Synthesis Essay Outline

Synthesis Essay Outline

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Despite its intimidating look, a synthesis essay is just like writing any other college assignment. You only need to know what to avoid, for example, most writers make the mistake of ‘jumping’ straight into the topic. Well, a synthesis essay doesn’t work like this.

Here, we’ll take you through a detailed synthesis paper outline with some specific examples. However, before we dive into what you should and shouldn’t do, let’s first define a synthesis essay and the essence of writing one.

What is a Synthesis Essay?

While some people confuse them with argumentative essays, synthesis papers present not only an argument but also other facts too. In an argumentative essay, you’ll need to state your thesis and provide critical evidence from sources that you may not have visited before.

However, when it comes to synthesis essays, it’s also different because all its resources are generally pre-determined, mainly by the professor assigning the paper. There are three types of such pieces:

  • Argument

In these types of assignments, you should present your stance or viewpoint, and support it using relevant sources and facts. The facts that you provide should help you in enhancing the subject so you’ll need to arrange them logically.

In many situations, writers develop contradicting thesis statements even though they’re writing about one topic. This is allowed as the arguments you present are based on your interpretation and hence, open to interpretation.

  • Review

These papers are described merely as simple research discussions. However, unlike regular literature reviews, they entail a fundamental analysis of all the sources that you use. Their primary objective is to affirm the essence of extensive research on a given topic. They, therefore, look for the loopholes and shortcomings of other research discussions.

  • Explanatory

Explanatory papers are also referred to as background synthesis assignments. Unlike argumentative essays which require you to have a specific point of view, here, present facts on an object, a place or state of affairs to further your reader’s understanding.

Also in argument essay, you should go past the sources to give your readers a more definite stance. However, in explanatory articles, you shouldn’t mention anything that’s not in the provided sources.

Synthesis Essay Outline Template

The first thing that this outline for synthesis essay will highlight is the importance of writing a catchy topic. Before you even think of how to structure your paper, it’s crucial to make sure that all tips relating to topic selection are entirely transparent. The best thing to do is choosing the topic that you’re familiar with.

Once you have a topic in mind, then proceed with coming up with a suitable structure for your essay. Just like other essays, synthesis papers have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Each part should follow specific steps, and as the writer, you should be familiar with each one.

How to Write an Attractive Introduction

Your introduction gives your readers a simple discussion into the subject under review. Here, as the author, you’ll need to be quite creative to capture the interests of your audience. One of the critical mistakes students make is writing an unimpressive paragraph which makes doesn’t compel people to continue reading the paper.

First, go through the sources provided, and then come up your opinion on the topic or subject. Lastly, it’s good to submit your thesis statement within the last sentences.

Tips on Writing the Body (Transition Words, Length, Paragraphs)

In many cases, a synthesis essay outline mostly has five sections in its main body. However, there are some who go all the way up to seven paragraphs. Here, using transition words is necessary as the show when you’re explaining a different point. Good examples include:

  • Subsequently
  • Firstly
  • Additionally
  • Besides
  • On the contrary

Furthermore, all paragraphs should have a topic sentence, which helps in building your thesis statement. You should also provide evidence sources and the importance of each source.

How to Write a Near-Perfect Conclusion

Well, if you’re looking for an easy paragraph to write, then you’ll have no problem in coming up with your final essay paragraph. You’ll only need to state the importance of your viewpoint or stance and then offer a summary of all points in your main body.

Sadly, on many occasions, writers tend to end projects flatly. So, remember that in a synthesis essay you’ll need to be creative, and have an ending that elicits thoughts and ideas from your audience.

A Simple Synthesis Essay Outline Example on Industrialization

This outline for synthesis essay will follow the three sections that we’ve explained above. Of course, there are many writing styles which you could use for your paper, for example, MLA, Chicago, and APA. However, regardless of the format, your lecturer tells you to use. Remember to follow this simple guideline:

How to Introduce Your Topic

You’ll need to start by first defining the concept of industrialization and state its importance in development. Then mention some causes and effects of industrialization, for instance, new inventions, high immigration, investment capital, and increase in population.

On the last part of your introduction, you’ll need to come up with an attractive thesis statement asserting the growth of industrialization in both developing and developed countries. Remember that this statement should be clear for all your readers to see.

Common mistakes which students make here include:

  • Failure to hook the reader using a captivating tone or attractive phrases
  • A shallow introduction which does not explain the topic
  • An inaccurate thesis statement that does not coincide with the subject

Your Main Body

Arrange your main body in at least five paragraphs using valid and relevant data, collected from trusted sources. For example, in this industrialization template, don’t write “industrialization has led to the development,” because this is something which your audience already knows. Instead, mention the facts and statistics on industrialization have caused substantial developmental projects in the world.

Paragraph 1:

Mention how the growth of forests provides cheap building materials or how the vast supplies of water are a source of power for shipping industries and other businesses.

Paragraph 2:

Talk about the rate of population growth in the world and how it causes an increase in demand. Here, the more the people, the higher the need for finished goods, and eventually, the growth of manufacturing industries.

Paragraph 3:

Highlight the rate of improved transportation and how it’s led to increased supply and demand of products.

Paragraph 4:

What about the issue of immigration? As skilled workers moved to settle in different countries, they used their skills to assist industries to grow. On the other hand, unskilled workers offered cheap labor.

Paragraph 5:

New inventions made people produce more goods efficiently. Talk about how the growth of technology boosts production in different industries across the world.

What should you avoid while writing your main body?

The following are some of the critical areas where many students go wrong when writing such a synthesis paper:

  • Providing insufficient or inaccurate information
  • Failure to use transition words, making it hard for the reader to distinguish one point from the other
  • Not quoting your research sources

The Conclusion

As we’ve previously mentioned, this is arguably the most natural part of such an essay. In this synthesis paper outline on the growth of industrialization, we’ve come up with three simple tips of writing a reasonable conclusion.

  1. Give a reassertion that industrialization is slowly growing and how we need to work together to get the best out of it.
  2. Summarize all the points presented in your main body.
  3. Lastly, end with a call to action that compels your readers to come up with their point of view regarding the topic.

One of the key mistakes which a majority of students make here is providing a shallow summary of their main ideas. So, when called upon to write this type of paper, don’t rush in writing the conclusion simply because it’s the last part of the essay. In any case, remember that a poorly written paragraph might give you a low score!

In summary, writing any synthesis essay outline involves several aspects:

  • You’ll need to understand the topic thoroughly – It’s impossible to give your point of view or to analyze a subject that you don’t know. So, always make sure that you familiarize yourself with all topics. That’s why it’s crucial to have a synthesis essay outline template that highlights all your key findings.
  • Conduct extensive research on the subject – This will assist you in building on the topic plus also the diversity of knowledge.
  • Arrange all your topics and thoughts – Have a coherent and consistent flow of thought. You should transition from one point of thought to the other skilfully!
  • Finally, remember to keep track of all your sources – Conduct thorough research to ensure that your paper has only authentic facts. Of course, you’ll need to go through several books, research articles, and journals.


With all this information, you have the knowledge you need to write an essay. We also want to remind you that contrary to many people’s beliefs, these are some of the most comfortable topics that you’ll come across. You’ll find prompts talking about gun control, press freedom, or the rate of academic achievement. All in all, we hope that with this synthesis essay outline example, you’ll have an easy time in writing your college assignment.

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