The theme of a piece of literature is the meaning behind the work. All stories have plots and all stories have themes. The theme is the message that the story conveys to the audience. Authors may intend for several themes to run throughout their work, but your interpretation is what you ultimately get out of the writing. With the proper amount of textual evidence, themes can be suggested. In literature courses, you may be required to explain your interpretation of a theme.

Determine your interpretation of the theme of the story. The theme is the meaning or message of the story. All stories have some type of message, whether the author intended for the message to be there or not. By determining what you think the theme is, you will be able to focus your paragraph.

Find textual evidence that supports your claim. If you can't prove your theme hypothesis to be true with evidence from the story, your claim is invalid. Analyzing literature is not about getting the right answer since everything is open to interpretation. However, if you don't support your claims with evidence, your argument for theme is invalid.

Write a topic sentence explaining what you believe is the theme of the story. Your first sentence should explain exactly what you think, and the rest of the paragraph will be used to support your claim.

Support your opening sentence with evidence from the text. Give specific examples and then explain why the examples help support your claim. The only way to validly argue for your theme is through finding specific information in the text to support your claim.