How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Writing a synthesis essay can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the process. However, with the right approach and a bit of guidance, you can produce a high-quality essay that effectively combines multiple sources to create a cohesive argument. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to write a synthesis essay that will help you excel in your academic endeavors.

What is a Synthesis Essay?Before diving into the nitty-gritty of how to write a synthesis essay, let’s first define what it is. A synthesis essay is a type of academic writing that combines information from multiple sources to create a new idea or perspective. It requires you to read and analyze various sources, such as articles, books, and journals, and then use that information to support your thesis statement.

Step1: Choose a Topic

The first step in writing a synthesis essay is to choose a topic. Your topic should be broad enough to allow for multiple sources but specific enough to provide direction for your research. Once you have a topic, you’ll need to conduct research to find relevant sources. You can use academic databases, such as JSTOR and Google Scholar, to find articles and other sources related to your topic.


Step2: Read and Analyze Sources

Once you’ve gathered your sources, it’s time to read and analyze them. As you read, take notes on key points and arguments. Look for similarities and differences among the sources and identify any patterns or themes that emerge. This will help you identify the main arguments and ideas that you’ll want to incorporate into your essay.


Step3: Develop a Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the central argument of your essay. It should be a clear, concise statement that summarizes the main point of your essay. Your thesis statement should be based on the research you’ve conducted and should be supported by the evidence you’ve gathered.


Step4: Organize Your Essay

Once you have your thesis statement, it’s time to organize your essay. A synthesis essay typically follows a five-paragraph format, with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a specific point or argument that supports your thesis statement.


Step5: Write Your Essay

With the research and organization complete, it’s time to start writing your essay. Begin with an engaging introduction that provides context for your topic and clearly states your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement and provides evidence from your sources to support your argument. Use transitions to link your ideas and create a cohesive argument.


Step6: Edit and Revise Your Essay

Once you’ve written your essay, it’s important to edit and revise it thoroughly. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure your essay flows smoothly and logically. Consider having a friend or peer review your essay for feedback and suggestions.



Q: How many sources should I use in my synthesis essay?

A: There’s no set number of sources you should use in your essay. However, you should aim to use enough sources to support your thesis statement and provide a well-rounded argument.

Q: Can I use my own opinions in a synthesis essay?

A: While a synthesis essay requires you to analyze and combine multiple sources, it’s important to incorporate your own thoughts and opinions as well. Make sure to clearly differentiate between your own ideas and those of your sources.

Q: How do I cite my sources in a synthesis essay?

A: You should use a citation style, such as APA or MLA, to cite your sources in a synthesis essay. Be sure to follow the guidelines for your specific citation style.

Q: Do I need to include a works cited page in my synthesis essay?

A: Yes, you should include a works cited page that lists all of the sources you used in your essay. Be sure to follow the guidelines for your specific citation style.

Q: How long should my synthesis essay be?

A: The length of your synthesis essay will depend on your assignment guidelines. However, a typical synthesis essay is around1000-1500 words in length.

Conclusion:Writing a synthesis essay can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can produce a high-quality essay that effectively combines multiple sources to create a cohesive argument. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to writing a successful synthesis essay that showcases your critical thinking and analytical skills. Remember to choose a broad yet specific topic, read and analyze your sources thoroughly, develop a clear thesis statement, organize your essay effectively, and edit and revise your work carefully. Good luck!