Beginner Guide on How to Write a Synthesis Research Paper

A synthesis paper is as tasking as any other research paper. However, its difference lies in its approach and purpose. This type of paper requires a student to demonstrate their capability of extensive research, using deep concepts and sound arguments.

The best synthesis research paper is a combination of ideas from different sources. These ideas are then summarized and condensed into a thesis statement.

This article provides a detailed guide on synthesis research papers and everything involved in writing a good one.

Synthesis paper definition: what is a synthesis paper?

Writing a synthesis research paper is just like writing any major thesis. A synthesis paper describes the convergence of various written ideas.

This paper uses several sources of information to create its core material. Sources include academic papers such as lectures, interviews, speeches, articles, and observations. A synthesis research paper can also call on fictional sources of information.

A synthesis paper can sample ideas from two related topics while isolating their primary discussion points.

For example, you can have a paper examining the role of technology in the digital world and how smartphones have improved education. Then, after information synthesis, you can create a new topic titled: “The role of smartphones in digital education.” This will now be your main idea.

Types of synthesis research papers

There are two major types of synthesis research papers, and they include:

Explanatory synthesis paper

This form of synthesis paper helps readers better understand a topic. It doesn’t debate a point but focuses on comprehensive explanations.

Argumentative synthesis paper

Unlike the explanatory synthesis paper, this paper argues a particular topic and provides evidence to back it up. Every step involves the ideas used in a traditional argumentative paper.

How to write a synthesis paper outline

Creating a detailed outline for any research paper is paramount for presenting ideas in an orderly format. In addition, an outline for a synthesis paper helps plan your entire work.

You’ll have to outline the main points, sub-arguments, and sources in different sections. Every part of your outline should support the main point of your thesis. Any lingering or necessary information will only distract readers from the main argument.

If the resources and information you have gathered don’t fully support your claim, acknowledge it in the paper, as it will make your message even more substantial. Remember, a synthesis research paper aims to outline and explain the various points of a topic. If you get too confused, look up synthesis paper outline examples.

The general synthesis essay outline template consists of three major parts:


An outline for a synthesis paper begins with an introduction and a supporting thesis statement. It should offer a brief description of the paper’s intentions. The introduction needs a hook, the topic background, and a thesis statement.


The body carries the paper’s main points, and the first paragraph must provide a counterargument to your thesis. A counterargument functions to debate your thesis and not wholly discredit them.

The following paragraphs should then provide supporting arguments for your thesis. Remember to follow the synthesis body outline given below:

  1. Counter argument
  2. Supporting argument
  3. Topic sentence
  4. Provision of evidence
  5. Analysis of evidence


The conclusion is a summary of the entire synthesis paper. The conclusion should contain a final sentence that reiterates the primary points and addresses any unsolved problems. You can do this by providing answers or referring to further future research on the subject.

A practical guide on how to write a synthesis research paper

It is imperative to properly analyze a given text or prompt before attempting a synthesis research paper.

To write one successfully, you must understand its purpose, rhetoric, and the argument you intend to put forward. That aside, here are some tips to help you crush your first synthesis research paper:

  • Avoid titling the write-up as a ‘synthesis paper’ before writing a title.
  • Use clear vocabulary. Always check the words in your dictionary.
  • Stick with clear sentence structures and avoid passive voice writing.
  • Remember your outline and follow its process judiciously.
  • Always proofread and correct errors while avoiding using the “you” in any context.
  • Double-check your citations
  • Learn to use sentence and paragraph transitions.
  • Employ writing techniques like summary, multiple reasoning, counter arguments, concession, and the compare and contrast technique.


After reading this guide, you will have successfully learned how to write a synthesis paper. Remember, you need to develop an outline and always learn to follow it. Also, ask your instructor about the type of format required to write your paper. This often determines the writing pattern and how you cite your information sources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *