analysis in synthesis essay

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Your Guide From Start to Finish

analysis in synthesis essay

Today, we're swamped with information, like reading 174 newspapers every day. It comes from all over—news, social media, science, and more. This flood might make you feel overwhelmed and lost in a sea of facts and opinions. But being able to make sense of it all is crucial.

This guide isn't just about handling all that info; it's about using it to write awesome essays. We'll show you step by step how to pick a topic and organize your essay. Let's dive in and learn how to turn scattered facts into powerful essays that really stand out.

What Is a Synthesis Essay

The synthesis essay is a powerful tool in writing. It's not just about gathering facts but about connecting them to make a clear and strong argument.

Writing a synthesis essay allows you to dive deep into ideas. You have to find similarities between different sources—like articles, studies, or arguments—and use them to tell a convincing story.

In today's world, where we're bombarded with information, synthesis essays are more important than ever. They let us explore how different ideas fit together and help us express our thoughts on complex topics. Whether you're writing about literature, science, history, or current events, a synthesis essay shows off your ability to analyze and understand a topic from all angles. And if you're struggling with this task, just ask us to ' write paper for me ,' and we'll handle your assignment for you.

Explanatory vs. Argumentative Synthesis Essays

In synthesis writing, there are two main types: explanatory and argumentative. Understanding these categories is key because they shape how you approach your essay.


An explanatory synthesis essay does just what it says—it explains. These essays aim to give a balanced view of a topic by gathering information from different sources and presenting it clearly. They don't try to persuade; instead, they focus on providing information and making things easier to understand. They're like comprehensive summaries, breaking down complex ideas for a broader audience. These essays rely heavily on facts and expert opinions, avoiding personal bias.


On the flip side, argumentative synthesis essays are all about persuasion. Their main goal is to take a stance on an issue and convince the reader. They gather information from various sources not only to present different views but also to build a strong argument. Argumentative essays aim to sway the reader's opinion by using gathered information as evidence. These essays express opinions and use rhetorical strategies to persuade.

And if you're keen on knowing how to write an informative essay , we've got you covered on that, too!

Synthesis Essay Structure

To craft a strong synthesis essay, you need a solid foundation. Here's a structured approach to help you nail it:

Introductory Paragraph:

  • To kick things off, grab your reader's attention with a catchy hook or interesting fact. Give a bit of background info about your topic and the sources you'll be using, as it can help readers understand your topic better! Then, lay out your main argument in a clear thesis statement.

Body Paragraphs:

  • Each paragraph should focus on a different aspect of your topic or source. Start with a topic sentence that links back to your thesis. Introduce the source you're discussing and highlight its main points. Also, using quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from your sources can make your arguments stronger.

Synthesis :

  • This part is where your essay comes together. Look for common themes or differences among your sources. Use your analysis to build a strong argument. Don't forget to address any opposing viewpoints if they're relevant!

Conclusion :

  • Wrap things up by restating your thesis and summarizing your main points. Explain why your argument is important and what it means in the bigger picture. End with a thought-provoking statement to leave a lasting impression.

References :

  • Finally, don't forget to list all your sources properly using the right citation style, like MLA or APA. Do you know that different citation styles have different rules? So, make sure you follow the right one!

Choosing a Synthesis Essay Topic

Picking essay topics is just the beginning. To write a great synthesis essay, you need to carefully evaluate and connect different sources to build a strong argument or viewpoint. Here's a step-by-step infographic guide to help you choose the right synthesis essay topics wisely.

choosing a synthesis essay topic

How to Write a Synthesis Essay with Easy Steps

Writing a synthesis essay is similar to a compare and contrast essay . It requires a methodical approach to blend information from different sources into a strong and persuasive argument. Here are some crucial steps and tips to help you along the way.

  • Clarify Your Purpose: First, decide if you're writing an explanatory or argumentative synthesis essay. This choice will set the tone and direction for your essay.
  • Source Selection and Analysis: Choose credible and relevant sources for your topic, balancing different types like articles, books, and websites. Analyze each source carefully, noting the main ideas and evidence presented.
  • Formulate a Strong Thesis Statement: Create a clear and concise thesis statement that guides your essay. It should express your main argument or perspective.
  • Structure Your Essay: Organize your essay with a clear synthesis essay outline, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your topic.
  • Employ Effective Transition Sentences: Use transition sentences to connect your ideas and paragraphs smoothly, ensuring a cohesive flow in your essay.
  • Synthesize Information: Blend information from your sources within your paragraphs. Discuss how each source contributes to your thesis and highlight common themes or differences.
  • Avoid Simple Summarization: Don't just summarize your sources—analyze them critically and use them to build your argument.
  • Address Counterarguments (if applicable): Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counter them with well-supported arguments, showing a deep understanding of the topic.
  • Craft a Resolute Conclusion: Summarize your main points and restate your thesis in the conclusion. Emphasize the importance of your argument or insights, and end with a thought-provoking statement or call to action. ‍
  • Revise and Proofread: Check your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammar mistakes. Ensure your citations are correct and follow the chosen citation style, like MLA or APA.

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Synthesis Essay Format

Choosing the right citation style can enhance the credibility and professionalism of your paper. The format of your synthesis paper depends on the specific guidelines given by your instructor. They usually fall into one of the popular styles: MLA, APA, or Chicago, each used in different academic fields.

synthesis essay format

1. MLA (Modern Language Association):

  • Uses in-text citations with the author's last name and page number.
  • Includes a 'Works Cited' page at the end listing all sources.
  • Focuses on the author and publication date.
  • Often used in humanities essays, research papers, and literary analyses.

2. APA (American Psychological Association):

  • Uses in-text citations with the author's last name and publication date in parentheses.
  • Includes a 'References' page listing all sources alphabetically.
  • Emphasizes the publication date and scientific precision.
  • Commonly used in research papers, scholarly articles, and scientific studies.

3. Chicago Style:

  • Offers two documentation styles: Notes-Bibliography and Author-Date.
  • Notes-Bibliography uses footnotes or endnotes for citations, while Author-Date uses in-text citations with a reference list.
  • Suitable for various academic writing, including research papers and historical studies.
  • Provides flexibility in formatting and citation methods, making it adaptable to different disciplines.

Synthesis Essay Example

Here are two examples of synthesis essays that demonstrate how to apply the synthesis process in real life. They explore interesting topics and offer practical guidance for mastering the art of writing this type of paper.

Synthesis Essay Tips

Crafting a strong synthesis essay requires careful planning and effective techniques. Here are five essential tips to help you write your best paper:

  • Diverse Source Selection : Choose a range of reliable sources that offer different viewpoints on your topic. Make sure they're recent and relevant to your subject.
  • Seamless Source Integration : Avoid just summarizing your sources. Instead, blend them into your essay by analyzing and comparing their ideas. Show how they connect to build your argument.
  • Balanced Tone : Maintain an impartial tone in your writing, even if you have personal opinions. Synthesis essays require objectivity, so they present different viewpoints without bias.
  • Focus on Synthesis : Remember, synthesis essays are about linking ideas, not just summarizing sources. Explore how your sources relate to each other to create a cohesive argument.
  • Address Counterarguments : Like in persuasive essays topics , acknowledge opposing viewpoints and explain why your perspective is stronger. This demonstrates your understanding of the topic and adds depth to your argument.

Concluding Thoughts

When writing a synthesis essay, it's essential to pick trustworthy sources, blend them effectively to build your argument and stay objective. Use smooth transitions, address counterarguments thoughtfully, and focus on analyzing rather than just summarizing. By following these steps, you'll create essays that inform, persuade, and engage your readers!

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How Should You Conclude a Synthesis Essay?

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

analysis in synthesis essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Last Updated: April 7, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,123,476 times.

Writing a synthesis essay requires the ability to digest information and present it in an organized fashion. While this skill is developed in high school and college classes, it translates to the business and advertising world as well. Scroll down to Step 1 to begin learning how to write a synthesis essay.

Examining Your Topic

Step 1 Understand the concept of a synthesis essay.

  • Argument synthesis: This type of essay has a strong thesis statement that presents the writer's point of view. It organizes relevant information gathered from research in a logical manner to support the thesis' point of view. Business white papers known as position papers often take this form. This is the type of synthesis essay that students will write during the AP test.
  • Review: Often written as a preliminary essay to an argument synthesis, a review essay is a discussion of what has been written previously on a topic, with a critical analysis of the sources covered. Its unstated thesis is usually that more research needs to be done in that area or that the topic problem has not been adequately addressed. This type of paper is common in social science classes and in medicine.
  • Explanatory/background synthesis: This type of essay helps readers understand a topic by categorizing facts and presenting them to further the reader's understanding. It does not advocate a particular point of view, and if it has a thesis statement, the thesis is a weak one. Some business white papers take this form, although they are more likely to have a point of view, if understated.

Step 2 Choose a topic suitable for a synthesis essay.

  • Example of a broad topic narrowed down into a reasonable synthesis essay topic: Instead of the broad topic of Social Media, you could discuss your view on the effects texting has had on the English language.
  • If you've been assigned a topic as part of a class, make sure you read the prompt carefully and fully understand it.

Step 3 Choose and read your sources carefully.

  • Keep in mind that it's better to do three sources well than to do five sources incompletely.
  • Annotate each source by writing notes in the margins. This allows you to keep track of your train of thought, developing ideas, etc.

Step 4 Develop a thesis...

  • Example: Texting has had a positive impact on the English language as it has helped the millennial generation create their own form of the language.

Step 5 Re-read your source material for items to support your thesis.

  • If you wish to take on a claim by an opponent of your idea, and to poke holes in it, you should also find some ideas or quotes that go against your thesis statement, and plan ways to disprove them. This is called a concession, refutation, or rebuttal, which can strengthen your argument if you do it well.
  • Example : For the thesis statement listed above, excellent sources would include quotes from linguists discussing the new words that have developed through 'text-speak', statistics that show the English language has evolved with almost every generation, and facts that show students still have the ability to write with the use of grammar and spelling (which your opponents would bring up as the main reason texting has had a negative effect on the English language).

Outlining Your Essay

Step 1 Outline the structure of your thesis.

  • The introductory paragraph: 1. An introductory sentence that acts as a hook, capturing the reader's interest. 2. Identification of the issue you will be discussing. 3. Your thesis statement.
  • The body paragraphs: 1. Topic sentence that gives one reason to support your thesis. 2. Your explanation and opinion of the topic sentence. 3. Support from your sources that backs up the claim you just made. 4. Explanation of the significance of the source(s).
  • The conclusion paragraph: 1. State further significance of your topic from the evidence and reasons you discussed in the essay. 2. A profound thought or thoughtful ending for your paper.

Step 2 Use a more creative structure to present your thesis.

  • Example/illustration. This may be a detailed recount, summary, or direct quote from your source material that provides major support for your point of view. You may use more than one example or illustration, if your paper calls for it. You should not, however, make your paper a series of examples at the expense of supporting your thesis.
  • Straw man. With this technique, you present an argument opposed to the argument stated in your thesis, then show the weaknesses and flaws of the counter-argument. This format shows your awareness of the opposition and your readiness to answer it. You present the counter-argument right after your thesis, followed by the evidence to refute it, and end with a positive argument that supports your thesis. [5] X Research source
  • Concession. Essays with concessions are structured similar to those using the straw man technique, but they acknowledge the validity of the counter-argument while showing that the original argument is stronger. This structure is good for presenting papers to readers who hold the opposing viewpoint.
  • Comparison and contrast. This structure compares similarities and contrasts differences between two subjects or sources to show the facets of both. Writing an essay with this structure requires a careful reading of your source material to find both subtle and major points of similarity and difference. This kind of essay can present its arguments source-by-source or by points of similarity or difference.

Step 3 Create an outline appropriate for a background or review synthesis essay.

  • Summary. This structure presents summaries of each of your relevant sources, making a progressively stronger argument for your thesis. It provides specific evidence to support your point of view, but usually omits presenting your own opinions. It's most commonly used for background and review essays.
  • List of reasons. This is a series of sub-points that flow from the main point of your paper as stated in its thesis. Each reason is supported with evidence. As with the summary method, reasons should become progressively more important, with the most important reason last.

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Write your first draft according to your outline.

  • Your essay should have an introductory paragraph that includes your thesis , a body to present evidence that supports your thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes your point of view.

Step 2 Write in the third person.

  • Lengthy quotes of three lines or more should generally be set off as block quotes to better call attention to them. [7] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Revise your essay.

  • Ask someone else to proofread your paper. The saying “two heads are better than one” still holds true. Ask a friend or colleague what would they add or remove from the paper. Most importantly, does your argument make sense, and is it clearly supported by your sources?

Step 2 Proofread your paper.

  • Read the paper aloud to guarantee that you don't accidentally add in or take out words when reading in your head.
  • If you can, get a friend or classmate to proofread your essay as well.

Step 3  Cite your...

  • Example of citing in an AP synthesis essay: McPherson claims “texting has changed the English language in a positive way--it has given a new generation their own unique way to communicate” (Source E).
  • For college essays, you'll most likely use MLA format. Whichever format you use, be consistent in its use. You may also be asked to use APA or Chicago style.

Step 4 Title your essay.

  • Example title: : English and the iPhone: Exploring the Benefits of 'Text-Speak'

Outline Template

analysis in synthesis essay

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Just as your title should fit your essay instead of writing your essay to fit the title, your thesis, once chosen, should direct your subsequent research instead of subsequent research altering your thesis � unless you find you've adopted an unsupportable thesis. Thanks Helpful 21 Not Helpful 8

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a synthesis essay, start by coming up with a thesis statement that you can support using all of the sources you've read for your essay. For example, your thesis statement could be "Texting has had a positive impact on the English language." Once you've got your thesis, go through your sources to find specific quotes, facts, and statistics that back up your claim. Structure your essay so it has an introduction that includes your thesis statement, a body that includes your arguments and evidence, and a conclusion that wraps everything up. For more tips on structuring your synthesis essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Writing Synthesis Essay: Make it Easy with Our Comprehensive Guide


Table of contents

  • 1 Purpose and Objectives of a Synthesis Essay
  • 2.1 Explanatory Synthesis Essay
  • 2.2 Argument Synthesis Essay
  • 2.3 Review Synthesis Essay
  • 3 Common Topics Encountered in Synthesis Essays
  • 4.1 Conduct Thorough Research
  • 4.2 Look from Diverse Perspectives
  • 4.3.1 Chronological Method
  • 4.3.2 Thematic Method
  • 4.3.3 Point-by-point Method
  • 5 Make a Synthesis Essay Outline to Structure Content
  • 6.1 Critically Analyze Sources and Identify Their Relevance to the Thesis Statement
  • 7.1 Support Your Arguments
  • 7.2 Address Counterarguments
  • 8.1 Bibliography
  • 9 Proofread and Edit Your Essay
  • 10 Bottom line
  • 11.1 How long should a synthesis essay be?
  • 11.2 How many paragraphs are in a synthesis essay?
  • 11.3 Is a synthesis essay argumentative?
  • 11.4 Does a synthesis essay have a counterargument?

Being a student is a challenging task, as you have to handle different types of essays, particularly synthesis essays. What is a synthesis essay? Such creative writing helps students to develop research skills, conduct a thorough analysis and improve their writing skills. Also, it boosts their abilities to deliver original ideas, arguments, and clear explanations of particular viewpoints. Students might often receive such writing tasks for the AP English language exam. We know how challenging it can be for them to write a synthesis essay.

With this in mind, we uncover the key points of synthesis writing in this review, which are the following:

  • We’ll define the main traits of this essay type
  • What are the different types?
  • We collect the best advice on how to write a synthesis essay.
  • and prepared the list of synthesis essay topic examples.

If you find it difficult to start your synthesis essay, you can get help from our PapersOwl service. The best experts in academic writing await you to bring up a good synthesis essay with a high assessment grade.

Purpose and Objectives of a Synthesis Essay

First and foremost, it is vital to understand the definition of a synthesis essay. It is a type of essay in which you should provide justified arguments, ideas, or statements based on a particular point of view. Composing a synthesis essay requires a lot of time and effort. You must analyze many credible sources to collect specific data and create a unique research paper. Synthesizing sources has to do with analyzing them, but not vice versa. You should provide an in-depth analysis of each source and then combine the similarities or differences between them into one coherent and well-structured essay. The next section uncovers this matter.

Key Features and Components

A synthesis essay counts a few types depending on the objectives to reveal. But essential synthesis essay components are the same and consist of three main parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion. The introductory paragraph should be catchy and highlight the main points of your paperwork due to a good thesis statement. The main body should include at least three paragraphs separated by exposing different thoughts, arguments, or explanations. The conclusion should also leave a spot for meditating for your reader on what you have disclosed in it. Further, we explain three types of synthesis papers and their specifications.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay

This type of synthesis essay involves disclosing various facts, views, or points. That’s why it is required to explore many reliable sources to get as much relevant information about a topic under investigation as possible. Thus, a writer can explain the emergence of certain points of view and facts. This writing task helps high school and college students do deep research, compare facts and perspectives, and deliver a detailed synthesis analysis essay. It is essential to complement each statement with specific evidence and statistical data. This will underline the relevance of the information introduced in an essay and make it meaningful and reasonable.

Argument Synthesis Essay

When writing argumentative essays , one must choose a specific topic and present arguments supporting or opposing viewpoints. This writing assignment incorporates two objectives: gather and systemize information revealing the main topic and argue them from your perspective. It requires creativity and deep knowledge of the field and aspect you must put on paper. Writing an argumentative essay is not an easy task. You should stick to a particular perspective and move on to exposing it. It is crucial to provide enough facts and proof to convince your reader that your viewpoint is noteworthy.

Review Synthesis Essay

Review synthesis essays are often parts of larger projects and are used to make reviews of particular aspects, for example, in medicine and social sciences. When composing this type of essay, you should provide full information about the examined object, state, or problem. The literature review should contain as many key points and peculiarities as possible. Thus, it will draw a complete picture of an aspect that will bring clarification and worth to your topic. To hook your reader from the very onset, you should articulate a good synthesis thesis statement in your introductory paragraph.

Common Topics Encountered in Synthesis Essays

To help you with a topic choice for your AP Lang synthesis essay, we listed some from different fields and sciences. The first of three essays is about AI technology. We tried to single out the most relevant example prompt topics for you to get started with. Check them out below.

  • Artificial intelligence: Big threat or valuable tool for modern society
  • Cryptomarket: The ups and downs
  • Technology in the traditional classroom: A threat or benefit?
  • Explain whether testing new drugs on animals is ethically permissible
  • Should alternative medications be covered by insurance?
  • Disturbance regimes under Global Warming
  • Explaining how the American way of life contributes to global warming
  • Distance education: Its effect on college students on campus
  • Can modern people keep complete control over their life?
  • Nuclear or solar power: Benefits and Demerits
  • Explain the impact of gas fuel plants
  • Remote work impact on people: How is their physical activity?
  • Explain the role of sport in the American education system
  • Is it possible to buy happiness for money?
  • The basic survival skills everyone should know

Tips on How to Write Synthesis Essay

It is easier said than done when it comes to writing a synthesis essay. That is true, and for this reason, we outlined the list of valuable synthesis essay tips we consider the most essential to focus on. They are helpful for both writing an AP lang synthesis essay and a term assessment. Check them out.

Conduct Thorough Research

A good paper is regarded as meaningful when it is based on deep and all-encompassing research. Don’t neglect to provide a thorough exploration of your topic. The more information you find, the more valuable and reasonable your essay will be. But make sure you use credible sources to summarize and synthesize the data. Once you have a viewpoint to reveal, look for sources that support it or oppose it so that you can use them to substantiate your perspective.

Look from Diverse Perspectives

When willing to express one particular point or argument, consider other perspectives that might contradict your ideas. Why is it important? You should be aware of all the main arguments or acceptances occurring around your topic. It is essential to study different points of view that emerged on the basis of your theme or aspect under study. This could help you disclose another side or significance of your essay topic and change the focus of the main content you want to unleash. Doing this can reveal a new perspective, idea, or aspect of your synthesis essay’s research.

