How to Write a Surprisingly Effective Synthesis Essay

Your class has been writing arguments in class. You must admit, you are getting pretty good at this. Your instructor now tells you that you need to go further and write an argumentative essay.

You might find my name a bit intimidating. However, I’ll be glad to give you examples and show how to write an essay on synthesis.
First… What’s a Synthesis Essay Anyway?

It would be helpful to first understand what a Synthesis essay is before we can jump into writing our synthesis.

If you think about a synthèse essay, it can be considered as an argumentative essay.

But there is one crucial difference. Your instructor will provide the sources you need to support and substantiate what you say.

It might seem easier than writing an argumentative essay. But this is a different style of thinking and writing which takes some time to learn. Synthesis essays are about creating strong arguments and identifying the relationships among your sources.

Avoid succumbing to the temptation to summarise all of the sources. Instead, focus on your points and back them up with evidence from the sources. (I’ll discuss this in detail in our discussion about writing.)

You will likely find information from many sources that could be used to support both sides. It’s crucial to take the time to review these sources and understand your argument.

You should not ignore information that doesn’t align with your main points. Instead, acknowledge it. Then, prove that your argument is stronger.

You don’t have to worry if all this sounds a bit abstract. A concrete example of this is one that I took from the Slytherins’ book (yes, Harry Potter fame) and used cunning resourcefulness when analysing sources.
Great and Not so great topics for your synthesis essay

One topic that encourages debate is a great topic for a synthesizing essay. The topic of synthesis should not be something that you are familiar with, such a question about whether vegetables can be good for you. Most people agree that vegetables are healthy. There are many evidence to support that.

Bad topics for synthesis come in many forms. Sometimes the topic won’t be sufficiently clear. Sometimes, the topic is too broad and difficult to argue. These are just a few examples of bad synthesis topics.

Synthesis Essay on Gender

synthesis essay Write about education

Synthesis essay Form an argument regarding obesity

Some topics have only one side to the argument, which is another problem. The topic should have several sources that support multiple points of view.

Now that you have an idea of what a bad subject looks like, it is time to discuss what a great topic looks.

Many excellent topics for synthesis essays revolve around social issues. These issues are complex and there’s much to be debated. This makes them excellent topics for synthesis essays. Here are some topics for you to write about:

synthesis essay Do video games promote violence?

synthesis essay The death penalty is an effective way of deterring crime

synthesis essay Should young kids be allowed to own cell phones

Synthesis Essay: Which education system is more beneficial to children?

The list of great topics is endless. If you are going to be presenting a strong argument for either side of your topic, it is important that you do so. The result of straddling the fence is a weaker synthesis essay.

Now that we have an idea about the kinds of topics you can expect your essay to be covered, let’s move on to how to actually create it. To make things a little more interesting, here’s an example topic:

Are Slytherin House residents more evil that members of other houses?
Steps to Writing a Great Synthesis Essay

Organization is key, just like any good essay. This five-step process makes it simple to write a synthesis article that is impressively good.
Step 1: Read your sources.

Before you decide on a position, read through all of your sources. Find common information and connect your thoughts as you read.

Let’s pretend I have four sources.

Source A contains a list of Death Eaters’ households.
Source B is a comprehensive history of Slytherin House. It includes the life and views Salazar Slytherin.
Source C is the document that lists the names of students who were sorted into different houses than the Sorting Hat initially assigned.
Source D provides a history of Battle of Hogwarts.

Step 2 Determine what your position is.

After you’ve reviewed all your sources, decide which position to take. You don’t need to believe in your position. However, it is more important to be capable of supporting your argument as well.
“You don’t have necessarily to believe your position. But, be able and willing to support your argument.”
Be sure to stay true to your original position. Your argument and synthesis must be strong. To do so, you must stick to your convictions.

Let’s go back to our example. After going through my documents, it became clear that the Slytherin House students and alumni are not any more evil than other students.
Step 3: Write a thesis statement that is compelling.

After you have settled on a position, your thesis statement should be written. This is vital because your thesis will be supported in your synthesis essays.

My thesis statement in this example would look something like:

Slytherin graduates and students don’t have to be more evil than those from other houses.

Step 4 Create a killer outline.

Now that you have written your argument down, you need to decide how to organize it and support it. It is a great way to do so by creating an outline of a synthèse essay.

After you’ve created your outline, put your thesis statement at your top. Then list the sub-arguments. List your support for each sub-argument. Here’s a section of my outline.

Thesis statement – Students and alumni of Slytherin do not have to be more evil than any other students. Because they can fill all the moral spectrum, evil wizards and evil house traits such as resourcefulness, cunning, and ambition are not indicative of an evil nature.

I. Evil wizards are present in all houses.

A. Source A.

B. Source D. Example of Death Eaters of other houses who participated in the Battle of Hogwarts

In my outline I used my sources to show the names and concrete evidence of the evilness of non-Slytherin magi.

This is just one of the paragraphs in my outline. You’ll want to do this for each paragraph/sub-argument you plan on writing.
Step 5 Use your sources well
There are two things you need to avoid when considering how to use sources as support for your argument.

Synthesis essay Don’t summarize the sources. This would be, for instance, summarizing your sources. It shows that evil magicians come from all houses.

Do an analysis of the sources. Instead, write: “Although Death Eaters are most common in Slytherin,” and then add the following: “Despite Quirinus Quirrell’s death, there are still dark wizards (Source A).

Synthesis essay Don’t arrange your paragraphs around sources. Even if you use only one source per sentence, it might seem the most logical way of getting things done. This could lead to the possibility of summarizing and not drawing relationships among the sources.

Synthesis essay. Structure your paragraphs around arguments. Formulating different points of your argument. You can support these arguments by using two or three sources per paragraph.
Step 6

After you have created a comprehensive outline of your project, all that’s left is to add information and make it attractive. You have done all the work. Clearly expressing your ideas is the main goal of writing. As you write, remember your thesis statement so your synthesis essay has direction.

Now that we know the basics of a synthesis essay and how to make one, it’s not so daunting.

If your synthesis paper isn’t coming together as smoothly as you would like, you can rely on the Kibin editors for the editing and suggestions that will help it reach its full potential.

Happy writing!

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