective Transition Sentences

Use transition sentences to smoothly connect paragraphs and ideas, ensuring a seamless flow in your essay.

  • Synthesize Information

Within the body paragraphs, synthesize information from your sources. Discuss how each source contributes to your thesis and identify common themes or contradictions.

  • Avoid Simple Summarization

Refuse the urge to merely summarize your sources. Instead, engage with them critically and employ them as building blocks for your argument.

  • Address Counterarguments (if applicable)

Recognize opposing viewpoints and counter them with well-reasoned arguments, showcasing a thorough understanding of the topic.

  • Craft a Resolute Conclusion

In your conclusion, restate your thesis and summarize your main points. Emphasize the significance of your argument or insights. Conclude with a thought-provoking closing statement or a compelling call to action.

  • Revise and Proofread

Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammar errors. Ensure your citations are accurate and consistent with the chosen citation style (e.g., MLA, APA).

  • Seek Feedback

Consider obtaining feedback from peers, instructors, or writing centers to enhance the overall quality of your essay.

  • Edit for Conciseness

Eliminate unnecessary repetition and ensure your writing is concise and direct, and don't overlook this step while learning how to write a good synthesis essay.

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Synthesis Essay Format

The structure of your synthesis paper hinges on the specific formatting style prescribed by your instructor. The most frequently employed styles encompass MLA, APA, and Chicago, each catering to distinct academic disciplines. APA takes center stage in Education, Psychology, and Science; MLA is the preferred choice for citations in Humanities, while the Chicago style finds its application in Business, History, and Fine Arts.

synthesis essay format

1. MLA (Modern Language Association):

  • Incorporates in-text citations featuring the author's last name and page number.
  • Concludes with a 'Works Cited' page at the paper's end, listing all sources alphabetically.
  • Prioritizes authorship and publication date.
  • Applied in academic essays, research papers, and literary analyses.

2. APA (American Psychological Association):

  • Utilizes in-text citations containing the author's last name and publication date within parentheses.
  • Includes a 'References' page, presenting all sources in alphabetical order.
  • Highlights the publication date and emphasizes scientific precision.
  • Adopted for research papers, scholarly articles, and empirical studies.

3. Chicago Style:

  • Provides two documentation styles: Notes-Bibliography (commonly used in humanities) and Author-Date (commonly used in social sciences).
  • Notes-Bibliography style incorporates footnotes or endnotes for citations, while the Author-Date style uses in-text citations with a reference list.
  • Suitable for a diverse array of academic writing, including research papers, theses, and historical studies.
  • Allows for flexibility in formatting and citation methods.

Synthesis Essay Example

In this section, we present two synthesis essay examples that exemplify the practical application of the synthesis process. They delve into intriguing topics and serve as practical guides for those looking to master the art of writing this kind of paper.

Synthesis Essay Example MLA

An article published by Jean Twenge clearly warns readers that the rise in the use of smartphones in the modern world is ruining teenagers. Furthermore, the author makes a sensational claim that the rise in social media and smartphone usage are creating a metaphorical earthquake, the likes of which have never been previously witnessed in the world. The author provides pieces of evidence from other studies concerning the issue, as well as personal observations—all of which support Twenge’s claim. According to Twenge, the main theory for claiming that smartphone and social media usage result in destroying a generation is that increased use of these two platforms results in mental depression and other mental problems. This paper will mainly refute the claims of the author by focusing on the issues raised by the author’s work.

Sample Synthesis Paper APA Style

Society has various aspects that signify the difference in lifestyles and behaviors amongst individuals in a community. Language is one of these essential aspects that help to identify individuals in a society. Identification of a common language will generalize a specific group of individuals possessing the same culture, even if they are from different races. In this essay, let’s examine how language defines our identity in society. Let’s also look at how two different authors have given different views about how language defines black schoolchildren in the Oakland School District.

Synthesis Essay Tips

Developing a compelling paper necessitates a reflective approach and strategic methodologies. Here are five crucial tips for writing a synthesis essay:

Thoughtful Source Selection : Opt for varied, reliable sources offering diverse perspectives on your chosen topic. Verify that your sources are recent and pertinent to the subject under consideration.

Skillful Source Integration : Steer clear of merely summarizing your sources; instead, seamlessly integrate them into your essay by analyzing, comparing, and contrasting their ideas. Demonstrate the connections between sources to construct a coherent narrative.

Maintain an Even-Handed Tone : In the process of learning how to write a synthesis essay, uphold a balanced tone in your writing. Despite personal opinions, synthesis essays demand objectivity. Present different viewpoints impartially and without bias.

Prioritize Synthesis, Not Recapitulation : Keep in mind that synthesis essays revolve around linking ideas, not solely summarizing sources. Scrutinize the relationships between sources and offer insights into how they interconnect to build a cohesive argument.

Address Counterarguments Deliberately : Similar to addressing persuasive essays topics , engage with counterarguments in a considerate and deliberate manner. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and then elucidate why your perspective stands on firmer ground. This showcases a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

What Makes Synthesis Significant?

The importance of synthesis lies in its role in nurturing critical thinking and intellectual development. It provides a means for individuals to link varied ideas, information, and perspectives from multiple sources, fostering a comprehensive understanding of intricate subjects. Synthesis proves crucial in academic, professional, and real-world scenarios, empowering us to make informed decisions, construct compelling arguments, and tackle complex problems. Ultimately, it enables us to synthesize not just information but also our thoughts, fostering deeper comprehension and enriched perspectives. If you're looking for assistance in writing a paper, you can consider the option to order essay from our expert writing service.

How Should You Conclude a Synthesis Essay?

Writing a synthesis essay conclusion effectively is essential for making a lasting impression on your readers. Summarize your final section concisely in one paragraph by succinctly restating the thesis, providing a brief recap of the main supporting points, and underlining the broader significance of the synthesized information. When unsure how to write a conclusion , remember that this paragraph should leave readers with a sense of closure, reinforcing the importance of the central argument and ensuring that the impact of your essay extends beyond its final word.

Concluding Thoughts

When creating a synthesis essay, the crucial aspect involves choosing a range of reliable sources, skillfully integrating them to form a cohesive argument, and upholding objectivity. Utilize clear transitions, carefully consider counterarguments, and prioritize analysis over mere summarization. By employing these strategies, you'll craft essays that inform, persuade, and captivate your audience!

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Synthesis Essays: A Step-by-Step How-To Guide

A synthesis essay is generally a short essay which brings two or more sources (or perspectives) into conversation with each other.

The word “synthesis” confuses every student a little bit. Fortunately, this step-by-step how-to guide will see you through to success!

Here’s a step-by-step how-to guide, with examples, that will help you write yours.

Before drafting your essay:

After reading the sources and before writing your essay, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the debate or issue that concerns all of the writers? In other words, what is the question they are trying to answer?
  • On what points do they agree?
  • On what points do they disagree?
  • If they were having a verbal discussion, how would writer number one respond to the arguments of writer number two?

In a way, writing a synthesis essay is similar to composing a summary. But a synthesis essay requires you to read more than one source and to identify the way the writers’ ideas and points of view are related.

Sometimes several sources will reach the same conclusion even though each source approaches the subject from a different point of view.

Other times, sources will discuss the same aspects of the problem/issue/debate but will reach different conclusions.

And sometimes, sources will simply repeat ideas you have read in other sources; however, this is unlikely in a high school or AP situation.

To better organize your thoughts about what you’ve read, do this:

  • Identify each writer’s thesis/claim/main idea
  • List the writers supporting ideas (think topic sentences or substantiating ideas)
  • List the types of support used by the writers that seem important. For example, if the writer uses a lot of statistics to support a claim, note this. If a writer uses historical facts, note this.

There’s one more thing to do before writing: You need to articulate for yourself the relationships and connections among these ideas.

Sometimes the relationships are easy to find. For example, after reading several articles about censorship in newspapers, you may notice that most of the writers refer to or in some way use the First Amendment to help support their arguments and help persuade readers. In this case, you would want to describe the different ways the writers use the First Amendment in their arguments. To do this, ask yourself, “How does this writer exploit the value of the First Amendment/use the First Amendment to help persuade or manipulate the readers into thinking that she is right?

