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During college and university life every student faces such a task as essay writing. There are various types of essays like narrative, descriptive, persuasive, etc, but not everyone has heard about a synthesis essay. If you are one of them, don’t worry, as in our article we will explain what is a synthesis essay, give a synthesis writing definition, as well as some valuable tips, and present an outline with an example of it.
What Is a Synthesis Essay?
Before we give a synthesis essay definition, we have to understand what is a synthesis? According to the Oxford dictionary “Synthesis is the combination of components or elements that form a connected whole”. Based on that, we can define a synthesis essay as a written work that explains the writer’s viewpoint about the main idea or topic by combining different resources and relating them to the writer’s opinion.
How to Structure Your Synthesis Essay
Like any other essay, a synthesis essay consists of 3 main parts:
- The Introductionwhere you present your thesis statement specifying the topic that the essay will cover. It is necessary to include information about the topic background and create a hook that can catch the reader’s attention.
- The Main Bodyis the most crucial and the longest part of any essay. Make sure to start each paragraph with a topic sentence adding your own opinion that supports your thesis statement. Besides, use sources to justify every claim, but keep in mind that every paragraph should be structured logically based on your opinion and the thesis statement, not around the sources.
- The Conclusionis the last part where you sum up all the information described in the body, state the importance of your topic based on the evidence mentioned in the paper. Restating your thesis statement might be very helpful as well as adding a quote of a famous person, for example.
What Is a Synthesis Essay Introduction and Its Structure
As we mentioned above Introduction is the part that presents your paper. Before you start writing, get a chance to review synthesis introduction examples, as they can allow you to check the varieties of different ideas as well as methods.
“What should be included in a synthesis essay introduction?” you might ask.
- First of all, Introduction to the topic where you explain the subject itself and give some background information;
- Definition of the audience and setting the tone of the paper;
- Creation of the “hook”, so the reader will want to read your paper till the end.
- Introduction of the texts that will be synthesized.
- Presentation of the thesis statement which sets up the pace of the paper.
However, just knowing how to start a synthesis essay will not help you to design a powerful Introduction. Writing a synthesis essay requires a lot of effort and time to prepare that is why we prepared some valuable tips that will be helpful.
- Gather all the information that you have extracted from various sources. Remember that it should either support or be against your thesis, but most importantly should be relevant to the paper.
- Start strong! Some famous quotes, phrases, facts relevant to the topic can be a great support in starting your synthesis writing. It’s important to catch the reader’s attention and raise the desire to read the essay until the end.
- After a powerful first sentence entry, it is the time for your essay’s outline. Shortly explain the reasons for choosing the topic, sources, and methods.
- Make a claim – prove it! When you present information, or in our case a claim, make sure to support it with a reference that can be accessed easily. It is very important not to overuse the references of the same author, use one source of the same writer.
- Don’t just present – explain it! If you just present your thesis some readers might be confused about its exact meaning. Briefly give some supporting arguments of your topic that will be deeply presented in the main body.
- Remember to include the information about the texts that you will synthesize.
What Are the Steps of Writing a Synthesis essay?
What makes a professional essay? Of course its structure, logic, and content! A synthesis essay like any other paper requires particular writing steps.
- Set the purpose. Before starting any essay make sure to establish the purpose of your paper.
- Make proper research regarding the amount and the quality of the sources that will be used in the paper and carefully select the materials for your essay, as this is the first step in writing a synthesis paragraph.
- Cite and list every source properly. In order not to miss any material make sure to mention every source you used in the paper. Don’t forget the rules of citation!
- Based on the materials formulate a thesis statement that will be the main part of your paper. Make sure that selected sources can support your main argument.
- An outline is key to a successful paper. To ease the process list each argument and sub-argument that will support the thesis showing the connection between the sources and the thesis.
- After writing your synthesis essay make sure to proofread and edit the paper paying attention to the language, unnecessary information, and word count.
