How to Write an Original Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay is a paper that organizes two or more sources and combines their ideas into one work to support a strong thesis statement from the point-of-view of the author. When writing an original synthesis essay, it is important to understand four steps: choosing your topic, researching objectively, writing a carefully crafted thesis statement, and organizing your essay to effectively support the thesis.


Before you even begin to think about writing a synthesis essay, know the topic you will be writing about. If you get to choose the topic to write about, spend some time to think about what you are passionate about. What interests you? What do you believe is worth writing about? Once you have a general idea of what you want your topic to be, narrow that idea down in scope to a specific topic you can discuss. For example, let’s say you decide you want to write about cars. You would then narrow that general idea down to a specific topic, such as the effect of cars on the environment.

In the event you are given a topic in class to write about, you can skip this step all together, though you should still begin to think about from what point-of-view you will be writing from.


As you begin to research and dig into your sources, you can begin to plan out what you want to prove, as this will be the foundation of your thesis statement. Keep track of what source specific information came from. At the very minimum you will need two sources, but the more the better. Choose sources that are the most relevant to your topic, and as you begin to plot out the argument you are going to prove, begin to think about how your sources will be organized to support your argument.

In the event that your sources are given to you by your instructor, read through them carefully and organize them accordingly to how you will be supporting your argument. Don’t forget to start planning out your thesis statement as well.


By now, you should know what you are going to prove, and it’s time to put thoughts to paper. The thesis statement always goes on the first paragraph and is the main idea of the entire essay. The thesis statement must be written as a complete sentence, must be relevant to the topic, and must clearly state exactly what you are trying to prove


You’re synthesis essay should follow a simple structure of introduction paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion paragraph. Your thesis will be stated within the introduction paragraph, and now you can pull out your sources. The supporting paragraphs will be devoted to supporting the argument you stated in your thesis, with each sources pertaining to one paragraph.

For each supporting paragraph, state one explanation that you claim stands in support of your thesis and why, and then note your source and explain why that source supports your claim. Repeat this for each supporting paragraph. Most synthesis essays have no less than two supporting paragraphs and no more than four.

The conclusion paragraph is where wrap it all. You should reaffirm your argument for the topic while avoiding simply rewriting your thesis statement verbatim, and overview why each of your claims backs up your argument.

Don’t forget to write your name on your paper!