149+ Literature Research Paper Topics for Every Student

If you are a literature student and do not know what literature research paper topics to choose, this article will come in handy. The tricky part of writing text is getting started, but choosing a research paper topic comes first.

The first step in literature research paper topics for college students is to choose a literary style for your topic. This article contains a collection of useful research topic ideas.

Create a primary outline focusing on the most exciting projects for research. The second most common category of literary review subjects is authors and their works.

Ensure your study report will not transform into a biography. Study the author’s previous works to get a better understanding of their writing style. You will learn to stay on topic while writing literature topics for research papers using the excellent examples below.

Before diving into the list, here is a guide to choosing a suitable literature topic for a research paper.

How to choose the best literature topic for your project

Finding good literature topics for research comes down to a few different factors. The secret to writing an excellent literature paper is to find a subject that excites you.

Other countries’ art forms, philosophical concepts, popular trends, and historical events influence literature. Choosing the correct study topic is an essential part of writing a literature project.

The topic should be well-organized and valuable to your thesis statement. Always take the time to research the list of sources before writing your topic sentences.

Make sure they apply and align with your thesis. Aside from interest and desire, there are a few more factors to consider while selecting a solid research topic.

How to get started on literature research paper topics

If you’re stuck on a literature study topic, using a completely fresh approach might help you develop something exciting to work on. As you read the book of your choice, concentrate on one or more aspects of your literature class prompt.

It will help your study topic apply to the class you’re in. Remember that you shouldn’t read a work of literature as a standalone story but in its time.

When reading a book, consider who the author is and where it fits with literature. The easiest approach to begin is to write a broad research topic and then list any key details. List every piece of information, no matter how minor it appears.

Read everything and see what interesting conclusions you can get from it. For example, in terms of gender, how are males portrayed compared to females?

Writing is the best method to get everything out to clear your thoughts. Once it’s on paper, you can look at it and put it all together in one neat picture anyone can understand.

Tips for literature research

It is easy to determine where to do research based on what you’ve put together in your brainstorming. Nobody wants to read a story that is full of generalizations. Try to study each topic after you’ve defined it.

You want to research deep into your subject. Background research can help you organize your thoughts on a project. It will also point you in the right direction for your actual research.

How do you know it’s a suitable literature research topic?

If you’re not sure you have the correct topic for a twenty-page essay, conduct good research. Knowing what each paragraph contains makes it a little easier to write your topic statements.

The following is an example of a research topic that turns into a topic sentence:

“What is a science fiction novel?”

When studying such a novel, it’s essential to examine what defines a science fiction novel. That is in relation to the modern definitions of novel-writing. It will lead to questions like “why is this important?” Also, “what is science fiction?”

Put it in the paragraph’s body, and it will provide you with your first two significant points to discuss. Remember that the key to selecting literature research paper topics is to start broad.

Read the novel, keeping in mind that you should concentrate on your own class’s topic or whatever interests you the most. You can branch out to any research topic. All it takes is some effort to get there.

Research topics for American literature

American literature comprises works created by or about Americans. There are hundreds of American literature research paper topics you can derive from the literature.

English professors require their students to read American literary works in depth. Students should also analyze the author’s philosophies and ideas. The goal is for the student to gain a better understanding of American history and culture. 

Below are some of the best American literature research topics:

  1. Is American literature a catalyst for social change
  2. How can the American media complement the existing literature with effect
  3. Common themes in American literature
  4. Factors that have shaped American literature
  5. A comparison between ancient American literature and the contemporary American literature
  1. The role of American literature on democracy and political leadership
  2. Race identity and representation through American literature
  3. Expression of human rights through American literature
  4. Love and romance in American literature. The Great Gatsby
  5. The contribution of American authors such as Phillis Wheatley on American literature today
  6. A timeline of American literature and events
  7. The two contrasting views of slavery in American literature “Beloved” and American negro slavery
  8. The portrayal of women in American literature
  9. The image of blacks in American literature

Research paper topics on British literature

Topics for research papers on British literature are common assignments for literature students. The term “British literature” refers to literary works written by English authors. It is exciting, and there’s a lot to learn about it.

Some of the best topics to choose from British literature research paper topics include:

  1. The role of women in society, as adopted by William Shakespeare. Focuses on the robust character of Lady Macbeth
  2. Analysis of specific topics and characters in the books of World War II
  3. The development of British literature in the 15th and 16th centuries
  4. A study of the evolution of the English language and how previous literature influences modern language choices
  5. The contribution of British literature to the prevention of poor leadership and corruption. The student can refer to some of the literary works of authors, such as Henrick Ibsen
  6. An elaboration of how the authors in British literature have portrayed the theme of romanticism
  7. How the British literature addressed common gender issues
  8. A critique of the role of British literature in the development of society
  9. The theme of orphans, as brought out by the character of Oliver Twist in British poetry
  10. Using violent imagery in the poetry of World War 1
  1. An observation of whether the British literature reflects what is happening in the society
  2. A detailed explanation of the transition from ancient to modern British literature
  3. The literary styles adopted by William Shakespeare
  4. The influence of the foreign cultures, for example, American culture, on British literature