Sometimes articulating the relationships between ideas is not as easy. If you have trouble articulating clear relationships among the shared ideas you have noted, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the ideas of one writer support the ideas of another? If so, how?
  • Do the writers who reach the same conclusion use the same ideas in their writing? If not, is there a different persuasive value to the ideas used by one writer than by the other?
  • Do the writers who disagree discuss similar points or did they approach the subject from a completely different angle and therefore use different points and different kinds of evidence to support their arguments?
  • Review your list of ideas. Are any of the ideas you have listed actually the same idea, just written in different words?

thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college
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How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Last Updated: January 15, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,115,495 times.

Writing a synthesis essay requires the ability to digest information and present it in an organized fashion. While this skill is developed in high school and college classes, it translates to the business and advertising world as well. Scroll down to Step 1 to begin learning how to write a synthesis essay.

Examining Your Topic

Step 1 Understand the concept of a synthesis essay.

  • Argument synthesis: This type of essay has a strong thesis statement that presents the writer's point of view. It organizes relevant information gathered from research in a logical manner to support the thesis' point of view. Business white papers known as position papers often take this form. This is the type of synthesis essay that students will write during the AP test.
  • Review: Often written as a preliminary essay to an argument synthesis, a review essay is a discussion of what has been written previously on a topic, with a critical analysis of the sources covered. Its unstated thesis is usually that more research needs to be done in that area or that the topic problem has not been adequately addressed. This type of paper is common in social science classes and in medicine.
  • Explanatory/background synthesis: This type of essay helps readers understand a topic by categorizing facts and presenting them to further the reader's understanding. It does not advocate a particular point of view, and if it has a thesis statement, the thesis is a weak one. Some business white papers take this form, although they are more likely to have a point of view, if understated.

Step 2 Choose a topic suitable for a synthesis essay.

  • Example of a broad topic narrowed down into a reasonable synthesis essay topic: Instead of the broad topic of Social Media, you could discuss your view on the effects texting has had on the English language.
  • If you've been assigned a topic as part of a class, make sure you read the prompt carefully and fully understand it.

Step 3 Choose and read your sources carefully.

  • Keep in mind that it's better to do three sources well than to do five sources incompletely.
  • Annotate each source by writing notes in the margins. This allows you to keep track of your train of thought, developing ideas, etc.

Step 4 Develop a thesis...

  • Example: Texting has had a positive impact on the English language as it has helped the millennial generation create their own form of the language.

Step 5 Re-read your source material for items to support your thesis.

  • If you wish to take on a claim by an opponent of your idea, and to poke holes in it, you should also find some ideas or quotes that go against your thesis statement, and plan ways to disprove them. This is called a concession, refutation, or rebuttal, which can strengthen your argument if you do it well.
  • Example : For the thesis statement listed above, excellent sources would include quotes from linguists discussing the new words that have developed through 'text-speak', statistics that show the English language has evolved with almost every generation, and facts that show students still have the ability to write with the use of grammar and spelling (which your opponents would bring up as the main reason texting has had a negative effect on the English language).

Outlining Your Essay

Step 1 Outline the structure of your thesis.

  • The introductory paragraph: 1. An introductory sentence that acts as a hook, capturing the reader's interest. 2. Identification of the issue you will be discussing. 3. Your thesis statement.
  • The body paragraphs: 1. Topic sentence that gives one reason to support your thesis. 2. Your explanation and opinion of the topic sentence. 3. Support from your sources that backs up the claim you just made. 4. Explanation of the significance of the source(s).
  • The conclusion paragraph: 1. State further significance of your topic from the evidence and reasons you discussed in the essay. 2. A profound thought or thoughtful ending for your paper.

Step 2 Use a more creative structure to present your thesis.

  • Example/illustration. This may be a detailed recount, summary, or direct quote from your source material that provides major support for your point of view. You may use more than one example or illustration, if your paper calls for it. You should not, however, make your paper a series of examples at the expense of supporting your thesis.
  • Straw man. With this technique, you present an argument opposed to the argument stated in your thesis, then show the weaknesses and flaws of the counter-argument. This format shows your awareness of the opposition and your readiness to answer it. You present the counter-argument right after your thesis, followed by the evidence to refute it, and end with a positive argument that supports your thesis. [6] X Research source
  • Concession. Essays with concessions are structured similar to those using the straw man technique, but they acknowledge the validity of the counter-argument while showing that the original argument is stronger. This structure is good for presenting papers to readers who hold the opposing viewpoint.
  • Comparison and contrast. This structure compares similarities and contrasts differences between two subjects or sources to show the facets of both. Writing an essay with this structure requires a careful reading of your source material to find both subtle and major points of similarity and difference. This kind of essay can present its arguments source-by-source or by points of similarity or difference.

Step 3 Create an outline appropriate for a background or review synthesis essay.

  • Summary. This structure presents summaries of each of your relevant sources, making a progressively stronger argument for your thesis. It provides specific evidence to support your point of view, but usually omits presenting your own opinions. It's most commonly used for background and review essays.
  • List of reasons. This is a series of sub-points that flow from the main point of your paper as stated in its thesis. Each reason is supported with evidence. As with the summary method, reasons should become progressively more important, with the most important reason last.

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Write your first draft according to your outline.

  • Your essay should have an introductory paragraph that includes your thesis , a body to present evidence that supports your thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes your point of view.

Step 2 Write in the third person.

  • Lengthy quotes of three lines or more should generally be set off as block quotes to better call attention to them. [8] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Revise your essay.

  • Ask someone else to proofread your paper. The saying “two heads are better than one” still holds true. Ask a friend or colleague what would they add or remove from the paper. Most importantly, does your argument make sense, and is it clearly supported by your sources?

Step 2 Proofread your paper.

  • Read the paper aloud to guarantee that you don't accidentally add in or take out words when reading in your head.
  • If you can, get a friend or classmate to proofread your essay as well.

Step 3  Cite your...

  • Example of citing in an AP synthesis essay: McPherson claims “texting has changed the English language in a positive way--it has given a new generation their own unique way to communicate” (Source E).
  • For college essays, you'll most likely use MLA format. Whichever format you use, be consistent in its use. You may also be asked to use APA or Chicago style.

Step 4 Title your essay.

  • Example title: : English and the iPhone: Exploring the Benefits of 'Text-Speak'

Outline Template

thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

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Community Answer

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  • Just as your title should fit your essay instead of writing your essay to fit the title, your thesis, once chosen, should direct your subsequent research instead of subsequent research altering your thesis � unless you find you've adopted an unsupportable thesis. Thanks Helpful 21 Not Helpful 8

thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

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  • ↑ https://success.uark.edu/get-help/student-resources/synthesis-paper.php
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/mapping-a-synthesis-essay
  • ↑ https://www.bgsu.edu/content/dam/BGSU/learning-commons/documents/writing/synthesis/planning-synthesis-essay.pdf
  • ↑ https://writingcenterofprinceton.com/synthesis-essays-a-step-by-step-how-to-guide/
  • ↑ https://jan.ucc.nau.edu/dso6/synthesis.htm
  • ↑ https://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/logical-fallacies/logical-fallacies-straw-man/
  • ↑ https://writingcommons.org/section/rhetoric/rhetorical-stance/point-of-view/third-person-point-of-view/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_quotations.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html
  • ↑ https://www.edhs.org/ourpages/auto/2010/5/17/41759867/Synthesis%20Essay%20Introduction.pdf
  • ↑ https://writing.umn.edu/sws/assets/pdf/quicktips/titles.pdf

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a synthesis essay, start by coming up with a thesis statement that you can support using all of the sources you've read for your essay. For example, your thesis statement could be "Texting has had a positive impact on the English language." Once you've got your thesis, go through your sources to find specific quotes, facts, and statistics that back up your claim. Structure your essay so it has an introduction that includes your thesis statement, a body that includes your arguments and evidence, and a conclusion that wraps everything up. For more tips on structuring your synthesis essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

A synthesis essay requires you to work with multiple sources. You combine the information gathered from them to present a well-rounded argument on a topic. Are you looking for the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing? You’ve come to the right place!

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

In this guide by our custom writing team, you will find:

  • a step-by-step writing guide;
  • a list of 34 synthesis essay topics;
  • a full essay sample in MLA format.
  • 📚 Synthesis Essay Definition
  • 📝 Essay Types
  • ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
  • ✍️ Topics & Prompts
  • 📑 Example & Formatting Tips

📚 What Is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is an assignment that requires a unique interpretation of a particular topic using several reliable sources. To write it, you need to understand, analyze, and synthesize information. That is why this type of essay is used in the AP Lang exam to assess students’ reasoning skills.

