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How to Write a Synopsis the Simple Way

If you want to learn how to write a synopsis of premium quality, then a look at handy tips from writing experts collected in our article.

Wondering how to write a synopsis without losing your mind? These tips can help!

How to Write a Synopsis Like a Pro

A synopsis is a summary of an article (research paper, book, etc.) including its main arguments and ideas. You have probably read some synopses at the beginning of academic journal articles.

When it comes to research work, a synopsis can be a very useful instrument that may help the reader decide whether the paper is worth reading. Synopses are widely used at conferences because they help presenters convey their ideas clearly and concisely. Based on presenters’ synopses, the delegates of conferences will decide what presentations they want to visit.

As a student, you may be asked to write a synopsis along with a report, proposal, dissertation, or any other lengthy paper. Your synopsis will become an overview of your key arguments and conclusions. Typically, this type of assignment is usually one-two pages long. Thus, it should include the most important information.

Writing a synopsis is an effort-consuming process because it requires determining the most important aspects of a piece and using this information for writing a summary. In a good synopsis, it is crucial to highlight all the important points and facts to provide the target audience with a better sense of the original paper. It should not be very long, but it still depends on the length of the paper being summarized. Usually, it can range from one paragraph to a few pages in length.

If you need to write a synopsis, you should know about some challenges related to its writing. As for the main problems you may face, they are as follows:

  • Rephrasing the ideas concisely without losing their meaning;
  • Separating major points from minor ones;
  • Listing the main points and giving a sense of the overall narrative;
  • Covering the whole work within the small word count limit;
  • Sticking to the original text in terms of wording;
  • Combining related points to cover the word limit.

A well-written synopsis will allow the reader to feel as if they are reading the whole text understanding the gist. A poorly written synopsis won’t provide the reader with the necessary details. If you want to create a perfect paper, you should not miss important points or give an inaccurate account of the paper. Instead, you should write a detailed summary showing your perfect understanding and knowledge of the work. At the same time, you should not simply copy-paste the statements from the original paper because it will be considered plagiarism. 

Efficient Tips to Write a Synopsis

Write the Paper First

Writing a good synopsis is impossible without writing the original document. However, the problem is that in some cases, writing an original paper may take a few weeks or even months. It does not mean that you should rush both processes. Still, we highly recommend you to start working on your synopsis when your original paper is accomplished. It will help you refresh your memory and present all of the important points in a condensed way. Your original manuscript will serve as a detailed guide for writing your synopsis paper

Read the Paper Carefully

If you want to create a good synopsis, you need to give yourself enough time to read the original text. Of course, it is impossible to write a successful synopsis if you are not sure what points are in your original manuscript. Thus, when reading the whole paper, you should identify the meaning and purpose of your study because this information should appear in your synopsis. Besides, you will need to interpret the study findings and emphasize their significance. Without understanding the original document, it will be very difficult to do that. Let’s discuss a synopsis for a research paper. Using your own words, you will need to uncover the following points:

  • The research question answered;
  • Purpose of research work;
  • Hypothesis tested;
  • Methods and approaches used to testify your hypothesis;
  • Results;
  • Significance of findings. 

As you move from one point to another, make sure to identify the most important points and underline them. We strongly recommend you not to rely on the abstract as it is very short and doesn’t include all the information that will appear in your synopsis. 

Write the First Draft of Your Synopsis

When writing a synopsis, you will need to follow the same order of ideas that appear in the original manuscript. Have a look at the traditional order of points that will be mentioned in your manuscript:

  • State the main question of your research paper and explain why it is worth investigating;
  • Indicate the hypothesis tested;
  • Briefly state the methods that were used in data analysis;
  • Write the conclusion that will explain the significance of the study;
  • Inform your reader about the key implications of your study.

When writing the first draft of your synopsis, you will need to focus on the content instead of the length of your paper. Most probably, your synopsis will be longer than needed. However, you will get a chance to shorten it during the revising process. If you experience any difficulties with some sections, you may skip them and return to these sections later. 

Ask for Feedback

When you write a synopsis on your own, you may overlook significant flaws compromising its quality. Therefore, we recommend you ask your friend for feedback. Ask them to be maximally objective and unbiased telling you about the points that should be improved. Your editor may ask you to fix the content inconsistencies, awkward sentences, word choice, or grammar issues. If any parts seem confusing, you need to rewrite or delete them. Getting an objective opinion about your synopsis is a very good idea because it will help you submit a high-quality paper.

Edit Your Paper

Thorough editing is the last stage of the synopsis writing process. However, you should not underestimate its importance. We highly recommend you to take some rest after writing your first draft because it will help you look at your paper with fresh eyes. When editing your synopsis, you need to make sure it meets the requirements. Also, you need to double-check if your paper is free from plagiarism and grammar flaws. To make your synopsis look perfect, you need to read it several times and fix all the mistakes undermining its quality. 

How Long Is a Synopsis?

Well, there is no certain answer to this question. As a student, you probably know that all professors have different requirements for completing various types of papers. What is more, a synopsis for a research paper and a synopsis for a book will have different lengths as they will uncover different points. Thus, if you want to figure out how long your synopsis should be, you need to refer to your prompt that includes the length requirements and many other guidelines. In case of having any questions, you can also appoint a meeting with your professor or grader and discuss all questions. 

Although the specific requirements for writing a synopsis will vary, you can use the tips and suggestions collected in our article to write yours. By following our practices, you will cope with your synopsis assignment successfully. If you are not sure how to write a synopsis, you are free to find some synopsis examples available on the web and use them for boosting your inspiration. 


All in all, writing a synopsis may get students stuck because this paper type is different from other pieces of academic writing. However, by applying a professional approach and following the prompt precisely, one can craft a winning paper. The essential purpose of a synopsis is to provide the supervisor with a clear understanding of a proposed project and allow them to figure out whether your work is feasible. After getting the approval of your synopsis, you will be able to proceed with working on your research project. As such, a synopsis should be written and structured in a way that will help your supervisor understand your project at the first glance. 

Wondering how to write a synopsis without losing your mind? These tips can help!