Choosing Topics For A Term Paper On Literature: Tips And Examples

Literature is a scientific discipline. However, it is also a kind of art that has existed for thousands of years and embraces thousands of names, titles, and themes. Therefore, choosing a topic for your term paper on literature may be rather difficult. If your teacher has not supplied you with a list of topics, you will have a free hand and select any literary work and any topic for the term paper.

Here are some advice on how to do it:

  • Think about the genre of literature that you prefer. Maybe poetry seems difficult and dramatic works seem boring to you. Exploit your interest.
  • Select a literary work or the author whose works you would like to analyze. The choice of the topic depends on the literary work you have chosen. Read it thoroughly making remarks about the items that interest you.
  • Narrow your choice. Decide what interested or impressed you most of all when you were reading it: problems, characters, historical settings, stylistic devices.
  • Mind that the topic should be worthwhile, i.e. interesting for readers, and original.

Examples of topics for a term paper on literature:

  1. Historical events that present a setting of the literary work:
    • The truth of war in “A Farewell to Arms” by E. Hemingway.
    • History of England through Shakespeare`s dramas.
  2. Social problems raised and solved by authors:
    • How prejudice and inequality are described in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by H. Lee.
    • Social satire on English society in “Crome Yellow” by Aldous Huxly.
  3. An analysis of characters:
    • Distortion of moral values in “Wuthering Heights” by E. Bronte.
    • Development of characters in “Jane Eyre” by Ch. Bronte.
  4. Stylistic devices used by authors:
    • Usage of parallel plot in “King Lear” by W. Shakespeare.
    • The role of “stream of consciousness” in “A Farewell to Arms” by E. Hemingway.
  5. A comparison/contrast analysis of the works of different authors:
    • Similarities and differences in the depiction of war in “The Young Lions” by I. Shaw and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by E. Hemingway.
    • The protest against racial discrimination in “I Have a Dream” by M.L.King and the poetry of Langston Hughes.
  6. An analysis of special symbols and images that occur in literary works:
    • Symbolic role of beauty and ugliness in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by O. Wilde.
    • Satire and symbolism in “Cat`s Cradle” by K. Vonnegut.
  7. An analysis of the role of different literary movements and styles in the development of literature:
    • Allen Ginsberg and American protest literature.
    • Why is fantasy so popular today?

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