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A Guidebook to Literature Research and Its Topics [2024]

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Literature is a very interesting subject. Getting to read all the classics and understanding the author’s chain of thoughts behind them can be very intriguing. But when it comes to doing assignments, literature can become equally tiring and overwhelming. Analysing the characters, justifying the title and even critically analysing the literature piece, there can be so many different aspects of a literature assignment.

Often choosing the right topic and writing the assignment in the right aspect can confuse students. But after you read this post, you’ll have a clearer idea about doing a literature assignment. First, let’s start with understanding the most common types or, rather say, forms of literature, and then we will move on to the further details of doing a literature assignment.

Most Common Types of Literature Assignment

The most commonly recognised forms of literature are as follows:

Most Common Types of Literature Assignment
Most Common Types of Literature Assignment

Nonfiction prose –

All books that aren’t grounded in stories that are fictitious fall under the broad category of nonfiction. Nonfiction writing can be historical or biographical; it can be instructive, offer criticism or humour, and ruminate on philosophical issues. Nonfiction can be again further divided into 9 subgenres. They are – academic, history, journalism, travelogues, biographies & autobiographies, and philosophy.

Fiction Prose –

Fiction prose is the text that tells a composed or fictitious story and is written without following a metrical structure. Novels and short stories are contemporary literature’s most popular prose fiction genres. Short stories are typically much shorter than novels.

Poetry –

Poetry is literature that uses words chosen and arranged for their meaning, sound, and rhythm to elicit a focused, imaginative awareness of experience or a particular emotional response.

Drama –

A drama in literature is the performance of written dialogue (either prose or poetry), which depicts real or imagined occurrences. Dramas can be broadcast on the radio, filmed, or on stage. Usually referred to as plays, dramas are written by “playwrights” or “dramatists.”

Folktale –

Folktales are stories that have been passed down orally or tales that people tell one another aloud as opposed to stories that are written down. They share a strong connection with a variety of storytelling customs, such as fables, myths, and fairy tales. Folktales are well-known stories that have been passed down through the years and are a common part of every human community. They play a vital role in the transmission of knowledge, information, and history.

Your literature essay subject will be any one of these. The structure of the assignment is more or less the same for all these types but may have slight differences based on the purpose of the assignment.

Below mentioned is the most conventional structure of a literature assignment. Note that literature assignments are mostly essays, dissertations, or research papers. And the structure presented here is suitable for all of these. If you find yourself unsure about how to structure your literature assignment, seeking essay writing help can provide you with valuable insights and assistance in organizing your thoughts effectively.

Structure of a Literature Assignment

The structure to be followed for a Literature Assignment is as follows –

Title Page

This gives information like the title of the paper, your details and the details of the professor you are submitting this assignment. Also, you have to clearly mention the date of submission of the assignment and the assigned word count. Basically, this page will give the readers an insight into the basic information about the paper.


The abstract is a glimpse of your assignment. It summarises the information like the assignment’s aim, objectives and purpose. Additionally, you also have to give a glimpse of your research paper‘s conclusion and findings. This is why it is preferably written at the end of the assignment. Usually, the appropriate length of the abstract for a literature assignment is 300-400 words. But this can differ, so kindly check the assignment guidelines to have the exact word count.


As you know, like in any other assignment, you must include an acknowledgement section where you will have to show your gratitude to everybody with whose assistance you have completed the particular literature assignment.


This section introduces your dissertation’s topic and explains how it fits within the larger context. Introduce the specific research subject or question that will be the focus of your dissertation and describe its significance and the rationale behind its selection. Define the dissertation’s scope and describe any restrictions. Describe the dissertation’s organisational framework, guiding the reader through each section and providing any important definitions. Make sure not to use more than 5-10% of the given word count in the introduction.


 These chapters refer to the thematically organised content of the literature assignment you are preparing. Each chapter examines and discusses the research on a particular topic related to your research area. Each chapter should have a brief introduction, major body, and conclusion. For each of the chapters, you are allowed to use 15-25% of the total word count.


Using 15-25% of the total word count, you can write the conclusion of your literature assignment. In this section, you must assemble each chapter’s main ideas and conclusions. Here, you review your research question or problem in the context of what you’ve learned. You could offer ideas for additional investigation. Don’t bring up any fresh subjects.


Check the given set of guidelines and check what referencing style the professor suggests. Read about referencing in that particular style and follow the citation rules of this particular style. Keep updating your reference list as you write, or else it might get confusing at the end. There will be so much data for you to deal with that it will be of no surprise if you miss out on something.


These are things you want the reader to notice but do not need to include in the text; typically, they would disrupt the flow or take up too much room.

If you include appendices, ensure you refer to them in the main body of your dissertation.

Now that you have an idea of the structure of a literature assignment let’s see the best way of doing a literature assignment.

How to do a Literature assignment?

If you know the right procedure for doing a literature assignment, it will give you 0 stress. Below mentioned is the right procedure for doing a literature assignment.

