Every piece of writing ever written has its agenda. Whether it’s to teach a lesson or show the impact of a particular emotion or action, a central theme can be developed. The goal for us as readers is to uncover what the author was trying to tell us between the lines in their literature. When we do finally discover it, we’ve accomplished the first step of thematic essay writing! Let’s see below how to write a thematic essay.
What Is a Thematic Essay?
Let’s look at the thematic essay definition; a thematic essay is a piece of writing in which an author develops the central theme in some literature using literary devices like foreshadowing, imagery, personification, etc.
A professional essay writer will uncover the primary subject, elaborate upon the literary devices employed, and express the overall significance of the theme. The primary challenge comes from the fact that although there are various subjects, finding the most meaningful and impactful one can be challenging.
Naturally, each person has their own varied interpretation, making it hard to agree on a central theme wholesomely. In short, a well written thematic essay comes from a healthy central idea that is conclusively proven via literary devices and logical arguments.
How to Pick a Thematic Topic?
A crucial aspect of writing a good thematic essay is choosing a theme. Follow the hints listed below to help you create a thematic topic:
Brainstorm from your own experiences. Recall what you were talking about in class, with your mates or parents. Do some of these conversations remind you of some book, novel or another piece of literature?
Write down every idea that comes to mind. Sometimes, your most absurd ideas are the best way to go.
List your favourite literature pieces. Which literature piece was the most touching for you? Try to analyze its subject and problems the author built upon within the story; it might help you come up with your own ideas.
Look at the details of other literature pieces: You might find some interesting details within other literature that can help you come up with your theme.
Still have no idea what to write about? No worries, we have your back.
Thematic Essay Topics
- What is George Orwell’s deliberation in portraying a “Perfect Utopia” in his book 1984?
- What main idea is George Orwell painting about Communism in the book Animal Farm?
- What is Harper Lee saying about innocence in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird?
- What is John Steinbeck saying about loneliness and isolation in Of Mice and Men?
- What is F. Scott Fitzgerald saying about the American Dream in The Great Gatsby?
How to Find and Explore the Central Theme
As stated before, uncovering the main subject and central theme respectively is the first significant step in a thematic paper. However, with so many things going on within the literature, it may be difficult to interpret the central theme accurately. To make sure you choose it correctly, follow these steps:
1. Summarize the literature: What main idea is the author trying to purvey? Usually, there will be many hints along the way, so choosing the right direction may not be so challenging.
2. Pick the most prevalent subject: One thing to note is the significant difference between a subject and a theme. A subject is the general topic of conversation—whether it be love, bravery, deception, etc. A theme is a specific point the author is making about said subject. So, find the talking point that is most commonly being brought up. This will be the focal point of the essay.
3. Read between the lines: After finding the most suitable subject, decipher what main point the author is trying to make. This will become clearer as you get deeper into the literature since clues and examples will appear frequently. After fully deciphering the central theme, there is one more significant step.
4. Overall significance: What is the overall significance that comes from the author’s point? What can be taken from this and applied to our personal lives? In other words, what is the lesson from all of this? What have we learned?
Thematic Essay Outline
The thematic essay has several key components. First of all, it should be five paragraphs or more, depending on the depth of the theme. Next, it should have a concrete thesis statement, which, in other words, is the thematic statement that comes from the main subject. The introduction presents the reader with the subject and the thesis statement. The body paragraphs each discuss one literary element or more to defend the validity of your thesis, all the while providing many supporting details from the text itself. Lastly, the thematic essay conclusion summarizes the main points presented and finishes off with a statement of significance.
The thematic essay introduction presents the main subject of discussion in a captivating way. The first sentence of the intro should be a hook statement that makes some intriguing claim about the subject of discussion. If done correctly, this will grab your reader's attention. Afterwards, provide any necessary background information from the literature that will help the audience understand your claims later on. Lastly, put together a well thought out thesis statement that reflects the central theme of the novel.
The body paragraphs follow a thematic essay format. Since each body paragraph’s purpose should be to present a literary device as evidence, the topic sentence should introduce the claim and gateway into the evidence. Every topic sentence must mention a literary device and its relationship to the literature.
Afterwards, to validate your claim, use examples from the book that strengthen the reasoning of your statement. These can be actions from the plot or quotations that are parallel with the central theme. It’s imperative to explain how the action/quote links back to your thesis statement, as it shows that you can support your logic.
Remember: each claim must use a literary device. It can not just be a random moment or inference. Thematic essays are all about proving thesis statements through the use of critical literary devices.
The thematic essay conclusion has three main objectives to complete before wrapping up the entire paper. It should not present any new information or facts, but should summarize the information already given. First of all, restate your thesis statement in a new way. Then, summarize the central claims you made within the body of your paper and their influence on the thesis statement. To finish off the entire work, present an overall concluding statement with a global analysis of the subject. Leave your reader with another hook, making him/her interested in digging deeper into the topic.
Thematic Essay Example
The best way to familiarise yourself with this type of writing is to learn from an example.
Even though the ancient Greek cities of Athens and Sparta were geographically close to each other, they had very distinct cultures, lifestyles, values, and political systems that defined them. The following paper compares and contrasts the cultural impacts of the two cities by examining some of the duties and responsibilities of the citizenry as well as the different values that were deemed important. The paper further evaluates the impact of accomplishments that would have been left by both city-states on the history of western civilization.
Wrap Things Up
Before submitting your thematic essay, make sure to check a couple of things to correct any possible errors.
- Double-check and confirm that the central theme you have decided is the one that the author likely meant to focus on. Unless you can provide a secondary issue and present it strongly enough as a primary, validate the primary subject.
- Go through and proofread your entire paper. Nothing makes reading more irritating than grammatical mistakes, clean that stuff up as much as possible.
- Get a second pair of eyes to read through your paper. It’s best to ask a classmate for help, as they most likely have or had a similar assignment. Another great way to polish things up is to ask one of our writers to give you some helpful advice.