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Ap English Language Synthesis Essay Format

First of all, it is important to explain what the word "synthesis" means. It is a mix of elements used to draw the whole picture. That is how one can conclude that a synthesis essay stands for the sort of essay which combines various points into a whole to defend so-called thesis statement. A thesis is the main idea of the essay. Students should write it in the last sentence of their introduction. Frequently, it comes with a piece that a student has to observe.

The main success factor of writing a good synthesis essay is an in-depth research based on the relevant sources. A student has to perceive the goal of the analyzed content, its rhetoric, and the arguments suggested by the author. To make it short, the writer simply has to provide an answer to the question: "So what?" Type in your personal claim. The rest of your synthesis essay in English should be built around that main sentence.

Choose Synthesis Essay Topic Before You Write the First Page

Sometimes, the teacher does not provide a specific topic or question to answer. In that cases, the student has a right to select any topic for his synthesis essay. Mind that your entire writing will be limited to the chosen question, so make your decision wisely. Select a topic for which it would be easy to write as many arguments as needed. Usually, there are 3-5 arguments in the academic essay.

The prompt has to be debatable. It has to motivate the readers to continue the discussion. Several centuries ago, the US population would support the ideas of Andrew Jackson concerning the negative sides of Native American people. However, today the situation is completely different. Any sort of discrimination is forbidden in the United States. The way you select the primary questions depends on your specific task. Make sure to decide on the text that may have opposing views. In other words, choose an article with the strong argument which may encourage your readers not just to read the synthesis essay from cover to cover, but also go on discussing the selected questions.

The best topics for your essay writing would always sound negotiable like these examples:

  • Minimum salary
  • For and against abortions
  • Global warming
  • Regulations for immigrants
  • Daylight storage
  • Gun control
  • Drug abuse
  • Social media
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Political authorities
  • Corruption
  • Alcohol and tobacco restrictions
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Feminism

It is easy to find the sufficient amount of information on any of these essay topics as they are relevant for people of all times, ages, and nationalities.

Writing Thesis Statement and Outline Page

After you decide on your topic or main questions to discuss, move to your sources. Make sure all gathered sources are related to your essay topic. Also, they have to be no older than 5-10 years as things change dynamically.

Thoroughly study all sources to get the main point. Select the best sources to use citations from them in your essay. It will serve as a perfect evidence to support your argument. Structure your claim. Write down thesis statement which is the main idea of the whole synthesis essay.

Thesis example: With the help of historical episodes, it is possible to point to the human evolution based on how infinity was interpreted in different epochs.

Another example: Only through an understanding of the causes of medical mistakes and their prevention on the early stages, the number of medical gaps will go down as well as the number of unintentional deaths in the United States.

You can view more example online without paying a cent.

As for the outline, this is a plan of your synthesis essay. Writing this part will assist you in maintaining the structure of your essay. In case your essay is going to have three main sections, divide the outline into three chunks respectively. Insert evidence to support your thesis, include sub-arguments along with all specific points. Every part should have a name (except for the introduction and conclusion- you may leave them this way). Every point (which is also an argument) must prove the major claim of your essay. Avoid additional information or tangents as these elements may hinder the essay. It is recommended to write down the information which contradicts with your thesis. It will make the essay more persuasive. Your synthesis essay has to be as strong as possible.

The Structure of Any Type of a Good Academic Essay

Read all sources thoroughly, especially when you work with articles instead of the thick books. Never summarize sources or copy-paste ideas of other authors. It is strictly forbidden. You may write summaries only if you have to write an annotated bibliography. Synthesis denotes analysis instead of the abstracts of your readings.

The example of your essay structure may be:

  • Introduction
    • Thesis
      • Argument #1
      • Argument #2
      • Argument #3
  • Body
    • Argument 1
      • Evidence (cite a source)
      • Analysis of Evidence
    • Argument 2
      • Evidence (cite a source)
      • Analysis of Evidence
    • Argument 3
      • Evidence (cite a source)
      • Analysis of Evidence
  • Conclusion
    • Restate thesis and answer all the questions left behind

What about the Writing Style?

