How to Write a Synthesis Essay
Synthesis Writing: to combine the ideas of more than one source with your own.
Key Features of a Synthesis
Report information from the sources using different phrases and sentences; Organize so that readers can immediately see where information from the sources overlap; Make sense of the sources and help the reader understand them in greater depth.
Preparing to write your Synthesis Essay
You should locate two or more sources for synthesizing. You should develop your own perspectives and interpretations of those sources—your analysis—and include your analysis in the paper.
A systematic preliminary comparison will help. Begin by summarizing briefly the points, themes, or traits that the texts have in common. Note differences in the sources as well.
Explore different ways to organize the information depending on what you find or what you want to argue. You might find it helpful to make several outlines or plans before you decide which sources to use.
Writing the Synthesis Essay
Your synthesis should be organized so that others can understand the sources and evaluate your comprehension of them and their presentation of specific data, examples, and supporting points.
a. The introduction:
b. The body:
Your organization will be determined by the assignment or by the patterns you see in the material you are synthesizing (theme, point, similarity, or aspect of the topic). The organization is the most important part of a synthesis, so choose the most effective format for your topic. Be sure that each paragraph:
Begins with a sentence or phrase that informs readers of the topic of the paragraph; Includes information from more than one source;
Clearly indicates which material comes from which source using transitions and topic sentences, and in-text citations. [Beware of plagiarism: Accidental plagiarism most often occurs when students are synthesizing sources and do not...
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