50 Dissertation Topic Ideas in English Literature

50 Dissertation Topic Ideas in English Literature

Young people who strive to obtain a master's degree face a need to write a dissertation in their chosen major. It's considered the most important paper they need to deliver during their academic career. Besides, it represents a wonderful chance to demonstrate advanced writing and analytical skills, critical thinking, and knowledge they've gained during the curriculum. Furthermore, such an assignment provides an opportunity to affect an academic environment positively and pamper your ego a bit. So, if you want to graduate with an outstanding result, you should do your best to deliver a high-grade-worthy paper. Your way to success will start with examining potentially suitable dissertation topic ideas, so it is not worth underestimating its importance. Therefore, we'll go deep down this question to make sure you have something to think about when it comes to working on your paper..

How to Work on Research Topics in English Literature

The very name of its assignment suggests that you will not do without proper research, so you should make enough room in your schedule for this stage. You will have to present a report about your findings and discuss the results provided. Bear in mind that writing a dissertation involves a completely different level of responsibility, diligence, and work than similar assignments you got in the past. It stands out from other academic papers with its complexity since it requires more reading, studying, and writing as well.

If you are new to this type of work, it is worth searching for guidelines on the internet, examining decent ready-made papers, and doing background research to understand what theme is more suitable for you. Allocate enough time to look through all thesis topics in English literature that seem appealing to you. It is a complex and multifaceted field of study, so you will hardly do everything properly if you proceed to write when the deadline is already around the corner. The best thing you can do is to choose a theme from your current field of interest. Thus, you will have enough motivation and inspiration to stay on track with research and writing. Pay attention to the following moments:

  1. Your dissertation should be based on high-quality research, so you can show your understanding of the subject you work on.
  2. You should demonstrate your analytical skills, choosing only relevant literature on your theme.
  3. You should develop a research question and address it in your paper, ensuring your dissertation possesses a clear focus.

Research Proposal Ideas

You will have to write a dissertation proposal and present it to your professor or committee to ensure it is suitable and up to date. Don't postpone this task for too long since time is your biggest enemy when it comes to working on such an assignment. Your research process will spin around literary texts, so you will hardly do without visiting a library. A note-taking process is crucial for developing decent ideas and the research process itself. If you don't know what categories it would be interesting to try, pay attention to the following options:

  • cultural diversity;
  • translated texts;
  • genre studies;
  • historical development;
  • cinematography and literature.

How to Choose a Dissertation Topic in English Literature

If your professor hasn't provided you with a specific theme, it is up to you to decide what you want to write about. Your field of interest should become the main benchmark in picking up the right topic. Reflect on the books or literature aspects that you liked most of all while studying. The research process involves a lot of routine tasks, and if you are not interested in the subject, it will be much harder to stay focused. It is one of the reasons why experts suggest doing background research to ensure that you will not face issues with finding enough trustworthy information to back up your ideas. You can examine some critical literature to determine the most valuable perspectives to take as well as the gaps that you can potentially address in your dissertation. It will not be superfluous to create a well-crafted outline, so you have the required points in front of your eyes.

If you have selected a topic but are not sure about the exact title for your paper, you can come up with several working options. They may have a bit different focus but stay within one theme. In this case, you should keep both of them in mind when doing your research. Thus, it will be easy to make the right final choice. Even though there is no strict rule on how many primary texts a student must include in their dissertation, utilize at least two of them to make your arguments look more powerful. It is worth considering the cultural, historical, and theoretical background of a text to make sure it's reasonable and manageable for such a paper. Finally, you should develop a proper research question since it will guide the research and writing process. Keep it in mind all the time, so your paper can provide robust evidence of its significance.

