How to write a synthesis essay: Outline, Format, Topics, Ideas

A synthesis essay is where you take a whole host of ideas and research, and merge them under a single theme. It involves showing how they connect, and somehow involves showing how one item invariably lead to another. I was very nervous when I received my first synthesis essay assignment because I had no idea what it was, and the whole idea seemed very complex. But, I was surprised at how interesting it became when I realized how many ideas, themes and disciplines were born through a fusion of tens (if not hundreds) of other ideas, themes and disciplines. Here is how to write a synthesis essay, with advice and tips on how to avoid some of the most common synthesis essay mistakes.

Synthesis Essay Outline

The people who do not create a synthesis essay outline plan, are the ones who always end up writing a summary. They will subsequently fail their paper, because a synthesis essay is a synthesis of things you know and have researched. That is one of the biggest reasons why you need to create an outline for a good synthesis essay for college (or high school).

The people who do not create a synthesis essay outline beforehand, will often create a paper this is more of review, summary or comparison paper. Creating your synthesis essay outline will allow you to knit your research, ideas, knowledge and experience before you actually start writing. Your outline plan makes it difficult to start summarizing because the ideas/knowledge have already been knitted together under one theme or topic.

Synthesis Essay Format

Writing a synthesis essay always begins with an introduction that explains your theme or topic. You may create a thesis statement, but in many cases it is not needed. Your first priority is to ensure that the reader understands the theme or the topic so that when you start mixing ideas and knowledge, the reader will be able to comprehend what is going on.

The body of your synthesis essay assignment is going to be a consistent demonstration of referenced ideas and knowledge, which you knit together under a certain theme or idea. You will need to list all of the works that you reference and cite, but you must not base your paper on quotes. You cannot simply string quotes together from different sources in order to prove your point/synthesis. Your synthesis must come from your ability to relate each piece to a certain theme, and not through stringing quotes together. Try to connect your ideas with transitions and linking devices.

Your synthesis essay conclusion can just be made up of a summary that refers to any statements you made in your introduction (and how they relate to the body of the essay).

Synthesis Essay Topics

One of the key factors in how to write a good synthesis essay is the topic. Choosing a topic for your synthesis essay involves looking over the things you are studying. You may simply need to go through your textbooks to find any ideas and themes that you feel will knit together well. You need to find topics that you can research, and that you already know have links with other ideas and concepts. It is foolish to pick a topic and then go looking for things to synergize it with, because you may struggle to find anything at all.

Choosing a good synthesis essay topic is a good way to impress the scholarship and college admin staff. You may be able to show that you fully understand a number of concepts within a certain field. Plus, your work can stand as a testament to your greatness if the admin staff are ever allowed to read it. If you can successfully and logically connect a number of ideas, concepts, knowledge, etc, and put them together into an essay, then the reader may be very impressed. All you have to do is make sure that you pick a topic that will synergize well under a single theme.