When your professor asks you to write a synthesis essay, the very word “synthesis” is often enough to scare some students into panic and procrastination. So, before moving on to the assignment, it is good to have a clear understanding of what a synthesis essay actually is. The word “synthesis” is of Greek origin, and it means combining two or more elements into something whole. Hence, a synthesis essay is the one where you combine several ideas for the sole purpose of backing up your point.
The task is usually made even simpler for you since you are given a text where you should look for these ideas. This narrows down your search, and you can spare some time on the research. To sort out these ideas from the text, you should basically answer the question “So what?” upon reading it. The aspects that interest you primarily are the rhetoric used by the author, the information and the message of the text, the author’s conclusion, etc. The answer to the “So what?” question is your argument around which you build your essay. As simple as that.
Obviously, the topic of your synthesis essay will be the reader’s first introduction to your work, so it needs to be concise, informative, and of course, to the point. So, first of all, it should mention the problem that you are dealing with in your essay. Also, it should spin the reader’s attention and get them interested in reading on. As an option, rhetorical questions are good for that.
As you might already know, a thesis statement is the focal point of your entire essay. It is the axis around which your work takes form. Only after you have read your source text with all attention and thoroughly analyzed it, you begin to have the idea of what your synthesis essay will look like. This is all to be condensed into a solid message which will be your thesis statement.
We have mentioned that your thesis statement is the axis of your synthesis essay. Following this analogy, your essay outline is its skeleton: it will hold your text together, and you put the “meat” of your work – the evidence and the arguments – around the outline.
Usually, a synthesis essay consists of three main segments: the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. If there should be any deviations from this standard, your teacher or professor should let you know. The introduction prepares your reader for the information that they are going to receive in the main body. The main body is the informative part of your synthesis essay where you list your evidence, analyze it, and reveal how it supports your thesis statement. Finally, the conclusion is the section where you summarize your whole essay in its entirety. There are a couple of tips here:
A template for your synthesis essay outline can look like this:
Restate the thesis statement and suggest directions for further research.
Essay formatting means putting your writing in accord with the academic requirements. This includes font type and size, margins, footnotes and endnotes, title page, bibliography, etc. There are several most popular format types that have been introduced for the convenience of both readers and writers. Depending on your major, research topic, and your school’s requirements, you will format your synthesis essay in one of the following styles:
For more detailed information on any of these format styles, you are welcome to find comprehensive guides on all of these styles on our website. However, there some requirements which are more or less general for all format styles. They are as follows:
In any case, if you are uncertain about some formatting details, it is always best to consult with your teacher or professor. These details are not to be overlooked since they can have a crucial impact on the final grade that you get for this synthesis essay.
If you take an AP English Language and Composition course and need to pass an exam in it, you will have to write several kinds of essays for this exam. This task has to be completed in class, and you will have a limited amount of time to reveal your deep understanding not only of the subject-mater but also that of the writing process as such.
Normally, a course in AP English Language and Composition will focus on three main aspects: argument, synthesis, and rhetorical analysis. Since this is what you were trained in during this course, this is what you should focus on while writing your synthesis essay on the exam. Let us briefly revisit these aspects:
In case you are unfamiliar with these terms, they have to do with rhetoric. Basically, they represent the ways to appeal to the audience or the techniques to persuade them. As one may guess, they have to do with rhetorical analysis. It is vital that you can tell the difference between the three and see when the author is using one of them or a combination of several. Here are brief descriptions of the three persuasion techniques:
Remember that these methods of persuasion are not exclusive, and – more often than not – an author will use all of them in one text. It is up to you to be able to tell them apart.
This is an acronym that stands for the following: diction, imagery, details, language, and sentence. These are the details that can make any text stand out. Scrutinize the text to see if the author uses any (or all?) of those, and make sure that you analyze them thoroughly and mention them in your synthesis essay.
Yet another acronym. This time it stands for the details that you need to keep in mind when analyzing your source material: speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, and subject. Here is a brief breakdown of these details:
While we have mentioned more than once that thesis statement is the fundamental part of your synthetic essay, we feel like one should be reminded about it constantly, because the importance of a firm thesis statement is difficult to overestimate. We suggest that once you come up with a thesis statement for your synthesis essay, you write the statement down on a piece of paper and re-read it every time you stumble into a writer’s block. This can and should be done at any stage of writing because the thesis statement is universally relevant to all and any parts of your essay.
If you are still not sure that you can perform to your fullest and write an essay yourself, it is no reason to fall into despair. You are always free and welcome to contact a professional synthesis essay writing service like ourselves for assistance. Even though some teachers and professors frown upon the very idea of custom writing services, we are all human, and there are situations when addressing professionals is the best – if not the only – way.
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Even if you are keen on going through all the hardships of writing a great synthesis essay yourself, you can keep the possibility of addressing a professional writing service as a plan B. We are always ready to reach out a helping hand to a student in need of one.