A handout for students that lists three steps to identifying the theme of a piece of literature:
Step 1: Identify the main idea of the text.
Step 2: Identify the main topics of the text.
Step 3: Identify the author’s message about those topics.
*includes examples such as:
TEXT : Romeo and Juliet
MAIN IDEA A couple falls in love despite the fact that their families are enemies.
TOPICS: love, loyalty, family
THEME: True love is more important than loyalty to family.