How to Write a Synthesis Essay in 30 Minutes

Before you get started with writing a synthesis essay in such a short amount of time, it’s good to know what this assignment tries to accomplish. It’s a type of argumentative paper with one major difference: you are given the information from which you should substantiate your argument of a specific theme, idea, or topic. That’s it. And now let’s get to learning how to write a synthesis essay in half an hour:

  • Examine Your Topic
    The first thing to do is conduct a close examination or analysis of the topic. It’s usually a simple argument you probably already have an opinion on, but you are asked to rein in your thoughts with the use of specific sources. This means you will be limited to just one or two sub-topics. Total time: 3 minutes.
  • Read Your Sources
    Next, carefully read your sources and take detailed notes to help with construct your argument and first draft. Underline key points, data, and quotations, you can use to support your argument. Write out this information in a notebook or flash cards, and double-check that you have the correct citation (line – page number) so you don’t have to go back. Total time: 8 minutes.
  • Develop a Thesis
    Analyze your citation information and formulate a thesis statement to guide your writing. You will have time later to revise, but it’s a good idea to get it as close to a final version as possible. Keep it clear and concise so it can be easily understood by the reader. Total time: 4 minutes.
  • Write the Draft
    Before starting your draft, you may want to quickly read a synthesis essay example so that you know exactly what your final assignment should look like. Drafts will have plenty of mistakes – this is okay. The important thing is that you write without stopping in order to get your ideas down as quickly and efficiently as possible. Total time: 5 minutes.
  • Revise, Edit, & Proofread
    Finally, you need to thoroughly revise, edit, and proofread your first draft to ensure you have gotten rid of the small mistakes that can make or break the assignment. These should all be done separately in the remaining time you have left before the assignment is due. Total time: 10 minutes.