The terms of summary and synthesis are felt in common language as synonyms.
Actually, there are important differences between a summary and a synthesis.
The differences are:
- the number of texts (sources) taken into consideration.
- the way these texts (sources) are then interpreted.
A summary is an objective, short written presentation in your own words of ideas, facts, events, in a SINGLE PIECE OF TEXT.Example: A summary of a text describing the African Lion
A synthesis is a “combination” of SEVERAL TEXTS into a single one, which aims to create an understanding or original perspective of the information in those texts.
Be aware that there are many types of synthesis, shown in examples below.
Review Synthesis = a presentation of ideas in texts treating the same subjects.
Example: An essay about African Big Cats
Explanatory Synthesis = a particular theme in several texts in the same area.Example: An essay about behaviors of African Big Cats
Argumentative Synthesis = a selection of ideas in several texts, with aim to argument a certain point of view or your own point of view.Example: Preservation of Big Cats in Africa – a duty of humanity
Illustration synthesis = ideas supporting your point of view, from several texts.
Example: Personalities pledging for Big Cats’ preservation in Africa
Concession synthesis = differing views that make stronger your point of view
Example: Big Cats hunting – a solution for species preservation?
Comparison synthesis = different views on a subject, presented with aim to highlight the most important aspects related to that subject.
Example: Big cats preservation – Mistakes and accomplishments