All you, probably, know what an essay means. But the word “synthesis” gets every student a little bit confused and lost. Well, fortunately, we know how to help you, and this article would be your ultimate writing guide explaining how to write a synthesis essay. Let’s start from the beginning.
What is a Synthesis Essay?
Many students wonder, “What is a synthesis essay?” A synthesis essay is all about combination. While writing this essay type, you stay focused on different factors and ideas at once. The task contains a sample text that an author should analyze.
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Actually, analysis of the given content is a key point in the entire synthesis essay writing. You need to work directly with that prompt and find its purpose, writing style, rhetoric, and the main argument. You must tell what the author of that prompt wanted to express and what his tools were. Your own essay should be built around that text and your main argument.
Having an answer to the question, “What is a synthesis essay?” is not enough to demonstrate the best results in your English writing class.
How to Write a Synthesis Essay?
To understand how to write a synthesis essay, it is necessary to memorize 4 basic elements of a synthesis paper:
- Synthesizing sources
- Working on a thesis/main argument
- Formatting the paper
- Talking about the content
A writer is given a prompt to study. These are the instructions prepared by the tutor (e.g., ‘argue to support your hobby which assists in challenging college assignments’).
Draft a tentative thesis statement – the main argument of the entire paper. It is the initial idea which comes to the writer’s mind on the proposed topic. Without a good research, it is impossible to make a candy out of this idea; support your words by the credible information you find either online or in the library. An example: “I think my passion for drinking Coke positively impacts my academic performance as caffeine stimulates brain activity.”
Once the thesis is ready, move to the time-consuming procedure of selecting sources. This is a primary research one must conduct to gather evidence. The sources make people believe the writer’s claim makes sense. You may study information from 6-7 good sources, but a couple of them will help to develop a powerful thesis statement. Among all sources, use credible, up-to-date pieces:
- Books and e-books
- Other essays
- Journal and scholarly articles
- Graphics and images
The credibility of sources depends on the relevance of chosen topic. The close reading is the process which follows any good research. Prepare annotated bibliography (list applied sources), highlight all main text ideas, and take notes during this procedure. Try to connect the best ideas with your synthesis essay writing.
Synthesis Essay Example (Sources)
Evaluating the value of the selected sources is the thing you should do before writing a synthesis essay. try to come up with innovative ideas for the prompt.
To understand how to interpret the prompt and choose sources, we have prepared several examples associated with Coke. You have chosen 8 different sources to speed up your writing. The writer decides Sources number 2, 3, and 4 agree with the main view (thesis). These sources help to prove drinking Coke assists in improving academic performance.
Source 2. Your synthesis paper writing benefits from choosing a documentary about the production of Coke. The documentary reflects the entire process, listing ingredients necessary for the proper human brain activity. The documentary provides necessary information to make your essay essential.
Source 3. One of the English synthesis essays you choose from the existing academic archives online explains the impacts Coke has on some other body parts.
Source 4. Select a source in English which breaks negative stereotypes about your favorite drink. Many parents do not allow their children drink this beverage because of the existing myths; try to prove the opposite using your essay’s arguments. An expert adds:
“If it is a presentation, use the graphic story to illustrate your thesis and supporting evidence. Show the never-ending confrontation between the Coke lovers and haters to prove you respect both sides. Do not ignore naming the negative effects of the drink! It is important to reply to any objections to provide the target audience with an unbiased point of view.”
Mary Ladder, Professor of Literature at GONZAGA UNIVERSITY, US
Types of Synthesis Essay Writing
Two types of synthesis essay writing exist:
- Explanatory synthesis essay
- Argument synthesis essay
The explanatory synthesis essay aims to make the reading audience understand the chosen topic. The writer makes an attempt to break the whole topic into separate parts to represent each of them clearly. The explanatory essay is made of the detailed interpretations of objects, locations, events, people, or state of affairs. The writer reflects information in an objective, sober manner. The writer skips obvious details of the analyzed text. Such paper tends to have different sections.
The argument synthesis essay is about proving your main claim is correct through using various effective persuasive methods. A student must apply credible sources in English to support his information. The argumentative synthesis essay writing involves many facts, statistics, in-text citations, quotes, and other techniques used to prove the specific view.
