Are you tasked with writing a synthesis paper but unsure what it means and how to go about writing it? If you're struggling with this essay type, you're not alone. A good number of students also find it challenging.

But the good news is that we are going to demystify it in this explainer article which has been carefully written to be as clear as possible. We'll cover significant ground starting from the meaning, the stepwise process of creating one, a sample outline, and some topic ideas.

Get the Basic Definition

Let's begin by understanding the defining word - synthesis. What does it mean to synthesize? It implies forming something new and whole using components/parts from different sources. Accordingly, in such a piece of writing the author blends data from various references to develop their write-up. But what kind of write-up are we referring to? A synthesis essay can be one of the following two kinds.

The sources of information used can be written or non-written. Written sources include books, journals, newspapers, and other periodicals. The non-written include lectures, video interviews, radio commentaries and interviews, audio records, and the likes.

Also, bear in mind that the reason you write your essay depends on the specifics of your assignment. But it will usually be either explanatory or argumentative.

Step-by-Step Writing Process

Now that you have acquired an understanding of the meaning of a synthesis essay, the next step here is to learn the steps you have to take in writing your own paper.


Being the first step of the process, planning enables you to metaphorically "put all houses together" (select your sources and organize your work) before you start writing. It involves a number of steps that will help you prepare your content and speed up your actual writing.


The essay has to be made up of 3 usual sections.


This final stage is where you get to carefully read through your essay several times to proofread and edit it. Are there mistakes? The ones you should avoid when writing include grammar mistakes, misspellings, lack/misuse of punctuation marks. If there are, you would have to correct them. You have to ask yourself, "How has the thesis been supported?", "Are there better ways I can explain an idea or make an argument?".

Creating the Structure of Your Essay

You may wonder, "What should my outline look like?". Truth is, there is not a single way of creating an outline that applies universally. Although the fundamental idea or purpose stays the same, the way your outline appears can vary significantly from that of your fellow students. That's OK. The most crucial point to remember is that it is meant to be your tool for organizing the structure and flow of your paper. Below we present an example outline. This is only a sample to help you with creating your own.

Essay Topic: Home-grown terrorism: Exploring the radicalization of youth in western countries.

  1. Paragraph 1 (Introduction)
    • Begin with an anecdote or a statistic about radicalized youth.
    • Highlight the significance or importance of the issue.
    • Provide the thesis statement or aim of the essay here.
  2. Paragraph 2 (Body)

    Notable reasons (social, religious, economic) why young people fall prey to radicalization.

  3. Paragraph 3

    How and where it can take root in western countries (use some specific stories as supporting example).

  4. Paragraph 4

    What can be done by western governments and families to stem the tide?

  5. Paragraph 5 (Conclusion)

Creatively reiterate the thesis statement and use one supporting example.

11 Good Topic Ideas for Your Synthesis Paper

Now that you have learned what a synthesis paper is and how to write one, we'll explore the topic ideas you could use in this section. Hopefully, you'll find a few that will ignite your imagination and quickly direct you to the preferred topic. Words of advice - always work on a topic you find interesting. Another good reason you should select a topic would be to expand your knowledge on it.

  1. Slowly cooking the planet Earth. The impact and dangers of global warming
  2. The Congress versus the President. Understanding the 2019 government shutdown.
  3. Changing skies. How has commercial aviation changed since 2000?
  4. The media disruption. How effective is Social media in shaping information dissemination and public perception of truth?
  5. Going separate ways after tying the knot. The harm of the divorce on the children's upbringing.
  6. Pop culture evolution. How social media is affecting fame and how it's created?
  7. Understanding the evolution of space flights in the 21st century.
  8. Home-grown terrorism. Exploring the radicalization of youth in western countries.
  9. Preserving history. What aspects of Native Americans culture is still alive in the 21st century?
  10. Role of high school football in academic outcomes. Does it positively influence academic performance?

Before we close the curtain on the synthesis paper writing, remember that you can always avail yourself of some assistance from a custom writing service. We have skilled and proven essay writers who have written high-scoring essays of all kinds - narrative, descriptive, argumentative, you name it. They've done them exceedingly well and can create the paper you need. Given their vast writing experience, you should be confident that you're going to get your own paper of high quality and also score the high assignment grade you desire.

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