Writing Fundamentals: The Purpose Of A Synthesis Essay

Can you digest information and then present it in a clear and organized way? This skill goes beyond being able to write high school or college essays. It is a valuable skill in the business world, advertising and other career fields you may enter. The first step is to understand what a synthesis essay really is.

The purpose of this type of paper is to study the parts of a literary work and then make an insightful connection between those parts. The goal is to present and support a claim you are making about a specific topic. In order to do this you have to find connections that can be formed into a solid context about the topic.

Different types of synthesis essays

  1. Argument synthesis – you make a strong thesis statement presenting the point of view of the author. You gather and organize relevant information by conducting research. It should support the thesis. An example of this type of paper is a business white paper or a position paper.
  2. Explanatory or background synthesis – this type of paper helps the reader understand a topic. This is accomplished by presenting facts in an organized and categorized manner. It doesn’t necessarily advocate a certain point of view but rather is meant to inform or increase their understanding about the topic.
  3. Review – sometimes this type of essay is required as a preliminary to writing an argument synthesis. As the name suggests, the review paper is a critical analysis of previously written works on the topic. They are commonly used in medicine, social sciences and similar disciplines.

Choosing a topic for your paper

It can be difficult to know how broad or narrow to make your topic. A general guideline is that it should be broad enough to include several sources together with some common ground, but not so broad that you have to cover too many sources with widely disparaging views. It shouldn’t be so narrow as to have no options for using other sources of information.

Choosing which sources to use

This is an essential step because you won’t be able to present a decent synthesis without having trustworthy sources that can be verified. With some assignments, your sources will be chosen for you and you must stick to them. If selecting your own, you need at least three.

Developing a thesis statement

Once your research is done, you will be able to use a main idea as well as your own opinions on the topic to create a statement that encompasses both in such a way that helps the reader know exactly the point of your paper. It is the foundation of your writing.