Argumentative Synthesis Essay: Ultimate Guide with Excellent Examples

Synthesis Essay – Definition

A synthesis essay is a written interpretation and discussion of specific concepts. Such texts aim to cover three different scholarly sources produced by several scholars. It can be textual, visual, or statistical evidence. The topics don’t necessarily have to be the same. For instance, you can write a synthesis piece on vegan commodities. Your source might be on the increase of the vegan-oriented population and the decrease in battery farming production. After processing the data and synthesizing the information, your thesis may look the following way:

Not only do more people become vegans, but also animals get better living conditions.

Types of Synthesis Tasks

There are two types of a synthesis essay; these types have different goals. They are:

  • Argumentative synthesis essay

This type focuses on a specific subject and dives into justifying it. When writing this synthesis task, you have to conduct in-depth research and select the most credible sources to display them within the essay. It doesn’t differ much from a regular argumentative essay. You have to provide the reader with your opinion, provide claims, and then demonstrate trustworthy proof to support each argument.

  • Explanatory synthesis essay

When writing this paper, you strive to help the reader understand the topic as a whole. An explanatory essay doesn’t require carrying out rigorous research. All you need is to find two credible sources and explain them in the body.

How to Select a Relevant Topic

Regardless of what you are interested in, you have to remember that the subject has to be debatable. That is, try to look for topics that have different, opposing statements. You have to make sure that your piece will cause a discussion. In case you don’t know how to choose a good topic, take a look at the following tricks:

  • Analyze the things that you have a knack for. Are they related to academics? Can you develop them?
  • Once you have an approximate subject, start researching and looking for scholarly articles.
  • Collect several sources, get familiar with them, and apply the ideas in your outline. Outlining the main ideas and fleshing out your forthcoming piece will make the writing process way faster and simpler.

If you are stuck with the first step, check the list of possible topics that you can use when writing a synthesis essay.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. Gun control
  2. Gender discrimination
  3. Vietnam War: consequences
  4. Advantages of idleness
  5. Religious limitation
  6. Living off-grid
  7. GMO is (un) safe
  8. Artificial intelligence: causes and effects
  9. Divorces should be banned
  10. Music provokes violence

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. The death penalty is ineffective
  2. Tobacco should become illegal
  3. Fashion is worthless
  4. Religion causes wars
  5. Energy drinks should be banned
  6. The hidden face of post-colonization: countries that keep abusing former colonies
  7. Is lobbying tantamount to corruption and bribery?
  8. Authorities should interfere with people’s lives
  9. Public school policies should be changed
  10. Abortions should be banned

The mentioned synthesis essay topic ideas may give you a clear picture of the direction you wish to go. Remember to avoid general and awkward topics, like Can we trust doctors? Are vaccines safe? Should we consider some conspiracy theories?

Synthesis Essay Outline

Although an outline is, most of the time, an optional element, you are strongly advised to craft it. Students tend to follow a shorter path and write outlines only when professors ask them to. However, a layout is a significant component that helps you omit any unnecessary items and make you more organized. With an outline, you will be able to compose an essay faster.

The outline doesn’t have a determined word count and format. But it should be precise and structured, which will help you plan further work. Keep in mind that any extra pieces of information are undesired and will only lower the quality of your synthesis essay. Thus, an outline’s basic structure is:

  1. Introduction with a thesis statement;
  2. Body sections with topic sentences, arguments, and explanations;
  3. Conclusion.

Let’s look at a synthesis essay, an outline example, and analyze every critical component.

Synthesis Essay Outline Example

Topic: Effective Japanese Methods of Dealing with COVID-19


  1. Japan was among the first countries that responded to the pandemic and shut down its borders.
  2. Provide background information about the healthcare system of Japan.
  3. Submit the thesis statement. The Japanese methods of handling the coronavirus pandemic are efficient because of the three following elements: it urged people to wear masks, it implemented a severe lockdown, and it provided businesses with vital financial support and reduction of taxes.


  1. A topic sentence about an obligation to wear masks;
  2. Evidence/explanation;
  3. Evidence/explanation;
  4. Brief conclusion;
  5. Transition phrase.


  1. A topic sentence about a global lockdown;
  2. Evidence/explanation;
  3. Evidence/explanation;
  4. Brief conclusion;
  5. Transition phrase.


  1. A topic sentence about the crucial support of small and middle businesses;
  2. Evidence/explanation;
  3. Evidence/explanation;
  4. Brief conclusion.


  1. The thesis statement rephrasing;
  2. Encapsulation of the focal examples;
  3. Closing sentence (can be in the form of a Call to Action or an emphasis on the importance of further research).

The following is just one of the bulk of possible outlines. You can also add counterarguments if the word count allows you to do so. Debunking such counterarguments will give you lots of credit and make your written piece more authoritative.

Synthesis Essay Format

Depending on your major, you have to follow specific formatting styles when writing essays. If you study Humanities, your leading format is MLA. In case your major is in Business, History, or Fine Arts, your format has to be Chicago. Finally, if you are to complete a writing assignment on Education, Science, or Psychology, you have to stick to the APA style. Although this is a widely agreed rule, every educational institution keeps the right to change it. To be on the safe side, contact your professor and find out which style you are required to follow.

Tips for Writing a Synthesis Essay

It is vitally important to be able to analyze synthesis essay ideas. To do that, you have to identify the work’s chief purpose, tone, and arguments you will develop within the piece. The following tricks will help you perfect the piece:

  • Come up with a solid title
    You don’t have to title your essay as a Synthesis Essay. Think of a title that gives the reader an understanding of the content.
  • Follow a formal style
    Eliminate any first-person statements. It is crucial to stick to a neutral tone.
  • Make your piece diverse
    No one likes repetitive words. Read the piece out loud. If something sounds so-so — change it.
  • Stick to the active voice
    Try to reduce the use of passive voice. Use it only when mentioning past research and results.
  • Pay attention to citations
    Citation mistakes are one of the most often committed errors by students. Check your quotes carefully.
  • Proofread thoroughly
    It is good to have an extra set of eyes to check your piece. If you don’t, we are at your disposal at any time.

The list of writing tips can be endless. A synthesis essay is a challenging task that requires an unusual approach and plenty of time to complete it. You won’t get this task frequently, but it is essential to know how to compose it. Employing this guide, you are sure to complete the assignment hassle-free!

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