Synthesis Essay Topics
Your synthesis paper should be built around a prompt with perspective for negotiation and discussion. For example, you may analyze text written in Germany during WWII and get your argument with view on modern society and history of that period. It should be content with various views possible. Some good topics to write your synthesis essay:
Good synthesis essay topics would be ones that are debatable, for example:
- DST (Daylight Saving Time)
- Wage and its minimum
- Nature protection
- Weapon control
- Social media and its influence on humanity
How to Write a Thesis for a Synthesis Essay?
You need to read the prompt. Even if you are familiar with the target source, push yourself to read it once more; realize your position. Do you support the example text or have a negative review? Structure your claim and write it down for the whole synthesis essay; move to the synthesis essay outline.
Synthesis essay outline writing
Lots of students just don’t realize how important this step is for writing any type of essay or other academic papers. It is the best point to get your essay structure right. The outline is your road map. If you write a typical synthesis essay with three parts (Introduction, Body, Conclusion), you should write three different parts in your outline. Write down all the arguments, supporting facts, and evidence in a proper structure order.
Each argument should approve the statement you are supporting; acknowledge factors that go against your main thesis and idea. This step will make your essay even stronger and more diverse. Please note, that analysis does not mean summarizing - you need to answer related topic questions.
Synthesis essay structure
Synthesis has typical structure, and it looks like that:
- Main argument 1
- Main claim 2
- Main claim 3
Main argument 1
- Analysis of Evidence
Main claim 2
- Evidence Analysis of Evidence
Main claim 3
- Analysis of Evidence
- Restate your main idea and get your view straight
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Synthesis essay formatting
The formats of synthesis essay are also typical for all academic essays. Three most widespread formats include MLA, APA, and Chicago style. Each of these formats has their typical areas of use (APA is mostly used in Psychology, Education, and Science). Chicago style is a common format for business purposes; MLA works best for Humanities.
Synthesis Essay for AP English Language and Composition
AP English Language and Composition is a tough course of dealing with. The main goal of this course is to your knowledge of the subject and understanding of the material you are working with. And your grammar and perfect formatting do not pay that big role in your essay grade. The main factor that influences your grade is about defending your claim and point of view.
Three main areas of AP English and Composition course that you should focus on are:
- The argument is the starting and the simplest point. You just need to come up with your statement and get many supporting facts. It all should work to convince your reader that your view is right.
- Synthesis is the thing that requires some deep research and identifying various areas of one single text. You should identify the agreements and disagreements between sources. It will help to come up with your claim.
- Rhetorical analysis is the direct work with prompt and its author; find what was his rhetorical tools to appeal to the reader. What was the main idea about the text?
General Synthesis Essay Tips
We should talk about acronyms. Main ones that will help you to deal with this essay are:
Speaker: Write who was the speaker or writer of the original source. Tell what you know about his life and background.
Occasion: Identity what was the time and place when the source of your synthesis essay was created; get the reason why it was created. You may come up with your own suggestion and build your text around it.
Audience: Identify the audience of the original text
Purpose: Identify the tone and purpose of the text
Subject: What was the main claim in original piece?
Another strategy to write your synthesis essay: these three points appeal to different factors that you should identify and analyze.
Logos is the reason. If your sample text has various definitions and quotations, you need to constitute a wider range of backup info to get successful with your essay.
Ethos is philosophy: Apply to sources that demonstrate credibility and reliability of speaker.
Pathos is emotions. It works great for vivid imagery texts with strong language - connect your reader with your source emotionally. It is a tough task to change someone’s view if the person is already linked to the source emotionally.
It is a simple explanation of these three elements. To get a higher grade with your AP Lang, you need to read more about it.
1 last tip to write your synthetic essay well is to apply this scheme to your analysis. Get these five factors identified: Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Structure – feel free to add anything else to your analysis in case it is special.
How to get a higher grade with your essay?
Few main factors that influence your grade for synthetic essay writing:
- The effective statement about assigned source and its topic.
- Complete understanding of the source and its subject.
- Synthesis of sources and position identification.
- Writer appeals to his researched arguments, not the source itself.
- Convincing and effective arguments.
- Clear structure and writing style.
- Good organization.
- No grammar or structure mistakes.
- Quotation of the source.
You should note that the best essays with highest grades always are those with the strong writing style. It means that your essay should be a standalone piece - not just a simple exam essay to get it done. Try to develop your own writing style and get your soul into your essay. You may read some examples of the most popular and successful essays to borrow some ideas and other factors to make your own paper stronger.
