100 Best Literary Research Paper Topics

Literary research paper topics are among the most interesting to write about. Books are the best teachers for most learners. And, students love reading interesting literature books. But, when asked to write research papers, most students have difficulties choosing their topics. That’s because many issues can be investigated and written about.

For instance, literary topics can be about characters’ personalities in certain works. They can also be about particular characteristics of specific literary genres. Learners can also choose literary analysis topics that focus on the life story of famous writers or poets. But, regardless of what a learner opts to write about, they should choose interesting topics.

What are Interesting Literary Research Paper Topics?

Several factors make a topic interesting to write about. A topic for a research paper or a graduate thesis should generally be definite, specific, and innovative. Also, it should be interesting to research and write about. Here’s how to select interesting literature topics:

  • Think about something.
  • Explore the idea to select a topic for which you can find sufficient research data from credible sources.
  • Narrow down your subject if you find it too broad.

English literature topics can be classified into different categories. Here some of these categories and topics can be considered in each category.

Great World Literature Research Topics

Perhaps, you’ve been asked to write a literature research paper with a global perspective. Well, here are some of the literary analysis research paper topics that you can consider.

  1. Explain how the supernatural and spirituality help in furthering the development of the plot in the Latin American literature of the early 20th century.
  2. What themes are common in the Japanese poems of the early 20th century? How do they differ from those of the early 19th century?
  3. Compare the early Chinese literature works and European literary works of the middle ages. How different or alike are they?
  4. How were the European literary works in the early 20th century shaped by the revolutionary works of Engels and Marx? What examples can demonstrate this influence?
  5. Explain how the Muslim philosophers’ work of the 15th century led to new ideas and inventions across the globe.
  6. Compare and contrast different anti-British works that originated in India in the 19th century with pro-colonialist works that came from England at the same time.
  7. How did the nightmarish utopian future ideas of Aldous Huxley influence the modern-day science fiction writers across the world?
  8. Explain how the Antigone play by Sophocles deals with the conflict between the central characters while relating to the state laws and individual conscience.
  9. How are the sentiments of the authors reflected in the Animal Farm by George Orwell and concerns about the October Revolution?
  10. Explain some of the examples of the literary fiction pieces that have shaped cultures in the world. Have historic, societal, and cultural factors played some roles in shaping these literature pieces?
  11. Being a prolific writer in the early and mid 19th century, Charles Dickens’ works were published in serialized forms. How and why has this approach become less fashionable?
  12. Compare and contrast the early Japanese literature works and the early Chinese literature works. How do they differ in terms of values and culture?
  13. Explain how comedy differs in literature across cultures. What comedy appeared in the early theatrical performances and it’s still present in modern literature?
  14. Analyze chivalry and honor critically in the Green Knight and Sir Gawain. What are the qualities of these works from a similar period?
  15. Compare and contrast the Odyssey and Iliad by Homer the Ancient Greek. Explain how cultures across the world have adapted the themes presented in the poem.

Top Literary topics for Research Paper

Some topics for literary analysis stand out among students. These are topics that educators recommend for students across the study levels.

  1. How is literature an aspect of modern culture?
  2. Explain how feminism has influenced modern literature
  3. How is psychology utilized in literature?
  4. Explain the major social issues that have been exposed by literary works
  5. Explain the philosophical tradition of the Daoism in the Chinese literature
  6. Explain the roles played by death and honor in the Japanese literature in the 20th century
  7. Explain how the European culture influences the Mid-West literature
  8. How has the European culture affected modern literature?
  9. Analyze the personality of Don Quixote
  10. Explain how literature differs between countries.
  11. Discuss poetry in the innovative ear of the 21st century
  12. Examine racism in the novels of the 1960s and 1970s
  13. Explain the exile’s perception in literature
  14. Literature and culture? Which one affects the other?
  15. How has literature addressed homosexuality?

These can also be great literary debate topics. That’s because learners can have varying opinions about them.

British Literature Research Paper Topics

Students have many topics to choose from when it comes to British literature essay topics. Here are some of the best literature topics from the works of British authors.

