All About Synthesis Essay Writing

In the course of their studying, students are assigned different types of tasks, and one of them is writing synthesis essays. This written assignment poses difficulties to recipients of education as it’s not easy to guess what it should look like from the name of a synthesis essay.

If you were given a task to write a synthesis paper and struggled with its format, structure, or content, there are tips to help you succeed.

Read the article and find that writing a synthesis essay is an engaging process allowing you to know yourself better and showcase your writing skills, knowledge of the subject, and critical thinking to the tutor. Many students already create effective synthesis essays, and it’s time for you to explore what it is and how to write it.

All You Need to Know About a Synthesis Essay

The first step in writing synthesis essays is to specify the definition of the term. A synthesis essay is a type of academic assignment when it’s required to incorporate several sources of differing views to formulate a new question or opinion. Synthesizing means putting various elements together into one whole, which is how your paper should look.

Students should process different sources of information and outline them in synthesis essays to prove the rightfulness of their position. When tutors assign to write a synthesis essay, they want to see not a simple review of books and articles but the relationship between them and the topic.

The synthesis papers are written in high school and at college to teach students to form their subjective opinion using objective evidence. Synthesis is used in an argumentative synthesis essay, analysis papers, research papers, explanatory papers, business reports, and more. So it’s crucial to learn how to prepare for this assignment effectively.

Difference Between Explanatory and Argumentative Synthesis Essays

Before you start writing a synthesis essay, you must explore two main types of papers in detail. Explanatory and argumentative synthesis essays have many things in common, like structure, format, and writing strategy, but their purpose differs.

An explanatory synthesis essay aims to use different sources to explain a particular point of view. This synthesis essay requires an objective examination of similarities and differences between ideas. However, in forming their thesis statement, writers don’t have to choose one side or make readers support their specific position.

In creating argumentative synthesis essays, students follow the same structure, but a stumbling point is in the thesis statement. It should argue one specific point, and an author tries to swing the audience in the direction they prefer.

But you must complete an explanatory or argumentative synthesis essay, choose the appropriate topic and use reliable sources. Let’s move on to writing tips for an effective synthesis essay.

Synthesis Essay Topics

If you were assigned to synthesize information and present it appropriately, one of the major things to do is select an effective topic. A tutor doesn’t require their students to complete an assignment on a specific topic, and they should find the one they like the most on their own.

The freedom of choice is amazing, but sometimes it’s challenging to identify the right essay subject when the options are not limited. So look at tips on how to choose a killer topic for your synthesis essay:

  • The topic you choose should be interesting to you. It will help make the writing process and analysis of sources more engaging.
  • This topic should not be too general or too narrow. Try to find your happy medium and focus on a specific aspect of some issue that is not yet widely covered.
  • Creative topics of synthesis essays should be debatable to appeal to readers. Reading your paper, they need to analyze and consider the best available option.
  • If you write a synthesis essay, your topic has to spark discussion. Engaging topics resonate with the audience, and people have a chance to change or improve the selected idea.

If you wonder what to write about in a synthesis paper, you can focus on social media, stereotyping, education, climate, health, society, technology, and many more.

Steps of Writing a Synthesis Essay

To write a synthesis essay that will ensure you get respect and high marks, feel free to explore advice on making a good paper.

Analyze Your Sources Carefully

Once you choose a decent topic for your essay, read different related sources. You can find them on the internet, in the library, or ask your tutor for support. These should be objective sources that will help you develop your thesis statement.

You can use works by scholars and experts, different scientific studies, and statistical data relevant to your topic. Take notes while reading to summarize the idea and decide how to incorporate it into your paper.

Use a Creative Essay Structure

A typical academic paper consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a concussion. This five-paragraph structure will always be correct, but you can present your thesis creatively. If you are writing a synthesis essay, not for the AP test, you can take a different approach to outline the paper.

You can use different examples and illustrations in the essay to support your idea. The technique of straw man allows you to present the counter-argument after your thesis and show its weakness. Comparison, contrast, and concession are effective structures for presenting papers.

Show Relationships Between Pieces of Information

A synthesis essay requires the author to process multiple data sources and connect them to the topic. Synthesis works aim to inform, and it’s vital to clarify how each fact interacts with the other.

You can highlight the differences and similarities of various sources relating to the topic. A good way to achieve that is to list the most appropriate ideas and connect them logically. You can use special words and phrases for a smooth text arrangement.

Synthesis Essay Format

There are two possible synthesis essay formats. They designate how a writer should cite the sources and present the bibliography. Let’s explore the MLA and APA formats in detail:


You can create a well-structured, good synthesis essay following the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. It is widely used for formatting papers in the humanities. General MLA requirements concerning page layout include one-inch margins, Times New Roman font of twelve-point size, and double-space.

Add page numbers and type your last name before each number. Format the works cited and listed the entries in alphabetical order.


The American Psychological Association style is used for academic papers in the social sciences and psychology and is perfect for formatting synthesis essays. Basic formatting requirements include three sections: title page, body and references, one-inch margins, Times New Roman font, 12-point, and double spacing.

Citations should include the author’s surname, year of publication and page number of the citation. On the works cited page, you can name up to nineteen authors, the year of publication, title, and subtitle of the work.

