How to Write a Synthesis Essay in 7 Steps

synthesis essay

Starting to write synthesis essays can feel exciting but also overwhelming. Synthesis essays are all about blending different sources to build a strong argument. Whether you're new to this or looking to improve your skills, this article is here to help. We'll break down the process, from understanding what synthesis is to gathering sources, structuring your essay, and making your points effectively. Think of it as your guide to crafting synthesis essays that are clear, persuasive, and engaging. For starters, let's dive into what a synthesis essay is! If you’re in a hurry, you can use our essay writing service online to expedite the process.

What Is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is an academic paper that combines ideas from multiple sources to create a coherent argument or thesis statement. Unlike other types of essays that primarily rely on the writer's opinions or analysis, synthesis essays require you to gather information from various sources, such as articles, books, or research studies, and synthesize them into a unified whole. The goal is to present a nuanced understanding of a topic by drawing connections, identifying patterns, and evaluating different perspectives. There are two main types of synthesis essays:

  • Explanatory Synthesis

In an explanatory synthesis essay, your primary objective is to explain a topic by synthesizing information from multiple sources. You provide an overview of the subject matter, analyze different viewpoints, and present a comprehensive understanding of the topic to your audience. This type of synthesis essay is common in academic settings and often requires thorough research and critical thinking skills.

  • Argumentative Synthesis

Argumentative synthesis essays go beyond merely explaining a topic; they also require you to take a stance or make a claim about the subject matter. You integrate information from various sources to support your argument or thesis statement. Additionally, you must anticipate counterarguments and address them effectively to strengthen your position. Argumentative synthesis essays aim to persuade the reader of the validity of your viewpoint by presenting well-supported evidence and logical reasoning.

Both types of synthesis essays require careful analysis, synthesis of information, and effective communication of ideas. If that sounds like a challenge, simply order essay writing from competent academic authors and relieve yourself from this chore.

Synthesis Essay Structure

The structure and format of a synthesis essay typically follow a standardized approach to effectively convey your argument and synthesize information from various sources. Here's a breakdown of the typical structure and format:


  • Start with a hook to grab the reader's attention and introduce the topic.
  • Provide some background information on the subject matter to contextualize the discussion.
  • Present your thesis statement, which clearly states your main argument or position on the topic.

Body Paragraphs

  • Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or subtopic related to your thesis.
  • Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main point or argument.
  • Provide evidence from your sources to support your claims. This may include paraphrases, summaries, or direct quotations.
  • Analyze and evaluate the information presented in the sources to demonstrate your understanding of the topic.
  • Use transitions to smoothly connect ideas between paragraphs and ensure coherence.

Counterargument and Rebuttal

  • Acknowledge potential counterarguments or alternative perspectives on the topic.
  • Present evidence or reasoning to refute opposing viewpoints.
  • This section strengthens your argument by demonstrating that you have considered different perspectives and can effectively defend your position.


  • Summarize the main points of your essay and restate your thesis statement.
  • Reflect on the significance of your argument and its implications for the broader topic.
  • Offer insights or suggestions for further research or discussion.
  • End with a compelling closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.


  • If required, include a list of references or a bibliography at the end of your essay.
  • Follow the appropriate citation style (e.g., APA, MLA) for citing sources used in your essay.

When formatting your synthesis essay, ensure consistency in font size, spacing, margins, and citation style according to the guidelines provided by your instructor or the academic institution. Additionally, proofread your essay carefully to eliminate any grammatical or typographical errors and ensure clarity and coherence in your writing. If you say, ‘help me write my essay,’ our experts will respond within minutes with a tangible solution.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

Writing a synthesis essay involves several steps to effectively synthesize information from multiple sources and construct a coherent argument. Here's a guide to writing a synthesis essay in seven steps:

how to write a synthesis essay

Understand the Prompt

Take the time to thoroughly comprehend the synthesis essay prompt. Identify the central topic or issue you're expected to explore. Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines provided by your instructor, such as the number of sources required or the formatting style to be used. If there are terms or concepts in the prompt that are unclear, clarify them before proceeding.