Choose an Organizational Method

Although an essay has a standard structure, your content should be well-composed and introduced coherently. All data should be outlined so a reader will enjoy the smooth turn from one statement to another. Depending on the field and aspect you are preparing a synthesis essay about, there are three methods to organize the content in your paper. They are the following:

Chronological Method

If you include dates or other significant events in your review or argumentative essay, it makes sense to present them in chronological order. Every fact should be justified per its development. So later, you can introduce your perspective or statement that will explain the impact of prior events. For example, when revealing a particular historical period in the US, you should first mention all important events chronologically. So then, you can argue your idea about the changes they brought to the country from a political or international perspective.

Thematic Method

A synthesis paper can be written for any field of science to represent a shorter version of facts, viewpoints, research results, etc. That’s why students can come across some topics that require uncovering a few themes in one essay. It is where a thematic method of content organization takes place. You should determine what notions or terms should be mentioned and revealed in your paper. Then, think of what term might explain or continue a key message of another term. Once you find out this detail, you should present each term one after another, keeping coherence in the information flow.

Point-by-point Method

As synthesis papers deal with different ideas, arguments, viewpoints, etc., comparison as a research method has a place. You can operate with many hypotheses, approaches, ideas, and arguments, so comparing them and finding their similarities and differences makes sense. This content organization method involves explaining one point of the synthesis statement, and then another point to compare further.

Crafting a successful synthesis essay requires a well-structured outline, which can be challenging to develop without assistance. Luckily, many academic essay writing services, such as, offer support in this area. To help you get started, here is an outline you can utilize to write a compelling synthesis essay that will leave a lasting impression on your professor.

Make a Synthesis Essay Outline to Structure Content


Earlier, we emphasized the importance of orchestrating your main content under study. This section covers the crucial thing in writing a synthesis essay: an outline. The outline is a great synthesis essay template for structuring your entire paper. We recommend you always stick to it once you define your essay’s topic and objective. Thanks to it you will be able to keep your focus on the angle of your work.

If you want to deepen your knowledge, we have prepared steps on how to write a synthesis essay outline. The outline of your essay must include three main components, but it can vary, and mostly the main difference is in a short and cited presentation of the thoughts you want to reveal in your essay. Below, we introduce a brief outline structure:

  • Introductory part

The beginning of your essay mustn’t be too long. It is enough to disclose your objective, the main topic, and a strong thesis statement in one paragraph. It doesn’t make sense to keep a reader’s attention for long in the introduction, explaining what you are going to describe or argue in detail. Present it shortly and precisely.

  • Body paragraph

In this part of the essay, you should introduce all you have researched, analyzed, and systematized. Likewise, you should expose your material in a minimum of three paragraphs. Each part has an appropriate synthesis-paragraph structure. In the outline, we recommend you craft a bullet list of three here and note shortly what points you want to describe in each paragraph.

This is the summarizing part of the essay, where you conclude all the information introduced in your synthesis essay. It is essential to repeat the thesis statements here. It should also be concise.

Write an Engaging Introduction

A good synthesis essay should get a reader engaged straight from its introduction. An introductory part should be composed in an interesting way to keep reading your essay. Here is where a reader finds out about the background of the topic and what main problems or ideas will be discussed. Such information should be catchy, and it is essential to make the first opening sentence sharper.

Another important thing in the introduction is crafting a hooky synthesis essay thesis statement. The thesis will be like a compass to the main points of your essay. Try to make the topic sentence specific and intriguing by matching your essay objectives.

Introduction synthesis essay example: When it comes to running a successful business, there’s no doubt that having the right people on board is crucial. After all, a company is simply a group of individuals working together towards a common goal. However, not enough emphasis is placed on what the “right” people actually look like. That’s why I wanted to bring attention to an often overlooked but incredibly important attribute: resistance. In this article, I’ll explain what resistance is, why it matters, and how you can identify it in potential team members.

Critically Analyze Sources and Identify Their Relevance to the Thesis Statement

A thesis presents a key message of your paper. This is what both reveals the focus of an essay and captures a reader’s attention. That’s why it requires exploring many sources carefully and critically analyzing them to identify their relevance. So then, you can formulate a strong thesis statement that will combine the key points of the synthesis essay. The more valuable data you find and analyze, the more precious your thesis.

The Main Body

There are three parts to your essay, each using a different type of evidence. The first two sections should contain evidence that supports your thesis. This can be in the form of direct quotes from your sources , statistics, and/or other research that supports your claim. The third section should contain evidence against your thesis – or what some might call “counterpoints” or “arguments against”.

Building on this structure, it’s imperative to recognize that the very foundation of your thesis relies on the robustness of these supporting arguments. Let’s look closer.

Support Your Arguments

Every thought, idea, assumption, and definition from your thesis statement must be justified by supporting arguments. No one will get involved in a piece that tells about everything and nothing simultaneously when there is no evidence and proof of mentioned facts. This point is vital as your perspective must have a background, and you should explain the reasons you provide a particular argument or viewpoint.

Extensive research and analysis of credible sources allow students to come up with exciting and valuable solutions, ideas, and directions. That’s why the time spent on deep study will always pay you back. It is a very significant component in writing argumentative synthesis essays. So, make sure you find supporting arguments for the idea or perspective you want to convey to a reader. This will increase the persuasiveness and worthiness of your message in the essay.

Address Counterarguments

Sometimes, it is difficult to persuade someone when many counterarguments make your point of view unworthy. The same might happen when you decide to start a synthesis essay and prove your opposite perspective. This task is challenging and requires thorough research of counterarguments. Only by having analyzed a massive set of information, one can provide reasonable comparisons and meaningful explanations to let a reader take their perspectives into account. Here are a few helpful tips on how to maintain a persuasive stance while considering opposing viewpoints:

  • Study all counterarguments that might be according to your viewpoint;
  • Learn the background of the counterarguments;
  • Find out what consequences they can lead to (if they are negative);
  • Weigh the influence of opposing arguments and find their weak points;
  • Justify your viewpoints clearly and precisely with supporting evidence;
  • Provide comparative analysis to underline the significance of your perspective;
  • Never ignore the counterarguments in your informative synthesis essay paper.

Craft a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion is the last but not least component of a synthesis essay structure. The train of thoughts and ideas kept during the entire paper shouldn’t be interrupted instantly. It must have an excellent finalizing part where you sum up all mentioned in your essay and leave a good touch for your reader.

To craft a strong conclusion, you should present an overview of your research and note the main points of your argument or perspective. But remember, the conclusion doesn’t have to be too long and saturated. It should be brief, concise, and precise. Remember to remind your reader of your thesis statement and emphasize the relevance and significance of your essay’s topic.

Conclusion synthesis essay example: Through our research, we have identified effective strategies for dealing with repetitive motions in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is clear that multiple behavior modification therapies are important for improving this behavior. Further exploration into behavior modification techniques could lead to finding more therapy techniques that can greatly improve the lives of those with repetitive motion behaviors. We believe that this research can make a significant impact in helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder lead more fulfilling lives.


A bibliography is a list of books, journals, and other sources of information used in the essay. The bibliography should be alphabetically arranged by the author’s last name. All sources should be listed separately on a separate page following the main body of text or at the end of your paper.

Your research sources should be properly credited at the end of the essay, whether you’re using MLA, APA, or another format . The most common form for citing an author’s work is called “parenthetical citation” or “in-text citation.” In parenthetical citations, you include the title of the work (italicized), page numbers if applicable, year published (if applicable), medium (e.g., book), and publisher’s name (if not self-published).

Proofread and Edit Your Essay

Even if you think your work is impeccable, it needs to be proofread and edited. While you are concentrating on the writing process, you might skip some other nuances. This can be punctuation, typos, grammatical errors, or incorrect sentence order. For this reason, a synthesis essay must go through thorough proofreading to detect any kind of errors. Apart from this, you can split one body paragraph into two, for example, if you find different points discussed in it. You should also format it using a particular format style to handle a well-structured, edited, and formatted essay.

Bottom line

Wrapping up, we encourage you to follow our tips on how to write a good synthesis essay. Although any type of writing isn’t easy work, you can do it well with the help of good supporting sources available on our website. If you are short on time and understand that you can’t cope with this task, you can find an expert who writes essays for you to meet your deadlines. But if you decide to make it up alone, make sure to craft an outline and follow all the insightful tips mentioned in this article.

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How many paragraphs are in a synthesis essay, is a synthesis essay argumentative, does a synthesis essay have a counterargument, readers also enjoyed.

Synthesizing Sources: Key for Cohesive Writing


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Synthesis Essay Examples

Synthesis Essay Examples

A synthesis essay is another piece of academic discourse that students often find difficult to write. This assignment indeed requires a more nuanced approach to writing and performing research. It’s particularly relevant to students taking an AP English Language and Composition exam, so learning how to write a synthesis essay is crucial to getting a high score.

This article will explore the definition of a synthesis essay, its functions, and objectives, and provide a tutorial on how to write a synthesis essay.

What is a synthesis essay?

To understand how to write a synthesis essay, we first need to figure out why it is called this way.

The word “synthesis” comes from the Greek language where it means “composition” or “collection.” This means that a synthesis essay can be interpreted as a piece of writing that combines something together. But what?

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program known for developing complex courses for high-school students includes a synthesis essay as one of its Language and Composition exam questions. In it, the AP Program asks students to analyze several sources of information and write an essay that “synthesizes” (or incorporates) evidence from some of the sources.

Thus, a synthesis essay is a written text that explores a certain issue using perspectives derived from multiple different sources.

Synthesis essay: format and objectives

Unlike other types of academic analysis, synthesis questions do not aim to evaluate the overall persuasiveness of your arguments. As a writer, you should aim to analyze, evaluate, and integrate diverse ideas into a coherent whole. Here are some of the skills students need to demonstrate in their synthesis essays:

  • Analyzing sources . Before you learn how to start a synthesis essay, your task is to read and analyze the sources presented to you and understand what they’re about.
  • Assessing the arguments . After familiarizing yourself with the available sources, you are supposed to evaluate if the arguments they support are strong or weak, which will help you determine the course of your essay.
  • Identifying common positions . The next skill you must demonstrate is identifying common positions across the sources. By comparing and contrasting different viewpoints, the writer should be able to detect repeating ideas that contribute to a deeper understanding of the topic.
  • Integrating sources . Your main task in a synthesis essay is combining ideas from different authors to create a cohesive argument. This will help you show how well you can extract information from various sources.

As you see, the chief goal of synthesis questions is to show how well you can analyze sources and derive information from them.

How to start a synthesis essay: tutorial

During an AP examination, you don’t have a lot of time to write the text. It can be stressful, and it’s not rare for students to panic and forget what to do. Don’t worry, with these simple steps, you’ll be able to create a great synthesis essay and ace your exam.

1. Scan the given sources

At first, you will be handed six sources that you’re supposed to briefly examine. These can include academic and newspaper articles, graphs, schedules, prompts, and other documents that can be used to support your future thesis statement.

Remember that you don’t have a lot of time, so take a quick look at the documents and leave short remarks that can help you remember which source supports or argues a certain opinion.

2. Develop your stance

After you’ve studied the sources, it’s time to come up with your stance and thesis statement. Note that, unlike other essays, the stance you must take in your synthesis essay might not correlate with your actual opinion.

Your task is to choose a position that you can support with the sources provided to you. This will showcase your ability to draw an unbiased and logical conclusion from a wide range of references. However, your stance should express an original idea and cannot paraphrase the points given in the source texts.

3. Write your essay

Your essay should start with a two or three-sentence-long introduction that gives background to the topic you’re going to be writing about. It should also include your thesis – the idea based on the evidence you’ve gathered that you’re going to defend in the next part of your essay. Don’t use personal pronouns as a synthesis essay provides an overview of facts instead of your opinion

The body of your synthesis essay should be built of several arguments. Each argument should refer to a specific part of your thesis and provide evidence to support the claims. Use the sources provided to you as evidence to validate your arguments. You should use at least three sources, but the more you incorporate in your text, the better. You can draw arguments and evidence from your background knowledge or include counter-arguments from the remaining sources. When you refer to the original documents, make sure to include the number of the source in brackets at the end of a sentence.

In your conclusion, restate your original thesis and summarize what you stated before. Don’t repeat the same thoughts. Instead, include a new idea you haven’t mentioned before or a call to action to finish your essay properly.

Synthesis essay: examples

The list of sources provided as part of the examination:

  • A New York Times article about the relevance of blue-collar workers;
  • A Washington Post article about the uselessness of art degrees;
  • The Economist’s article about the decreasing wages of college graduates;
  • A New Your Times article proving that college does pay off;
  • An article about a businessman giving money to teens to start businesses instead of going to college
  • A survey on whether college education is worth it

Is college worth it?

In the current era of shifting economic landscapes and evolving societal expectations, the value of higher education has become a subject of intense scrutiny. While some decades ago, a college education was considered the only solution to a better life, nowadays this sentiment is no longer relevant. Higher education can no longer guarantee high salaries and employment, not to mention the unbearable strain it puts on a future graduate’s finances.

The modern world of employment has shifted. While decades ago society needed information-centric professionals, now the situation is different. With the Internet, employers can now find new hires from all over the world with much cheaper salary expectations, leaving local college graduates with no choice but to agree to a lower pay than they expected[3]. This demonstrates the new trend of decreasing rewards for higher education that is very likely to continue in the future.

Another issue is the lack of employment in certain areas. It is no secret that Art and Humanities graduates have a tough time finding positions with adequate pay in the field they studied[2]. Many of them have to search for employment in other fields that have nothing to do with their degrees, which further proves that higher education does not provide job security.

Furthermore, the cost of higher education in America has been the subject of many debates. Even with scholarships and financial aid, many students still find themselves facing daunting loan repayments upon graduation[6]. This financial pressure can delay important milestones such as buying a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement. Additionally, the job market may not always align with graduates' expectations, making it challenging to secure well-paying positions to effectively manage their debt. As a result, the financial impact of college can be felt long after receiving a diploma, shaping the economic landscape of young professionals for years to come.

In conclusion, higher education no longer offers guaranteed employment and financial stability benefits, often leaving graduates with an exorbitant debt they can not afford. Because of this, the governments should reevaluate their current educational and economic policies and develop other areas of education like vocational schools to provide stability to future generations.

Conclusion: Writing a synthesis essay

A synthesis essay tests your ability to conduct objective analysis and derive facts from multiple different references. It helps you learn to put aside your personal bias and provide an objective overview of information even if it contradicts your opinion. To produce a high-scoring synthesis essay, work on your analytical skills and use them to find evidence to defend your position.

If answering synthesis questions gives you trouble, use essay generator Aithor to generate sample essays, learn how to derive main information from source texts, create a plan, and express your thoughts concisely and eloquently.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

13 June, 2020

16 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

We’ve all wondered how to write a synthesis essay. Synthesis papers are hard to write and offering general advice on them is even harder. However, we will give it a try! Thanks to our expertise and excellent understanding of the subject, you can learn how to write a synthesis essay in no time. So, let’s dive in!

Synthesis Essay

An excellent synthesis essay is based on in-depth analysis of multiple sources. Often it is the sources that dictate the style and method of writing used to analyze, debate, and argue about the ideas in the source material.

What is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is a discussion that is based on two or more sources that can come from various places (television, radio, adverts, lectures) but, frankly, it mostly centers on written pieces. Students can be often be assigned to write these types of essays in History class. Their teachers might ask them to analyze a few sources talking about a single issue and synthesize them.

what does synthesize mean

What Does it Mean to Synthesize a Text?

The definition of synthesis is ‘the combination of components or elements to form a connected whole. So, to synthesize a text you have to combine information from a number of sources into a coherent paper.

Sure, dictionary talk on synthesis essay writing never makes much sense. So, to help you out here:

To synthesize your paper means to form a new perspective on an issue by placing extracts from sources next to each other.

One thing a lot of students have trouble with is understanding the difference between synthesizing a text and summarizing it . A summary of a synthesis essay reiterates the critical points of the text to provide an overview. Meanwhile, synthesis moves beyond this by contrasting the critical points of your knowledge on a subject to what other sources say about it.

Different Types of Synthesis Essays

There are mainly two types of synthesis essays – expository and argumentative.

Types of synthesis essays

An expository essay explains the issue in as much detail as possible. Expository synthesis essay can also be called research synthesis essay at times. As an excellent synthesis essay example, you can check out any literature review on issues related to the social sciences, such as sociology, linguistics, or psychology. Alternatively, look for synthesis essay examples in books on History.

An argumentative synthesis essay is one where you’re using the source material to prove your claim by citing credible conflicting theories, experiments where the theory was falsified, quotes or statistics. You’re not seeking to explain. You aim to understand how to persuade and write an argumentative essay that supports and proves your argument.

The Purpose of a Synthesis Essay

The purpose of a synthesis essay depends on the type of essay you’ve received, the question that was set and its subject.

The purpose of a synthesis essay

Advanced high-grade essays must demonstrate these four things:

  • Your understanding of the major issues presented in the synthesis essay.
  • Your understanding of the smaller issues in the sources.
  • Critical reading, analytical and evaluation skills.
  • Your ability to develop an argument.

Basically, the purpose of writing a synthesis essay is to assess your ability to form and defend a viewpoint using source materials.

In general, the process of writing a synthesis essay consists of six steps:

  • Analyzing the source.
  • Choosing an interesting title.
  • Building an outline.
  • Crafting an introduction.
  • Developing the main body paragraphs.
  • Writing a conclusion.

So, if you are wondering how to write a good synthesis essay, we’ve got your back!

Now, let’s take a closer look at each one of these points.

Analyzing the Sources

If you have been assigned sources for your synthesis essay, start with reading them in-depth, drawing out how they connect and looking for common themes. Thus, if you are making a comparison on how money is presented in literature, look for what the texts are saying about society’s perceptions of wealth.

It goes without saying that you have to start with the sources. If there are two different perspectives in sociology, see what they have in common before you start working on a synthesis essay.

As you start to build a thread of interest, you can build up an argument or a thesis statement . It’s best to choose sources that encourage discussion.

And unless you lived under a rock you know that the best way to draw connections and threads together is by using some visual aid or tool. This can save you hours of work and take your synthesis essay to a new level.

Choosing an Interesting Title

Start with a working title based on the core issue you’re writing about. Don’t worry about the first draft of your synthesis essay. You’ll come back, clean it, and make it compelling later.

Besides, if you have been given a title, the taking out the keywords or the question can help you focus on the task too.

Nevertheless, bear in mind that the title has to be interesting. It should specify the problem and intrigue the audience. They need to want to keep reading your synthesis essay and to dig a little deeper into your exciting subject. In other words, grab their attention from the start and keep them on the hook!

Related Posts: Argumentative essay topics list

How to Write a Synthesis Essay Outline

Now, that you have studied the sources, understand the issue better and even have an interesting title for your paper, make sure you know how to create a perfect outline for your piece. It will keep you focused as you dive into the writing process and won’t let you lose your sight of the thesis.

As a rule, synthesis essay structure consists of:

  • An introduction with a hook and a thesis statement;
  • Main body paragraphs with each one of them supporting the thesis;
  • A conclusion to summarize the whole piece.

Finally, comes the time to get the show on the road.

We will start the process with an introduction. After all, that’s where it all begins!

Crafting an Introduction to a Synthesis Essay

How to write an introduction to a synthesis essay

An introduction to a synthesis essay should:

Introduce the Topic You’re Discussing.

This is used to clarify the theme or topic you will focus on based on the sources you chose. Here’s an example of a synthesis essay introduction: ‘The sources all discuss and agree that climate change is a serious problem that the world is facing today but disagree over what causes the problems and the solutions to it.’

Specify the Main Sources.

Let the readers know what you are basing your synthesis essay on. And explain how the theme or topic emerges in the text, or how the author in each text addresses the idea and why it is important. For example, ‘Mr. Believer’s speech on climate change recognizes that there is a real threat from the climate affecting the planet. He states that measures should be taken to reduce C02 levels. Meanwhile, Mr. Doubter’s speech questions the science behind the above-mentioned plan using the anecdotal evidence to suggest that it’s a natural change not affected by man.’