Some Extra Essay Writing Advice
Well, these were basic tips and facts about s synthesis essay and its writing specifics. It is recommended to read more about analyzing AP English essays from other sources on the web - it will help you to develop a stronger view of the task itself. The most important thing you need to pay attention to is the thesis statement.
This point plays a great role in your essay, and you need to identify it perfectly; it will be a total failure if readers will not understand your view. All your arguments will look like no purpose and ridiculous.
What we want to advice is to ask yourself a question if your thesis statement is really about your feelings and view. If you are writing your essay with some too short deadline on an exam, you need to stress on your argument in every single paragraph. Then connect each of your ideas to the thesis statement. Write down your thesis statement and put it before dealing with your essay - it will help you to focus on it and add it every time you write a new paragraph.
How does a Great Synthesis Essay Example look?
Synthesis essay writing in English is difficult without having a high-quality synthesis essay example in front of your eyes. Students find many free samples of synthesis essay writing in English online. Keep in mind it is important to decide on the synthesis essay type. Mind topic before searching the examples.
If you’re looking for someone to help you with this tough task, you can always call our professionals. Fill in the simplest order form, and all your academic troubles will be solved immediately.
MMPs are zinc-containing endopeptidases with a broad range of substrate specificities. They mediate the degradation of the different components of the ECM [3,4]. They are secreted by keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in response to multiple stimuli such as oxidative stress, UV radiation, and cytokines [6,7]. To date, at least 28 different types of MMPs have been identified that play important roles in various pathophysiological processes including photoaging, wound healing, skeletal growth and remodeling, arthritis, inflammation, angiogenesis, and cancer [3,8,9].
MMPs can be categorized into five main subgroups based on their substrate specificity and structural organization. These are listed below in Table 1:
1. Collagenases (MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-13) recognize the substrate through a hemopexin-like domain and are able to degrade fibrillar collagen .
2. Gelatinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) are able to digest a number of ECM components such as collagen type I and IV.
3. Stromelysins (MMP-3, MMP-10, and MMP-11) have a domain arrangement similar to that of collagenases; however, they do not cleave fibrillar collagen type I.
4. Matrilysins (MMP-7 and MMP-26) lack a hemopexin-like domain and degrade collagen type IV but not type I.
5. MT-MMPs (MMP-14, MMP-15, and MMP-16) have an additional C-terminal transmembrane domain with a short cytoplasmic tail. Both MMP-14 and MMP-16 degrade fibrillar collagen type I.
In addition to the five aforementioned subgroups of MMPs, there are few MMPs that are not grouped into any of these categories, such as metalloelastase (MMP-12), RASI-1 (MMP-19), enamelysin (MMP-20), and epilysin (MMP-28) .
Aging changes in the skin can be categorized in two groups: (1) intrinsic, or chronologic aging, an inherent degenerative process due to declining physiological functions and capacities; and (2) extrinsic, or photoaging, a distinctive deteriorating process caused by environmental factors. UV radiation is the major environmental factor that causes photoaging [11,12]. The action spectrum for UV-induced skin damage is divided into UV-A (320–400 nm) and UV-B (290–320 nm). UV-A rays account for up to 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface and is only slightly affected by ozone levels. The amount of UV-B reaching the earth’s surface is lesser than that of UV-A; however, its intensity is high enough to cause photoaging and skin cancer [13,14]. Nonetheless, both UV-A and UV-B irradiation can induce oxidative stress in human skin, leading to temporal and persistent genetic impairment, up-regulation of activator protein (AP)-1 activity, and increased MMP expression (Table 2) [15,16].
Photoaging involves prominent cutaneous transformation that is clinically characterized by fine and coarse wrinkles, blotchy dyspigmentation, telangiectasia, sallowness, increased fragility, and rough skin texture . Additionally, histological and ultrastructural studies have revealed epidermal hyperplasia, damaged and disorganized collagen fibrils, and substantial accumulation of abnormal elastic material in dermal connective tissue [16,17].
Photoaging is caused by an imbalance in equilibrium between the accumulation and degradation of ECM components that provide structural and functional support to the skin tissue. Cumulative exposure to the sun results in continuous degradation of ECM proteins such as collagen and elastin, and a decreased rate of renewal/synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the primary insoluble fibrous protein in the ECM and in connective tissue. Type I collagen is the most abundant subtype of collagen found within connective tissue of the skin, followed by small amounts of type III collagen. Fibroblasts, located within the dermis, mainly synthesize collagen, which imparts strength and elasticity to the skin [12,14,17].
