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A Comprehensive Guide On Writing Synthesis Essay

Would you buy a phone that comes with no details about the features and other specifications? Of course, no!

Now consider the same for essays. Unless you justify your reflective essay, why will the readers believe you? Synthesis essays are somewhat the same.

Synthesis pieces require the same kind of research work, accumulation of ideas, and a properly justified conclusion.

This blog will explain every detail about writing one such piece, along with examples. So, read on!

What is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is a unique type of essay that combines data from various sources to create an original idea, a thought-provoking question, or a persuasive thesis. When composing this type of content, writers delve into concepts, information, and evidence from different sources to clarify or support a distinct argument.

High school or college students are assigned to write this type of article, which usually follows the standard five-paragraph essay structure. The questions or theses of these writings may be derived from the writer's personal beliefs, but they strive to substantiate their claims with objective facts and statistics from external sources.

In simpler words, an assertion made in these writings is based on secondary sources. These texts help us develop compelling justifications for our positions.

Here is a synthesis essay example.

Do governments pass Freedom Acts to promote citizens' freedom, or are they simply a means to spy on people? The novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, the essay "Why Read 1984" by Roy Ogren, and the article "Americans Are Now Living in a Society That Rivals Orwell's" all discuss this hidden agenda.

In "1984" by Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones, the writers illustrate how governments use technology and propaganda to manipulate the beliefs of their citizens. Orwell's bleak predictions in Nineteen Eighty-Four are becoming a reality on a larger scale. The essay and article reveal how technology is used covertly in modern-day America, exposing elements of Orwell's dystopian vision.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell foresees a world filled with propaganda, where one's thoughts are always influenced and altered to follow the party's view. There are the constant reminders of "WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" slogans on every screen in Oceania, which bombard people with information that would "enlighten [one] mind, to stir [one] emotion" and to "mould [ones] belief" (Orwell 130, Ogren 6). Even though the world today is almost seventy years in the future, Orwell's vision is unfolding silently in the life of every living human being in the Twenty-First Century. These slogans of propaganda described in Orwell's novel are boldly shown in the present day but are often overlooked as necessary for national security by citizens living in America. Although these slogans might not mean much to the average American, educated or critical thinkers might realize that Orwell's novel did not have the sole purpose of entertaining but also as a message of warning

While in Orwell's time, the television was only a piece of primitive technology, it still had enough of the capabilities that the government needed, such as to "receive and transmit" signals back and forth (Orwell 5). Although in Nineteen Eighty-Four, citizens only had one television in their home, the idea of not having several televisions, smartphones, and computers in a Twenty-First Century home is unusual. In this age of information and technology, "we are more vulnerable to propaganda" than the citizens of Oceania (Ogren 6). Although many people believe their phones are safe from displaying messages like the ones in Nineteen Eighty-Four, they are horribly mistaken, for a new American alert system called the "FEMA Emergency Alert System" will have the ability to "hijack all conventional broadcast communications, and mandatory government messages will appear" on any device (Watson and Jones 12). This kind of power and capability to brainwash citizens is horribly terrifying; imagine all the cellular devices, computers, and television in someone's home displaying "See Something, Say Something" all day and night for years (Watson and Jones 11). This was Orwell's greatest fear, the fear of technology becoming an essential part of daily life, and later would help governments influence people's thoughts in hidden ways, as Watson and Jones suggest of "[re-educating Americans] into compliance"(Watson and Jones 12). Many of Orwell's dark visions are becoming or are already true in present-day society. Still, some government actions that are happening now are more atrocious than the actions that Big Brother has ever done. Although propaganda might seem dangerous and extremely effective, it can be prevented if one does not take in information blindly and accept everything a government claims. It might seem that technology was invented to help the average person with daily life, but it can contain more hidden, sinister, and military features than one might realize. 

The Types of Synthesis Essay 

1. Explanatory Synthesis Essay

An explanatory synthesis essay's goal is to employ a variety of sources to demonstrate a specific viewpoint. These synthesis essays systematically compare and contrast many points of view without necessarily taking a side or trying to persuade the reader of anything.

This aids readers in better comprehending a subject. Here, the objective is to explain a certain issue, not to make an argument.

Explain the subject utilizing sources in the body, and present these sources impartially. As in any other writing project, provide two or more reliable references to support each point you make.