Conduct comprehensive research on the topic by gathering information from a variety of sources. These may include academic journals, books, reputable websites, and other scholarly materials. Be sure to critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of each source. Take detailed notes as you read, highlighting key ideas, arguments, and evidence that you can use to support your synthesis essay thesis.

Formulate Your Thesis

Based on your research and analysis, develop a strong thesis statement that clearly states your main argument or position on argumentative synthesis essays topics. Your thesis should be specific, debatable, and concise, providing a roadmap for the rest of your essay. Consider the main points or arguments you plan to make in your essay and how they contribute to your overall thesis.

Outline Your Essay

Organize your thoughts and ideas by creating an outline for your essay. Start with a brief introduction that introduces the topic and provides context for your argument. Then, outline the main points or arguments you'll address in each body paragraph, along with supporting evidence from your sources. Finally, plan your conclusion to summarize your main points and restate your thesis. For more outlining tips, please consult our guide on how to format an essay.

Write Your Introduction

Begin your essay with an attention-grabbing hook that draws the reader in and sets the tone for your essay. Provide some background information on the topic to give context to your argument. Finally, end your introduction with a clear thesis statement that previews the main points you'll be discussing in the body of your essay.

Compose Your Body Paragraphs

In the body of your essay, develop each main point or argument in separate paragraphs. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Then, provide evidence from your sources to support your argument, using quotes, paraphrases, or summaries as needed. Analyze the significance of the evidence and explain how it relates to your overall thesis.

Craft Your Conclusion

Summarize the main points of your essay in the conclusion, emphasizing how they support your thesis. Avoid introducing new information or arguments in the conclusion; instead, focus on reinforcing the key ideas you've already presented. End to write synthesis essays with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

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Useful Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay

Here are some useful tips you can use to write a better synthesis essay:

  • Choose Strong Sources

Select credible and relevant sources to support your argument before writing a synthesis essay. Look for sources that provide diverse perspectives on the topic and include a mix of primary and secondary sources.

  • Analyze Your Sources

Don't just summarize the sources; critically analyze them. Consider the author's credibility, biases, and the evidence presented. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source and how they contribute to your argument.

  • Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should clearly articulate the main argument or position of your essay. It should be specific, debatable, and supported by evidence from your sources.

  • Organize Your Essay

Create a clear and logical structure for your essay. Start with an introduction that provides context for your argument and ends with a strong thesis statement. Then, organize your body paragraphs around key themes or arguments, with each paragraph focusing on a single idea supported by evidence.

  • Use Transitions

Use transitional words and phrases to guide the reader through your essay. Transitions help to create coherence and flow between paragraphs and ideas, making your argument easier to follow.

  • Blend Sources Seamlessly

Integrate information from your sources smoothly into your own writing. Avoid simply listing sources or relying too heavily on quotations. Instead, paraphrase or summarize the information in your own words and cite your sources appropriately.

  • Provide Analysis and Interpretation

Don't just present evidence; analyze and interpret each essential component of a synthesis essay. Explain how each piece of evidence supports your argument and what it reveals about the topic. Use critical thinking to evaluate the significance of the evidence in relation to your thesis.

  • Address Counterarguments

Anticipate and address potential counterarguments to your thesis. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and provide evidence or reasoning to refute them. This demonstrates that you have considered multiple perspectives and strengthens your argument.

  • Revise and Edit

Take the time to revise and edit your essay carefully. Check for clarity, coherence, and consistency in your argument and writing style. Proofread for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, and ensure that your citations are accurate and properly formatted. For more tips, please consult our guide on how to write an academic essay.

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Samuel Gorbold

Samuel Gorbold, a seasoned professor with over 30 years of experience, guides students across disciplines such as English, psychology, political science, and many more. Together with EssayHub, he is dedicated to enhancing student understanding and success through comprehensive academic support.

What was changed:
  • updated the text structure;
  • the how-to section was made more specific.
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