A Synthesis Essay Outline

A Synthesis Essay Outline

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Writing captivating synthesis essays is something which continues to trouble a good number of students. Shockingly, only a few of them can adequately define what a synthesis essay is. Do you fall into this category? Here, we’ll help you understand how to write an attractive paper.

Did you know that you could save a lot of time by planning before you write? By using examples, we’ll prove the importance of having a synthesis essay outline. This guide will help you avoid future errors. Let’s begin!

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What’s a Synthesis Essay?

It’s almost impossible to come up with your synthesis paper outline if you don’t know the requirements of the project. So, a synthesis is the type of essay which gives you as the student several resources to use in building a strong claim.

These papers are different from other argumentative essays where you’re only provided with the references and then you proceed to look for a topic to establish your position. You’ll generally find such these kinds of projects in higher learning institutions, and if you don’t know how to go about them, you’ll have a hard time.

Catchy synthesis papers need sharp critical thinking skills and analysis. It’s one of the most effective methods of finding a connection between all the provided sources. Use such data to strengthen your claim. However, ensure that every piece of collected evidence supports your point of view.

Tips to Remember When Writing a Synthesis Essay Outline Template

Here are some simple guidelines which you’ll need to keep in mind before creating a synthesis essay outline. Assuming you already have your sources, all you need to do now is follow these simple steps:

  • Analyze all the provided sources

Never rush to create an outline if you’ve not understood the references. Make sure that you note vital points and themes mentioned by the author as this is the first step towards writing a winning synthesis paper.

  • Look for an intriguing topic!

You might think that this is a pretty straightforward process, but finding a suitable topic is not a simple task. Usually, a captivating synthesis paper topic will come from emerging social issues. So, try to think about a widespread problem that interests you.

It’s better to pick a debatable issue which you know very well. Don’t just choose a topic because it popped up in your mind. Instead, go for something which you can easily argue or support. Pick a broad subject and narrow it down to something small.

  • Develop your thesis statement

By now, you’ve already gone through all the sources and come up with a great title. The next step will be taking a position based on the resources and topic. Your claim will rest on one part of the argument, which you’ll support throughout the paper.

After establishing your opinion, it’s time to write it down using the exact words or phrases. Create a thesis statement that convinces your audience that all your arguments are credible and to prove it, use reliable sources.

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The Structure of a Synthesis Essay Outline Example

After understanding the tips for writing an outline for synthesis essay, below is how your structure should look like. Well, we know that students are often tempted to skip this step. Sadly, in doing so, they affect the entire quality of their paper. Here, we’ve used an example to help you understand the essay structure.

Example Topic: Is Gaming the Future of Science Education in the USA?

In this project, you’ll need to develop a rhetorical situation where you incorporate all parts of your argument using a unique approach. In our synthesis essay outline example title, we’re merely trying to answer the question, “What’s the role of science in our society?” We’ve also used the following resources to come up with this subject:

  • Reports from Facts from www.mediafamily.org on the effects of video games on children
  • Findings which show that the Federation of American scientists will use video games to teach kids biology
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s book on science and society, “Launching the Right Stuff”

Synthesis Essay Outline Introduction

In an essay introduction, the first step is defining the relevance of the subject to your readers. What do you want them to know? For instance, in this synthesis essay outline template, we want to show them how gaming is changing the future of science education.

Our thesis statement will, therefore, look like this, “We need to teach science education to the young through interactive gaming sessions. This will help them in understanding and participating in the process of learning. In the end, we’ll see a significant increase in future scientists and mathematicians.”

After your thesis statement, you’ll need to mention your supporting reasons. Talk about them briefly and expound on them as you proceed with your paper. So, some of the points that would strengthen the above thesis statement are:

  1. There has been a significant increase in the fields of science and technology following the development of the 1960’s space program.
  2. A good number of American households believe that video games are useful to their children.
  3. Scientists are using software apps and tools to teach kids subjects like Biology.
  4. The government now approves teaching children math through fun fractions and pictures.
  5. Video games desensitize kids to aggressive acts of violence.

The most common mistakes when writing such an introduction:

  • Providing an inadequate description of the topic in question
  • Coming up with a weak and unclear thesis statement
  • Stating supporting ideas that do not ‘hook’ or compel your audience to continue reading

The Main Body of Your Outline for Synthesis Essay

Here’s where you’ll spend a good chunk of your time explaining points and providing credible sources to strengthen your claim.

In this synthesis essay outline template, we’ve decided to arrange our paper in 5 separate paragraphs each expounding on individual findings. Take a look!

  • Paragraph 1

According to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s book called “Launching the Right Stuff,” there’s a definite improvement in science and technology following the great space programs of the 1960’s. Explain the relevance of this issue and how it builds on your thesis.

  • Paragraph 2

According to reports from the Entertainment Software Association (www.womengamers.com), a good number of parents believe that video games play a critical role in the lives of their kids. Explain how it’s easier for students to learn using something which grabs their attention like a video game as compared to a book.

  • Paragraph 3

Scientists have developed a game called “Immune Attack” that shows young students the human anatomy. The primary objective of the game is to save patients with bacterial infections. Through this, children learn how the immune system and human body work. To add to your claim, explain how such technology could also help in other areas like science or even math.

  • Paragraph 4

The government now recognizes learning institutions that are using games with inspiring pictures and fractions to teach math. Look for evidence that supports this statement. For instance, President Barack Obama approved the use of gaming technologies in furthering the state of education in the country.

  • Paragraph 5

According to www.mediafamily.org, video games are introducing kids to a culture of anger and violence. This is a negative point which does not strengthen your thesis but helps the reader develop his or her point of view after going through the paper. In any case, remember that you’re arguing so presenting information supporting only one side is not sufficient enough!

Areas where students go wrong when writing the main body:

  • Stating weak supportive topic sentences which don’t contribute to their thesis
  • Failure to provide credible evidence that strengthens their claims
  • Not using transition phrases to help your audience distinguish one point from the other

How Should You Conclude Your Synthesis Essay Outline?

Ensure that you leave a powerful conclusion when writing your essay. It’s the final part of your paper and also the last chance for you to convince your readers that your argument makes sense. Restate your thesis, summarize all your supporting points and end with a question.

Although this might look like the most natural part of our synthesis paper outline, it’s still an area where a good number of students tend to make a lot of mistakes. For instance, some forget to leave a call-to-action, while others write a weak summary of their ideas. Therefore, when doing your paper, take as much time as you can for writing the conclusion.


As you can see, the outline of a synthesis essay is no different from that of writing a usual paper. Just arrange your article in three simple parts: Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion. Final items to consider include formatting of the document (APA, MLA or Chicago) and the font size to use. Good luck!