Explanatory Synthesis Essay | Definition, Kinds, Sections, and Use

Synthesis essay writing is a typical assignment you encounter in college. A synthesis essay encourages you to write about topics that interest you the most. This way, you grow intellectually and polish your writing skills. Additionally, a synthesis essay allows you to develop a critical and logical approach to issues from different viewpoints.

A synthesis essay assignment has different types, sections, and applications. This post explores all the facts you need to know about this assignment. Read on to learn more.

Defining Synthesis Essays

A solid synthesis essay definition is critical to your overall assignment success. So, we start by defining an argumentative synthesis essay to give you a firm footing.

A synthesis essay is a paper that synthesizes and condenses information from various sources to create a coherent and properly structured argument or idea.

Synthesis has various applications, such as:

  • A synthesis applies to analysis essays to examine related theories, ideas, and thoughts. For example, you can examine the connection between smartphone usage and falling academic standards among teens.
  • You can also use it in research papers to incorporate multiple sources.
  • A synthesis also applies to argument papers when comparing differing views and supporting coherent claims.

Kinds of Synthesis Essays

Synthesis papers come in various forms. This subsection examines the three main types of synthesis essays.

  • Argumentative Synthesis Essay

An argumentative synthesis essay combines two or more viewpoints and presents your arguments and justifications for thinking a particular side is correct. It helps you prove a thesis statement using various pieces of evidence.

  • Explanatory Synthesis Essay

An explanatory synthesis essay analyzes and synthesizes information from different origins to create unified information supporting your central thesis. This synthesis essay differs from argumentative essays because you don’t express your opinions unless they are factually accurate and verified. You float ideas or concepts in this assignment and don’t leave several questions behind. A medical review falls in this category because its author gathers various studies to formulate conclusions that objectively answer most readers’ questions.

  • Literature Review Synthesis Essay

This synthesis essay is an overview of the current research in specific study disciplines. You review studies in a given academic field, identify knowledge gaps, and propose new research goals.

Defining an Explanatory Synthesis Essay

An explanatory synthesis essay is a synthesis paper just like the one we defined initially. Unlike an argumentative essay, its nature is more explanatory. It doesn’t give you a free hand in expressing your opinions unless they are verified and factual. In other words, an explanatory essay clarifies the relationships you inferred among separate sources.

An excellent synthesis essay has three main parts containing your arguments and ideas. We discuss these sections below.

  • A summary of the sources you used to compose it.
  • Your judgment or evaluation of the sources you examined and used.
  • Your determination of the connection between your sources.

When composing this assignment, choose your sources carefully and draw relationships based on your essay’s purpose. For instance, a particular paper might need to establish a cause-and-effect connection between two sources. Another piece might need to debate a proposition, while another one compares and contrasts two sources.

Therefore, focus on your paper’s purpose because it determines your assignment’s other essential dimensions. For instance, it influences:

  • The sources you should choose.
  • The research types, parts you must use, and where to utilize them.
  • How your researched materials relate to each other.

Outlining an Explanatory Synthesis Essay

Getting the correct synthesis essay structure is critical to your assignment’s overall success. A perfect synthesis essay structure enables you to capture your thoughts coherently. An outline informs you where to place your researched points and ideas and orders thoughts so that they flow logically. A synthesis essay outline helps you prioritize your thoughts by determining which ones go first and so forth.

A properly outlined and structured explanatory essay gives readers an easy reading time. A synthesis essay outline lets readers transition between ideas logically without feeling lost. Your synthesis essay also ensures you include every valuable information your readers need to benefit from your paper.

How to Introduce an Explanatory Synthesis Essay?

How you introduce your explanatory synthesis essay determines everything else that follows it. All humans make lasting judgments based on their first impressions. They say people don’t judge a book by its cover because they interact with it before consuming the core information. However, your synthesis essay readers will judge your entire paper based on its introduction.

A perfect introduction grabs and retains readers’ desire to read your explanatory synthesis essay. Failing to arouse a reader’s attention and interest gives them a boring or difficult reading time. So, pay attention to this introductory part and compose it as per the following recommendations:

  • Your intro should tell the reader what you want to tell them. It must clearly portray where you wish to take them.
  • Start your essay with a hook to grab your reader’s attention and interest. It could be a piece of humor, relevant stat, or a quote from an authority figure your readers trust.
  • Remember to include your thesis statement at its end to give your audience a strategic guidepost that shows your stand on the topic.
  • If you have challenges writing the intro, write the other parts and summarize them into an introduction. This technique works because you will have formulated clear ideas to help you know what to tell your readers to expect.

Main Body of an Explanatory Essay

Writing excellent synthesis essays requires you to master how to write their main body paragraphs. This part lets you defend your thesis statement and fulfills your promise to your readers. Here, your audience can read what you promised to tell them as your synthesis essay unfolds. This section examines the key components of your main body part.

  • Paragraph 1

Your opening paragraph starts with a topic sentence that shows the reader what it’s about. You must follow it with evidence from various sources. You also have to discuss how you interpreted your sources and how they relate to the point before moving to the second paragraph.

