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While the possibilities for a literature research paper are endless, a listing of some common approaches and categorizations could serve as a starting point: • Genre of literature – Select a genre, such as poetry, drama, biography, historical fiction, or mystery, and show changes over time. • Patterns – Find connections in one work, a genre or an era. • Literature of a particular era – Are the authors of a time period constrained by the society they live in, or do some transcend it? Great Research Topics for Your Paper
• Focus on one country’s literature – Perhaps forgo the usual American or British literature and explore the unfamiliar – Japan, India, etc. • In-depth study of an author – Offer a complete biographical study. • A chronological analysis of how one author’s works and writing style evolved over time. • The use of symbolism and literary devices – How does an author use elements such as light and dark to foreshadow or advance a plot? • Should classic literature be updated to make it more appealing to young people? At least one professor “translated” a Shakespeare play into a more modern take. A popular movie kept the text of Romeo and Juliet intact while updating the setting. • Compare and contrast – As an example, themes and portrayals of society in Balzac’s Father Goriot and Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. • Writing as an impetus for change – Writers may indirectly, gradually cause change in society, or in other cases force change, such as the “muckrakers” who brought social problems to light. • Character study – A look at the characters or how they are portrayed – are they realistic, symbolic? • Use your imagination – Place yourself in the mind of a classic author and describe your thoughts on a modern work. Dickens on Catch-22, perhaps? • Go back to the source for some speculation – What would Bram...
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