Essay Writing – Theme, Thesis, Directional Statement Theme – central, controlling idea of the author



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Essay Writing – Theme, Thesis, Directional Statement
Theme – central, controlling idea of the author in the literary work

  • Expressed in a complete sentence

  • Describe the general meaning of the story, not specific events, actions or characters

  • A generalization about life (not just the literary work)

  • Should involve the major conflict and main character/s of the story



Faulty Theme Statement

Revised & Corrected Theme Statement

The theme of the short story “A Time of Wolves” is isolation.

(This is a topic NOT a theme)



The theme of “A Time of Wolves” is that isolation can affect a person’s emotional state.

Thesis - central idea or point you are trying convince your reader to accept.

  • Your insights about the literary work

  • It gives the person reading your essay an idea of what you understand about the literary work

  • Answers the essay prompt/question with a specific argument.

  • ***Does not necessarily have anything to do with the theme




Essay prompt

Discuss the impact of isolation in the short story “A Time of Wolves”.

Thesis

In the short story “A Time of Wolves” the isolation of the prairies drives some pioneers to madness and makes others stronger.




Essay prompt

Discuss how the theme that isolation can affect a person’s emotional state is developed in the short story “A Time of Wolves”.

Theme Thesis Statement

In the short story “A Time of Wolves”, the reactions of Alma and Sarah to the prairie conditions demonstrate the theme that isolation can affect a person’s emotional state.


Directional Statement – accompanies the thesis and indicates the main points to be developed in the essay



Thesis


In the short story “A Time of Wolves” the isolation of the prairies drives some early pioneers to madness and makes others stronger.

Directional Statement

As a pioneer woman, Alma overcomes the loneliness and isolation of the prairies by facing her fears and overcoming challenges, while Sarah gives in to her fears and allows them to control her.

Now let’s try this with the Twelfth Night.

Essay prompt: In the play there are several characters who are imprisoned in some way. What message is Shakespeare giving about imprisonment? (This is the theme). Choose three characters that are confined and discuss the nature of their confinement, and how each helps to develop the theme.
Jot notes- Who is imprisoned? In what manner?


Theme: What is the message about imprisonment that can be applied to life in general?
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Thesis: Answer the prompt above.
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Directional Statement: How are you going to prove your thesis? Give three examples
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Essay Writing – Introductions & Conclusions



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