ENG125 Northern Virginia Practices of Dr Rank Thesis and Theme Paper

The purpose of this activity is to differentiate between thesis and theme, to identify both in a model essay, and to outline the developmental strategy of the author. This will be helpful in writing throughout this course and in future courses. Note the following as well:

  • An Analysis Essay about literature uses a thesis statement that often works with a theme (a big idea about life) that the author offers his/her readers. As we learned before, a thesis, as a tool of analysis, uses a “claim” which often informs us how or why the author makes this theme available.


  • Read the information by following this link
  • Read also the essay “The Practices of Dr. Rank” (a link for this student essay sample is at the bottom of the web page of the above link).
  • Respond, divided into the four sections below:
    • State what the difference is between a theme of a work and a thesis that analyzes a theme in a literary work.
    • Identify the thesis for the essay, “The Practices of Dr. Rank.”
    • Answer these questions: What does the essay writer “claim” in this thesis statement? Which part(s) is/are the essay writer’s analysis? Which part is an idea from the story itself? How are the claim/thesis and the story idea/theme different but related in this thesis? *Note: Remember that a theme is a “big idea about life,” usually a recommendation or observation for readers, and it does not include details such as character or setting for a specific literary work.
    • Construct an outline of the three body paragraphs of the essay, “The Practices of Dr. Rank.” Include a main idea sentence (also called a topic sentence) and evidence that backs up each main idea. Start like this:
      • State the main idea/topic sentence (which will repeat a term or idea from the thesis)

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Assignment Solutions

Assignment Solutions