Research paper topics on English literature

You can find English literature research paper topics in both British and American literature.  Below are some examples of research paper topics:

  1. The best authors in modern times
  2. How literature can work as an instrument of propaganda
  3. Sex and romance in literature
  4. Artificial language in literature
  5. Using irony and sarcasm in literature

Topics for research papers on world literature

World literature refers to literature from all over the world. Examples are African literature, Asian literature, the Odyssey of the Iliad, and other literary works. Below are some of the best world literature research paper topics for any student:

  1. The difference between comedy and literature across cultures
  2. How has the world applied some themes found in the ancient Greek works of the Iliad and the Odyssey?
  3. The most frequently encountered subject in 20th century Japanese literature’s death poems
  4. A comparison between Chinese and Japanese literature
  5. The effects of Japanese literature on the culture
  6. A study of how cultural and historical factors contributed to the shaping of literature
  7.  How to deal with conflict between individual conscience and the laws of the state. A case study of Sophocles’ play Antigone
  8.  How the literary works of the Muslim philosophers played a role in generating ideas across the world
  9. An analysis of the parallels between the events of the October Revolution and George Orwell’s sentiment in animal farm
  10.  How do the Russian literature work, crime, and punishment explain human nature?
  11. The influence of Marx and Engels on European literature
  12. A critique of spirituality and supernatural powers by Latin American literature works to develop the plot
  13. How has African literature contributed to moral awakening to the political leadership on the continent

Research paper topics on 20th century world literature

The 20th-century world literature research paper topics include works published between 1900 and 2000. This sort of literature is distinct from earlier centuries’ writing. The fundamental cause for this is science and technology’s rapid advancement.

Here is a list of the most interesting world literature research paper topics in the 20th century:

  1. The effects of world war in world literature in the 20th century
  2. The outcome of Marxist literature on the Russian culture
  1. American-Indian literature from 1900 to date
  2. English adventure in fiction: Harry Porter
  3. Oral narratives in contemporary America
  4. The Bible as literature

Research paper topics on early American literature 

Early American Literature refers to works of literature that focus on the history of ancient America. Early American literature research paper topics are common assignments for students. The following list presents some of the best literature research paper topics high school students may use:

  1. Class analysis in America
  2. The role of Thomas Paine’s literary works in promoting the movement for independence
  3. The role of religion during an early American literature
  4. The contribution of Mark Twain in American literature
  5.  How World War 1 affected American literature
  6. Gender stereotypes in the early 20th century American literature
  7. The evolution of American literature
  8. The portrayal of women by the early American Literature
  9. The Latin American literature
  10. The mystique and allure of early American literature
  11. Colonial American literature
  12. American literature on slavery

 Research paper topics on renaissance literature

Renaissance literature refers to literary works in Europe that drew heavily on renaissance intellectual and cultural mannerisms. Some of the best renaissance literature research paper topics include:

  1. The impact of the renaissance on English literature
  2. William Shakespeare’s contribution to the renaissance
  3. How Harlem renaissance affected literature
  4. The American renaissance influence on American literature
  5. How renaissance led to more enlightenment and revolutions
  6.  Impact of renaissance on religion
  7. The cultural, political, and socioeconomic effects of the renaissance
  8. Langston Hughes renaissance
  9. The renaissance authors
  10. A comparison between the society during the early renaissance in Europe and the modern society
  11. How the renaissance changed man’s perception of the environment

Research paper topics on medieval literature

Medieval literature contains all literature available primarily in Europe during the Middle Ages. The following are some of the most famous medieval literature research paper topics:                                           

  1. A general overview of writers in the medieval period
  2. Love and lust in the medieval period
  3. The influence of religion and spirituality in medieval literature
  4. The role of the four senses of humor in the medieval literature
  5. A comparison of medieval literature and contemporary English writing
  6. Study of poetry in the era of medieval literature
  7. Reflection on the life and times of people during the medieval period by analyzing the medieval literature
  1. A comparison of the evolution of different languages from medieval periods
  2. Why Latin was influential in the medieval period
  3. The relationship between French poetry and medieval literature
  4. The tales of Chaucer’s Canterbury
  5. The contribution of women to literature during the medieval period
  6. An in-depth study of sexuality, eroticism, and romance in medieval literature
  7. The difference between secular and religious texts during the medieval period

Victorian literature research paper topics

Victorian literature refers to English literary works written during Queen Victoria’s reign in the 19th century. People considered it the golden age of English literature, with novels serving as the primary form.