Introduce the Thesis Statement.

At the end of the introductory paragraph of a synthesis essay comes a thesis statement. It should answer the question succinctly and state your position on the issue or title of the essay. Moreover, it should explain why this issue is important and how the world would be different without you raising this problem.

If you are not sure how to write a thesis statement , here is our complete guide to help you out!

Here is how your thesis statement should go: ‘Believer makes a compelling argument about how dangerous the climate change is as well as why we need to take an action now to prevent further damage by lowering the C02 emission.’

This is what a comprehensive introduction should look like. Now, let’s move on to the next section of your synthesis essay.

Developing Main Body Paragraphs According to the MEAL Approach

An excellent way to structure the body paragraphs is in applying the MEAL acronym – Main Idea, Evidence and Analysis and Link Back.

MEAL approach to writing a synthesis essay

If that doesn’t make much sense to you, let’s see what it stands for when it comes to synthesis essay.

This is where you want to make a claim on the topic that presents an argument or an author’s position. With the climate change issue as the main subject of a synthesis essay, it can go something like this: “People may try to pass the climate change off as a hoax. However, there is an undeniable link between the human intrusion and CO2 emission problem on the planet.”

The evidence is a quote or a fact or a paraphrase from the sources you have been provided for a synthesis essay. ‘Mr. Believer states that ‘CO2 is the cause of climate change’ supporting his statement with credible scientific evidence.’

At this stage of writing a synthesis essay, you need to specify how the evidence above proves your argument. ‘This demonstrates the global warming theory has significant backing in the scientific community.’

This is just a link back to the central claim of your synthesis essay. ‘Although causal evidence cannot scientifically prove cause and effect, the number of studies cited in these sources find a correlation between an increase in CO2 emission and climate change.’

Last but not least comes a conclusion. Don’t underestimate its potential in the synthesis essay: after all, this is often the only thing the readers will remember after finishing reading your piece.

Writing a Conclusion

It is vital to ensure that a conclusion has proper structure too.

  • Restate the thesis statement. Remind the readers what the main point of your synthesis essay was. It is always a good idea to help them remember it.
  • Mention the evidence. You used various sources to support your thesis statement in a synthesis essay. And a conclusion is the perfect time and place to remind of them. Don’t take too long though. Just briefly go over each one of them. If someone forgot something and needs a more vivid reminder, they can go back to a particular place in your article and read it.
  • Call to action. This might not be applicable all the time. However, if you are trying to persuade the audience in something, you should definitely make sure that use your chance now to encourage them to take measures after finishing your synthesis essay.

All in all, in a conclusion you need to reiterate how the topics are a connection, include a suggestion or conclusion to the arguments.

Synthesis Essay Format for an AP English Exam

Knowing what format meets the requirements of the description of an AP English exam is vital. That is why we strongly recommend you to pay close attention to the formatting you use in the AP language and composition synthesis essay.

The only way to ensure you are referencing correctly is by having the reference guide open as you edit.

If you need assistance with proper MLA and APA formatting at an AP English exam synthesis essay, you can check out our complete guides. They will provide you with comprehensive data on the synthesis essay format for AP English exam.

While still on the subject, you might want to check out our guide on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay , since it is a part of an AP English exam. We have all the answers for you here!

By now you are probably wondering what topics you can opt for when crafting a piece in question. We have prepared a list of themes to take a look at to help you out. So, read on!

Interesting Synthesis Essay Topics

When you choose synthesis essay topics, you should think of subjects that have debates around them. Pick issues with grey areas around them or the ones you can form a unique view or opinion on.

Here are a few synthesis essay topic ideas :

  • Do video games lead to an increased violent behavior level among teens?
  • Rehabilitation or capital punishment: Which is the most effective way to deter crime?
  • How did the Treaty of Versailles contribute to the WW2?
  • Social Learning Theory or Biology: Which has the most significant impact on crime?
  • Does the UFO exist?
  • Do people cause the climate change?
  • Should abortions be made legal?
  • How social media impact our day-to-day lives?
  • Is euthanasia a murder or an act of mercy?
  • Is sex education at schools really necessary?

Choose one of our topics for a synthesis essay – and you’ll definitely end up having a great piece with lots of sources to refer to and credible authors to cite.

Now, let’s polish your writing skills and see how general writing differs from the synthesis essay writing in the long run.

Tips on Writing the AP Synthesis Essay

Here are a few tips on how to write the AP lang. synthesis essay with flying colors:

  • Keep a consistent tone and voice throughout the essay.
  • Craft good strong argument and specify what your position regarding it is.
  • Use some of the rhetorical techniques to craft a more compelling evidence (for more on rhetorical essay writing and preparation to the AP English exam or the synthesis essay ap lang. check our guides here).
  • Know the style and purpose of the essay you are writing.
  • Always have a clear synthesis essay thesis statement to help you write with purpose.
  • Bear in mind the importance of the proper APA or MLA writing guides, and always edit with a reference guide in front of you for better results on your AP English synthesis essay.
  • Analyze the existing sources to find common insightful traits between them.
  • Develop a thesis statement for the essay to guide your outline.
  • Map your main points visually. Do these main points have science-backed evidence to support them? Do they contradict each other? Or does one point support your thesis, the other one debunks your theory while the third one contradicts everything mentioned above? Be consistent in your writing and mapping the ideas.

These tips will help you better craft your synthesis essay. And if you’re still having hard times and struggling with the main points of the paper, remember that HandmadeWriting is the best place to ask for help with your synthesis essay! Our professional essay writers are available 24/7. And don’t forget to use our synthesis essay prompts to ease your writing.

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Advanced Placement (AP)


If you're planning to take the AP Language (or AP Lang) exam , you might already know that 55% of your overall exam score will be based on three essays. The first of the three essays you'll have to write on the AP Language exam is called the "synthesis essay." If you want to earn full points on this portion of the AP Lang Exam, you need to know what a synthesis essay is and what skills are assessed by the AP Lang synthesis essay.

In this article, we'll explain the different aspects of the AP Lang synthesis essay, including what skills you need to demonstrate in your synthesis essay response in order to achieve a good score. We'll also give you a full breakdown of a real AP Lang Synthesis Essay prompt, provide an analysis of an AP Lang synthesis essay example, and give you four tips for how to write a synthesis essay.

Let's get started by taking a closer look at how the AP Lang synthesis essay works!

Synthesis Essay AP Lang: What It Is and How It Works

The AP Lang synthesis essay is the first of three essays included in the Free Response section of the AP Lang exam.

The AP Lang synthesis essay portion of the Free Response section lasts for one hour total . This hour consists of a recommended 15 minute reading period and a 40 minute writing period. Keep in mind that these time allotments are merely recommendations, and that exam takers can parse out the allotted 60 minutes to complete the synthesis essay however they choose.

Now, here's what the structure of the AP Lang synthesis essay looks like. The exam presents six to seven sources that are organized around a specific topic (like alternative energy or eminent domain, which are both past synthesis exam topics).

Of these six to seven sources, at least two are visual , including at least one quantitative source (like a graph or pie chart, for example). The remaining four to five sources are print text-based, and each one contains approximately 500 words.

In addition to six to seven sources, the AP Lang exam provides a written prompt that consists of three paragraphs. The prompt will briefly explain the essay topic, then present a claim that students will respond to in an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources provided.

Here's an example prompt provided by the College Board:

Directions : The following prompt is based on the accompanying six sources.

This question requires you to integrate a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. Refer to the sources to support your position; avoid mere paraphrase or summary. Your argument should be central; the sources should support this argument .

Remember to attribute both direct and indirect citations.


Television has been influential in United States presidential elections since the 1960's. But just what is this influence, and how has it affected who is elected? Has it made elections fairer and more accessible, or has it moved candidates from pursuing issues to pursuing image?

Read the following sources (including any introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that television has had a positive impact on presidential elections.

Refer to the sources as Source A, Source B, etc.; titles are included for your convenience.

Source A (Campbell) Source B (Hart and Triece) Source C (Menand) Source D (Chart) Source E (Ranney) Source F (Koppel)

Like we mentioned earlier, this prompt gives you a topic — which it briefly explains — then asks you to take a position. In this case, you'll have to choose a stance on whether television has positively or negatively affected U.S. elections. You're also given six sources to evaluate and use in your response. Now that you have everything you need, now your job is to write an amazing synthesis essay.

But what does "synthesize" mean, exactly? According to the CollegeBoard, when an essay prompt asks you to synthesize, it means that you should "combine different perspectives from sources to form a support of a coherent position" in writing. In other words, a synthesis essay asks you to state your claim on a topic, then highlight the relationships between several sources that support your claim on that topic. Additionally, you'll need to cite specific evidence from your sources to prove your point.

The synthesis essay counts for six of the total points on the AP Lang exam . Students can receive 0-1 points for writing a thesis statement in the essay, 0-4 based on incorporation of evidence and commentary, and 0-1 points based on sophistication of thought and demonstrated complex understanding of the topic.

You'll be evaluated based on how effectively you do the following in your AP Lang synthesis essay:

Write a thesis that responds to the exam prompt with a defensible position

Provide specific evidence that to support all claims in your line of reasoning from at least three of the sources provided, and clearly and consistently explain how the evidence you include supports your line of reasoning

Demonstrate sophistication of thought by either crafting a thoughtful argument, situating the argument in a broader context, explaining the limitations of an argument

Make rhetorical choices that strengthen your argument and/or employ a vivid and persuasive style throughout your essay.

If your synthesis essay meets the criteria above, then there's a good chance you'll score well on this portion of the AP Lang exam!

If you're looking for even more information on scoring, the College Board has posted the AP Lang Free Response grading rubric on its website. ( You can find it here. ) We recommend taking a close look at it since it includes additional details about the synthesis essay scoring.


Don't be intimidated...we're going to teach you how to break down even the hardest AP synthesis essay prompt.

Full Breakdown of a Real AP Lang Synthesis Essay Prompt

In this section, we'll teach you how to analyze and respond to a synthesis essay prompt in five easy steps, including suggested time frames for each step of the process.

Step 1: Analyze the Prompt

The very first thing to do when the clock starts running is read and analyze the prompt. To demonstrate how to do this, we'll look at the sample AP Lang synthesis essay prompt below. This prompt comes straight from the 2018 AP Lang exam:

Eminent domain is the power governments have to acquire property from private owners for public use. The rationale behind eminent domain is that governments have greater legal authority over lands within their dominion than do private owners. Eminent domain has been instituted in one way or another throughout the world for hundreds of years.

Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then synthesize material from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-developed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the notion that eminent domain is productive and beneficial.

Your argument should be the focus of your essay. Use the sources to develop your argument and explain the reasoning for it. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from, whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the descriptions in parentheses.

On first read, you might be nervous about how to answer this prompt...especially if you don't know what eminent domain is! But if you break the prompt down into chunks, you'll be able to figure out what the prompt is asking you to do in no time flat.

To get a full understanding of what this prompt wants you to do, you need to identify the most important details in this prompt, paragraph by paragraph. Here's what each paragraph is asking you to do:

  • Paragraph 1: The prompt presents and briefly explains the topic that you'll be writing your synthesis essay about. That topic is the concept of eminent domain.
  • Paragraph 2: The prompt presents a specific claim about the concept of eminent domain in this paragraph: Eminent domain is productive and beneficial. This paragraph instructs you to decide whether you want to defend, challenge, or qualify that claim in your synthesis essay , and use material from at least three of the sources provided in order to do so.
  • Paragraph 3: In the last paragraph of the prompt, the exam gives you clear instructions about how to approach writing your synthesis essay . First, make your argument the focus of the essay. Second, use material from at least three of the sources to develop and explain your argument. Third, provide commentary on the material you include, and provide proper citations when you incorporate quotations, paraphrases, or summaries from the sources provided.

So basically, you'll have to agree with, disagree with, or qualify the claim stated in the prompt, then use at least three sources substantiate your answer. Since you probably don't know much about eminent domain, you'll probably decide on your position after you read the provided sources.

To make good use of your time on the exam, you should spend around 2 minutes reading the prompt and making note of what it's asking you to do. That will leave you plenty of time to read the sources provided, which is the next step to writing a synthesis essay.

Step 2: Read the Sources Carefully

After you closely read the prompt and make note of the most important details, you need to read all of the sources provided. It's tempting to skip one or two sources to save time--but we recommend you don't do this. That's because you'll need a thorough understanding of the topic before you can accurately address the prompt!

For the sample exam prompt included above, there are six sources provided. We're not going to include all of the sources in this article, but you can view the six sources from this question on the 2018 AP Lang exam here . The sources include five print-text sources and one visual source, which is a cartoon.

As you read the sources, it's important to read quickly and carefully. Don't rush! Keep your pencil in hand to quickly mark important passages that you might want to use as evidence in your synthesis. While you're reading the sources and marking passages, you want to think about how the information you're reading influences your stance on the issue (in this case, eminent domain).

When you finish reading, take a few seconds to summarize, in a phrase or sentence, whether the source defends, challenges, or qualifies whether eminent domain is beneficial (which is the claim in the prompt) . Though it might not feel like you have time for this, it's important to give yourself these notes about each source so you know how you can use each one as evidence in your essay.

Here's what we mean: say you want to challenge the idea that eminent domain is useful. If you've jotted down notes about each source and what it's saying, it will be easier for you to pull the relevant information into your outline and your essay.

So how much time should you spend reading the provided sources? The AP Lang exam recommends taking 15 minutes to read the sources . If you spend around two of those minutes reading and breaking down the essay prompt, it makes sense to spend the remaining 13 minutes reading and annotating the sources.

If you finish reading and annotating early, you can always move on to drafting your synthesis essay. But make sure you're taking your time and reading carefully! It's better to use a little extra time reading and understanding the sources now so that you don't have to go back and re-read the sources later.


A strong thesis will do a lot of heavy lifting in your essay. (See what we did there?)

Step 3: Write a Strong Thesis Statement

After you've analyzed the prompt and thoroughly read the sources, the next thing you need to do in order to write a good synthesis essay is write a strong thesis statement .

The great news about writing a thesis statement for this synthesis essay is that you have all the tools you need to do it at your fingertips. All you have to do in order to write your thesis statement is decide what your stance is in relationship to the topic provided.

In the example prompt provided earlier, you're essentially given three choices for how to frame your thesis statement: you can either defend, challenge, or qualify a claim that's been provided by the prompt, that eminent domain is productive and beneficial . Here's what that means for each option:

If you choose to defend the claim, your job will be to prove that the claim is correct . In this case, you'll have to show that eminent domain is a good thing.

If you choose to challenge the claim, you'll argue that the claim is incorrect. In other words, you'll argue that eminent domain isn't productive or beneficial.

If you choose to qualify, that means you'll agree with part of the claim, but disagree with another part of the claim. For instance, you may argue that eminent domain can be a productive tool for governments, but it's not beneficial for property owners. Or maybe you argue that eminent domain is useful in certain circumstances, but not in others.

When you decide whether you want your synthesis essay to defend, challenge, or qualify that claim, you need to convey that stance clearly in your thesis statement. You want to avoid simply restating the claim provided in the prompt, summarizing the issue without making a coherent claim, or writing a thesis that doesn't respond to the prompt.

Here's an example of a thesis statement that received full points on the eminent domain synthesis essay:

Although eminent domain can be misused to benefit private interests at the expense of citizens, it is a vital tool of any government that intends to have any influence on the land it governs beyond that of written law.

This thesis statement received full points because it states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning on the issue of eminent domain. It states the author's position (that some parts of eminent domain are good, but others are bad), then goes on to explain why the author thinks that (it's good because it allows the government to do its job, but it's bad because the government can misuse its power.)

Because this example thesis statement states a defensible position and establishes a line of reasoning, it can be elaborated upon in the body of the essay through sub-claims, supporting evidence, and commentary. And a solid argument is key to getting a six on your synthesis essay for AP Lang!

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Step 4: Create a Bare-Bones Essay Outline

Once you've got your thesis statement drafted, you have the foundation you need to develop a bare bones outline for your synthesis essay. Developing an outline might seem like it's a waste of your precious time, but if you develop your outline well, it will actually save you time when you start writing your essay.

With that in mind, we recommend spending 5 to 10 minutes outlining your synthesis essay . If you use a bare-bones outline like the one below, labeling each piece of content that you need to include in your essay draft, you should be able to develop out the most important pieces of the synthesis before you even draft the actual essay.

To help you see how this can work on test day, we've created a sample outline for you. You can even memorize this outline to help you out on test day! In the outline below, you'll find places to fill in a thesis statement, body paragraph topic sentences, evidence from the sources provided, and commentary :

  • Present the context surrounding the essay topic in a couple of sentences (this is a good place to use what you learned about the major opinions or controversies about the topic from reading your sources).
  • Write a straightforward, clear, and concise thesis statement that presents your stance on the topic
  • Topic sentence presenting first supporting point or claim
  • Evidence #1
  • Commentary on Evidence #1
  • Evidence #2 (if needed)
  • Commentary on Evidence #2 (if needed)
  • Topic sentence presenting second supporting point or claim
  • Topic sentence presenting three supporting point or claim
  • Sums up the main line of reasoning that you developed and defended throughout the essay
  • Reiterates the thesis statement

Taking the time to develop these crucial pieces of the synthesis in a bare-bones outline will give you a map for your final essay. Once you have a map, writing the essay will be much easier.

Step 5: Draft Your Essay Response

The great thing about taking a few minutes to develop an outline is that you can develop it out into your essay draft. After you take about 5 to 10 minutes to outline your synthesis essay, you can use the remaining 30 to 35 minutes to draft your essay and review it.

Since you'll outline your essay before you start drafting, writing the essay should be pretty straightforward. You'll already know how many paragraphs you're going to write, what the topic of each paragraph will be, and what quotations, paraphrases, or summaries you're going to include in each paragraph from the sources provided. You'll just have to fill in one of the most important parts of your synthesis—your commentary.

Commentaries are your explanation of why your evidence supports the argument you've outlined in your thesis. Your commentary is where you actually make your argument, which is why it's such a critical part of your synthesis essay.

When thinking about what to say in your commentary, remember one thing the AP Lang synthesis essay prompt specifies: don't just summarize the sources. Instead, as you provide commentary on the evidence you incorporate, you need to explain how that evidence supports or undermines your thesis statement . You should include commentary that offers a thoughtful or novel perspective on the evidence from your sources to develop your argument.

One very important thing to remember as you draft out your essay is to cite your sources. The AP Lang exam synthesis essay prompt indicates that you can use generic labels for the sources provided (e.g. "Source 1," "Source 2," "Source 3," etc.). The exam prompt will indicate which label corresponds with which source, so you'll need to make sure you pay attention and cite sources accurately. You can cite your sources in the sentence where you introduce a quote, summary, or paraphrase, or you can use a parenthetical citation. Citing your sources affects your score on the synthesis essay, so remembering to do this is important.


Keep reading for a real-life example of a great AP synthesis essay response!

Real-Life AP Synthesis Essay Example and Analysis

If you're still wondering how to write a synthesis essay, examples of real essays from past AP Lang exams can make things clearer. These real-life student AP synthesis essay responses can be great for helping you understand how to write a synthesis essay that will knock the graders' socks off .

While there are multiple essay examples online, we've chosen one to take a closer look at. We're going to give you a brief analysis of one of these example student synthesis essays from the 2019 AP Lang Exam below!

Example Synthesis Essay AP Lang Response

To get started, let's look at the official prompt for the 2019 synthesis essay:

In response to our society's increasing demand for energy, large-scale wind power has drawn attention from governments and consumers as a potential alternative to traditional materials that fuel our power grids, such as coal, oil, natural gas, water, or even newer sources such as nuclear or solar power. Yet the establishment of large-scale, commercial-grade wind farms is often the subject of controversy for a variety of reasons.