Literature Topics for a Research Paper

Everyone who proceeds to work on a dissertation has tremendous experience under the belt in writing different papers. Thus, they know that choosing a broad theme is a road to nowhere since it's hard to devote enough attention to all key aspects and preserve the focus. It's worth resorting to special techniques aimed at helping you to narrow down the theme. Most of them suggest free writing within the subject, so you can define which one sounds the best. If you cannot opt for a theme, consider the following options:

  1. Correlation between English literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  2. How did the Renaissance affect English literature?
  3. Key differences between English literature in the USA and the UK.
  4. Fundamental writing methods of female writers of the 18th century.
  5. What are the most popular writers in the detective genre nowadays?
  6. What was the most important work of Jane Austen?
  7. Impact of the digital revolution on English literature.
  8. In-depth analysis of poetry from the Second World War.
  9. Feminism's growth in twentieth-century literature.
  10. Peculiarities of post-colonialism literature.
  11. Female heroes in English Literature.
  12. Correlation between famous Shakespeare's sonnets.
  13. Gender roles in classic English literature.
  14. Medieval traditions depicted in Geoffrey Chaucer's works.
  15. Ambiguous issues presented in Thomas More's Utopia.
  16. Development of suspense in famous English literary works.
  17. John Donne: A comparison of sermons and metaphysical love poems.Β 
  18. Impact of Jane Austen's novels on modern women.
  19. Key differences between books and film adaptations of Joanne Rowling's Harry Potter.
  20. How Elizabeth Gaskell depicted society and family in her works.
  21. The most famous feminist works and their influence on modern society.
  22. Peculiarities and depth of Thomas Hardy's poems 1913.
  23. Religious doubts depicted by George Eliot.
  24. Main inspiration sources of Shakespeare.
  25. Peculiarities of rustic writing in the nineteenth century.
  26. Role of costumes in Dickens's famous works.
  27. Correlation between sex and violence in modern English literature.
  28. How politics affected English literature in the nineteenth century.
  29. The special role of water in Virginia Woolf's works.
  30. Gender stereotyping and patriarchy in The Chronicles of Narnia.
  31. Correlation between modernism and postmodernism.
  32. The negative influence of postmodernism on the novel.
  33. Travel writing in the twenty-first century.
  34. The crucial role of philosophy in English literature of the twentieth century.
  35. Depiction of architecture in Thomas Hardy's works.
  36. The effect Milton's Paradise Lost had on seventeenth-century literature.
  37. How science affected nineteenth-century novels.
  38. Development of modern literature with the help of high technologies.
  39. Psychological tools used in writing modern novels.
  40. Self-searching with the help of literature works.
  41. Poststructuralist views of language in contemporary poetry.
  42. Popular literature genres among representatives of Z generation.
  43. Why did Joanne Rowling choose a male alias for working in a detective genre?
  44. Can a graphic novel be considered a literature work?
  45. Most successful film adaptations of the last decade.
  46. The accuracy of history presented in historical novels.
  47. An analysis of homosexuality in modern English literature.
  48. Influence of LGBT movement on the development of modern English literature.
  49. The key appealing features of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
  50. Could literature do well without Shakespeare?

How to Structure Your Literature Dissertation

When you decide on the most appealing dissertation topic in English literature, you can proceed to create the first draft of an outline. The latter will help you keep in mind all the crucial moments you should consider when writing your paper. In addition, most professors pay special attention to the structure of dissertations provided by students, so if you want to get the highest grade for your paper, don't forget to involve the following things:

  • title page;
  • acknowledgments;
  • declaration;
  • abstract;
  • list of contents;
  • introduction: you should present background information, project value, main research purposes and objectives, and the research question;
  • literature review: presentation of relevant theories and analysis of literary works within the chosen theme to address the research question;
  • methodology: presentation of data and analysis methods and tools utilized;
  • findings and analysis: presentation of the crucial research results in detail with the help of visual tools like charts, tables, graphs, etc.;
  • discussion and conclusion: presentation of personal interpretation of findings, demonstration of the connection between the results and arguments taken from the literature, highlighting of the research significance, and summarizing of the whole research, recommendations on the further development of the theme;
  • references;
  • bibliography;
  • appendices: presentation of some additional pieces of information, graphs, diagrams utilized to complete your paper that stay beyond its body paragraphs. The main aim of this part is to broaden some data and provide additional explanations.

In fact, your professor should specify all the requirements for your dissertation, but if they have skipped some moments, it is better to clarify everything that stays unclear to you beforehand. Don't leave such things unattended since the final grade will affect only your academic performance and further career development.