The key features of the synthesis essay are:

  • Debatable topic . If your goal is to write a good synthesis essay, it’s necessary to choose an arguable topic. It’s best to choose something that people have different opinions about. This will allow you to use many sources with various viewpoints for your synthesis.
  • Clear thesis statement. It’s a sentence that briefly describes the main idea of your essay.
  • Reliable sources to prove your thesis . For a synthesis essay, your opinion is not enough. You also need to find the evidence. Keep in mind that simply reading an online encyclopedia won’t do; make sure to choose only reliable sources.

What Does It Mean to Synthesize Information?

Synthesis is a process that has huge importance in nature, science, and our everyday life. The word stems from Ancient Greek “synthesis,” which means “putting together.” In general, synthesis is the combination of components to form a connected whole.

The picture shows examples of synthesis usage in various spheres: biochemistry, physics, and sound creation.

In everyday life, we usually resort to it to synthesize information . This means taking the data from different sources and bringing it together. This process is the opposite of analyzing:

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  • For an analysis , you break problems into pieces,
  • For a synthesis , you combine separate elements into a whole.

We use synthesis for analysis papers, research papers, argument papers, and business reports.

What Does Synthesis Mean in Writing?

Synthesis in writing means summarizing and connecting different sources considering a particular topic. Although synthesis and analysis are two opposite things, they usually go together in synthesis essays. The process consists of 2 stages:

  • Conduct the analysis. For that, you break down a problem into parts and analyze the sources. It’s helpful to highlight everything regarding your topic while reading.
  • Carry out the synthesis. The next step is to formulate an opinion and combine the highlighted information from the sources.

Synthesis is not only used in writing but also in reading comprehension . It’s useful to do this kind of reading while studying your sources. There are three reading comprehension stages:

  • Your previous knowledge about the topic.
  • Expansion of your knowledge while you are reading.
  • Understanding of the problem when you have finished reading.

So, synthesized reading comprehension means combining three stages in one and formulating one statement.

Synthesis vs Summary: What Is the Difference?

A summary is a paraphrasing of the written source in your own words. For a good summary, it’s necessary to include all of the text’s key elements. Meanwhile, synthesis means combining different ideas from different sources. You don’t have to include all the key points; just choose everything related to your topic.

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The picture explains the difference between a synthesis and a summary.

Both of these techniques are used for the synthesis essay:

  • The summary goes in the conclusion. You briefly sum up your paper’s main ideas.
  • Synthesis goes in the body paragraphs. Here, you combine multiple sources to prove a point.

📝 Synthesis Essay Types

There are two main types of a synthesis essay: argument and explanatory synthesis.

Both of them require working with multiple reliable sources and analyzing information. The only difference is that an argument synthesis essay requires your own opinion, while an explanatory synthesis essay does not.

Argument Synthesis Essay: Outline and Definition

As you already know, an argument synthesis essay requires you to state your own opinion about the given topic and back it up with several reliable sources. The purpose of such an essay is to persuade the reader that your point is correct.

Here’s what an argument synthesis essay consists of:

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Explanatory Synthesis Essay: Definition and How to Write

An explanatory informative synthesis essay requires you to stay neutral towards the problem you are discussing. This means you cannot express your own opinion considering the given question or a problem. Your task is just to inform the reader. That’s why this essay type is also called informative synthesis.

Check out this explanatory essay outline:

✅ How to Write a Synthesis Essay Step by Step

When it comes to the synthesis essay outline, it’s not too different from other assignments. Have a look at this template:

The picture shows a synthesis essay outline: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

How to Synthesize: Working with Sources

After you’ve decided on your topic, it’s time to figure out how to synthesize articles into one text. This is how you do it:

  • Choose reliable sources: the ones printed in journals or published on academic websites.
  • Become familiar with them and see if they fit into your essay.
  • Try to find a few sources for each point. It will increase your essay’s reliability.
  • Relate each source to your arguments and see similarities between them.
  • Don’t forget to list every source in the references.

When you are done with a comprehensive analysis of related literature, try to step back and imagine a person who has a different opinion on this topic. Think of some arguments that they can provide to prove their opinion. After you have the list of arguments, find the written evidence of why they are wrong and put them in your essay.

Analyzing and organizing sources is the first and very important step for the synthesis essay. So make sure you do understand what the text means before using it as a reference.

Synthesis Essay Outline: How to Write

For structuring your essay, it’s useful to try mapping . This technique means combining the information from different sources and rearranging it to create a new direction. To do it, you need to analyze the authors’ ideas and come up with your own conclusions.

The best way to do that is called synthesis matrix or graphic organizer. It’s a chart that you can make when you start working on your essay. Here you have a horizontal column that states the main ideas and a few vertical columns that present sources. Your task is to take sources you have chosen and write down the main ideas from them.

Here’s an example of a matrix chart:

While doing that, you will see how many sources contain the same ideas. When you analyze them, you will be able to formulate your thesis backed up with evidence. The synthesis matrix also helps to see new arguments you can cover in your synthesis paper.

How to Write an Introduction for a Synthesis Essay

Now it’s time to start writing the paper. In the introductory part of the essay, you can include:

  • A short yet catchy sentence or a quotation that would present the topic. The start of your essay should make people interested. It’s best to make the first sentence not only informative but also easy to understand.
  • The texts that are used for the essay. Provide the titles and the authors’ names (use the appropriate guidelines depending on the writing style.)
  • The background information which is needed to understand your essay. Definitions of terms or unknown words considering the topic can be included in this part. Otherwise, people may find it hard to understand what they are reading about.

How to Write a Thesis for a Synthesis Essay

A thesis statement is a point of view on a certain problem that you will defend in your essay. It should contain the key points that you want to include in your paper. Here’s how to create a perfect thesis statement:

  • Find several central ideas in the chart.
  • Choose the ones that are repeated the most often and the ones that you feel need to be in your essay.
  • Combine them, and you have a thesis statement with all the key points.
  • Make a draft of the thesis statement. Try to formulate the main idea you want to present in your essay.
  • Elaborate on this idea. Add some details and expand it a bit further.

If the whole picture is coherent, and it conveys exactly what you wanted, then this is your perfect thesis statement. See the example below:

Gender inequality still exists at the workplace: women are less likely to get the most responsible positions, easily lose careers due to maternity leave, and often receive less pay for the same amount of work.

How to Write Synthesis Paragraphs for the Main Body

Your essay’s main body consists of a few paragraphs. Each of them presents a different argument considering the topic. When you start a paragraph, make sure to begin with a topic sentence, which informs the reader about the paragraph’s main idea. Then, include the synthesized sources and elaborate on them.

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when writing the main body:

You can use the following words to present the ideas from your sources. They will help you reflect the authors’ tone:

How to Conclude a Synthesis Essay

There are quite a few ways to conclude the synthesis paper. Have a look at some of the options:

  • Paraphrase the thesis. As you remember, the thesis is the main idea of your essay. The conclusion is a good place to remind your readers about it. When they are done with the reading, they remember the most important thing from your essay.
  • Synthesize the arguments. There is no need to repeat everything you wrote in your essay. Just briefly summarize the most crucial points.
  • Answer the “So what” question. Tell the readers why this topic matters, why you’ve chosen it, and why it’s valuable for the reader.
  • Provide a closure. It’s an effective strategy when you want to make the reader think. Leave them with a strong statement at the end of your essay.

Synthesis Paper Proofreading Tips

When you have finally written your paper, there is still one important thing left to do. You need to check your paper for any grammatical and contextual mistakes. You certainly can do it yourself, but it would be perfect if you could ask somebody else to read it.

The first thing you need to check grammar-wise is the tense you are using. There is no single tense you need to use for the synthesis essay. It depends on the format:

  • If you’re writing in MLA format, use the present tense;
  • For APA essays, you use the past tense.

The next step is to check whether your synthesis essay has everything that’s required. For that, we have prepared the checklist of questions you can ask yourself to proofread your essays.

