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Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively


Theme and thematic progression

This section shows how good writers structure their sentences to focus the reader’s attention on the important points in the text. You will see how to make your meaning clear by linking information within and between paragraphs.

‘Theme’ in writing

The word ‘theme’ is commonly used as a concept in music, literature or the visual or performing arts. In these contexts, it means something like the major thread of the plot or composition.

However, ‘Theme’ also has a related but distinct meaning in the context of writing. It is still concerned with following threads through a text, but it also has a strictly grammatical meaning.

In writing, the Theme is all the words in a sentence or clause that come before the finite verb.

The Theme tells readers what the sentence is about and focuses their attention where you want it.

Need to refresh your understanding of finite and non-finite verbs? Go to Module 1, Unit 1: Sentence Fragments.