What is a SYNTHESIS?
In educational fields, a synthesis is known as a WRITTEN TEXT presenting or discussing information from several texts or from other type of resources.
A synthesis could aim to explain ideas from several (written) resources, or draw together particular themes or traits.
Syntheses are often meant to complete a specific organisation of the material from different texts, according to certain themes or traits.
The organisation of ideas can be in made in various formats, tables and graphs are considered valuable syntheses of information.
In all these cases above we spoke about review or explanatory syntheses.
Review and explanatory syntheses are also called “background syntheses“.
Sometimes, in your assignments, you may be asked to synthesise concepts from several texts and then to express (with steady, logical arguments) your opinion about them. In this case you have to draw an argument synthesis.
Argument or argumentative syntheses can be in one of the following categories:
- Illustration Synthesis, which is a summary of texts (or other resources: audio or video clips, documentary film) that support a specific point of view.
- Concession Synthesis, which is a written work meant to acknowledge validity of the counter-argument, while showing that your argument is stronger.
- Comparison-contrast Synthesis, which is meant to compare similarities and to highlight differences between the two subjects, the aim is to highlight the most important aspects of both.
All synthesis’s must meet the following requirements in reference to the sources (texts or other type of sources) you used in developing it:
- It should accurately report information from the sources you have used.
- It should be organised in such a way that readers can immediately see where the information from the sources overlap.
- It should explain information in sources and helps the reader understand them in greater depth.
- It should help readers to see in a new way the information from the sources.
Synthesising– What is it?
At its basic level, a synthesis involves combining two or more summaries.
But synthesis writing is more difficult than it might appear: the combining of summaries must be done in a meaningful way. More than that, in the case of argumentative syntheses, your written work must be “thesis-driven”: it should stand for an issue and then defend that stand.
Background synthesis involves bringing together ideas and information on a topic and organising them by topic rather than by sources. Its role is to present the information available in a helpful and logical way.
Argument syntheses involves the use of an “argumentative presentation” as any opinion must be driven with arguements. The way you express an opinion or a particular point of view and support it by using convincing arguments is the most important aspect of this type of synthesising work.
Synthesising – Why is it important?
In school and professional world, synthesis writing also is an important skill.
In many sciences and literature classes you may be asked to write a synthesis of several (text) sources. Your synthesis primary purpose must be to show readers that:
- you are familiar with the subject you are dealing with, and
- you are qualified to offer your own opinions on issues in the subject.
But, more importantly you should your ability to address a problem appropriately.
In any profession, synthesis-writing skills of accuracy and brevity are important.
Companies often ask to employees to draft work reports, business reports, proposals, case management and other professional writings. You may be called upon to synthesis several professional writings or even raw data of a subject.
In other professional domains you may be asked to summarise events, activities, people’s resumes, or workplace problems.
At first glance summary and synthesis writing is a simple skill. However, because a person must understand the author’s ideas in depth, and then fairly express or develop them. Writing a good summary or synthesis can be a difficult academic undertaking.