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Literature Dissertation Topics

Published by Carmen Troy at January 9th, 2023 , Revised On February 7, 2023


A literature dissertation aims to contextualise themes, ideas, and interests that have grabbed a reader’s interest and attention, giving them a more profound meaning through the movement of time within and outside cultures.

Literature is a comprehensive knowledge of other writers’ views, and to understand them, a student must perform extensive reading and research. A writer coveys their thoughts and ideas through their literary works, including the views and opinions of writers ranging from topics on philosophy , religious preferences, sociology , academics, and psychology .

To help you get started with brainstorming for literature topic ideas, we have developed a list of the latest topics that can be used for writing your literature dissertation.

These topics have been developed by PhD qualified writers of our team , so you can trust to use these topics for drafting your dissertation.

You may also want to start your dissertation by requesting  a brief research proposal  from our writers on any of these topics, which includes an  introduction  to the topic,  research question ,  aim and objectives ,  literature review  along with the proposed  methodology  of research to be conducted.  Let us know  if you need any help in getting started.

Check our  dissertation examples  to get an idea of  how to structure your dissertation .

Review the full list of  dissertation topics for 2022 here.

2022 Literature Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: impact of the second language barrier on the social integration of immigrants- a case of chinese nationals migrating to the uk.

Research Aim: This research purposes an analysis to show the impact of the second language barrier on the social integration of Chinese immigrants in the UK. It will analyze how this barrier affects various segments of their lives by limiting their social interactions. Moreover, it will identify ways (language courses, communal support, financial support, etc.) through which government and civil society help these immigrants to overcome this barrier to make them feel inclusive in the UK and play a part in the economy.

Topic 2: The Power of the Writer’s Imagination- A Study Finding the Role of Writer Imagination in the Social Revolution in 19th-Century Europe

Research Aim: This study intends to identify the role of the writer’s imagination in the social revolution in 19 th century Europe. It will show how writers’ imagination is reflected in their writings and how it affects ordinary individuals’ mindsets. It will assess the writings of various authors during the 19 th -century social revolution when Europe replaced the monarchy with democracy. It will show the language used by the authors and its effect on the individuals’ will to achieve democracy.

Topic 3: How does an Accent Develop? An Exploratory Analysis Finding Factors Shaped Various English Accents in the World- A Case of America, Australia, and India

Research Aim: This research will analyze how an accent develops when a language is imported from one region to the other. It will identify how various factors such as culture, norms, politics, religion, etc., affect accent development. And to show this effect, this research will show how the English accent changed when it came to America, Australia, and India. Moreover, it will indicate whether social resistance in these areas affected the accent or was readily accepted.

Topic 4: “Gender Pronouns and their Usage” a New Debate in the Social Linguistics Literature- A Systematic Review of the Past and Present Debates

Research Aim: This study sheds light on a relatively new debate in politics, sociology, and linguistics, which is how to correctly use gender pronouns in all of these contexts. Therefore, this study will explore these areas, but the main focus will be on linguistics. It will review various theories and frameworks in linguistics to show multiple old and new debates on the subject matter. Moreover, a systematic review will determine the correct usage of gender pronouns.

Topic 5: Are Men Portrayed Better in the English Literature? A Feminist Critique of the Old English Literature

Research Aim: This research will analyze whether men are portrayed better in English literature through a feminist lens. It will assess a different kind of English literature, such as poems, essays, novels, etc., to show whether men are portrayed better than women in various contexts. Moreover, it will analyze multiple classical and modern-day writers to see how they use different male and female characters in their literature. Lastly, it will add a feminist perspective on the subject matter by introducing the feminist theory and its portrayal of men and women.

Covid-19 Literature Research Topics

Topic 1: the scientific literature of coronavirus pandemic.

Research Aim: This study will review the scientific literature of Coronavirus pandemic

Topic 2: Literature and the future world after Coronavirus.

Research Aim: This study will reveal the world’s literature predictions after the pandemic.

Topic 3: Coronavirus is a trending topic among the media, writers, and publishers

Research Aim: Covid-19 has disrupted every sector’s health care system and economy. Apart from this, the topic of the Coronavirus has become trending everywhere. This study will highlight whether the information provided about COVID-19 by all the sources is authentic? What kind of misleading information is presented?

Literature Dissertation Topics for 2021

Topic 1: dependence of humans on computers.

Research Aim: This research aims to study the dependence of humans on the computer, its advantages and disadvantages.

Topic 2: Whether or not the death penalty is effective in the current era?

Research Aim: This research aims to identify whether the death penalty is effective in the current era.

Topic 3: Fashion Industry and its impact on people's upward and downward social perception

Research Aim: This research aims to identify the impact on people’s upward and downward social perception

Topic 4: Communication gaps in families due to the emergence of social media

Research Aim: This research aims to address the communication gaps in families due to the emergence of social media and suggest possible ways to overcome them.

Topic 5: Employment and overtime working hours- a comparative study

Research Aim: This research aims to measure the disadvantages of overtime working hours of employees.

Topic 6: Machine translators Vs. human translators

Research Aim: This research aims to conduct a comparative study of machine translators and human translators

Topic 7: Freelancing Vs 9 to 5 jobs- a comparative study

Research Aim: This research aims to compare freelancing jobs with 9 to 5 jobs.

Literature Dissertation Topics for 2020

Topic 1: the effects of everyday use of digital media on youth in the uk..

