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What is a Theme Essay, and How to Pick a Topic for It

A thematic essay is an essay that works to answer questions on a topic. Basically the instructor will give a subject with questions they want answered. It is the student’s mission to find a topic that will allow them to answer those questions. But the most important part of a thematic essay, is this is an essay that allows the student to express themselves openly.

The idea behind a thematic essay is to give the student the ability to express themselves in a way that will show the instructor how well they are perceiving their studies. It is very open on how the student addresses the subject, but this also often causes a stumbling block for the student. The Student needs to understand that they have the ability to speak freely here, and answer these questions as they see them.

  1. Choosing A Topic
  2. Developing the Topic

Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic is also much easier than it looks. As an example, in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The question might be why did they commit suicide? And Why, were the families fighting? So the topic could be, “Feudalism in Verona”, or “The Power Struggles of the Capulet and the Montague Families”. This is because the topics hold the answer to both questions, and is open enough for the student to express themselves.

Never limit the topic to one answer, and throw the other in. Let the topic address both answers. So the instructor will see from the start they are being addressed. Look at the subject, and the question, then find some point where they intersect. At that place, there are usually many topics that can be picked. Depending on the subject there are topics that can find a discourse.

Developing the Topic

After choosing the topic, the next step is to develop it. To do this the student needs to have at least two sub-topics, one for each of the questions. If there is enough to do it, another subtopic for the student to express their views on the subject. So let's return to Romeo and Juliet. Let's say the topic chose was “Feudalism in Verona”. So now how are the subtopics formed?

It might be done like this. After the Introduction, bullet the two subtopics.

  1. Feudal Clan Capulet
  2. Feudal Clan Montague

The using subheadings divide the two sections, and explain how each fit the structure of a Feudal society. Bringing in how this lead to the suicide of Romeo and Juliet.

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