A synthesis essay is basically about combining ideas from different sources with your own and presenting this in an essay format. What is important when crafting a synthesis essay is that you must be able to take a series of ideas from different sources and then prepare an accurate analysis of these ideas in your own words. You should do this without referring to the original text of these ideas and ultimately, the content of the synthesis essay should be your own.
Your objective is to be able to take a set of related ideas, explain them and link them together with your own idea about a specific topic, and use this platform so that the reader will be able to understand the particular area in some detail.
A great way to start a synthesis essay is to determine the different ideas that you will be looking at, and to take out the main points or arguments of each of these ideas. You should be able to link this different content based on a common thread or theme, and only raise those parts of the idea that are connected to each other. This will allow the reader of a synthesis essay to get a broad sense of the topic and the direction in which the essay is written.
In terms of the structure of such an essay, you will need to make a thesis statement in your introduction. This is basically one sentence that sums up the focus and direction of your synthesis essay. The introduction should also be used to highlight your sources for the essay and must of course follow specific citation guidelines. This will include the background information about the authors and their texts as well.
In the body of your analysis, always ensure that each paragraph deals with one specific aspect of the synthesis essay. You can therefore use each paragraph to discuss one specific aspect of the different ideas, but you must remember to clearly indicate your source by using lead-in phrases or in-text citations. Do this carefully in order to avoid being accused of plagiarism.
Use the content of each paragraph to evaluate different aspects of each idea presented. Ideally, while you may have your own views about a better perspective, in discussing and analyzing different aspects of the idea, always ensure that you look at both sides of the argument. Try to avoid being too biased in your writings.
You must be able to evaluate different ideas from different sources without copying the ideas down literally. It is your interpretation of the idea and your explanation of how it links with other ideas of a similar or contrasting nature that will define the quality of your synthesis essay.
When writing your conclusion, summarize the main ideas and don’t forget to restate your original statement or thesis statement; connect this back to all discussions that you have presented. While it may be possible for you to reach a conclusive statement about the outcome that you desire, it is sometimes good to recommend that further research needs to be conducted in order for the reader to get a better grasp of other perspectives that are also available.
What’s your opinion about writing a synthesis essay? Did you find it difficult to do? Are there ways to better research or to structure the writing of a synthesis essay that you would like to share? What are the problems you have faced in trying to do this? Go ahead and share both your positive as well as negative experiences.