Writing a Thematic Essay: a Quick Guide

Writing a Thematic Essay: a Quick Guide
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Every paper has its purpose and is written to fulfill a certain need. It might demonstrate the impact of an action or idea. It may also teach a lesson. No matter what is the purpose, there must be the main theme that you should develop. The author has a goal, and readers also have a goal — they need to understand what the author wanted to say, besides the obvious information. The meaning of an essay is its theme. Discovering your theme is one of the first steps of the writing process, and we are going to consider the next ones, as well. Check out this quick guide from college-writers.com.

Thematic Essays

A thematic essay is based on a central theme, which is developed by the author throughout the essay. The author may use different literary devices such as personification, imagery, foreshadowing, etc.

Professional writers focus on the main subject and elaborate on the topic using literary devices. They also emphasize the significance of the subject, and here comes the first challenge — you should choose a meaningful topic that will be not only interesting for readers but also important in a broader context.

People may interpret a topic in different ways, which makes it hard to find common ground. Thus, the author needs to support the central idea using logical arguments and literary devices. The success to a large extent depends on the author’s ability to choose the right topic.

How to Choose a Topic for a Thematic Essay

Given that choosing the right topic is especially important, we recommend that you follow these steps:

  • Recall your own experiences, things you were discussing in class or with your friends. Do any of these conversations remind you of some novel or poem?
  • Write down all the ideas that come to your mind. Don’t rush to evaluate them. Even if some idea looks absurd, it may turn out to be a great topic for your essay.
  • Write down your favorite literature pieces. What book is your favorite? Think about the problems addressed by the author. You may get some ideas that you can use in your own essay.
  • Pay your attention to the details. The chosen literature piece may have some details that can help you elaborate on your subject

How to Explore the Main Theme

As we’ve already mentioned above, choosing the central topic and the main subject is one of the first steps of the writing process, and it’s also very important. However, the way you interpret and develop the theme is no less important. We recommend that you follow these steps to make sure that you’ve chosen the right theme.

1. Summarize the literature and think of what main idea the author wanted to express. Finding the main idea will not be a difficult task because usually, writers leave many hints that can help you.

2. You should also determine the main subject. Keep in mind that there is a difference between the central theme and subject. A subject is a general topic. For example, such things as love, loyalty, bravery, or happiness can be the main subjects of literature pieces. A theme is much more specific. Simply put, it’s the author’s point on the subject. A theme should be the main focus of your essay.

3. Once you’ve found the right subject, try to read between the lines and determine the author’s main points. The more you read, the more clues you’ll find. You’ll also see what examples you can use in your writing. After this, there’s another important step left.

4. Think about the overall importance of the author’s point. Is it useful for readers? What lessons it can teach us? How we can use it in our everyday lives?

Making an Outline

A thematic essay consists of a few basic parts. Depending on the type of assignment and topic, thematic essays may contain five paragraphs or more. No matter how long a thematic essay is, it always is based on a thematic statement that illustrates the general subject. Your essay should start with an introduction that provides key information about the subject and presents the thesis statement. The introduction is followed by body paragraphs. For instance, if you’re writing a five-paragraph thematic essay, it will have three body paragraphs. Every paragraph of this section must focus on one aspect of your thesis, proving its validity with evidence, such as literary devices and elements used by the author. You should also write a meaningful conclusion which will summarize the most important ideas and highlight the significance of the topic and your opinion.


The introduction of a thematic essay must not only present the thesis statement but also do it in an interesting way. Start your introduction with a hook sentence that will grab attention. For example, you can provide a striking fact or an intriguing statement. After that, provide the necessary background information that will help your readers better understand your point. Wrap it up with a thesis statement that will represent the main theme of your essay.


Make sure to stick with the required format standards when writing the body of the essay. Every paragraph should present a piece of evidence so it should also start with a topic sentence that introduces the claim that you address in this paragraph. When writing a topic sentence, illustrate the relationship between the piece of evidence and the literature.

You should also support your claim using examples from the piece of literature. For example, you may mention specific details from the plot or provide direct quotations. Don’t forget to explain the connection between the evidence and the thesis statement. Make sure that your claims use literary devices. You shouldn’t make claims randomly. Instead, illustrate your thesis statement using literary devices.


The conclusion of a thematic essay has three goals. Don’t provide new information in the conclusion. Instead, briefly summarize your main points and consider them in relation to the thesis statement. After this, wrap up the entire work with a concluding statement that considers the subject in a more general context. A good conclusion leaves readers with something to think about and keeps them interested in the topic.

Proofreading and Editing

Always proofread thematic essays before submitting them. You should make sure that your essay is logically consistent, informative, and well-written.

  • Double-check and make sure that your essay properly addresses the main theme. The whole essay should focus on the primary subject unless you also address another subject.
  • Proofread the whole essay and fix any mistakes. Check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You should also check the overall structure.

Ask somebody to proofread your paper. You may give your essay to a friend or classmate. However, the most effective solution is to order professional proofreading on College-Writers.com.

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