  1. Select the genre –

This absolutely depends on what you are comfortable with. If you are passionate about poetry or folktale intrigues you, then you must go for them. Choosing the genre of your interest will keep you motivated and equally invested in the assignment from the very beginning to the end. If you go for something you are not very interested in, you won’t be able to explore the subject to the core.

  1. Choose the right topic –

Suppose you are choosing poetry as your genre; now, you must find the poem you want to work on. It is better you choose something that you have already read. That is a much safer choice. You can also go for something absolutely new, but you must be confident enough that you’ll be able to pull that off.

  1. Conduct literature review –

Before finalising the angle of the assignment paper, it is suggested that you go through the previously done work on the same topic. This will give you an idea of how other researchers look into the topic and how they represent it. You can choose something that is already done, or even you can go for something absolutely new.

  1. Read through the text thoroughly –

It is very important that before you start writing the assignment, you read through the respective text very carefully. This includes reading the original text and the paragraph-wise explanations. While you are reading the text, make sure to note down some important quotes which you can use while writing the assignment.

  1. Analyse the literary devices –

After you are done reading the texts, do prepare an analysis of the literary devices used in the text. If you do this, it will be easier for you to frame the answer to the assignment problems. If need be, read through the different existing literary devices and then try to analyse the text based on the same.

  1. Frame an outline –

Having an outline for your literature assignment is very important, for this will stop you from putting in unnecessary information in the paper and thus making it unnecessarily lengthy and monotonous to read. Thus, once all your research is done, make sure to prepare an outline and organise the data to be included accordingly.

The above-mentioned steps will help you write literature assignments in a hassle-free way. Now for your assistance, below mentioned are 100+ literature research topics. You can twist them a little bit and use them as the topic of your essay well.

100+ Literature Research Topics

  1. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – A detailed study
  2. Shed some light on the chaos theme of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes
  3. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  4. Women’s representations in “Othello”
  5. ‘Pride and Prejudice’s’ relationships
  6. ‘Pride and Prejudice main characters
  7. Thomas Hardy vs Jane Austen
  8. Thomas Hardy’s romances
  9. The Social Context of “Wuthering Heights.”
  10. ‘Wuthering Height’s portrayal of romance
  11. Does the Iliad depict gender inequality?
  12. Problems with Society in The Little Match Girl
  13. The Great Gatsby’s portrayal of women
  14. Historical Context for Frankenstein
  15. Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage
  16. The Sherman song Reservation Blues Alexie
  17. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
  18. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
  19. Lord Byron’s Vision of Judgement contains allegory.
  20. The effect of Gordon Byron and Henry Miller’s lives on their legacies
  21. a comparison of Dickens and Thackeray
  22. Decameron vs. the Canterbury Tales
  23. In Jerome’s stories, there is irony
  24. Expressions of Emotion in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita
  25. How does Beowulf depict loyalty?
  26. A Rose for Emily’s Use of floral imagery
  27. Titus Andronicus’s politics
  28. The way that power is presented in Ozymandias
  29. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird examines racism and justice.
  30. In God Help the Child, childhood trauma
  31. The results of Macbeth’s aspirations
  32. The Scarlet Letter’s historical setting
  33. sorrow is depicted in The Chimney Sweeper
  34. The Fall of the House of Usher’s supernatural elements
  35. What stands for Dorian Grey in his portrait?
  36. How is Demian’s innermost self-revealed?
  37. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud: Natural Beauty
  38. The Old Man and the Sea’s central topic is endurance.
  39. The way Romeo and Juliet depict the fate
  40. The way Romeo and Juliet depict love
  41. The idea of death in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet Witchcraft in William Shakespeare’s drama Macbeth, King Lear, and Hamlet’s misogyny
  42. Plato’s Republic and Sophocles’ Antigone
  43. Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire
  44. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’s’ main topic
  45. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’s’ main character’s mental state
  46. ‘Hamlet’s’ monarchy
  47. What does the phrase “Animal Farm” mean?
  48. ‘Fahrenheit 451’s’ depiction of American society in the future
  49. Chaucer’s use of common speech in “Nobility and Nation.”
  50. Morals of Religion in The Canterbury Tales
  51. The Canterbury Tales’ Depiction of class conflict’s Origins
  52. The impact of Chaucer on contemporary English dialects
  53. The Canterbury Tales’ condemnation of the clergy
  54. Chaucer’s writing was influenced by Italian poetry from the Middle Ages.
  55. The Book of the Duchess by Geoffrey Chaucer major topics
  56. Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, in comparison
  57. Humorous elements in The Canterbury Tales
  58. As a forerunner of rhyme royal in English poetry, Chaucer
  59. ‘The Crucible’ main characters
  60. ‘Animal Farm uses literary devices.
  61. ‘Macbeth’s’ ambition is driven by insanity
  62. ‘The Wuthering Heights’ depicts retribution
  63. Time’s importance in Romeo and Juliet
  64. Romeo and Juliet’s tragic love story serves as a parable for romantic fatalism.
  65. Mercutio as an illustration of devotion
  66. The generational feud between the Montagues and the Capulets  
  67. How does the play employ irony?
  68. Family dynamics in Romeo and Juliet
  69. The play’s social and historical setting
  70. Orwell’s Ethnicity in Burmese Days
  71. Elie Wiesel’s novel Night contains torture and injustice.
  72. According to Thackeray, Vanity Fair represents the culture of the 19th century.
  73. The picture of Western civil civilisation in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
  74. According to Jane Austen, women’s roles in society in the 18th century
  75. John Krakauer’s novel Into the Wild offers an escape from society and its restrictions.
  76. The position of women in Hamlet’s society
  77. Jane Austen’s portrayal of the social standing of women in the 17th century in Emma
  78. The part a nurse played in Romeo and Juliet’s demise
  79. Higher Criticism of Biblical Literature
  80. Novels by Charles Dickens Literary Analysis
  81. Literary Criticism’s Classical and Literary Traditions
  82. Literature Criticism and Analysis of Fahrenheit 451
  83. Feminist Critical Theory: Feminist Literary Criticism
  84. Formalism and the School of Literary Criticism: A Connection
  85. Using literary criticism to analyse graphic novels has certain peculiarities
  86. The Revolutionary Literary Criticism of Jane Tompkins
  87. Linking Literary Criticism and Linguistics: An Analysis of Ecocriticism as Literary Criticism
  88. ‘Frankenstein’ explains societal expectations
  89. ‘Frankenstein’ produced an animated figure.
  90. ‘The Scarlet Letter’ main characters
  91. ‘The Scarlet Letter main idea
  92. William Goldman’s The Princess Bride and the power of love – A discussion.
  93. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  94. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men presents dreams
  95. Through the Lens of Marxist Literary Criticism: “The Great Gatsby”
  96. The Crucial Elements of Professional Literary Criticism
  97. Discussion of Literary Criticism’s Goals and Methods and African American Literary Criticism
  98. Literary Criticism’s Benefits and Drawbacks
  99. Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets present several facets of love.
  100. As the most effective ruse in Shakespeare’s plays, the appearance
  101. Satirical elements in Shakespeare’s plays and tragedies
  102. Hamlet’s distinction between playing and real life
  103. King Lear by Shakespeare and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles are comparable stories.
  104. The Tempest’s use of allusion
  105. The nuanced female character in Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare
  106. Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets feature archetypal women.
  107. Literary Analysis of Madeleine L’Engle’s “Well in a Wrinkle in Time”
  108. Journey Through Digital Literature: Hidden Literature and Literary Criticism in Video Games: Diverse Perspectives on Literary Criticism on the Works of Literature
  109. Rip Van Winkle, under the scrutiny of feminist writers
  110. Overview of Feminist Literary Criticism Techniques
  111. Literary Analysis of Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron”

