Shmoop's Guide to Writing the Perfect Essay
What's the Point?: Here's a quick look at what synthesis essays try to accomplish.
Synthesis writing is about taking different elements and artfully combining them to create a well-balanced explanation or argument. It’s the sweet/savory kind of essay; synthesizing takes two or more sources and uses them as evidence to support your main point. If you’ve ever put together a blended-soda kamikaze at 7-Eleven, or created a salt-pepper-ketchup-Sweet'N Low concoction while you’re waiting for the bill in a restaurant booth (excuse us for a second… we have a weak gag reflex), you know that not every combination is a delicacy. The right mix of ingredients takes finesse—both in the kitchen and on the page.
Sample Prompts: Below are a few typical synthesis essay prompts. Do any of them look at all like what you're working on?
Key Words: If one of these words has been used a lot in the essay assignment or your class discussion, you might be working on a synthesis essay.