A thematic statement is one or two sentences that express a theme. It is the most important part of academic writing and literature. Composing a good statement is not an essay task, and most students cannot do it correctly. It requires you to have a good understanding of literary work.
A thematic statement is a sentence (or two) that expresses the main idea of the writing. It is the central message of a literary work. It is closely related to the thesis statement, and it can represent the thesis statement in a literary work.
According to the thematic statement definition:
“It is a central message of a literary work that the author wants to convey about the subject.”
The thematic statement is not the same as the subject, as it can’t be described in a word or two. It is a complete sentence or two sentences that present the whole idea of the literary work. It is expressed as a general statement about the subject of the literary work and is different from a simple theme.
Theme vs. Thematic Statement
The theme is the main message that the writer wants the reader to remember after reading the work. In contrast, the thematic statement is a general statement that explains the theme of the work.
The theme could be represented by just one or two words, i.e., love, hate, courage, etc. In comparison, the thematic statement is a complete sentence (or two) that expresses the theme. A literary work can have more than one theme, and not all of them are directly stated but are implied.
Purpose of Thematic Statement
- The thematic statement aims to present the whole idea of the work. It helps the reader interpret the main message of the literary work.
- The primary purpose of this statement is to present a summary of the work. The goal is to give a simple and clear interpretation of the subject in one or two sentences.
How to Write a Thematic Statement
There is no specific set of rules that defines the statement format. However, some aspects can be defined as desirable characteristics. The following steps will help you write a strong thematic statement.
1. Create a List of Theme Topics
Brainstorm several theme topic ideas and make a list of them. Check which idea can support your argument with evidence from the literature or examples. Choose the one that the literary text can best demonstrate.
2. Conduct Exhaustive Research
Research your chosen theme to collect relevant material and see what others have written about it. Read the available literature work thoroughly to analyze what could be the central message of your work. Carefully examine the plots, characters, writing styles, and different human perspectives. It will help you develop an original interpretation.
3. Pick out Thematic Statements of Other Writers
While reading the literature work, pick out the statements of other authors. Analyze what others think about your chosen subject and how they have conveyed their thoughts.
4. Identify Conflict Areas
Every theme or topic has a conflict of ideas essential to present to understand the theme completely. Identifying the conflict area will help you analyze the central concept for your work. It will also guide you to determine the motives and values to understand the nature of the conflict.
5. Focus on the Crux
The purpose of the statement is to present the complete message of the work in one sentence. Therefore, it is important to focus on the crux instead of talking about what or how.
6. Avoid Directive and Moral edict
A theme statement weighs, observes, and considers actions and ideas, but it doesn’t judge what people should or should not do. Therefore, it is important to avoid moral, directive, or order statements that tell someone how to behave or do something. Hence, avoid words like ought, should, must, and other similar words that impose something.
7. Avoid Clichés
Clichés have already been used several times, and they do not sound unique anymore. So, it’s better to come up with an original statement for your work.
Characteristics of a Good Thematic Statement
A good statement must be general enough to capture the overall meaning of the work. However, it also needs to be specific enough to convey a unique interpretation.
An interesting and comprehensive thematic statement should have the following qualities:
1. Simplified yet Comprehensive
Every text makes a statement or has a particular point. When creating a theme, you substitute a single sentence for the entire work. It means you have to simplify the meaning to get it into a single sentence.
For example, “Love and hate” is not a statement but a topic. Instead, a sentence like “The theme of the text is love and hate” is a complete sentence.
2. Based on the Broader Message
The theme should describe the general meaning and not the specific events, actions, or characters. It is beneficial for the writer to express the central idea through word choice, structure, or other rhetoric elements.
It should also reflect the values of the entire work, not just in one or two lines, paragraphs or sections.
3. Is Abstract
Begin by using abstract words for the purpose of stating the main ideas. These words usually describe the concepts that exist in our minds, such as love, passion, loyalty, etc.
For writing a theme statement, incorporate the abstract ideas with the comments reflecting the writer’s views. It will help to express his thoughts about the abstract idea.
4. Doesn’t Directly Refer to the Characters
You shouldn’t mention a character in the text by the name. Instead, you should use the words such as a person, people, individual, or someone while writing a thematic statement.
Thematic Statement Examples
A thematic statement is an overarching message of a literary work. The following examples will help you understand what a good statement looks like.
Thematic Statement Examples for Love
- “Love can conquer even the greatest evil”
- “Love makes you care about others more than yourself”
- “Love, if taken to the extreme, can be negative rather than positive”
Thematic Statement Examples for Death
- “A man who lives fully is prepared to die anytime”
- “Death is so beautiful that whoever meets it never comes back”
- “To die will be an awfully amazing adventure”
Thematic Statement Examples of Identity
- “Be who you are, and the world will adjust”
- “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not”
- “We know what we are, but not what we may be”
Thematic Statement Examples for Fear
- “Fear is something more dangerous than the danger itself”
- “Fear is nothing more than just a state of mind”
- “The biggest thing to fear about is fear itself”
1.What is an example of thematic statement?
For example, look at the theme of love in The Hunger Games. A thematic statement for this might be: Love can make you care more about others than you do about your own life when put to the test.
2.What are the 4 steps to writing a theme statement?
The four steps below will show you how to write thesis statements quickly and effectively.
- Restate the idea in the prompt or ask yourself the question the prompt asks. …
- Adopt a position/state your opinion. …
- List three reasons you will use to argue your point. …
- Combine information from 1-3 into one sentence.
3. How do you write a good thematic essay?
How to Write a Good Thematic Essay
- Highlight the central theme. After you choose a literary work, determine its central theme. …
- Craft a thesis statement. It is the most crucial part amongst all components of the entire paper. …
- Write a captivating introduction. …
- Work on the body paragraphs. …
- Write a powerful conclusion.