You’ve been writing argumentative essays in class, and you must admit that you are getting quite good at it. Your instructor now says you should go one step further and create a synthesis essay.
Although the name may seem intimidating, I’ll be there to help you with examples and to show you how to write a synthesis paper.
First,… What is a Synthesis Essay?
Before we get into writing our synthesis essays and generating ideas, it’d be helpful to understand what a summary essay is.
A synthesis essay can be thought of as a kind of argumentative essay.
One key difference is that your instructor will provide you with the sources to support your argument.
It may seem a bit simpler than an argumentative essay. It’s not an easy way to think and write. Synthesis essays are about supporting your position and identifying the connections between your sources.
Do not succumb to the temptation of summarizing all the sources. Instead, present your point and support it with evidence from those sources. This will be explained in greater detail when we discuss the writing process.
Most likely, your sources have information that can support both sides of an argument. It is important to carefully read through your sources and place them in the context of your argument.
Don’t ignore information that is contrary to your main points. Recognize it instead. Next, show why your argument is stronger.
This may seem a bit too abstract, but it will all be sorted. Here’s a concrete example. It takes inspiration from Harry Potter’s Slytherins book and employs cunning resourcefulness to analyze sources.
There are great and not-so-great topics for your Synthesis Essay
The best topic for a synthese essay is one that challenges you to take a position on a controversial topic. It is not a good idea to synthesis topics that are too general, like whether vegetables are healthy. There are many resources to support the fact that vegetables are good for you.
Bad topics for synthesis can take many forms. Sometimes the topic isn’t clear enough. These situations can make it difficult to formulate a convincing argument. Here are some examples of bad synthesis essay topics.
Synthesis essay on gender
synthesis essay Write about education
Synthesis essay Form an argument on obesity
Another problem is topics that only have one side of an argument. You need a topic with multiple sources that can support more then one position.
Now that you’re familiar with the negative effects of bad topics, let’s talk about how a positive topic can be.
Social issues are a great topic for synthesis essays. These topics are great for synthesis because there is so much debate and gray area. These are some topics that you might consider writing about:
synthesis essay Do video games promote violence?
Synthesis essay Is the death sentence an effective deterrent to crime?
Synthesis essay Should children under the age of 12 be allowed to use cell phones?
Synthesis essay Which school is better for children?
There are many good topics. Be sure to have a strong opinion on your topic. Your synthesis essay will look weaker if you cross the line.
Let’s now get an idea of the types of topics that you might see. Now let’s dive into how to write your synthesis essay. This will make it a bit more interesting.
Are Slytherin House members worse than other house members?
Steps to writing a compelling synthesis essay
Organization is key to a good essay. These five steps synthesisessaytopics.com make it easy to write a good synthesis essay.
Step 1: Read your sources.
Before you make a decision about your position, ensure that you thoroughly read all sources. Find common information between them and make connections as you read.
Let’s say that I have four sources for my Slytherin synthesis example.
Source A is a table listing all Death Eaters’ houses.
Source B contains a detailed history of the Slytherin House including the views and life of Salazar Slytherin.
Source C contains the names of students who were moved to a house other than the one that the Sorting Hat originally assigned.
Source D is a history of Battle of Hogwarts.
Step 2: Determine your position.
Once you have reviewed your sources, you can decide which position you want to take. It doesn’t matter if you believe in your position. What’s important is to be able to back it up as well as possible.
“You don’t have to agree with your position. However, you must be able to support it.
Remember to stick with your chosen position. Your argument and your synthesis should be as strong as you can. It is best to stick to your position to do this.
Let’s return to our example. I have read through my documents and decided that alumni and students of the Slytherin House were not worse than students from other houses.
Step 3: Create a compelling thesis statement.
Once you have decided on a position you must express it in your thesis. This is crucial because you will use your thesis statement in your synthesis essay.
My thesis statement would look something like this in my example:
Slytherin alumni and students are no more evil than other students because they are morally balanced. Evil wizards can be found in all houses and their house traits, such as cunning, resourcefulness and ambition, do not make them evil.
Step 4: Create a compelling outline.
Once you have your argument in writing, it is time to plan how to organize and support it. An excellent way to accomplish this is to create an outline for a synthesis essay.
Write your thesis statement at top of your outline. Next, list your sub-arguments. List your support under each sub-argument. This is a part of my outline:
Thesis Statement: Slytherin alumni and students are not more evil that other students because they have the full spectrum of morality. Evil wizards can be found in all houses and their house traits, such as cunning, resourcefulness and ambition, do not make them evil.
I. Evil wizards can be found in all houses. A. Source A: Death Eaters from Other Houses B. Source D: Examples of Death Eaters from other Houses at the Battle of Hogwarts
My sources were used as the second layer of my outline. I gave the names and concrete evidence from each source.
This is just one example of a paragraph from my outline. You’ll want to do this for each paragraph/sub-argument you plan on writing.
Step 5: Make wise use of your resources
You should not make the same mistakes when using your sources to support your argument. Instead, do a few things.
Synthesis essay Do not summarize the sources. This would include summarizing the source. This shows that evil wizards can be found in all houses.
Analyze the sources when writing a synthesis essay. Write something instead like this: “Though many Death Eaters hail from Slytherin there are still a lot of dark wizards from other houses, such as Quirinus Quirrell or Peter Pettigrew (Source A).
Synthesis essay: Don’t organize your paragraphs around the sources. It may seem like the best way to accomplish your goals, especially if you are only using one source per paragraph. This can lead to a summarization that doesn’t draw relationships between sources.
Synthesis essay: Structure your paragraphs around your arguments. Identify the main points of your argument. These arguments can be supported by two or more sources.
Step 6: Start writing.
Once you have a complete outline, you can just fill in the details and make it look pretty. All the hard work has been done. Writing should be all about clearly communicating your ideas. Keep your thesis statement in your mind as you write so that your synthesis essay is clear and focused.
It doesn’t seem as daunting now that you understand what a synthesis essay looks like and how to write one.
The Kibin editors can help you make your synthesis essay more successful if it isn’t quite coming together as you had hoped.
Thank you for your kind words!