Carefully read the six sources, found on the AP English Language and Composition 2019 Exam (Question 1), including the introductory information for each source. Write an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources and develops your position on the most important factors that an individual or agency should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Source A (photo) Source B (Layton) Source C (Seltenrich) Source D (Brown) Source E (Rule) Source F (Molla)

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis presents a defensible position.
  • Select and use evidence from at least 3 of the provided sources to support your line of reasoning. Indicate clearly the sources used through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Sources may be cited as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the description in parentheses.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Now that you know exactly what the prompt asked students to do on the 2019 AP Lang synthesis essay, here's an AP Lang synthesis essay example, written by a real student on the AP Lang exam in 2019:

[1] The situation has been known for years, and still very little is being done: alternative power is the only way to reliably power the changing world. The draw of power coming from industry and private life is overwhelming current sources of non-renewable power, and with dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, it is merely a matter of time before coal and gas fuel plants are no longer in operation. So one viable alternative is wind power. But as with all things, there are pros and cons. The main factors for power companies to consider when building wind farms are environmental boon, aesthetic, and economic factors.

[2] The environmental benefits of using wind power are well-known and proven. Wind power is, as qualified by Source B, undeniably clean and renewable. From their production requiring very little in the way of dangerous materials to their lack of fuel, besides that which occurs naturally, wind power is by far one of the least environmentally impactful sources of power available. In addition, wind power by way of gearbox and advanced blade materials, has the highest percentage of energy retention. According to Source F, wind power retains 1,164% of the energy put into the system – meaning that it increases the energy converted from fuel (wind) to electricity 10 times! No other method of electricity production is even half that efficient. The efficiency and clean nature of wind power are important to consider, especially because they contribute back to power companies economically.

[3] Economically, wind power is both a boon and a bone to electric companies and other users. For consumers, wind power is very cheap, leading to lower bills than from any other source. Consumers also get an indirect reimbursement by way of taxes (Source D). In one Texan town, McCamey, tax revenue increased 30% from a wind farm being erected in the town. This helps to finance improvements to the town. But, there is no doubt that wind power is also hurting the power companies. Although, as renewable power goes, wind is incredibly cheap, it is still significantly more expensive than fossil fuels. So, while it is helping to cut down on emissions, it costs electric companies more than traditional fossil fuel plants. While the general economic trend is positive, there are some setbacks which must be overcome before wind power can take over as truly more effective than fossil fuels.

[4] Aesthetics may be the greatest setback for power companies. Although there may be significant economic and environmental benefit to wind power, people will always fight to preserve pure, unspoiled land. Unfortunately, not much can be done to improve the visual aesthetics of the turbines. White paint is the most common choice because it "[is] associated with cleanliness." (Source E). But, this can make it stand out like a sore thumb, and make the gargantuan machines seem more out of place. The site can also not be altered because it affects generating capacity. Sound is almost worse of a concern because it interrupts personal productivity by interrupting people's sleep patterns. One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support.

[5] As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and the consequences. But, by balancing economics, efficiency, and aesthetics, power companies can create a solution which balances human impact with environmental preservation.

And that's an entire AP Lang synthesis essay example, written in response to a real AP Lang exam prompt! It's important to remember AP Lang exam synthesis essay prompts are always similarly structured and worded, and students often respond in around the same number of paragraphs as what you see in the example essay response above.

Next, let's analyze this example essay and talk about what it does effectively, where it could be improved upon, and what score past exam scorers awarded it.

To get started on an analysis of the sample synthesis essay, let's look at the scoring commentary provided by the College Board:

  • For development of thesis, the essay received 1 out of 1 possible points
  • For evidence and commentary, the essay received 4 out of 4 possible points
  • For sophistication of thought, the essay received 0 out of 1 possible points.

This means that the final score for this example essay was a 5 out of 6 possible points . Let's look more closely at the content of the example essay to figure out why it received this score breakdown.

Thesis Development

The thesis statement is one of the three main categories that is taken into consideration when you're awarded points on this portion of the exam. This sample essay received 1 out of 1 total points.

Now, here's why: the thesis statement clearly and concisely conveys a position on the topic presented in the prompt--alternative energy and wind power--and defines the most important factors that power companies should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm.

Evidence and Commentary

The second key category taken into consideration when synthesis exams are evaluated is incorporation of evidence and commentary. This sample received 4 out of 4 possible points for this portion of the synthesis essay. At bare minimum, this sample essay meets the requirement mentioned in the prompt that the writer incorporate evidence from at least three of the sources provided.

On top of that, the writer does a good job of connecting the incorporated evidence back to the claim made in the thesis statement through effective commentary. The commentary in this sample essay is effective because it goes beyond just summarizing what the provided sources say. Instead, it explains and analyzes the evidence presented in the selected sources and connects them back to supporting points the writer makes in each body paragraph.

Finally, the writer of the essay also received points for evidence and commentary because the writer developed and supported a consistent line of reasoning throughout the essay . This line of reasoning is summed up in the fourth paragraph in the following sentence: "One thing for power companies to consider is working with turbine manufacturing to make the machines less aesthetically impactful, so as to garner greater public support."

Because the writer did a good job consistently developing their argument and incorporating evidence, they received full marks in this category. So far, so good!

Sophistication of Thought

Now, we know that this essay received a score of 5 out of 6 total points, and the place where the writer lost a point was on the basis of sophistication of thought, for which the writer received 0 out of 1 points. That's because this sample essay makes several generalizations and vague claims where it could have instead made specific claims that support a more balanced argument.

For example, in the following sentence from the 5th paragraph of the sample essay, the writer misses the opportunity to state specific possibilities that power companies should consider for wind energy . Instead, the writer is ambiguous and non-committal, saying, "As with most things, wind power has no easy answer. It is the responsibility of the companies building them to weigh the benefits and consequences."

If the writer of this essay was interested in trying to get that 6th point on the synthesis essay response, they could consider making more specific claims. For instance, they could state the specific benefits and consequences power companies should consider when deciding whether to establish a wind farm. These could include things like environmental impacts, economic impacts, or even population density!

Despite losing one point in the last category, this example synthesis essay is a strong one. It's well-developed, thoughtfully written, and advances an argument on the exam topic using evidence and support throughout.


4 Tips for How to Write a Synthesis Essay

AP Lang is a timed exam, so you have to pick and choose what you want to focus on in the limited time you're given to write the synthesis essay. Keep reading to get our expert advice on what you should focus on during your exam.

Tip 1: Read the Prompt First

It may sound obvious, but when you're pressed for time, it's easy to get flustered. Just remember: when it comes time to write the synthesis essay, read the prompt first !

Why is it so important to read the prompt before you read the sources? Because when you're aware of what kind of question you're trying to answer, you'll be able to read the sources more strategically. The prompt will help give you a sense of what claims, points, facts, or opinions to be looking for as you read the sources.

Reading the sources without having read the prompt first is kind of like trying to drive while wearing a blindfold: you can probably do it, but it's likely not going to end well!

Tip 2: Make Notes While You Read

During the 15-minute reading period at the beginning of the synthesis essay, you'll be reading through the sources as quickly as you can. After all, you're probably anxious to start writing!

While it's definitely important to make good use of your time, it's also important to read closely enough that you understand your sources. Careful reading will allow you to identify parts of the sources that will help you support your thesis statement in your essay, too.

As you read the sources, consider marking helpful passages with a star or check mark in the margins of the exam so you know which parts of the text to quickly re-read as you form your synthesis essay. You might also consider summing up the key points or position of each source in a sentence or a few words when you finish reading each source during the reading period. Doing so will help you know where each source stands on the topic given and help you pick the three (or more!) that will bolster your synthesis argument.

Tip 3: Start With the Thesis Statement

If you don't start your synthesis essay with a strong thesis statement, it's going to be tough to write an effective synthesis essay. As soon as you finish reading and annotating the provided sources, the thing you want to do next is write a strong thesis statement.

According to the CollegeBoard grading guidelines for the AP Lang synthesis essay, a strong thesis statement will respond to the prompt— not restate or rephrase the prompt. A good thesis will take a clear, defensible position on the topic presented in the prompt and the sources.

In other words, to write a solid thesis statement to guide the rest of your synthesis essay, you need to think about your position on the topic at hand and then make a claim about the topic based on your position. This position will either be defending, challenging, or qualifying the claim made in the essay's prompt.

The defensible position that you establish in your thesis statement will guide your argument in the rest of the essay, so it's important to do this first. Once you have a strong thesis statement, you can begin outlining your essay.

Tip 4: Focus on Your Commentary

Writing thoughtful, original commentary that explains your argument and your sources is important. In fact, doing this well will earn you four points (out of a total of six)!

AP Lang provides six to seven sources for you on the exam, and you'll be expected to incorporate quotations, paraphrases, or summaries from at least three of those sources into your synthesis essay and interpret that evidence for the reader.

While incorporating evidence is very important, in order to get the extra point for "sophistication of thought" on the synthesis essay, it's important to spend more time thinking about your commentary on the evidence you choose to incorporate. The commentary is your chance to show original thinking, strong rhetorical skills, and clearly explain how the evidence you've included supports the stance you laid out in your thesis statement.

To earn the 6th possible point on the synthesis essay, make sure your commentary demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the source material, explains this nuanced understanding, and places the evidence incorporated from the sources in conversation with each other. To do this, make sure you're avoiding vague language. Be specific when you can, and always tie your commentary back to your thesis!


What's Next?

There's a lot more to the AP Language exam than just the synthesis essay. Be sure to check out our expert guide to the entire exam , then learn more about the tricky multiple choice section .

Is the AP Lang exam hard...or is it easy? See how it stacks up to other AP tests on our list of the hardest AP exams .

Did you know there are technically two English AP exams? You can learn more about the second English AP test, the AP Literature exam, in this article . And if you're confused about whether you should take the AP Lang or AP Lit test , we can help you make that decision, too.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

A synthesis essay requires you to work with multiple sources. You combine the information gathered from them to present a well-rounded argument on a topic. Are you looking for the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing? You’ve come to the right place!

In this guide by our custom writing team, you will find:

  • a step-by-step writing guide;
  • a list of 34 synthesis essay topics;
  • a full essay sample in MLA format.
  • 📚 Synthesis Essay Definition
  • 📝 Essay Types
  • ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
  • ✍️ Topics & Prompts
  • 📑 Example & Formatting Tips

📚 What Is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is an assignment that requires a unique interpretation of a particular topic using several reliable sources. To write it, you need to understand, analyze, and synthesize information. That is why this type of essay is used in the AP Lang exam to assess students’ reasoning skills.

The key features of the synthesis essay are:

  • Debatable topic . If your goal is to write a good synthesis essay, it’s necessary to choose an arguable topic. It’s best to choose something that people have different opinions about. This will allow you to use many sources with various viewpoints for your synthesis.
  • Clear thesis statement. It’s a sentence that briefly describes the main idea of your essay.
  • Reliable sources to prove your thesis . For a synthesis essay, your opinion is not enough. You also need to find the evidence. Keep in mind that simply reading an online encyclopedia won’t do; make sure to choose only reliable sources.

What Does It Mean to Synthesize Information?

Synthesis is a process that has huge importance in nature, science, and our everyday life. The word stems from Ancient Greek “synthesis,” which means “putting together.” In general, synthesis is the combination of components to form a connected whole.

The picture shows examples of synthesis usage in various spheres: biochemistry, physics, and sound creation.

In everyday life, we usually resort to it to synthesize information . This means taking the data from different sources and bringing it together. This process is the opposite of analyzing:

  • For an analysis , you break problems into pieces,
  • For a synthesis , you combine separate elements into a whole.

We use synthesis for analysis papers, research papers, argument papers, and business reports.

What Does Synthesis Mean in Writing?

Synthesis in writing means summarizing and connecting different sources considering a particular topic. Although synthesis and analysis are two opposite things, they usually go together in synthesis essays. The process consists of 2 stages:

  • Conduct the analysis. For that, you break down a problem into parts and analyze the sources. It’s helpful to highlight everything regarding your topic while reading.
  • Carry out the synthesis. The next step is to formulate an opinion and combine the highlighted information from the sources.

Synthesis is not only used in writing but also in reading comprehension . It’s useful to do this kind of reading while studying your sources. There are three reading comprehension stages:

  • Your previous knowledge about the topic.
  • Expansion of your knowledge while you are reading.
  • Understanding of the problem when you have finished reading.

So, synthesized reading comprehension means combining three stages in one and formulating one statement.

Synthesis vs Summary: What Is the Difference?

A summary is a paraphrasing of the written source in your own words. For a good summary, it’s necessary to include all of the text’s key elements. Meanwhile, synthesis means combining different ideas from different sources. You don’t have to include all the key points; just choose everything related to your topic.

The picture explains the difference between a synthesis and a summary.

Both of these techniques are used for the synthesis essay:

  • The summary goes in the conclusion. You briefly sum up your paper’s main ideas.
  • Synthesis goes in the body paragraphs. Here, you combine multiple sources to prove a point.

📝 Synthesis Essay Types

There are two main types of a synthesis essay: argument and explanatory synthesis.

Both of them require working with multiple reliable sources and analyzing information. The only difference is that an argument synthesis essay requires your own opinion, while an explanatory synthesis essay does not.

Argument Synthesis Essay: Outline and Definition

As you already know, an argument synthesis essay requires you to state your own opinion about the given topic and back it up with several reliable sources. The purpose of such an essay is to persuade the reader that your point is correct.

Here’s what an argument synthesis essay consists of:

Explanatory Synthesis Essay: Definition and How to Write

An explanatory informative synthesis essay requires you to stay neutral towards the problem you are discussing. This means you cannot express your own opinion considering the given question or a problem. Your task is just to inform the reader. That’s why this essay type is also called informative synthesis.

Check out this explanatory essay outline:

✅ How to Write a Synthesis Essay Step by Step

When it comes to the synthesis essay outline, it’s not too different from other assignments. Have a look at this template:

The picture shows a synthesis essay outline: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

How to Synthesize: Working with Sources

After you’ve decided on your topic, it’s time to figure out how to synthesize articles into one text. This is how you do it:

  • Choose reliable sources: the ones printed in journals or published on academic websites.
  • Become familiar with them and see if they fit into your essay.
  • Try to find a few sources for each point. It will increase your essay’s reliability.
  • Relate each source to your arguments and see similarities between them.
  • Don’t forget to list every source in the references.

When you are done with a comprehensive analysis of related literature, try to step back and imagine a person who has a different opinion on this topic. Think of some arguments that they can provide to prove their opinion. After you have the list of arguments, find the written evidence of why they are wrong and put them in your essay.

Analyzing and organizing sources is the first and very important step for the synthesis essay. So make sure you do understand what the text means before using it as a reference.

Synthesis Essay Outline: How to Write

For structuring your essay, it’s useful to try mapping . This technique means combining the information from different sources and rearranging it to create a new direction. To do it, you need to analyze the authors’ ideas and come up with your own conclusions.

The best way to do that is called synthesis matrix or graphic organizer. It’s a chart that you can make when you start working on your essay. Here you have a horizontal column that states the main ideas and a few vertical columns that present sources. Your task is to take sources you have chosen and write down the main ideas from them.

Here’s an example of a matrix chart:

While doing that, you will see how many sources contain the same ideas. When you analyze them, you will be able to formulate your thesis backed up with evidence. The synthesis matrix also helps to see new arguments you can cover in your synthesis paper.

How to Write an Introduction for a Synthesis Essay

Now it’s time to start writing the paper. In the introductory part of the essay, you can include:

  • A short yet catchy sentence or a quotation that would present the topic. The start of your essay should make people interested. It’s best to make the first sentence not only informative but also easy to understand.
  • The texts that are used for the essay. Provide the titles and the authors’ names (use the appropriate guidelines depending on the writing style.)
  • The background information which is needed to understand your essay. Definitions of terms or unknown words considering the topic can be included in this part. Otherwise, people may find it hard to understand what they are reading about.

How to Write a Thesis for a Synthesis Essay

A thesis statement is a point of view on a certain problem that you will defend in your essay. It should contain the key points that you want to include in your paper. Here’s how to create a perfect thesis statement:

  • Find several central ideas in the chart.
  • Choose the ones that are repeated the most often and the ones that you feel need to be in your essay.
  • Combine them, and you have a thesis statement with all the key points.
  • Make a draft of the thesis statement. Try to formulate the main idea you want to present in your essay.
  • Elaborate on this idea. Add some details and expand it a bit further.

If the whole picture is coherent, and it conveys exactly what you wanted, then this is your perfect thesis statement. See the example below:

Gender inequality still exists at the workplace: women are less likely to get the most responsible positions, easily lose careers due to maternity leave, and often receive less pay for the same amount of work.

How to Write Synthesis Paragraphs for the Main Body

Your essay’s main body consists of a few paragraphs. Each of them presents a different argument considering the topic. When you start a paragraph, make sure to begin with a topic sentence, which informs the reader about the paragraph’s main idea. Then, include the synthesized sources and elaborate on them.

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when writing the main body:

You can use the following words to present the ideas from your sources. They will help you reflect the authors’ tone:

How to Conclude a Synthesis Essay

There are quite a few ways to conclude the synthesis paper. Have a look at some of the options:

  • Paraphrase the thesis. As you remember, the thesis is the main idea of your essay. The conclusion is a good place to remind your readers about it. When they are done with the reading, they remember the most important thing from your essay.
  • Synthesize the arguments. There is no need to repeat everything you wrote in your essay. Just briefly summarize the most crucial points.
  • Answer the “So what” question. Tell the readers why this topic matters, why you’ve chosen it, and why it’s valuable for the reader.
  • Provide a closure. It’s an effective strategy when you want to make the reader think. Leave them with a strong statement at the end of your essay.

Synthesis Paper Proofreading Tips

When you have finally written your paper, there is still one important thing left to do. You need to check your paper for any grammatical and contextual mistakes. You certainly can do it yourself, but it would be perfect if you could ask somebody else to read it.

The first thing you need to check grammar-wise is the tense you are using. There is no single tense you need to use for the synthesis essay. It depends on the format:

  • If you’re writing in MLA format, use the present tense;
  • For APA essays, you use the past tense.

The next step is to check whether your synthesis essay has everything that’s required. For that, we have prepared the checklist of questions you can ask yourself to proofread your essays.

  • Is there a clear thesis statement?
  • Did you include all of the key points from the synthesis?
  • Are there clear transitions between paragraphs?
  • Did you organize a paragraph around a single idea?
  • Did you use reliable and up-to-date sources?
  • Did you analyze sources rather than just summarize them?
  • Did you mention every source you’ve used?

If you’ve answered “yes” to all the questions—congratulations, you are done with the essay! Otherwise, you need to come back and fix everything that you’ve answered “no” to.

✍️ Synthesis Essay Topics and Prompts

Sometimes, when you don’t have a topic , it is tough to come up with a suitable idea. That is why we have prepared two lists of topics that you can use for any synthesis essay type.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topics

The topics below are suitable for an explanatory synthesis essay:

  • The beginning of Hollywood cinema . Cinema is a huge industry in the USA. Tell the readers about its history. Describe what it was like in the beginning, which movie was the first one, and who started this industry.
  • Tactics on dealing with noisy children. Sometimes kids can be very loud, especially in public places. Write about different tactics that can help with this issue.
  • The effects of climate change on the water cycle.  Climate change has affected the water cycle significantly. Your task is to explain how.
  • The best American cities to live in. Provide the list of the best cities and explain why you’ve included them.
  • The importance of a healthy diet . Keeping a healthy diet is beneficial in many ways. Write about all the advantages it brings.
  • Who can become an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. In this essay, you can describe the qualities needed for having your own business.
  • The correlation between overpopulation and poverty . Describe how overpopulation leads to poverty and vice versa.
  • The advantages of taking an active vacation.
  • Cultural shock as a part of moving to a different country.
  • The consequences of the first wave of feminism.
  • Synthesis of Tan and Rodriguez’ essays ideas.
  • Difficulties you may encounter during the job interview.
  • How does reading prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
  • The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.
  • The connection between religion and politics in ruling the country.
  • What can non-verbal signals tell you about a person? 
  • The psychology of leadership .
  • The origins of the most common  stereotypes  about Americans.
  •  Role of social media in business communication. 
  • The synthesis of personal nursing philosophy concept.
  • Behavioral components of schizophrenia and psychosis. 
  • Main components of successful entrepreneurship.
  • Critical components of scientific research.  
  • Change in religion and human beliefs throughout history.  
  • The effect of global warming on modern life. 