Research Aim: Digital media is a normal part of a person’s life. In this research, the aim is to examine and analyse; how young people between the ages of 15-25 in the UK engage with digital media. The study includes the amount of time interaction occurs and the role of time-space, time elasticities, and online/offline intersections.

Topic 2: Critical analysis of the teenager protagonist in “The Room on the Roof” written by Ruskin Bond.

Research Aim: Many Indian writers and children’s book authors regard Ruskin Bond as an icon. This research will systematically study the alienated teenage protagonist in Ruskin’s “The Room on the Roof” and how Ruskin evolved the character gradually throughout the novel. The way Ruskin used this protagonist to reflect his feelings and convey them to the reader.

Topic 3: Promotion of women empowerment through mass media in Nepal.

Research Aim: The primary purpose of this study is to analyse the role of mass media, including audio, print, and audio-visual, in the empowerment of women in the Nepal region. It also discusses the development of mass media in Nepal and spreading awareness of women’s empowerment.

How Can Research Prospect Help?

Research Prospect writers can send several custom topic ideas to your email address. Once you have chosen a topic that suits your needs and interests, you can order for our dissertation outline service , which will include a brief introduction to the topic, research questions , literature review , methodology , expected results , and conclusion . The dissertation outline will enable you to review the quality of our work before placing the order for our full dissertation writing service !

Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Literature Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: eighteenth-century british literature..

Research Aim: This study aims to study the evolution of modern British literature compared to eighteenth-century literature. This research will focus on the genre of comedy only. The research will discuss the causes of laughter in the eighteenth century compared to things that cause laughter in modern times.

Topic 5: A systematic study of Chaucer’s Miller’s tale.

Research Aim: This research aims to take a closer look at Chaucer’s heavily censored story, “The Miller’s Tale.” It seeks to look at why “The Miller’s Tale” is criticised and categorised as obscene and unfit for a general read. The study will analyse the writer’s writing style, language, and method for the research paper.

Topic 3: Understanding 17th-century English culture using a model of Francis Bacon’s idea.

Research Aim: This research aims to take a more in-depth look into Francis Bacon’s idea of modern economic development. To conduct the study, machine learning processes will be implemented to examine Francis’s ideas and their implementations in contemporary times.

Topic 4: The relation between early 18th-century English plays and The emerging financial market.

Research Aim: This research aims to analyse the relationship between eighteenth-century plays and a flourishing financial market. Most theatrical plays were written and performed in the middle of the 1720s, but writing carried out contributed to the financial market.

Topic 5: Issues of climate change used in early English literature: Shakespeare’s View of the sky.

Research Aim: This research aims to analyse climate change’s impact on early English writings. Climatic issues were faced even in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, providing writers with another topic to add to their published work. This research will focus on the work of Shakespeare, in which he included the specifics of climate change.

Also Read: Medicine and Nursing Dissertation Topics Free

Nineteenth-Century Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: impact of nineteenth-century gothic vampire literature on female members of the gothic subculture..

Research Aim: This research will look at the introduction of gothic vampire literature and its impact on female members of the gothic subculture. It includes a complete analysis of writing style and the impression it left of the female readers’.

Topic 2: Women theatre managers and the theatre in the late nineteenth century.

Research Aim: This research aims to view the impact on theatres under the management of women theatre managers. The improvement to theatre shows, along with the hardships faced by some managers, is discussed. The proposed study analyses the categories of theatre plays.

Topic 3: The history of American literature.

Research Aim: This research aims to give a brief history of American literature’s development and evolution throughout the centuries. The timeline begins from the early 15th century to the late 19th century. Word variations, sentence structures, grammar, and written impressions will be analysed.

Topic 4: “New women” concept in the novels of Victorian age English writers.

Research Aim: This research aims to analyse women’s position in the early nineteenth and how later Victorian writers used their work to give women a new identity. The method employed by these writers who wrote from a feminist point of view will also be discussed.

Topic 5: Discussing the role of the writer in their own story.

Research Aim: This research aims to analyse the form in which the writer reveals their presence to the reader. The methods can be achieved directly or use the characters to replace themselves in the narrative. The study observes the phrases, vocabulary, and situations the writer uses to narrate.

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Twentieth Century Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: effect of gender association in modern literature..

Research Aim: This research aims to analyse the issue of gender association in twentieth-century literature. Currently, male characters are described in a more masculine term than before in comparison to female counterparts. This research will also explore the possible approach of the possible characterisation of the two genders.

Topic 2: Feminism and literature.

Research Aim: This research aims to analyse the impacts of feminism on modern English literature quality. The study will look into the ideology of feminism and how feminist thoughts impact the readers’ view.

Topic 3: Modern literature based on climate change and eco-themes.

Research Aim: This research will study the various works of writers who tackled climate change and other eco-themes in their work. The study discusses the way they portrayed the item along with their views on preventing climate change. Modern work is compared to the work of previous writers who wrote about climate change.

Topic 4: How are fathers portrayed in modern literature?

Research Aim: This research will study the role of fathers in modern literature. The way the father character is portrayed in recent times has changed compared to writing in the early centuries. This research will look into the evolution of the father figure over time.

Topic 5: Literature for Asian American children.

Research Aim: This research will examine the fusion of classic American literature and Asian literature for children. The different genera’s that are produced and the style of writing will be analysed.

