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What is the difference between a title and a thesis statement?

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The title and the thesis statement are two different parts of an essay.

The title of an essay should give the reader a hint of the essay's contents and should also grab the reader's attention. The title is generally brief. For example, if you were asked to write an essay about the purpose of the three witches in the play, Macbeth, and you are exploring whether or not the witches are real or a figment of Macbeth's imagination, a catchy title might be: Witches or Wishes? If you were asked to write an argumentative essay about the necessity of schools promoting extracurricular activities a title might be: Education and Extracurricular Activities: Ingredients for Success.

On the other hand, a thesis of an essay makes a claim or takes a stand. The thesis controls the essay by presenting the argument. As well, the thesis is placed in the introductory paragraph. A strong thesis is controlled and specific, generally one sentence. For example, using the above example about extracurricular activities, a strong thesis might be: Extracurricular activities in schools are essential to promote a student's physical and social well being. This essay could then explore the positive physical aspect of activities such as sports and cheerleading as well as the positive social aspects of these, such as team building. Other activities such as band or yearbook would also add to a discussion of meeting challenges and making friends.

In summary, the title names the essay, and the thesis controls the essay.

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A "title" is the name of something. The title of a piece of writing may refer to the main character or a major event; it may be a significant phrase from the work; it may be intended primarily to catch the interest of potential readers.

A "thesis statement" is an introduction of the position a writer is going to take or a summary of a topic when presenting an argument, opinion, or providing information. The thesis statement is usually part of the first paragraph of a written work and helps the reader to prepare to receive and understand whatever information will be covered in the rest of the piece.

A thesis statement is usually followed by statements that briefly set out each of the points that will be further developed in the body of the writing to support the argument or opinion or to provide information in further detail about the topic of the piece.

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What is the difference between a thesis statement and a theme?

That is a great question. A theme is a work is what it is mainly about. So, if you want to know the main theme, you ask asking what it is basically about, what the main point is. A thesis is different. A thesis is an argument a writer constructs that is debatable. It does not even have to be about the theme of a work. For example, if I working on Homer's Iliad, my thesis can be that Homer did not write it. This has nothing to do with the theme. Let me give you another example. If I am writing about Oedipus Rex, my thesis can be that the plague of the opening scene refers to the bubonic plague. This has nothing to do with the theme. A theme, therefore, is the main point. A thesis is an argument.

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What is the difference between a thesis statement and a theme?

There are some very strong parallels between both themes and thesis statements.  I think you will find there will be much in the way of responses to how each will be different.  For my bet, I would like to think of themes as something that can be found in writing that expresses the intent of what the author is trying to show.  Themes can be found in literature and other forms of writing where an idea is explored in a complex and intricate manner.  Examples of themes can be courage, the quest for justice, the collision between equally desirable, but ultimately incompatible courses of action, or the notion of identity formation. These themes are proven from a base that is not purely evidential and argumentative, which differentiates them from a thesis statement.  For example, when Homer explore the theme of equally desirable, but ultimately incompatible courses of action, he does not do so in a strictly linear and evidential manner.  Rather, he shows us character who must endure such a theme and how it plays out is built within the development of the character.  Hektor's character evolution is how we, as the reader, see Homer's theme develop.

In contrast to this, a thesis statement is something that is built through evidence, analysis, and persuasion.  It seems to me to be more linear and directed than a theme.  For instance, a thesis statement can be analytical, which analyzes an idea and deconstructs it through a paper.  A thesis statement could also be persuasive, and it hopes to do so through evidence and analysis.  The websites below give examples of thesis statements.  I think I differentiate both concepts as a thesis statement trying to prove something, while a theme seeks to explore it.

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