Degradation of collagen is normally regulated by MMPs and by the activity of their natural inhibitors, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Increased MMP activity is an important factor influencing the development of age-related changes in skin  (Figure 1 and Table 1).
In the skin, epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts mainly secrete MMP-1(interstitial collagenase or collagenase 1), a collagenase that degrades fibrillar collagens type I and III into specific fragments at a single site within the central triple helix. Other MMPs such as gelatinases, further hydrolyze these fragments, ultimately impairing the function of the collagen-rich dermis [1,4,8,19].
UV irradiation induces increased synthesis and expression of MMP-1 by dermal fibroblasts, which is stimulated by the generation of excess reactive oxygen species (ROS), and plays a critical role in photoaging. UV irradiation induces excess intracellular ROS such as singlet oxygen (1O2), superoxide anion (O2−), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radicals (OH.) . ROS, a secondary messenger, activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family. MAPKs are a family of proline-directed Ser/Thr kinases comprising extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), p38, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). ERK is important to stimulate the expression of c-Fos, whereas p38 and JNK activation are crucial for the expression of c-Jun. c-Jun in combination with c-Fos forms the transcription factor AP-1, which plays an essential role in the transcriptional regulation of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9 resulting in the degradation of collagen [4,17,20]. Additionally, AP-1 inhibits transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling, a major regulator for the production of procollagen type I in human skin. Impairment of the TGF-β pathway leads to decreased synthesis of procollagen [21,22,23]. Besides AP-1, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is another important transcription factor that is activated in response to UV irradiation. NF-κB is a universal transcription factor that regulates the gene expression of growth factors, chemokines, cytokines, and cell adhesion molecules, in healthy as well as numerous diseased states. Generation of ROS induces NF-κB-mediated transcriptional activation and regulation of MMP gene expression. Thus, this factor is important to mediate the responses of UV irradiation. NF-κB activity is reported to be responsible for the up-regulation of MMPs such as MMP-1 and MMP-3 in dermal fibroblasts [2,20,24]. Thus, both AP-1 and NF-κB are involved in the process of photoaging.
UV-induced AP-1 activation enhances the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9. MMP-3, known as stromelysin-1, differs from collagenases because of its inability to digest collagen type I. However, it does degrade a large number of ECM proteins, such as type IV, V, IX, and X collagens, gelatin, fibrillin-1, fibronectin, laminin, and proteoglycans. The primary function of MMP-3 is the activation of pro-MMPs such as collagenases, gelatinase B, and matrilysins during ECM turnover. In particular, the production of fully active MMP-1 MMP-3 is essential to partially activate pro-MMP-1 [9,25,26]. MMP-10, known as stromelysin-2, cleaves various ECM proteins and is involved in the activation of pro-MMPs. However, the catalytic function of collagen type IV and type V is quite weak compared to the MMP-3 activity [9,27].
MMP-9, known as gelatinase B or 92-kDa type IV collagenase, is a member of the gelatinase subgroup of MMPs, whose expression is largely dependent on the activation of AP-1. MMP-9 is produced by human keratinocytes and can digest collagen type IV, an important component of the basement membrane in skin. The epidermal basement membrane is responsible for the epidermal-dermal adhesion, which is crucial for epidermal integrity. It is also important in controlling epidermal differentiation [8,9,28,29]. Like MMP-9, MMP-2 (known as gelatinase A or 72-kDa type IV collagenase) is able to cleave collagen type IV . Additionally, both these gelatinases can degrade other substrates such as collagen type V, VII, and X, fibronectin, and elastin. They are essential in degrading fibrillar collagen fragments after their initial degradation by collagenases [12,25,31].
Collagenases refer to a class of MMPs with the ability to degrade native collagen without unwinding the triple helical assembly of the substrate. Interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), neutrophil collagenase (MMP-8), and collagenase 3 (MMP-13) belong to this group . They have similar configuration and enzymatic functions, despite small differences in substrate specificity. As mentioned above, MMP-1 plays an important role in the photoaging process. Recent studies suggest a limited role for MMP-8 in UV-mediated collagen damage in the skin. Although this enzyme was found to be induced by UV light, it is up-regulation was minimal . MMP-13 shows higher cleavage specificity for collagen type II, a major collagen present in the cartilage, compared to collagen type I and III. MMP-13 is five times less potent than MMP-1 in cleaving collagen types I and III; however, it is 5–10 times more potent in cleaving collagen type II . Hence, during photoaging, MMP-8 and MMP-13 probably contribute very little to the overall structural damage to collagen.