Also Read: Free Law Dissertation Topics

Children’s Literature Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: the influence of the intersection of race and bullying in children’s books..

Research Aim: This research will analyse the literature made for children from 2015 to 2019 in which the intersection between race and bullying is made. The study will evaluate the impact of literature read by a child in which there is bullying. Various picture books are analysed to observe the influence of racism on bullying.

Topic 2: Diversity of culture in children’s literature.

Research Aim: This research will observe the influence of the various cultural aspects of children’s books. The study will analyse the impact of mixed cultures on literature in a community and how it affects children’s mindsets from a young age.

Topic 3: The use of literature to shape a child's mind.

Research Aim: This research will analyse the effects of literature on a child’s mind. Behaviour, intelligence, and interactions between children and their age fellows are to be observed. A child’s behaviour with adults will also be analysed.

Topic 4: Evolution of children's literature.

Research Aim: This research will explore the change in children’s literature trends. This research will compare the literary work from the mid-nineteen century with modern-day children’s books. Differences in vocabulary, sentence structure, and mode of storytelling will be examined.

Topic 5: Racial discrimination in “the cat in the hat” impacts children’s racial views.

Research Aim: This research will take an in-depth analysis of the children’s story, “The Cat in the Hat,” to observe if it has any racial remarks which cause an increase in racism among children. The words used and the pictures found on the page will be thoroughly analysed, and their impact on the children reading it.

Topic 6: Measuring the nature of a child’s early composing.

Research Aim: This research will analyse the development of a child’s writing skills based on the type of books they read. The book’s genera, vocabulary, and the writing style of the child’s preferred book will be considered.

Topic 7: Use of a classroom to incorporate multicultural children’s literature.

Research Aim: This research will reflect on the potential use of a school classroom to promote multicultural literature for children. Since a classroom is filled with children of different cultural backgrounds, it becomes easier to introduce multicultural literature. The difficulties and the advantages to society in the incorporation of multicultural literature in classrooms are discussed.

Important Notes:

As literature looking to get good grades, it is essential to develop new ideas and experiment with existing literature theories – i.e., to add value and interest to your research topic.

The literature field is vast and interrelated to many other academic disciplines like linguistics , English literature and more. That is why creating a literature dissertation topic that is particular, sound, and actually solves a practical problem that may be rampant in the field is imperative.

We can’t stress how important it is to develop a logical research topic based on your entire research. There are several significant downfalls to getting your topic wrong; your supervisor may not be interested in working on it, the topic has no academic creditability, the research may not make logical sense, and there is a possibility that the study is not viable.

This impacts your time and efforts in writing your dissertation , as you may end up in the cycle of rejection at the initial stage of the dissertation. That is why we recommend reviewing existing research to develop a topic, taking advice from your supervisor, and even asking for help in this particular stage of your dissertation.

While developing a research topic, keeping our advice in mind will allow you to pick one of the best literature dissertation topics that fulfil your requirement of writing a research paper and add to the body of knowledge.

Therefore, it is recommended that when finalizing your dissertation topic, you read recently published literature to identify gaps in the research that you may help fill.

Remember- dissertation topics need to be unique, solve an identified problem, be logical, and be practically implemented. Please look at some of our sample literature dissertation topics to get an idea for your own dissertation.

How to Structure your Literature Dissertation

A well-structured dissertation can help students to achieve a high overall academic grade.

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by Leonard Bacon

What are the topics available for a PhD  in Indian English Literature?  

Cite this page as follows:.

"What are the topics available for a PhD  in Indian English Literature?  " eNotes Editorial , 13 June 2016, Accessed 1 Mar. 2023.

Expert Answers

Who are the experts? Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.

Educator since 2016

In many cases, if you want a PhD regarding literature specific to a particular region or culture, you study the predominate language. For example, if you're interested in literature from the US or Canada or Australia or pretty much any English-speaking country, you go for a PhD in English, then add an emphasis like American Literature, British Literature, Canadian Literature, etc. With regards to literature written in South America, you could study a PhD in Spanish or in Latin-American Studies.

Since you're interested in Indian literature, you could search out PhDs that are specific to India, which may fall under a Humanities umbrella. Some such PhDs could be: Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (University of London) or English Literature (Central University of Haryana).

If those are too specific or you want a wider range of options, you could search out PhDs in English that emphasize Postcolonial Studies, Comparative Literature, Comparative Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, or English Studies.

Keep in mind that studying literature of a particular country  in that country is is sure to unfold more opportunities and experiences than, perhaps studying that literature in a foreign country--trying to find a decent program that focuses on Indian Literature may be difficult, for example, in a country like Bolivia or Uganda or Ukraine opposed to studying in India or the UK.

Educator since 2011

7,027 answers

Anglophone Indian literature is an important area within the study of global literatures in English. It is available as an area of post-graduate specialization at universities in India, Britain, Canada, and the United States, and is sometimes located in Comparative Literature, sometimes in Asian Studies, and sometimes in English departments. Each university has its own approach to the field. 

Your choice in how you situate yourself and choose topics on the PhD level depends on the discipline in which you wish to pursue an academic career. If you want to specialize in India as a region, you might want to be in a program that focuses on India, and do work comparing India literature in English with Indian literature in Indian languages. If you are interested in Indian literature as an example of post-colonial studies, an English or comparative literature department might be an appropriate home. Bollywood has received increasing academic attention, and it is also possible to choose a topic that in some way compares Bollywood to literary works or looks at literary influences on Bollywood.