Tips for a Synthesis Essay
As we mentioned above a synthesis essay requires an ability to gather the necessary information, analyze it and present it in your own manner in an organized way with supporting evidence and references. The purpose of such an essay is to find and make connections between various works that have a common idea. Many students have the same question “How to write a good synthesis essay? What can make my essay stand out from other essays?” We prepared a list of tips that will help you:
- Choose the topic that is interesting for you.
- Use only credible sources that can be easily found.
- Draft the plan and structure logically.
- Cite correctly and list the sources used after you finished with the essay.
- Read and proofread the paper, paying attention to the language, length, and word count.
Synthesis essay example and outline
There is a great saying: “Better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times.” Meaning that we can read about how to write a great essay, what should be included, but still have hundreds of questions that is why we decided to prepare an outline that can be a synthesis writing example for you. The topic that we chose is easy, so you can better understand the structure of a powerful synthesis essay.
First-time parents: what problems to expect?
- Use a quote to open the essay:
Mayim Bialik once said: “I came to parenting the way most of us do – knowing nothing and trying to learn everything”.
- Give some background information about being a parent
- Point out the difficulties first-time parents face.
- Present your thesis including 3-4 major points you are going to cover in the main body.
Being a first-time parent is a constant and hard work, where you should learn every day. There are many new difficulties that parents face every day. Feeding is the scariest part as you never know when enough is enough, as some say that breast milk is enough for a baby, while others believe that formula can help.
Another dilemma is crying, as when a baby is constantly crying, some suggest to leave him or her to cry and only after some time help to calm down, while others say that crying can be harmful and no baby should cry for a long time. Then, some believe that babies from birth should be on a schedule, sleep and eat at the same time while others suggest that every baby should be fed when hungry and sleep when wants, regardless of time.
The main body
Disproving (if you have the points)
Start with the opinion that contradicts your own opinion.
1.The topic sentence will be chosen from the previous paragraph. Choose one point and rephrase it in the way that it doesn’t support your opinion. Use a quote from the source to support the idea, but try to use it as part of your words, not just for the sake of writing.
Some believe that babies sleep whenever they want and the schedule is not important at the beginning as they try to form their sleeping pattern, like Jason McKingly, once said: “Babies are babies, what you can expect from them? With time they will learn when to sleep and when to play and for now, parents just have to wait”.
2. Give some explanation why you believe this idea is good, but might not be valid.
Of course, while babies grow and become bigger they form their sleeping and eating patterns, but our job as parents is to help them to form it. While a baby should be fed whenever he or she feels hungry, sleeping schedule, especially at night, should be introduced from birth, so in this case, babies learn faster.
3. If you have other ideas that are different from yours dedicate each paragraph to one idea, making sure to follow the structure: idea – prove by using a quote – your comment.
Supporting your ideas
You choose and arrange the reasons that support your thesis from the least important to the most important. Make sure to use quotes to support your point of view as well as adding the comments to them
There is a dilemma about whether to let a baby cry for a long time. According to the latest brain research, “babies who are left to cry for prolonged periods are at risk of suffering damage to their developing brains, which reduces their capacity to learn”. Of course, crying for some time is normal and sometimes needed, as it’s the way to let know that the baby is hungry or it’s time to change the diaper, but when the crying is unstoppable, it’s a serious sign that can’t be left unnoticed.
When we talk about feeding, everyone should remember that every baby is individual and has own features. For example, some criticize formula and believe that only breast milk is good for a baby, but what to do for those who don’t have milk? Or the baby has a strong allergy to milk, meaning lactose intolerant, so a mother should find a substitute for that.
Besides, many parents don’t know when they need to feed their babies. Every newborn, when hungry, has its signs to show that it’s time to eat, like sucking fingers or fists, making sucking sounds, or simply crying. Pediatricians say that a newborn should eat every couple of hours, but some babies eat more often. Don’t worry about that, as every newborn is an individual.
- Sum up! While summarizing everything that was mentioned in the essay, it is important to use the key concepts again, but not in the way you mentioned them in the Introduction, but rephrase them.
- The best way to end the synthesis essay is with a powerful quote or some interesting facts.
Even though being a parent can be stressful, but I agree with Linda Wooten who once said that “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed”.