Synthesis Essay: How to Write It

Synthesis essay writing involves doing a lot of research and processing tons of data, due to the specificity of the assignment. To deal with it properly, is important to understand what is a synthesis essay in the first place. Simply put, it can be defined as a paper that discusses a certain research question or phenomenon based on the extensive and deep analysis of the existing literature about it. Clearly, for a comprehensive synthesis, a number of sources need to be processed, which makes this type of assignment rather challenging. Moreover, the materials used need to be published recently and in respected sources. In addition, one has to demonstrate strong analytical skill, as the material needs to be integrated and filtered to serve the purpose of discussing one topic.

One’s approach to handling a synthesis essay assignment depends on the topic given by the teacher. The topic has to be researched in various sources of literature and studied from all the existing perspectives, and then the most valuable information should be combined in a well-structured essay. Obviously, chaotic attempts to write such paper with pieces of random studies are doomed to fail, and a complex approach is needed for this sort of task. The directions below will be useful for those who are looking for such approach.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Since the discussed kind of paper is not simple, it is important to plan it in the first place, to have a clear vision of the writing process and keep all the sections well organized. Thus, the first step to be taken is writing a detailed synthesis essay outline. It will serve as a plan for your writing and a skeleton for the essay’s text; using it, you will make sure to include all the necessary points and stay consecutive throughout the writing process. Thus, make sure to take your time for the outline’s proper preparation. Such technique as brainstorming can be helpful here: develop as many ideas that relate to the topic as possible, and then select only the strongest ones. They will constitute the foundation of your outline.

Once you have completed the outline, work on every of its sections, creating them one by one. The major elements required for a synthesis essay are listed and explained below.


Whichever of the synthesis essay topics you receive, you will need to present it in an interesting and catchy way in the opening part of your paper. Briefly describe the issue in 1-2 sentences, and express your position regarding the problem in the other 2-3 sentences. As you know, the key element of any introduction is the thesis statement, and it works for synthesis essays too. Formulate a clear purpose of your work, define what your essay is trying to show to the readers, and write it down in a concise thesis statement. As a rule, it is included in the last sentence of the introduction.

Main Body

Depending on the required word count and depth of the research, the body of your synthesis paper may contain from 3 to 6 body paragraphs. Traditionally, each paragraph has to begin with a new idea, and explain and develop it with supporting sentences. These sentences usually contain strong arguments, details, and evidence from the literature sources with correct referencing.

It is extremely important to make all the paragraphs of the paper body related to the introduction. Every idea expressed in a separate paragraph should derive from your thesis statement and help to discuss it on a deeper level. Otherwise, the paper will lack coherence and key direction. Focus on the key argument and make sure that every single sentence of the text is contributing to this theme.

Another significant aspect is relating the presented information to the materials learnt in class. Your paper should always stay within the context of your course, so make sure to show how it links with the class notes, lectures, and studied sources.


The conclusion usually takes just one paragraph and serves as a logical ending of your research. No new ideas or arguments are allowed to occur here, as this section of the essay is just for summarizing and interpreting the results of the study. If you feel that your paper has certain limitations and the synthesis is not comprehensive enough, you can point it out in the conclusive part of the writing. This way, you will admit the drawbacks of your paper and show the perspective of new researches.

Why Write a Synthesis Essay?

An assignment with numerous requirements and challenging writing process can be really discouraging to do, which is absolutely understandable. That is why; many students give up all their attempts and stop struggling for a perfect synthesis essay. However, despite the complexity of the process, it is highly advisable to try your best and create a decent synthesis essay, because it will be a great experience for you. First, in the process of writing this kind of paper, you will learn a lot of nuances and details about the topic, which will contribute to your erudition and provide a deeper knowledge of the subject. Second, you will gain the valuable writing skills, which can only come with practice. Later, you can apply these skills to other papers and do them easier and faster. Finally, a synthesis essay is your opportunity to win the respect of your professor and show them your scholarly potential. A student who completed such academic assignment properly is worth attention, and this will greatly contribute to your reputation in class.

As you can see, the most challenging occupations usually make us grow the most. Therefore, stop doubting your abilities to compose a profound paper and try your best to do it. Use our tips for writing a synthesis essay, find sample works that you could follow, consult your professor for more detailed instructions, and proceed with the writing process. Your persistence and systematic work will definitely pay off with a great result!

Synthesis Essay Example