How to Write a Thematic Statement

How to Write a Thematic Statement

Students who do creative writing and even literature students need to understand how to write a thematic statement. Composing a theme statement enables students to test their understanding of the book, novel, essay, or text they have read.

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A Theme statement is the main message or idea that a piece of literature is based on. This main message is what an author wants you to remember after reading the text.

A theme is an idea that a writer expresses about a topic. Also, a topic and a theme are different.

A topic can be one or two words like love, courage, envy. A theme is explained as a general sentence called a thematic statement.

How to Write a Thematic Statement

Writing a theme statement involves using all the crucial elements in the piece of writing, like plot and character in the story. You will uncover the main subject in the literature, elaborate the devices used and state the theme’s significance. Here are helpful guidelines that you can use when writing a theme

1.   Read and Understand the Text

Read and understand the whole piece of literature. It can be a novel, book, or article. Read it thoroughly and understand before you can start writing a theme.

Write down the styles the author has used in his or her work. Other things you can note down include character, plots, and even human perspectives. This will help you to produce your original interpretation of what you have read.

2.   Identify Conflicting and Central Ideas

In every story, you will find conflicting ideas. Identify the values, interests, and even motives. This will help you understand the conflict. It will also be a guide to the central ideas and values in the story.

3.   Focus on Main Message

How to write a theme correctly is to focus on the results of what happened instead of what is happening. Theme statements communicate the entire literature work in one sentence, making it essential to talk about the results.

4.   Capture the Essence of the Story

Have a clear mental picture of the story. Draft a sentence that has all the facets of what you have read. You will refine your sentence later. You can follow these steps on how to write a good thematic statement

  • Identify the main topic that the author addresses in the story
  • Identify the author’s point of view concerning the story
  • Use a thematic statement template to format the perspective

5.   Avoid Details

Do not be too specific about what happened. Instead, focus on why everything happened. Make sense of everything that happens in the text.

6.   Don’t Use Absolute Statements

Avoid statements that are absolute unless you are sure about them. Get the evidence of your writing from the text.

7.   No Moral Statements

Make sure your theme statement is not a moral statement. You should reflect on the thoughts within the story without modifying the original idea.

8.   Avoid Cliché

Produce an original statement instead of using cliché phrases. These phrases will not deliver the theme of your story the way it is supposed to.

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Thematic Essay

An excellent thematic essay stems from a well-written thesis statement that is proven using literary devices and logical arguments. This is how to write a theme for a thematic essay

1.   How to Write a Thematic Statement: Summarize the Text

Find out the main idea that the author is trying to convey. You can do this by reading and understanding the piece of writing.

2.   Identify the Most Dominant Subject

Identify and note the subject that is prevalent in the text. Also, make sure you understand the difference between a topic and a theme.

A subject is more of a general topic, and it can be a single word like love or deception. A theme is what the author is expressing about the subject.

3.   Read Keenly

Read thoroughly to understand concepts and ideas. Also, read and understand some of the things that might not be so obvious. This means you need to read between the lines.

4.   Identify the Overall Significance

Identify the lessons learned from the literature work and how it applies to the world. Note down the significance of the story with evidence from the text.

Characteristics of a thematic Statement

A thematic statement should be general enough to bring out the overall meaning of the text. It must also be specific enough to uniquely communicate an interpretation of the story. Here is a guideline on how to state a theme

1.   Simplify the Text into a Statement

Each text has a particular meaning. Read and understand the meaning. When you are writing a theme for a book, novel, or article, you have to read and simplify the entire text into a single statement.

2.   Provide a General Meaning

Theme statements should have a general meaning. They should not be specific to events, actions, or characters within the text. Choose specific words, a good structure, and rhetorical elements to express your main idea.

3.   Show Value

In your statement reflect the value of the entire literature. The value should not aim for one or two lines or a paragraph section.

4.   Use Abstract Words

Abstract words will describe concepts that are already in mind, like love, courage, or loyalty. Use these words to state your main idea.

5.   Comment on Abstract Ideas

Use comments to reflect your views on the abstract ideas in your statement. You can add your thoughts and any relevant information.

How to Write a Theme Statement for a Short Story

Writing a theme for short stories requires you to think about the main character or characters after reading your book or story. Note if there was any kind of change that the characters had to go through.

Also, take note of how the characters evolved in one way or another throughout the story. You can also pick a topic within the story and look at the author’s position regarding the subject. Another method of writing a theme statement for a story is to use a thematic statement template.

Components of a Theme Statement

A theme is similar to a thesis statement since it cannot be written in one word. Instead, you can write your topic in one word and use your theme as your topic statement.

A theme is making your point about a specific topic using literary devices and logical arguments. Your theme should be universal and not specific. It should also not be a definition.

What to Avoid When Writing a Thematic Statement

Every instructor will give you directions on how to write a theme analysis or statement. Make sure you follow the instructions provided and ask for clarifications if you are unsure. Here are some general guidelines on how to write a thematic statement

1.   Avoid Using Characters or Plot

Do not use characters or plots from the story to write your theme statement. Instead, your thematic statement should be relevant to people and even situations generally.

2.   Avoid Obvious Statements

An obvious statement cannot be a theme. Instead, delve deeper and find details in the story.

An example of an obvious statement is “war is bad.” This cannot be a thematic statement. You can look into the story and find out how war negatively impacts the characters in the story.

3.   Avoid Cliché Statements

A cliché statement like “once bitten twice shy” cannot be a thematic statement. Instead, it is an expression that people often use and has very little insight.

4.   Avoid Giving Advice

In your theme statement, avoid giving suggestions or advice. Instead, make sure your statement is objective and should be based on the evidence in the text. For example, “The family that is united can overcome any adversity.”

Key Takeaway

Understanding the difference between a thematic statement and a topic is the first key to knowing how to write a thematic statement correctly. A theme presents the idea that an author hopes to pass to the reader. The reader should be able to remember this idea after reading a story or any literature.

When writing a theme statement, make sure you capture the theme representing the entire text and generally speak to people outside the text. Also, ensure that your theme statement is unique and interesting.

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