The word “synthesis” is defined as a combination of elements to form a connected whole. Thus, a synthesis essay definition is an essay that combines different ideas into a whole to prove a point (otherwise called the thesis). Often, it comes with a text that you should analyze.
Table Of Contents
A key factor of writing a synthesis essay is an analysis of a given text or a prompt. In order to successfully analyze it, you must comprehend the text’s purpose, rhetoric, and the argument that the author’s claim, in other words, you are answering the question: “So what?”. Then, you must build your own claim, and write an essay around that.
Most Common Topics
A synthesis essay prompt must be negotiable. Like in the EssayPro's example above, Andrew Jackson’s negative views on Native American people were widely supported, today, however, they would be appalling. Depending on your assignment, you may have to choose a primary text. Choose a text that might have opposing viewpoints.
Good topics would be ones that are debatable, for example:
- Daylight savings
- Minimum wage
- Immigration policy
- Global warming
- Gun control
- Social media
How Do I Write A Thesis?
Once you pick a topic of your paper, read your sources and establish your position. Make sure you thoroughly analyze the sources and get a good understanding of them, structure your claim or argument and write your thesis.
Example: Andrew Jackson’s fear of the Native American “savages” reflects the prejudices and ideas of the colonist people in the Union and the Congress.*
How Do I Write An Outline?
Creating an outline will help maintain the structure of your paper. If your essay is split into three parts, split your outline into three chunks. Paste supporting evidence, sub-arguments, and specific points in the appropriate sections. Make sure that every point somehow proves the claim in your thesis. Extra information or tangents will only hinder your essay. However, if information goes against your central claim, then you should acknowledge it as it will make your essay stronger. Make sure you have read all of your sources. When writing about the sources, do not summarize them; synthesis denotes analysis, not plot-summary.
- Main point 1
- Main point 2
- Main point 3
- Main point 1
- Evidence (quote from a source)
- Analysis of Evidence
- Main point 2
- Evidence (quote from a source)
- Analysis of Evidence
- Main point 3
- Evidence (quote from a source)
- Analysis of Evidence
- Restate main points and answer unanswered questions
Read more about how to write a great INTRODUCTION
How Do I Format My Essay?
The format depends on what style is required by your teacher or professor. The most common formats are: MLA, APA, and Chicago style. APA is used by fields of Education, Psychology, and Science. MLA is used for citing Humanities, and Chicago style is used for Business, History, and Fine Arts. Purdue Owl is a format guide that focuses mainly on MLA and APA, and Easybib is a citation multitool for any of your external sources.
Some key points are:
- Times New Roman 12 pt font double spaced
- 1” margins
- Top right includes last name and page number on every page
- Titles are centered
- The header should include your name, your professor’s name, course number and the date (dd/mm/yy)
- The last page includes a Works Cited
Some key points are:
- Times New Roman 12 pt font double spaced 1” margins
- Include a page header on the top of every page
- Insert page number on the right
- An essay should be divided into four parts: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.
How do I write an AP English Synthesis Essay?
AP English Language and Composition is an extremely rigorous course that requires you to write essays that demonstrate deep understanding of the subject matter. In fact, if on the AP exam, your essay has perfect grammar and structure, you might still be awarded just 1 out of 9 points for not “defending, challenging, or qualifying your claim.” Sounds difficult, but it is doable. Before entering any AP class, it is best to read over the course overview and become familiar with the exam.
While writing, focus on the three branches of the AP English and Composition course: argument, synthesis, and rhetorical analysis.
Argument is the easiest component; create your claim and find specific supporting evidence. Convince your reader that you are right.
Synthesis requires you to read into multiple perspectives and identify an agreement and a disagreement between sources. This step is crucial to finding your own claim.
Rhetorical analysis deals with the author and his intentions. What was their purpose for writing this? Who is their intended audience? How does the author appeal to the audience and how does he structure his claim?
There are two acronyms that are helpful with the three AP Lang writing branches.
Tip #1: SOAPS
Example text: Andrew Jackson’s speech to the Congress about sending Native Americans to the West.
Speaker: Identify the speaker of the piece, then analyze for bias and apply any prior knowledge that you have on the speaker.
Example: President Andrew Jackson had a bias against Native Americans. A piece written by Andrew Jackson about Native Americans will probably be written with a bias against him.
Occasion: Determine the time and the place of the written text, then identify the reason the text was written. Even if you aren’t sure of the reason, assume one and make your claim around it.
Example: Andrew Jackson was in office from 1829 to 1837. At this time, the Congress sent Native Americans to the West in order to clear the land for the colonists. Jackson was the one who made the proposal.
Audience: Who was the text directed to?
Example: Andrew Jackson’s speech was directed to a council.
Purpose: What is the text trying to say? Here, you analyze the tone of the text.