  • Paragraph 2

This paragraph also starts with a topic sentence to show the reader what it’s all about. It discusses how you interpreted your sources and their connection to the point you’ve just explained. It transitions you to the last paragraph.

  • Paragraph 3

Your last body paragraph begins with a topic sentence that shows readers what it covers. Here, you discuss your interpretation of the sources and their interconnection as per the discussed point. It transitions readers to your paper’s conclusion.

Concluding an Explanatory Essay

Concluding your explanatory synthesis essay is one of the most critical stages. It’s like an airplane’s landing. The entire journey from takeoff to cruising is meaningless if the pilot doesn’t land safely. Thus, concluding your synthesis essay well ensures you don’t uproot what you planted from the start.

Your conclusion summarizes your main points to show the reader why they matter. It also restates your thesis statement to prove how well you defended it. This essential part answers the crucial “so what” question to satisfy the reader.

How to Choose an Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topic

Choosing an appropriate topic for your explanatory synthesis essay is vital. This prewriting process determines the angle you take in your synthesis essay. Here, we share actionable tips for selecting the right topic for your next synthesis essay.

  • Interest

The topic you want your synthesis essay to focus on should interest you. A boring topic is the starting point of failing. Thus, a boring title kills your research morale and passion. It also reduces your enjoyment during the writing process and makes the entire task burdensome. So, choose a topic that corresponds to your unique strengths.

  • Choose a Manageable Scope

Selecting a manageable scope is another area to consider when choosing a topic. Always opt for a topic you can easily manage. A subject that’s too wide is problematic because you won’t scope your ideas to suit your assignment’s limited word count. Thus, you won’t completely discuss all your arguments to defend your thesis.

Inversely, a too narrow topic presents research challenges and denies you sufficient raw materials. So, know how to balance these opposites to give your explanatory essay a flying start.

  • It Should Be Debatable

Give your synthesis essay a debatable topic to succeed. If your essay is argumentative, opt for an easily debatable topic. It should allow you to show the reader your preferred position and other opposing views. This way, you make the paper more engaging to readers, fetching satisfactory grades.

  • The Topic Should Be Negotiable

An excellent synthesis essay assignment should have a debatable topic. The academic world has many exciting topics you can research. When researching, consider how much your paper has in its conclusions. Therefore, your chosen topic should leave room for improvement or further discussion. This way, it provides readers with exciting and creative pieces. Additionally, such topics spark further investigations into new spheres that develop a given academic field.

Tips and Guidelines for Writing a Killer Explanatory Synthesis Essay

Writing a killer explanatory synthesis essay isn’t a special skill preserved for a few chosen students. The good news is that anyone can master synthesis essay writing by paying attention to the core principles. Here are a few carefully selected expert tips to help sharpen your synthesis essay skills.

  • Use Sources With Valuable Information

Always use sources with valuable data, but ensure the information is valid, credible, and hasn’t been disproved anywhere.

  • Mind Your Paragraphs’ Length

Mind your paper’s paragraph length. Your paragraphs shouldn’t be too long or too short. Lengthy sentences discourage readers because reading them is hard. Your paragraphs should start with clear topic sentences followed by a relevant, theme-focused discussion. Next, conclude them with your overall viewpoints.

  • Develop an Organizational Plan

You must develop an organizational plan for your synthesis essay to make it more impactful. You can arrange several sources per point to boost your paper’s credibility. Additionally, examine how sources agree or disagree among themselves and assess which sources have better logic or are more credible.

  • Source Evaluation

Your essay’s quality depends on multiple sources. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate and show how they relate to and corroborate your thesis. Choose your references carefully and study them to familiarize yourself with them to discuss them adequately. Otherwise, your sources will erode your synthesis essay, and your readers may misinterpret the information.

  • Document Your Sources

You can add authority and clarity to your essay by noting authors’ names and indicating the page numbers of original sources. Also, list all your cited sources to avoid plagiarism whenever you quote, summarize, or paraphrase external evidence.

  • Structure Your Body by Argument and not Sources

Your paper’s primary goal is to demonstrate what different sources say about your subject and how they agree. Therefore, present a genuinely synthetic perspective by drawing several parallels where your arguments meet.

  • Accompany Citations From Sources With Your Own Interpretation

Remember, your essay isn’t a “reference farm” with many references. Instead, it’s a chance to show your readers what these various points mean, how significant their agreement is, and what they say about your context’s broader context.

  • Mind Opposing Opinions

Don’t focus your synthesis essay on one side of an argument. Otherwise, you will look biased and overly opinionated. Remember, academic writing isn’t about you forcing your stand on other people. So, show your readers the other side of the coin without necessarily trashing or accepting it.

  • Mind Your Readers

Lastly and importantly, mind your readers because someone else will read your synthesis essay. Failing here means successful failure elsewhere. If you write for your supervisor, including professional terms is critical to proving how well you understand a topic. But if you write for fellow students or laypersons, avoid all jargon and use everyday language to improve comprehension.

Closing Remarks

So far, you are abreast of everything you need about an explanatory essay. We hope the insights we shared in this post will sharpen your writing skills in this area.