How to Write a Synthesis Essay
A synthesis essay is quite different from regular types of essays. In the synthesis essay you are supposed to write your interpretation of things that you have studied, seen or felt. It could be from two or more sources and you are required to provide your understanding of the things you have studied, felt or witnessed, the source of which can be from a varied range of other sources.
Synthesis essays appear to be a bit difficult to write as combining of the summaries from two or more sources should be logical and have at least some meaning in it. The whole idea behind the synthesis essay is to present the ideas gathered from multiple sources in one single source in a coherent and easily recognizable manner. Students must have the ability to assimilate as much information as possible for writing the synthesis essay. In addition to assimilatory powers, students must be able to recall all they have assimilated and they should also have that much organizational ability so that the recalled information is put in a coherent and organized way.
Synthesis essays could be of various kinds; you should properly identify and categorize them before starting on the actual essay. The major kind of synthesis essays fall into three main categories: explanatory or background synthesis, argument synthesis and review. Whatever may be the type of the synthesis essay, the question needs a persuasive agreement and you should try to keep your argument as much persuasive as possible. The sources which you are using in your synthesis essay should be reflected in your own voice and not as those of the authors or writers of the original source. Before writing the actual synthesis essay, you need to make a preliminary task which is:
- Read the sources thoroughly and with good detail.
- Note different opinions, thoughts and viewpoints of different sources and identify the relationship between them.
- Make a thesis. It should be based on the relations that you have identified above.
- Finally, you should try to support the thesis in your own words.
Steps in Writing a Synthesis Essay
Follow the steps below while writing a synthesis essay.
- Make an outline of a thesis structure. It could be developed in a formal outline structure. An outline forms the skeletal framework for the actual essay.
- Read and understand the various sources with a detailed eye. Look for matching issues in each of the sources. Try to reflect on those issues by noting down your own ideas that come out from your mind.
- Try to think of a topic that will join or unify your essay. You have to note down the key points from each of the sources you have read/seen. In addition, you should also write down the thesis from each of the sources that you have studied/read.
- Now make your own thesis for the synthesis essay. It should be linked directly with the sources you have studied just a while ago. You may find that there might be some agreement or disagreement in the sources that you have read. You need to build up on these in writing your own thesis.
- After this, you need to organize the essay based on the thesis you have chosen.
- Write a first draft based on the points you have kept in your mind. It should be based on the thesis that you have earmarked for writing the essay. You can mention the names of the writers or authors that you have read as a part of the original sources. You can also include some quotes and passages from the sources to highlight your own point. You must always cite the original author if you are using the quotes/passage from the original source(s).
- Make a thorough revision to the first draft so that you make corrections and amend it accordingly before writing the actual final essay.
If the above steps are followed, then writing a synthesis essay would be an easy task.
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