  • Is there a clear thesis statement?
  • Did you include all of the key points from the synthesis?
  • Are there clear transitions between paragraphs?
  • Did you organize a paragraph around a single idea?
  • Did you use reliable and up-to-date sources?
  • Did you analyze sources rather than just summarize them?
  • Did you mention every source you’ve used?

If you’ve answered “yes” to all the questions—congratulations, you are done with the essay! Otherwise, you need to come back and fix everything that you’ve answered “no” to.

✍️ Synthesis Essay Topics and Prompts

Sometimes, when you don’t have a topic , it is tough to come up with a suitable idea. That is why we have prepared two lists of topics that you can use for any synthesis essay type.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topics

The topics below are suitable for an explanatory synthesis essay:

  • The beginning of Hollywood cinema . Cinema is a huge industry in the USA. Tell the readers about its history. Describe what it was like in the beginning, which movie was the first one, and who started this industry.
  • Tactics on dealing with noisy children. Sometimes kids can be very loud, especially in public places. Write about different tactics that can help with this issue.
  • The effects of climate change  on the water cycle.  Climate change has affected the water cycle significantly. Your task is to explain how.
  • The best American cities to live in. Provide the list of the best cities and explain why you’ve included them.
  • The importance of a healthy diet . Keeping a healthy diet is beneficial in many ways. Write about all the advantages it brings.
  • Who can become an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. In this essay, you can describe the qualities needed for having your own business.
  • The correlation between overpopulation and poverty . Describe how overpopulation leads to poverty and vice versa.
  • The advantages of taking an active vacation.
  • Cultural shock as a part of moving to a different country.
  • The consequences of the first wave of feminism .
  • Synthesis of Tan and Rodriguez’ essays ideas.
  • Difficulties you may encounter during the job interview.
  • How does reading prevent Alzheimer’s disease ?
  • The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses .
  • The connection between  religion and politics  in ruling the country.
  • What can non-verbal signals tell you about a person ?
  • The psychology of leadership .
  • The origins of the most common  stereotypes  about Americans.
  • Role of social media in business communication .
  • The synthesis of personal nursing philosophy concept.
  • Behavioral components of schizophrenia and psychosis.
  • Main components of successful entrepreneurship.
  • Critical components of scientific research.
  • Change in religion and human beliefs throughout history.
  • The effect of global warming on modern life.

Argument Synthesis Paper Topics

The list of topics for the Argument Synthesis Essay:

  • Vaping is better than smoking . People are starting to exchange cigarettes for vapes and e-cigarettes. In what ways are they less harmful?
  • Rich people should pay higher taxes. The same percentage of money doesn’t equal for rich and poor people. Explain why the ones who can afford more should share with others.
  • Depression is a disease . Prove that psychological problems must be recognized as real health issues that should be cured and not ignored.
  • Social media affects young people’s lives. Social media has a massive influence on people. In this essay, you can discuss which life spheres are the most affected.
  • Beauty pageants should be banned. Provide the reasons why they should be banned and tell the reader about psychological problems they can cause.
  • People should cut meat from their diet to stop global warming . Describe how the meat industry influences climate change.
  • The voting age should be 25+. Your task is to show the reasons why the votes of people under 25 should not be taken into account during elections.
  • A healthy lifestyle requires a lot of money.
  • Each healthy man should serve in the military.
  • School bullying should be punished by immediate exclusion.
  • Does friendship exist between men and women?
  • Drinking coffee is a bad habit.
  • Working hard is more important than being talented.
  • Everybody should visit a therapist at least once.
  • Should universities be free ?
  • Artificial intelligence will cause huge unemployment rates.
  • Gaming should not be allowed to children under 18.
  • Components and strategies of social responsibility
  • Integration of relevant ethical theory and conceptual principles in health care
  • Children under 10 should be banned from gadgets .
  • Social media platforms facilitate cyberbullying.
  • Issues of distance education .
  • Social media addiction is a serious disease.
  • Deforestation critically contributes to global warming.
  • Healthcare should be free for everyone.

📑 Synthesis Essay Example & Synthesis Essay Format Tips

Now let’s talk about formatting. There are two writing styles you can use for a synthesis essay: APA or MLA. You need to choose the one that is required for your assignment.

We will start with the paper in APA format. It is usually used in science and education.

And these are MLA formatting rules:

Finally, we’ve prepared a synthesis essay sample for you to check out. Feel free to download the PDF file below:

First introduced in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affirmative action policies aim to mitigate the discrepancy in opportunities available for underrepresented social groups by taking into account one’s minority background. The policies have become a pressing public issue that obstructs previously marginalized individuals, particularly in the educational environment.

Thank you for reading the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing. We hope you found it helpful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends. Good luck with your assignments!

🔍 References

  • Writing a Synthesis Essay: Bowling Green State University
  • What Is Synthesis: University of Manitoba
  • Synthesis: Biology Online
  • Reading Strategies: Difference Summarizing and Synthesizing: WordPress
  • Summary, Analysis, Synthesis Definitions: University of Utah
  • Argumentative Synthesis: University of Arkansas
  • How to Synthesize Written Information: Simply Psychology
  • Mapping of Synthesis Essay: University of Nevada, Reno
  • Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix: Florida International University
  • Synthesis Essay: Cleveland State University
  • Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources: Louisiana State University
  • Writing a Conclusion: Texas Women’s University
  • General APA Guidelines: Purdue University
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Synthesis Essay

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Writing a Perfect Synthesis Essay: Definition & Examples

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Published on: Mar 1, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Synthesis Essay

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Do you have a ton of research to synthesize but don't know how? Or maybe you're not sure what a synthesis essay is and how to write a good synthesis essay. 

We know writing a synthesis essay is not an easy task to do; it’s challenging for most of us. But it can be perfectly done with the right guidance and preparation. 

In this blog, we'll walk you through all the necessary information to craft a perfect synthesis essay. So you can get done with your assignments confidently! 

Let’s get started.

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What is a Synthesis Essay?

Synthesis essay definition states:

It is a piece of writing that takes a unique perspective on a central idea, topic, or theme. Then backs it up with evidence from multiple sources.

A synthesis essay is an important part of academic writing. The main purpose of this essay is to show your ability to prove an argument.

To make sense of these arguments, you need to use different credible sources. It demonstrates your basic understanding of the main subject. This type of essay help to enhance your critical, analytical, and research skills.

A synthesis essay is made up of ideas and conclusions based on the information reviewed. Also, this essay asks you to summarize the topic and add your own thoughts about it in relation to what you have read.

Furthermore, the synthesis essays can be similar to analytical essays , argumentative essays , or compare and contrast essays .

Synthesis Essay Types

There are three types of a synthesis essay:

1. Argument Synthesis Essay

This essay's purpose is to debate or argue on a certain topic or issue. It justifies its claims by providing evidence in the body of the essay.

In contrast to the explanatory essay, you will perform the same thing as if you were writing a typical argumentative paper. First, state your argument, make supporting statements, and back up each claim with reliable facts.

2. Review Essay

A review essay is frequently written as a preparatory essay to an argument synthesis. Review essays are commonly used in social science and medicine classes.

It is a discussion of what has already been published on a topic, with a critical examination of the sources mentioned.

An unwritten thesis statement is added to it, which is not final and indicates that further study is needed in that area.

3. Explanatory Synthesis Essay

In this essay, the writer helps the reader to grasp deeper knowledge about the topic. Rather than arguing or debating on some points, the goal of this essay is to explain a certain topic.

Like any other essay, it needs backing up with supporting claims and credible sources.

How to Start a Synthesis Essay?

The following are some helpful techniques for writing an essay. These will help you start the process and avoid common errors that plague many writers.

1. Choosing a Synthesis Essay Topic 

A prompt for a synthesis paper must be arguable. Based on your project, you may be required to select primary content. Select a book that may include contrasting perspectives. Here are some important tips for choosing a topic for a synthesis essay.

  • Look through the themes and ideas. Read from sources and investigate specific topics thoroughly to see if any of them catch your interest.
  • Select a topic and collect relevant and valuable references for your synthesis paper.
  • Outline your synthesis essay using concepts or ideas from the sources. This should make writing a lot simpler and save you a lot of time.

It is necessary to find an arguable topic to make your synthesis essay effective. Another reason is that these topics have been discussed in public for decades. 

