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11 Outstanding Topics for Research Papers in English Literature

If there is a subject that offers one a plethora of characters, facets and life teachings, it is English Literature. From the start of time till the present days, English Literature has been one of the most loved and widely read subjects in the world. It was also one of the earliest forms of study known to man, and perhaps no other subject has ever seen such prolific authors as has Literature. Be it Homer or Paulo Coelho, Literature teaches everyone something.

Therefore, it is both easy and hard to choose a research paper topic in English Literature. Since there are various literary works to choose from, each with their own importance and well of study, a student is bound to get confused. Therefore, here are eleven outstanding topics for research papers in English Literature:

  • Character Study:
    • One of the most creative topics of all time can be to study a character in depth. There have been exemplary characters in fiction. Studying them might make for an interesting and valuable thesis.
    • Examples include Lady Macbeth, Jane Eyre and Heathcliff and so on.

  • Author Study:
    • Studying authors is always an interesting choice, as most great authors of all time are mere reflections of their lives. Exploring them will help you understand their characters and works better.
    • Examples include Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath.

  • Treatment of Character:
    • Many authors might render special or unwarranted treatment to their characters. This topic might require you to study many works by the same author.
    • Example: Works of Shakespeare in which his treatment for his female characters was misogynistic.

  • Allusions:
    • Most historical and literary works have allusions, which would make for a great thesis. The works of Shakespeare, for example, would be a good choice.

  • Comparison between two characters:
    • You can compare two characters in different novels by the same author. For example, Juliet from Romeo and Juliet and Desdemona from Othello.

  • Gender Roles:
    • This will make for an interesting thesis for those who are studying Shakespeare, who was known for disguising his characters.

  • Religion:
    • You can study whether the novel or work was religious or in any way derogatory to a particular community.

  • Politics:
    • Many novels and works by authors are often, if not directly, but subtly political. Biographies and case studies make for interesting examples.

  • Transformation:
    • Students studying Kafka will want to pursue this thesis, since one of his most famous works, The Metamorphosis, involves transformation of a character into an insect and follows his consequent evolution.

  • Evolution of Author:
    • You can study how the author and his works evolved and matured over time, which very often reflects in their characters. J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter novels are an excellent example.

  • Evolution of Literature:
    • As far as time goes, literature has gone as well. Works over time have evolved with the passage of time and era, reflecting the thoughts and opinions of the ages and people that have read them. Thus, looking at literature from a broad point of view and studying its evolution is a good idea for a paper.

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