Argument Synthesis Paper Topics

The list of topics for the Argument Synthesis Essay:

  • Vaping is better than smoking. People are starting to exchange cigarettes for vapes and e-cigarettes. In what ways are they less harmful?
  • Rich people should pay higher taxes. The same percentage of money doesn’t equal for rich and poor people. Explain why the ones who can afford more should share with others.
  • Depression is a disease. Prove that psychological problems must be recognized as real health issues that should be cured and not ignored.
  • Social media affects young people’s lives. Social media has a massive influence on people. In this essay, you can discuss which life spheres are the most affected.
  • Beauty pageants should be banned. Provide the reasons why they should be banned and tell the reader about psychological problems they can cause.
  • People should cut meat from their diet to stop global warming. Describe how the meat industry influences climate change.
  • The voting age should be 25+. Your task is to show the reasons why the votes of people under 25 should not be taken into account during elections.
  • A healthy lifestyle requires a lot of money.
  • Each healthy man should serve in the military.
  • School bullying should be punished by immediate exclusion.
  • Does friendship exist between men and women?
  • Drinking coffee is a bad habit.
  • Working hard is more important than being talented.
  • Everybody should visit a therapist at least once.
  • Should universities be free?
  • Artificial intelligence will cause huge unemployment rates.
  • Gaming should not be allowed to children under 18.
  • Components and strategies of social responsibility
  • Integration of relevant ethical theory and conceptual principles in health care
  • Children under 10 should be banned from gadgets .
  • Social media platforms facilitate cyberbullying.  
  • Issues of distance education. 
  • Social media addiction is a serious disease.
  • Deforestation critically contributes to global warming. 
  • Healthcare should be free for everyone.  

📑 Synthesis Essay Example & Synthesis Essay Format Tips

Now let’s talk about formatting. There are two writing styles you can use for a synthesis essay: APA or MLA. You need to choose the one that is required for your assignment.

We will start with the paper in APA format. It is usually used in science and education.

And these are MLA formatting rules:

Finally, we’ve prepared a synthesis essay sample for you to check out. Feel free to download the PDF file below:

First introduced in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affirmative action policies aim to mitigate the discrepancy in opportunities available for underrepresented social groups by taking into account one’s minority background. The policies have become a pressing public issue that obstructs previously marginalized individuals, particularly in the educational environment.

Thank you for reading the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing. We hope you found it helpful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends. Good luck with your assignments!

🔍 References

  • Writing a Synthesis Essay: Bowling Green State University
  • What Is Synthesis: University of Manitoba
  • Synthesis: Biology Online
  • Reading Strategies: Difference Summarizing and Synthesizing: WordPress
  • Summary, Analysis, Synthesis Definitions: University of Utah
  • Argumentative Synthesis: University of Arkansas
  • How to Synthesize Written Information: Simply Psychology
  • Mapping of Synthesis Essay: University of Nevada, Reno
  • Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix: Florida International University
  • Synthesis Essay: Cleveland State University
  • Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources: Louisiana State University
  • Writing a Conclusion: Texas Women’s University
  • General APA Guidelines: Purdue University
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analysis in synthesis essay

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Definition, Format, and Structure

How to Write a Synthesis Essay

If you're a student or a writer, you've probably come across a synthesis essay. It is a type of academic writing that involves combining different sources of information to form a cohesive argument. In this article, our writers will guide you through the process of writing a perfect paper!

What Is a Synthesis Essay?

Synthesis essay writing is a crucial skill that every student should master. It involves combining different pieces of information from various sources to create a new argument that is unique and well-researched. To briefly address what is a synthesis essay, think of it as putting together a puzzle – you gather all the pieces and arrange them in a way that creates a new image.

Now that we've established a synthesis essay definition, let's further explain this type of writing. One of the key elements of a successful synthesis essay is having a clear understanding of the sources you are using and how they relate to the topic you're writing about. Before you start writing, it's essential to read and understand all the sources you plan to use. This includes identifying the main ideas and themes discussed in each source, as well as how they relate to each other.

Another critical aspect of synthesis writing is the ability to analyze the sources critically. This means not only summarizing the information but also evaluating its credibility and relevance to the topic. By doing so, you can create a more compelling argument that is backed up by evidence and research.

When writing a synthesis essay, it's also important to consider the audience you're writing for. Who are you trying to convince? What are their beliefs and values? By understanding your audience, you can tailor your argument to their interests and concerns, making it more persuasive and effective.

Finally, a good paper should have a clear structure that guides the reader through the argument. This includes an introduction that sets up the topic and thesis statement, body paragraphs that present evidence and analysis, and a conclusion that summarizes the main points and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

How To Write A Synthesis Essay: Breaking Down the Process

As already mentioned above, a synthesis essay requires you to combine multiple sources and ideas into a coherent and well-supported argument. To help you tackle this task, we've broken down the process into a few key steps. Follow these steps for a thoughtful and well-written essay:

Choose a topic or question to explore 

The first step in writing synthesis essays is to choose a topic or question that you want to explore. This can be a broad topic, such as climate change, or a more specific question, such as the impact of social media on mental health. Whatever topic you choose, make sure it is something that you are interested in and passionate about. Once you have chosen your topic, it's time to start collecting sources.

Collect and analyze sources

A synthesis essay requires you to use multiple sources to support your argument. These sources can include articles, books, interviews, and even data sets. It's important to choose sources that are credible and relevant to your topic.

Once you have collected your sources, it's time to analyze them. Look for common themes and arguments, as well as any gaps or inconsistencies in the information. This will help you develop your own argument and identify areas where you need more research.

Create an outline

Before you start composing your essay, it's important to create an essay outline format . This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your paper is well-structured. Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

In your introduction, you should provide background information on your topic and clearly state your thesis statement. The body paragraphs should each focus on a different aspect of your argument and include evidence from your sources. Finally, your conclusion should summarize your main points and restate your thesis in a new way.

Compose the essay

With your synthesis essay outline in hand, it's time to start writing your essay. Make sure to use clear and concise language and to support your arguments with evidence from your sources. It's also important to cite your sources properly, whether it's APA format citation or Chicago format , and use the style specified by your instructor.

As you write, don't be afraid to revise and edit your work. A good essay is the result of multiple drafts and revisions.

Review and revise

Once you have finished your essay, it's important to review and revise it. Look for any errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling, and make sure that your arguments are well-supported and logically organized.

You may also want to have someone else read your essay and provide feedback. This can help you identify areas where your argument could be stronger or where you need more evidence.

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analysis in synthesis essay

Synthesis Essay Types

The different types of synthesis essays offer a range of approaches and strategies for synthesizing information from multiple sources. Here are some examples:

synthesis essay types

  • Argumentative Synthesis Essay: An argumentative synthesis essay requires you to present a strong argument or claim based on the synthesis of multiple sources. You can order ' write my argumentative essay ' service and our writers will gather information from various sources that have different perspectives or viewpoints on a specific topic.
  • Explanatory Synthesis Essay: In an explanatory synthesis essay, the focus is on explaining a topic or concept by synthesizing information from multiple sources carefully. This type of synthesis essay emphasizes the clarity of explanations, organization of ideas, and the ability to present complex information in a coherent and accessible manner.
  • Review Synthesis Essay: A review synthesis essay involves the synthesis of sources to provide a comprehensive review or critique of a particular subject, such as a book, film, or scientific research. In this type of essay, you will analyze and synthesize information from different sources to evaluate and assess the topic under review.

Synthesis Essay Structure

When it comes to writing an effective essay, it's important to have a clear understanding of the structure that you should follow. This type of essay typically follows a typical essay structure, which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. However, there are some important elements that you need to keep in mind when learning how to write a synthesis essay.

The Introduction

In the introduction, which serves as a starting point for your essay, you lay the foundation for your argument by providing a comprehensive overview of the topic and presenting a strong thesis statement. This crucial section, which addresses how to start a synthesis essay, acquaints your readers with the subject matter and highlights your main argument. Furthermore, your synthesis essay introduction outline offers a glimpse into the sources you will employ to support your position.

For instance, if your synthesis essay thesis is about the impact of social media on society, your introduction could begin by providing a brief history of social media platforms and their rapid integration into everyday life. Then, you would present a thesis statement that clearly states your stance on the topic, such as:

'While social media has revolutionized communication and connected people globally, its pervasive influence has raised concerns about privacy, mental health, and the erosion of face-to-face interactions.'

This thesis statement succinctly conveys your position and serves as a roadmap for the subsequent sections of your essay.

After learning how to write a thesis statement , it's time to move on to the next part. The body of your synthesis essay is where you delve into the wealth of sources you have gathered, showcasing how they interrelate with your thesis. Here, you substantiate your argument by presenting evidence and support derived from the collected sources.

To maintain a cohesive and organized structure, arrange your body paragraphs in a logical manner, grouping together sources that share similar ideas or arguments. Smooth transitions between paragraphs will assist readers in comprehending the flow of your argument.

When discussing each source, provide a succinct summary of its main points, followed by a comprehensive analysis of how it bolsters your thesis. Additionally, it is crucial to acknowledge any potential weaknesses or counterarguments to your position and address them thoughtfully within your analysis.

For example, if your synthesis essay explores the impact of technology on privacy, one body paragraph might analyze a scholarly article that discusses the erosion of personal privacy due to the widespread use of social media platforms and data collection practices. You would summarize the article's main findings regarding privacy concerns and analyze how these findings align with your thesis statement.

In another paragraph, you might examine a case study that illustrates the potential consequences of privacy breaches, emphasizing the need for stronger data protection regulations. By effectively integrating a variety of sources and critically analyzing their relevance, you strengthen your argument and provide a well-rounded perspective.

The Conclusion

In the conclusion of your synthesis essay, you consolidate your argument and explore the broader context and implications of your findings. This section serves as the final opportunity to weave together the various strands of your argument and present a compelling case for your position.

To ensure clarity and coherence, refrain from introducing new information in your conclusion, as this may confuse your readers. Instead, emphasize the key points you have established throughout your entire paper and illustrate how they reinforce your thesis statement.

For instance, if your synthesis essay explores the effects of climate change, your conclusion should restate the main consequences of global warming, such as rising temperatures, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. Then, you would emphasize the significance of addressing climate change through collective action, policy changes, and sustainable practices. By effectively summarizing your main arguments and emphasizing their implications, you reaffirm the strength of your thesis.

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analysis in synthesis essay

Synthesis Essay Writing Tips

Here are ten tips from our experts to follow when writing a synthesis essay. Some of them have already been highlighted in the text but are worth repeating.

  • Choose good sources: You want to use sources with valuable information. The data must be valid and not have been proved wrong elsewhere. Don't be afraid to do extensive research. Read widely, then synthesize the information. Try to use multiple sources that provide evidence that support multiple angles. And don't forget to provide evidence that is suitable for use in research papers and not just in some online debate.
  • Having an outline is vital: You will get a basic idea of how to organize your thoughts by coming up with a synthesis essay outline. You will also know if you have enough points in your essay or if you need more. With an overview of the themes, you can organize them into whatever structure you feel is best.

synthesis essay writing tips

You might think you can skip creating a synthesis essay outline, but even when you're in a hurry, taking a moment to draft one can be beneficial.

Here are a few extra tips to help you write a successful synthesis essay:

1. Thoroughly understand the prompt: Take the time to carefully read and comprehend the synthesis essay prompt. Identify the key requirements, such as the specific topic, sources to include, or the type of argument expected.

2 .Conduct comprehensive research: Explore a wide range of credible sources, including scholarly articles, books, reports, and reputable websites. Ensure you gather diverse perspectives on the topic to enrich your synthesis.

3. Utilize effective source integration: Seamlessly incorporate evidence from your sources to support your arguments. Use paraphrasing, summarizing, and direct quotations while maintaining proper citation practices.

4. Identify connections and patterns: Look for common themes, ideas, or patterns across your sources. Identify connections between different viewpoints or evidence to synthesize information effectively.

5. Analyze and evaluate sources critically: Assess the credibility, reliability, and biases of your sources. Consider the strengths and limitations of each source and evaluate their relevance to your thesis.

6. Address counterarguments: Acknowledge opposing viewpoints or counterarguments and respond to them in a fair and convincing manner. This demonstrates your ability to engage with multiple perspectives and strengthen your argument.

7. Maintain a balanced and objective tone: Strive for an objective tone throughout your essay. Present evidence, arguments, and analysis in a balanced manner, avoiding personal biases or emotional language.

Mastering how to write synthesis essay may pose challenges at first, yet by adhering to the following steps and tips, you can confidently create a polished piece. Take care to meticulously analyze your sources, construct a comprehensive outline, and establish a coherent structure that bolsters your argument.

And if you find yourself struggling with the complexities of writing a synthesis essay or are pressed for time, don't hesitate to reach out to us with your ' write my essay for me ' request. Our team is ready to provide the assistance you need!

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analysis in synthesis essay

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Learning about Synthesis Analysis

What D oes Synthesis and Analysis Mean?

Synthesis: the combination of ideas to

Synthesis, Analysis, and Evaluation

  • show commonalities or patterns

Analysis: a detailed examination

  • of elements, ideas, or the structure of something
  • can be a basis for discussion or interpretation

Synthesis and Analysis: combine and examine ideas to

  • show how commonalities, patterns, and elements fit together
  • form a unified point for a theory, discussion, or interpretation
  • develop an informed evaluation of the idea by presenting several different viewpoints and/or ideas

Key Resource: Synthesis Matrix

Synthesis Matrix

A synthesis matrix is an excellent tool to use to organize sources by theme and to be able to see the similarities and differences as well as any important patterns in the methodology and recommendations for future research. Using a synthesis matrix can assist you not only in synthesizing and analyzing,  but it can also aid you in finding a researchable problem and gaps in methodology and/or research.

Synthesis Matrix

Use the Synthesis Matrix Template attached below to organize your research by theme and look for patterns in your sources .Use the companion handout, "Types of Articles" to aid you in identifying the different article types for the sources you are using in your matrix. If you have any questions about how to use the synthesis matrix, sign up for the synthesis analysis group session to practice using them with Dr. Sara Northern!

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13+ Winning Synthesis Essay Examples For Your Inspiration

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Learn How to Write a Synthesis Essay Step by Step

Best Synthesis Essay Topics and Prompt Ideas

Synthesis Essay Outline - Template and Examples

Are you struggling to make sense of synthesis essays, unsure where to begin, or how to enhance your writing?

Many students face the challenge of feeling overwhelmed when trying to blend diverse ideas and sources seamlessly. It can be challenging to create a cohesive piece that draws from various perspectives.

But fear not! 

In this blog, we will provide you with winning synthesis essay examples and valuable insights to enhance your essay writing skills.

So, let’s get started. 

Arrow Down

  • 1. Understanding What A Synthesis Essay Is
  • 2. Synthesis Essay Examples
  • 3. Synthesis Essay Topics - Examples
  • 4. Tips for Writing an Effective Synthesis Essay

Understanding What A Synthesis Essay Is

A synthesis essay is a special kind of academic writing where writers blend ideas and information from various sources to create a clear and organized argument.

Unlike other types of essays , a synthesis essay demands the integration of various perspectives to form a new understanding or insight. 

It involves critically examining different sources, and synthesizing them to develop a comprehensive viewpoint on a particular topic. 

Looking at synthesis essay examples can really help you write a great essay. Here's an example of a synthesis essay to inspire you in your own writing:

Synthesis Essay Outline Example

An outline is just like a table of content sections on a page. It consists of categories and subcategories of a given topic that the writer plans to cover in the essay. Below is a synthesis essay outline template that explains the synthesis essay outline in detail. Have a look at it.

Thesis For Synthesis Essay Example

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay - Example

In order to write a good synthesis paper, you need to follow the format and proper procedure. The synthesis essay has an introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs with supportive evidence to back up the topic, and a thesis statement.

And a conclusion paragraph where you answer all the questions while referring back to the main thesis.

Check out this sample template; it will help you learn the basics of synthesis essay structure. 

AP English Language and Composition Synthesis Essay Example

The ap lang synthesis essay requires students to analyze information from various sources to discuss the topic of their essay. Refer to the sample AP language synthesis essay to learn how you can write a perfect synthesis essay.

Synthesis Essay Example Ap Lang

2022 Ap Lang Synthesis Essay Example

Synthesis Essay Examples for Different Formats

Knowing how to write synthesis essays in different styles is important. Given below are some examples of synthesis essays in different formats.

APA Format Synthesis Essay Example

APA (American Psychological Association) is a citation style that provides formatting conventions for student and professional papers. Below is a sample example of an APA-style synthesis essay.

MLA Format Synthesis Essay Example

MLA (Modern Language Association) is another referencing style that allows us to cite the sources in a proper format. Here is an MLA-style synthesis essay example to help you learn the basics of this style.

Different Types of Synthesis Essay Examples

Synthesis essays come in various types, each requiring a unique approach. Explore the following synthesis essay examples tailored to different types, offering a comprehensive overview of how to tackle diverse writing tasks:

College Synthesis Essay Example

This sample PDF is to help the college students to learn the outline, format, and structure of the synthesis essay. You can easily download it and save it with you for further usage.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Example

The explanatory synthesis is intended to explain a particular subject in detail to make it easy to understand for people. Refer to the sample essay given below and see what makes it different from a simple synthesis essay.

Argumentative Synthesis Essay Example

The argumentative synthesis is another type of synthesis essay that is intended to present an argument. The writer presents his claim and supports it with facts and evidence to prove it right. Check out the sample essay given below to understand how it is different from a general argumentative essay.

Eminent Domain Synthesis Essay Example

An eminent domain synthesis essay explores the concept of eminent domain, which is the government's authority to take private property for public use. This type of synthesis essay delves into various aspects of eminent domain, considering legal, ethical, and social perspectives. 

Here’s an example:

Synthesis Essay Example About Social Media

This type of synthesis essay explores the impact of social media on individuals and society. It aims to analyze and synthesize information to construct a well-rounded understanding of the role of social media in our lives. Here’s an example of it:

Synthesis Essay Topics - Examples

Choosing a compelling topic is crucial when writing a synthesis essay. Here are some thought-provoking synthesis essay topics that can inspire your writing:

  • The Impact of Technology on Human Interaction
  • Climate Change and Global Sustainability
  • The Role of Social Media in Modern Society
  • The Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics
  • Education Reform: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Impact of Social Movements on Policy Change
  • Healthcare Access: A Global Perspective
  • Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
  • The Influence of Literature on Society
  • The Future of Work: Remote vs. Traditional

Looking for more topics? Check out this blog on synthesis essay topics for inspiration.

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Tips for Writing an Effective Synthesis Essay

Crafting a compelling synthesis essay goes beyond the writing process; it requires strategic planning and meticulous execution. Here are key tips to ensure your synthesis essay stands out:

  • Select Credible Sources

Begin by choosing reliable and credible sources. Ensure that the information you gather is from reputable authors, organizations, or publications to strengthen the foundation of your essay.

  • Background Information is Key

Provide sufficient background information on your chosen topic. Help your readers understand the context and significance of the subject matter before delving into your argument.

  • Develop a Coherent Argument

Focus on building a clear and coherent argument throughout your essay. Ensure that each paragraph contributes to the overall flow and supports your thesis effectively.

  • Support Your with Evidence

A strong synthesis essay requires a well-supported argument. Back up your claims with evidence from your chosen sources, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the topic.

  • Utilize Sources to Support Each Other

Instead of treating sources in isolation, highlight their relationships. Demonstrate how each source complements or contrasts with others, emphasizing the interconnectedness of your information.

  • Synthesis Essay Requires Critical Analysis

Go beyond summarizing your sources; engage in critical analysis. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source and consider their implications for your argument.

