Caleb S.
Caleb S.

Writing a Perfect Synthesis Essay: Definition & Examples

16 min read

Published on: Mar 1, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Synthesis Essay

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.

On This Page

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. 

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

  • 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:

Synthesis Essay Structure

Introduction – Introduce your topic and thesis statement 
Body Paragraph 1 – Discuss one point related to your thesis statement 
Body Paragraph 2 – Discuss another point related to your thesis statement 
Body Paragraph 3 – Discuss yet another point related to your thesis statement 
Conclusion – Summarize your points and reiterate why they support your thesis statement  

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.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

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.

  • Strawman

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.

  • Summarize

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.

  • Examples

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.

  • Concession

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 to get essay writing help online. Our essay writer service is always ready to ace your assignments. 

So don't hesitate and order your essay now!

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.

Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Get Help Top-class writers are here! Get Help!

Keep reading