Literary Analysis Essay Writing

Literary Analysis Essay Topics

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Interesting Literary Analysis Essay Topics & Ideas

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Good Literary Analysis Essay Topic Ideas

How to choose a literary analysis essay topic , tips to write a compelling literary analysis essay.

You’re a literature student, and you’ve been assigned to work on a literature analysis essay, but you’re not sure which topic to go for. It’s a tricky situation!

We understand that choosing a worthy topic for a literary analysis essay is never an easy task. But don’t you worry!

For literature students, we know the importance of drafting an excellent literary analysis essay . And for an exceptional essay, one needs a standout topic.

That’s why in this blog, we have gathered more than 200 exciting and interesting literary analysis essay ideas for you to get started. 

Read on! 

If you are a high school or a college student, and you’re having difficulty coming up with a good topic for your essay, choose from the topic list below.  

Literary Analysis Essay Topics Middle School

  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 
  • Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
  • Harry Potter’s powers in the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
  • Allegory in Lord Byron’s Vision of Judgement 
  • Impact of Henry Miller and Gordon Byron’s life on their legacy 
  • Comparative analysis of Dickens VS Thackeray 
  • Canterbury Tales VS Decameron 
  • The irony in Jerome’s stories
  • Mood expressions in Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for High School

  • The representation of justice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Analyze the theme of friendship in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
  • Explore the theme of identity in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
  • The role of nature in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
  • Discuss the concept of heroism in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
  • The use of foreshadowing in George Orwell's Animal Farm
  • The representation of mental health in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar
  • The impact of war on individuals in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried
  • The use of symbolism and allegory in Lois Lowry's The Giver
  • Discuss the role of cultural identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

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Literary Analysis Essay Topics For College

  • Literary devices used in The Night by Elie Wiesel 
  • The portrayal of the escape theme in Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer 
  • The evolution of Celie's character in 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker
  • Jane Austen's critique of social class and marriage in Pride and Prejudice
  • Shed light on the theme of chaos in Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Examine the historical events of World War II and their significance in Elie Wiesel's “Night.”
  • The power of love in The Princess Bride by William Goldman 
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
  • Presentation of dreams in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 
  • The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence 

Literary Analysis Essay Prompts in Classics

  • The portrayal of fate in Romeo and Juliet 
  • The portrayal of love in Romeo and Juliet 
  • Concept of mortality in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet 
  • Misogyny in Hamlet 
  • Witchcraft in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth 
  • The tragic flaws and character development of King Lear in William Shakespeare's play
  • The philosophical underpinnings of justice and governance in Plato's 'The Republic
  • Exploring the theme of civil disobedience and consequences in Sophocles' 'Antigone’
  • Exploring the conflict between illusion and reality in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
  • The complex character relationships and moral dilemmas in 'Montana' by Larry Watson

Social Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Social injustice in Oliver Twist 
  • Ethnicity in Burmese Days by Orwell
  • Torture and injustice in Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Vanity Fair - the culture of the 19th century according to Thackeray 
  • The portrayal of the Civil Western Society in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The role of women in society in the 18th Century according to Jane Austen 
  • Escape from society and its rules in Into the Wild by John Krakauer 
  • The place of women in the society in Hamlet 
  • Social status of women in the 17th century portrayed by Jane Austen in Emma 
  • The wrongs of the modern society in Fight Club by Palahniuk 

War and Peace Topics for Literary Analysis Essay

  • The portrayal of war and violence in the poems of Stephen Crane
  • Literary works during WWI
  • War setting in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • The depiction of war in Homer’s plays
  • Toni Morrison’s views on the civil war
  • The war between demons and angels in Paradise Lost
  • War in the Mother Courage and Her Child by Bertolt Brecht
  • The portrayal of war and peace by George Orwell
  • Concept of war in A Fable by Faulkner
  • Steinbeck’s presentation of injustice in The Grapes of Wrath

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for Movies

  • Comparison between the book and film “Sense and Sensibility.” 
  • The portrayal of women in the “Little Women.” 
  • Imitation of society and class in “The Great Gatsby.”
  • The ideas of love and trust in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” 
  • The good and evil in “A Wrinkle in Time.” 
  • Feminity in Sense and Sensibility 
  • The role of Saruman and Gandalf 
  • Spirituality and religion in “Lord of the Flies.” 
  • Oskar’s struggle to find a sense of home in “The Tin Drum.”
  • Jealousy and male pride in “The Dead.” 

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for the Subject of Race

  • “Waiting for the Barbarians” by J.M. Coetzee
  • Race and Injustice in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Race and fellowship in Melville’s Moby Dick
  • “Under The Feet Of Jesus”
  • Description of culture and tradition in “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Interracial relationship in Back to Life by Wendy Coakley
  • Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by McMorris
  • The Art Of Love by Hong Ying
  • Multiculturalism in the Captain Underpants series by Dev Pilkey
  • Imitation of slavery in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

General Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Focalization techniques in When I Lay Dying
  • Historical background of Duma’s Novels
  • The use of imagery in Walt Whitman’s works
  • Male and female characters in Beowulf
  • Character analysis of Emmy in Vanity Fair
  • Character analysis of Rebeca in Vanity Fair
  • The complicated relationship between mother and daughter in Beloved
  • Beauty standards in The Bluest Eye
  • Comparison in the portrayal of death by Keats and Blake
  • The idea of death in Renaissance literature

1984 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Roles of genders in the novel
  • What role does the Ministry of Truth play in the story?
  • The theme of subversion of love in 1984
  • The importance of memory in 1984
  • Totalitarian society in George Orwell's 1984
  • Analyze the role O'Brien plays in Winston's life
  • An in-depth analysis of the novel 1984 by George Orwell
  • How is the historical background reflected in 1984?
  • Lack of privacy in 1984
  • Propaganda and totalitarianism in Orwell’s “1984”

Hamlet Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • A theme of revenge in Hamlet
  • Explore Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia
  • Explore Hamlet’s mental state
  • Discuss Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude
  • Ghost in Hamlet
  • Was Hamlet truly mad?
  • Is Hamlet a villain or a hero?
  • How does Shakespeare present the idea of madness in Hamlet?
  • Is Hamlet’s love for Ophelia genuine?
  • Tragedies in Hamlet VS Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Discuss the development of characters during the play
  • Examine the role of women in Romeo and Juliet.
  • What is the role of history in Romeo and Juliet?
  • Analyze the Romeo and Juliet play
  • Romeo and Juliet: Fate or Free Will?
  • Why did Juliet warn of danger?
  • Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet
  • The love language of Romeo and Juliet
  • A fate analysis essay on Romeo and Juliet
  • The death of Romeo and Juliet

Macbeth Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Macbeth’s mental state
  • The role of morality in the play “Macbeth”
  • Describe the use of figurative language in Macbeth
  • The symbolism of blood in Macbeth
  • Applying imagery in Macbeth to advance the story
  • Lady Macbeth character analysis
  • What role did social hierarchies play in the play?
  • Analysis of gender roles in Macbeth
  • Role of women in Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Is Lady Macbeth a dominant heroine?