  • Ensure a Supported Argument:

Throughout your essay, consistently reinforce your central argument. Every piece of information should contribute to and reinforce the main thesis, creating a cohesive and persuasive narrative.

In conclusion , tackling synthesis essays is easier than it seems when armed with the right knowledge. Use the tips and examples provided to boost your skills and approach these essays with confidence.

But if you ever feel stuck, is here to help. Whether you are looking for an essay writing service for college or university our team of experts is just a click away. They ensure your essays not only meet standards but stand out for their clarity and depth.

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Synthesis Essay

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Synthesizing Sources

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When you look for areas where your sources agree or disagree and try to draw broader conclusions about your topic based on what your sources say, you are engaging in synthesis. Writing a research paper usually requires synthesizing the available sources in order to provide new insight or a different perspective into your particular topic (as opposed to simply restating what each individual source says about your research topic).

Note that synthesizing is not the same as summarizing.  

  • A summary restates the information in one or more sources without providing new insight or reaching new conclusions.
  • A synthesis draws on multiple sources to reach a broader conclusion.

There are two types of syntheses: explanatory syntheses and argumentative syntheses . Explanatory syntheses seek to bring sources together to explain a perspective and the reasoning behind it. Argumentative syntheses seek to bring sources together to make an argument. Both types of synthesis involve looking for relationships between sources and drawing conclusions.

In order to successfully synthesize your sources, you might begin by grouping your sources by topic and looking for connections. For example, if you were researching the pros and cons of encouraging healthy eating in children, you would want to separate your sources to find which ones agree with each other and which ones disagree.

After you have a good idea of what your sources are saying, you want to construct your body paragraphs in a way that acknowledges different sources and highlights where you can draw new conclusions.

As you continue synthesizing, here are a few points to remember:

  • Don’t force a relationship between sources if there isn’t one. Not all of your sources have to complement one another.
  • Do your best to highlight the relationships between sources in very clear ways.
  • Don’t ignore any outliers in your research. It’s important to take note of every perspective (even those that disagree with your broader conclusions).

Example Syntheses

Below are two examples of synthesis: one where synthesis is NOT utilized well, and one where it is.

Parents are always trying to find ways to encourage healthy eating in their children. Elena Pearl Ben-Joseph, a doctor and writer for KidsHealth , encourages parents to be role models for their children by not dieting or vocalizing concerns about their body image. The first popular diet began in 1863. William Banting named it the “Banting” diet after himself, and it consisted of eating fruits, vegetables, meat, and dry wine. Despite the fact that dieting has been around for over a hundred and fifty years, parents should not diet because it hinders children’s understanding of healthy eating.

In this sample paragraph, the paragraph begins with one idea then drastically shifts to another. Rather than comparing the sources, the author simply describes their content. This leads the paragraph to veer in an different direction at the end, and it prevents the paragraph from expressing any strong arguments or conclusions.

An example of a stronger synthesis can be found below.

Parents are always trying to find ways to encourage healthy eating in their children. Different scientists and educators have different strategies for promoting a well-rounded diet while still encouraging body positivity in children. David R. Just and Joseph Price suggest in their article “Using Incentives to Encourage Healthy Eating in Children” that children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they are given a reward (855-856). Similarly, Elena Pearl Ben-Joseph, a doctor and writer for Kids Health , encourages parents to be role models for their children. She states that “parents who are always dieting or complaining about their bodies may foster these same negative feelings in their kids. Try to keep a positive approach about food” (Ben-Joseph). Martha J. Nepper and Weiwen Chai support Ben-Joseph’s suggestions in their article “Parents’ Barriers and Strategies to Promote Healthy Eating among School-age Children.” Nepper and Chai note, “Parents felt that patience, consistency, educating themselves on proper nutrition, and having more healthy foods available in the home were important strategies when developing healthy eating habits for their children.” By following some of these ideas, parents can help their children develop healthy eating habits while still maintaining body positivity.

In this example, the author puts different sources in conversation with one another. Rather than simply describing the content of the sources in order, the author uses transitions (like "similarly") and makes the relationship between the sources evident.

Memorial Day 2024: A soldier’s extraordinary speech on a somber day | Analysis

  • Published: May. 26, 2024, 6:00 a.m.

Staten Island Vietnam War veterans honored Sunday in poignant ceremony

A part of the memorial wall at the Staten Island Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in West Brighton. (Staten Island Advance/Joseph Ostapiuk)

Good Sunday morning, everyone.

As you get ready to throw burgers on the grill for this long holiday weekend, it seemed like a good idea to pause for a moment to remember the meaning of the day that we’re all going to commemorate on Monday.

Unlike Veterans’ Day, a holiday to thank veterans and to pay tribute to the contributions of those who served, Memorial Day is a more somber occasion to honor those who died in service to the nation.

And on Memorial Day 1945, Lt. Gen. Lucian Truscott Jr., commander of the U.S. Fifth Army, delivered what may well be the most moving and iconic of all addresses, according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star .

On that day, instead of addressing the crowd at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy, Truscott turned his back on the audience and delivered an extraordinary apology to the roughly 20,000 American soldiers who were buried there, Doyle Hodges, of the website War on the Rocks, wrote in a piece published on Memorial Day 2021 .

Unfortunately, there is neither a transcript nor a recording of Truscott’s speech, not even among his official papers at the George C. Marshall Research Library in Virginia, historian Nicolaus Mills wrote for CNN in 2015 .

The accounts we do have come from journalists. The famed combat cartoonist Bill Mauldin called it “the most moving gesture I ever saw,” according to Hodges.

So what did Truscott say? Here’s the part to ponder:

According to Mauldin, Truscott said “he hoped anybody here through any mistake of his would forgive him, but he realized that was asking a hell of a lot under the circumstances. … He would not speak about the glorious dead because he didn’t see much glory in getting killed if you were in your late teens or early twenties. He promised that if in the future he ran into anybody, especially old men, who thought death in battle was glorious, he would straighten them out. He said he thought that was the least he could do.”

Separately, the legendary war correspondent Ernie Pyle reflected on the circumstances that had plucked ordinary men from their homes and brought them halfway across the planet to fight in a war that changed the world.

“‘I couldn’t help but feel the immensity of the catastrophe that has put men all over the world, millions of us, moving in machinelike precision throughout long foreign nights — men who should be comfortably asleep in their own warm beds at home,’” Pyle wrote, according to biographer James Tobin in ‘ Ernie Pyle’s War: America’s Witness to World War II .’

“ War makes strange giant creatures out of us little men who inhabit the Earth, ” Pyle wrote, according to Tobin.

Like so many of the people he wrote about, never made it home either. He died on April 18, 1944, after a Japanese machine gun bullet pierced his left temple, the Associated Press reported at the time.

From Truscott’s apology to the dead to Pyle’s recollection, we’re offered vivid reminders that so many Americans have given so much to give us this democratic, pluralistic nation where there’s room for everyone — no matter their race, their ethnicity, their gender (or no gender at all), whom they love or the deity they do or don’t worship.

If you’re honoring someone who never made it home this Memorial Day Monday, may their memory be a blessing.

Here’s what else you might have missed in Mass. politics over the last seven- ish days:

Polls Upon Polls:

A pair of polls from the past few days shed a little light on the mood of voters in the Bay State — and beyond — as Election Day draws ever closer (Yes, it’s seven months away, but it can’t hurt to be prepared).

Exhibit One: A May 17 poll by the conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Foundation found voters evenly split on whether they believe the state is headed in the right (40%) or wrong (43%) direction (The poll of 750 likely voters had a margin of error of 3.6%).

Unlike horse race results, which tend to be a snapshot of a moment in time, these right track/wrong track results are a more reliable barometer of the public mood. And with Massachusetts voters wrestling with a housing shortage , sky-high rent , and rising grocery prices , it’s worthy of attention. Because cranky voters, even those within the margin of error, tend to take out their frustrations on incumbents.

Exhibit Two: A UMass-Lowell/YouGov poll released last week found President Joe Biden leading former President Donald Trump 42%-36% in New Hampshire, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. taking 11% of the vote. As Politico was the first to report, Biden carried the Granite State by 8 points in 2020. The new canvass, conducted May 6 through May 14, has a margin of error of 5.24%.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ian Cain (YouTube screen capture).

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ian Cain (YouTube screen capture). Screen Capture

U.S. Senate Things:

Republican Ian Cain, the current president of Quincy’s City Council, officially got onto the statewide ballot last week, his campaign said in a statement. With a 10,000 signature requirement, Cain’s campaign said the candidate submitted 11,600 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, and is on pace to post 12,400 valid signatures.

Cain faces Swansea lawyer John Deaton and conservative activist Robert Antonellis in a three-way primary later this year. Deaton, for his part, sent out a fundraising pitch last week tied to immigration reform, which is once again rearing its head in the upper chamber.

The pitch asks supporters to envision their contribution “playing a crucial role in ensuring we have the votes needed to secure the Southern Border.”

Will Elizabeth Warren win in Massachusetts?

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions gas executives as U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. looks on during a hearing on gas pipeline safety in the Merrimack Valley Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) AP

More On Immigration:

Speaking of immigration, incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined her Bay State colleague Ed Markey, and Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (both Democrats), in calling on Senate budget writers to set aside $500 million to pay for a new fund to help states provide services to new arrivals.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill meant to clamp down on the number of migrants allowed to claim asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Associated Press reported.

Markey voted against the proposal. Warren was among seven senators who did not vote on the bill, State House News Service reported . Markey and Warren cast procedural votes against the last immigration reform bill.

In a statement, Markey argued that, despite his vote, he’d “long prioritized pathways to citizenship, fair adjudication of asylum claims, limitations on detention, and more legal pathways to entry.”

“Our management strategy of new arrivals must include genuine expanded access. Without adequate legal pathways, people fleeing dangerous or oppressive conditions will only become more desperate and border communities will only become more chaotic,” Markey continued. “Detention and deportations should not be the only tools we use to respond to record levels of global migration. There are smarter steps the United States can take to manage high volumes of new arrivals. These include increased funding for Shelter and Services Programs (SSP), serious investment in immigration courts and asylum officers, increased investment in processing capacity at ports of entry, and creation of new legal pathways to entry.”

But “these are the solutions that Congressional Republicans, in fealty to Donald Trump, will not support,” Markey concluded.

Massachusetts Republicans pounced on the Democrats’ actions, accusing them and Democratic Gov. Maura Healey of falling down on the job while the state continues to deal with an influx of migrants.

“No one is doing their job. President Biden won’t reverse course on his failed immigration policies. Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren refuse to take concrete action to secure the border, instead feeding into partisan bickering,” Massachusetts Republican Party Chairperson Amy Carnevale said in a statement. “On the state level, Governor Healey and the Democratic supermajority won’t engage with the resolutions Republicans have proposed. Simply put, Republicans are putting solutions on the table, while Democrats refuse to act on them and then turn around and blame Republicans for the inaction.”

“There’s clearly no coordination between Governor Healey and the Democratic congressional delegation. Governor Healey wants this bill to pass, while Senators Markey and Warren are against it. It seems they’re more focused on getting TV spots bashing Republicans than actually engaging with them on real solutions,” Carnevale continued. “Even as one of Biden’s top foot soldiers for his reelection campaign, Healey can’t secure federal aid to mitigate the migrant crisis in Massachusetts. It’s hard to understand what they are even trying to do at this point.”

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden adjusts his sunglasses as he arrives on Air Force One at Boston-Logan International Airport, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in East Boston, Mass. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP

Biden RoboCall Mastermind Indicted:

A New Orleans man was indicted on voter suppression charges in connection with impersonating President Joe Biden ahead of the New Hampshire primary election , New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella’s office announced Thursday.

Steven Kramer , 54, was indicted on 13 counts each of felony voter suppression and misdemeanor impersonation of a candidate, MassLive’s Ryan Mancini reported .

On Jan. 22, an investigation started looking into reports of thousands of New Hampshire residents who said they got robocall messages asking them to “save [their] vote for the November election” and stating “[y]our vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” Formella’s office said.

They Said It: “Not only is he obsessed with losing 2020, he’s clearly become unhinged.” ― President Joe Biden, referring to a controversial social media post by former President Donald Trump, calling the country a “unified reich, if he wins” during a fundraising speech in Boston on Tuesday night.

Reading List:

Katherine Clark blasts Justice Alito following reports that two flags carried by Jan. 6 rioters were flown outside his homes ( Boston Globe ).

After gun scare, police union says Boston City Hall security ‘no match’ for armed assailant ( Boston Herald ).

GOP silences McGovern over Trump remarks ( Daily Hampshire Gazette ).

POST Commission ends probe of Ashland police chief. What it found ( MetroWest Daily News ).

Cape maritime academy gets $2M for helicopter, water rescue training ( Cape Cod Times ).

New Bedford may let police watch body camera footage before writing reports ( New Bedford Light ).

Healey submits three more pardon requests ( State House News Service ).

On the Calendar:

Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll each will attend Memorial Day services on Monday. The governor goes first with a 9 a.m. ceremony at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Winchendon. She’ll be joined by Veterans Services Secretary Jon Santiago, state Sen. Joanne Comerford, D-Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester, state Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik, D-2nd Worcester, and local officials.

Driscoll attends a 1 p.m. observance at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Agawam. She’ll be joined by Santiago, along with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-1st District; Sen. John Velis, D-Hampden/Hampshire; state Rep. Nicholas Boldyga, D-3rd Hampden, and Agawam Mayor Christopher Johnson.

Turned Up to 11:

Here’s an absolute classic by The Temper Trap to get your Sunday rolling. From 2008, it’s “Sweet Disposition.”

Sunday’s Gratuitous Soccer Link: Full disclosure, I’m an Aston Villa fan, but even I have to doff my cap to Manchester City’s extraordinary, stunning and historic fourth Premier League title in a row. The Athletic (paywall) has a great look inside how City pulled off their their sixth title in seven years.

More political news

  • With school out, campus Israel-Hamas protests may move to public areas
  • A ‘sense of peace’ at Mass. Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam on Memorial Day
  • This Mass. mall is freshly stocked with uncertainty and nostalgia, following foreclosure notice
  • Worcester Mill Street redesign hotly contested as crash data released
  • ‘The jobs are out there’ as business, education gather at Tech Foundry to talk training

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What Do You Do When A.I. Takes Your Voice?

Two voice actors say an A.I. company created clones of their voices without their permission. Now they’re suing. The company denies it did anything wrong.

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Linnea Sage and Paul Skye Lehrman, both casually dressed, sit on stone steps next to a brick wall.

By Cade Metz

Cade Metz has covered the rise of artificial intelligence for more than a decade.

Last summer, as they drove to a doctor’s appointment near their home in Manhattan, Paul Skye Lehrman and Linnea Sage listened to a podcast about the rise of artificial intelligence and the threat it posed to the livelihoods of writers, actors and other entertainment professionals.

The topic was particularly important to the young married couple. They made their living as voice actors, and A.I. technologies were beginning to generate voices that sounded like the real thing.

But the podcast had an unexpected twist. To underline the threat from A.I., the host conducted a lengthy interview with a talking chatbot named Poe. It sounded just like Mr. Lehrman.

“He was interviewing my voice about the dangers of A.I. and the harms it might have on the entertainment industry,” Mr. Lehrman said. “We pulled the car over and sat there in absolute disbelief, trying to figure out what just happened and what we should do.”

Mr. Lehrman and Ms. Sage are now suing the company that created the bot’s voice. They claim that Lovo, a start-up in Berkeley, Calif., illegally used recordings of their voices to create technology that can compete with their voice work. After hearing a clone of Mr. Lehrman’s voice on the podcast, the couple discovered that Lovo had created a clone of Ms. Sage’s voice, too.

The couple join a growing number of artists , publishers , computer programmers and other creators who have sued the makers of A.I. technologies, arguing that these companies used their work without permission in creating tools that could ultimately replace them in the job market. (The New York Times sued two of the companies, OpenAI and its partner, Microsoft, in December, accusing them of using its copyrighted news articles in building their online chatbots.)

In their suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, the couple said anonymous Lovo employees had paid them for a few voice clips in 2019 and 2020 without disclosing how the clips would be used.

They say Lovo, which was founded in 2019, is violating federal trademark law and several state privacy laws by promoting clones of their voices. The suit seeks class-action status, with Mr. Lehrman and Ms. Sage inviting other voice actors to join it.

“We don’t know how many other people have been affected,” their lawyer, Steve Cohen , said.

Lovo denies the claims in the suit, said David Case, a lawyer representing the company. He added that if all individuals who provided voice recordings to Lovo gave their consent, “then there is not a problem.”

Tom Lee, the company’s chief executive, said in a podcast episode last year that Lovo now offered a revenue-sharing program that allowed voice actors to help the company create voice clones of themselves and receive a cut of the money made by those clones.

The suit appears to be the first of its kind, said Jeffrey Bennett, general counsel for SAG-AFTRA, the labor union that represents 160,000 media professionals worldwide.

“This suit will show people — particularly technology companies — that there are rights that exist in your voice, that there is an entire group of people out there who make their living using their voice,” he said.

In 2019, Mr. Lehrman and Ms. Sage were promoting themselves as voice actors on Fiverr , a website where freelance professionals can advertise their work. Through this online marketplace, they were often asked to provide voice work for commercials, radio ads, online videos, video games and other media.

That year, Ms. Sage was contacted by an anonymous person who paid her $400 to record several radio scripts and explained that the recordings would not be used for public purposes, according to correspondence cited by the suit.

“These are test scripts for radio ads,” the anonymous person said, according to the suit. “They will not be disclosed externally, and will only be consumed internally, so will not require rights of any sort.”

Seven months later, another unidentified person contacted Mr. Lehrman about similar work. Mr. Lehrman, who also works as a television and movie actor, asked how the clips would be used. The person said multiple times that they would be used only for research and academic purposes, according to correspondence cited in the suit. Mr. Lehrman was paid $1,200. (He provided longer recordings than Ms. Sage did.)

In April 2022, Mr. Lehrman discovered a YouTube video about the war in Ukraine that was narrated by a voice that sounded like his.

“It is my voice talking about weaponry in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict,” he said. “I go ghost white — goose bumps on my arms. I knew I had never said those words in that order.”

For months, he and Ms. Sage struggled to understand what had happened. They hired a lawyer to help them track down who had made the YouTube video and how Mr. Lehrman’s voice had been recreated. But the owner of the YouTube channel seemed to be based in Indonesia, and they had no way to find the person.

Then they heard the podcast on their way to the doctor’s office. Through the podcast, “ Deadline Strike Talk ,” they were able to identify the source of Mr. Lehrman’s voice clone. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor had pieced the chatbot together using voice synthesis technology from Lovo.

Ms. Sage also found an online video in which the company had pitched its voice technology to investors during an event in Berkeley in early 2020. In the video, a Lovo executive showed off a synthetic version of Ms. Sage’s voice and compared it to a recording of her real voice. Both played alongside a photo of a woman who was not her.

“I was in their pitch video to raise money,” Ms. Sage said. The company has since raised more than $7 million and claims over two million customers across the globe.

Mr. Lehrman and Ms. Sage also discovered that Lovo was promoting voice clones of her and Mr. Lehrman on its website . After they sent the company a cease-and-desist letter, the company said it had removed their voice clones from the site. But Mr. Lehrman and Ms. Sage argued that the software that drove these voice clones had already been downloaded by an untold number of the company’s customers and could still be used.

Mr. Lehrman also questioned whether the company had used the couple’s voices alongside many others to build the core technology that drives its voice-cloning system. Voice synthesizers often learn their skills by analyzing thousands of hours of spoken words, in much the way that OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other chatbots learn their skills by analyzing vast amounts of text culled from the internet.

Lovo acknowledged that it had trained its technology using thousands of hours of recordings of thousands of voices, according to correspondence in the suit.

Mr. Case, the lawyer representing Lovo, said that the company trained its A.I. system using audio from a freely available database of English recordings called He did not respond when asked if Mr. Lehrman’s and Ms. Sage’s voice recordings had been used to train the technology.