One important subfield in the study of Indian literature is that of dalit literature. Another popular area is the literature of the Indian diaspora, often treated within a theoretical framework of diaspora studies. The study of works by and about Indian  hijra or eunuchs is an important area within gender studies.

Educator since 2009

16,815 answers

In the construction of any pursuit of higher studies, I strongly advise working with a professor or instructor who has both a good feel for where you are and where the discipline is.  If this is not available, I strongly suggest examining your own preferences in the discipline and sensing where there is the strongest amount of interest or attraction.  If not one then both of these avenues should be pursued to fully grasp or understand the choice that lies in front of you because there is going to be a long road to walk within it once your choice is made.  With all of this in mind, I think that a very interesting element that comes out of Indian English Literature is the collision between modern globalization and traditional notions of the good. Writers in the genre play with this idea in different ways because India is playing with this dichotomy in different manners.  There are plenty of ideas within this paradigm that could make for rich analysis.  Such discussion could move into political, historical, and spiritual dimensions.  This might be where there is fertile information and ground that sustains much in way of inquiry and analysis.

626 Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. and Thesis Ideas for Master Students

If you are about to go into the world of graduate school, then one of the first things you need to do is choose from all the possible dissertation topics available to you. This is no small task. You are likely to spend many years researching your Master’s or Ph.D. topic and writing the text. This means that choosing a dissertation topic should not be taken lightly.

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👍Top 10 Dissertation Topics

🆚 Dissertation vs. Thesis: Is There a Difference?

People often consider a thesis and a dissertation to be the same thing. Yet, there is an important distinction between them. The key difference is that you need a thesis to complete a master’s degree, while a dissertation is necessary for obtaining a doctorate. Keep in mind that it’s vice versa in European higher education.

Here are some other differences:

Despite these differences, theses and dissertations have a lot in common:

🔝 Top 10 Thesis Topics for 2023

🎓 Thesis Topics & Ideas

Below, you’ll find a collection of excellent topics for a thesis. To simplify the task, it’s not a bad idea to use a topic chooser . We’ve also prepared a checklist that will help you make the right choice. If you agree with the following statements, you’ve chosen a good thesis topic:

The picture shows the main characteristics of a good thesis topic.

Wondering where to find the most current topic for your research? We’ve collected them below.

Computer Science Thesis Topics

Computers surround us everywhere. From hospitals to home offices, it’s impossible to imagine life without them. A doctorate in computer science can allow you many career opportunities!

Humanities and Art History Thesis Topics

Do you want to put your passion into words? Would you like to share your ideas with the world? Then pursuing a Ph.D. in the arts or humanities is the right path for you.

List of Science Topics for Your Thesis

A dissertation in science will probably require you to run numerous experiments. Many of them will probably go wrong. But the one that does work might be the next big breakthrough! Find a suitable research theme in the following list of topics:

Daniel Keys Moran Quote.

Architecture Thesis Topics

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Thesis Topics in English Literature & World Literature

Was your New Year’s Resolution to re-read the 100 most influential classical works? Then you might want to consider writing a thesis in advanced higher English. Check out these engaging prompts:

Criminal Justice Thesis Topics

Are you a forensic science student who prefers research to actual police work? In that case, a dissertation in criminology is a great idea. This way, you can work on preventing crime from the comfort of your desk.

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Geography Thesis Topics

If you enjoy unveiling Earth’s secrets, this section is for you. Here you’ll find geography dissertation ideas ranging from studies of movement to regional phenomena.

Sociology Thesis Ideas

Sociology studies how humans live together. A dissertation is a great way to dive deeper into a particular subject. You can get as specific as your heart desires! Check out our sociology thesis topics:

💡 Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. students

Below you’ll find a list of excellent dissertation ideas in different fields of study. They are more difficult than thesis topics and require more research. Jump to the section that interests you and find the topic that suits you best! But first:

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What Makes a Good Ph.D. Topic?

Usually, universities would expect your dissertation to be original and relevant in the field of the research. Moreover, it would be worthwhile if it has the potential to make a change.

This checklist will help you see whether you’ve made the right choice. Your dissertation topic is good, if:

Dissertation Topics in Education

Learning is a lifelong experience, and the importance of schools cannot be overestimated. Research in this area is critical to improving education standards. Have a look at these topic ideas to get inspired:

Business Dissertation Topics

There are many things a business administrator should keep in mind. Finances, marketing, and development are just the tip of the iceberg. So, the choice of topics is practically endless. Check out this selection to narrow down the possibilities:

Law Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. Students

Legal science is not dull as one may think. It’s crucial to evaluate laws at any point in time. Do they fit the current norms? Does something or someone need more protection than before? If you want to garnish your legal education with a Ph.D., here are some topic suggestions:

Psychology Dissertation Topics

The mysterious ways of the human mind offer many research opportunities. Psychology encompasses sub-fields such as behavior and cognition. Whatever your area of expertise, you’ll undoubtedly find something interesting in the list below.

Nursing Dissertation Topics

A nurse’s work is hard. Unfortunately, they rarely get the credit they deserve. With a Ph.D., you could become an advocate on the problem. Or you could concentrate on optimizing their work environments.