  1. Discuss Victorian England’s picture with the works of Charles Dickens in mind
  2. Discuss the theme of Orphans with the Oliver Twist character in mind
  3. Explain how the British Literature has influenced different cultures
  4. Explain how British literature has addressed gender issues
  5. Explain how King Lear highlights differences between anti-heroes and villains
  6. Explain the William Shakespeare’s personality- Highlight facts and myths
  7. Choose two famous British novels and then compare characters in them
  8. Explain the viewpoint of different writers about the Utopian civilization idea
  9. With Harry Potter books in mind, explain why some literature books are considered classics
  10. Explain how love and romantic love are presented in Charlotte Bronte works
  11. Explain how modern literary works have been affected by the Victorian period works
  12. Discuss the adultery theme in Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  13. Who are the main characters in Lake Poets’ works?
  14. Explain how violent imagery was used in World War I poetry
  15. Explain talent as a theme in Milton’s on His Blindness
  16. Explain innocence loss in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  17. Explain the theme of individualism versus collectivism in Oliver Twist
  18. Explain why the popularity of detective novels increased in the XIX century
  19. What role did supernatural play in Macbeth: a case study of three witches
  20. Class demarcation in XVII century- The vengeance theme

American Literature Topics

Some teachers ask students to choose American literature research topics for certain reasons. If asked to write on such topics, here are some of the American literature research paper topics to consider.

  1. Analyze key aspects of American ideology, particularly in the literature written before the 20th century.
  2. Determine thematic concerns and literary styles of the major historical period of the American literature between the colonial period and post-modernist.
  3. Show the American identity uniqueness of texts
  4. Propose connections between the American literature concerns and themes in the larger historical development and social issues that face the present world
  5. Examine major concerns and themes that reappear across the American literature
  6. Highlight the major themes in Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
  7. Explain the African American Experience on female authors like Alice Walker, Zora Neal Hurston, and Toni Morrison
  8. Explain the predominant theme in The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  9. Explain how Jonathan Edwards epitomizes Puritan definitions in his sermons
  10. Explain the use of historical personalities and events by Washington Irving as the background for his works
  11. The Crucible demonstrates how a community can be torn apart by hysteria. Explain
  12. Explain how Sylvia Plath demonstrates the social pressure faced by women in the 1960s in the Bell Jar.
  13. Explain how John Knowles demonstrates the impact of war on everyone
  14. Explain the strong belief in the education power by Maya Angelou as depicted in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  15. Explain how Thornton Wilder conveys life as a gift in Our Town
  16. Discuss the themes of anger and pity in the Grapes of Wrath
  17. Explain how Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck portrays the Great Depression struggles
  18. Discuss the portrayal of the unconquerable spirit in Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
  19. Plays by Eugene O’Neil are tragically realistic. Explain
  20. God is humanized in The Creation poem by James Weldon Johnson. Explain

Some of the ideas here are great poetry topics. Nevertheless, they require careful research and analysis to write about.

High School Literary Essay Topics

Some topics in literature are ideal for high school essays. Here are examples of literary analysis paper topics for high school students.

  1. Compare and contrast the major characters in your preferred book
  2. Choose your favorite character in a book and explain your reasons for liking it
  3. Explain why the quality of a literature book is not determined by its length
  4. Highlight the similarities of your favorite books
  5. Discuss the top 4 authors in horror books
  6. Explain why reading some books is difficult than reading others
  7. Explain what it takes to write a high-quality poem
  8. Who is your favorite poet and why?
  9. Explain what makes your favorite book interesting
  10. Who is your favorite character in literary works and why?
  11. What makes some literature books difficult to read?
  12. Who are your favorite top 5 authors and why?
  13. Should the age of readers be restricted to some books?
  14. What is your favorite literary genre?
  15. Explain why the author determines the quality of a book more than the story
  16. Discuss the literary works of your favorite authors
  17. Why is it important to captivate readers with the introductory chapter of a book?
  18. Which book genre makes great movies?
  19. Why is the work of Harry Potter so popular?
  20. Explain why your favorite horror book is scary

Unique Research Topics in English Literature

Some literature research topics are unique and can be written about by learners at different study levels. Here are examples of such topics.

  1. Analyze the use of literary devices in novels
  2. Discuss the author’s autobiography
  3. Analyze literary genres and the role played by an artist in them
  4. Compare the works of a similar genre
  5. Highlight the gender roles of characters in literary works
  6. Social stratification and Harry Potter- Discuss
  7. With Charles Dickens’ work in mind, explain the peculiarity of the bildungsroman genre.
  8. Explain how The Lord of the Rings uses artificial language
  9. Explain how the Sherlock Holmes image influences the world detective fiction
  10. Explain the war theme in the world literature

These are also great literary journalism topics. Nevertheless, they require extensive research to write about.

In a nutshell, students have many literary argument topics to consider. The most important thing is to choose an interesting topic that you can find sufficient data to write about. Also, don’t hesitate to check our history topics.

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