Synthesis Essay Elements

There are five key elements every synthesis essay must include. They may vary depending on the assignment, but as a rule, your paper consists of an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs, conclusion, and sources. Let’s discover each essay element that will help you create high-quality work.

  • In the introduction, you should encourage people to keep reading, sparking their curiosity with interesting facts or meaningful quotations. The first paragraph generally includes a thesis statement.
  • The thesis statements of essays display their main purposes. You claim that you support with arguments in your paper using reliable sources, supporting your claims.
  • It would help if you wrote a synthesis essay with several body paragraphs. They are based on sources you analyzed and can include paraphrasing and citations from these works.
  • While writing a synthesis essay conclusion, the author has to review the essay’s key points and restate the thesis validity. Do not repeat yourself but provide a different view on the issue.
  • The final page of the essay should contain a list of the works cited. It proves that the work is authentic with no plagiarism.

Synthesis Essay Outline

Creating a synthesis essay outline can help you structure the paper properly. This plan will allow a writer to display ideas coherently and smoothly move from one section to another. The outline structure includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.


In this section, you should add a hook to attract readers’ attention and briefly mention the key arguments, main sources, and a meaningful thesis statement. Here you introduce readers to a paper discussion. The introduction should also contain the background data and persuade the readers of the importance of your subject.

Body Paragraphs

The next elements in a synthesis essay outline are body paragraphs. When crafting these paragraphs, you should use the MEAL structure. It means Main idea, Evidence, Analysis and Link Back. Claim the topic, provide a quote or a fact, analyze the evidence, and link back to the central claim.


The closing paragraph in synthesis essays also has a clear structure. Here you have to summarize the main points, restate the thesis statement, mention the evidence, and call to action. Finishing your paper does not raise a new question but gives readers food for thought.

Writing a Thesis Statement for a Synthesis Essay

When writing a synthesis essay statement, one should remember a rule of thumb that includes observation and opinion. Here you state or refute the claim on the issue.

Suppose you want to write a synthesis paper that grabs readers’ attention and keeps them excited while reading, making the statement debatable. It should be true but, at the same time, give room for reflection and disagreement.

Consider that thesis statements are not fragmented, overly broad, or set as a question. Do not begin with cliche words like “In my opinion” or “I think” or include words leading to erroneous generalizations. Instead, add qualifiers, like more often sometimes, to indicate that you understand that there are different views on the subject.

Tips on How to Write a Good Synthesis Essay

This section will enrich your knowledge about writing high-quality papers if you look for an effective synthesis essay prompt. When creating essays, authors develop their advice over time to help novice writers avoid many pitfalls.

These tips concern structure, format, vocabulary, sources, addressing readers and more. Everyone knows what their essay should look like according to the tutor’s requirements and personal preference. But there are still some universal rules for creating a good synthesis essay.

Move on and explore tested pieces of advice that helped many students stand out with their synthesis essays and achieve success.

Always Proofread Your Essay

People tend to make mistakes, and in the writing process, everyone faces unavoidable typos. It doesn’t mean you are not attentive, it’s natural, and proofreading is right for such cases. Students should reread their synthesis papers as many times as they want until they make sure there are no mistakes.

It may be hard and ineffective as our eyes are getting accustomed to the text, and we do not notice some evident errors. A useful synthesis essay prompt uses special programs for editing and proofreading papers.

There are many such tools on the internet, and their basic features are free, but if you want a perfect scanning of the text, be ready to pay. You can also ask your groupmates and tutors or hire an editor to proofread your essay.

Use Reliable Sources

If you want to write a synthesis paper that will score an excellent mark, you should prepare well for writing and read a lot. Please make sure these sources are credible as often we can come across some nonsense data on the internet without any proof. Students should select high-quality literature and articles for good synthesis essays.

It is recommended to check the authenticity of publications, conferences, and any examples you use for writing a synthesis essay. Tutors may provide a list of recommended literature but be ready to search for your unique sources. Address specialists from the field, ask a librarian or navigate thoroughly for credible synthesis paper sources.

Cite Sources Properly

And the last tip for any student is to be careful with citing sources. When writing synthesis essays, you can use different publications and materials that may be extremely interesting and relevant to the topic. But you may get a lower mark for your synthesis essay if you fail to cite the works referred to properly.

You should refer to a source in your text and add a proper list of works cited at the end of a synthesis paper. In-text citations, as a rule, include an author’s surname and date of publication in parenthesis. In the reference list, you should write the author’s initials, date of publication, title, edition, city, and publishing house.


Writing a synthesis essay is not as daunting a task as you might think at first sight. We hope this article will help you better understand the principles of compiling a good paper. Follow the tips and always support your ideas with reliable evidence. But if you need academic assistance with writing your synthesis essay, our experts are always ready to help.

Our company provides high-quality essay writing service for creating different types of papers of any academic level, subject, and deadline. Our expert authors can write a synthesis paper following all your instructions and make it the best way possible.

Your life will be much easier once you know useful tips for writing an effective synthesis essay and know where to address if you need someone to write a synthesis essay for you.

Get a $10 discount on your first order!
Use Promo Code: first10
claim now