Writing a synthesis paper requires you to be able to take in information and organize it. This skill is learned in high school and college, but it can also be applied to the advertising and business worlds. Scroll down and read Step 1 to learn how you can write a synthesis essay.
The concept of a “synthesis essay” is explained. The purpose of a syntheses essay is to draw connections between pieces of work, or multiple works, in order to support a claim. You will also find connections when researching a topic. These are the types of synthesis essays you can choose from:
Argument synthesis: A strong thesis statement is required to support the argument. It organizes pertinent information from research in order to support the thesis. This synthesisessaytopics.com is the form that’s often used to create position papers (business white papers). This is what students will write in the AP test.
Review: Sometimes written as a preliminary essay for an argument synthesis, a “review” essay is a discussion on what has been done previously on a subject, along with a critique of the sources. The thesis of the review essay is often that more research is needed in that topic area, or that the problem has not been addressed adequately. This type paper is popular in medicine and social science classes.
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 endorse a particular view. If it has a thesis, the thesis is weak. While some business whitepapers use this form, they are more inclined to have a point, even if it is not stated.
Pick a topic that will work well in a synthesis paper. It should be broad enough that you can pull together many related sources, but not broad enough so as to bring disparate sources together. It is possible to choose your topic from a wide range of sources, but it may be helpful to read some pre-writing. For example, a class may assign a topic, or you may have to choose from a list.
Example of narrowing a broad topic into a reasonable synthesis essay subject: Instead discussing the wide topic of Social Media you could talk about the effects that texting has had upon the English language.
If you have been given a topic for a class, ensure you fully comprehend the prompt and that you understand it.
Be sure to read all sources. Your sources will be provided if the AP Test is taken. You will need at least three sources in order to write an essay. You can always learn more if you have the opportunity after having read all of these sources. Seek out material from your sources that pertains to the purpose of your essay (what your argument).
Keep in mind, it’s always better to study three sources thoroughly than five sources poorly.
Write notes in margins to annotate each source. This allows for you to keep track and develop ideas.
A thesis statement is essential. Once you’ve read all the resources or conducted your own research outside of school, you’ll need to formulate your opinion on the topic. The main idea of your essay will be your thesis. It should include the topic and express your views on it. The thesis statement should be in a complete sentence. Depending upon the essay, your thesis sentence can be either the opening paragraph or the end sentence of each paragraph. 
Example: Texting has had an impact on English language because it has allowed the millennial generation to create their own form.
To support your thesis, you should reread all source material. You can go through all of your sources and find the key quotes, statistics and ideas that support your thesis. You can then write down your findings as you discover them. These will be your guide throughout your essay.
You will need to identify quotes and ideas that don’t support your thesis and find ways to refute them. This is called a concession.
Example: This thesis statement could be taken from linguists who discuss new words developed through ‘text speak’. There are statistics that show English has improved with every generation. Students still have the ability of writing with proper grammar and spelling.
It is important to outline the structure of your thesis. This can be done as a formal outline. Or you can simply plan it in your head. However, you have to decide how to present your material for maximum impact. For the AP test, the graders will expect a particular structure. This structure is:
- A hook is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and acts as an introduction. 2. Identification of the subject you are discussing 3. Your thesis statement.
The body paragraphs: Your topic sentence is a reason why you support your thesis. 2. Your explanation or opinion on the topic sentence. 3. Get support from your sources to back-up the claim you made. 4. Explanation about the source(s).
- The conclusion paragraph Your conclusion paragraph should be: 1. 2. You can end your paper with a thought-provoking conclusion.
You can present your thesis in a more inventive way. If you aren’t writing an argumentative synthesis paper for the AP, you can use a more creative structure. One or more of these methods can be used to create your essay.
Example/illustration. It could be a summary, detailed recount, or direct quotation from your source material that supports your point of view. If necessary, you can include more than one illustration. Your paper should not be a series of illustrations, but you must support your thesis with them. Straw man. This technique lets you present an opposing argument to your thesis, and then point out the weaknesses or flaws of the counter argument. This format shows that your opposition is aware and you are willing to answer it. Your thesis should be followed by the evidence that refutes it. You then present the counter argument. Concession. Concession. This structure is useful for presenting papers to readers holding opposing viewpoints.
Comparison and contrast. This structure compares and contrasts two subjects or sources to illustrate the various aspects of both. It is important to read the source material carefully before you start writing an essay. This will help you identify subtle and major points that are similar and different. This kind of essay can present arguments from source-to-source or in points of similarity, or both.
A background or review essay synthesis essay should have a well-constructed outline. Although most synthesis essays only focus on stating and supporting the thesis, background and review essays look at the ideas within the source rather than the author’s point of view. There are two ways you can structure these types of synthesis essays.
Summary. Summary.This structure gives you a summary of all your sources. It makes it easier to support your thesis. While it supports your argument, it does not usually include your personal views. It is most commonly used in background and review essays.
List of reasons. This is a set of sub-points that flow back from the main topic of your paper. Each reason is supported by evidence. As with the summary approach, each reason should be considered more important with the most important one being the last.
Make your first draft following your outline. Your plan should not be altered if new information or ideas are discovered in your source material. Writing the synthesis for an AP test is time-consuming. Keep it short and manageable.
An essay should begin with an introduction that contains your thesis, followed by a body that presents evidence supporting your thesis, and finally a conclusion that summarises your points of view.
Write in third person. When writing in the third-person, you must use the terms “he,”‘she,” and “it”. Also, make sure to use complete sentences that are unambiguous. Your essay should contain enough information to establish your credibility. Although active voice is the best way to write, passive voice may be acceptable in cases where you would use second (“I”) instead of first (“you”)
You can use transitions between paragraphs in order to make the text flow naturally. Transitions are a great tool to show where your sources agree: Pennington’s paper Cliffhanger Economics supports Hallstrom’s theory regarding price-fixing. Pennington makes the following points.
Long quotes exceeding three lines should be placed in block quotations to draw more attention.
Revise your essay. This is the best time to revise your essay and strengthen your arguments. It is important to make your argument clear and concise. It’s a good idea for you to read the essay out loud. This will help you to catch awkward sentences and uncoherent arguments.
Ask someone to proofread the paper. The old saying, “two heads is better than one”, still applies. Ask a friend to tell you what they would do with the paper. What is the most important thing? Does your argument make sense and is it supported by your sources?
Make sure to proofread your paper. Examine your paper carefully and correct any spelling or grammar mistakes. Are all the names and proper noms correct? Are there run-on sentences, or fragments? Correct them as they appear.
It is important to read the paper aloud so that you don’t miss any words or add-ins.
You can also ask a classmate, friend or colleague to proofread the essay.
Cite your source material. In most papers this means using footnotes for citing material in the body of the essay and a bibliography of the cited works at its end. Paraphrased, quoted or cited material should be cited in footnotes. Although you won’t need to follow a specific style for citing AP material, you should state the source that you used after you cite.
Example of citing AP synthesis essays. McPherson states that texting “has changed the English language positively–it has given a brand new generation their own unique ways to communicate” (Source A).
MLA format is the most popular for college essays. Be consistent with the format that you choose. You might be asked to use APA style or Chicago style.
Title your essay. Your essay’s title should reflect the viewpoint expressed in your thesis statement or supporting arguments. Your essay will be more effective if your title matches your thesis statement and supporting arguments than if you write your essay to fit your title.
Example title: English and iPhone: Exploring Benefits of Text-Speak