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Argumentative Synthesis Essay

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How to Write an Argumentative Synthesis Essay

Essay writing has not always been a straightforward task for students, especially in exams. Learners will encounter argumentative synthesis essays not only in classwork but tests too. It is essential you (student) understand how to structure your essay and the rest will flow freely. The argumentative synthesis essay knowledge extends beyond class. Businesses that require white papers use the concept of argumentative synthesis essay writing. Synthesis essays are a broad category that can be looked at from the perspective of argumentative, narrative and review essays.

What is an argumentative synthesis essay?

To synthesize means to assemble different parts into one. Therefore, an argumentative synthesis essay is a piece of writing that collects information and assembles it into one whole (the essay). The writer will then provide arguments and defend them while supporting a certain point of view. For purposes of classwork, students may be required to identify these various sources, which should be at least three. Since argumentative synthesis essays are common in exams, students are provided with sources from which they draw information. Though these sources are different, the aim is to assemble them to provide arguments for a single topic.

General steps of writing an argumentative synthesis essays

The process of writing an argumentative synthesis essay can be divided into three broad steps.

Reading the prompt

Before you start writing the essay, you must understand what the instructor requires of you. Therefore, you must carefully read the prompt since it tells you the purpose of your essay.

Reading and evaluating the sources

What do the various sources say about the issue you will address in your essay? Understanding these writers’ stands regarding a topic will help you determine your point of view. These sources are a crucial part of the argumentative synthesis essay since they will help you create a debate. The best argumentative essays are based on controversial issues. This way, you can evaluate different views and then tell your stand on the topic.

Writing the essay

It is until you have understood the prompt and evaluated the different sources that you can draft your essay. These sources provide you with the tangible evidence you require to support your arguments. Thereafter, you can comfortably write an essay that provides your opinion on the topic of discussion.

1. Reading the prompt

Evaluate what you learn from the prompt

A student must carefully read through the entire prompt, lest they might miss out on some crucial details. From the prompt, you should be able to identify the topic, context, and purpose of your essay. The three aspects interrelate and misinterpreting one will mean producing an entirely wrong essay. Reading the prompt correctly will help you to come up with strong arguments for your essay.

Choose a stand on the issue

A synthesis essay is characterized by numerous sources thus representing various viewpoints. As a writer, you must embrace all the different views in your essay. A great essay will not use different sources to support a single position. The prompt will help you consider the possibilities of taking a given position as opposed to the other. What factors will determine the direction you take? With the prompt enabling you to appreciate the different views, identify the one you are likely to support. Remember you have not yet read through the different sources.

2. Read the sources

Exams may limit the amount of time available to exhaustively read through all the sources. It is acceptable to consider at least three points of view from different sources. However, if you are presenting classwork that may be longer, consider more sources. As you read from the sources available, make short notes regarding the relationship of the author to a certain position. Identify the major arguments and their supporting evidence. Underline or highlight any information that may be essential in your essay. Since you have a single topic, evaluate what each source has to say about that issue. Narrow down the pieces by choosing only the most credible of the evidence from each source.

3. Writing the essay

Thesis statement

You had established a tentative position by only reading the draft. Now that you have considered various sources, do you need to edit or entirely change your viewpoint? A perfect thesis statement will incorporate the purpose of your essay and your position in the same sentence (thesis statement). Your position may make a qualification, take a stand and support it, or give implications before taking a stand. The purpose of the essay will largely determine how you formulate your thesis statement.


The introduction provides a brief highlight of what your essay entails, without giving details. It also involves some background information and a thesis statement like any other essay, you should begin your argumentative essay in a manner that grabs the reader’s attention.

Body paragraphs

The number of paragraphs depends on the length of the essay. Short essays will have three or four body paragraphs. Dedicate the first or last paragraph to a counterargument that opposes your thesis statement. Present evidence that supports this argument as well as some refuting evidence. The rest of the paragraphs will contain views that support your thesis statement and are in line with the purpose of the essay. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that presents your argument. Follow it with supporting evidence and then analyze it as per the sources used. Ensure that you have used proper sentence and paragraph transitions to avoid leaving the reader confused.


Restate the main points that support your thesis statement and highlight the significance of the issue discussed. A powerful conclusion convinces the reader why your position is the correct one for the issue at hand. Your conclusion can also point out what needs to be done in the future regarding this issue. Are there existing loopholes that warrant further study? Once you have grabbed the reader’s attention, ensure that you have maintained a proper flow. Ensure that you end your essay compellingly and in a convincing tone.

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