Examples of good synthesis essay topics are;

  • The process of hiring in the age of social media
  • Social networks promote suicide
  • Should higher education be free?
  • Is it necessary to remove marks in education 
  • The importance of getting a good education
  • 3D printers are not used efficiently nowadays.
  • Is technology really helping people?
  • Why has technology made surgery safe and effective?
  • What is the cause of widespread obesity in teens?
  • What is the role of gender today?

2. Analyze Your Topic

Here's how you can fully understand your synthesis essay topic.

  • Grasp the Idea of a Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay's purpose is to establish meaningful connections between sections of a work. When conducting research on a topic, you have to look for connections to build a strong viewpoint on the subject. The ultimate goal of the essay is to present and prove a claim about a topic .

  • Select a Topic Appropriate for a Synthesis Essay

The subject and topic must be extensive enough to include multiple relevant sources. If you have a free hand in deciding what to write about, some preparatory research may assist you in researching and choosing the right topic. 

  •  Select and Study Your Sources Carefully

Research and find relevant information and sources. Generally, choose at least three references for your essay. It's a good idea to learn one or two additional sources for better understanding but no matter what it is, make sure that you study it properly.

Remember that it is better to read three sources properly than five sources poorly.

Compile each source by writing notes in the margins. This allows you to keep track of your thoughts, fresh ideas, and so on. 

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  • Reread the Source Material 

Reread your source material for elements that will help to support your argument. 

Examine your sources for important statements, figures, thoughts, and facts that support your thesis. Make a note of them when you come across them. This will be very useful throughout your writing process. 

3. Develop a Thesis Statement 

Your thesis statement will be the central idea of your essay. It should cover the topic and express your viewpoint on it. After reading the sources and conducting your research, form an opinion on your topic. 

It should be stated as a complete sentence. Based on the essay, your thesis statement could be the first sentence of the essay or the last sentence of the first paragraph.

  • Structure Your Thesis Statement Creatively 

To present your thesis, use a more creative structure. You can use a more elaborate structure than the one outlined above. You can develop your essay using the following approaches:

Straw man: In this approach, you will present the counter-arguments first. Then demonstrate their weaknesses and flaws. 

Such an approach demonstrates your awareness of the opposition as well as your readiness to respond to it. You present the counter-argument immediately following your thesis statement, followed by evidence to refute it. And conclude with a positive argument that supports your thesis.

Concession: In structure, concessions in essays are similar to the straw man. But this approach acknowledges the validity of the counter-argument while demonstrating that your argument is stronger. This structure is suitable for presenting papers to readers who hold opposing views. 

Illustration/ Example: It could be a thorough narrative, synopsis, or quotation from your source material that provides support for your position. However, you should not make your paper a collection of examples at the expense of supporting your thesis statement.

Comparison and Contrast: In this approach, similarities and differences between two subjects or sources demonstrate both aspects. It requires a thorough reading of your source material to identify both subtle and major points of comparison.

This type of essay can present its arguments source by source or by points of similarity or difference.

4. Create an Outline for Your Essay

An essay outline is a method for outlining the framework of your essay. Here’s what you have to do. Outlining can help you structure and plan your synthesis paper. 

The standard outline of a synthesis essay is divided into three sections:

Need detailed guidance on how to write a synthesis essay? Check out this video?

How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

For writing a great essay, you have to do extensive research on your subject. This essay connects sections of multiple works and develops a strong viewpoint on a subject.

There are some major steps of the process:

1. Start Writing Your Essay 

After getting done with the preparation part, start to write your synthesis essay. 

2. Write Your First Draft Using Your Outline as a Guide

But be prepared to change your strategy if you discover fresh ideas and information. And make sure it supports your thesis and the source material. 

Your essay should have an introduction paragraph with your thesis statement at the end of it. A body with evidence that supports your main topic and thesis statement. Lastly, a conclusion that summarizes your point of view.

3. Use Transitions 

To make the content flow logically, use transitions between paragraphs. Transition words are an excellent method to highlight areas where your sources complement one another. 

Longer quotes of three lines or more should be presented as block quotes to draw emphasis to them.

4. Wrap Up Your Essay 

Here you have completed the writing process, but still, you need to make sure that your essay is flawless. 

5. Revise Your Essay

This is the time to enhance transitions between points and paragraphs and to reinforce arguments. You should strive to make your argument as concise and clear to understand as possible. It is beneficial to read your essay aloud so you can spot problematic phrases or unclear ideas.

Request someone else to proofread your paper. Have you heard the cliché "two heads are better than one"? Is it still valid?

Ask a friend or coworker what they would add or eliminate from the paper. Most importantly, does your thesis statement make sense, and are your references clearly supporting it?

Answer these questions in your essay.

6. Proofread Your Content

Examine your document for any grammatical, punctuation, or spelling mistakes. 

Are all the terms, names, and words accurately spelled? Are there any extraneous English language or sentence fragments? As you go, correct them.

Read the essay loudly to ensure that you don't accidentally add or remove words when reading in your mind. If possible, ask a friend or classmate to edit your writing.

7. Must Cite Sources

Use footnotes to mention information in the body paragraph and bibliography of cited books at the conclusion. Footnotes and in-text citations should be used for any information that is quoted, paraphrased, or cited.

8. Title Your Essay 

The point of view expressed in your thesis statement and supporting arguments should be reflected in your title. Therefore, choose a title that suits your essay rather than constructing your essay to fit the title.

Synthesis Essay Format

The format of your synthesis paper is chosen by your high school, college, or university professor. MLA, APA, and Chicago styles are the most often used styles.

The APA format is followed in the disciplines of science, education, and psychology. Chicago is commonly followed in the field of history, fine arts, and business. And MLA is the style of citation used in the humanities.

APA Style Format

The following are some APA style important details:

  • Add a page header to the top of each page.
  • Times New Roman, 1” margins, 12 pt. Font, double-spaced.
  • The format of a synthesis essay should be separated into four sections: title page, abstract, main body, and references.
  • Insert a page number in the upper right corner.

Chicago Style Format

The following are some Chicago style key points:

  • Use double-spacing between the paper's lines.
  • Make margins of one inch.
  • Font size: 12 pt. Times New Roman font style.
  • Create text that is left-justified with a rugged edge.
  • Mention the full name of a person, place, or organization.
  • At the start of the paragraph, use half-inch indents.
  • The bibliography should be on its own page.

MLA Style Format

The following are some MLA style significant points:

  • The title must be centered.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 1” margins, 12 pt font size, double-spaced
  • Mention your name, professor's name, the course number, and the date (dd/mm/yy).
  • On each page, the top right corner displays the last name and page number.
  • The final page provides a “Works Cited” list.

Synthesis Essay Rubric

A rubric is essentially a list of criteria that your professor will use to grade your paper. 

Knowing how each criterion is weighted can help make sure you get the best grade possible on your synthesis essay. 

The Basics of the Synthesis Essay Rubric

The basic elements of any synthesis essay rubric include organization, focus/development, and language use/style. 

  • Organization refers to how well you structure your paper. It should flow logically and have clear transitions between sections. 
  • Focus/development looks at how well you develop your argument throughout the paper. Are you able to clearly explain why each point supports your thesis?
  • Language use/style focuses on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Was the paper proofread thoroughly or did careless errors slip in?

For example , your synthesis essay thesis statement is

“Capital punishment should be abolished in all states." 

Do you provide evidence from different angles, such as legal history, religious beliefs, or moral arguments to back up this claim? 

Does this evidence prove why capital punishment should be abolished?

How to Write a Synthesis Essay - Ap Lang

Are you an AP Lang student who’s been assigned the dreaded synthesis essay? Here’s how to write a successful synthesis essay for AP Lang. 

  • Understand the Prompt 

The first step in writing any synthesis essay is to read and understand the prompt. It’s also important to note any specific requirements such as word count, formatting style, or sources that must be used in your essay. 

  • Organize Your Argument 

Once you have all the information necessary, it’s time to start organizing your argument.

Start by identifying any common themes or ideas between the various sources of evidence and create an outline with these points at its core. 

  • Write Your Essay 

Now comes the fun part—writing! 

You should now have a comprehensive outline of all the points and evidence you want to include in your essay. So use this as a guide when crafting your argument. 

Make sure that each point has supporting evidence from credible sources and that everything flows logically from one point to another. 

Finally, don’t forget to proofread and edit before submitting so that there are no errors in grammar or spelling. These small details can make all the difference! 