Beowulf Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Why is Beowulf a work of Christian propaganda?
  • What is the main idea of the story?
  • The meaning of rings in Beowulf
  • Which of Beowulf's fights was most heroic?
  • How do Beowulf’s heroic qualities affect the story?
  • Discuss the digression's role in Beowulf
  • Analyze the significance of the mead hall in Beowulf.
  • The difference between Beowulf and Modern-Day Heroes
  • Beowulf’s personality traits in the epic story
  • Analysis of Beowulf's symbols and their importance

Frankenstein Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze what fire is trying to symbolize.
  • Frankenstein: The theme of guilt
  • Discuss any romantic elements in “Frankenstein”
  • The family relationship in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Who is more human, Frankenstein or the monster?
  • Romantic and gothic Frankenstein elements
  • Sacrifices for ambitions in the novel Frankenstein
  • Relationship between Victor and Frankenstein
  • Romanticism in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
  • Family Values and Frankenstein

The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Discuss the novel as a cautionary tale
  • The meaning of wealth in the novel
  • What is the novel’s title meaning?
  • Explain how the novel demonstrates the characteristics of modernism
  • Explore the symbolism of the “green light” in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Discuss the role of women in the 1920s society as portrayed in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Dreams are the main theme in “The Great Gatsby”
  • What makes The Great Gatsby great?
  • The Great Gatsby: Winter Thoughts
  • What role does money play in Fitzgerald’s novel?

The Crucible Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Relate the Crucible to modern society
  • Analyze the most important theme of 'The Crucible.'
  • What are the dynamics of puritanism?
  • Examine the importance of religion in 1953 in work
  • The use of fear tactics in “The Crucible”
  • John Hale in The Crucible
  • Morality and The Crucible
  • The Crucible Critical Lens
  • The sinful confessions in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Fahrenheit 451 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • History of the Fireman in Fahrenheit 451
  • Discuss the roles of both nature and technology play in Fahrenheit 451
  • The use of Parallelism in Fahrenheit 451
  • Analyze the three parts of Fahrenheit 451
  • Discuss the dual image of fire in the novel
  • How relevant is Fahrenheit 451 today?
  • The role of Clarisse McClellan in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Analyze Mildred Montag
  • Discuss the usage of literary quotes in Fahrenheit 451
  • Examine the novel's main title

Literary Analysis Essay Topics For Othello

  • Examine the portrayal of women in ‘Othello’
  • A true reason for Othello's demise
  • Consider Othello’s suicide
  • The real motives of Iago in Othello
  • Women's roles in Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet
  • Gender roles and racism in “Othello”
  • Discuss Othello's relationship
  • Analysis of The Film “Othello” By Oliver Parker
  • Explore themes of love and betrayal within Shakespeare's work of literature, “Othello”
  • How was Emilia treated by the men in the play “Othello”?

Lord of The Flies Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • The symbolism of the conch shell and its significance in the novel
  • Analyze the themes of civilization versus savagery in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Explore the character development of Ralph and Jack in the story
  • Discuss the role of fear and the “beast” in the boys' descent into chaos
  • The portrayal of innate human nature and its consequences on the deserted island
  • Analyze the role of Piggy and his glasses as symbols of knowledge and reason
  • Analyze the use of irony in the story and its implications for the characters
  • Discuss the themes of power and leadership in the struggle for dominance
  • Examine the relationship between the boys' names and their personalities
  • The role of the island's setting in shaping the events and characters of the story

Literary Analysis Essay Topics For The Catcher In The Rye

  • Analyze the novel from the perspective of Bildungsroman
  • Analyze literary devices used in “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Discuss the theme of death in the novel
  • Analyze the theme of self-discovery from the novel
  • Describe the story's topic of loneliness
  • Analyze growing up in the novel
  • Why does Holden love the Museum of Natural History?
  • The Role of Dialogue in The Catcher in the Rye
  • Describe the novel's portrayal of phoniness and naivety
  • Describe the character of Holden

Interesting Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • War, existentialism, and love in “A Farewell to Arms”
  • Sense of Sin in The Scarlet Letter 
  • Analyze the use of biblical allusions and religious symbolism in William Golding's novels
  • Analyze the symbolism of the “white whale” in Melville's work of literature, “Moby-Dick”
  • Lies and deceit in “The Godfather” 
  • Analyze the portrayal of fear and the human psyche in William Golding's novels
  • The symbols used to describe nature by William Wordsworth
  • Comparison between urban and rural settings of nature in the dystopia of Huxley
  • Decay and revival in post-apocalyptic novels
  • A religious and spiritual journey in “Jude the Obscure”

Now that you have the liberty to choose from a wide range of literary analysis example topics, you could use some help on how to opt for a good topic. 

To select a good and worthy topic for your literary analysis essay, follow the tips provided below:

  • Always go for an interesting topic for an engaging piece of paper
  • Look for an idea with available research material to support your analysis
  • Ensure your topic allows for an in-depth analysis rather than a surface-level summary
  • Choose an idea that challenges you to think critically and make meaningful connections
  • Avoid overly broad topics; instead, focus on a specific aspect or element of the work.
  • Choose an idea that best reflects your stance on the chosen work.
  • Analyze the topic deeply before you start writing about it
  • Balance personal interest with the potential appeal to your target audience
  • Make sure that the theme of the work is visible in your essay topic 

Here are some tips for you to pen down a compelling literary analysis essay!

Essay writing is an essential part of academics. Students always require some tips and tricks to draft perfect essays and score good grades.

To make your literary analysis essay impeccable, follow the tips provided below:

  • Thoroughly read the chosen literary work
  • Identify the main themes, settings, and characters
  • Understand the purpose of the work 
  • Pay attention to the tools and techniques used by the author to deliver the message
  • Pick an interesting literary analytical essay topic for your essay.
  • To write an analytical essay effectively, draft a perfect literary analysis essay outline
  • Develop a strong thesis statement 
  • Craft strong topic sentences to guide and structure your analysis effectively
  • Prove and support all your statements using phrases and quotes from work
  • Write your literary essay from the third-person perspective
  • Write in the present tense
  • Avoid writing a plot summary of the work
  • Use multiple literary terms to write your essay professionally
  • Always cite properly

Literary Analysis Essay Example

To sum it up , writing a literary analysis essay can be extremely daunting if your analyzing abilities are weak. From selecting the right literary analysis topic to writing a conclusion for your essay, the process is lengthy.

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Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay - A Step-by-Step Guide

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Literary Analysis Essay Outline - A Step By Step Guide

literary analysis essay outline

435 Literary Analysis Essay Topics and Prompts [2024 Upd]

Literature courses are about two things: reading and writing about what you’ve read. For most students, it’s hard enough to understand great pieces of literature, never mind analyzing them. And with so many books and stories out there, choosing one to write about can be a chore.

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The picture says that literary analysis involves interpretation and evaluation.

But you’re in luck!

This article by our Custom Writing service experts presents a list of the most interesting and creative literary analysis topics. Additionally, you will find here:

  • helpful essay prompts;
  • a writing guide with simple tips;
  • a literary analysis example.

This comprehensive article can be helpful not only for university or college students but also to students of high and middle school.

