How to Write a Synthesis Essay Outline: Structure and Examples
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A synthesis essay outline is critical to planning your essay’s writing process. Without this crucial stage, you may run into many avoidable and costly problems while composing your paper. Your synthesis essay format also enables your readers to read your paper conveniently.

This article shares insights on how to start an informative essay by outlining and formatting it appropriately. It defines a synthesis essay, discusses its types, and shares valuable tips on outlining it. The post also contains answers to some of the frequently asked questions and their answers. Keep on reading to learn more and master this essay assignment.

Synthesis Essay Outline

What is a Synthesis Essay Writing?

Let’s define a synthesis essay before learning more about a synthesis paper outline. A synthesis essay is an academic project requiring students to take several sources and research before comparing and contrasting them.

Its purpose is to allow you to make logical conclusions based on your analysis supported by evidence in the texts. At times, you may need to use your own words and those in the sources to argue your case. This essay type is common in colleges and high schools at the semester’s end.

A typical synthesis essay structure has five paragraphs showcasing your viewpoints on a subject. Your drafting process follows these steps:

  • Choosing a topic and sources.
  • Analyzing each source comprehensively.
  • Gathering all the information into a coherent argument.

Synthesis essays come in two main forms, as discussed below.

An argumentative essay

This essay debates a single point, as in other papers. It argues to favor a perspective using facts, stats, and evidence you gathered from sources. It supports or opposes a specific idea or viewpoint.

An explanatory essay

This assignment type explains a given viewpoint. It also relies on facts and figures as important evidence. You must use sources from various angles and submit them objectively without favoring one.

How to Write an Outline For a Synthesis Essay?

Sometimes, drafting an argumentative synthesis essay outline without assistance from an academic essay writing service can be tedious. You must create a synthesis essay layout to accommodate your paper’s core components. All synthesis essay outlines have introductory sections, body paragraphs, and conclusions.

Creating a synthesis paragraph outline requires gathering all the necessary materials. A synthesis paper format is like an empty container. So, the outline doesn’t matter if you haven’t gotten the suitable materials to fill them in. Thus, consider how much information each source has to let everything match well in the paper. Otherwise, you might have gaps between your paragraphs.

The outline ensures that every idea, argument, and point falls in the proper place. It gives your piece order and a logical flow. Below are more details about an outline’s parts.

Synthesis essay introduction

An excellent outline for a synthesis essay has an introduction that presents your topic, explains what it’s about, and gives background information. Include an argument that synthesizes at least two thoughts from other sources.

This section should also hook your readers to attract and retain their attention. You may use relevant stats, humor, or a quote from a public figure your readers trust.

Additionally, it contains and explains your thesis statement to show readers why it matters. Limit it to one paragraph and ensure it doesn’t exceed 10% of your assignment’s word count. However, don’t pour everything here. The reader might feel they have read everything, killing their interest in your paper altogether. So, you should strive to a balance between whetting your audience’s appetite and introducing your piece.

Synthesis essay body paragraph

A great outline of a synthesis essay also comprises paragraphs that are your paper’s gist. It provides readers with the details about your thesis. Also, it contains proof from various sources to support your thesis. The evidence can be statistics or quotations from subject matter experts.

Individual paragraphs must carry one main idea or piece of evidence. The first two paragraphs support your thesis. The last one contains evidence against your thesis. Here, you show readers what other people believe about the subject. However, you don’t do so to water down your position. This mention of other contrary views keeps you objective and unbiased.

Start every paragraph with a topic sentence introducing the idea you want to discuss. Next, present the evidence that justifies the paragraph’s primary thought and use appropriate data and examples to consolidate it. Lastly, make a conclusion relating to the evidence and target point.

Synthesis essay conclusion

Your synthesis writing outline also contains a concluding section that summarizes your essential ideas. It also features the following components:

  • Explains how your points relate to an issue or challenge it as with an argumentative paper.
  • Describes how your discussion relates to other people’s opinions about a subject issue, as in the case of drafting an analytical assignment.
  • It ends with a strong statement that ties all your points together to give readers your perspective on an issue.

Synthesis Essay Outline Template

Synthesis essay outline examples inspire your outline creation. Here’s a perfect synthesis essay outline example.


  • Hooks readers.
  • Provides background data.
  • Contains your thesis statement.

Body: Concessions and Refutation

  • Briefly summarizes your viewpoints and arguments against it too.


Topic sentence:

  • Gives a reason contrary to your thesis.
  • Provides evidence supporting the opinion.
  • States why the opposing view isn’t valid.
  • Provides counter facts and explains why it’s weak.
  • Concludes and offers final comments on the subject.

Support 1

  • States the least important reason supporting your thesis.
  • Submits a topic statement ushering in your idea.
  • Quotes one of your sources.
  • Provides proof to back your idea.
  • Comments on your proof and why it matters.
  • Concludes by summarizing all your essential opinions.

Support 2

  • Discusses the second-most critical reason substantiating your thesis.
  • Chooses an appropriate topic sentence.
  • Embeds facts supporting your viewpoint and comments on them.
  • Concludes everything based on the topic statement and proof.

Support 3

  • States your most important reason for bolstering your thesis.
  • Optimizes the topic statement to offer a vibrant case.
  • Quotes several sources and comments on them.
  • Offers evidence to back your statement and comments on its relevance.
  • Concludes by summarizing the facts.


  • Summarizes all the facts.
  • Restates your thesis.
  • Summarizes your arguments and offers a relevant model.
  • Include a call to action.

Synthesis Essay Format

A synthesis essay template has three main parts that guide your paper’s flow. As stated, this assignment requires stating your personal position on a matter and supporting it with multiple sources. Below are the four main sections contained in a sample synthesis essay outline.


This introductory part addresses the general landscape of your opinions surrounding the topic. It also introduces some of your sources. You must present your argument through a thesis statement expressed in one or two clear sentences at this section’s end.

Main body 

This section is your paper’s gist. It contains three paragraphs, two of which support your thesis. The last one shows your readers contrary positions and refutes them to prove why they aren’t strong enough to weaken your thesis.


This final part restates your thesis and summarizes your primary ideas. It may emphasize how all your opinions substantiate your thesis.


You need to include this part, depending on your paper’s guidelines. The formatting style can be

APA, MLA, AP, or Chicago manual. You must include this list at your assignment’s end to credit your research sources and avoid plagiarism. This list can take between one and two pages.

Need Help With Synthesis Essay Writing?

Preparing a perfect structure of a synthesis essay is a vital stage as you plan to write your paper. That’s why this paper showed you everything you need to know about this crucial preparatory stage. It also provided an example of a synthesis essay outline to give you a practical demonstration. We hope these insights, plus the model outline we offered, will sharpen your skills in this assignment.

So far, do you still need to book a professional writer to compose a customized essay? Don’t hesitate to ask for help because our team is on standby to assist.

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Do you still have unaddressed questions about how to write a synthesis essay outline? No worries because this section features frequently asked questions, plus their answers.

How to write a synthesis essay outline?

You write a perfect outline after gathering sufficient materials you want to feature in your paper. Ensure that these materials will fit in your word count.

Do you have a synthesis essay outline template?

Yes. We provided a synthesis essay outline template to give you a realistic view of how an excellent outline should look.

What is the format of a synthesis essay?

An outline for a synthesis essay is its primary structure containing your ideas according to your instructor’s preferred formatting style, like MLA or APA.

Where can I get an example of a synthesis essay outline?

This post supplied a perfect sample synthesis essay outline to help structure your future assignments.