To synthesize is to combine ideas and create a completely new idea. That new idea becomes the conclusion you have drawn from your reading. This is the true beauty of reading: it causes us to weigh ideas, to compare, judge, think, and explore—and then to arrive at a moment that we hadn’t known before. We begin with simple summary, work through analysis, evaluate using critique, and then move on to synthesis.
What are the features of synthesis?
Synthesis is a flexible skill involving the use of other sources that either support your own view or assert an opposing point of view. Good writers always consider the opinions of people with whom they disagree then use those opinions to further defend their own. Therefore, in this essay, synthesis means comparing and contrasting your views with those of others. You may also compare and contrast the views of your sources, noting places where they seem to support each others’ ideas, and places where they might disagree or conflict.
For a more in-depth explanation of what synthesis writing is, what its goals are and how you can approach synthesis, visit the Writing Commons article “Identifying a Conversation”
The content on this page is from Melanie Gagich’s book Introduction to Writing in College, which is licensed as CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 and can be accessed here.