  • 🔝 Top 10 Literature Topics for High School
  • 🔮 Top 10 Literary Topics for College
  • 📜 Topics from Different Eras
  • 🖋️ Poetry Analysis Topics
  • 🎭 Shakespeare Essay Topics
  • 📚 English Literature Topics: Different Authors
  • 💡 Non-Fiction Literature Topics
  • ⭐ Other Ideas
  • 🖊️ Literary Analysis Prompts
  • ✍️ Writing Guide
  • 📃 Essay Example

🔗 References

🔝 top 10 literature essay topics for high school.

  • The role of religion in King Lear  
  • Milk symbolism in Beloved  
  • Is there gender inequality in Iliad ? 
  • Social issues of The Little Match Girl  
  • Gender roles in The Great Gatsby  
  • Frankenstein : historical background 
  • How is loyalty presented in Beowulf ?
  • Flower symbolism in A Rose for Emily
  • Politics in Titus Andronicus  
  • The presentation of power in Ozymandias   

🔮 Top 10 Literary Analysis Essay Topics for College

  • Nature symbolism in Young Goodman Brown  
  • Childhood trauma in God Help the Child  
  • The consequences of Macbeth’s ambition 
  • The historical context of The Scarlet Letter  
  • Presentation of misery in The Chimney Sweeper
  • The supernatural in The Fall of the House of Usher  
  • What does Dorian Gray’s portrait represent? 
  • How is the true inner self discovered in Demian ? 
  • Natural beauty in I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud  
  • Endurance as a theme of The Old Man and the Sea  

📜 Literary Analysis Essay Topics: Different Eras

Topics in ancient greek & roman literature.

Works of literature from Ancient Greece have a timeless quality. This is why they are still taught in schools centuries later. After thousands of years, there is little that hasn’t already been written about these works. That’s why we’ve gathered the only most outstanding topics that you will definitely find interesting:

  • Justice in Plato’s The Republic . Plato is perhaps the most influential thinker in the Western World. Accordingly, writing about his powerful philosophical dialogs is a challenging task. Most teachers will assign only portions of The Republic . We suggest you write about the theme of justice, but you can choose to focus on any other aspect of the dialog.
  • Determination in Sophocles’ Antigone . Antigone is one of the masterworks of the Greek playwright Sophocles. In this tale of royal succession, key themes include civil disobedience, natural and human law, and faithfulness.
  • Odysseus as an atypical hero in The Odyssey . The Odyssey by Homer is considered one of the most important poems in Classic literature. Odysseus is a unique epic hero facing an unusual challenge: his goal is not to win battles but to reconnect with his family. He has to rely on his wit rather than sheer power to achieve it. In your essay, explain how Odysseus differs from other heroes in Greek mythology .
  • Ethical principles in Aesop’s Fables . Aesop’s Fables represent a unique example of Ancient Greek literature. The stories written by a slave have become a cultural phenomenon centuries later. Even today, the morals of his works stay relevant.
  • The influence of Greek tragedy on modern theater. Sophocles’ and Aeschylus ‘ plays can still be found in the repertoire of many theaters. Moreover, their works often serve as inspiration for contemporary playwrights.
  • The tragedy of Oedipus in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex . Oedipus is one of the best-known classic tragic heroes. In killing his father and marrying his mother, he fulfilled the prophecy of the Oracle. Through this play, Sophocles explores the themes of destiny and human flaws.
  • The variety of genres in the Metamorphoses. Millennia after Ovid’s Metamorphoses were written, scholars still argue about the genre of this work. Ovid blended historical events with fiction and experimented with the tone and themes of the poem.
  • The role of gods in Homer’s epic poems. In Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey , gods often determine the outcomes of major events and change heroes’ destinies. They can become powerful allies or dangerous enemies of humans. Explore how divine interventions change the course of the story in both poems. Focus on Athene, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hera, and Poseidon.
  • Cicero’s legacy in Western politics and philosophy. Cicero’s letters are widely recognized as some of the most influential works of Latin literature. John Locke , Voltaire, and Martin Luther are among the figures inspired by him. Cicero’s philosophy teaching also influenced revolutionary movements in France and America in the 17 th century.

Literary Essay Topics: 19th and 20th Century

Many great literary works in the English language were written in the golden era of the 19 th and 20 th centuries. These works, ranging from epic novels to short poems, provide insight into the themes that define the Anglophone world’s spirit.

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  • The conflict between good and evil in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes . Sherlock Holmes—a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—is considered the most famous fictional detective of all time. The Adventure of the Speckled Band is the favorite Holmes story of both the author and readers. Accordingly, many students choose to analyze this short story, which explores the themes of chaos.
  • Lord of the Flies as an allegory of modern society. Students of all ages have read Lord of the Flies , the classic novella by William Golding that explores the dangers of groupthink, the conflicts between rationality and irrationality, and morality and immorality., the classic novella by William Golding that explores the dangers of groupthink, the conflicts between rationality and irrationality, and morality and immorality.
  • The arbitrary nature of time and history in The Princess Bride . William Goldman’s The Princess Bride is such an entertaining story that it was adapted into an even more popular film. The key theme explored in this book is the power of love to conquer all.
  • The theme of money and greed in The Rocking Horse Winner . D. H. Lawrence is one of the masters of 20 th -century English literature, and his short story The Rocking Horse Winner clearly demonstrates his skill. In this tale of a struggling family, the themes of money and greed are thoroughly explored as a young boy uses clairvoyance gained on a rocking horse to predict race outcomes.
  • Is Of Mice and Men a classic tale of struggle? The American writer John Steinbeck captured the hardships faced by ordinary people during the Great Depression . The main recurring theme among Of Mice and Men characters is striving after dreams, often futilely, as demonstrated by them all: from George and Lennie to Candy and Curley’s wife.
  • The themes of reality and fantasy in A Streetcar Named Desire . Tennessee Williams’s masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire is perhaps the most famous American dramatic play of all time. The central theme explored in this provocative play is the contemporary dependence of women on men.
  • Comparison of Ivan and Alexei in The Brothers Karamazov. The conflict between faith and doubt is arguably the central topic of Dostoevsky’s work, and The Brothers Karamazov is a perfect example of it. Alexei is a devout Orthodox Christian who believes in miracles. His brother, Ivan, rejects the concept of divine transcendence and embraces atheism.
  • Charles Dickens’ ambivalent attitude towards the poor. Dickens is widely considered an advocate of the poor’s rights and social change. Indeed, many of his impoverished characters are likable. However, Dickens also believes that the poor can be dangerous to society. Some of the works you can discuss are Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities , and Barnaby Rudge .
  • Magic realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude . Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude, is written in the genre of magical realism. Marquez tells a fictional story of the Buendia family, blending daily routine with extraordinary events, effectively blurring the line between reality and fiction.
  • The differences between dystopian worlds in 1984 and A Brave New World . George Orwell and Aldous Huxley wrote the two most famous dystopian novels of the 20 th century. In both of them, the government has complete control over society, which is obtained through different strategies. In your essay, you may compare the policies in 1984 and A Brave New World .
  • On the Road as the landmark novel of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac and other members of the Beat movement challenged the typical American middle-class lifestyle in their works. On the Road embodies the main principles of their philosophy. Some of the topics to explore are freedom, spontaneity, and nonconformity.
  • The role of the changing narrative in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury . The Sound and the Fury is often praised for its experimental form. Four narrators tell the story from different perspectives and in contrasting tones. Explore how the changing narrative affects the overall perception of the novel.
  • Folklore, religion, and myth in Toni Morrison’s works. Toni Morrison is widely recognized as one of the most influential contemporary Black American writers. Her works are inspired mainly by her African heritage and Western mythology. Some of the novels to explore are Beloved and Song of Solo mon .
  • Expression of war experiences in American fiction. Wars in the 20 th century had a significant impact on American literature. Many writers participated in armed conflicts. Hemingway , Vonnegut, Salinger, and O’Brien are some of the authors who reflect on their war experiences in semi-autobiographic novels and short stories.

