How to Write a Synthesis Essay with Ease
For the first time the purpose of the essay does not obviously lie beneath the surface of its name. For example, you can have no clue what to write when you hear such name as a reflective essay. It is the same with this one. This may look strange at first glance. Though, if you take a closer look, it does “synthesis” something. Let’s get deeper to the point.
A synthesis essay resembles an argumentative essay in some way. They both present an argument and supporting data. However there’s one great difference: in contrast to the argumentative essay, a synthesis identifies and compares the relationships between the sources of data.
Where do We Start Working
Step 1. Decide on a topic.
In case, you haven’t been given a topic, the first step is to identify the topic you are going to cover in the essay. It is a key moment of the preparation to the direct writing procedure.
- The topic should include both contradictive points. Thus, you have an option of a point you can debate on in the essay.
- For the same reason it shouldn’t be a univocal subject with an obvious argumentation, such as “smoking is bad” or “eating vegetables is healthy”.
- Look for a contradictory topic that is appealing to discover. You may consider something of such kind as: Does the school uniform accustom students to the discipline? Can be euthanasia legalized? The main challenge is to choose not a very broaden and blurry topic.
- Avoid religious and political topics in the class.
Step 2. Gather the sources.
The next step to write essay is to process information on the topic of your choice. Find as many reliable resources as possible. You may consult research article, statistic analysis and data, read experts’ articles or interview on the related topic (try Google Scholar https://scholar.google.com/)
- Jot down the bullet point, supporting pros and cons and name the sources of gathered information.
- Analyze the information you’ve obtained and establish the connections, for right now just in your head.
Step 3. Choose your position.
As long as you possess all needed information, covering both contradictive points, you can decide on your position. Chose what the argument you are going to support is. In case you like challenging yourself, pick an argument that you disagree with and support it. Come out of your comfort zone and prove yourself the opposite. Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you really believe in what you are discussing. Presenting the sources logically and persuasively values much more in the synthesis essay.
Step 4. Write down the main argument.
Write out the main argument in the paper in front of you, so it will be easier to check the sources related to the argument. On the other hand, do not ignore the points that contradict your main statement. It’s much better to mention them and explain why your point is stronger. This tip may also help with writing a follow up letter.
Step 5. Use the sources carefully
The success of your “defense” depends on the structuring of your supporting sources and data.
- Identify what are the knocking-down points and place them in the right order, so the opening and the closing sources are the strongest.
- Avoid summarizing the sources. Do not just name the sources and the idea they support or clarify.
- Instead, analyze the sources. You may compare them as well.
- Don’t build a paragraph around one source. It is much better to include a couple of sources consistently forming the argumentative idea of the paragraph. Make sure all the data you’re mentioning is connected to the same topic and the following argument logically interferes with the previous one (read more about argumentation theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentation_theory )
Step 6. Write down the essay.
By now, you have identified main idea, an argument that you are supporting and well-planned sources that you can operate with. It means you are ready to go. Structure the essay as usual with an introduction, main body and conclusion. Keep the main thesis on the paper in front of you, so you can check whether your ideas correspond the topic.