Art of Craftsmanship

Academic writing tips and guidelines

What is an Argumentative Synthesis Essay?

The main idea of a synthesis essay is to showcase the writer’s ability to handle heavy research, work with those particular sources, and write an engaging essay. Essentially, this is an essay like most others. All of the areas of the essay you want to hit ad the process you’ll go through are all the same.

Your Side in the Argument

Since this is an argumentative synthesis essay, you’ll have to argue your point. To do this you’ll need know either:

  • Which side you stand on the argument?
  • Which side was assigned for you in the argument?

If you are in group A, the synthesis essay will be a bit easier to pull off since you know for a fact how you feel about the topic. You may not be all that strongly invested in the topic or for or against whatever is on stage, but the core part of this step is there at least.

In the case you are in group B, you’ll have to phone it in while defending the point if you simply don’t agree with the side given. Examples:

  • The student is opposed to the death penalty, but will have to defend the death penalty in the essay.
  • The student could care less either way about the death penalty, but the instructor assigned her to go against the death penal in her essay.

These two students would have to phone in interest playing the hands held which can’t be done. Luckily essays don’t ride off of what the write feels about the subject most of the time. If you feel something about the subject that makes everything easier and it shows in your writing, but you’re merely trying to get through the thing for the most part.

Now that this has been established, let’s look at the most important part for this kind of essay—and any essay.


Research is the most important part of the argumentative synthesis essay. You’ll need to look at a couple of sources and use one or two for your essay. You will look upon these sources throughout your essay and relate them to the point you’re attempting to make.

You could also come to a conclusion and develop your point by going through your main resources. Essentially research can work in two directions while constantly being used in the course of your essay writing process:

  • Research can be used to narrow a subject to several topics and narrow those topics further for you to work with.
  • Research can be used to support your argument.


You might do some reflecting before, after, or during your research. The point is, you’ll have to do it to see what can be drawn from the information gathered and if any conclusion can be drawn, if the information will prove to be strong enough for your argument, and so on. You will also need to relate resources with each other. Example:

  • Does this article sum up what this chapter mentions about the death penalty?
  • How does this news report relate to these articles and how do they relate to my point on the innocence of some death row inmates?