Every piece of writing ever written has its agenda. Whether it is to teach a lesson, show the impact of a particular emotion or portray the reaction to some action, a central theme can be developed. The goal for us as readers is to uncover what the author was trying to say between the lines. When we do finally discover it, we have accomplished the first step of thematic essay writing!
What Is A Thematic Essay
When looking at the definition, a thematic essay is a piece of writing in which an author develops the central theme in some literature using literary devices (foreshadowing, imagery, personification, etc.) The writer must uncover the primary subject, provide literary devices as evidence, and express the overall significance of the theme. The main challenge comes from the fact that although there are various subjects, finding the most meaningful and impactful one can be challenging.
After all, each person has their own varied interpretation, making it hard to wholesomely agree on a central theme. In short, a well written thematic essay comes from a strong main idea that is conclusively proven via literary devices and logical arguments.
Thematic Essay Example Topics
- What is George Orwell trying to show after 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?
Finding and Exploring The Central Theme
As stated before, uncovering the main subject and central theme respectively is the first major step in a thematic essay. However, with all the variety flowing around, it may be difficult to confidently decide on the main subject. To make sure you choose the central theme correctly, follow these steps:
- Summarize the Literature: If you take the SparkNotes version of the book, 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.
- 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 an 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.
- 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 on a frequent basis. After fully deciphering the central theme, there is one more major step
- 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 must have a concrete thesis, 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 the thought, all the while providing many supporting details from the text itself. Lastly, the conclusion summarizes the main arguments presented and finishes off with a statement of overall significance.
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How To Create A Winning Outline
As stated previously, the introduction’s main purpose is to present 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 properly, this will grab your reader's attention. Afterward, 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 in a thematic essay follow a strict format. Since each body paragraph’s purpose is to present a literary device as evidence, the topic sentence should introduce the claim and gateway into the evidence. Every topic sentence must have a literary device, author’s name and the relationship to the claim.
Afterward, to validate the claim, using examples from the book that strengthen the reasoning of your statement. These can be actions from the plot or quotations that are in parallel with the central theme. It is imperative to explain how the action/quote links back to the 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 important literary devices.
The conclusion has three main objectives to complete before wrapping up the entire essay. It should NEVER present any new information or facts but merely go through the information already presented. First of all, restate your thesis statement with the use of a transition such as “In conclusion,”. Then, summarize your three main claims 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 a call to action, interesting them to dig deeper into the topic.
Wrap Things Up
Before submitting your thematic essay for a grade, make sure to check off a couple things to clean up any possible errors. First of all, double check and confirm that the central theme you have decided is the one that the author MOST LIKELY meant to focus on. Unless you can provide a secondary theme and present it strongly enough as a primary, validate the primary subject. Next, go through and proofread your entire essay. Nothing makes reading more irritating than grammatical mistakes, so clean that stuff up as much as possible. Lastly, get a second pair of eyes to read through your essay. It would be helpful to get a classmate as they most likely had a similar assignment. By reading each other's work, you can both make sure that the chosen subject is identical in both papers.
Having Trouble With Your Thematic Essay?
We get it, writing a thematic essay is difficult enough as it is, especially if this your first experience. Even if after reading the article you are still struggling with the concept, chat with EssayPro’s professional writers. They will explain the main points in more detail and will help you write an A+ essay. Or, if you just don't have the time or patience, simply order an essay from our writing team that will punctuality and efficiently create high-quality content for your teacher's eyes. When it comes to essay writing help, feel free to contact our support team that will put you on the right track. Good luck on your thematic essay!