Synthesis essays


What is a synthesis essay?

Navigating the many different styles of essays is a crucial skill that every student must develop throughout their education. Each style of an essay comes with its unique form and approach, and learning about these elements is key to mastering academic writing. These elements mean that each style has its own type of question for which they are most suitable. Some styles are better for persuasion and argumentation; others are more exploratory or reflective.

If you're tasked with writing a synthesis essay and find yourself overwhelmed with the intricacies of integrating multiple sources into a cohesive and compelling argument, StudyMoose essay writing services can be your academic lifesaver.

Among these many different forms of essay is the synthesis essay. As an academic paper is an assignment that teachers use to test their students’ comprehension and ability to explain a given topic, mastering the synthesis essay is an important part of proving your academic skills. As an academic assignment, it is unique in many ways, and it’s important to understand this to get to grips with what is synthesis essay actually all about.

The main answer to what is a synthesis essay in purpose is research and presentation. The formation of a robust idea or thesis statement is central to how to write a synthesis essay. This writing style challenges students to consult a variety of resources to back up and defend this thesis statement. The best synthesis essay definition is a piece of writing that highlights the relationship between different source materials in order to back up and prove their central thesis statement. What makes the kind of synthesis essay AP Lang students find themselves writing so unique is this emphasis placed upon dealing with sources.

As synthesis essays can be tricky to master, they are also very valuable markers for how well a student is performing academically. This makes them one of the most important writing approaches to master. Students looking to improve their writing skills in this academic style need to explore exactly what it is and how to write in it. This comprehensive guide gives you everything you need to know and offers some inspiration for your next assignment!

How to write a synthesis essay?

When challenging you to write in this synthesis style, teachers will usually provide their students with a prompt. These prompts can vary widely in their scope but will give you the opportunity to develop a strong thesis statement. Beyond this, a range of sources must be consulted in order to back it up. In some cases, teachers will provide these sources themselves and ask each student to draw a line between them. In other cases, the choice of sources used will be left up to the student to find and synthesize into a defense of the thesis statement.

The real key to writing a successful synthesis is the same as with any writing assignment - a clear understanding of the subject and structure. Getting to grips with the subject of your paper is the first step to writing something top-notch. Every source-based writing assignment needs to begin with a thorough and organized exploration of the source material. This phase is called a “close reading”, and means taking notes and making summaries as you make your way through the texts. Later these text summaries can be used to create an outline.

It’s impossible to write a good paper without fully reading, annotating, and comprehending all of the sources that you’re intending to cite throughout your argumentation. The best thesis essay examples will always begin with this research phase. Keeping careful and organized annotation of your source materials will help with slotting this information into the synthesis essay example format.

Synthesis Essay Examples

  • Explanatory Synthesis Essay

Explanatory Synthesis Essay

  • Student Individuality Synthesis Paper

Student Individuality Synthesis Paper

  • Frankenstein Research Synthesis Paper

Frankenstein Research Synthesis Paper

What is synthesis essay structure?

Nailing the structure of this style is the key to successfully covering synthesis essay topics. The overarching structure of this style of writing follows the familiar format of most academic assignments: introduction, body, conclusion. However, due to the emphasis on using sources in the examples of synthesis essay writing, the use of this three-part structure has some important specificities to bear in mind. Learning how to master the use of sources in this kind of paper is at the heart of building a solid synthesis essay outline. Our synthesis essay examples provide a perfect example of how best to put this structure to use.

The thesis statement

The number one thing needed in how to start a synthesis essay is the formation of a solid and well-defined thesis statement. Before you head into the research phase and start reading the sources, it’s important to have a thesis statement in mind. Those that back up your thesis statement can then be used for your paper.

Once you’re confident with your deep-reading and note-taking from your sources, you can move towards the actual writing process. In order to begin, you need your clearly defined thesis statement at hand. In order to prepare for this, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with solid synthesis essay thesis examples.

A good thesis will be very specific and already introduce the concepts that your sources will later deal with in-depth. A poorly-constructed thesis example, such as “too much alcohol is bad for you”, is far too broad and vague in nature. It doesn’t give enough clarity to either yourself as a writer nor your readers as to the approach and scope of the paper to come. A better-constructed statement to cover the same topic would be “the over-consumption of alcohol has detrimental effects on overall health, such as weight, heart disease, and liver damage.” This reformulated thesis statement gives a clearer sense of direction to both you as the author going about your research and your eventual readers.

Arguable thesis means that it can be argued. It must either state or refute an argument about your topic. To be debateable, a thesis must have some possibility of being true. However, the thesis should not be universally accepted as true. Instead, it should be something that people can disagree with. A thesis can be both an observation or an opinion.

observation + opinion (the "why") = thesis

Seeing if your thesis creates a powerful antithesis is an excellent approach to determine how strong it is.