“We hope to claw back control over our voices, over who we are, over our careers,” Mr. Lehrman said. “We want to represent others this has happened to and those that this will happen to if nothing changes.”

Tell us how your law firm is using A.I.

We’d like to hear from lawyers working with generative A.I., including contract lawyers who have been brought on for assignments related to A.I. We won’t publish your name or any part of your submission without contacting you first.

Cade Metz writes about artificial intelligence, driverless cars, robotics, virtual reality and other emerging areas of technology. More about Cade Metz

Explore Our Coverage of Artificial Intelligence

News  and Analysis

Google’s A.I. capabilities that answer people’s questions have generated a litany of untruths and errors  — including recommending glue as part of a pizza recipe and the ingesting of rocks for nutrients — causing a furor online.

News Corp, the Murdoch-owned empire of publications like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, announced that it had agreed to a deal with OpenAI to share its content  to train and service A.I. chatbots.

The Silicon Valley company Nvidia was again lifted by sales of its A.I. chips , but it faces growing competition and heightened expectations.

The Age of A.I.

D’Youville University in Buffalo had an A.I. robot speak at its commencement . Not everyone was happy about it.

A new program, backed by Cornell Tech, M.I.T. and U.C.L.A., helps prepare lower-income, Latina and Black female computing majors  for A.I. careers.

Publishers have long worried that A.I.-generated answers on Google would drive readers away from their sites. They’re about to find out if those fears are warranted, our tech columnist writes .

A new category of apps promises to relieve parents of drudgery, with an assist from A.I.  But a family’s grunt work is more human, and valuable, than it seems.

  • Open access
  • Published: 23 May 2024

The Carthamus tinctorius L. genome sequence provides insights into synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids

  • Yuanyuan Dong 1   na1 ,
  • Xiaojie Wang 2   na1 ,
  • Naveed Ahmad 1 ,
  • Yepeng Sun 1 ,
  • Yuanxin Wang 1 ,
  • Xiuming Liu 1 ,
  • Yang Jing 1 ,
  • Linna Du 1 ,
  • Xiaowei Li 1 ,
  • Nan Wang 1 ,
  • Weican Liu 1 ,
  • Fawei Wang 1 ,
  • Xiaokun Li 2 &
  • Haiyan Li 3  

BMC Genomics volume  25 , Article number:  510 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

1 Altmetric

Metrics details

Domesticated safflower ( Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a widely cultivated edible oil crop. However, despite its economic importance, the genetic basis underlying key traits such as oil content, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and flowering time remains poorly understood. Here, we present the genome assembly for C. tinctorius variety Jihong01 , which was obtained by integrating Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) and BGI-SEQ500 sequencing results. The assembled genome was 1,061.1 Mb, and consisted of 32,379 protein-coding genes, 97.71% of which were functionally annotated. Safflower had a recent whole genome duplication (WGD) event in evolution history and diverged from sunflower approximately 37.3 million years ago. Through comparative genomic analysis at five seed development stages, we unveiled the pivotal roles of fatty acid desaturase 2 (FAD2) and fatty acid desaturase 6 (FAD6) in linoleic acid (LA) biosynthesis. Similarly, the differential gene expression analysis further reinforced the significance of these genes in regulating LA accumulation. Moreover, our investigation of seed fatty acid composition at different seed developmental stages unveiled the crucial roles of FAD2 and FAD6 in LA biosynthesis. These findings offer important insights into enhancing breeding programs for the improvement of quality traits and provide reference resource for further research on the natural properties of safflower.

Peer Review reports


Safflower ( Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a diploid (2n = 24) dicot plant in the family Asteraceae (Compositae) [ 1 ]. It is an annual plant that is predominantly self-pollinated. This herbaceous crop is adapted to hot and dry environments due to its deep root system and xerophytic spines. Therefore, it is widely cultivated in arid and semiarid regions [ 2 ]. Safflower is assumed to have been domesticated in the Fertile Cresent region over 4,000 years ago, and it has a long history of cultivation in Asia, the Mediterranean region, Europe, and the Americas [ 3 , 4 , 5 ].

Safflower is mainly grown as an oil crop, it has been cultivated for use as birdseed and as a source of oil for the paint industry [ 6 , 7 ]. In some areas such as Western Europe, safflower is cultivated as a source of Safflor Yellow (SY) that is produced in the floret, and used as a natural dyestuff [ 8 ]. Safflower is valuable as an edible oil crop because it produces a large amount of oil (approx. 25% oil content in seeds). It has relatively higher polyunsaturated/saturated ratios than other edible oil, which is rich in octadecadienoic acid and contains more than 70% LA [ 9 ]. As a type of essential polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), LA is vital in the dietary composition for both humans and animals. As one of the oldest sources of oil for humans worldwide, the main economic traits of cultivated safflower varieties are related to its composition proportion in LA [ 10 , 11 ]. Fatty acids desaturase such as FAD2 play a crucial role in regulating the composition of fatty acids, including LA. These enzymes catalyze the desaturation reactions necessary for the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, from saturated or monounsaturated precursors [ 12 ]. Although, it is not a mainstream oilseed crop in today’s world, it has been cultivated widely and distributed across various geographic regions. The species diversity of safflower could also serve as an important resource for genetic breeding.

The genetic diversity and natural variations in safflower have been studied using several molecular and analytical methods in recent decades [ 3 , 13 ]. More recent studies have provided molecular information for safflower including its complete chloroplast genome [ 14 ], full-length transcriptome [ 15 ], and the locations of 2,008,196 single nucleotide polymorphisms, which were identified from recombinant inbred safflower lines [ 16 ]. The results of those studies and others indicated that the genetic architecture and evolution of safflower domestication are complex [ 17 ]. Such complexity has posed challenges to safflower breeding endeavors. In the past, breeding programs have used hybridization to breed new cultivars [ 18 ] and have characterized the safflower germplasm using various molecular markers, including expressed sequence tags, inter simple sequence repeats, single nucleotide polymorphism, and simple sequence repeat markers [ 15 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 ]. Genome evolution involves intricate mechanisms such as gene duplication, divergence, and selection, which shape the genetic landscape of organisms over time. Gene duplication, in particular, serves as a significant driver of genome evolution, often leading to the expansion of gene families [ 23 , 24 ]. Therefore, high-quality safflower reference genome and genome evolution research can reveal genetic structure and phylogenetic details, as well as biosynthesis processes of bioactive compounds. The inaugural sequencing of the safflower cultivar Anhui-1 genome employed PacBio Sequel (Pacific Biosciences) in conjunction with the Illumina Hiseq 2500 sequencing platform. The investigation primarily targeted the biosynthetic pathways of hydroxysafflor yellow A and unsaturated fatty acid [ 25 ].

To deepen our understanding of the genetic landscape of safflower, we conducted genome assembly of the Jihong01 safflower cultivar. This particular landrace is extensively cultivated and sourced from western China. It is also used as a main source of breeding novel safflower varieties with improved medicinal properties. In this research, we provide a genome overview of safflower that includes details of genome evolution, gene family expansion, and putative genes for unsaturated fatty acids biosynthesis and their composition. This reference genome will serve as a platform for investigating the genome background, and for identifying important genes to exploit in genetic breeding programs.

Genome sequencing and assembly

Genomic DNA was extracted from leaves of the “ Jihong01 ” safflower variety and sequenced on BGI-SEQ500 and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) platforms. We obtained 101 Gb short reads and 130 Gb long reads data in total. By a 17-mer frequency statistics, the size of safflower genome was estimated to be 1,061.1 Mb (Figure S1 ). The primary contigs was assembled by NECAT software ( ) with an N50 of 8.6 Mb. The initial assembly was error-corrected by Pilon [ 26 ], and the redundant sequences were removed by HaploMerger2 [ 27 ]. After several steps of polishing, the total length of the final assembly was 1,061.1 Mb which is close to the estimated genome size (Table S1 ). To generate a chromosomal-level assembly of the safflower genome, a high-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) library was constructed and produced 51 Gb valid reads (47×). 98.82% of the final assembly was anchored to 12 pseudochromosomes with length ranging from 68.06 Mb to 106.66 Mb. GC content of the final assembly was 38.37%. The completeness of our assembly was evaluated by BUSCO (Benchmarking Universal Single Copy Orthologs) [ 28 ]. In embryophyta_odb9 dataset, 90.3% BUSCO genes was complete, 2.4% fragmented and 7.3% missing in the assembly. Also, we used LTR Assembly Index (LAI) [ 29 ] values to evaluate the quality of non-coding region in the assembly (Fig.  1 ). The LAI score of our assembly was 21.94, suggesting a high-quality safflower genome assembly.

figure 1

Overview of the Carthamus tinctorius genome. ( a ) Chromosomal pseudomolecules. ( b ) GC content (1 Mb windows). ( c ) Gene density (1 Mb windows). ( d ) TE density (1 Mb windows). ( e ) LAI score (3 Mb windows with 300 Kb sliding step). Inner grey ribbons indicate links of synteny blocks, while colored ribbons highlight the residues of whole genome triplication

Genome annotation

We identified 63.4% of the assembly as repetitive sequences. The proportion is comparatively close to artichoke (58.4%) [ 30 ]but lower than sunflower (74.7%) [ 31 ] and lettuce (74.2%) [ 32 ], which may be the reason why the genome size of lettuce or sunflower is two to three times larger than that of artichoke and safflower [ 33 ]. The most abundant transposable elements (TEs) were long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, accounting for 54.2% of the assembly. Like most plants, Gypsy (26.9%) and Copia (25.2%) were found to be the two dominant LTR super families. Similarly, insertion time of LTR was estimated at 1.5 Mya based on the sequence divergence of all LTRs, later than artichoke (Figure S2 ). Importantly, the DNA transposons covered 7.1% of the assembly. A total of 32,379 protein-coding genes were predicted using a combination of homology prediction and transcripts supporting. Distributions of gene set parameters showed a consistent trend with other plants (Figure S3 ). The gene set covered 93.9% complete BUSCOs of embryophyte BUSCO groups. A sum of 97.71% of predicted proteins were functionally annotated against public protein databases (InterPro, UniProt and KEGG). Besides protein-coding genes, we also annotated 131 miRNAs, 998 tRNAs, 3,017 rRNAs and 1,408 snRNAs.

Gene family and phylogeny analysis

Phylogenetic tree was reconstructed based on the coding sequences (CDS) of 212 single-copy gene families. Plants of Monocotyledons, Rosidae and Asteridae were separated into respective branches and each species were clustered at the reported evolutionary positions. Noticeably, safflower and sunflower were clustered into one branch in the phylogenetic tree (Fig.  2 a). Divergence time of safflower and sunflower was estimated at approximately 37.3 Mya, after the whole genome duplication event at the basal of Asteraceae family [ 34 ]. For comparative analysis, we chose high-quality proteins of 10 oil plant species including (oil palm: Elaeis guineensis , soybean: Glycine max , sunflower: Helianthus annuus , Jatropha: Jatropha curcas , walnut: Juglans regia , flax; Linum usitatissimum , olive tree: Olea europaea , castor: Ricinus communis , sesame: Sesamum indicum and maize: Zea mays ) together with our predicted proteins. All proteins were clustered into 27,600 gene families by OrthoMCL [ 35 ] pipeline, within which 495 gene families were safflower-specific. Compared to olive tree and sesame, safflower shared more gene families with sunflower (Fig.  2 b), indicating a closer relationship between safflower and sunflower.

figure 2

Comparative analysis of Carthamus tinctorius with other oil crops. ( a ) Phylogeny, divergence time and gene family expansion/contraction of 11 species. The green numbers are families under size expansion while the red numbers are families under size contraction. The vertical stacked column right is the ortholog genes in 11 species. ( b ) Venn diagram of safflower, sesame, olive tree and sunflower

Furthermore, gene family size changes was evaluated by CAFE software [ 36 ]. As for safflower, 516 gene families demonstrated under size expansion, while 2,126 gene families indicated under size contraction. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment was implemented to the expanded gene families. From which, 225 of 2,751 genes were markedly enriched in fatty acids biosynthesis and metabolism pathways, including linoleic acid metabolism (map00591), alpha-linolenic acid metabolism (map00592) and biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids (map01040) (Figure S4 ). Expansion of gene families involved in fatty acid metabolism especially in unsaturated fatty acids biosynthesis may result in high oil production in safflower.

WGD in safflower genome

As a member of Compositae family, safflower had a recent whole genome duplication (WGD) event in evolution history (38–50 Mya) (Figure S5 ). We used WGD pipeline [ 37 ] to calculate Ks distribution of paralogs in safflower, sunflower, lettuce, artichoke and coffee tree, respectively (Fig.  3 a). After the γ duplication event in eudicots (peak of coffee tree), safflower had experienced another WGD event, which was also found in artichoke and lettuce (Ks  ∼  0.75-1). Besides, this round of duplication was a triplication event, illustrated by the residues of triplication (Fig. 1 ) and triplicate synteny blocks between coffee tree and safflower. In Compositae, two rounds of WGD events occurred in Heliantheae species, which revealed that several 1:2 synteny blocks between safflower and sunflower were existed (Fig.  3 b).

figure 3

WGD events in Carthamus tinctorius evolutionary history. ( a ) Histogram of five species paralog Ks distributions. ( b ) Macrosynteny of gene regions among coffee, safflower and sunflower. Grey lines indicate the synteny blocks between each two species. Red lines highlight the 1:3 between coffee and safflower and 1:2 between safflower and sunflower synteny block corresponding relations

Unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis pathway

We annotated a total of 1,586 genes involved in lipid metabolism in safflower genome. Proteins of 96 genes were functionally enriched in biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids pathway (Table S2 ). In plants, fatty acid desaturases (FAD) catalyse the desaturation reactions of fatty acids. Stearoyl-ACP desaturase (SAD) is a soluble FAD in plastids, transforming stearic acid (C18:0) to oleic acid (C18:1). FAD2 and FAD6 catalyse further desaturation from oleic acid to linoleic acid (C18:2). FAD2 is localised in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) while FAD6 in the plastid’s inner envelope. In a previous study, researchers have demonstrated the isolation of 11 members of FAD2 family in safflower [ 6 ]. In our assembly, 29 copies of FAD2 genes were annotated, as well as 4 SAD genes and 1 FAD6 gene (Table S3 ). The FAD2 genes were amplified by tandem duplication and formed 2 gene clusters located on chromosome 9 and chromosome 11 respectively (Fig.  4 a). Phylogenetic analysis of FAD2 gene family in safflower and other oil crops indicated that FAD2 gene family were significantly expanded in safflower and sunflower. Also, multi-copies of FAD2 genes were found in flax genome [ 38 ] (Fig.  4 b).

figure 4

FAD2 gene clusters. ( a ) Two FAD2 gene clusters on chromosome 9 and chromosome 11. The line indicates chromosome segment. Brown arrows indicate FAD2 genes. ( b ) Phylogenetic analysis of the FAD2 gene family among 11 species [ 31 , 38 ]. Each circle indicates a FAD2 gene. Different colors represent different species

We also sequenced transcriptome of seed tissue at five development stages after flowering (days after flowering, DAF) (DAF6, DAF12, DAF18, DAF24, DAF30). Each stage was selected with three duplications. The expression patterns of 96 genes likely involved in the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids pathway were analysed using Mfuzz package [ 39 ] (Table S2 ). The upregulation of FAD2 genes observed from DAF18 to DAF24 (Figure S6 , clusters 2 and 7) implying that linoleic acid biosynthesis could be regulated around the fifth or sixth day after flowering. Moreover, the expression pattern of some genes was significantly enhanced at DAF6, however, as the developmental stages progresses, the expression was supressed (Figure S6 , cluster 9). This includes genes related to acyl-CoA oxidase and very-long-chain enoyl-CoA reductase.

Changes in the fatty acid composition and levels during seed developmental stages

Fatty acids are essential for plant growth and development. FAs are synthesized in plastids and to a large extent transported to the endoplasmic reticulum for modification and lipid assembly. Many genes participate in lipid metabolism within the plastid and endoplasmic reticulum, particularly in fatty acid elongation and desaturation (Fig.  5 a). Fatty acid composition and contents are the most important indicators to measure the lipid quality. We examined the fatty acid composition of seed storage lipids in developing seeds. The contents of fatty acids of seeds in five developmental stages was measured by GC-MS. Compositional analyses of seed oil revealed that palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:1) and linoleic acid (C18:2) accounted for a predominant proportion of the lipid content in safflower (Fig.  5 b). The contents of oleic acid (C18:1) and linoleic acid (C18:2) were found the highest at maturity stage. For instance, C18:1n7, C18:1n9 and C18:2n6 reached 1,776, 1,666, 1,510 µg/g DW, increased by 29.9, 5.4, and 2.6 times when compared to the early stages of grain formation, respectively. According to the data results, C18:3n3 and C18:3n6 did not belong to the high content of PUFA, and their contents decreased first and then increased in the seed developmental stage. In addition to this, most of the fatty acids were increased in the seeds except C14:1, which was decreased. The composition and content of fatty acids in safflower seeds during seed development indicated that the synthesis and accumulation of polyunsaturated fatty acids C18:2 was the main factor determining the oil quality of safflower seeds.

To gain a better understanding of the relationship between genes and fatty acids species, the Pearson correlation test was performed for the intensity of fatty acids and the expression pattern of genes during the safflower seeds development stage. Our results showed that a total of 28 genes were significantly correlated with C18:1, C18:2 and C18:3 molecular species metabolites that exhibit a Pearson correlation coefficient > 0.7 and p-value < 0.05. Among them, expression pattern of 15 FAD2 genes (Cti _chr11_01896, Cti_chr9_01626, Cti_chr11_01899, Cti_chr11_01897, Cti_ chr9_01627, Cti_chr11_01898, Cti_chr9_01634, Cti_chr9_01616, Cti_chr9_01625, Cti_chr9_01617, Cti_chr3_02112, Cti_chr3_02111, Cti_chr11_01894, Cti_chr10_00208, Cti_chr4_00382) and 4 FAD6 genes (Cti_chr11_01893, Cti_chr7_00474, Cti_chr11_01895, Cti_chr3_02287) were positively correlated with C18:1n7, C18:1n9 and C18:2n6 composition patterns during seed developing stages (Fig.  6 ). Importantly, two FAD6 genes Cti_chr11_01893 and Cti_chr11_01895 expression patterns showed significant correlation with C18:2 contents during seed development stage. These results indicated that FAD2 and FAD6 genes appear to be responsible for the high proportion of C18:2 in developing safflower seeds.

figure 5

Fatty acids biosynthesis and contents of seed lipids. ( a ) Fatty acid and oil biosynthesis in safflower. KAS II, β-ketoacyl-ACP synthetase; SAD, stromal stearoyl-ACP desaturase; FATA, acyl-ACP thioesterase; G3P, glycerol-3-phosphate; GPAT, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase; LPA, lysophosphatidic acid; LPAAT, Lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase; PA, phosphatidic acid; FAD2/3/6/7, Fatty acid desaturase; DAG, diglycerides; TAG, triglycerides; ( b ) Fatty acids contents of seed storage lipids in different developing stages

figure 6

Correlation coefficient between gene expression level and contents of fatty acids. * p  < 0.05

In the present study, we report the complete genome sequence of an economically important crop safflower. We presented valuable insights into the genetic organization of safflower, which facilitates the identification of key functional genes implicated in fatty acid synthesis. These valuable genomic resources could be easily accessible to researchers in the field for future functional and molecular breeding studies. Previous studies on the Compositae have reported genome sequences for H. annuus [ 31 ], lettuce ( Lactuca sativa ) [ 32 ], and globe artichoke ( Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) [ 30 ]. Those studies have provided scientific resources for comprehensive analyses of genome evolution, functional gene exploration, metabolic pathway construction, and molecular breeding programs.