Marketing Dissertation Topics

Good marketing is what made you buy that product you didn’t know you needed. Marketing needs plenty of scientific research for it to be successful. You can contribute to this effort with one of the following topic ideas:

History Dissertation Topics

History is written not only by the victors but also by history students. Your dissertation can shine a light on understudied cultures. Or perhaps you want to focus on how a specific event impacted the world. Find inspiration among the following dissertation questions and ideas:

Quote by Elie Wiesel: “In Jewish history there are no coincidences.”

Dissertation Topics in Management

Companies and employees alike benefit from well-thought-out management strategies. So, a thesis in management has the potential to improve work environments even further. Kickstart your research by choosing one of the following topics:

Qualitative Dissertation: Ideas for Proposals

If you want your thesis to be more practical, you’ve come to the right section. Common approaches for qualitative dissertations include researching case studies, surveys, or ethnographies. Because of this, fieldwork will be an integral part of your doctorate journey.

Quantitative Dissertation Proposal Topics

Some scholars just love working with data. Are you one of them? Then you’ll probably enjoy quantitative research. If you’re into finding patterns and making predictions, here are some enticing topics:

Dissertation Topics in Educational Leadership

Educational leadership is a science focused on helping students to achieve their academic goals. It includes the motivation of staff and learners, improvement of educational programs, and creation of a healthy, productive environment in institutions. Want to dedicate your research to it? Take a look at these topic samples:

✅ How to Choose a Thesis Topic: Main Steps

In case you have no idea where to start from, here is a quick guideline on how to choose a Ph.D. thesis topic:

We hope this article helped you to choose a suitable topic for your dissertation. We wish you good luck with your research!

Learn more on this topic:

✏️ Dissertation FAQ

While working on a dissertation, you might deal with several types of research. The main research types are primary, qualitative, quantitative, and legal. In any case, it’s the way in which a researcher studies the subject using a particular methodology.

First of all, make sure that you are personally fascinated by the subject. This is essential for any thesis, be it master’s or an undergraduate dissertation. Besides, make sure the topic is feasible and hasn’t been studies much.

A good dissertation title is the one that represents the subject under study. To state which aspect is being studied is also important. The title should include neither a hypothesis nor a conclusion: think about it as “spoilers”—nobody likes them.

Just like any paper, a great dissertation is the one that is well-organized. The topic of the paper should correspond to the title. The text should have a cohesive structure with a definite introduction, argumentative main part, and a logical conclusion.

🔗 References

Good evening Sir/Ma’am i wish to request for a PhD project topic in the field of clinical research and Life sciences .

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How choose the best easy Ph.D topic in English subject

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Research Topics in English Literature

Ideas for Writing Papers

Research topics on English literature initially start off broad and then narrow down and you come up with your thesis. Using any of the research topics listed to the left (gender, comparisons, historical background, politics, and religion) can take you almost anywhere. Choose your general topic based on the literature class you're writing for. If it's a class focused on gender, start there and then branch out to something like my example of how the roles of men and women are portrayed.

Knowing first your general topic and then what kind of essay or paper you're researching for (argumentative, persuasive, etc.) can help you decide what to do with it next when it comes to narrowing it down. Remember this isn't concrete. Your topic can grow and completely change as you research. Choosing the literature topic is just the key to getting started.

Finding and researching a good topic in English literature takes time and patience.

Finding and researching a good topic in English literature takes time and patience.

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Topics for English Literature Research Essays

When it comes to English literature, there's no end to the topics that you can research for that novel or other piece that you've been reading. The easiest way to get an idea for that next research topic on English literature for your essay is to start broad and then work toward making it more specific and interesting for your readers. Here are a few examples of research topics in literature to get you started (for a more extensive list of research topics in literature, please check out the link that can be found at the bottom of this article):

1. Gender roles

How are the roles of men and women portrayed in the novel? Are they distinctly different? Do they have equal rights? What gender expectations do they follow or fight against?

2. Comparisons between genres

How does each genre tell its story? What are the differences and similarities between the two? Is one more effective than the other?

3. Historical background

Who is the author and what is their story? Were there controversies associated with them or their work? What is the significance of this novel in the time it was written? How does it reflect the society and beliefs of its time?

4. Politics

What issues in politics does this novel address? Discrimination? Rights? Equality?

5. Religion

How is this novel religious? What beliefs is it promoting or questioning?

6. Comparisons between two characters

This can be between characters in the same novel or two different ones. How are their differences and similarities important to the novel?

7. Comparisons between two novels

If the novels seem completely different but represent the same genre or come from the same time period, this may be something you want to explore.

8. Allusions within the novel

What are some significant allusions within the novel? These could be religious, refer to other novels or authors, etc. How is this important to understanding the novel and its place in English literature?

9. Criticism

What are some of the most notable criticisms out there? What is your response and how does it compare to other critics out there?

10. Symbolism

What are important symbols in the novel? How are they significant?

English Literature Research Projects

The following can also be used for any other type of research project for English Literature where you need to find your own topic.

Researching for an English Literature essay can be tough but finding a topic you are really interested in helps make it easier.

Researching for an English Literature essay can be tough but finding a topic you are really interested in helps make it easier.

Morten Oddvik via Flickr (CC License)

How to Find an English Topic to Research for Any Project

So, you’ve finally made it to your last year at your university and you’ve got one last thing to do before you leave: the dreaded Capstone Project. Have no fear; although it is time-consuming and stressful work, it is possible to turn all that work into something fun, as long as you choose the right topic in English literature to write about. The key to going out with a bang with a fantastic Capstone is to choose something you actually care about.

