Synthesis essay | English homework help

 

Although it can be quite challenging, the synthesis essay is an important essay to practice because you will be asked to write it in so many classes.  The synthesis allows you to bring multiple texts together in a fluid and meaningful way. Therefore, it’s very important to focus on the transitions (or bridge sentences) because they will allow you to guide your reader more confidently through the essay. 

It is important to read (and read again) each text as its own entity before attempting to find a relationship with another text. You will read  one text and summarize and analyze it. You will read your second text and summarize and analyze it. And then you will establish the relationship between the two texts. Once you have established that relationship/connection, you will offer your response that includes what the two texts have allowed you to understand about a particular social issue.

The synthesis essay must adhere closely to the evidence presented in the sources themselves. Therefore, one of the most important decisions that you will make is which evidence you will use from the text and the order in which you will present it. I’ve included a potential organization scheme below. You will notice that this scheme asks you to move back and forth between two different sources; in this way, you more deeply emphasize the relationships between each source. 

NOTE: This scheme does not necessarily delineate how the paragraphs should be divided. For example, you may need 2-3 paragraphs to fully develop “Mini-argument 1.” Just make sure that each new paragraph has a focused Point/Topic Sentence that shows the relationship between that paragraph and the one that precedes it.

I. Introduction and Thesis (The thesis should come at the end of the first paragraph): The introduction should introduce the link between the texts and then answer the question, “So what?” or “What do we learn from this connection?”  

II. Point or Mini-argument 1 (This should relate back to the thesis)

Source A’s Viewpoint

Introduce Source A (Illustration)

Include a quotation or illustration from Source A (Illustration)

Analyze the quotation from Source A (Explanation)

Why is this so significant?  What do we learn?

Source B’s Viewpoint

Create a bridge from Source A to Source B (Point)

How can you articulate the relationship between these two quotations?

Include a quotation or illustration from Source B (Illustration)

Analyze the quotation from Source B (Explanation)

Why is this so significant? What do we learn?

Summarize what we have learned from the comparison of both sources. (Explanation)

III. Point or Mini-argument 2 (This should also relate back to and/or complicate the thesis)

Source A’s Viewpoint

Introduce Source A

Include a quotation or illustration from Source A (Illustration)

Analyze the quotation from Source A (Explanation)

Why is this so significant? What do we learn?

Source B’s Viewpoint

Create a bridge from Source A to Source B (Point)

How can you articulate the relationship between these two quotations?

Include a quotation or illustration from Source B (Illustration)

Analyze the quotation from Source B (Explanation)

Why is this so significant? What do we learn?

Summarize what we have learned from the comparison of both sources. (Explanation) 

IV. Repeat if necessary!

V. Conclusion:

Use your conclusion to explore the possible ramifications of this argument. How does this apply to our own lives and world?
 

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