How to write thematic essays
A thematic essay can be written on the main idea of a story or the principal melody of a musical piece. It can also be a description of a concept like in an arts essay or description of signature music that occurs throughout a film. Students have to write about a particular theme to be tested on a topic. The essay would enable assessors to find out how much a student has grasped about concepts in subjects like literature and history. To write such essays effectively, understanding of the topic as well as other inputs are required.
- Read the essay question. For example, it could be related to describing events that led to the entry of the United States in World War I. The question itself would contain the theme in this case. You have to identify it.
- Once you are aware of the topic in the essay question, the theme is easy to identify. It would usually include an event or personality within the question. You can ask counter questions to arrive at the answer. In the same example, the counter question, “what led to the US entering World War I…” would offer you your subject matter for thematic essays. Similarly, “who led the US…” would offer you another theme.
- Once you have decided on the theme, prepare the circumstances for the event or personality participation. It could be positive or negative factors that led to it. You would have to decide the stand to be taken in the essay writing exercise. Prepare the outline with arguments for or against the thesis statement.
- The outline should include the theme or main idea and supporting statements. The order of the actual event would dictate where the arguments would be placed within the essay. For example, the thesis statement would specify that the sinking of the ship Lusitania which was making its voyage to England forced USA to enter the war. The arguments that support this main idea or thesis statement could be many. The sighting of German U-boats on the US East Coast could be the first argument in support of the idea.
- Stay focused on the thesis statement. A research paper could be a long description on the course of events leading to World War I. On the other hand, an essay cannot include many sub topics, as the number of words to be included would be restricted. The ideal way to go about it would be to explain each argument either in support or against the thesis statement in separate paragraphs.
- To maintain the theme throughout, read over the essay several times to get the structure right. Each included element or argument should complement each other in the right order. Readers would expect a well written essay without grammatical errors. Sentences should be short and to the point.
A thematic essay is meant to establish what was mentioned in the thesis statement. The conclusion should therefore provide the summary in such a way that there is little room for doubt. This can be done by including the right blend of research content and quotations.