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Making the Synthesis Essay

The synthesis essay is another essay often assigned in school. The purpose is to integrate ideas from multiple sources. Teachers often assign this as a preliminary practice for future academic papers students will encounter.

So keep reading to learn how to create a synthesis essay for class.

  • Confirm the type you need

There are two kinds of synthesis essays: the explanatory synthesis essay and the argumentative synthesis essay. For the explanatory synthesis essay, the aim is to educate the reader on the topic by integrating the ideas of different sources. You will not support a particular side.

For the argumentative synthesis essay, you choose a position. This is then backed up by your sources.

  • Select a topic you like

If given a choice, it will be easier if you like the topic. Reading and understanding will be easier if you are interested in it. Ensure your topic has many resources available. If not, it will be difficult to find what you need. Most teachers require three to five sources.

  • Take notes as you read

It is more efficient if you take detailed notes as you read. Since you will be consulting several sources (at least 3), it will be easier for you to recall and retrieve what you need if you have listed down the most important facts and theories for your paper.

  • Make the Introduction

For either synthesis essay, the Intro is supposed to catch the reader’s attention. This may be done by including an interesting fact, compelling statistics, or a popular quote connected to the issue.

Both essay types need a thesis statement. The thesis for the explanatory synthesis essay should not favor a particular side. It should explain what the reader is going to see in the essay. The argumentative synthesis essay, however, should present your position (for or against) about the topic.

  • The Body

The Body of the explanatory synthesis essay should be arranged according to themes (ideas). Each paragraph should have one theme, supported by two or more sources. Three themes should be enough for your paper.

On the other hand, the argumentative synthesis essay should be arranged to support your position. Some students only include reasons and evidence that support their side. However, a stronger essay will also include the opposite side, allowing the reader to understand both views. Should you do this, ensure you refute the other views strongly in the Body before proceeding to the Conclusion; otherwise, your reader might disagree with your position.

  • The Conclusion

The Conclusion of the explanatory synthesis essay should summarize the main ideas of the essay without repeating the contents of the Body. The ending should cause the reader to really think about what was shared.

The Conclusion of the argumentative synthesis essay should strongly emphasize your position. If not yet a believer, a good ending should cause the reader to reconsider their point of view.


The synthesis essay, whether explanatory or argumentative, is a good practice for research and analysis. Take note of the pointers above to create the synthesis essay you need.

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