Writing a synthesis essay can be a challenging task. In order to attempt any particular type of writing we must have some knowledge about its background. Hence in this case, it is important to decipher the meaning of the term “synthesis”. And how it works in context of essay writing. By synthesizing a text, we refer to developing a new outlook about a subject. This is done by putting together information taken from different sources.
Now that we have an idea of what is expected from us while writing a synthesis essay, we will move on to its process.
What is a synthesis essay?
We came to know what synthesizing means, but there must still be some confusion about the essay itself. Basically, you have to combine several pieces of information to form an opinion about a subject. The sources of this paper can include videos, speeches, advertisements and even radio acts. The writing part might still be not clarified so we will talk about that now.
Formatting a Synthesis Essay
There are various ways for formatting a synthesis essay. The correct format is the one that is required by your teacher. In case you haven’t been told, then just use MLA, APA or any format your teacher usually asks for.
The MEAL Approach
There are several different aspects that sets apart a synthesis essay from other essays. The most prominent of those, is the MEAL approach. It is used in the body paragraphs of a synthesis essay The MEAL approach consists of the following elements:
Main idea: Here you need to present the opinion you have on the subject matter. The main idea can be expressed in any form. However, it must display your personal point of view.
Evidence: To support the ideas you have expressed above, provide some strong evidence. It is mostly presented as a quote. You must provide proper references to prove its authenticity.
Analysis: However, your job does not end with providing persuasive evidence. The evidence needs to be analyzed and you must state in what way it supports your main idea.
Link back: Be focused on the main argument throughout the writing process. In this part you merely have to restate your main ideas. Then express how you have proven it correct.
How to write an argumentative synthesis essay?
An argumentative version of a synthetic essay might seem similar but there are some major differences involved. When you are assigned an argumentative essay, you will be provided a list of sources that you must include. It is up to you thereon, to find a suitable topic for the argumentative synthesis essay. Then proceed on to defining the main ideas and the rest of the paper.
Do not worry too much about when it comes to a synthesis outline. It has the same structure that any other essay is based upon.
The introductory section of the paper can take up a whole page and is vital for the rest of the writing. You need it create the right impression on the audience.
An introduction that is bound to catch the interest of the readers, always contains a hook. It can be a relevant fact, statistics or quote. Choose it wisely so it can serve two basic purposes. Persuading the audience to read more and displaying the main idea to its utmost potential.
Once the hook is placed, insert a brief yet comprehensive background for the topic. The introduction will be concluded on a thesis statement. This is the main idea that you will be developing later on in the body paragraphs.
The body paragraphs are the most detailed and informative part of any essay. In a synthesis essay also, they will be displaying all your analysis and research on the subject. We have already mentioned that the best way to do it is the MEAL approach. However, there are some other alternatives too that can make it successful:
• Ethos, Pathos, Logos
• DIDLS (Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, Structure)
• SOAPS (Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject)
After setting out all your ideas and evidences in a favorable light, it is time to turn to the conclusion. What can be the impressive way to end a synthesis essay? The most important thing to keep in mind, is not to introduce any new ideas her.
Round back to the point demonstrated by the thesis statement. Then give a brief summary of the evidences you have put forth in the body. Sum it all up with a strong call to action, which urges the readers to dig more in the subject. And further think about the perspective you have shown them about the topic.
Topics for Synthesis Essays
Sometimes your professor will give you the prompts for synthesis essay writing. Other times you will be free to choose the topic for yourself. For those occasions, we have compiled here a list of some great topics to help students of any field and interest:
1. Should higher education be free for all?
2. Can war be justified at times?
3. Is native marketing immoral?
4. Does the media have diversity issues?
5. Impact of fossil fuel usage on global warming
A few more tips
• Study the source material and start only after fully understanding it.
• Take up a clear and uncompromising stance, otherwise your arguments will sound weak.
• Analysis is key. Examine and lay bare each fact that you come across for the most convincing synthesis essay.