Some of the best Victorian literature research paper topics are:

  1. Domestic violence against women during the Victorian era
  2. The plight of widows and orphans during the Victorian era
  3. How the Victorian literature adopted peculiar language patterns in the 19th century
  4. The emphasis on whiskers and facial hair was a sign of adulthood in the Victorian era
  5. The perception of police officers by the society during the Victorian era
  6. How education contributed to the emergence of the Victorian literature
  7. Social class differences in the Victorian era
  8. The impact of Victorian literature on religion
  9. How did Victorian literature shape people’s political, social, and economic lives
  10. The perception of blacks by the society as expressed by the Victorian literature
  11. The theme of love and marriage in Victorian literature
  12. A general overview of authors in the Victorian era, such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy
  13.  An exploration of Victorian poetry by creatives such as Alfred Lord
  14. How Charles Dickens’s novels highlighted the plight of people during early industrialism
  15. How the books written in the Victorian era led to an improvement in morals among people

Research paper topics on modernist literature

Literature Research Paper Topics for Every Student
Research paper topics on modernist literature

Literary modernism emerged in North America and Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Modernist literature uses writing styles that differ from traditional writing. Individualism, formalism, and experimentation define it. Here is a list of some of the best modernist literature research paper topics below:

  1. How has modernism influenced literature
  2. How does modern literature shape the culture and lives of people
  3. The major themes in contemporary literature
  4. 21st-century poetry
  1. The history of modernist literature in the 19th century
  2. How literary modernism by William Golding mirrors the prevalence of evil in the current world
  3. The evolution of feminity as adopted by literary modernism
  4. The relationship between psychology and modern literature
  5. Analysis of post-modernism in the contemporary world. A study of Lyon and Kumar’s literary works
  6. The difference between villains and anti-heroes in literary modernism

Research paper topics on ancient literature

The term “ancient literature” refers to plays, writings, songs, and other literary works. They existed before the invention of writing. The stone pamphlets recorded Roman and Greek works primarily. The following is a list of some of the best ancient literature research paper topics for students to consider:

  1. Explore gender diversity in ancient literature
  2. Ancient literature on Greek worship
  3. The role of tragedy and comedy in ancient Greek literature
  4. The influence of religions and gods on ancient literature
  5. The influence of ancient Greek literature on their religion and way of worship
  6.  Wars and conflict as adopted in the ancient literature
  7.  Factors that influenced poetry and other literary works in ancient Greece
  8.  Investigation why Greek myths have a significant contribution to the history of literature
  9. Roman’s role in the development of ancient Greek literature
  10. Contributions of Homer’s poems to world literature
  11. A general overview of ancient Greek poets
  12. Comparison between ancient Roman literature and ancient Greek literature
  13. The influence of ancient Greek literature on contemporary culture
  14. Popular plot schemes in ancient Greek drama

Research paper topics on mid-century counter-culture literature

 Scholars define counter-culture as literary works that aim to achieve ideals that differ from modern society. The hippie movement of the 1960s, LGBT, and green movements are all examples of counter-cultures.

Check out the list of great mid-century counter-cultural literature research paper topics below:

  1. How the hippie counter-culture changed the politics, culture, and literature in America in the 1960s
  2. How counter-culture movements used literature to advance their course
  1. A general overview of counter-cultural literature authors in the mid-century such as Barry Miles
  2. Comparison between counter-culture literature and post-modernism literature
  3. Significant themes in counter-cultural literature in the mid-century

Literature research paper topics on children

Children’s literature includes materials such as books, magazines, and poems. Children’s literature’s primary aim is to inform and entertain. It teaches children about their own culture and the cultures of other children worldwide. Some examples of children’s literature research paper topics are:

  1. The view of the family set up in the modern literature of children
  2. The defining moment in the literature and history of children
  3. Perception of good and evil in contemporary children’s literature
  4. In modern times, the common literature genre of children
  5. The significance of safeguarding the literature of children
  6. Disclosure of death in children’s literature
  7. Gender roles explored in children’s literature
  8. Characteristics of children’s poetry
  9. What is the best way to interpret children’s literature?
  10. The distinction between children’s and adolescent literature
  11. Significance of using illustrations in children’s books
  12. The role of myths and folktales in children’s literature

Research paper topics on African-American literature

African American literature is a body of work written by African-American writers in the United States. The literary works, which began in the late 18th century, advocated for liberty, equality, and inclusion. The following are some ideas to consider for African American literature research paper topics:

  1. The liberty of congress of African-Americans 
  2. African Americans’ health care system
  3. The impact of beauty industries and black women
  4. The view of feminism and masculinity in the African-American culture
  5. The historical milestone for voting rights for African-Americans
  6. The effect of race, sex, and a class of employment in the African-American context
  7. The struggles of black motherhood in African-American literature
  8. The history and impact of education systems as per the African-American literature
  9. What African-American literature has to say about race and sports in the African-American community
  10. The right and choice of reproductive health as per the African-American literature

Final word

With this list of 150+ literature research paper topics, it’s easy to find an exciting topic to write on. The topics in the list above are relevant, unique, and mind-provoking. Any student looking for a category in literature will find a suitable subject.

It’s vital to look into the topics, phenomena, or events that link the original topic. The issue with study in literature is the researcher’s perspective.

An opinion may exist, but evidence must back it up. A liberal subject like literature requires a scientific approach. It also needs critical thinking skills in research paper format.