Of all the aspects of this project, choosing the right research topic is absolutely key. Choose the wrong one, and you may not meet the requirements or, worse, you may dislike it enough to have to change it halfway through the class. For the first time in four years, teachers are giving you the reins and having you decide what you want to write about. No more prompts telling you what to do, except for the guidelines for your project, and no more focusing on one aspect of a novel that the prof tells you to.

So don’t freak out, think of it as the best part of your university experience yet. Now’s the time to show your stuff and let everyone see how much of a successful English literature nerd you’ve turned out to be. If you can do it yourself, you’ve proved yourself worthy of that snazzy degree they’re about to hand you in a couple months. Of course if you’ve made it to this point, there’s no way you’re not worthy.

Example of a Researched Essay in English Literature

My Capstone class was titled “The Age of Novels” and focused on the rise of the novel during the eighteenth century. Basically, we looked at how the novel developed into what we see as a novel today, considering how writers presented and executed their works of fiction, who influenced them, and how they influenced others. We also looked at literary techniques such as psychological realism and the differing roles of men and women in the formation of this most popular form of writing.

My class was focused on topics such as psychological realism and gender roles so this is something that I kept in the back of my mind as I read through the novel I chose to research.

How to Get Started on an English Literature Paper

I’m going to use my own experience in the Capstone Project as an example of how to choose a research topic in English literature.

I know your Capstone won’t be on the same topic, but it’s still important to know the basic focus of the class in order to get to your literature research topic. Look at the prompt for your English class and see what sticks out to you.

After reading through the required reading in my class, I decided to veer away from novels of formal realism and go into the Gothic realm with M.G. Lewis’s The Monk , which was completely unexplored in the class. Not only do I love Gothic literature, but this was a great way for me to draw comparisons with the books of the same period without doing the same old thing we were doing in the classroom. I was killing two birds with one stone, as they say; getting to read a novel in the genre I’m most interested in while still exploring the same prompts the class was focused on.

Sometimes, if you're stuck on an English literature research topic, starting at a completely new angle can help you find something really interesting to work on. After you get to know the ins and outs of what your class is about, it's easy to go off in another direction and work your way back into what you've been learning about. This journey can bring you into a whole new realm of possibilities to research.

Brainstorming ideas while researching topics in English Literature

Brainstorming ideas while researching topics in English Literature

How to Brainstorm Writing Ideas for Essays

Now, as you read the book of your choice (or your professor's), focus on one or more aspects of your English Literature class prompt so that your research topic relates to the actual class you’re taking. I decided to focus on chastity within the novel and how the gothic novel portrays male and female chastity versus the novels of formal realism. This English literature research topic took a lot of work to get to. Don't be afraid of setbacks or having to start over.

The best way initially is to write down a broad topic to research and then list any information relevant to that topic. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the piece of information may seem, list it. Then go through and see what interesting conclusions you can make from the information. Looking at gender, how are males portrayed versus females? Looking at genre, how is the gothic novel different from a formal realism novel?

Putting things out on paper is the best way to get it all out in the open and free your mind that’s jumbled with information. Once it's on paper, you can actually look at it all and piece it all into one neat picture (through words of course) that anyone can understand. Without doing this, it’s like trying to put together a puzzle with all of the pieces turned down, so you aren’t sure which ones actually go together.

Ideas on Getting a Research Topic

If the brainstorming step doesn't work for you, just write down any questions you have about the novel. If you noticed that there were a lot of religious references and ideas in the novel, maybe you'd be curious to know the author's biography and see how that plays a significant role in the piece. For my own example, I could have asked myself "What is gothic" or "How did eighteenth-century England define chastity?" After this brief research, go back through your notes and see if you can come up with an interesting topic you can do further research on for that English literature essay.

Tips for Researching Topics on English Literature

Looking at what you’ve put together in your brainstorm, it’s easy to see where you need to do research on the novel. No one wants a paper full of generalizations so take each topic you can't automatically define and start researching it. Do you know how to define gothic or formal realism? Research it. What were the gender expectations for this time? Research it. You want to go as in depth into your topic as possible, which involves even more research than reading two or three novels.

It also doesn’t help to learn some background on the author. Were they a rebel or a strict conservative? Was this novel popular? How did it affect the readers of its time? For example, Lewis was actually brought to court for The Monk because it was seen as a bad influence on his female readers. This is something not only interesting but relevant to the topic of female chastity in my chosen English literature research topic for my essay.

Doing some background research on the novel like this can bring ideas together into a thesis for your paper and lead you in a solid direction for your actual research for your paper. If you haven’t finally figured something out by this point, you may have to consult your professor.

Outline of an Example for an English Research Essay

Thesis: Lewis’s novel completely undoes the plots, tropes, and principles of Richardson and Fielding’s formal realism, not only through its use of superstition and other Gothic elements, but also in the development and resolution of each of these character’s stories. Instead of providing a positive example, The Monk gives a horrifying one to instill fear in its readership to preserve the same virtue.

1. What is a gothic novel?

2. Pamela Andrews

3. Joseph Andrews

4. What is formal realism?

5. What is a gothic novel?

6. Gothic novel versus formal realism

7. Ambrosio

8. Joseph Andrews

10. Pamela Andrews

How Do You Know It's a Good Research Topic on English Literature?

