A thematic statement is a single sentence that describes a specific interpretation of the overall meaning of a work of literature. It must be brief, focused and insightful.

Literary Themes

The key to writing a good thematic statement is understanding of the theme. Every coherent piece of literature has an overarching theme, or purpose. The motives and logic that drive the action, as well as the ideas and beliefs that unify the work, spring from the theme.

Avoid Summarizing the Work

A thematic statement should describe why characters act as they do, rather than describing their actions. Instead of describing what has occurred in a story, describe what made it occur; and instead of describing specific characters, describe what characters represent in relation to the general theme of the work.

Avoid Moralizing

Unless the work of literature is a fable, the thematic statement should not declare the "moral of the story." The theme of a work is not a simple judgment of human behavior, but an expression of the work's unifying theme.