Common thesis pitfalls:

  • A thesis in the form of a fragment.
  • A thesis that is overly broad.
  • A thesis that is phrased as a question. (The thesis is usually derived from the solution to the question.)
  • Extraneous information is included in a thesis.
  • A thesis that begins with the words "I believe" or "In my opinion."

Outline and format of a synthesis essay

The introduction section

With your perfected thesis statement and research in hand, you can turn to the actual writing of your paper. The introduction section found in examples of a synthesis essay style serves several purposes. Primarily, the introduction must expose your reader to the concepts and approach that will be dealt with throughout the essay. This section acts as a navigation tool for your reader as they go through your paper.

The introduction section must contain your thesis statement laid out clearly and introduce the concepts you will deal with to back up your thesis claim. The introduction should also clearly present the justification for how you selected your sources and the methodology you will use to evaluate them to back up your statement. Checking expertly-written synthesis essays samples is a great way to familiarise yourself with well-constructed introduction sections that perfectly set up the paper to follow.

The body section

Once you have satisfactorily set up your argument in the introduction section, you may move on to the body section of your paper. This is where the meat of your essay lies. For this style of assignment, each paragraph of the body section should deal with a given piece of the source material. This source should be explored and explained and then connected both to the thesis statement and to the other sources cited throughout the argument. All sources that are mentioned should then be referenced clearly in the bibliography of your paper.


Having fully explored and explained all your sources and made sure to connect them all to one another, you may then proceed to your conclusion section. In this style of writing, there are several goals you are trying to achieve with the conclusion. The conclusion should act as a brief summary of everything that was covered in the essay and emphasize the ways in which you have proved your thesis statement to be true. A well-written conclusion will leave your readers with a sense of finality and have them fully convinced of the validity of your statement.

Do you need a synthesis essay sample? You’re at the right place

The best way to get a sense of what a good synthesis essay looks like is to study examples of synthesis essays. On our site, there are tons of high-quality samples students can use for inspiration. These samples give an example of how to put into practice the research and writing outlines provided in this guide. Whenever you’re stuck for inspiration, pulling up some of these examples is a great way to cure writer’s block and find the inspiration you need. Our resources offer help with every aspect of the writing process, so there’s no hurdle you can’t clear!

Also, check out the synthesis essay topics

Writing a top-notch paper becomes a lot easier when you have a great prompt. To get you started on your next assignment, here are some great topics for synthesis essays:

  • The social effects of violence in the media
  • How to deter young people from smoking
  • The influence of corporate lobbying power in the government
  • Should we introduce a “climate tax” for unsustainable industries?
  • The effect of music on people’s mood
  • How social media affects the academic performance of children aged 10-17?
  • Does Facebook threaten people’s privacy?
  • Does YouTube affect the shopping habits of youth?
  • How dating habits have changed because of social media?
  • Does Instagram promote stereotyping?
  • How the time youth spend online affects their overall satisfaction?
  • Do online communities change people’s sense of belonging? How?
  • How air pollution contributes to global warming?
  • How climate change affected people’s lifespan within the last 50 years?
  • What effects does global warming have on farming?
  • How global warming contributes to marine species extinction?
  • The threats that drones present to personal privacy.
  • Contribution of artificial intelligence in the workforce.
  • Machine learning and how it affects productivity in business.
  • Impact of racial prejudice on college admissions.
  • Effects of global warming on farming.
  • The contribution of air pollution to global warming.
  • Fossil fuels and their effects on the environment.
  • The American lifestyle and its contribution to global warming.
  • Modern technology and the building of smart cities.
  • The death penalty and its place in modern America.
  • Addressing the illegality of marijuana amidst its numerous health benefits.
  • Role of art in day to day life.
  • Ethical implications of genetic engineering.
  • The nexus between accumulating wealth and happiness in the 21st century.
  • Does Facebook threaten people’s privacy?
  • Can students take in an individualized education program?
  • Do study rooms always have the necessary things to learn?
  • Do schools and colleges need to add more outdoor activities?
  • Has global warming caused air pollution?

With these thought-provoking topics as a guide, the only thing left for students to do is dive right into their research! Using our services and this comprehensive writing guide, students can have confidence in how to write a synthesis essay AP lang teachers are sure to love!

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FAQ about Synthesis essays

How to Write a Good Synthesis Essay?
...Another example of a synthesis essay can be titled “The Dangers of Disney’s Monopolization of the Entertainment Industry.” In the thesis statement of such a piece, you could express your opinion about how the monopolization of various companies...
Why People Love the Villain: A Synthesis Essay?
...I’m an agent of chaos”(Dark Knight). When it all boils down to it, try as we might not to like the bad guy, we just can't help it. They're truly fascinating. We love villains because in a twisted way, they mirror ourselves and we can relate to th...
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