Give us feedbackX

How to Write a Perfect Synthesis Essay Outline

Writing a synthesis paper is difficult, but we'll show you how to make an outline that will help you write an effective essay. A good outline is what makes your work easier and provides you with the structure that allows you to write an effective essay. This article will explain how to make an APA or MLA format outline of your paper. Throughout this article, we will discuss what synthesis essays are, how to choose a synthesis essay format, and how to define and write a good essay.

What is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is a kind of academic writing that requires you to take two or more sources and compare and contrast them. You will have to make conclusions based on your analysis, which should be supported by evidence from the text. Sometimes, this type of essay requires you to use your own words as well as those taken from the original sources.

These papers are common in colleges and high schools as well. Commonly, they have a structure that consists of 5 paragraphs essay. These texts often reflect the writer's point of view. The writer usually presents his or her opinion to make a point based on the data gathered during the research.

When writing a synthesis essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose your topic and sources.
  • Analyze each source in detail.
  • Bring all of the information together into one coherent argument.

Now that we’ve defined the synthesis essay, let’s go over the two main types – Argumentative and Explanatory Synthesis Essays.

Need help with writing a synthesis essay?

Get your paper written by a professional writer

Get help 4.8/5

Argumentative Vs. Explanatory Synthesis Essays – Two Types of Synthesis Essays

Synthesis essays are the most common type of assignment in academic writing. They are usually assigned to students at the end of the semester, when they need to collect all the information they have learned and make a synthesis out of it.

There are two types of synthesis essays, argumentative and explanatory. In fact, they are the two most common types of essays that you will write in college, so it is important to understand how to write them well. In this article, you will learn more about these two types of synthesis essays and how they differ from each other:

  • In an argumentative essay, the thesis will simply argue one point in the same way as in a classic essay. This type of synthesis essay is used to argue a particular point of view. It is an argumentative essay that supports or opposes a particular idea or viewpoint. The writer argues in favor of his/her point of view by using evidence, facts, and statistics.
  • An explanatory essay has the goal of explaining a particular perspective. The writer must use sources from different perspectives and present them objectively without endorsing one over the other. This type of essay is used to explain a topic in detail. It is an analysis of the subject matter and is based on facts and figures. The writer describes the topic in detail by using evidence, facts, and statistics.

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.

Synthesis Essay Structure

A great way to begin writing a synthesis essay is by first creating an outline plan for what sources you want to include in your final piece. You should also consider how much information each source contains so that everything matches up well with each other when put together into one document (that means no gaps between paragraphs). The synthesis essay structure has three main parts: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

  • The introduction of a synthesis essay gives background information on your topic and introduces your thesis statement, which is your position on the topic as you plan to defend it in the body paragraphs.
  • The body paragraphs are where you provide details about your thesis statement and include evidence from different sources to support it, such as quotes from experts on the subject or statistics related to your argument.
  • Finally, the conclusion summarizes what you've said in the body paragraphs and indicates if there are any remaining issues that need further study or investigation.
  • In most cases, a synthesis essay will have five paragraph structure. To structure your essay correctly, you'll need to understand some key points. Let's go over them together.

Introduction and Synthesis Writing

In your introduction, you will introduce the topic of your essay, explain what it is about, and give some background information. In general, you should use this space to lay out an argument that synthesizes at least two ideas from other sources. If you find yourself with few sources on a particular topic, you may want to consider using only one source or writing about a different topic entirely.

A good introduction makes a reader want to keep reading. The writer can accomplish this by writing a statement that hooks the reader's interest and makes the reader want to read more. Be sure to include an opening sentence that clearly states who or what you are discussing (for example: “In his book _____, philosopher X discusses…”). This sentence will also help ensure that readers understand why they should care about what comes next in your paper.

The writer can then briefly discuss the points he or she will be addressing. The purpose of a good introduction is to engage readers by creating interest so that they want to read further about what is to be discussed.

It's worth it if it saves just one life! Keeping the workplace safe is essential to the job. Are the benefits outweighed by the costs and the effort? The long-term profitability of a safe working environment is greater than that of an unsafe one.

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”. An example would be if you had a paper about a certain topic, but wanted to acknowledge that there are some people who feel differently about it. You could give an example here, such as “some people think” or "others believe".

It is important to include evidence and sources in this section. An informative body with analysis can become a great body when it is backed up by solid evidence.

The Conclusion

In the conclusion, you need to summarize the main points of your essay. It should be short, but it should not be an afterthought. You should also draw conclusions and provide a brief overview of the research. If you did your research well, writing a summary will be easy.

In addition, you should explain why your argument is valid, give a clear answer to the question and make recommendations based on your own findings. Simply review what you've talked about so far. You might want to remind your reader of your thesis statement or main point, and sum up your points.

A conclusion should:

  • Summarize what has been said in the essay - this makes sure that readers don't miss anything important
  • Explain how what has been said relates to an issue or problem (if you're writing an argumentative essay)
  • Explain how what has been said relates to other people's ideas about the issue (if you're writing an analytical essay)
  • The conclusion should end with a strong statement that brings everything together so that readers know what you think about the topic. You can use personal experiences or examples to illustrate your point if necessary.


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).

Catch plagiarism before your teacher does

Check your paper against billions of web pages and publications.
Get an accurate plagiarism report in a few seconds.
It's fast, easy & free!

