Synthesizing ideas is one of the most fundamental elements of all academic tasks, including research. It forms the basis on which the whole study is conducted as well as provides a foundation on which the paper can be written.
In this article, we will explain to you:
Every college or university student at some point during their course will be required to learn how to write a synthesis essay. It is because, in addition to contributing to the grades, a synthesis essay also teaches you to formulate your own ideas, based on where all the evidence is pointing. It teaches you critical thinking and helps you become familiarised to the background of the topic.
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What is a synthesis essay?
A synthesis essay is a kind of essay, in which you formulate your main thesis statement, based on the contents and the evidence presented by other authors in their research. A synthesis essay helps you to dive deep into the previous research already done on the related topics, and by using the key points presented in them, shape your thesis. A synthesis essay builds on the evidence and facts presented by other researchers using the points inferred from them and helps the writer articulate the whole essay.
Simply put, a synthesis essay involves putting together different sources and finding the relationships and the co-relations between the ideas presented by them to identify a different idea which brings together all the pieces. Think of it as a simple jig-saw puzzle, and each article source that you read is a tiny piece of the puzzle. As you keep on reading different articles on the same topic, you will start to see the connections and find the relationships between each piece. As you keep putting together more and more pieces, you will soon start to connect all of the information and see the big picture taking shape, and this big picture then forms the basis of your thesis for which you are trying to learn how to write a synthesis essay.
Synthesis Essay vs Research Paper
A synthesis essay is in many ways similar to a research paper, as a research paper also involves going into the previous research to find evidence which supports the arguments made by the author. Much like a research paper, a synthesis essay also requires the writer to cite all the sources which have been used or referred, to formulate the ideas and the contents of the research. It is important for students to differentiate between a research paper and a synthesis paper before they learn how to write a synthesis essay.
However, there is one key factor, which differentiated a synthesis essay from a research paper, which is: A research paper may or may not be written on an original idea, which is then explained in the whole paper with the help of other supporting facts.
Whereas, in a synthesis essay, the author formulates an inference from other research related to the selected topic, and then goes on to present the supporting facts which point towards this inference.
Types of Synthesis
Depending on the nature of your topic, and the related research present on it, you may need to shape your essay in a certain way. Therefore it is important that you know about the different types of synthesis before you learn how to write a synthesis essay. Based on how the contents of the essay are presented to support or elaborate on the topic or thesis, a synthesis essay can be categorized into 3 different types:
Let us look at each one individually:
How to write a synthesis essay?
Now that you have understood what a synthesis essay is along with its different types, it is now time to explore how to write a synthesis essay effectively. Our experts at Total Assignment Help have simplified the task of writing a synthesis essay into some simple steps which have been described below:
Step 1: Select and fully understand the topic
While learning how to write a synthesis essay, it is important to know that most professors do not provide you with a particular topic. Instead, they’ll give you a rough idea about the subject and the range of topic you can cover while offering you the freedom to select your topic. In order to do this, you must understand the topics completely and identify the topic you want to cover in your synthesis essay.
Step 2: Select and keep track of your sources
Once you have finalized on your topic, you must now get into research and find out the level of previous research done on it. While you gather additional information and go through multiple articles for research, it is important that you keep track of the sources you find useful and note down the key points which you identified. It will help you in organizing your ideas and present a more structured argument.
Step 3: Formulate a thesis statement.
Now that you have done preliminary research on your selected topic, you are now capable of articulating the main thesis statement for your synthesis essay. Depending on the nature of your topic and the aim of your essay, formulate a thesis statement according to the type of synthesis essay you want to write.
Step 4: Identify support evidence from the sources
After writing down the thesis statement, you are now left with the task of presenting the arguments and evidence in support of your thesis statement. It is where your source will come handy which you tracked before. In the same order as you came across the articles, go over the sources once again, and identify the key bits on facts and evidence present in them which can be used as credible sources in your essay.
Step 5: Make an outline for the essay.
You are now ready with the entire arsenal of tools at your disposal to write a complete synthesis essay. But before you get into writing your final essay, it is important that you take your time and make an outline for your essay, using the information and evidence you have gathered. Structure your outline and present the information to support or defend your thesis statement.
Step 6: Write your first draft
Using the outline, begin writing your first draft of the synthesis essay. It is important to understand while writing a synthesis essay that you can never write a complete essay ready for submission in one go. Most writers who write great essays, write and rewrite their essays multiple times make small improvements along the way. Write your first draft, in your own language without giving heed to any regulations or guidelines. Using the points mentioned in your outline, write down everything you know about the topic and then make adjustment in the next stages.
Step 7: Revise and add your references
Once you have written your first draft thoroughly, it is now time to carefully trim the excess information and revise all of the sentences which do not suit the required format. During the revision stage, it is important that you check and recheck all of the references and citations necessary for the essay. Since a synthesis essay is based on the inferences made from other research and sources, it is important that you cite and reference the sources accurately.
Step 8: Proofread and edit your essay
The final step of learning how to write a synthesis essay is to proofread the essay and make the final edits. It is important that you place your proofreading process and prioritize the type of mistake which you are looking for. Look for one type of mistake at a time, and in order to do that, you will have to read the whole article several time. Check for proper flow of thoughts and ideas, and do a critical analysis of the information present. After that, you can move on to checking the references and the format of the essay. And lastly, you can make the corrections in grammatical and typographical errors.
And there you have it! You have now successfully learnt how to write a synthesis essay in eight simple steps!
Hope this article helped you in understanding this form of essays and assisted you in learning how to write a synthesis essay!
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