Read also: Learn The Standard Essay Format

Look at the example below –

Many people consider abortion a terrible form of violence, an equivalent to murder, as they describe the process of abortion as partially delivering an embryo and then killing it almost immediately after its 'half-birth.' Some have voiced their thoughts against abortion, proclaiming that killing a child at the partial-birth stage is evil and unnecessary. However, another school of thought promotes the idea that abortion is not really murder since the child has not yet been born. This opposing point of view sees killing unborn babies as a right of a woman who does not want to have a child. Proponents of this thought are organizations such as the National Organization for Women, who want abortion to remain legal and accessible as they think everyone has a right to choose whether to keep the baby or kill it. This view is commonly known as 'pro-choice,' where the proponents believe that the parents should have the right to choose between having an abortion or not. It is also my contention that abortion should be allowed, and parents who do not want to have a child should be allowed to have an abortion…

2. Argumentative Synthesis Essay

The format of an argumentative synthesis essay is the same as that of a standard argumentative essay.

This kind of paper aims to make an argument about a particular subject and support it with facts. In contrast to the explanatory style, you will proceed just as you would if writing a typical argumentative paper. Declare your perspective, make supporting statements, and then back up each claim with reliable evidence.

Here is a glimpse of argumentative synthesis essay example –

Topic – Car Seat Safety for Kids

Many parents are either uneducated about using car seats properly or may not fully understand the risks associated with doing so. Children need to be properly restrained in a car seat because as they get older or get bigger, their risk of damage increases.  

These suggestions The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (n.d.) states that specific car seat types should be used at particular ages. Parents are advised to double-check the seat's label to make sure that the youngster fits within its height and weight restrictions (NHTSA, n.d.). Rear-facing car seats for infants should always be used in the back seat of the car (NHTSA, n.d.). These are utilised for young children since a rear-facing car seat will offer them more protection because of their fragile heads, necks, and spines (NHTSA, n.d.).

But including these factors often make the car price rise extensively. This becomes an issue for the middle class families. So is their kids’ safety not an issue for them? 

If you observe properly you’ll see that every bit of information is justified with proper source, which is the purpose of synthesis essay. And because it needs an argumentative tone, the later portions have the counter arguments as well. You have to be a little careful about the position of the counter arguments.

Read also: 100+ Popular Evaluation Essay Topics

The Structure of a Thesis Essay

Making an outline can help you organize your thoughts and plan your work for your synthesis paper. After you create the synthesis essay outline, take the following steps:

  • Insert supporting data, counterarguments, and specifics in the relevant parts.
  • Make sure that each element supports the assertion in your thesis.
  • Strengthen your paper by acknowledging any fact that contradicts your main thesis.
  • Verify each of the sources you've chosen thoroughly.
  • Analyze the causes instead of summarizing them; analyze them.

There are three main components to the basic synthesis essay structure template:

  • An introduction that includes a thesis
  • Body, which supports the thesis with arguments and refutes those arguments
  • Conclusion 

Let’s look into each of these sections individually –


An introduction, which briefly summarizes the topic of the cause and effect essay, comes first in a synthesis essay plan. The essay's opening paragraph is crucial. It will include a hook, background information, justification for your issue, and a thesis statement. Below is a description of how to write a synthesis statement.

A thesis, or main contention, is necessary for all synthesis writing. The central contention of each thesis with independent sources should be your thesis.

Refer to the example provided under “What is a synthesis essay?” in this article. See how the hook is created to gain readers’ attention.


When writing a synthesis text, the body typically includes three paragraphs. The first two paragraphs summarize your sources to support your thesis, while the third paragraph acknowledges counterarguments. Some argue that the first paragraph should refute your thesis, demonstrating critical thinking skills valued in higher education. However, be sure to clarify that the counterargument is inadequate to disprove your thesis. The following paragraphs should present supporting evidence for your thesis, following the synthesis format of Argumentation, Supporting Sentence, Evidence, and Analysis of Evidence.

But know that you can choose to present the counterarguments later as well. That is also acceptable.

For example, you can start the body of your somewhat like this –

Our oceans are endangered not only by plastic trash but also by the manufacture of plastic. Plastic must be made from crude oil and gas, both of which seriously harm the earth's crust and contaminate the oceans. On the other hand, glass manufacturing does not call for these techniques. These harmful practices would be less necessary if glass packaging replaced plastic packaging 


In the conclusion, all you have to do is “Tell them what you told them."

You'll restate all you said in the body part in the conclusion. Reiterate your thesis; this time, it will be supported by the entirety of the data from the body. Your synthesis essay's conclusion restates the thesis statement you used, to begin with. It can highlight how each of your arguments and the references you used to support your claims.

Here's an example of a synthesis essay conclusion –

The information from these sources favors the usage of glass packaging over plastic. The usage of plastic packaging is disadvantageous because of the enormous volume of plastic garbage in the ocean and the hazardous practices of fracking and oil drilling in the production of plastic. Glass packaging instead of plastic packaging could help society improve the planet's future and heal environmental damage.

