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Simple Guideline on How to Write a Synthesis Essay

This academic assignment seems to be complicated from the very beginning. What does this combination of words even mean? But no reason to worry, this type of essay is not harder than an analytical one.

Some students are scared of the word “synthetic”, but it only sounds difficult. It’s pretty simple to complete this task when you know the general requirements for it and the structure of the paper. Of it you can find in this article, so let’s find out how to deal with the assignment.

How it is – to synthesise a paper?

The first thing you have to learn is the meaning of this collocation. If we keep it simple, synthesizing a text means creating a new point of view on a topic by uniting different information from various authors and sources. synthesis text – is a combination of other writings, but it’s not about paraphrasing – it’s about composing a new independent piece of work.

What Does “Synthesis Essay” Mean?

With knowledge about the synthesis text, it’s not a big deal to understand what a synthesis essay. Take a regular essay, what is it? A complete paper with the main idea and a strict structure. It has a topic, some arguments, a conclusion. If we add the word “synthetic” to it, this essay will require using different sources of information while writing it. A synthesis essay – is a work that contains information on one subject from multiple sources.

What sources should you use? If you don’t have strict requirements, it can be anything: articles, books, podcasts, TV programs. Just make sure the sources are reliable. As usual, students get assigned to synthesize several written materials, so we will pay attention to this kind of work.

How to Write a Good Synthesis Essay

Formatting a Synthesis Essay Correctly

You may wonder what format to use when it comes to that new kind of essay. Is there something different from the regular essay formats? Actually, there is nothing to worry about. If you don’t have any strict rules about formatting your paper from your professor, you may use standard formats of assignments. Just settle with the one you commonly use in your papers: MLA, APA, other frequently used formats.

MEAL structure

There is one thing that differs the synthesis essay from other assignments, and it is the MEAL approach. It’s a set of required elements that have to be included in the main part of your synthesis essay. Remember this abbreviation, and don’t forget to add every element in your writing.

Main Idea

It’s the essential part of your essay. You have to present the thesis statement you’re about to discuss. This section has to contain your position about the subject. 


Here you have to provide the evidence for your statement. If you are using any piece of someone’s material as an argument, don’t forget to refer to the source of information. 


Without this part, all your evidence will be dry and unconvincing. Therefore, you have to make some analysis and explain the arguments you have presented. Make the audience understand the way you think and let them agree with your opinion.

Link Back

The whole point of your synthesis essay – is to successfully prove the main idea. To keep I in mind, you have to restate it at the end of the body part of your essay. Remind the audience what the point you have been proving, highlight the relevance it was.

Argumentative Type of the Synthesis Essay

You may think that it’s just another name for the paper we are talking about because the regular synthesis essay contains arguments itself. Nevertheless, here is another type of it that needs to be mentioned. What is special about the argumentative synthesis essay?

If you get assigned to write this type of essay, you will get several sources to work with. You will be able to use only these sources. Your task is to come up with a decent theme for the argumentative synthesis essay, formulate the thesis statement and compose complete writing.

The Outline of the Synthesis Essay

You may wonder if the structure of the synthesis essay is different from the regular one? Actually, there are no surprises. You should follow the common essay structure, and it will be totally fine for the synthesis essay. It requires three essential elements: an introduction, about three paragraphs of the main body, and a logical conclusion. Nothing difficult, as you can see. Let’s briefly remind what every part of an essay is about.


This section is pretty vital for catching the attention of the readers. You have to start your synthesis essay properly because it makes the first impression of the whole work. Begin with something exciting or controversial. Present an unusual phenomenon, a current issue, an interesting question, or a quote. The introduction doesn’t have to be long, but it has to show the main idea of your work.

Don’t forget about some details when you are done with a catchy beginning. Provide some additional information on the topic of your synthesis essay. Go for essential details and facts to help readers to immerse themselves in the subject you are talking about. And, of course, write a thesis statement – the main idea of your essay.

The Main Body

This is where you put all the arguments and analysis. Remember the MEAL approach, and make sure to include all the elements in your writing. As usual, the main body contains three paragraphs, but it’s up to you to make it longer if you need to. Also, you may be required to use an approach different from the MEAL. For instance, there is the SOAPS approach that is slightly alternative.


Now it’s time to sum up everything you have written before. Don’t hesitate to repeat your thesis statement and show that you have successfully proved it with your arguments. Don’t bring up anything new in this section. Highlight all the main points and finish your synthesis essay with a clear and brief conclusion.

Topic Ideas for the Synthesis Essay

Sometimes you don’t have to choose the topic for your work by yourself – a certain theme can be a requirement. But if you are free to select the topic for the synthesis essay, it’s even better because you can write about something you find interesting and important. Don’t hesitate to choose a bold topic, and it will make your essay outstanding. If you are not sure about the theme you want to choose, here are some good examples for you:

  1. Should lethal weapons be forbidden for common citizens?
  2. Is it ethical to impose religion on children?
  3. The connection between social media and low self-esteem among young people.
  4. Do modern TV-shows make us more tolerant?
  5. Does growing up in an incomplete family make a child unhappy in the future?
  6. Was the impact of the global pandemic as good for the environment as it is claimed by eco-activists?
  7. Is it true that avoiding social media improves a person’s mental health?
  8. Does the minimalist lifestyle have a good effect on the environment?

Advice for Dealing with a Synthesis Essay

To consolidate the knowledge you have already received, learn some additional tips on how to succeed with your synthesis essay.

  • Do research before you start writing – explore the sources attentively and formulate your position after you learn enough information.
  • Make your thesis statement unambiguous. If your position is uncertain, it will be hard to prove it.
  • Make a strict structure for your writing and follow it diligently. It will help you organize your thoughts and arguments.
  • Don’t sleep on analysis. It’s a great instrument to prove your point. Show the audience your analysis skills and make them believe you with logical connections and conclusions.
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