Test it with an outline.

If you aren’t sure you’ve got the right topic to come up with a 20-some-odd-page essay, outline what you’ve got so far. I like to do a very basic outline, starting with my thesis (in its rough draft form of course) at the very top. Next, I write what each paragraph will be about. If it’s a 20-page paper, you may write about two to three paragraphs a page so you will need to have at least 10 paragraphs.

Knowing what each paragraph is supposed to be about makes writing their topic sentences a little easier. Sometimes you may find that a research topic is broad enough to be able to split into two paragraphs, this is handy if you couldn’t initially list at least ten topics. For example, just saying Pamela Andrews for one of my paragraph topics doesn't cover what I want to say. I may just give a brief overview of her character or provide why her character is significant to formal realism.

Example of a research topic turning into a topic sentence:

“It is important, when studying this novel, to examine what defines a Gothic novel in relation to eighteenth-century definitions of novel-writing.”

This leads to questions of “why is this important?” and, of course, “what is Gothic?” which brings you into the paragraph and gives you the first two major points you need to cover.

Just remember that the key to choosing a research topic for English literature is to start broad. Read the novel and remember to focus on your own class's focus or on whatever interests you most. From there, you can branch out to almost any research topic, it just takes some work to get there.

© 2012 Lisa

Salma khatun on August 20, 2020:

Patricia Morris on June 06, 2020:

Please suggest English teaching in p.n.g schools

Abdul Rauf on April 20, 2020:

Please suggest me a topic for my m.phil thesis ( English literature)

Abdullah Shah on March 22, 2020:

A very useful content for young researchers.

Priya on March 07, 2020:

Can I choose Bhagvat Geeta for research topic in English literature .plz give me suggestion.

Rose on March 03, 2020:

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Eyotaru Juliet edekitia on February 14, 2020:

Please select for me research topics in English teaching in primary schools

[email protected] on February 14, 2020:

Please select for topic English teaching in primary schools

Monika gupta on February 10, 2020:

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Prahlad on February 04, 2020:

Please suggest me for phd research topic in English literature so very thankful

Please suggest me some

Mohsin Hamid on January 23, 2020:

Hi i need a topic for Research paper in english literature.kindly suggest me.

I want to Research in Pakistani Novel by mohsin hamid

Numra on January 09, 2020:

Please suggest me some appropriate topics in English literature for my Masters research.

younas on January 07, 2020:

An excellent place for learning

Maha on December 15, 2019:

I need a suitable topic for the novel THE DARK ROOM as by xomparing the theme written by Rk narayan

Asma sabir on December 06, 2019:

Can you plzz suggest me a topic for research proposal??

Poomathi Esakki on November 27, 2019:

Can u suggest a topic for my project

saira on October 27, 2019:

kindly suggest me a topic for my MPhil English lit thesis. i am interested in postcolonialism theory

Debbie on October 22, 2019:

Good day everyone

Pls I need a project topic on thriller literature

fiza shah on October 14, 2019:

sir i want ur concern about selecting my thesis topic kindly guaid me about selecting my research topic

Sethumeena on September 24, 2019:

I need any topic from American or British literature for my M.A project .plz help me .novel want to be easy.

pramithadollymathias on September 20, 2019:

plz can u suggest me a book to do my project for ug

Tasawar on September 13, 2019:

Can u suggest a topic for research

Assane Faye on July 30, 2019:

Hey there! I find it very good and interesting.

Then can anybody suggest me a topic for my master degree?

I'm the dire need of that.

Sopuru Sopuru on July 18, 2019:

Please I need a suitable project topic to disapprove Okonkwo as a hero in Things Fall Apart as portrayed by Achebe

I wish to disagree with Achebe in Things Fall Apart that Okonkwo is a Hero. Could you please give me a suitable project topic for it?

bhava on June 04, 2019:

can u suggest a topic for my thesis

Jai Shree Bharati on May 30, 2019:

I have done bachelor's in English and then MBA... Can I do PhD in English?

Anagha on May 22, 2019:

Can you please suggest a topic for me

Jahanzaib on May 19, 2019:

Plz give tell me the initial stage of topic and research topic

Anushree on May 12, 2019:

Can you please suggest a topic for my project

CY RA on May 09, 2019:

mgijimi on April 24, 2019:

I'm doing my thesis for my masters. I need help to rephrase my research topic below :

Mobile Banking application is the most preferred mode of banking compared to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) banking in Gauteng

Hamda on April 05, 2019:

I need a topic of didactic please

sadaf on April 02, 2019:

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may you suggest for me a topic in literature that I may carry out a research on it.

Summikhan on March 03, 2019:

Please suggest me some appropriate topics in English literature for my Masters research

Maha on February 25, 2019:

I want material about the unyielding clamor of the night

malini on February 23, 2019:

please suggest me a topic for english literature magazine for my college presentation

Vanitha on February 01, 2019:

I need best suggestion to select a topic

in English literature please save me...

Aysha parveen on January 31, 2019:

Please suggest me a topic for english litrature ,for M. Phil

Thasli rahman on January 22, 2019:

Please suggest a topic for project in English literature...

Anarkali Nishad on January 15, 2019:

I am lost over what to research on for my PhD research. My area of interests are 'concept of terror and horror', 'study of feminine space in novels', 'pschoanalysis'. From here i dont know how to proceed. It would be of great help if you could suggest any work or topic that i could look into.