“My mother is a fish” quote.

Contemporary Literature Essay Topics

Excellent books are still being written! Once in a while, your instructor may ask you to analyze a more recent work. Here are a few great books to consider for your next essay.

  • The theme of overcoming obstacles and poverty in Reservation Blues . Sherman Alexie’s novel Reservation Blues tells the story of a group of young men from the Spokane Indian reservation. They obtain the enchanted guitar of a legendary bluesman. Aside from overcoming obstacles, this book explores many other themes of Native American life.
  • Family obligations in Montana 1948 by Larry Watson . This novella is set in the Western American state of Montana, where a young man’s family struggles to survive. You may explore the theme of family obligations in conjunction with loyalty and justice.
  • The presentation of grief in The Lovely Bones . In Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones , the protagonist Susie dies violently. And then, her spirit proceeds to watch over the investigation of her disappearance and her family members’ lives.
  • Self-sacrifice as one of the central themes of Harry Potter . You may also want to write about any other theme of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. But remember: when you write about a book that was turned into a movie, make sure to actually read the book!
  • Cultural and religious references in Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo. One of the most acclaimed novels in recent years, Lincoln in the Bardo deals with the themes of death and the afterlife. A Tibetan concept of bardo inspires Saunders’ work, but the author also borrows ideas from other cultures and religions.
  • The theme of cultural assimilation in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. In her third novel, Adichie draws upon her personal experiences to tackle the issues African immigrants face when they move to the US. Explore the effects of immigration on the protagonist’s personality, views, and behavior.
  • Hypocrisy as the central theme of Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam. In Amsterdam , McEwan explores the contrast between public figures’ statements and their personal lives. None of the major characters in the novel act in accordance with their ethical standards. We suggest you focus on the figures of Clive, Vernon, and Julian.
  • Paul Beatty’s The Sellout : Satire on racial stereotypes. Beatty employs satire and irony to tackle some of the most pressing current issues in American society. The Sellout can be used as an encyclopedia of stereotypes associated with African Americans. Explore how the author uses literary devices to highlight their absurdity.
  • Cloning ethics in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go . In the dystopian world of Never Let Me Go , cloning is a common practice. However, clones are used only as organ donors; they are not perceived as human beings. Explain how Ishiguro uses the narrative to challenge this social norm. For example, his characters can make art and fall in love.
  • Comparison of the New and Old Gods in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. In American Gods , the narrative is based on the idea that humans created deities. The Old Gods in mythology represent the forces of nature, and The New Gods represent technologies that shape modern society. Discuss the similarities and differences between these two groups.

🖋️ Literary Analysis Essay Topics: Poetry

Many of the great works of literature are poems. Writing about them requires a special approach. Here’s a tip: don’t be afraid to quote the poem heavily and give several alternative interpretations. But first, check out this list of excellent topics:

  • A real-life war experience in Crane’s War is Kind . An American poet and writer Stephen Crane wrote the acclaimed American Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage . But not everyone knows that he also wrote a collection of poems entitled War is Kind . Through these poems, he delved deep into the themes of war and violence based on his experience in the Spanish–American and Greco–Turkish Wars.
  • The theme of religion in John Donne’s sonnets. At the opposite end of the poetry spectrum, you can find the Elizabethan-era Englishman, John Donne . His works were written mainly in the form of sonnets focused on the themes of love, social criticism, death, and religion.
  • Mysticism in William Butler Yeats’s poetry . The occult, spiritualism, and Irish mythology profoundly influenced Yeats’ work. Many of his poems are preoccupied with the Apocalypse, immortality of the human soul, and the spirit world. Start your research with The Second Coming and Sailing to Byzantium.
  • Allusions in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven . The Raven is widely recognized as one of the most famous poems of all time. It contains numerous references and allusions to the Bible, folklore, and other literary works. Examine and quote Poe’s sources of inspiration.
  • The meaning of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost . Robert Frost’s poetry is often praised for his rich metaphorical language. The Road Not Taken is a quintessential piece that’s often misunderstood. In your essay, you may explore its alternative interpretations.
  • The evolution of blank verse in English poetry. Blank verse emerged in English poetry in the 16 th century and has been used by some of the most influential poets since then. While its main features have remained largely unchanged, many prominent authors experimented with its form. For example, you can analyze the use of blank verse in the poetry of Shakespeare , Milton, and Wordsworth.
  • Main themes and features of Beat poetry. The Beat movement played a pivotal role in the cultural processes in the post-war US. Beat poetry is characterized by rebellion, transgression, and experiments with form. Some of the authors to check out are Allen Ginsberg , Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti , and Gary Snyder.
  • The narrator in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself . Unlike many poets of his time, Whitman rejected the dichotomy of body and soul. In Song of Myself , the narrator represents the union of the “temporary” human body with the immortal soul. Consider exploring Whitman’s philosophy behind the notion of “self” in the poem.
  • William Blake’s influence on British and American poetry and culture. Blake’s contemporaries largely disregarded his poetry. However, his influence on the later generations is hard to overestimate. His values and ideas inspired the Pre-Raphaelites, the Beat Generation, and some of the prominent figures of the American music scene, including Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison. and Jim Morrison.

🎭 Literary Analysis: Shakespeare Essay Topics

Romeo and juliet essay topics.

How many Romeo and Juliet personal responses and analysis essays have already been written? There are too many of them to count, but there’s still room for more. Romeo and Juliet essay examples can help you find a unique topic for an essay about the play. Another option is to check out top Romeo and Juliet themes below:

  • How does fate affect the love plot in Romeo and Juliet ?
  • Concept of contrasts in the language of the play.
  • The significance of time in Romeo and Juliet
  • The tragic love theme of Romeo and Juliet as a cliché for romantic fatalism
  • Mercutio as a representation of loyalty
  • Montagues and Capulets: the conflict between generations
  • How is irony used in the play?
  • The role of the family in Romeo and Juliet
  • The social and historical context of the play
  • Nurse’s role in the death of Romeo and Juliet

Hamlet Essay Topics

Shakespeare’s Hamlet may be the most widely assigned play in the English courses. Here are the top Hamlet essay topics worth exploring.

  • The theme of disillusionment in Hamlet
  • Mistreatment of women in Hamlet as a representation of misogyny in Shakespeare’s times
  • How has the tragedy’s theme of madness affected modern literature?
  • What role does melancholy play in Hamlet ?
  • The connection between friendship and betrayal in the character of Laertes
  • Comedic elements in Hamlet
  • The impact of Gertrude and Claudius’ marriage on Hamlet’s revenge
  • What is the symbolism of The Mousetrap play?
  • The impact of introspection on Hamlet’s revenge
  • Analysis of the Denmark setting in Hamlet

Macbeth Essay Topics

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is the last (and shortest) of the three big Shakespearean plays every high school student reads before graduation. Like the rest of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, it is full of meaningful themes that can serve as topics for literary analysis essays.