Check my paper

What Is an Essay Outline and Why Is It Important?

Writing a perfect synthesis essay outline is important because it helps you to organize your ideas and write a better essay. An outline for synthesis essay or structure is basically a map that shows you how to get from point A to point Z, every step of the way. It keeps you from going down any dead ends and makes sure that when you get there, it’s done right.

A synthesis essay introduction outline is typical for a synopsis of a synthesis essay. The thesis statement will be followed by an 'attention grabber'. You will then outline what each paragraph in the body will be about. Provide details about more than one piece of information. Finally, you will outline what your conclusion will cover.

A writer who does not do an outline before writing a paper may end up having problems with flow and focus. An outline and structure can help writers ensure that all of the necessary information is included and presented logically.

What Format Should Be Followed for a Synthesis Outline Structure?

If you don't know what format your instructor has in mind, it's best to study some examples. Here's how it works:

Synthesis Essay Outline

A good and simple synthesis essay template can take you a long way. This template makes writing the actual synthesis essay much simpler with adequate planning and research. Writers who disregard the outline process face so many challenges and end up having to deal with more complications than they need to. It's a great idea to plan out how many words each section can take up in a synthesis outline if you're limited by a word count.

Stuck with finding the right title?

Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.

Get topics

How to Write a Synthesis Essay Outline?

Prior to anything else, you should write a synopsis. By writing the synopsis, you can carefully plan what each paragraph will include. This is important because your points will be presented in order based on the word count and flow.

The outline will prevent you from getting writer's block or struggling to think of what to write.

It’s hard to find a good structured synthesis essay outline example on the internet. An explanatory synthesis essay outline is very rare, but not impossible to find. To help you get started, here is a synthesis outline example with some guidelines to follow:

  • Write an introduction. This explains how you arrived at your thesis and why it is important, as well as presenting background information on the topic at hand and any other relevant details that provide context for understanding it in greater depth later on in the essay. Also, be sure to make your introduction one paragraph long and about 10% of the total word count.

  • Start with a thesis statement. Begin your essay by clearly stating what you’re going to argue so that the reader knows what to expect from your paper. You should introduce your thesis statement by presenting one of your three main ideas. The reader may feel there is no need to read the rest of your essay if you reveal everything in your introduction.

  • The body of your outline should be composed of three paragraphs, each focusing on a specific idea. It is important to remember that any supporting evidence you use should be credible and properly referenced according to the writing style you are using. Quotations should be used when mentioning the exact same words that belong to another person or are taken from some source.

  • Write down sources. To avoid forgetting where a piece of information or a quotation came from, make sure to include the sources along with the information in your essay outline.

  • Write a conclusion. Like your introduction, your conclusion should constitute around 10% of the total word count. Readers should know that they are reading the conclusion and not just another paragraph of the body. Here, you shouldn't introduce new information - rather, you should summarize it.

More than just a spell check

Editors on PapersOwl can edit your paper and give recommendations on how to improve your writing:

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Sentence structure
  • Academic style

How to Create a Synthesis Essay Outline?

Writing a synthesis essay is not as simple as it may seem. It requires a lot of planning and organizing before you can even begin writing. The structure of your essay needs to be clear in your mind so that you know exactly where each piece of evidence fits into it and how long each section will be. Some people are doing it the old-school way with a pen and paper. Drawing, crossing out, and moving things until they get an outline they like. They then type it into their computer as the main synopsis.

A lot of people start with their research and then write the framework – while others read a little around the topic, sketch out their thoughts, then go back and find evidence to support their ideas.

Let’s go over the key principles you need to follow in order to create an amazing essay outline:

  • Learn more about the topic by doing some general reading
  • Brainstorm and write down ideas on paper
  • Make a decision on what stance you will take or what your summary is going to be
  • Choose 3 primary ideas that you will use in the essay body
  • Write down the evidence and sources you found that you will use to back up the ideas
  • Create your outline and start with the introduction - determine how long it will be and how it will affect the content
  • You will need to refer back to the three ideas you chose from your brainstorming when laying out your essay. For easy referencing, don't forget to mention sources and locations. Take a few seconds to write down the brief text of your conclusion, and estimate how many words you have to play with (10%)

Build your thesis statement

This is AI-powered online tool that lets you create a thesis statement about any topic you need.

  • Simple interface
  • Works with any type of paper
  • Absolutely free
  • Unlimited attempts

Example of a Synthesis Essay in MLA

If you decided to write an MLA format synthesis essay, here’s the template example you should follow:

  • Make sure to use Times New Roman font (size 12pt) that’s double-spaced.
  • Your margins should be 1". In the top-right corner of each page, you should place your surname and the page number.
  • Your title should be centered.
  • The header should have your full name, your professor’s name, the course code or number, and the date in the dd/mm/yy format.
  • A page called “works cited” should be your last page.

Synthesis Essay Example APA Style

The next style that's common is the synthesis APA format. If you’re wondering how to write a synthesis paper in APA format, you should follow this template:

  • Make sure to use Times New Roman font (size 12pt) that’s double-spaced.
  • Have your header at the top of each page in your essay.
  • The top-right side should have the page number.
  • Your structure should follow this format: title page, abstract, main body, and references.

Was this article helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Simply fill out the form, click the button, and have no worries!

By clicking “CONTINUE”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.