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How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Definition, Guide & Topics

Numerous types of essays may cause confusion. Sure, you can ask for professional assistance to do my assignment online. But it is still a good lesson to know the basic information about your task. So before disclosing tips for argument synthesis essay creation, let’s define the specifications of this type of writing. Usually, students compare it with an argumentative essay with a slight difference – the list of recourses you receive from your tutor. Basically, you get the basic materials that should be used to prove the point of your topic. To make your paper memorable you need to have a developed critical thinking and analytical skills to connect the information from received sources in one united paper. Anyway, you will get useful tips on this matter so keep reading this article.

The Usage of Synthesis Writing

Synthesis writing can be used as a separate work as well as a part of the paper. Here are some most common examples where the synthesis is used:

  • in an analysis paper
  • mainly when you are assigned to analyze common theories and compare the similar things to define their specifications;
  • in a research paper when you need to include a few similar sources;
  • in an argument paper in order to compare two different points of views and to find the common elements;
  • in business reports – when you need to estimate various approaches, ideas, and methods to design a new plan or strategy.

Synthesizing Sources

You cannot simply start writing your synthesis paper. You need to do some preparations. There are some basic steps you need to follow:

  • defining the main good idea – you will have the guiding point, for instance, “prove that enthusiasm about something helps to cope with challenges in school” and you have to derive your topic from this approach;
  • writing down alternative thesis – as soon as you know the direction you can think of the things that are relevant to this and then define the main idea that will be according to it;
  • selecting suitable sources relevant to the subject;
  • studying them – after this, you can think of some resources that may contain the proofs and facts for your point and it can be either written materials (books) or multi-media content (movies);
  • evaluating – then you need to select a few the most suitable ones and use them in your paper.

Sources of information can prove or object the main idea of the paper. And in both cases, they can serve a great deal.

The Structure of a Synthesis Paper

Another important aspect of how to write a synthesis essay is the right structure of the paper. This requirement allows the student to convey the main idea correctly. As every type of academic writing, it starts with an introductory part. But it should not be just an extended version of the main paper idea. Make it more like a summary of the whole essay.

The next part of the structuring you should build is the body. It also can be divided into smaller paragraphs and organized according to the points, topic, common aspects etc. For this purpose, you can use any pattern that can be mentioned in your paper. You can start with more general statements and move to mode detailed arguments. We also strongly recommend using multiple analyzing sources. This will help you to describe differences and similarities of two or more point of views more effectively. Speaking of the general content, make sure it is truthful and unbiased. Otherwise, you risk making your paper weaker.

The concluding part finalizes the paper and provides comments and suggestions on the discussed topic. After this, you can proofread and perfect your paper. Let’s take a closer look at each part of the paper and the common mistakes need to be avoided.


This part should contain the information that shows the relevance of the disclosed subject to your reader. You need to highlight what you want to tell your readers in the paper. For instance, it can include the role of the subject in the social evolution, technology development or any other effect on aspects of human life. After stating the main point of your paper you need to provide supporting thoughts. On this stage, it is better simply mention them with a brief explanation. More detailed disclosing will appear in the main body chapters. Pay attention that introduction should reflect the content of your paper.

Areas where students go wrong:

  • misleading the reader providing the wrong or unclear explanation of the topic;
  • using weak or irrelevant thesis statement that barely correlates with the main essay idea;
  • providing proofs that do not relate to the people or which are simply boring and non-catching.

These mistakes are the most common ones but there are also many other cases when students fail in writing a quality synthesis paper, particularly the introductory part.


This is the middle part of your work where you actually show the results of your research. Step by stem you provide the points to prove the main statements and to maintain them with relevant resources. It is not only advisable but obligatory to divide the body into paragraphs. Firstly, this makes your paper easy readable and understandable. The reader sees the main points and can clearly check what main issues will be disclosed. Secondly, this makes your paper structured and meaningful. You move from point to point gradually supporting your key claim.

The most common mistakes:

  • usage of the sentences and thoughts that do not serve as supporting points for the main thesis;
  • the absence of the proofs or adding the thoughts that seem like very weak evidence of you being right.
  • do not include the connecting phrases and headings to make your essay coherent.

As you can see, despite the availability of educational materials, many students still make such common and unreasonable mistakes. While writing your thesis essay, make sure you avoid such fails and your text provides strong arguments in a relevant form.


You need to finish your essay with a strong and memorable text that will make the reader think about the topic even after reading the paper. The final part has a serious impact on the reader’s mind and it is easy to spoil the whole impression simply writing a poor conclusion. To succeed you need to think of the final review that will restate your thesis, summarize all stated ideas and issues. You can repeat the solutions to the aroused problems and answers to the questions. Also, you can write a question/quiz, in the end, to leave the reader with an “open finale” when he/she will have to come up with own conclusions.