How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

A good synthesis essay guides readers through a collection of concepts and references in order to support or clarify a main idea. To write your essay, follow this step-by-step instruction manual.

Here is a set of steps to write the perfectly –

1. Choose the topic

This is the most confusing yet very crucial part of the essay writing process. Until and unless you have a good topic to work on nothing makes sense. Brainstorm ideas, search the internet, read through books – all these will widen your exposure to synthesis essay topics.

 You can also go through pre-prepared samples to get an idea of the topic perfect for the synthesis essay template.

2. Do the research

After selecting a topic, conduct thorough research using various resources such as the internet and libraries. Look for relevant data or scientific studies, and consult academic essay primary sources to gather quotes from experts and scholars. This will help you form a well-supported viewpoint based on facts. It's important to use reliable, impartial, and objective sources.

3. Outline the piece

Our entire article should be devoted to presenting an argument or outlining a certain point of view. Indicate the connections between each of your sources and your central idea.

4. Frame the introduction

The first paragraph of a paper is known as the introduction. Its primary objective is to introduce the paper's general idea, give any essential background information, and, ideally, catch the reader's interest. When composing the introductory paragraph of your content, make sure to include a powerful thesis statement. This is where you express the perspective you are analyzing or the argument you are presenting.

5. Organize the body

To create a strong body paragraph, it is important to include three main parts: the topic sentence (also known as the "key sentence"), relevant supporting sentences, and a concluding (or transitional) sentence. This structure helps maintain focus on the topic and ensures a clear and concise flow of information. When writing each body paragraph, it is essential to cover all components of your thesis and provide supporting evidence from each source. Additionally, it is important to explain how the common thread running through all your sources relates to the content of your text. It is also recommended to include rebuttals and explain how your source material can refute opposing arguments and support your own point of view.

6. Give a strong conclusion

Your thesis will be restated in the final paragraph, summarizing the major points you made in favor of it throughout the paper and your assessment of the main idea.

7. Proofread

It is important to proofread your writing multiple times before submitting or presenting it. Misplaced words or grammatical errors can significantly alter or disprove your main argument or stance. Therefore, ensure that your language, syntax, and overall structure are accurate and easily comprehended. This will enhance your credibility as a trustworthy source.

Now do you have a clear idea? But the key to perfection is practice. Therefore, below mentioned are a few relevant topics. You can use them for practice. You can also choose from them for your assignment.

Read also: How To Write Personal Essay - A Comprehensive Guide

An Updated List of the Best Synthesis Essay Topics

Easy Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. How does Instagram impact the black beauty standard and African American girls' self-representation?
  2. How do social media impact children's academic achievement between the ages of 10 and 17?
  3. Is there a threat to the traditional classroom from technology?
  4. How do dress codes impact pupils' performance in the classroom?
  5. How does global warming affect the extinction of marine species?
  6. Do fossil fuels use and global warming go hand in hand?
  7. How effective can the attempts to mitigate global warming be concerning renewable energy sources?
  8. The elevation of professional game players to the level of professional athletes: how big money affect the progress of particular technologies?
  9. Should K–12 educators be permitted to carry weapons on school grounds?
  10. Does Facebook put users' privacy in danger?

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. Should all citizens be entitled to free higher education from the government?
  2. Is the current tax system equitable and just for all citizens?
  3. Does having school resource officers help to stop mass shootings?
  4. Should insurance automatically cover mental health therapies at no extra cost?
  5. Should the government provide financing for damage reduction initiatives?
  6. Do big businesses pay their fair share of taxes?
  7. Should plastics be completely banned?
  8. Should everyone have the right to basic health care access?
  9. How precise and trustworthy is forensic science?
  10. Should organizations within the government start utilizing block-chain technology?

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. Do harm reduction programs successfully combat drug addiction?
  2. What are some efficient ways to deal with homelessness?
  3. What scenario for global warming is most likely?
  4. Are carbon offset programs a useful tool in the fight against global warming?
  5. What are the most practical substitutes for fossil fuels in electricity production?
  6. How are players' behavior affected by playing violent video games?
  7. Could you define the term "smart cities"?
  8. Would switching to electric vehicles significantly lessen air pollution?
  9. How do conspiracies get spread?
  10. What impact has the epidemic had on young people's rates of depression?

Synthesis Essay Topics on Finance

  1. How is the unemployment rate to be determined?
  2. How should the inflation rate be accounted for in monetary policy?
  3. What strategies do wealthy people employ to avoid paying taxes?
  4. Are stimulus checks a successful way to boost the economy?
  5. How is the money supply affected by inflation?
  6. Why is the dollar used as the world's most traded currency?
  7. What are the primary reasons for inflation?
  8. How did the epidemic cause long-lasting disruptions to supply lines around the world?
  9. Why are American healthcare prices typically greater than those in other countries?
  10. Is there a gender wage gap in your nation?

