Writing a Synthesis Essay/Paper
A synthesis essay draws on two or more sources and combines their ideas into a coherent whole. The word "synthesis" means to combine related things in a meaningful way, with a specific purpose in mind. When you synthesize, you blend the parts in such a way that you create something that is worth more than merely the sum of the parts. For our purposes, synthesis means putting together the arguments of various authors in a way that sheds new light on the discussion. The new pattern that you impose on the conversation will require you to think carefully about what each author has said in relation to the other authors. This assignment will require you to go beyond merely restating what somebody else said. The trick will be to unite the various arguments in such a way that your paper adds something new to the discussion. A well-written synthesis is not merely a series of mini-summaries. Such a paper is merely a sum of the parts.
What do I need to write one?
Writing a successful synthesis essay will require you to do four things: 1. Read accurately and objectively
2. See relations among different viewpoints
3. Define a thesis based on these relations
4. Support the thesis effectively
How do I write it?
A synthesis essay may be developed in several ways, including the following: Thesis supported by examples. Develop a thesis based on common points among the works, and support the thesis with appropriate examples from each work. This strategy works well with essays that approach a subject from highly diverse viewpoints. Comparison and contrast. Discuss the similarities and differences in the writer’s viewpoints and draw whatever conclusions are possible from your comparison. Argument. If you have a clearly defined opinion about the subject, support that opinion by incorporating the valid viewpoints of the writers of the essays you have selected, and show the weaknesses of those ideas which you feel are not valid.
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