When it comes to English Literature, there's no end to the topics that you can research on 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 him/her 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?
What issues in politics does this novel address? Discrimination? Rights? Equality?
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?
What are some of the most notable criticisms out there? What is your response and how does it compare to other critics out there?
What are important symbols in the novel? How are they significant?
27 Good British Literature Research Paper Topics to Choose From
Both high school and college students are usually required to read something from British literature and write research papers on the related topics. Although there are plenty of topics to choose from, many students hesitate and have trouble choosing a good research idea. If you also need some assistance, use the following list of 27 British literature research paper topics:
- Orphans as a popular theme in British literature: the character of Oliver Twist.
- The influence of different cultures on British literature.
- Charles Dickens and his picture of Victorian England.
- The common gender issues addressed in British literature.
- The personality of William Shakespeare: myths and facts.
- Compare the characters in two different famous British novels.
- The differences between how villains and anti-heroes are portrayed in King Lear.
- The idea of a Utopian civilization: the points of view of different British writers.
- The reasons why some books are considered literary classics. Analyze whether books about Harry Potter can become classics.
- The typical idea of love versus the idea of a romantic love presented in the books written by Charlotte Bronte.
- The history of female writers in Britain: the case study of Agatha Christie.
- British writers and the printing press: the impact on the interest of the middle class in literature in the XIX century.
- The impact of the Victorian period on the modern literary works.
- A view of women in the works of William Shakespeare: a powerful character of Lady Macbeth.
- The theme of adultery in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter.
- The manner of character evolution in the works of Charles Dickens.
- The main characteristics of the works of the Lake Poets.
- The innovations in the writing style of William Shakespeare.
- Poetry of the World War I: the use of violent imagery.
- Books on World War II: specific topics and typical characters.
- Demarcation of class in the XVIII century: the theme of a vengeance.
- The role of supernatural in Macbeth: a case study of the three witches.
- The theme of talent in Milton’s On His Blindness.
- The main reasons why the detective novels became so popular in the XIX century.
- The theme of collectivism versus individualism in Oliver Twist.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: the different forms of monstrosity in the novel.
- The loss of innocence in Lord of the Flies by William Golding.