How to Write a Thematic Essay

The idea of writing a thematic essay can seem a little bit confusing or scary at first. They often appear in the form of a question. To write a thematic essay we need to break it down into four main steps. These are the Prewrite, Introduction, Body, and Conclusion, which we’ll examine separately in depth. These steps are all equally important in writing an A quality essay.

  • Prewrite. The prewrite is the first step to a thematic essay, and should not be skipped. Even if you are typing your essay at home, it is very helpful to grab a piece of paper and write down your prewrite ideas the old fashioned way. To begin, look for key words in the essay question, write them down on your paper and start brainstorming. This is how you will come up with your thesis. Your thesis should answer the question and also bring your unique perspective to the issue. Never just answer the question with a yes or no. Make sure you have enough information to back up the claim you make in your thesis. From here you should make an outline to guide and organize your essay. This really helps keep you on track, and saves a lot of time when you start working on the body of the essay. Your outline should include your thesis, three main points that support your thesis, and a conclusion statement.

  • Introduction. Start your introduction with an attention grabbing sentence. This can be a question, a personal story, or even a statistic. Just make sure to keep it concise and relevant to your thesis. Your thesis should be at the end of your introduction. Right before or after it you should include your three main points.

  • Body. The body of your thematic essay should have at least three paragraphs, one for each of your supporting points. Every supporting point paragraph should include at least two facts from the original theme that justify your supporting point. If the essay is about a book you can use a quote, or describe a specific scene. If the essay is based on a real life issue, using specific dates or historical events is helpful. Think of this as the “concrete” element of your paragraph, and be sure to follow each one with your own commentary. Use your commentary to show how the “concrete” evidence supports your main point and thesis. In the body of your essay be sure to keep all of your writing concise and relevant to the main point.

  • Conclusion. As you conclude your thematic essay, begin with restating your three main points and your thesis. Summarizing the three main points should be your first sentence. Remember, you should not be presenting any new information here. After these points have been restated, return to your attention grabbing opening sentence or idea. Good conclusions bring your essay full circle and explain why your point is valid and relevant.

Although a thematic essay may appear intimidating, if you break it down into these four steps, the task immediately appears much less frightening. The key is to follow this guide and make sure you have enough time to write your essay.

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