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Things to consider when writing a theater paper


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Photo of a performance on a stage for a theater essay

Writing a theater paper is perhaps one of the most interesting tasks you may ever get to work on. However, as with any other type of paper, you need to follow a few basic rules to create a decent paper:

  • First thing first, you need to choose the topic. Sometimes a professor may give you some options to choose from, but in most cases, you have to come up with topic ideas yourself. Searching for the best one remember that the one you settle on should be both topical and interesting to research.
  • Once you’ve chosen a perfect topic to work on, the next step is to organize your working process correctly. Check how much time you have to complete your assignment, and allocate 40% to research, 40% to writing, and the other 20% to outlining and proofreading.
  • Do not forget to make an outline. If you do not want your theater paper to be a mess, decide what kind of structure you will use and what info you will cover before you start writing. You can find the outlining options in the examples on the Web, and use the one you think is the most applicable for your essay.
  • Compose a strong thesis statement that will briefly overview the main idea of your paper. Depending on the size of the paper, choose three to five key arguments that support your statement. Along with that, you can use various statistical data in your theater paper to make it more informative.
  • Do not forget that you need to conduct an in-depth research beforehand in order to create great work on any topic in the field. You can start writing the paper only when you have enough data to provide the reader with and a clear outline that will not let you lose track of thoughts.

Ideas for good topics for a theater research paper

No matter what kind of theatre-related paper you are supposed to write, it is important to choose the right topic. Here are several good topics for a theater research paper that you might customize depending on your interests or chosen plays, historical periods, and playwrights:

  • The influence of ancient Greek tragedy on modern-day theater;
  • The place of improvisation in contemporary theatre;
  • The role of music in a certain play;
  • How does theater develop a viewer’s imagination?
  • Does a director or an actor define what the play will be like?
  • Drama as a universal language;
  • History and origins of opera and ballet;
  • Shakespeare’s contribution to the development of theater;
  • Does cinema kill theater?
  • The roles of ‘personal’ and ‘collective’ in a play.

Theater paper outline

The outline for a theater paper will largely depend on whether you’re writing a research work or an essay. However, there are a few main things you need to remember regardless:

  • Your introduction has to include a hook phrase that engages your reader, a strong thesis statement, and supporting sentences. Additionally, there should be enough background information so that the facts you present further do not seem confusing.
  • Writing 3-5 paragraphs for a body is more than enough if you are writing an essay.
    You just need to make sure that they have introductory and conclusive sentences. If you are working on a research paper, there will be quite a few sections such as a literature review and a discussion. In this case, it’s best to run your outline by your professor before you start writing to make sure you have included all the necessary parts.
  • Conclusion has to showcase your ability to synthesize the information. In other words, you have to briefly restate the thesis statement and the facts you have presented in the body paragraphs. The longer your paper is, the longer your conclusion will be. Just make sure to keep it in a 10%-word-count limit to leave more room for discussion in the main part of the text.

The more information you include in the outline, the better as it will help you remain consistent in the process of writing. Moreover, it would be great to create a list of sources beforehand and put down some points you wanted to take from each one so that you do not have to search for this information later.

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