Writing a synthesis essay requires something more than a knowledge of the subject, readings, and general awareness of academic paper formats. One has to digest all relevant information available on the web. The goal is to reflect the material in a well-organized manner. High school and college homework assignments usually help to develop this skill. You may find the necessity to implement this skill in a future business field like marketing & advertising.
Definition of Synthesis Essay
Before you write, it is important to define the word “synthesis.” Most probably, you know what academic essay stands for by this time. However, students often find the word “synthesis” unfamiliar.
Synthesis stands for the mix of elements which create a connected whole. You can guess that a synthesis essay is the one which combines various ideas into a whole piece of cake to prove a main argument/thesis. If you have to write this sort of essay as a part of SAT or ACT, you should know that often the task comes with the text to analyze. It can be an article or speech. SAT and ACT are both English proficiency AP tests.
A synthesis essay usually follows argumentative essay. Once you’ve mastered the art of creating argumentative or persuasive essays, you are ready to write a synthesis essay. The basic things which make this assignment different from everything else are:
- Necessity to unite all pieces/elements into one whole
- No need to search for the sources – your teacher will provide you with some
- The purpose is to identify the relationships between recommended sources
As for the rest of the features, they are pretty much the same. The student has to select the most important parts of the recommended sources which can be used as the evidence for the main sentence. The main sentence appears at the end of the introduction. It is your thesis statement.
Choose arguments that support both sides of the coin. While you have an argument, do not forget to provide your readers with the counter-argument. It makes your claims look more persuasive and objective. Read over all available information carefully to pick both the argument for and against.
Examples of Synthesis Essay for Your English Class
Usually, you have to answer the questions set by the teacher. There is no need to think of your own topic or search for the sources. However, you should know how to choose the topic if your teacher decides to let you act on your own.
If you have to write an essay of this type as a part of your English AP test, you won’t have a right to select topic and sources. You just need to look through the questions and start reading the proposed articles and other sources. The instructions are given on the first page.
Before we move on, you can read pages of valuable information about SAT in this helpful blog.
When you have a right to pick the topic, do not hurry to type the text. We can share examples of the good ideas for your AP essay:
- For and against abortions
- The influence of video games on child’s brain
- The role of social networks in our life
- Gun control and other measures to reduce crime
- Spanish as the second official language
- Authors who use ghostwriting services
- More workplaces for the immigrants
- Global warming
- Obesity problems
- The gap between first-class and working class
In fact, there are much more excellent ideas. Remember to choose the topic which has controversial opinions. Your synthesis essay should encourage the target audience to continue the discussion. Thus, the topic has to be relevant for our time and society. As a rule, a synthesis essay is no longer than 1-2 pages.
You can search for other good topic ideas on the internet. Look for the information in the best English essays you can download from this database.
General Structure and Features
Any good essay requires the standard academic structure and logical flow of thoughts. For this type of essay, we recommend using five simple steps.
- Go on reading your sources until you get the main point
Continue reading the offered sources until you make a final decision regarding your position towards the topic. Try to find out what information is common for all sources. Watch out as your exam is limited by time, so don’t dedicate too much time to this step.
Let’s pretend your exam requires you to write a synthesis essay on Gryffindor based on the series of books by Joanne Rowling.
- Source A is a data table with the full list of Hogwarts students who study in Gryffindor.
- Source B is a full history of Harry Potter’s native house, including the life and views of its co-founder.
- Source C is a document with all names of students who belong to other Hogwarts houses.
- Source D should describe the Battle of Hogwarts. Reading the extracts from the book might be the key to success.
- Make decision regarding your personal position
Once you work out the sources and analyze the main ideas, weigh all pros and cons to decide on your own position towards the topic. It will help to plan how many pages of essay you will write. It is not important to trust in your words – the most important thing is to support your thesis (main argument) effectively.
The synthesis has to be as strong as possible, so make sure to use evidence made of facts, statistics, direct quotes from other authors, etc.
- Make an awesome claim
Focus on the main idea of your sources to write a powerful thesis statement. A good thesis should highlight a central idea so that it sounds attractive to the target readers. We will come back to the example of our synthesis essay.
Students and graduates from Gryffindor are not better than students in the other houses as far as the book is focused on the native house of the main hero, Harry Potter, and it skips a lot of episodes reflecting the life and possible deeds of other students. At the same time, students of Gryffindor may have negative personal traits as well as it was shown in the example of James Potter.
- Write your outline
Write an action plan for your synthesis essay. With respect to the number of pages or words, you can include, narrow down the information retrieved from the sources to intro-body-conclusion.
- Support the general essay structure.
- Don’t forget to use your sources throughout the writing process.
- Finished with writing? Revise your draft before writing a final version of your synthesis essay.
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