What Is a Synthesis Essay?
Have you been tasked with writing a synthesis essay?
Read on, because this article will discuss what a synthesis essay is and how you can write one. This type of essay may be a bit more complicated than the one which you are usually assigned to write. Hopefully, this article will help guide and make writing the essay easier.
A synthesis essay is a kind of essay that comes up with a unique stand on a topic and then backs it up with the help of several sources. Those sources are combined to make the asserted viewpoint about a topic stronger and more unique.
The process for writing a synthesis essay has 3 steps to it:
- Finding and combining the sources
- Creating the thesis
- Formatting and writing the essay
Like any other essay type, once you are familiar with the whole process for the synthesis essay, you will have an easier time writing it. It’s important to take a closer look at each of the steps we have named here.
Writing a Synthesis Essay
To learn how to write a synthesis essay, we will follow the step by step process we have given.
To write an effective synthesis essay you need to understand the purpose of this type of essay. The purpose of a synthesis essay is to take multiple sources and use those varied viewpoints into supporting a single idea.
Finding and Combining Sources
Before you begin writing your essay, you have to start by collecting all the possible sources that you can use for your essay. Read up the sources that you have collected and then write a summary of each one. Make sure that you take note of all the important points that are against and for the issue that you are writing about so that you can come back to them later on when you are writing the essay.
Do not limit yourself when you are looking for sources. You can start your research by using the most obvious sources, but for you to get more varied viewpoints, you should expand your search for sources.
For example, if you are writing about parenting, don’t limit yourself with the sources that are related to parenting. Try to find sources from other topics that are in some way connected with your main topic. You can use sources about child psychology for example.
The more varied your sources are, the more impressive your essay will be should you be able to write it well.
Creating the Thesis
The next step for you is to create the thesis which you will be supporting with your entire essay. This is a very important step because the entire essay that you are writing will be in support of it. You need to create a thesis that you can support.
The thesis should be a claim stated within a single sentence. It should also be stated in clear terms. Now, your sources should be able to support the thesis that you are going to come up with. How you can do that will depend on your skill as a writer.
Formatting and Writing the Essay
Before you start the actual writing of the essay, the next move for you is to outline and come up with the format of the essay. This will make the whole writing process easier since you have a clear idea of what will follow after each section.
Once you are done with the planning and the outline, you can proceed with the actual writing. It can be difficult for some people to start writing their essays. They want it to be perfect right away. Writers say that the best way to overcome that is to just start writing. You can always do revisions later on.
Now, remember that you need to take three or four more viewpoints from your resources to support your main thesis. You have to show clearly that those viewpoints are connected somehow and that they are supporting your main thesis.
The coming together of those viewpoints in support of your thesis is the synthesis after which the essay type is named. That is one of the most important parts of the essay.
The Synthesis Essay Structure
It would be a lot easier for you if there is a general structure that can be followed for this kind of essay. It should three parts and those are the:
For the introduction, you need a hook right in the first sentence. The hook is an amusing or controversial statement that will compel the readers to keep on reading your essay. Once you have their attention with the hook, you must state the issue that you are writing about.
For the body, each paragraph should be about a viewpoint that you got from the sources you have gathered. Now, you should use each viewpoint to support your main thesis and prove that it is valid. Keep in mind that the paragraphs should not be about the sources. It should stay focused on your thesis statement.
Your conclusion should point out the importance of your thesis. You need to cite the sources that you have used in making that claim. It helps if you can restate your thesis at this part so that the readers can be reminded.
Remember, you cannot just rely on you saying that your thesis is important. It should be crucial and the readers need to see that.
Writing a synthesis essay can be challenging, but if you know the process and you structure your essay really well, then you should not have a hard time.
Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay
Here are a few tips that you can use when writing a synthesis essay:
- Pick the sources that are somehow connected already. That would make it easier for you to tie them altogether when you’re writing an essay. This can be a shortcut for you and you can make this easier that way.
- Avoid making vague statements because that can weaken your whole piece. When you want to say something, just go ahead and say it but be sure you have sources that will back up your claim.
- Make sure that you use smooth transitions from one topic to another. If you don’t use effective transitions, your essay will read disconnected and disorganized.
- You have to be sure that you are not missing the point of the sources that you are citing. If you misunderstand your sources, some readers will spot that and point it out eventually.
- Summarize the sources that you are using. You don’t need the full text of the sources. Remember, you are just using them to make your point stronger.
- Create a strong central thesis that you can easily prove.
These are just a few tips that you can use when you are writing a synthesis essay.
Do you think that you can write an effective synthesis essay now? With the help of the ideas outlined in this article, you should have an easier time writing. It is not that difficult when you have everything planned out and you have all your sources ready. You just need to tie it all together.