Common mistakes

As with the previous parts, in conclusion, you also risk making common mistakes if you do not learn writing papers properly. For example, some students do not include a call-to-action part in their conclusion section. In other cases, we can see the weak repetition of the points without showing any position towards the stated ideas. But it is not a lecture. Keep in mind that conclusion is the last thing the reader remembers for sure so make it memorable and even moving.

Tips for Writing an Effective Synthesis Essay

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Study this useful guide that will help you to make your paper even better:

  • Define the main goal in order to choose the best way to provide supporting arguments. The whole paper should follow your thesis, the main idea.
  • Study the selected resources well in order to be able to use them in supporting your points of view. Do not simply quote the sentences from other sources but interpret them in your own words to show your deep understanding of the topic.
  • Organize your argument synthesis essay with a decent plan. Divide the main statement into the points and use a few sources for each of them. This approach will help you to make your paper worth attention and well-thought. Compare the available sources and arrange them in a way they support each other.
  • Show the connection between sources and how they all maintain the thesis.
  • Take notes to paper outline each source. Write down the author, page and other patterns to make references or quotes. This is important to avoid plagiarism in your essay.

Define what strategy will fit your essay the most:

  • comparison and contrasting – to show the common and different aspect of things in order to disclose the topic;
  • point-to-point – you gradually persuade the reader providing one argument after another;
  • blocks – when you need to cover a few wide aspects, but in this case, you have to cover all the points in each section;
  • climatic order – you arrange the persuasive arguments in the order of their importance/strength/etc.;
  • problem-solution – when your paper is aimed at solving the problem.

Writing Style and Format of Synthesis Essay

Usually, the selection of the writing format is determined by the field of science. Some of the formats are developed for the particular discipline and help to disclose the subject in the best way. For instance, MLA is used mostly for the Humanities, while for Education, Science or Psychology we would recommend APA style. If you write the essay for Business, History or Fine Arts, you should consider using Turabian or Chicago format. In general, here are the most common styles to choose from:

  • APA
  • Harvard
  • IEEE
  • MLA
  • Oxford
  • Turabian

Features of an AP Synthesis Essay in English

Students who are enrolled in AP English Language and Composition course should be able to show the deep understanding of the subjects they disclose as well as skills in operating various sources of information combining them with the known datum. Moreover, their writing skills should also be flawless in order to get high scores on the AP exam. This means that you have to exclude any grammar, spelling or structural mistakes as well as cases of plagiarism from their writing.

You need to know the main branches of the AP English, which are argument, synthesis, and rhetoric. All these three elements should be used in your thesis statement in some way. For instance, the argument is about stating the idea and proving trustworthy proofs for it to persuade the reader. In synthesis writing, you need to use a few sources and compare their statements in order to define your own point. Rhetorical writing focused on the writer and the purpose of the essay. It serves for attracting and engaging the reader.

Topics for Your Synthesis Paper

If your college teacher did not provide you with a particular topic, consider this as an opportunity to find what topic will be interesting to you and your audience. Keep in mind that you will have to stick to this topic throughout the essay and all your arguments should be focused on it. Be able to provide at least 3-5 arguments from the relevant sources.

Your thesis should be a bit controversial to encourage a debate. This will help you to set a dialogue with your reader, in a way, who can agree or argue with you. You also should think of possible opposite opinions and point them out to display your awareness of the subject and that it is multidimensional. The selected topic should be not only engaging but also moving. The sign of the well-presented argument synthesis essay is when after reading the text the person keeps thinking about the opened statements.

Here are some ideas for you:

  • Abortions: yes and no
  • Social media effect
  • Anorexia and nervous
  • Feminism
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Social abuse
  • Immigration in the USA
  • Walmart store security service
  • Human voice change
  • IP-address and privacy policy
  • The game as an educational tool
  • Skin color issue
  • Stress reducing technique

Need Help with Essay Writing?

As you can see, this type of academic writing is a challenging process as well and it requires a lot of hard work to reach good results. Many students spend too much time on such papers and still do not get an A. We do not encourage you to give up, but we want to enable knowing that there is a solution for any situation. In case you are overwhelmed with other assignments or simply are not confident in your writing skills, you can always ask for the expert assistance and buy the paper or revision from the special local writing service. What is more, you will be provided with professional help, so you will more likely get the higher grade for this type of writing. And you will receive a present – free time! All you need is to fill in the form and confirm your order. We will start writing a synthesis paper for you immediately to ensure the best result.

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