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  • The corrupting influence of ambition in Macbeth
  • Supernatural elements in Macbeth
  • The impact of loyalty and betrayal on the plot
  • What does sleep symbolize in the play?
  • Why is Macbeth a victim of fate?
  • The role of darkness as a setting in Macbeth
  • Is blood a symbol of guilt in Macbeth ?
  • The causes of Macbeth’s mental deterioration
  • The impact of Macbeth’s hallucinations on his character development
  • Minor characters’ contributions to the play’s action

Lady Macbeths real name was Gruoch and Macbeth’s real name was Mac Bethad Mac Findlaich.

Shakespeare wrote many more plays beyond the big three listed above. Here are a few more topics and works that show the range of the Bard.

  • The theme of madness in King Lear . Shakespeare’s King Lear is one of the longest works by the Bard. Many actors feel that the title role is one of the most challenging available for an actor because of the character’s gradual descent into madness. Accordingly, “madness” is perhaps the best topic related to this play.
  • The presentation of love and adoration in Sonnet 18 . Shakespeare’s sonnets make excellent essay topics because they are so concise but rich in meaning. Love and devotion, which are expressed in Sonnet 18 and throughout his other sonnets, serve as great critical analysis essay topics.
  • The theme of the crown in Shakespeare’s Henry IV
  • Sexuality, sensuality, and spirituality in William Shakespeare’s sonnets
  • Ambition in Hamlet and Macbeth : choices of men and women characters
  • The use of disguise in The Twelfth Night
  • Different faces of love in Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays
  • Appearance as the most potent disguise in Shakespeare’s plays
  • The use of satire in William Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies
  • The line between acting and real life in Hamlet
  • Parallels between Shakespeare’s King Lear and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex
  • The use of allusion in The Tempest
  • The complexity of the female character in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra
  • Archetypal female characters in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets
  • William Shakespeare’s authorship: style, vocabulary, themes, and dates
  • The role of Shakespeare in the world of literature
  • How does William Shakespeare use the meter in his plays?
  • The depiction of the supernatural in Macbeth , The Tempest , and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • The theme of race and ethnicity in Othello
  • Personal identity in Hamlet and Henry IV

By the way, you can find all of Shakespeare’s works on our website for free.

📚 English Literature Essay Topics: Different Authors

Some can find it easier to focus on particular authors and their works. Are you one of them? Here are possible topics for those who like traditional approaches.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics: Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Chaucer’s works of the French and Italian periods
  • Primary themes and motifs in Troilus and Criseyde
  • Women’s virtues, as seen by Chaucer and his contemporaries
  • Gender: conventions and innovations in Geoffrey Chaucer’s works
  • Chaucer’s role in the development of a heroic couplet
  • Chaucer’s use of the vernacular language: nobility and nation
  • Religious morals in The Canterbury Tales
  • The roots of class conflict in The Canterbury Tales
  • Chaucer’s influence on modern English dialects
  • The critique of clergy in The Canterbury Tales
  • The influence of medieval Italian poetry on Chaucer’s work
  • Central themes in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess
  • The comparison of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida
  • Elements of comedy in The Canterbury Tales
  • Chaucer as a pioneer of rhyme royal in English poetry
  • Chaucer’s primary sources of inspiration in Roman poetry: Ovid and Virgil
  • The depiction of the middle class in The Canterbury Tales

Literary Essay Topics on John Keats

  • Different shapes of death in John Keats’s works
  • What was wrong with Keats’s Otho the Great ?
  • Byron’s influence on Keats’s style and themes
  • The uniqueness of John Keats’ imagery
  • Keats’s letters and their influence on the English literature
  • Greek classics as a source of inspiration for Keats
  • Keats’ stance on social and political issues of his time
  • The importance of nature in Keats’ odes
  • The themes of melancholy and isolation in Keats’ poetry
  • Keats’ perception of art and its role in Ode on a Grecian Urn
  • The polemics on Keats’ statement “Beauty is truth”
  • The values of Romanticism in Keats’ poetry
  • Keats’ concept of negative capability and its examples in his poetry
  • The differences between the Romantic poetry of Keats and Coleridge
  • Keats’ attitude towards Christianity and pagan mythology

Literature Essay Topics on Oscar Wilde

  • A perfect wife as depicted in An Ideal Husband
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray as the aesthete’s manifesto
  • Wilde’s essential inspirations and the development of his views
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray : will beauty save the world?
  • Oscar Wilde’s personal traits in his characters
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray : Lord Henry’s morality or immorality
  • Irony, sarcasm, and satire in Oscar Wilde’s works
  • The use of metaphors in The Ballad of Reading Gaol
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray : was the young man innocent?
  • Conventions and innovations in Oscar Wilde’s fairy stories
  • Oscar Wilde as the most celebrated master of paradox
  • Play on words in Oscar Wilde’s major works
  • Christian theme in De Profundis
  • The Importance of Being Earnest as the critique of Victorian society
  • The role of the Dance of the Seven Veils in Wilde’s Salome
  • Wilde’s aesthetic philosophy in his essay The Critic as Artist
  • The Soul of Man under Socialism : an expression of Wilde’s political views
  • Wilde as one of the key figures of the Decadent movement
  • Women characters in Oscar Wilde’s comedies
  • The theme of sacrifice in Wilde’s short stories
  • The dichotomy of body and soul in The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Fisherman and His Soul
  • The recurring motifs in Oscar Wilde’s comedies

George Orwell Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Orwell’s imagery in the depiction of totalitarian regimes
  • George Orwell’s background: inspirations for themes and symbols
  • Orwell’s views on the English language and literature
  • The historical context of 1984 and Animal Farm
  • The role of the media in Orwell’s characters’ lives
  • The character of the Big Brother in 1984
  • Naturalism and imagery in The Road to Wigan Pier
  • Why was Animal Farm regarded as controversial in the 1950s?
  • Orwell’s religious views in Lear, Tolstoy, and the Fool
  • Winston Smith’s journey to freedom in 1984

💡 Literary Analysis Topics in Non-Fiction

The world of literature goes far beyond William Shakespeare and fiction in general. Here is a bunch of more literary analysis paper topics for other great works of literature that deal with real-life events.