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.What are some of the research topics in the literature?

Some good topics for research in literature are –

  • Melville’s Moby Dick story discusses race and friendship.
  • Interracial connection in Wendy Coakley’s “Back to Life.”
  • Background to Duma’s Novels in History
  • Walt Whitman used imagery in his writings.
  • Beowulf has both male and female characters.
  • Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” descriptions of culture and custom

2.How do I choose a literary research topic?

  • First, choose the genre.
  • Then select the topic you have already studied
  • Check if there are enough materials to work on it.

These are the necessary steps in selecting the perfect topic for literature research.

3.What is the best research topic in English literature?

Some of the best topics in English literature are –

  1. Higher Criticism of Biblical Literature
  2. Novels by Charles Dickens Literary Analysis
  3. Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire
  4. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’s’ main topic

4.What type of research is literary research?

Literature research is a mix of both quantitative and qualitative research. This makes them different from any other subject research.

5.What are the four types of literary research?

Four types of literature research are –

  • Historical
  • Textual
  • Theoretical
  • Interpretative
  • Interdisciplinary

6.What is a literary research essay?

Essay based and written on any significant literary work and emphasising the importance of the same from both author’s and reader’s perspective.

7.What is the point of literary research?

The very and the most important point of literary research is that it helps the students understand the several literature pieces better.

8.What is the structure of literary research?

Below mention is the perfect structure of a literary essay –

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgement
  • Introduction
  • Chapters
  • Conclusions
  • References

9.What are the 5 components of a literary analysis?

Plot, place, characters, point of view, metaphorical language, and style are the factors that need to be examined. These are referred to as the main components.

Emma Jones

Hi, I am Emma Jones, a Genetic Counsellor by qualification, CDR writer by profession who has a flair for writing. Quite an interesting profile to stop by, isn't it? Well, being a CDR was a decision that was born out of necessity. My field of qualification requires one to create appropriate CDRs to land suitable jobs. Since I was struggling too hard to create one for myself, I decided to take it up as a challenge and trained myself to nail the art of CDR writing. Now, I work as a full-time CDR writer and English essay expert to help students who have to face similar struggles. When I am not working, I like surfing or trying foods in different places.

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