How to Write A Synthesis Essay

While they are regarded as one of the hardest academic papers to write, synthesis essays are great for exploring views about different ideas, topics, and themes. It all starts with a topic and then the theories based on the given topic are discussed and combined into a final answer.

There are only three steps to follow when composing the perfect synthesis.

  • Synthesizing sources

  • Composing thesis or a claim

  • Formatting the paper

How to compose the perfect Synthesis Essay

While it may seem hard at first, writing the perfect essay consists of organizing the information in a way where it connects. One of the key aspects that you must take into account is the main principle of writing a synthesis essay. The principles refer to forming connections between multiple sources of information in a way that supports your claims and your main goal.

The first thing that you will want to do before writing is to start with your main theory and build your text based on that, creating an outline which you will use to compose the synthesis. Creating the outline is mandatory because without it you will not have the right perspective to organize the sources and the information. Take each source one by one and develop their own unique analysis, interpretation, and perspective. The number one thing that you are looking for is to find criteria that will help you organize them. You do not have to restrict yourself to only one outline.

Proper organization of your ideas results in people having a much easier time understanding the purpose of your paper and its elements. Without a detailed and concise point of view, you can leave room for biases and misinterpretations. Back up your sources with clear details about them and more importantly, a unique point of view.

Proper synthesis structure

Before conceiving a synthesis, we must first discuss the actual structure of one. Knowing the structure before starting to write will save you plenty of time.


The most important rule when writing an introduction is to always make it interesting and attractive for the readers. Whether you start with a story, a quote or even a joke having a great opening can be detrimental to your paper. Afterward, you can start describing the purpose of your paper.


What you are looking to write in the body is to support your claims through structured and concise paragraphs. Do not shorten your explanations and use as many sources as possible to support your findings.


In conclusion, you are looking to write all the evidence you have gathered from your synthesis and put them all together into a final piece.

What writing style should I choose?

When talking about writing styles there are so many that you can choose from. We are going to talk about the most important ones that have been founded and established by the educational and scientific organization, thus carrying out their names.

Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Chicago

  • Harvard

  • Oxford

  • APA

  • Vancouver

  • MLA

  • Turabian

For example, when it comes to citations, the Chicago style of writing references to two possible options for citations, either by listing short citations in the body of the subject (such as the Harvard style) or by listing them in the footnotes (such as the Oxford style).

Another example would the Vancouver style which is based on numeric referencing style, meaning that every source is referenced with a number based on the order it appears in on the paper. These numbers are later fully-detailed at the end of the essay based on numerological order.

Writing styles not only refer to the manner in which citations are handled, but to the way the text is formatted. One example would be the MLA style.

Here are some things to consider when having to write according to this style:

  • Times New Roman
  • 12 pt font
  • Double-spaced text
  • 1" margins all around
  • The student’s last name should appear in the right corner, as well as the page number
  • The student’s name, the professor’s name, the course number, and the date should all be part of the header
  • Headings and titles are centered
  • The last page always consists of the Bibliography (References)

Advice for writing the best synthesis possible

There are three acronyms you must learn in order to write the best possible synthesis every time. They are not hard to learn and will do miracles the next time you are required to write a synthesis. Without further ado, here is the first acronym.

1. L.E.P

This acronym refers to „Logos, Ethos and Pathos” which are Latin words. Ethos meaning an appeal to ethics, Pathos an appeal to emotions and Logos an appeal to logic. These are all great reminders to appeal to the public, their emotions with the help of logic and commons sense.

Logos appears when there are statistics and information in the given text. Always return to the background information in order to make your synthesis essay as digestible as possible for the readers.

Logos appears when your words become powerful and create feelings and moods for the readers. Relating to an emotional level is mandatory when creating any work of science.

Ethos appears when you are discussing the validation of your text, and when you are seeking agreement and credibility from your readers. Ethos can be achieved using credible sources and justification.

2. S.O.A.P.S

This acronym is great for determining who the speaker is, what is the occasion, what the target audience is, what is the purpose and what is the subject of the communication. Using this method will help you write even better essays than before. The method is simple to use and extremly effective. Let’s take a look at an example.

Who is the Speaker?

The speaker is always the voice that tells the story.

What is the Occasion?

The occasion refers to the context of the writing (time and place of the piece).

Who is the Audience?

The audience will always be the group of people to which the text is directed to.

What is the Purpose?

The purpose is the motive that the author had in mind when he created the text.

What is the Subject?

The subject is what the author is communicating through his text.

3. D.I.D.L.S

Last but not least, another great way of analyzing any time of text is the DIDLS acronym which helps students identify Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Sentence Structure. These are the keys to identifying the tone that the author is using when writing the text. The tone the writer’s or speaker’s attitude in regard to the subject and the audience. Understanding the tone depends very much on the reader’s knowledge of word choice, imagery, language and details. Misinterpreting the tone of a text is a lot like misinterpreting the whole meaning of it. This is where DIDLS comes into place.


Writing the perfect synthesis essay can be tricky at first, but with time and knowledge, everybody can write the best academic assignments possible and score the highest grades as well. Someone once said that „Through practice, gently and gradually we can collect ourselves and learn how to be more fully with what we do.” and he was absolutely right.

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