Example: Andrew Jackson appeals to pathos by calling Indians “savages”. His purpose is to portray Native Americans in a negative light, so the Congress passes the Indian Removal Act.
Subject: What is the main idea? What is the claim?
Example: Andrew Jackson wants the Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act because he believes Native Americans are uncultured and savage people.
Tip #2: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
As you’ve probably learned before, Logos appeals to reason, Pathos appeals to emotion, and Ethos appeals to moral philosophy or credibility. However, for the AP Lang exam requires a wider understanding of the three.
If the text uses facts, statistics, quotations, and definitions, the speaker is appealing to Logos. Constituting various backup information is an extremely effective for people who want to persuade.
If the text uses vivid imagery and strong language it denotes Pathos, which is used to connect the audience to a piece emotionally; it is hardest to change the mind of a person who is linked to a subject via a strong emotion.
If the text attempts to demonstrate the speakers reliability or credibility, it is a direct appeal to Ethos. Using the example above, Andrew Jackson could have appealed to Ethos by stating the fact that he is the President of the United States, and thus, knows what is best for the union.
Often, Logos, Ethos, and Pathos lead to the use of logical fallacies.
Tip #3: DIDLS
This is a good shorthand for all textual analysis. While reading a text, try to pinpoint Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Sentence Structure in a piece. If anything stands out, add it to your analysis.
- High range essay (8-9 points)
- Effectively develops a position on the assigned topic.
- Demonstrates full understanding of the sources or text.
- Correctly synthesizes sources and develops a position. The writer drives the argument, not the sources.
- The writer’s argument is convincing.
- The writer makes no general assertions and cites specific evidence for each point. His/her evidence is developed and answers the “so what?” question.
- The essay is clear, well-organized, and coherent. It is a stand alone piece rather than an exam response.
- Contains very few grammatical and spelling errors or flaws, if any.
Note: 8-9 essays are an extreme rarity. A strong ‘7’ paper can jump to an 8-9 if the writing style is mature and perceptive.
Middle-Range Essay (57)
- Adequately develops a position on the assigned topic.
- Demonstrates sufficient understanding of the ideas developed in sources
- Sufficiently summarizes the sources and assumes some control of the argument. ‘5’ essays are less focused than ‘6’ and ‘7’.
- The writer's argument is sufficient but less developed.
- Writer successfully synthesizes the sources and cites them.
- Writer answers the “So what?” question but may use generalizations or assertions of universal truth. Writer cites own experience and specific evidence.
- Essay is clear and well organized. ‘5’ essays less so.
- Contains few minor errors of grammar or syntax.
Note: A ‘7’ is awarded to papers of college-level writing.
A ‘5’ on one of the AP English Language and Composition essays designates a 3 on the AP exam. It most likely relies on generalizations has limited control of the claim and argument. ‘5’ essays often lose focus and digress.
Low-Range Essays (1-4)
- Inadequately develops a position on the assigned topic.
- The author misunderstands and simplifies the ideas developed in the sources.
- Over-summarizes the sources, lets the sources drive the argument.
- Writer has weak control of organization and syntax. Essay contains numerous grammatical/spelling errors.
- Writer does not cite the sources correctly, skips a citation, or cites fewer than the required minimum of the sources.
- Notes: ‘4’ or ‘3’ essays do assert an argument but do not sufficiently develop it.
- A ‘2’ essay does not develop an argument.
- A 1-2 essay has severe writing errors and do not assert a claim.
Synthesis Essay Example
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
James Owen, online essay writer from EssayPro
The article reviews the basics of how to write a synthesis essay as well as how to dissect and analyze text when writing an AP English essay. One thing I would like to reemphasize is the importance of your thesis statement. When you write an essay for class or exam, make sure to state your argument clearly. If the reader of your essay doesn’t understand your point of view then what you’ve written is futile.
My advice is: when writing an essay in a short period (such as in an exam room) make sure to articulate your argument in every paragraph and connect every single one of your ideas to the thesis. My tip is to write your thesis down on a piece of paper and reread it at every point to ensure that the information applies and reinforces what you’ve stated in your thesis. This tip also goes for when you are writing a longer piece of writing, as it is very easy to lose focus and stray away from your main point.
Struggling With Writing an Essay?
Still having trouble crafting a synthesis essay? Need editing or writing help? You should seek advice from professional writers. Here at EssayPro, writers have written countless papers and are experts in their field. You can request to write your paper or editing or proofreading assistance. Rest assured that your paper is in good hands!
AP English essay prompts often get student confused, especially, those who haven’t faced this type of format before. For a better understanding of the format and AP English essay prompts you to need to review some valuable AP English essay examples. And our experts have few tips for you to consider too.
What is AP English?
