You are on page 1of 2

Various Formats for Thematic Statements

What is a theme?
Themes can be Topics / Human Nature Issues / Human Problems / Human Concerns / Struggles that
frequently appear in world literature (all of its texts) as well as our own life experience in specific
contexts.
In your essays, you should take a general idea like a theme and make a thematic statement – what can
you say or argue based on general topics like the ones included below?

Format 1: Cause + Effect


§ Example: Romeo and Juliet illustrates that (1) a person who allows his passions to override his
reason (2) may experience personal destruction.
o (1) Cause: “a person who” (has a VLACMIF trait)
o (2) Effect: “may experience personal destruction.”

Format 2: Given World + Cause + Effect


· Note: Given world and the cause should have opposite values
§ Example: Romeo and Juliet conveys that (1) given a world where people are separated by strict
social classes, (2) a person who allows his passions to override his reason (3) may experience
personal destruction.
o (1) Given world: “given a world where”
o (2) Cause: “a person who” (has a VLACMIF trait)
o (3) Effect: “may experience personal destruction.”

Format 3: Given World + Cause + Short-term Effect(s) + Ultimate Result


· Note: Given world and cause have opposite values; short- and long-term effects have
opposite consequences
§ Example: Romeo and Juliet conveys that (1) given a world where people are separated by strict
social classes, (2) a person who allows his passions to override his reason (3) may experience short-
term happiness but (4) ultimate destruction.
o (1) Given world: “given a world where”
o (2) Cause: “a person who” (has a VLACMIF trait)
o (3) Short-term Effect: “may experience short-term happiness”
o (4) Ultimate Result: “but ultimate destruction”

Format 4: Given World + Cause + Short-term Effect(s) + Ultimate Result [Expanded]


· Note: Given world and cause have opposite values; short- and long-term effects have
opposite consequences
§ Example: Romeo and Juliet conveys that (1) given a world where people are separated by strict
social classes, (2) a person who values individuality attempts to gain freedom by refusing to follow
the social conventions and rules. (3) The short-term result is that he feels free because he has made a
decision that goes against the will of his family. (4) However, an individual who fails to heed social
conventions in such a rigid society may ultimately bring destruction on both himself and those whom
he loves.
o (1) Given world: “given a world where”
o (2) Cause: “a person who” (has a VLACMIF trait)
o (3) Short-term Effect: “The short-term result…”
o (4) Ultimate Result: “However…”