  • Religious faith and dehumanization in Night . Elie Wiesel’s classic memoir of the Holocaust is a difficult book for many students to read. And yet, you may need to write a Night by Elie Wiesel essay at some point. Religion and dehumanization are prominent themes that can serve as great topics.
  • The power of nature in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild . The story chronicles the journey of 22-year-old Christopher McCandless from modern society into a 2-year trip in the wilderness of the western United States. This work of non-fiction explores the themes of escape, community, and the power of nature. (Warning: things do not end well for McCandless along the Stampede Trail of Alaska.)
  • Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King as a source of inspiration for modern politicians and activists. Based on his Letter from Birmingham Jail , MLK’s Why We Can’t Wait is a study of the origins of the civil rights movement in the US. Analyze how activists and politicians can use ideas from this book in the 21 st century.
  • The themes of religion and technological progress in The Education of Henry Adams. In his autobiography, Henry Adams explores the influence of religion and technological progress on society. In the industrial world, technology has become a new religion. You may contrast and compare technological and religious societies in Adams’ work.
  • The banality of evil in Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem. Hannah Arendt offers an original perspective on the nature of war crimes. According to her, ordinary people are capable of the most terrible deeds under specific circumstances. In your essay, explore Arendt’s concept of “the banality of evil.”
  • The role of photography in modern society, according to Susan Sontag. In her book On Photography , Susan Sontag explores how the role of this medium has been changing throughout the 20 th century. Analyze her arguments to establish the relationship between photography and political and social processes.
  • A Room of One’s Own as a manifesto of women’s literature. A Room of One’s Own reflects the women’s position in the literary scene. Woolf concludes that women’s writing capabilities match those of men. However, they often fail to reach their full potential because of the flawed structure of a male-dominated society.
  • Haruki Murakami’s Underground: a study of Japanese society. For Underground , Murakami conducted a series of interviews after the terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway. Rather than focusing on the act itself, the author uses this opportunity to explore the social issues that plague Japanese society.
  • T. S. Eliot’s literary criticism and views on poetry. T. S. Eliot is one of the most important literary critics and theorists of the early 20 th century. His theories and arguments have largely shaped the New Criticism movement in literature. Analyze the ideas expressed in Tradition and the Individual Talent and Hamlet and His Problems .

⭐ Literary Analysis Topics: Other Ideas

Literary essays don’t have to be devoted to analyzing a particular work. They may also include textual analysis essays, literary interpretations, critical response essays, and topic analyses. Here are some excellent options for you to consider:

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  • Character development of various protagonists. You may write an analytical essay describing and interpreting changes in the central characters of different novels. Try to be precise, provide examples, and prove the significance of these changes. You can consider the development of Soames in The Forsyte Saga or the title character in David Copperfield .
  • Context analysis of a historical period. Your analysis paper can be devoted to the settings of the short story, play, poem, or novel. Make emphasis on the role of the context in explaining the characters and the key ideas. For example, you can explore the wartime setting in Gone with the Wind .
  • Analysis of genre conventions. Another good choice is to dwell upon the practices used by various authors belonging to the same literary genre. You can write a critical essay about a realistic, romantic, gothic , or any other kind of novel and the author’s ability to meet or challenge genre expectations.
  • The impact of an author’s life on their legacy. The background of a novelist, short-story writer, poet, or playwright may also be of great interest to the reader. However, it is not enough to narrate the author’s life: you must be able to connect it with their style and themes. The most demonstrative analysis examples may include Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway , and Lord Byron.
  • Comparative analysis of two authors . It is also a good idea to compare several authors. A critical evaluation essay may estimate their impact on the development of their genre. If these authors come from different backgrounds, it is also possible to evaluate how the culture they belonged to made a difference. For example, write about Dickens vs. Thackeray or Joyce vs. Woolf.
  • Comparative analysis of two texts . If you don’t want to compare authors, you may try comparing two literary works on the same topic or belonging to the same epoch or genre. For example, try analyzing the similarities and differences between Canterbury Tales and Decameron .
  • Analysis of a literary work’s structure. Analysis topics may include the stream-of-consciousness technique, theater of the absurd, etc. The idea is to show how new expressive means transformed the traditional approach to plot building and character development.
  • The role of irony in short stories. If you are to analyze a short story, you may describe how the author uses irony to communicate their message. Show how it creates meaning and what underlies it. Numerous authors employ irony as the major tool in their short stories, including Jerome K. Jerome and Salinger.
  • Analyzing the climax in a novel. Describing how the author builds the plot to reach the culmination is a good option for a novel critical analysis essay. Track how the tension is created and how it is released when the climax is reached. For example, you can try analyzing the climax in To Kill a Mockingbird .
  • Mood expression in a novel of your choice. Your essay may investigate how the vocabulary and grammar chosen by an author contribute to the text’s atmosphere. You can consider analyzing Lolita or Sons and Lovers .
  • The role of dialogue in plays. Your critical paper may highlight what means the playwright uses to make the characters’ speech expressive. For example, examine Oscar Wilde’s plays or Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot .
  • Stage directions in plays. You may also want to pay attention to the importance of the author’s notes and scene directions in a play. They are particularly crucial in modern drama. Consider analyzing Beckett’s Waiting for Godot or Shaw’s Heartbreak House.
  • The use of allegory in poems. It’s an excellent topic for poem analysis. You can suggest your own literary interpretation of an allegory or consider why the author opted for this device. For example, consider analyzing the allegories in Vision of Judgement .
  • An open ending in a novel. Suppose the work under analysis doesn’t have a conflict resolution. In that case, your critical evaluation essay can give arguments for the author’s choice and interpret its meaning and possible continuation scenarios. For example, you may analyze an open ending in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
  • Comparison of critical opinions on a novel. If the piece you have read ranks among the best-known works in the world, it would be a good idea to compare literary criticism examples related to this work. You may select two different critics and juxtapose their views. For example, try comparing critical opinions on Mrs. Dalloway .
  • Analyzing side characters in literary works. If your task is to analyze a character, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should write about a protagonist. A more creative approach would be to pick a static character that doesn’t go through any transformations throughout the book and suggest why the author made them this way. One option is to write about side characters in Vanity Fair .
  • The narrative voice in novels. It can be challenging yet enjoyable to describe the narrative voice and focalization techniques that help the reader see the events in a certain way. It is especially complicated when a text has several points of view. For example, you may choose to analyze the narrative voice in Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom! or As I Lay Dying .
  • The narrators in literature. The previous topic can be narrowed: you can take a work written from a first-person point of view and draw parallels between the author and the main character. For example, you can consider writing about the narrator in Moby Dick .
  • The cultural background of Dumas’ novels. In the case of historical novels, an analytical paragraph may be devoted to the historical and cultural background. Any of Alexandre Dumas’ novels, such as The Three Musketeers , may serve as perfect literature examples to write about.
  • Imagery used by various poets. You can analyze specific images that poets use in their works. For example, try analyzing how Walt Whitman uses industrial imagery in his works.

Alice Walker won Pulitzer prize.

Profound Literary Analysis Topics in Women’s Literature

Literary analysis on the topics of gender and women in society is critical to understanding the modern world. Here are a few powerful essay topics in this area.