In addition to the degradation of collagens in skin, changes in the level of elastin have also been well documented in the process leading to photoaging. Elastin is a major component that contributes to the function of recoil and resilience, although it constitutes only 2%–4% of the total protein content of the skin. Reduced levels of elastin are associated with various diseases such as atherosclerosis and arthritis. Degradation of elastin results in an aged appearance of the skin [33,34,35]. MMP-12, known as macrophage metalloelastase, is the most effective MMP against elastin. Macrophages and fibroblasts secrete MMP-12 in response to acute UV radiation. MMP-12 plays a crucial role in the development of solar elastosis as indicated by the association between the expression of MMP-12 and the amount of elastotic material in the upper dermis of photodamaged skin [30,33,35]. The process of solar elastosis refers to the collection of dystrophic elastotic material in the dermis [15,33]. In addition to elastin, MMP-12 can cleave many other substrates belonging to the ECM, such as collagen type IV fragments, fibronectin, fibrillin- 1, laminin, entactin, vitronectin, heparin, and chondroitin sulfates. MMP-12 is also responsible for the activation of other pro-MMPs, such as pro-MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, and MMP-9 [9,34]. In addition to MMP-12, MMP-7 (called matrilysin) can efficiently degrade elastin. Upon UV irradiation, MMP-7 can cleave not only elastin but also many other substrates of the ECM, such as collagen type IV, entactin, fibronectin, laminin, and cartilage proteoglycan aggregates [9,30].
Neutral endopeptidase (NEP) or neprilysin, a 94-kDa membrane-bound type of metalloprotease, is identical to fibroblasts-derived elastase. It exhibits similarities in terms of its membrane-bound metalloproteinase nature and inhibitory profiles [36,37]. The enhanced NEP activity in dermal fibroblasts plays an important role in the UV-B-induced cascade of biological processes that lead to skin wrinkling and/or sagging. This occurs because of the deterioration of the three-dimensional structure of elastic fibers and the subsequent loss of skin elasticity [36,38]. The expression of NEP is associated with keratinocyte-derived cytokines including interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α) and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulatory factor (GM-CSF). Repetitive exposure to UV-B radiation activates keratinocytes to secrete IL-1α, which then stimulates the secretion of GM-CSF in an autocrine manner. Additionally, UVB can directly stimulate keratinocytes to produce GM-CSF. Both, IL-1α and GM-CSF enter the dermis and stimulate fibroblasts to up-regulate NEP. NEP then destroys the three-dimensional architecture of the elastic fibers thereby impairing skin elasticity, resulting in wrinkle formation in the skin [36,38].
MMPs play a significant role in wrinkle formation, a characteristic of photoaging. Evolution of novel MMP inhibitors is promising as targets to combat photoaging. In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the use of botanical supplements for the prevention of solar UV radiation-induced skin photodamage (Table 3). Galla chinensis, a natural traditional Chinese medicine, is known to significantly suppresses UV-B-induced ROS and MMP-1 expression in normal human dermal fibroblasts . Extracts of Neonauclea reticulata, a member of Rubiaceae, a flavonoid-enriched flowering plant, significantly decreases the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9 by suppressing ERK, p38, and JNK phosphorylation. Ixora parviflora and Coffea arabica, polyphenol-enriched members of Rubiaceae family, exhibit anti-photoaging activity by inhibiting the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9, and MAPK activity [12,17,39].
Another strategy to diminish the damaging effects of UV radiation on skin is the use of antioxidants or free radical scavengers (Table 3). Polyphenols, with a higher number of OH groups act as ROS scavengers and protect against cellular damage. Natural products with high polyphenol contents such as Emblica officinalis, Coffea arabica, Terminalia catappa, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) render effective protection against photoaging [14,17,31]. In addition to phenolic compounds, coriander leaf extract, Gynura procumbens, and Caesalpinia sappan L. also exhibit strong protective effects against UV-induced oxidative stress [4,22,24].