What is Synthesis Writing?
Synthesis writing involves carefully reading several sources (journal articles, books, etc.) on a topic, and identifying similar as well as contradictory ideas in each source. New ideas on the topic are merged with your prior knowledge of the topic and presented in your research paper in your own voice. Each paragraph of your paper will contain multiple sources and citations, as well as your own ideas (Ashford University, n.d.).
What Synthesis Writing Is Not
When you synthesize, you do not rely on a single source of information; nor do you string together summaries of one article after another. You do not cut and paste segments of several articles together to form a paper. True synthesis writing is similar to making a fruit smoothie; individual pieces of fruit are blended together to form a new concoction (University of Illinois, 2008).
In the excerpt from a research paper (below), note that the author has incorporated three sources into the two paragraphs - the writings of Goldstein, Lapidoth and Falk.
Downs-Jones Library. (2012, August 15). Incorporating sources into your research paper [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/yoQzXVmFXfk