Rana Bilal on January 11, 2019:

Suggest for me a topic in literature

dhivya on December 22, 2018:

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Ali Musa on December 09, 2018:

I need your help in chosing topic

Thanks a lot

Suji on December 09, 2018:

Please suggested to me some topics in english literature and criticism for my phd research.

Sruthi on December 07, 2018:

Can u please help me to write a project? My novel is The Edible Woman,and the theory is ecofeminism

Mani on December 06, 2018:

I read the novel "the great divorce" I am enthusiastic to in fantasy. How can I form the topic help me please

Ken on November 27, 2018:

Sulae on November 20, 2018:

rahul on October 31, 2018:

Mary on October 27, 2018:

thanks a lot

Nermin on October 26, 2018:

Hello, Can you help me to find a topic in english teaching, I need it for my research papper that I have to do

Tina Janiweh Shar on October 11, 2018:

can you please help me find a topic for my thesis in English literature?

Mary on October 01, 2018:

Plz suggest me a topic for my thesis(MA english literature)

sajid adil khan on September 07, 2018:

Respected sir please suggest me a topic for my research in English lit

hina shah on August 30, 2018:

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Sajan Ali on August 24, 2018:

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shameem on August 20, 2018:

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Maria on August 20, 2018:

Please suggest a research topic for me also a research proposal

SAM on August 18, 2018:

Which topic is better for research of MA English please suggest any topic

Karam on August 08, 2018:

George Orwell's animal equality and freedom

Rameesa on July 22, 2018:

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Naseer on July 21, 2018:

Please i need 5 topics for monograph can anyone tell me soon 5 topics?

Aliha TahirAliha on July 07, 2018:

Respected Sir! I needdon't your help regarding selection of thesis topic which should be unique and based on contemporary work.

Thanking in anticipation

Karthi on July 01, 2018:

I want some topics in Indian writing in English

Victoria on June 14, 2018:

Please I need a topic to write on (to be published in a journal). Can you help with that? Thank you

soma on May 12, 2018:

please suggest me which recent novels i can research in the field of gender studies

Shahab on April 17, 2018:

need research topic in the novel for MA English

R.lavanya on March 05, 2018:

Iam doing my m.phil in english i need to select the topic for my thesis so kindly help me to find a topic

Asghar on March 04, 2018:

hello every body,

Can anybody suggest me a topic for my PhD dissertation in English literature.My aim is to connect literature to education.A topic which can cover the literature and education area.

I appreciate your help.

Krishna on February 23, 2018:

Dear mam ..I want to work on postcolonial studies in PhD English literature..please suggest me any good topic on the above...

SHYAMALA B on February 22, 2018:

I need research about comparison between two characters

nishra shaikh on February 16, 2018:

Plz suggest me any better English Literature topics for my thesis

sokayna on February 15, 2018:

Thank you so much

well I already choose my topic but my prof said that it's too broad and large to write a research project, so I changed it but I did not find yet a topic , I choose I novel (hard times by Charles dickens , but I do not know what is the suitable topic .. can you help please

Priyanka parimita on February 09, 2018:

Plz suggest some english literature topic for my seminar paper or project

NC Babu on February 08, 2018:

irsa kanwal on February 07, 2018:

Kindly you suggest me any topic for thesis i m so worried and also confused

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plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz suggest me any good english literature topics for my thesis and also for my two friends ,i have to submit my thesis in the first week of july

maria on January 26, 2018:

plz suggest me any research topic related to literature

zia on January 25, 2018:

Looking for a topic like seven deadly sins

Junroy on November 11, 2017:

What would be nice topic for my literary research in literature?

vanessa on October 31, 2017:

suggest any topic about feminism for my thesis plz

Saima on October 01, 2017:

I need a good and easy topic for my synopsis in English literature please help me any one

Ali on September 30, 2017:

I need a topic for english teaching monograph. If could help me please find me a best topic which has more sources of information.

shah zaib yousafzai on August 24, 2017:

Helpful information to write a research paper.

zoya khan on August 19, 2017:

I want to slect symbolism in tale of two cities by Charles Dickens.

But couldn't find out the exact statement. .

Can you help me plz

humaira on August 01, 2017:

very informative it help me a lot of selecting an topic for my master proposal article thanks you so much

Dhruvi on July 04, 2017:

Plz suggest any topic about English literature for my project

fhet on June 24, 2017:

any good topic about the difficulties of students in English subject?

arizkhan on May 26, 2017:

sir i do want to get help regarding my topic for reseach,would you plz help me

Jannat butt on May 25, 2017:

I need a good and easy topic for my synopsis in English literature plzzzx help me any one

Nihad on April 09, 2017:

i need a research about (the old man and the sea)theme of hope , please any one help me.

khalidmehmood on March 31, 2017:

please help to suggest the topic about english literature,, i want to write a thesis .

zahra ben on March 18, 2017:

very helpful informations thank you so much

Carolinrini on January 17, 2017:

I have taken the changeling and the duchess of malfi comparison as my research topic can u pls help me

nahan on September 25, 2016:

Really useful and genuine

Vijaya on June 05, 2016:

I need a current topic for research in English Language rather than Literature.

H on May 29, 2016:

I need a good topic on Literature. Please help me anyone..


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