Formatting is an important condition of the successful synthesis essay. Academic writing defines several formats. Their names are related to the scientific or educational organizations that established these styles.

The most widespread formats are:

  • MLA
  • APA
  • Turabian
  • Harvard
  • Oxford
  • IEEE

The first one is applied to the essays in Humanities. The second one is used while writing essays on Education, Psychology, and Science. Turabian or Chicago format is excellent for Business, History, and Fine Arts.

There is a Purdue Owl guide available online for free which can tell more about each of the existing academic writing styles. It has all the details about MLA and APA, while Easybib and some other online citation generators help students to format essays automatically. Simply insert your external sources to get proper citations for them.

Here are the basic nuances to consider:

  • Times New Roman
  • 12 pt font
  • Double-spaced text
  • 1" margins all around
  • Top right of the page should have student's last name and page number
  • Titles and headings are put in the center
  • The header must have your name, your professor's name, course number, and the full date (dd/mm/yy)
  • The last page is Bibliography page (a.k.a. Works Cited or References)

It is an example of MLA synthesis essay. Other examples and templates are available online for free. You can find an example of a page in APA style here.

Features of an AP Synthesis Essay in English

AP English Language and Composition is a separate academic course. Students who are enrolled in this class must perform a deep understanding of the subject matter through using various sources and operating with the information they already know. Grammar, spelling, structure, and originality might be insufficient to receive the highest score on your AP exam. The writing has to be "defending, challenging, qualifying the claim." Once you obtain the course syllabus, it is better to study it to learn the exact test dates and what it would look like.

It is important to concentrate on three main branches of the AP English and Composition. Those are argument, synthesis, and rhetoric. That is why all three elements should be present in your synthesis essay. Let’s have a closer look.

The argument is the simplest part; it's about writing your thesis and gathering evidence from the selected sources to defend your ideas. Prove to your reader that your point of view is correct.

Synthesis demands that a student reads multiple sources and defines pros and cons of the chosen topic (or for and against, if you wish). It is critical as it helps to create your personal claim.

Rhetorical analysis is all about the author and his goals. It has to explain the purpose of writing as well as describe the target audience. Finally, it explains the ways in which the writer attracts the readers and structures the claim.

Useful Prompts Associated with Writing Synthesis Essay

Memorize these acronyms to be able to answer all questions of your synthesis essay properly.

Advice #1: SOAPS

It's all about determining the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, and subject.

Have a look at our example: The American Health Association believes that only through an understanding of the causes of medical mistakes and their prevention on the early stages, the number of medical gaps will go down as well as the number of unintentional deaths in the United States.

Speaker: The American Health Association has a bias against the inexperienced medical personnel.

Occasion: The American Health Association has held its meeting on Abbey Square, New York, on the 10th of November 2016.

Audience: The report written by The American Health Association was addressed to the doctors of the main regional hospitals in NY.

Purpose: The American Health Association tries to point to the main causes of unintentional deaths in the US hospitals. It performs against the improper medical treatment.

Subject: The subject is the increased number of fatal outcomes due to the lack of healthcare education and professionalism of the local personnel.

Advice #2: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos

We are speaking about the reasons, philosophy, and emotion respectively. AP Lang exam requires you to deal with all three Latin words effectively.

When there are some facts and statistics in the chosen text, the writer deals with Logos. Return to the background information all the time to make your synthesis essay as persuasive a possible.

The vivid imagery and powerful words are the signs of Pathos. It is effective for relating the readers to the essay on the emotional level.

If you aim to show the accountability and credibility of your synthesis essay, you deal with Ethos. State some facts that prove your competence in the chosen field so that the audience will have no doubt that you are right.

Watch out as often, Logos, Ethos, and Pathos may lead to the usage of logical fallacies.

Tip #3:DIDLS

It would be a great strategy for any sort of textual analysis. When you are reading the selected piece, make an attempt to pinpoint Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Sentence Structure. Add whatever seems more vivid to you into your analysis.

