How to Write a Synthesis and Analysis Essay

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How to Write a Synthesis and Analysis Essay
A synthesis and analysis essay should include facts and your own interpretation. (writing image by Alison Bowden from

Writing a strong synthesis and analysis essay requires a lot of research and a thorough understanding of the topic of the paper. A synthesis must be an organised, accurate report that provides the reader with quotes and phrases directly from reliable sources, along with your own interpretation and analysis of that information. As you must include a page listing works cited and all in-text citations, keep careful track of your sources as you research and write your essay.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Research your essay topic and take notes. Write down quotes from your sources that make strong points you want to use in your paper, and then write your own analysis of this directly beneath the quote. Remember that analysis does not have to mean opinion. Overall, your essay should be a statement of facts with your interpretation.

  2. 2

    Write a thesis statement for your essay. This statement will appear in your introduction and should summarise the focus of your essay, including both the topic and your overall analysis.

  3. 3

    Write five or more topic sentences based on the notes you took. Choose what you feel are the most relevant points from your research and summarise them for each topic sentence.

  4. 4

    Rewrite your thesis statement to serve as the conclusion of your essay, summarising the ideas you put forth in your essay and showing the reader how all of your topic sentences supported that thesis.

  5. 5

    Return to each topic sentence and make a list beneath each sentence that includes a direct quote or paraphrase of an idea from a specific source, including the citation information (book title, author, page number) of your source. Also include a few points in your list of your own analysis and thoughts on the topic.

  6. 6

    Write your first draft by expanding upon the outline you created for each paragraph.

  7. 7

    Read your first draft and check for grammar and punctuation errors. Rewrite passive sentences into active sentences. For example, "The theory was proved..." could become "Scientists proved the theory..." Read your essay out loud to check for run-on sentences and to make sure the flow of your ideas is logical. Revise and edit as necessary.

  8. 8

    List the works cited at the end of your paper. Cite each source you used in your essay, including the author name, title, page numbers, publishing house, city and year of publication.

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