Synthesis Essay Tips

Working on a synthesis paper requires a thorough study of a particular given prompt. To evaluate it properly, you must first understand the prompt’s goal, argument, author’s claim, and rhetoric.

To compose a successful synthesis essay, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

  • Use Multiple Reasons

It is well recognized that the use of various reasons (generally two) is a very successful approach.

Present one argument against your strong thesis statement. This type of evidence presents an introduction and description. The advantage of this method is to teach awareness of the other side of the argument. It is followed by the opposing view and a decisive factor.

This is one of the most basic ways of organizing. It enables you to summarise the sources that are most relevant to you. The problem is that this technique excludes any of your individual thinking.

  • Compare and Contrast

Comparing reveals similarities, while contrasting reveals distinctions. It is feasible to show an in-depth analysis of your chosen topic. It allows writers to compare and contrast two sources at the same time.

Write quotations from sources in your own words. This approach also allows the usage of quotable sources. Ensure to cite the reference when you use the reference.

This method depicts the opposing point of view. It demonstrates that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Writing a synthesis essay is not as difficult as it may seem. You can also try our AI essay writer to generate plagiarism-free content and make the process easier. 

However, if you are having trouble understanding the concepts or writing a synthesis essay, it is best to hire professionals.

Our synthesis essay writing service is the perfect solution to your problems. We have a team of skilled writers who will help you through each step of the essay-writing process.

You contact our professionals at CollegeEssay.org to get essay writing help online . Our essay writer service is always ready to ace your assignments. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you end a synthesis essay.

A strong ending fulfills these 3 things: 

  • Restate your thesis. 
  • Summarize or synthesize key points. 
  • Make your argument's context explicit. 

What is a synthesis paragraph?

A synthesis is a textual debate that includes support from multiple sources with opposing viewpoints. This type of work requires analysis by using different sources and determining their relevance to your thesis.

Why is synthesis important?

It is important because it allows us to: 

  • Test and validate hypotheses. 
  • Comprehend key processes. 
  • Plan future research efforts. 

How to conclude a synthesis essay?

Synthesize rather than summarize your argument. No need to go over your entire paper again. Instead, include a brief summary of the main points of the paper and explain to your reader how you've made points.

What is an example of a synthesis?

Making connections or putting things together is all that is required. We naturally synthesize information to assist others in seeing connections between things. For example, synthesis occurs when you report to a friend what other friends have said about a film or book.

How many paragraphs is a synthesis essay?

According to the standard outline provided, you should stick to the basic five-to-six paragraph structure. In rare cases, there may be more paragraphs in the main body.

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  • Synthesizing Sources | Examples & Synthesis Matrix

Synthesizing Sources | Examples & Synthesis Matrix

Published on July 4, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on May 31, 2023.

Synthesizing sources involves combining the work of other scholars to provide new insights. It’s a way of integrating sources that helps situate your work in relation to existing research.

Synthesizing sources involves more than just summarizing . You must emphasize how each source contributes to current debates, highlighting points of (dis)agreement and putting the sources in conversation with each other.

You might synthesize sources in your literature review to give an overview of the field or throughout your research paper when you want to position your work in relation to existing research.

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Table of contents

Example of synthesizing sources, how to synthesize sources, synthesis matrix, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about synthesizing sources.

Let’s take a look at an example where sources are not properly synthesized, and then see what can be done to improve it.

This paragraph provides no context for the information and does not explain the relationships between the sources described. It also doesn’t analyze the sources or consider gaps in existing research.

Research on the barriers to second language acquisition has primarily focused on age-related difficulties. Building on Lenneberg’s (1967) theory of a critical period of language acquisition, Johnson and Newport (1988) tested Lenneberg’s idea in the context of second language acquisition. Their research seemed to confirm that young learners acquire a second language more easily than older learners. Recent research has considered other potential barriers to language acquisition. Schepens, van Hout, and van der Slik (2022) have revealed that the difficulties of learning a second language at an older age are compounded by dissimilarity between a learner’s first language and the language they aim to acquire. Further research needs to be carried out to determine whether the difficulty faced by adult monoglot speakers is also faced by adults who acquired a second language during the “critical period.”

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To synthesize sources, group them around a specific theme or point of contention.

As you read sources, ask:

  • What questions or ideas recur? Do the sources focus on the same points, or do they look at the issue from different angles?
  • How does each source relate to others? Does it confirm or challenge the findings of past research?
  • Where do the sources agree or disagree?

Once you have a clear idea of how each source positions itself, put them in conversation with each other. Analyze and interpret their points of agreement and disagreement. This displays the relationships among sources and creates a sense of coherence.

Consider both implicit and explicit (dis)agreements. Whether one source specifically refutes another or just happens to come to different conclusions without specifically engaging with it, you can mention it in your synthesis either way.

Synthesize your sources using:

  • Topic sentences to introduce the relationship between the sources
  • Signal phrases to attribute ideas to their authors
  • Transition words and phrases to link together different ideas

To more easily determine the similarities and dissimilarities among your sources, you can create a visual representation of their main ideas with a synthesis matrix . This is a tool that you can use when researching and writing your paper, not a part of the final text.

In a synthesis matrix, each column represents one source, and each row represents a common theme or idea among the sources. In the relevant rows, fill in a short summary of how the source treats each theme or topic.

This helps you to clearly see the commonalities or points of divergence among your sources. You can then synthesize these sources in your work by explaining their relationship.

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thesis statement examples for synthesis essays

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Synthesizing sources means comparing and contrasting the work of other scholars to provide new insights.

It involves analyzing and interpreting the points of agreement and disagreement among sources.

You might synthesize sources in your literature review to give an overview of the field of research or throughout your paper when you want to contribute something new to existing research.

A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources (such as books, journal articles, and theses) related to a specific topic or research question .

It is often written as part of a thesis, dissertation , or research paper , in order to situate your work in relation to existing knowledge.

Topic sentences help keep your writing focused and guide the reader through your argument.

In an essay or paper , each paragraph should focus on a single idea. By stating the main idea in the topic sentence, you clarify what the paragraph is about for both yourself and your reader.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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Ryan, E. (2023, May 31). Synthesizing Sources | Examples & Synthesis Matrix. Scribbr. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/synthesizing-sources/

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10 Well-Written Synthesis Essay Examples to Inspire Your Writing

10 Well-Written Synthesis Essay Examples to Inspire Your Writing

When it comes to writing a successful synthesis essay, having examples to guide you can make all the difference. Above all, the key to a strong synthesis essay is your ability to bring various sources together and present a clear and compelling argument. In this article, we will be examining ten well-written synthesis essay examples that will not only show you the importance of a strong thesis statement, but also help you understand how to effectively integrate your sources into your writing.

One of the essential aspects of a successful synthesis essay is the ability to argue and support your claims effectively. Each body paragraph provides an opportunity to do just that. By citing researchers, books, and journal articles, you can expand upon your understanding of the topic and present a well-rounded and well-supported argument. Each paragraph should focus on one main point or idea and provide evidence to support it.

While high school and university formats may differ in their approach to essay writing, the importance of clear and concise writing remains the same. A synthesis essay is no different. By outlining your main points and providing a logical flow from one idea to the next, you can guide your reader through your argument and ensure they are with you every step of the way.

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So, whether you’re writing an argumentative, explanatory, or research synthesis essay, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore new ideas and perspectives. By doing so, you may find yourself enjoying the process and expanding your own thinking. Now, the moment has come to pick up your pen and write that synthesis essay!

Well-Written Synthesis Essay Examples

The first example is a synthesis essay on the topic of climate change. It specifically focuses on the role of national governments in addressing global warming. The essay begins by outlining the different types of actions that governments can take to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It then goes on to show how these actions can be evaluated and compared using statistics and data.

The second example is a synthesis essay on the topic of technology and its impact on society. It explores the arguments for and against the idea that technology is making us more disconnected from one another. The essay uses quotes and statistics to support its arguments and presents a balanced view of the topic.

In both of these examples, the authors carefully consider different viewpoints and present their own arguments in a clear and concise manner. They also make sure to avoid using too many quotes and instead focus on summarizing and explaining the main ideas presented in the sources.

Remember, the goal of a synthesis essay is to bring together different sources and ideas into a coherent and convincing argument. By carefully evaluating and incorporating reliable sources, using clear and explanatory sentences, and presenting a well-structured outline, you can write a strong synthesis essay that stands out.

So, when writing your own synthesis essay, make sure to introduce your topic and answer any relevant questions . Use quotes and statistics to support your arguments, and avoid getting too caught up in summarizing others’ ideas. Show the reader how your argument fits into the larger conversation, and be sure to cite your sources properly. By doing so, you will craft a well-written synthesis essay that not only shows your understanding of the subject matter but also engages and persuades your audience.

Inspire Your Writing: Analyze the Data You Are Getting

Research papers, scholarly articles, and statistics are all likely sources that can provide valuable data for your synthesis essay. As you read through these sources, consider the reasons behind the authors’ claims and the evidence they present. This will help you determine whether the data supports or contradicts your stance on the topic.

When it comes to climate change, for example, you may find data on carbon dioxide emissions, temperature fluctuations, or the impact on wildlife. Carefully evaluate this data and consider how it fits within the broader conversation about climate change. Introduce specific quotes from researchers or university studies to provide strong evidence for your arguments.

Before finalizing your essay, it’s important to summarize the data you’ve gathered and analyze how it supports your thesis. This can be done through creating an outline or mapping out the main points of each source. By doing so, you can ensure that your essay follows a logical structure and that the data you present is cohesive and relevant.

In your introductory paragraph, it’s important to give readers a clear understanding of the data you will be discussing. Briefly mention the most important statistics or quotes you will be using to support your arguments. This will grab the reader’s attention and set the stage for the rest of your essay.

Throughout your synthesis essay, make sure to include well-written sentences that effectively convey the data you have collected. Use strong vocabulary and argumentative language to make your points stand out. Utilize quotes from researchers or experts to further strengthen your claims.

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To illustrate the importance of analyzing data, consider the issue of pricewine. The writer could mention how data from various sources within the wine industry can help determine the most likely reasons for price fluctuations. This example shows how data can be used to support an argument and provide valuable insights.

By analyzing the data you are getting, you can create a well-written and persuasive synthesis essay. Remember to evaluate the reliability and validity of the data, introduce specific evidence, and show how it supports your thesis. With careful analysis and consideration, your synthesis essay will be a compelling piece of writing.

Powerful Synthesis Essay Examples

Climate change and education.

One well-written example of a synthesis essay examines the relationship between climate change and education. The essay argues that schools should be committed to teaching about climate change as it is a major issue affecting the global community. The essay cites studies from reputable journals and includes data from reliable sources to confirm its thesis.

The Importance of Incorporating Different Ideas

Another powerful example of a synthesis essay focuses on the importance of incorporating different ideas into one’s writing. The essay argues that having a diverse range of ideas and perspectives is crucial for expanding one’s knowledge and understanding of a subject. The writer includes examples from books, studies, and other essays to support their argument.

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The Positive Impact of Synthesis Essays

A third example of a well-written synthesis essay showcases the positive impact that these essays can have. The essay discusses how synthesis essays help students develop critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to research and analyze complex issues. It also emphasizes the importance of having a clear thesis statement and organizing the essay in a logical format.

These synthesis essay examples demonstrate the power of synthesizing different sources and ideas to create a compelling argument. They show how proper research, reading, and annotation can lead to a well-structured and well-supported essay. By examining these examples and applying the concepts discussed above, you can improve your own synthesis essay writing skills and ensure that your essays have a strong and persuasive impact.

Learn How to Craft a Compelling Argument

Typically, a synthesis essay starts with a thesis statement that clearly states the main argument or perspective the essay will explore. This thesis statement serves as a guide for the entire essay, helping to ensure that each paragraph and argument developed within the essay supports and fits into the larger thesis statement.

Although the process of crafting a compelling argument might seem daunting at first, there are specific steps that can help streamline the process. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you craft a compelling argument in your synthesis essay:

  • Start by thoroughly reading and understanding the sources you will be using. Take the time to annotate each source, marking important points, key arguments, and supporting evidence.
  • Next, consider different perspectives and arguments presented within the sources. Look for points of agreement or disagreement among the sources, and think about how these differing viewpoints can be used to strengthen your own argument.
  • After examining the sources and developing a deeper understanding of the topic, it is time to develop your own thesis statement. This statement should be clear, concise, and supported by evidence from the sources.
  • Once you have a thesis statement in place, start outlining your essay. Organize your arguments and supporting evidence in a logical and coherent manner, making sure that each paragraph connects back to the main thesis statement.
  • As you write your essay, be sure to provide specific examples and evidence from the sources to support your arguments. Use quotes, paraphrases, and summaries to effectively integrate the ideas of others into your own writing.
  • When making claims or arguments, be sure to evaluate and analyze the sources critically. Consider the reliability and credibility of the sources, and use this evaluation to confirm or challenge the information presented.
  • Throughout your essay, aim to engage in a conversation with the sources and the authors. Use phrases like “according to” or “as argued by” to show that you are actively engaging with the ideas presented in the sources.
  • Finally, after writing your initial draft, take the time to revise and edit your essay. Pay attention to the overall structure, clarity of ideas, and effectiveness of arguments. Make any necessary changes to improve the flow and coherence of your essay.

By following these steps, you can learn how to craft a compelling argument in your synthesis essay. Remember to stay focused on the topic, provide strong evidence and examples, and consider different perspectives within the conversation. With practice and careful consideration of reliable sources, you can develop a well-written synthesis essay that effectively argues your point of view.

Effective Approach to Synthesis Essays

1. mapping out the data.

Before diving into the writing process, it is essential to map out the data or information gathered from the sources. This involves thoroughly reading and understanding the sources, highlighting key points, and making connections between them.

3. Consider Both Sides

While presenting your own argument or viewpoint in a synthesis essay, it is important to also consider and address opposing viewpoints. This adds depth and credibility to your argument and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the topic.

4. Examining Evidence

When incorporating evidence from the sources, it is crucial to examine and evaluate the reliability of each source. Not all sources are created equal, so it is important to choose the most credible and relevant sources to support your argument.

5. Formatting and Structure

A synthesis essay should follow a clear and logical structure. It is usually organized into paragraphs, with each paragraph focusing on a specific idea or argument. It is important to use topic sentences to guide the reader through the essay and to avoid an overly broad or vague approach.

6. Using Quotes and Citations

When using quotes or citations from the sources, it is important to integrate them seamlessly into your own writing. This can be done by introducing the quote, providing context, and explaining its relevance to your argument. Proper citation formatting should also be followed.

7. Expanding and Finalizing

Once the main body of the essay is written, it is important to expand on any points that may need further explanation or clarification. It is also crucial to finalize the essay by reviewing the content for clarity, coherence, and organization.

8. Evaluating and Responding

In a synthesis essay, it is important to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the sources used and respond to any counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. This helps to strengthen your own argument and demonstrates critical thinking skills.

9. Stay Committed to the Topic

Throughout the synthesis essay, it is essential to stay committed to the topic and thesis statement. Every sentence and paragraph should contribute to the overall argument and support the main claim.

10. Consideration of Other Formats

While the traditional format of a synthesis essay is commonly used, it is worth considering other formats or structures that may better suit the topic or argument being presented. This allows for more creativity and flexibility in the writing process.

Discover Strategies for Combining Multiple Sources

1. understand the topic and choose reliable sources.

Before you start writing, make sure you have a clear understanding of the topic and the specific arguments you want to make. Choose reliable sources that provide relevant and accurate information on the subject.

2. Make an outline and organize your sources

Create an outline to map out the main ideas and supporting evidence from each of your sources. Organize your sources in a logical order that helps you build a coherent argument.

3. Introduce your sources and provide context

In your essay, introduce each source you are citing and provide some context about the author or the work. This helps your readers understand the significance of the source in relation to your argument.

4. Use quotes and in-text citations

When making a specific point or referencing a source, use quotes and in-text citations to provide evidence and support your claims. This adds credibility to your arguments.

5. Analyze and synthesize the information

Go beyond simply quoting or summarizing the information from your sources. Analyze and synthesize the information to develop your own ideas and interpretations. Ensure that your arguments are supported by the evidence from multiple sources.

6. Respond to others’ ideas and arguments

Engage in a “conversation” with the authors of the sources you are citing. Respond to their ideas, critique them, or build upon them to strengthen your own arguments. This shows that you have thoroughly researched and understood the topic.

