How to write a thematic statement Step-by-Step

author By Mary Boies

Your instructor has assigned you to write a thematic statement, and you probably do not know how to begin or what steps to take. Now, you are lucky because that's what this guide is all about.

Thematic Statement

Our team of expert literature writers came up with examples that we have included in this guide. Then, our editorial team pieced it up to help you write a thematic or theme statement that will meet the requirements.

After you are done reading an assignment for class, a novel, short story, lyrics, poems, or essays, you might be asked to write a theme or thematic statement. When asked to do so, you are being asked to condense the gist of your piece of literary work in a sentence or two. But how do you do it? How do you find the theme?

To answer these two questions, go through this structured step-by-step guide on how to write a thematic statement.

What is a Thematic Statement?

A theme statement, thematic sentence, or thematic statement refers to a sentence or two sentences describing the predominant message or theme of a literary work such as a novel, short story, poem, song, or story. It is a precise statement that summarizes the essence or gist of a story. It is a statement that can be transformed into a thesis statement in a thematic essay. It explains the powerful message that the author is trying to communicate in their work.

Examples include:

A thematic statement is not a theme, and neither is it a thesis statement, as we shall explore shortly.

A thematic statement contains a single root keyword, also referred to as theme, thematic idea, or thematic assertion.

You can use a thematic statement when writing a five-paragraph essay such as a synthesis essay, critical analysis essay, analytical essay, or thematic essay. They are also frequently used in funeral speeches, marriage toasts, stories, or rhetorical analysis essays.

Thematic Statement vs. Thesis Statement vs. Themes

Thematic statements differ from thesis statements in many ways. For example, while a thematic statement may be factual and comprise unbeatable facts, a thesis statement must be arguable and precise.

A thematic statement is also completely different from a theme. The theme describes the main message that the author or writer wishes to convey through their writing, whereas the thematic statement offers the context for readers to understand the theme better; it expounds on the theme.

The theme can be represented using one or two words, for instance, courage, hate, and love. On the contrary, a thematic statement is usually a complete sentence that conveys the theme. It is possible to have more than one theme in a literary work, and not every single one of them is directly mentioned.

Significance of thematic statements

A thematic statement is simply a summary of the entire literary work. Its main aim is to give readers a hint of what the literary piece is about before they read it in full. In addition, it also provides an insight into the writer's central theme and message.

It offers a bit of background information on exactly how the author constructed their work so that you can get a clearer understanding of the basis of their arguments and views.

Examples of Thematic Statements

If you are assigned to write an analytical essay or synthesis essay, here is how to express the theme statement:

Let's now look at the general theme statements you are likely to encounter in literature.















Step-by-step guide on how to write Thematic Statements

Here are the steps to take if you want to write a good thematic statement.

1. Develop a list of themes

Begin by gathering different ideas from the literary work and make a proper list of them. Next, gather the abstract words that express the primary ideas of the work (mainly, these are the topics in the work). These abstract words describe the ideas or concepts that exist only in our minds, like oppression, disillusionment, cruelty, love, hate, hubris, identity, sacrifice, or survival. You should then combine the abstract ideas with comments that reflect on the author's observations in the piece of literary work you are reading. Carefully go through them to see which ones can be backed with evidence, such as examples and facts. Look for the idea that you can easily support using the provided text.

2. Research extensively

To get the best idea for your writing, conduct extensive research. First, read through any articles or books that are of relevance to your topic. Then take time to think about the message you want to convey to your readers.

3. Get inspiration from other works

The next step is to read the thematic statements of other writers. Literary works reveal the thoughts of different people regarding different issues; they are the authors' views and interpretations of life in general. Therefore, drawing inspiration from other writers can be very helpful when coming up with your own thematic statement.

4. Identify conflict areas

Conflicts are vital when it comes to an understanding the theme. They make literary works interesting. By identifying the conflict areas, you will better understand the text.

5. Focus on the thesis statement or crux

The most important part of your work is the thesis statement. A good thesis statement is concise and conveys the intended message in a single sentence. You should, therefore, concentrate on getting it right. Thesis statements are important as they convey the literary work's main message quickly without losing any meaning.

6. Decide the best theme statement for you

Depending on your analysis of the text, settle on one thematic statement that is relevant to the writing.

7. Write the thematic statement

The final step is to put down your chosen thesis statement. Then, follow the above steps for the perfect thematic statement.

Dos and Don'ts when writing Thematic Statements



1.      Express the theme as an insight into life

1.      Never express the theme statement as a topic or subject. Never state the theme as a subject or maxim.

2.      Write the theme statement in your own words

2.      Do not express the theme statement as a moral

3.      Write the theme statement as a general comment on a subject

3.      Do not express the theme statement as a cliché, such as a familiar saying or adage

4.      Draw a general insight from the behavior of a character

4.      Never make the theme statement too general. Broad theme statements or generalizations can confuse your readers. Be very specific instead.

5.      Use qualifying words such as sometimes, often, might, may, can, etc. in your thematic statement

5.      Never refer to specific characters when writing your theme statement

6.      Be very specific

6.      Avoid using cliches

7.      Your theme should be reasonable. For example, it doesn't use words like "all," "none," "everything," or "always" because that kind of statement is rarely true and usually impossible to prove.

7.      The thematic statement should never be absolute.

8.      A theme is observation. It should comment on the way things appear to be in reality

8.      It is not a moral or a command

Thematic Statement Template

Let's look at templates we can use when writing theme statements.

For Stories and Books or literary works


In (name of the literary work)




Presents the ideas that (Thematic idea)


Statement about the thematic idea


Qualifying clause


Example from text


General theme statement

Thematic Idea


Statement about the thematic idea


Qualifying clause


Example of how to use the template


In (name of the literary work)

Priscilla and the Wimps


Richard Peck

Presents the ideas that (Thematic idea)


Statement about the thematic idea

It makes us do things that are out of our comfort zone

Qualifying clause

In order to help a good friend

Example from text

When Priscilla confronts the Kobra and Monk to protect Melvin.



In (name of the literary work)

Hunger Games


Presents the ideas that (Thematic idea)


Statement about the thematic idea

It is not enough without control

Qualifying clause

Over your own destiny

Example from text

A girl is forced to take part in a televised fight to the death.

Thematic Idea


Statement about the thematic idea

Compels people to take a leap of faith

Qualifying clause

Even when there is a chance of failure or imminent danger.


Thematic Idea


Statement about the thematic idea

Is a beautiful thing that happens when two people come together

Qualifying clause

Although it is just an illusion

Universal A-Z list of Themes

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