Synthesis Essay Topics About History

  1. How did individuals record and save images before photography was developed?
  2. When should slavery be regarded as being abolished in history?
  3. How have tensions and divides over religion sparked wars throughout history?
  4. What significant effects did the Industrial Revolution have on culture, the economy, and society?
  5. How has psychology as a discipline grown and changed over time?
  6. In what ways and when did women finally get the chance to cast ballots in various nations?
  7. What circumstances led to the enormous deaths in World Wars I and II?
  8. What enduring effects have Karl Marx's writings and ideologies had on politics and society?
  9. What caused the British Empire to lose control of its colonies and territories?
  10. How have access, content, and teaching methods changed in education from the 18th century?

American Dream Synthesis Topics

  1. How attainable is the American Dream today for the typical American?
  2. Which economic impacts does immigration have on the US?
  3. Does illegal immigration restrict American people's access to employment opportunities?
  4. Should the US impose immigration restrictions?
  5. How does American culture encourage gender inequality?
  6. Should schools broaden the racial diversity of their faculty to foster equity in classes with varied cultures?
  7. How can racially diverse societies foster interracial communication between racial group representatives?
  8. What are the requirements for color blindness?
  9. How do mainstream body norms affect minority boys’ and girls' behavior?
  10. How can we control the culture of internet shame?

Synthesis Essay Topics Geology

  1. Examine the extraction of crude oil and its impact on the land and the water.
  2. Check out several varieties of rocks.
  3. What can geologists learn about the formation of rocks and how they are made?
  4. How do minerals form, and what are they?
  5. Discuss the theory of a flat earth. How is the theory accurate or inaccurate?
  6. Describe the prevalence of specific compounds on earth and their function.
  7. What is lava, and why is its temperature so high?
  8. The Grand Canyon's origins and formation.
  9. How plate tectonics influences the development of volcanic hotspots.
  10. Climate change's effects on coastal geology.

Research Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. What are some more effective substitutes for Li-Ion batteries?
  2. Why are beavers valued for preserving thriving ecosystems?
  3. What effects do dementia communities have on the residents' lives?
  4. What effect does beauty culture have on young women's self-esteem?
  5. Why are we able to cry as humans?
  6. Are peaceful protests successful at enacting social change?
  7. Is vaping just as dangerous as cigarette smoking?
  8. Why are cats able to stand up straight in practically every circumstance?
  9. Does a college degree still important when applying for jobs?
  10. Which cities are vulnerable to on-going floods due to sea level rise brought on by global warming?


Q.1. What does Synthesis refer to in Synthesis essay?

A synthesis is a written discussion incorporating support from several sources of differing views. The same included in essays refer to as synthesis essays.

Q.2. What are the two types of synthesis essay?

The two types of synthesis essays are

  • Argumentative synthesis essay
  • Explanatory synthesis essay

Q.3. How to cite synthesis essay?

In synthesis essays, citing sources is done in a similar way to parenthetical citations used in MLA or APA style. A parenthetical citation is when the source's name is mentioned in parenthesis after the sentence, followed by a period outside the parenthesis.

Q.4. How to write the AP Lang synthesis essay?

Follow the below mentioned steps to write quality AP Lang synthesis essay

  • Examine the prompt.
  • Study the sources closely.
  • Create a compelling thesis statement. The foundation of your writing is your thesis statement.
  • Complete your essay outline.
  • Frame the content accordingly.
  • Finally provide the citations and do the proofreading before submission.

Q.5. What is the purpose of synthesis essay?

Making smart connections is a synthesis essay's primary goal. These linkages can highlight the relationships between various elements of a single work as well as between various works. It is your responsibility to elucidate the significance of those connections.

Q.6. Do synthesis essays need a counter argument?

The general structure of a synthesis essay is

  • Introduction with thesis statement
  • Body with arguments and counter arguments
  • Conclusion with a closure

But note that counter arguments in the body portion is only for the argumentative type synthesis essays. For the explanatory ones only arguments with justification is enough.

Q.7. Can synthesis essays be written in the first person?

No, synthesis essays cannot be written in the first person. It is because here you are supposed to combine others works to establish enough relevance of the discussion. You are not supposed to put front your opinions.

Q.8. How long should a synthesis essay be?

The conventional requirement of a synthesis essay is a proper informative 5 to 6 paragraphs. But these can different for your university. It is better to clarify the same prior to writing.

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