  • The disruption of traditional gender roles in The Color Purple . According to New Republic, this National Book Award-winning work is considered a cultural touchstone for African American women . It features many heavy themes, such as sexism and racism. Keep in mind that this book is not for the faint of heart.
  • The themes of family and generational differences in Alice Walker’s short story Everyday Use . The short story is about heirloom possessions passed down from one generation of women to another.
  • Social standing and wealth as the two key themes in Pride and Prejudice . The protagonist of this book, Elizabeth Bennet, must choose between two suitors. One is an amiable man. The other is better established in society but has a colder personality.
  • Marriage and social status in Emma . Emma is the tale of a young woman less interested in securing her own marriage than her sisters. You can analyze the constraints placed upon women in 17 th -century society as reflected in this book.
  • Women’s role in society and gender roles according to The Great Lawsuit . The Great Lawsuit is often considered one of the most important early feminist works. The author, Margaret Fuller, argues that gender equality is a crucial aspect of a progressive society. She describes an ideal relationship between a man and a woman as an intellectual companionship.
  • Dystopia and feminism in A Handmaid’s Tale . In A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood describes a world where women’s societal role is reduced to producing children. This work largely follows the traditions of classic dystopian novels written by Orwell and Huxley. Explore how the presence of the feminist discourse makes Atwood’s work stand out.
  • Gertrude Stein’s experiments with form and style. Gertrude Stein’s work is notable for her distinctive avant-garde style. Stein was an avid art collector, and trends in visual arts influenced her writings. Her narratives are characterized by the original use of tenses, repetitions, and archaisms.
  • The stream of consciousness in Virginia Woolf’s work . Virginia Woolf was one of the first writers to systematically use the stream of consciousness in her works. The narratives of her novels, such as Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, are rooted in the descriptions of characters’ emotions and thoughts.
  • Political writings of Mercy Otis Warren. Mercy Otis Warren is famous for her political poems and plays written during the American Revolution. Explain how she used political satire to criticize the British rule. Start your research with the plays The Adulateur, The Defeat, and The Group .
  • Gender inequality in Jane Eyre . Widely recognized as one of the most successful works of women’s literature, Jane Eyre was a revolutionary novel for its time. It depicts the struggles of women in their fight for independence and equality in patriarchal Victorian society .
  • The blend of fiction and reality in The Yellow Wallpaper. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper to document the trauma and stress she had experienced due to “rest therapy” prescribed to her by a psychiatrist. Back then, women suffering from depression were discouraged from any intellectual activity, as it was thought that “domestic life” would benefit them. In Gilman’s story, this treatment ultimately drives the protagonist to insanity.
  • Cleopatra in literature: from Geoffrey Chaucer to Margaret George
  • The depiction of Eve in Milton’s Paradise Lost
  • Archetypical female and male characters in Beowulf
  • Emmy’s submissiveness and Rebecca’s quick-wittedness in Vanity Fair
  • William Makepeace Thackeray’s Becky Sharp as an antihero
  • Becky Sharp as seen by Thackeray’s contemporaries and modern readers
  • Women empowerment and independence in Jane Austen’s novels
  • Women’s love and death: Shakespeare’s Ophelia and Wilde’s Sibyl
  • A Room of One’s Own : a woman’s manifesto still relevant now
  • First female voices in the Middle Ages: Aelia Eudocia Augusta
  • The Brontë sisters: Lady writers who broke the rules
  • Gender roles as depicted by Maugham in Theatre
  • This is the woman’s world: feminist utopias and dystopias
  • Female writers: themes explored in the 1910s vs. 2010s
  • Women characters’ virtues and vices in the 19th century
  • Women of color: themes of violence, discrimination, and empowerment
  • A Doll’s House as seen by Ibsen’s contemporaries
  • Is Ibsen’s A Doll’s House still relevant today?
  • Beauty standards as women’s oppression in The Bluest Eye
  • The complexity of the mother-daughter relationship in Tony Morrison’s Beloved
  • The evolvement of masculinity from medieval to postmodern literature
  • Masculinity in The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
  • Masculinity, identity, and queerness in Tennessee Williams’s works
  • Gender roles in utopias and dystopias: More and Huxley
  • Sexuality and gender stereotypes in Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Charles Dickens’s depiction of aging men and women
  • Fairy tales as sources of gender stereotypes

Powerful Literary Analysis Topics within the Subject of Race

  • Colonialism in J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians . A short Waiting for the Barbarians summary should capture the narrative of the escalation of tensions between a fictional colonial town and its surrounding indigenous population. When the protagonist helps a native woman, he begins to doubt the humanity of colonialism.
  • The portrayal of racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness . Heart of Darkness is the chilling tale of young Marlow’s voyage up the Congo River. There he meets the wicked ivory trader Kurtz. The book explores the themes of imperialism and racism. It also questions the civility of Western society over supposedly “savage” indigenous people.
  • The conflict between man and nature in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . Mark Twain is one of the greatest American writers and satirists. But his masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn delved into themes that would make some of the most serious literary analysis essay topics, such as the theme of freedom vs. slavery.
  • The theme of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird . Harper Lee’s novel was an instant classic upon release. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the American South, and, like many books by Southern authors, it explores the themes of race and justice.
  • Anti-slavery narrative and racist stereotypes in Uncle Tom’s Cabin . Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of the first universally acclaimed novels to tackle slavery. However, it is often criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of Black characters. Hence, it remains one of the most controversial pieces of American literature.
  • De Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk as the precursor of the Civil Rights movement. De Bois’ essays have largely laid the groundwork for the campaigns for racial equality in the 20 th century. He argued that African Americans deserved fundamental rights the White population had: voting, getting a higher education, and being treated fairly according to the law.
  • The notion of Black pride in A Raisin in the Sun . Lorraine Hansberry’s famous play touches upon topics of racial identity and pride inspired by real events. A Black family wants to purchase a house in a White neighborhood, but they are dissuaded from buying it. Eventually, they refuse to accept the buyout offer and move to their new place as planned.
  • Jefferson as a folk hero in A Lesson Before Dying . In A Lesson Before Dying , Ernest J. Gaines tells a story of a young Black man wrongfully accused of murder. Treated by White people as a sub-human, Jefferson completely loses his self-esteem at some point. However, with the help of a local Black teacher, he regains his pride and meets death with dignity. Explain how Jefferson’s transformation makes him a folk hero.
  • The impact of discriminatory laws on the life of African Americans in Fences. August Wilson’s Fences explores how discriminatory laws and attitudes defined the life of African Americans before the Civil Rights Movement. The protagonist, Troy Maxson, is a talented baseball player whose life is ruined because he didn’t get a chance to play in the professional league due to racial restrictions.
  • Internalized racism in Morrison’s Song of Solomon . In her book Song of Solomon , Toni Morrison explores the issue of internalized racism. Hagar and Macon Dead are the characters to study. Macon Dead, a Black entrepreneur, hates people of color and wants to leave his community. Hagar envies women with a lighter skin tone, as she sees them as superior to her.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings : A story of hatred and trauma. Maya Angelou is renowned for her autobiographical novels dealing with challenging topics like racism, trauma, and violence. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings addresses the issues she faced growing up as a Black child in a White neighborhood.