This is a tough course of Language and Literature compositions on the college level. Both of these courses have their own focus. The language course is more about rhetoric and the Literature course about the analysis of literature. And synthesis essay is the thing that unites both of these courses. And the essay should be done in this particular format. That is why you should learn how to deal with AP English essay prompts.
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How to prepare for Exam
The exam is always a tough thing to deal with. During this one, you should prepare not just one, but three different essays of this English format. Here are those AP English essay examples:
- Two essays should analyze one particular literature work. It can be a part of a poem, essay or a story.
- Another one should be an answer to free AP English essay prompts. It is based on a piece of literature you should read before the exam.
The exam is divided into few parts and goes into three sections. Each section has various questions on different literature topics. There will be about:
- Modern literature of 20th century will offer from 10 to 20 questions.
- Romanic or Victorian literature will also require from 10 to 20 questions.
- And from 5 to 10 questions will be dedicated to 17th-century Elizabethan literature.
By default, there are no Contemporary literature questions that are beyond the 20th century. Also, Middle English is not very often in AP English exam essay examples. There can be exceptions, but our experts don’t recommend wasting your time on learning and practicing those two periods in literature.
How to Prepare for AP English Literature Essay
Free response essays are easier to deal with for most students than English essay with analysis. But we think that AP English essay examples of various types show us that it is not always true. If you are afraid of both of these essays, you have these simple steps to prepare yourself for the battle:
- You need to learn to analyze and read quickly. Try to practice both on prose and poetry. It is easier to do reading poems and extracts from different periods and styles in literature.
- Always read prompts before reading that particular piece of literature. Do it before answering the question. And don’t forget to do prompt annotations.
- Let those keywords become your triggers. Look for them in questions and read it several times to understand completely.
- Take notes as you read through the literature piece. Compare those notes to your prompt and identify keywords and main themes.
Our writing team recommends practicing frequently.
AP English Essay Examples of Prompts and Questions
Here are few AP English essay examples of prompts.
To answer this question, you need to get a good analysis of imagery, form, and diction that are used by the speaker. Note the symbolism that he uses. To do that you need to learn what symbolism is and what are the methods of its usage in literature.
It is the action of attaching a symbolic meaning to some particular thing, action, definition, etc. In most cases, symbolism is about metaphors and imagery. To describe and define a symbol use evidence and try to make it accurately. Don’t just list all those tools author uses. You need to make a strong well-supported analysis instead.
In this part of your exam, you need to analyze the structure of a literature piece and its contribution to the entire meaning. Your interpretation, description, and explanation should be unique, accurate, and specific. The main deal is the repetition.
It is the main factor that contributes to the meaning of a poem. We recommend not quoting the entire line of the poem in your essay, but writing the number of the line. It is more effective and saves time if you are in a rush.
Some students consider the free response section being the hardest part of the entire English exam. And here you should explain how and why a character from the literature piece contributes to the entire theme.
You are free to choose a novel and a character from it. You should work both with the character and the plot of the story it is engaged in. Please, don’t ignore the note at the end of the prompt. It says that you should not do a summary of the entire plot.
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AP English Language and Composition Essay Prompts
AP English language and composition essay prompts are not easier than the Literature ones. You should be prepared to work hard from the start. And the difficulties start from its structure. The entire exam is divided into four parts. Here they are:
An English argument essay is nothing more than just a typical argumentative essay we all love from our high school times. But there are is a special feature you need to consider. The grammar should be perfect, and structure should be totally logical. AP Language and Composition course is a big deal, and your main aim is to show your ability to make good analysis with a perfect structure and grammar indexes.
How to Deal with AP English Language Essay Prompts
You should note that AP English Literature and AP English Language essay prompts are not the same. There is a special essay in the prompt that you need to analyze. The goal of entire course is to teach you how to analyze. And the only way to deal with this exam is to learn to analyze that format. You should start early before the exam to make a good improvement.
The format of the Language and Literature essays is nothing different from any other essay you know.
- It starts with the Introduction where your thesis statement is presented.
- The Body section consists of few paragraphs supporting your main argument.
- The Conclusion is summarizing the entire essay.
AP English Exam Essay Examples of Format
There is just one difference in this prompt, and it lies in this synthesis essay you should write. There are three main components that should be present in your synthesis essay:
- There should be an Argument with a special evidence for support.
- This type of essay gets its focus on multiple perspectives analysis.
- You need to define intentions of the author.
AP English Essay Prompts Advice From Our Professional Team
The main tip our writer can give you is to read constantly and a lot. Some students ignore those tasks of reading books in summer before the exam. And it is totally wrong. Prior reading is a must. Just deal with it. If you still have any questions about this very type of exam or prompt, our specialists are always ready to help you. Just place your order for any type of essay, and it will be done at the highest level.