As you can see, it is not that easy to write a synthesis essay. Many students have problems either with writing or analyzing sources. Luckily, there is an opportunity to order an instant help with synthesis essay for an affordable price. When you face any doubts, turn to the expert online service which will write the whole essay to bring you to the highest score!

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The newest section of the AP English Language and Composition Exam, the synthesis essay, is one of three essays you will be completing during the examination’s 2-hour free-response period. However, you’ll also have a 15-minute reading and planning period just for this essay, and if you use this time to plan effectively, you can’t go wrong.

Before we get into specific advice on how to handle the AP English Language and Composition synthesis essay, you need to know what this part of the test really is. It is very similar to the argumentative essay you will also write as part of this exam, except that you are provided with a wealth of source material from which to draw some support for your ideas.

While this in some ways makes the AP English Language and Composition synthesis essay easier than the argument essay (because you can use quotations, point to authoritative sources for support, etc.), there is an extra element of complexity, and the AP readers want to see how well you can sort through your source material and put it to good use – which makes planning all that much more important. This brings us to our first tip…

1. Use Your 15-Minute Planning Period Wisely.

The main purpose of this 15-minute period is to give you time to read the source materials. This essay will present you with several sources providing different information about or opinions on a certain topic. Make sure you don’t just skim them, but read them closely – make notes, underline key sections you may want to quote later, etc.

You should also begin outlining your essay and considering your opinion on the subject; have this opinion in mind before you start writing the essay, as you will use it to construct your thesis.

You’ve already learned how to structure persuasive essays in this class and in other classes you have taken; put that knowledge to good use now, and have your main points set out before you start writing. Try to have a thesis statement written by the time you start the essay – your thesis should establish your opinion and the general reasons you feel this way; the rest of your essay will go on to justify and exemplify these reasons. Also write down some of the main points upon which you will base subsequent paragraphs and mark quotes or sections of the sources you can use in each of these paragraphs.

2. Evaluate Your Sources.

Every source you can use for the AP Language and Composition synthesis essay will have a small box above it explaining where it comes from and who said it – to see exactly what this looks like, check out the free synthesis essay sample questions at AP Central. There are also public sample questions available there for the rest of the AP English and Composition Exam.

Keep all information about your sources in mind when you’re quoting them or using them to support your arguments. What journal an article appeared in can say a great deal about its potential biases. For example, consider a question on the environmental impacts of corporate practices – an environmental journal is obviously going to be biased in favor of more environmental regulation, while a report from a company spokesperson will probably gloss over some of the negative impacts of his company. Think critically.

3. Keep Your Tone Consistent.

There is no hard-and-fast advice about what tone you should take – some students try to inject a little humor into their essays while others prefer to be as serious as possible, some are extremely critical and others more accepting. However, the one thing you really have to do while writing the AP Language and Composition synthesis essay (or any other essay) is keep your tone consistent. Jot some tone-related ideas down as you outline during the 15-minute reading period, and keep in mind everything you’ve learned about tone and other aspects of rhetoric so far this year.

4. Use Rhetorical Technique to Your Advantage!

The various rhetorical practices you’ve been learning about all year can be put to good use here. This class and this test aren’t just about recognizing and analyzing these techniques when others use them, but about preparing you for college and your career by teaching you how to use them effectively yourself. However, this isn’t just about writing a beautiful essay, so read on to Tip # 5!

5. Your Argument Must be Well-Crafted.

The AP English Language and Composition Exam synthesis essay does not have right or wrong answers; rather, it asks you for your opinion. The AP Examiner cannot take points off because she disagrees with you. However, you must show logical basis for your opinion, drawing on both the sources AND your own knowledge and experience.

To do this, make sure you have a clear and complete thesis. Make sure the ideas expressed in the beginning of each paragraph or section support the thesis, and that you in turn show how those ideas are supported by a source or through your own knowledge and experience. Don’t generalize or write anything down that you can’t support.

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