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Writing synthesis essays
A synthesis essay is a unique type of essay that calls for the combination of several sources, papers, essays or opinions in order to form something new. Therefore, it requires the writers to use ideas from several different sources in order to combine them in one writing. To start a synthesis essay, a student should briefly present information from several sources clearly with one’s own words, corroborating the statements with proper citations. This initial presentation of ideas is necessary to make the reader understand their similarities and differences and how they relate to the main topic of the essay. A synthesis essay may be of two major types:
Background synthesis essay. This synthesis essay reviews the topics of the diverse sources. Then it subsequently develops a brief fusion or mixture of the given ideas presenting them in an easy-to-follow format. For instance, it may obtain the gist from the sources and present them succinctly in one paper, making certain that these ideas support the general theme of the essay.
Thesis synthesis essay. This synthesis essay develops a new idea from the chosen source materials. It can be (and usually should be) controversial in nature. This type of thesis essay generates new ideas and presents non-standard solutions.
Topic selection and examination.
A synthesis essay starts with a collection of various sources and materials that are used to develop the main concepts in the essay. The best way is to find sources that related to the general theme of the thesis essay. One may check the sources in the library, browse reputable online sources, watch TV programs on the relevant topic and use any other media. Once you obtained all the necessary sources take notes of what others have already said on your topic.
Make sure you use proper references during the note-taking process to avoid having to get back to these sources later for citations. The next step is to summarize the sources and prepare the bulks or chunks of quotes to be subsequently incorporated in the essay. You can also prepare a citation/references page before even writing a synthesis essay.
Once you got the main ideas noted and referenced, rehash them before writing a synthesis essay. At this point of time it is necessary to use one’s skills and abilities to recall the material, to prioritize and assess the ideas and unite them in one essay. For instance, if all your sources agree on the topic, then think about making something bigger than what they offer. If the sources disagree on the main topic of your synthesis essay, think of the common elements that may in fact be used in the essay. Please keep in mind that the points where various sources conflict or converge are the very points where you can capitalize and develop a quality thesis for your synthesis essay.
Present ideas in your essay.
A good thesis of a synthesis essay is a question that has not been answered or some idea that has not been yet tackled. It does not necessarily have to be something extraordinary-just be attentive to what you really find important (pleasant or unpleasant) and interesting and what you think would be great to change in your life. Then expand that idea to a new level, i.e. society-wide, state-wide, world-wide. If your sources do not directly address the topic but area very near it—it is a great start as you will be the one to create that link between what is known and what is unknown.
A quality synthesis essay needs a strong structure. As other essay types, it has an outline that shows what the essay will be about and how the thoughts and ideas are organized. It is better to start with the thesis, in order to create a skeleton of your synthesis essay, i.e. you will know what things are to be surely mentioned. Then it is possible to change the structure is necessary. Using reputable sources to outline the status quo problems is a good way to demonstrate your professionalism in writing. It also helps the readers expand their horizons and look for additional information if they want to learn more about the topic.
Structure of a Synthesis Essay
A synthesis essay requires a formal format and clear logical structure. While one may start with an informal writing and even brainstorming to generate the needed ideas in the rough draft, once the ideas are established and the opinion is set, it is necessary to revise the draft and make it formal. At this point of time a student may need to carry out more research or find more supportive material. It is recommended to support each idea with reputable sources to sound more professional and persuasive. After the thesis statement of a synthesis essay is developed it is recommended to build on the established framework, using appeals to logic, authority (experts) and emotion.
The general format of a synthesis essay involves a thesis statement in the introduction paragraph, followed by several body paragraphs that introduce the problem, introduce the available solutions from different sources and subsequently present the synthesized material. The main emphasis is put on the beginning of the essay where the problem is formulated. The overall essay is to be smooth-flowing and logical. The stronger you feel about the topic, the more supporting material and logical justifications you need to provide while at the same time taking into account the opposing side.
The best synthesis essays use research teamed up with the student’s inventiveness and creativity in order to synthesize new ideas that in turn may create something fully authentic and new-fangled. Just make certain that the text is up-to-the-point, succinct and properly referenced and you as a writer is the one who controls it.
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