What is a synthesis essay? This question has been asked countless times by students. Yet, the various attempts to answer this question are unsatisfactory, causing students to confuse the term with other forms of essay writing.
The synthesis essay definition revolves around one thing: data collection. It is a form of academic writing where writers are expected to collect data from different sources to create their argument or explain a perspective.
A synthesis essay outline follows the same format as other types of academic writing. They consist of an introductory section, a body, and a concluding section.
The synthesis essay exam
A common fear for most students is writing the AP Language exam. This Advanced Placement English language and composition exam is split into two sections. The first section comprises approximately 55 questions, with a percentage score of 45 and a time limit of 60 minutes. This section is quite easy as the answers lie within the text.
The second section, however, comprises three free-response questions, with a percentage score of 55 and a total time limit of 135 minutes (15 minutes for the reading portion and 120 questions for the writing portion). Each question is accompanied by a specific prompt, which includes synthesis, passage analysis, and argument.
In the AP Lang synthesis essay, students are provided with six to seven sources. The goal is to write an authentic essay using ideas from at least three of these sources. In the passage analysis, students are asked to read a particular passage and discuss the various writing techniques used by the writer. The final prompt allows students to choose a perspective from an assertion and write an argument that is either for or against the assertion.
This post will examine the most common essay prompt, which often challenges students: the synthesis essay. It will offer information on synthesis essay format, definition, and how to write a synthesis essay.
How to properly write a synthesis essay
A great synthesis of academic work aims to provide clear and detailed information about an argument. It achieves this by evaluating texts, making comparisons, and describing the connection between cause and effect.
Below are steps to assist you in writing a great synthesis paper without the fear of failure:
- Begin with research
Every experienced writer understands the importance of proper research. Since a synthesis essay involves the collection of data from different sources, thorough research is required. When making research, search for points that would form the basis of your argument.
Proper research is possible when writing an assignment. However, if in an exam hall, your research would involve critically examining the sources given to you and carefully marking out their points.
- Draft an outline
An outline is a guide that assists you with planning and organizing details for a good synthesis essay structure. In a synthesis paper, you do one of two things: either explain a particular perspective or make an argument. Whichever you choose to do, drafting an outline that precisely explains the connection between your sources and your essay will help you create an authentic paper.
- Write an introduction
Your introductory section should be as unique as possible. Write an introduction that clearly states your premise, offers your audience background information, and grabs the attention of your audience. You might decide to begin with either a question, a quote, an illustration, or a strong opening sentence.
- Develop your paragraphs using themes
From your outline, it is expected that you already have ideas to present in your paper. To enable your audience to enjoy the flow of your writing, you are expected to organize each paragraph using themes. This means that each paragraph must contain a different theme, which would be detailed in the body. Writing two separate themes or ideas in one paragraph would disorganize your paper. You might consider using transitional words and phrases to connect paragraphs.
- Write a concluding section
Sum up your essay with a strong conclusion. Ensure that you cover all the main themes in your concluding paragraph.
Over the years, synthesis essay topics have been used in analytical papers to analyze theories; research papers to integrate various ideas; argumentative papers which compare varying opinions and support one idea; and business reports to analyze various ideas and create a coherent plan. The above steps will guide you when writing your essay.