Grab 40 Top Literary Research Paper Topics and Ideas

English Composition 101 and Literature are the two subjects that high school, college, and university students can’t avoid, no matter what their chosen field of study is. By taking a course in literature, students get to improve their skills in reading, comprehension, analysis, research, and writing. They also expand their outlook and learn a lot of things they didn’t know about, thus boosting their overall social awareness.

Some students may ask: “What is a literary research paper?” This is a type of academic homework assignment meant to test the student’s skills and knowledge learned during the course. Unlike the regular essay, the research project has a title page at the beginning of the paper followed by a table of contents and an introduction. An introduction should have an attention-grabbing hook sentence, some background information explaining the importance of the selected topic to write a literature research paper on, and a thesis statement, which is the main argument of the work.

Once you are done with the introduction, it is time to move on to the main part of your essay which is the body paragraphs. Each of the body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence related to the thesis statement and providing evidence from credible and trustworthy sources. It is important to add both direct and indirect in-text citations because this is the best way of proving your points. Using a direct citation requires the writer to insert an author’s words in quotation marks; it is also possible to paraphrase the sentence you like, i.e., rewrite it in your own words. Whichever the case may be, you should reference all sources properly and create the Works Cited page (a full bibliography) at the end of your paper.

When working on a conclusion, restate the thesis and then briefly summarize the entire paper, providing a powerful concluding sentence in the form of an eye-catching hook (e.g., a rhetorical question).

The list of subjects to discuss in this kind of essay is a quite wide-ranging one: from research topics for British literature to the questions about worldwide literature and history. Those are interrelated subjects, so keep that in mind, too.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss some of the top literature topics for a research paper:

10 American Literature Research Paper Topics

  1. Contemporary American literature.
  2. Renaissance in the American literature.
  3. Analysis of the Last of the Mohicans by Cooper.
  4. Evaluation of Leaves of Grass by Whitman.
  5. The roles of gender in the US literature.
  6. Comparing 2 characters from the US literature.
  7. Allusions in a specific novel.
  8. Historical background of a chosen book.
  9. Analysis of 2 different genres.
  10. Symbolism in the books of the US authors.

10 English Literature Research Paper Topics

  1. Female writers in the English literature.
  2. The Imagist movement analysis.
  3. Contributions made by Indian authors.
  4. The socio-political context of a chosen book.
  5. Scottish authors in the UK literature.
  6. Famous authors from London.
  7. The reasons why certain books get banned.
  8. Representation of children in the UK books.
  9. Challenges of studying English literature.
  10. Peculiarities of the literary English language.

10 British Literature Research Paper Topics

  1. Reasons to ban certain types of books.
  2. Victorian age literature.
  3. The image of Sherlock Holmes in the international arena.
  4. Shakespeare’s plays made into movies.
  5. Origins of the British poems.
  6. Old-English poems.
  7. The Roman influences in the British literature.
  8. The reflection of Viking raids in the British literature.
  9. Early modern British literary works.
  10. Cross-cultural impact of the British novels.

10 Research Paper Topics for World Literature

  1. Contemporary literary theories.
  2. Functions of world literature.
  3. Chinese art in the middle of the 20th century.
  4. The history of the African-American literature movement.
  5. The Nobel Prize winners of the 21st century.
  6. The contribution of Asian poets to world culture.
  7. Another nation-shaping factor worldwide.
  8. The main attributes of postmodern prose.
  9. Literary scholars of the United States.
  10. Main themes of the early American literature.

No matter whether you need world literature research topics or the US literary ideas, our tips will help you choose a subject for your essay. So, how do you go about developing an interesting and thought-provoking topic?

The first thing you should do is write down all possible ideas related to the studied course on a piece of paper. To save yourself the trouble of doing it on your own, you can get your peers, parents, or tutors to provide you with them. Those should be the latest research topics in English literature, so try and avoid writing on antiquated subjects.

Check the availability of information on the selected problem, making sure the sources are no older than five years, and the data is relevant and interesting for a modern audience. It is important to analyze what the current trends are and how your audience may react to various issues.

And lastly — do not make a final choice before consulting with your teacher!

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