7. Keep a balanced perspective

Avoid bias and strive to present a balanced perspective. Consider different viewpoints and arguments within your essay. Acknowledge contrasting opinions and explain why you have taken a particular position.

8. Formatting according to APA guidelines

Format your essay according to the APA style guide. Use the appropriate in-text citations, references, and formatting for quotes and paraphrases. This ensures that your paper adheres to academic standards and is reliable.

By following these strategies, you can effectively combine multiple sources to create a well-written synthesis essay. Remember to always support your arguments with evidence and provide thoughtful analysis of the information you gather.

Synthesis Essay Examples for Different Topics

For example, a synthesis essay on climate change might involve analyzing various sources that present different viewpoints on the issue. The writer could introduce the topic by summarizing the main points of the sources and presenting a position on the issue. They could also include quotes or data from the sources to support their arguments.

In the body paragraphs, the writer can use the “conversation” format to present different viewpoints or “conversations” on the topic. They can introduce a counter-argument and provide reasons to support their stand. In the second paragraph, they can present another viewpoint and analyze its strengths and weaknesses.

After presenting different viewpoints, the writer can then present their own position on the issue. They can use specific examples or evidence to support their arguments and explain why they believe their position is the most valid.

What is a synthesis essay?

A synthesis essay is a type of academic writing in which the writer combines information from different sources to create a new understanding or argument about a specific topic.

Why are synthesis essays important?

Synthesis essays are important because they require critical thinking and analysis skills. They also help students develop the ability to gather information from multiple sources and present it in a coherent and organized manner.

How should I structure my synthesis essay?

A synthesis essay should have an introduction that presents the thesis statement, body paragraphs that provide evidence and analysis, and a conclusion that summarizes the main points and restates the thesis.

What are some good topics for a synthesis essay?

Some good topics for a synthesis essay can include social media and its impact on society, climate change and its effects on the environment, or the role of technology in education. It is important to choose a topic that has enough credible sources to support your arguments.

How can I improve my writing skills for synthesis essays?

You can improve your writing skills for synthesis essays by practicing critical reading and analysis of different sources, organizing your thoughts and ideas before writing, and revising and editing your essay to ensure clarity and coherence.

A synthesis essay is a type of academic writing that combines information from various sources to create a new argument or idea. It requires students to analyze multiple sources, identify common themes or patterns, and develop a coherent and well-supported thesis statement.

How do I write a synthesis essay?

To write a synthesis essay, you should start by reading and analyzing the given sources. Look for common themes or patterns among the sources and develop a thesis statement that reflects your understanding of the topic. Then, organize your essay into introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, using specific evidence from the sources to support your arguments. Remember to cite your sources properly and revise your essay for clarity and coherence.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Synthesis Essay, WIth Examples

    The central idea in a synthesis essay is represented by the thesis statement, a sentence that succinctly explains the main point of the essay. In a synthesis essay, this "new" idea usually consolidates the main points and/or findings of other sources. Synthesis essay structure

  2. Well-Written Synthesis Essay Examples

    Synthesis Essay Examples With a basic understanding of a synthesis essay under your belt, dive right into the different examples. Use the synthesis essay examples to learn how to write a solid introduction and perfect conclusion to crush your AP lit class. Synthesis Essay Introduction Example

  3. How to Write a Perfect Synthesis Essay for the AP Language Exam

    Posted by Ashley Robinson Advanced Placement (AP) If you're planning to take the AP Language (or AP Lang) exam, you might already know that 55% of your overall exam score will be based on three essays. The first of the three essays you'll have to write on the AP Language exam is called the "synthesis essay."

  4. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  5. How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis Essay + Example

    Step 1: Analyze the Prompt As soon as the clock starts, carefully read and analyze what the prompt asks from you. It might be helpful to markup the text to identify the most critical details.

  6. Guide to Synthesis Essays: How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Writing Guide to Synthesis Essays: How to Write a Synthesis Essay Written by MasterClass Last updated: Aug 19, 2021 • 4 min read The writing process for composing a good synthesis essay requires curiosity, research, and original thought to argue a certain point or explore an idea.

  7. PDF STEPS FOR WRITING A SYNTHESIS ESSAY

    A synthesis essay uses a variety of sources to form a new idea, answer a question, or defend an argumentative thesis statement. A synthesis does not summarize but shows the connections among the different sources and the writers' ideas.

  8. 13+ Synthesis Essay Examples: Tips & Expert Guidance

    Here's an example of a synthesis essay to inspire you in your own writing: Title: The Evolution of Human Relationships in the Digital Age In the contemporary era, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, transforming the way we connect and interact with one another.

  9. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: The Ultimate Handbook

    Formulate a Strong Thesis Statement; Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that communicates your central argument or perspective. Your synthesis essay thesis statement should serve as the guiding force for the entire essay. ... In this section, we present two synthesis essay examples that exemplify the practical application of the ...

  10. Synthesis Essay Materials

    The two synthesis essay questions below are examples of the question type that has been one of the three free-response questions on the AP English Language and Composition Exam as of the May 2007 exam. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic.

  11. Synthesis Essays: A Step-by-Step How- To Guide

    The word "synthesis" confuses every student a little bit. Fortunately, this step-by-step how-to guide will see you through to success! Here's a step-by-step how-to guide, with examples, that will help you write yours. Before drafting your essay: After reading the sources and before writing your essay, ask yourself these questions:

  12. PDF Writing a Synthesis Essay

    2. Synthesis is used in: • Analysis papers to examine related theories. • For example a comparison between the theories of evolution or who shot JFK. • Research papers to incorporate multiple sources. • For example looking at economic and social effects of proposed legislation.

  13. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  14. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Annotate each source by writing notes in the margins. This allows you to keep track of your train of thought, developing ideas, etc. 4. Develop a thesis statement. Once you have read the sources you are provided with, or have done your own outside research, you will have to come up with an opinion on your topic.

  15. How to Write a Surprisingly Good Synthesis Essay

    Step 4: Draft a killer outline. Now that you have your argument down in words, you need to figure out how you want to organize and support that argument. A great way to do this is to create a synthesis essay outline. When you write your outline, write your thesis statement at the top.

  16. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

    Clear thesis statement. It's a sentence that briefly describes the main idea of your essay. Reliable sources to prove your thesis. For a synthesis essay, your opinion is not enough. You also need to find the evidence. Keep in mind that simply reading an online encyclopedia won't do; make sure to choose only reliable sources.

  17. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    Writing a Perfect Synthesis Essay: Definition & Examples 16 min read Published on: Mar 1, 2023 Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024 Interesting Synthesis Essay Topics You Must Consider Synthesis Essay Examples: Learn From Powerful Example Do you have a ton of research to synthesize but don't know how?

  18. Synthesis Essay

    The main point of a synthesis essay is the thesis statement, or thesis. This is the writer's main assertion or claim. This is the writer's main assertion or claim. It is stated in the introduction ...

  19. How To Write a Good Synthesis Essay (Plus 7 Steps and Tips)

    3. Draft a thesis. The thesis statement is the conclusion you make after reading various texts. This is often an answer to the question the instructor poses in an assignment. For example, with argumentative synthesis essays, you might have to take a stance on an issue like where we should spend tax dollars.

  20. Synthesis

    When asked to synthesize sources and research, many writers start to summarize individual sources. However, this is not the same as synthesis. In a summary, you share the key points from an individual source and then move on and summarize another source. In synthesis, you need to combine the information from those multiple sources and add your ...

  21. Synthesizing Sources

    Example: Effective synthesis Research on the barriers to second language acquisition has primarily focused on age-related difficulties. Building on Lenneberg's (1967) theory of a critical period of language acquisition, Johnson and Newport (1988) tested Lenneberg's idea in the context of second language acquisition.

  22. 10 Well-Written Synthesis Essay Examples to Inspire Your Writing

    The first example is a synthesis essay on the topic of climate change. It specifically focuses on the role of national governments in addressing global warming. The essay begins by outlining the different types of actions that governments can take to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

  23. Thesis Statement Examples For Synthesis Essays

    Thesis Statement Examples For Synthesis Essays September 15, 2021 A thesis statement is the main argument of your synthesis paper. It should be a concise, precise, and specific one. It must answer the question that has been posed tо you in your introduction.