In light of our results, we revealed a high-quality safflower genome, with a size of 1,061.1 Mb and 12 pseudochromosomes. There are many karyotypes in the ancestor species of safflower with 10, 11, 12, 22, and 32 pairs of chromosomes, many of which are self-incompatibility species [ 40 ]. The current karyotype of cultivated safflower could have originated from wild ancestor C. tinctorius , with 2n = 24 chromosomes karyotype. This high-quality genome information will be useful for analysing sequences of homologous species, and provides genetic evidence for the nutritional compounds encoded in the safflower genome. In addition, our analysis also revealed that 63.4% of the assembled genome comprises repetitive sequences. This percentage is notably close to that of artichoke (58.4%), yet lower than observed in sunflower (74.7%) and lettuce (74.2%). The relatively larger genome size of sunflower and lettuce could be related to the larger amount of repetitive sequences. It is widely believed that transposable elements play a dominant role in the growth of genome size, and much of the variation in plant genome size can be attributed to the continuous accumulation of these transposable elements. For instance, the sunflower genome is 3.6 Gb and the lettuce genome are 2.38 Gb, which are nearly two to three times of artichoke genome (1.08 Gb) and safflower genome (1.06 Gb). Although, for sunflower genome, the influence of WGD event should be take into consideration regarding the large genome size, our analysis also suggests that repetitive sequences have contributed significantly to the genome size of both sunflower and lettuce. The disparities in repetitive sequence content provide crucial insights into the genomic architecture of these plant species. The higher proportion of repetitive elements in sunflower and lettuce genomes may contribute to their larger genome sizes compared to artichoke and safflower.

First safflower ( Carthamus tinctorius L.) cultivar ‘Anhui-1’ genome was sequencing using PacBio Sequel (Pacific Biosciences) combined with Illumina Hiseq 2500 sequencing platform and focused on biosynthetic pathways of LA and HSYA [ 25 ]. Here, in this work, we sequenced and denovo assembled genome of safflower cultivar ‘Jihong01’ using BGI-SEQ500 and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) platform and gained another high-quality genome assembly results. Meanwhile, we paid more attention to UFA contents than saturated fatty acid during seed development stages. Seed oil fatty acids composition continues to be important trait for safflower breeding [ 41 ]. Recent studies on the molecular mechanisms of lipid metabolism have identified a number of genes that form the genetic basis of this trait. The factors determining seed oil composition were found to be complex. In cultivated safflower, lipid metabolic pathways underlie the natural trait of seed oil content, and candidate genes in the genome were identified to be involved in lipid metabolism and reported before. The unsaturated fatty acid synthesis in ER is important during safflower seed development. Our analyses indicated that the genes involved in fatty acids composition in safflower seeds have undergone expansion during evolution. These analyses may provide essential clues about the biochemical relevance of lipid composition in seeds.

In terms of the fatty acid composition of oil, there is a lower proportion of LA in sesame (C18:2, 32.95–52.94%) [ 42 ] than in safflower (C18:2, 63.9–76.1%) [ 41 , 43 , 44 ]. However, the number of genes involved in fatty acid elongation, biosynthesis, and degradation are similar among the genomes of safflower, sunflower, sesame [ 42 ], grape [ 45 ], capsicum [ 46 ], and Arabidopsis [ 47 ]. A few key enzymes in the desaturation metabolic pathway regulate unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in the ER. Genetic evolution, including genome duplication or gene family expansion, is crucial for generating new gene functions and/or for intensifying pathways [ 48 , 49 ]. Divergence from an ancestral genome can result in an evolutionary bias towards the production of specific natural products. The emergence of duplicates can result in gene expansion, contraction, or loss [ 50 ]. FAD2 gene family encoding enzymes that catalyse linoleic acid biosynthesis has expanded via tandem duplication and formed two gene clusters located on chromosome 9 and chromosome 11 respectively. The result indicated that tandem duplication possibly contributed to the expansion of the gene families in safflower. In particular, the FAD2 and FAD6 homologs involved in unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis showed the highest transcript levels at the DAF18 and DAF24 stage of seed development. Previous studies found that their expression patterns were related to the LA content, with high transcript levels during seed development [ 41 , 51 ]. These findings provide substantial novel insights into the reasons for the high proportion of LA in safflower oil.

The assembled genome sequence of safflower mostly consisted of repeats, coding and non-coding RNAs, and other related sequences. This information allowed us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of safflower, which includes a large-scale safflower-specific whole-genome duplication events. Candidate genes, including FAD2 and FAD6 , which encode key functional enzymes related to LA composition. FAD2 families were expanded in safflower, and correlation analysis of gene expression alongside contents of fatty acids indicated that the specific FAD2 and FAD6 genes could be responsible for the synthesis of a wide range of LA.


The safflower genome assembly represents a cornerstone for future research programs aimed at exploiting the economic properties of safflower, while also considering agricultural constraints and human nutritional needs and for advancing molecular breeding programs aimed at producing new safflower cultivars. The candidate FAD2 and FAD6 genes revealed by our integrated approach provide a genetic resources of unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis and provide a genetic landscape for safflower germplasm utilization.

Experimental procedures

Dna extracting and sequencing.

The plant material of safflower ( Jihong01 cultivar, deposited in Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, Ministry of Education, JLAU) used in this study was identified by Yuanyuan Dong. Safflower variety seedlings ( Jihong01 ) collected and planted in an experimental field of Jilin Agriculture University, Changchun City, China were used in this research and stored in Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, Ministry of Education. High-quality genomic DNA from Jihong01 leaves was extracted using the MolPure® Plant DNA Kit (Yeasen, China). Subsequently, the extraction process focused on selecting large-size fragments, which were accomplished through automated Blue Pippin system. Following this, the DNA underwent treatment involving the end-repair/dA tailing module, and subsequently, it was ligated to an adaptor using the ONT 1D ligation sequencing kit. The prepared library was loaded onto flow cells and subjected to sequencing using the Nanopore PromethION platform.

Genome assembly

K-mer frequency was calculated by Jellyfish v2.26 [ 52 ] and the genome size was estimated using GenomeScope [ 53 ]. The initial contigs were assembled by NECAT with default parameters using Nanopore reads longer than 5 kb. The initial assembly was error-corrected by Pilon with short reads. Size of the initial assembly was a little larger than estimated, so we used HaploMerger2 software [ 27 ] to remove redundant contigs in the initial assembly. Then, the assembly was error-corrected again. Reads generated by Hi-C library were filtered strictly by HiC-Pro pipeline [ 54 ] to remove invalid reads pairs. We used Juicer [ 55 ] and 3D de novo assembly (3D-DNA) pipeline [ 56 ] to anchor contigs to pseudochromosomes.

Repeat annotation and LTR insertion time

Repetitive sequences were annotated using a combination of de novo and homology strategy. We used RepeatModeler [ 57 ], LTR_FINDER [ 58 ] and TRF [ 59 ] software for de novo repeats identification based on repetitive sequences features. Then RepeatMasker and RepeatProteinMask were used to annotate transposon elements based on RepBase. LTR insertion time was estimated based on the divergence of LTR pairs. Intact LTRs were identified using LTR_FINDER software in the four Compositae genomes. Then we used MUSCLE [ 60 ] to align LTR pairs and distmat to calculate K values under the Kimura two-parameter model. With the K values of LTR pairs, the insertion time was calculated using formula T = K/2r , where r was the rate of nucleotide substitution and set as 7 × 10 − 9 per site per generation here [ 61 , 62 ].

Genes prediction and function annotation

Protein-coding genes were predicted based on both homolog proteins and transcripts. Proteins of seven plants species ( Arachis hypogaea (GCF_003086295.2), Brassica napus (GCF_000686985.2), Glycine max (GCF_000004515.5), Helianthus annuus (GCF_002127325.1), Lactuca sativa (GCF_002870075.1), Ricinus communis (GCF_000151685.1) and Sesamum indicum (GCF_000512975.1)) was downloaded from NCBI database. We first aligned these proteins with the assembly using BLAT [ 63 ], then the alignment was input to Genewise [ 64 ] to get homology annotations. RNA-seq reads were mapped to the assembly using HISAT2 [ 65 ] and transcripts were assembled using StringTie [ 66 ]. All of the evidences were integrated to the final protein-coding gene set by GLEAN [ 67 ]. Protein-coding genes were assessed for conserved protein domains in the ProDom, ProSiteProfiles, SMART, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF and ProSitePatterns databases using InterProScan [ 68 ]. Also, amino acid sequences were aligned to the following protein databases: Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL, Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) using BLASTP (e-value < 1e-5) for function annotation.

Comparative analysis

All protein-coding gene sequences of the 10 oil plant species ( Elaeis guineensis (GCF_000442705.1), Glycine max , Helianthus annuus , Jatropha curcas (GCF_000696525.1), Juglans regia (GCF_001411555.1), Linum usitatissimum (Linum usitatissimum v1.0), Olea europaea (GCF_002742605.1), Ricinus communis , Sesamum indicum and Zea mays (GCF_000005005.2)) were downloaded from the NCBI or Phytozome database. The longest transcript of each gene without frame shift or internal termination was selected and translated into amino acid sequences for subsequent analyses. First, we used BLASTP for an all-to-all proteins alignment under the e-value of 1e-5. Then the ortholog genes were clustered into groups using OrthoMCL with a Markov inflation index of 1.5 and a maximum e-value of 1e-5. One-to-one single-copy ortholog groups were joined to a super-gene (single-copy orthologous genes are composed of head-to-tail connections) and aligned using MUSCLE [ 60 ]. Phylogenetic tree was constructed using RAxML [ 69 ] with Z. mays and E. guineensis as outgroups, under GTR + Optimization of substitution rates and GAMMA model of rate heterogeneity. The divergence time was estimated using MCMCTREE in PAML packages [ 70 ] based on HKY85 model and correlated rates molecular clock model. The size changes of each gene families were calculated by CAFE [ 36 ] with the random birth and death model.

WGD events and synteny

We used WGD software [ 37 ] to identify WGD events in the evolutionary process of safflower, sunflower, lettuce, artichoke (GCF_002870075.1) and coffee tree (AUK_PRJEB4211_v1). Synteny blocks between safflower and sunflower and between safflower and coffee tree were identified and displayed using jcvi packages [ 71 ].

Identification of unsaturated fatty acids biosynthesis genes

We used BLASTP to identify safflower FAD2 and FAD6 based on amino acids sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana FAD2 (NP_187819.1), FAD6 (NP_194824.1) with e-value of 1e-10.

Fatty acids content analysis

Safflower seeds ( Jihong01) were sourced from Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, Ministry of Education, JLAU. Dry seed samples (DAF6 (6 days after flowering), DAF12, DAF18, DAF24, DAF30) were collected at five different stages of seed development for the purpose of analysing fatty acid content and composition. Methyl esters (FAME) were prepared from each seed sample. Subsequently, quantitative analysis of fatty acids within these FAME samples was conducted utilizing Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) through the Agilent Technologies 6890 N/5975B system. The methods employed for this analysis were in accordance with those described by Ecker et al. [ 72 ]. The fatty acids present, including saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), were subjected to quantitative calculations. These calculations were carried out based on a standard fatty acid methyl ester mix.

RNA sequencing

Total RNA was extracted from the 5 different developing seeds (DAF6 (6 days after flowering), DAF12, DAF18, DAF24, DAF30) using a TRIzol Plus RNA Purification Kit following the manufacturer’s instructions. RNA integrity and quantity were confirmed using an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer. The mRNA was hybridized with an Oligo(dT) probe and captured using magnetic beads. Subsequently, the mRNA was fragmented at high temperature and reverse-transcribed into first-strand DNA. This first-strand DNA served as a template for the synthesis of second-strand DNA, resulting in the formation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Adaptors with dTTP tails were ligated to both ends of the dsDNA fragments. The ligation products were then amplified via PCR and circularized to generate a single-stranded circular (ssCir) library. The ssCir library was further amplified through rolling circle amplification (RCA) to produce DNA nanoballs (DNB). Finally, the DNBs were loaded onto a flow cell and sequenced using the DNBSEQ platform. Each sample was sequenced three times in triplicate.

Data availability

The raw sequence reads were deposited in China National GeneBank DataBase (CNGB db) under Project No. CNP0004859 and CNP0004861.

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This work was supported by China National GeneBank (CNGB).

This research was funded by The Science and Technology Development Project of Jilin province (20210402044GH, 20220101354JC), Science and Technology Research Project of the Education Department of Jilin Province (JJKH20220325KJ).

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Yuanyuan Dong and Xiaojie Wang Contribute equally to this work.

Authors and Affiliations

Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, College of Life Sciences, Ministry of Education, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, 130118, China

Yuanyuan Dong, Naveed Ahmad, Yepeng Sun, Yuanxin Wang, Xiuming Liu, Na Yao, Yang Jing, Linna Du, Xiaowei Li, Nan Wang, Weican Liu & Fawei Wang

School of Pharmaceutical Science, Key Laboratory of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering of Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 325035, China

Xiaojie Wang & Xiaokun Li

Sanya Nanfan Research Institute of Hainan University, Sanya, 572025, China

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Y.D., X.W., X.L., and H.L. performed some data analyses. J.Y., N.Y. and L.D. managed samples and tissues. Y.W. prepared materials and uploaded data. Y.D., X.W., X.L., and J.Y. performed some data analyses and prepared graphics. N.Y., X.L., N.W., X.L., and W.L., prepared the libraries. H.L., and X.L. assisted in data analysis and in the overall design of the project. F.W., H.L., and X.L. developed the figure of the study and assisted with manuscript preparation. Y.D., X.W., N.A. Y.S. X.L., J.Y., F.W., and H.L. wrote and revised the manuscript. All of the authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

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Dong, Y., Wang, X., Ahmad, N. et al. The Carthamus tinctorius L. genome sequence provides insights into synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids. BMC Genomics 25 , 510 (2024).

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analysis in synthesis essay


  1. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Synthesis Essay Outline

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  4. 12+ Synthesis Essay Examples to Inspire You

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  1. Guide to Synthesis Essays: How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    The writing process for composing a good synthesis essay requires curiosity, research, and original thought to argue a certain point or explore an idea. Synthesis essay writing involves a great deal of intellectual work, but knowing how to compose a compelling written discussion of a topic can give you an edge in many fields, from the social sciences to engineering.

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    Clarify Your Purpose: First, decide if you're writing an explanatory or argumentative synthesis essay. This choice will set the tone and direction for your essay. Source Selection and Analysis: Choose credible and relevant sources for your topic, balancing different types like articles, books, and websites.

  3. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Business white papers known as position papers often take this form. This is the type of synthesis essay that students will write during the AP test. Review: Often written as a preliminary essay to an argument synthesis, a review essay is a discussion of what has been written previously on a topic, with a critical analysis of the sources covered.

  4. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Outline Example and Tips from Pros

    The introduction should be short and precise, with the topic sentence in one paragraph. In the main body, the source material should be synthesized in 3-5 paragraphs. And the last component of a synthesis essay is the conclusion, where you should summarize your arguments, ideas, and thoughts.

  5. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Everything You Need to Know Here

    Synthesis essay: format and objectives. Unlike other types of academic analysis, synthesis questions do not aim to evaluate the overall persuasiveness of your arguments. As a writer, you should aim to analyze, evaluate, and integrate diverse ideas into a coherent whole. Here are some of the skills students need to demonstrate in their synthesis ...

  6. PDF Writing a Synthesis Essay

    Writing a Synthesis Essay . 1. What is a synthesis? A synthesis is a written discussion incorporating support from several sources of differing views. This type of assignment requires that you examine a variety of sources and identify their relationship to your thesis. 2. Synthesis is used in: • Analysis papers to examine related theories.

  7. Synthesis Essays: A Step-by-Step How- To Guide

    How to write body paragraphs for synthesis essays: 1.Pick three points to write about from your list of points about which the writers agreed or disagreed. When picking three to write about, pick the three that offer you ample evidence. 2.Decide the order of the three points to be written about in your body paragraphs.

  8. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    As a rule, synthesis essay structure consists of: An introduction with a hook and a thesis statement; Main body paragraphs with each one of them supporting the thesis; A conclusion to summarize the whole piece. Finally, comes the time to get the show on the road. We will start the process with an introduction.


    A synthesis essay uses a variety of sources to form a new idea, answer a question, or defend an argumentative thesis statement. A synthesis does not summarize but shows the connections among the different sources and the writers' ideas. A successful synthesis essay overviews research on the chosen topic, highlights the connections among ...

  10. How to Write a Perfect Synthesis Essay for the AP Language Exam

    Synthesis Essay AP Lang: What It Is and How It Works. The AP Lang synthesis essay is the first of three essays included in the Free Response section of the AP Lang exam. The AP Lang synthesis essay portion of the Free Response section lasts for one hour total. This hour consists of a recommended 15 minute reading period and a 40 minute writing ...

  11. Synthesis Essay

    Synthesis essays follow a predictable structure: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. In the introduction, the writer gives an overview of the topic and presents the thesis or proposed claim of the ...

  12. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

    A synthesis matrix will help you with that: Find several central ideas in the chart. Choose the ones that are repeated the most often and the ones that you feel need to be in your essay. Combine them, and you have a thesis statement with all the key points. Make a draft of the thesis statement.

  13. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    Here are a few extra tips to help you write a successful synthesis essay: 1. Thoroughly understand the prompt: Take the time to carefully read and comprehend the synthesis essay prompt. Identify the key requirements, such as the specific topic, sources to include, or the type of argument expected.

  14. Synthesizing Sources

    Revised on May 31, 2023. Synthesizing sources involves combining the work of other scholars to provide new insights. It's a way of integrating sources that helps situate your work in relation to existing research. Synthesizing sources involves more than just summarizing. You must emphasize how each source contributes to current debates ...

  15. LibGuides: Writing Resources: Synthesis and Analysis

    Synthesis: the combination of ideas to. form a theory, system, larger idea, point or outcome. show commonalities or patterns. Analysis: a detailed examination. of elements, ideas, or the structure of something. can be a basis for discussion or interpretation. Synthesis and Analysis: combine and examine ideas to.

  16. Synthesis

    In a summary, you share the key points from an individual source and then move on and summarize another source. In synthesis, you need to combine the information from those multiple sources and add your own analysis of the literature. This means that each of your paragraphs will include multiple sources and citations, as well as your own ideas ...

  17. Synthesis Essay Materials

    The two synthesis essay questions below are examples of the question type that has been one of the three free-response questions on the AP English Language and Composition Exam as of the May 2007 exam. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic. Students are given a 15-minute reading period to accommodate ...

  18. 13+ Synthesis Essay Examples: Tips & Expert Guidance

    Synthesis Essay Requires Critical Analysis; Go beyond summarizing your sources; engage in critical analysis. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source and consider their implications for your argument. Ensure a Supported Argument: Throughout your essay, consistently reinforce your central argument. Every piece of information should ...

  19. Synthesizing Sources

    Argumentative syntheses seek to bring sources together to make an argument. Both types of synthesis involve looking for relationships between sources and drawing conclusions. In order to successfully synthesize your sources, you might begin by grouping your sources by topic and looking for connections. For example, if you were researching the ...

  20. Well-Written Synthesis Essay Examples

    Get multiple synthesis essay examples covering a range of topics. Learn how to craft an introduction, thesis, outlines, or write your entire synthesis essay.

  21. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    oConsideration of counterarguments (what Sandel might say in response to this section of your argument) Each argument you will make in an essay will be different, but this strategy will often be a useful first step in figuring out the path of your argument. Strategy #2: Use subheadings, even if you remove themlater.

  22. Sample Synthesis/Analysis Essay

    A sample of the Synthesis/Analysis essay for use on the second major essay. Understanding Smoking. Is smoking such a horrible thing? Is it really as bad as some claim it to be, or is it just a bad habit that some of us carry around, which warrants little public attention? There are many, widely varying answers to these questions.

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  27. The Carthamus tinctorius L. genome sequence provides insights into

    Domesticated safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a widely cultivated edible oil crop. However, despite its economic importance, the genetic basis underlying key traits such as oil content, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and flowering time remains poorly understood. Here, we present the genome assembly for C. tinctorius variety Jihong01, which was obtained by integrating Oxford ...