A Secret Formula For Creating A Strong Synthesis Essay

The secret to writing a convincing synthesis essay lies in understanding the question. What are you being asked to do? Typically, the synthesis essay, just like persuasive essays offer three types of prompts. You may be asked to defend, qualify, or challenge a claim. Or, you could be asked to evaluate a factor or several factors related to a topic. Lastly, you may be asked to develop a position on a topic. It is very important that you identify the key verbs in the question in order to uncover what is really required of you.

Once you have done that, follow the following tips;

  1. 1. Write the thesis
  2. The thesis is a strong one sentence statement that clearly shows your position on the topic and tells the reader what you will be writing about. It is extremely important that you stay within topic. Don’t wander away from the prompt.

  3. 2. Outline your main points
  4. Many students often make the mistake of “keeping the facts in the head” and then just get down to the actual writing. This is very dangerous because you can easily forget the “facts” and then you might be left stranded. Noting down the points early also allows your brain to ponder on them as you write. Always go for 3 points.

  5. 3. Use the minimum number of resources possible
  6. In most cases, you will be told to use three or four resources for your work. If you can work with the lowest number provided, that would be so good. However, if you need more resources to make your work better, then go all out and do so. But remember that citing all sources doesn’t make your paper stronger.

  7. 4. Be a critical thinker
  8. Do NOT be limited by what you find in the resources. Synthesis essays are about identifying connection and their impact wherever they occur. If you see a relationship where other writers have never seen one before, feel free to discuss it.

  9. 5. Use both direct and indirect references
  10. Don’t be over reliant on direct quotations. Feel free to quote directly from your sources. But, from time to time, you are also free to paraphrase. The rule is to cite/quote facts or ideas that have a lot of weight while paraphrasing those that aren’t too important to the paper.


Remember that synthesis is all about identifying connections and finding out why they occur where they occur. NEVER stray from that. If you need additional help, check this site.

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