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A synthesis essay is a kind of essay wherein a subject matter is investigated by acquiring different information from different sources. These bits of information and facts are then “synthesized,” or combined together, but it does not mean that the essay only contains a summary of all the gathered information. The synthesized ideas are used to create or support a new idea produced by the writer himself. Educators usually use this essay to test a student’s ability to research and understand new knowledge and eventually create a new idea of his own.
As with all written texts, a synthesis essay revolves around a certain topic, usually a very specific subject, in which the writer expresses his view in a “thesis statement.” This statement is usually composed of only one sentence that encapsulates the very gist of the subject matter. The subsequent sentences and paragraphs would then support the thesis statement. During the research process, the writer may rethink his thesis statement, which he can change if he wants to.
A writer should also gather and use credible and substantial sources to validate the thesis statement. Especially for an academic essay, sources such as books, newspapers, journals, and other academic research papers are preferred. Internet sources are also accepted, as well as direct, spoken quotations from influential people and recordings of seminars and speeches. To ensure that all pieces of information are recent and reliable, the writer must choose sources no older than ten years.
A synthesis essay, aside from having a sound thesis statement and credible sources, should also have proper organization to be effective. All the information should be written in a way that readers sense a connection among all the paragraphs. A writer can prepare a rough outline to arrange all his points before actually putting them into writing. For example, the essay’s first point can be the most important, progressing towards the least important point, or vice versa.
After presenting all the data and information relevant to the subject, a synthesis essay should be concluded with the writer’s own interpretation of the data. This will eventually result in the creation of a new perception, and ultimately a new thought, regarding the topic. Often, the concluding paragraph will also reiterate the thesis statement. In this way, a synthesis essay will not only hone the writer’s skills in research and thought-formation, but will also help a reader learn about a topic with great understanding.