Death-Related Literature Essay Topics

  • Death in works of dying writers: Keats and Blake
  • Death in Milton’s poetry: imagery and symbols
  • Emily Dickinson’s fascination with decay, degradation, and death
  • John Keats’s and William Shakespeare’s depictions of death
  • Views on death in the Renaissance literature
  • Murder and suicide in Shakespeare’s tragedies Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet
  • Depictions of death in Postmodernist literature
  • Aging as seen in medieval , Renaissance, and Postmodernist literature
  • Death and decay in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Love, life, and death in Huxley’s dystopian society
  • Murder in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
  • Herman Melville’s Moby Dick : The concepts of life and death
  • Simon’s death in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  • Kate Chopin’s ironic take on death in The Story of an Hour
  • Seneca’s life and philosophy: Death as liberation
  • The role of death in existentialism
  • The theme of death in Ernest Hemingway’s works
  • The depiction of heaven and hell in Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come
  • The concept of free death in Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy
  • Gothic writers’ fascination with death
  • Hades : The realm of the dead in Greek mythology

Literary Analysis Essay Topics: Man and Nature

  • Dehumanizing nature: Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies
  • Struggles with nature: Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Paulsen’s Hatchet
  • Nature’s wonders and dangers in Emily Dickenson’s works
  • Natural forces: from Homer to H. G. Wells
  • Power of natural forces in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest
  • The depiction of nature in Fears in Solitude by Coleridge
  • William Wordsworth’s poetic language and symbols used to describe nature
  • Nature in Brave New World : urban and rural settings
  • Nature in post-apocalyptic novels: decay and revival
  • The role of nature in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
  • The conflict between man and nature in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea
  • Post-apocalyptic fiction as the critique of industrial society
  • Environmentalism in Ursula Le Guin’s works
  • Personal life and climate change in Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior
  • The role of nature in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden
  • The emergence of eco-fiction—a new genre in world literature
  • Nature in Romanticism: Comparison of Shelley’s, Wordsworth’s, and Keats’ poetry
  • Natty Bumppo’s and Judge Temple’s conflicting views on nature in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers
  • The impact of country life on the character development in Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses

Literary Essay Topics on Religion

  • Religious influences: biblical themes and allusions in Beowulf
  • Religion as another burden in The Bluest Eye
  • Views on religious conventions in Milton’s Paradise Lost
  • Jonathan Swift’s satirical view of religions in Gulliver’s Travels
  • The role of religion in Charles Dickens’s works
  • The evolvement of religious beliefs in John Dryden’s works
  • Religious controversies as depicted in John Milton’s Paradise Lost
  • A spiritual journey in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure
  • Biblical references in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
  • Alternative narrative of the Biblical events in Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita
  • The meaning of Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement “God is Dead”
  • Billy’s Christian values in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five
  • The figure of Moses in Biblical and Quranic narratives
  • Influence of The Pilgrim’s Progress on British and American literature
  • Buddhist and Hindu motives in Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha
  • Immanuel Kant’s critique of the arguments for the existence of God and his discussion of morality
  • Søren Kierkegaard’s critique of Christianity
  • Christian narratives and metaphors in C.S. Lewis’ works

Literary Analysis Topics: Justice and Judgment

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame : who was the monster?
  • Justice and judgment in To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The role of judgment in Jane Austen’s novels
  • Judgment in Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child
  • A view of justice in John Milton’s Paradise Lost
  • Justice in dystopian novels: works of Orwell and Huxley
  • Judgment and guilt in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter
  • The difference between justice and revenge in Aeschylus Oresteia
  • The genre of legal thriller in American literature
  • The themes of guilt, responsibility, and punishment in Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader
  • Justice and judgment in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment
  • Courtroom drama in American and British literature
  • Behavior modification experiment as an alternative to a prison sentence in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange
  • Jeremy Bentham’s concept of panopticon prison and its critique in the works of other authors
  • Michel Foucault’s critique of the Western penal system
  • The role of the judgment of Paris in the Trojan War according to Greek mythology
  • Depiction of racial injustice in the works of African American authors

Literature Essay Topics on Good & Evil

  • A dichotomy of good and evil in the Middle Ages
  • Monsters and heroes in Beowulf : Beowulf, Hrothgar, Grendel
  • Wilde’s aesthetics: ugly is worse than evil
  • John Milton’s Satan : the good, the bad, and the beautiful
  • Victorian literary tradition: societal norms and personal happiness
  • Villains in the 19 th – and 20 th -century literary works
  • The good and the bad: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Evil forces of death in The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Presentation of good and evil in The Tempest characters
  • The contrast between Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights
  • Young Goodman Brown : a conflict between morality and temptation
  • The Creature and the humans in Frankenstein

Literary Analysis Essay Topics on War & Peace

  • Depiction of war in Shakespeare’s plays
  • The war between archangels and demons in Paradise Lost
  • War in Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children
  • War and peace in George Orwell’s 1984
  • Margaret Mitchell’s and Toni Morrison’s views on the Civil War
  • War as a part of human nature in Faulkner’s A Fable
  • Steinbeck’s exploration of injustice in The Grapes of Wrath
  • Wrongs of the modern society in Palahniuk’s Fight Club
  • The themes of war and nationality in Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient
  • The Civil War as the background for Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women
  • Main themes in Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Depiction of war in Alexandre Dumas’ historical novels
  • The Cold War in John Le Carre’s novels
  • The political context of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible : The Cold War and McCarthyism
  • Depiction of war in children’s fiction
  • Leo Tolstoy’s views on history in War and Peace
  • Anti-militarism in Ernest Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms
  • Literature as a tool of cultural influence during the Cold War: The case of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago

Literary Essay Topics on Vices on the Society

  • Thackeray: the culture of the 19th century as Vanity Fair
  • Dickens’s perspectives concerning social injustice in Oliver Twist
  • Ethnicity, discrimination, and identity in Orwell’s Burmese Days
  • Vices of totalitarian societies in George Orwell’s 1984
  • Injustice, torture, and dehumanization in Elie Wiesel’s Night
  • Vices of society in Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
  • J’Accuse: Emile Zola’s letter as critique of antisemitism and corruption
  • The emergence of transgressive fiction as a protest against conventional society
  • Critique of consumer society in Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World
  • Social satire and political commentary in Harold Pinter’s later plays
  • Ray Bradbury’s science fiction as a means of social criticism
  • The emergence of dystopia: Evgeny Zamyatin’s We
  • Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon as a critique of the totalitarian society
  • Claudius as an embodiment of human vices in Robert Graves’ I, Claudius
  • Geoffrey Chaucer’s critique of the wrongs of society in The Canterbury Tales

Interesting Literature Topics to Analyze: Literary Influences

  • Percy Bysshe Shelley’s interpretation of the Prometheus myth
  • William Shakespeare’s borrowings from ancient Greek writings and myths
  • Myths as a source of inspiration for Byron and Keats
  • Virginia Wolf’s fascination with Greek literature and Hellenism
  • James Joyce’s interpretation and use of Homer’s The Odyssey
  • Salome : Oscar Wilde’s retelling of a biblical story
  • John Milton’s exploration and interpretation of a biblical story
  • The influence of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works
  • Biblical motifs in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • Don Quixote as an inspiration for Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot
  • Beowulf ’s impact on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit
  • Shakespearean myths in Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Literature Essay Topics: Various Genres

  • The evolution of horror fiction: from Mary Shelley to Stephen King
  • The place of fantasy in the modern literature
  • Why have fantasy novels gained such popularity today?
  • Fantasy novels by Tolkien and Martin: styles, imagery, themes
  • Major elements of modern fantasy novels and stories
  • The origins of fantasy fiction: the earliest works
  • The evolution of adventure fiction: from Homer to Fleming
  • Horror fiction: Stoker’s Dracula vs. Shelley’s Frankenstein
  • Theologus Autodidactus as an example of science fiction
  • Merging scientific and poetic elements in science fiction poetry
  • Comparing tragicomedies of Ancient Greece and 20th-century Europe
  • Significant features of a tragicomedy in postmodernist and metamodernist writings
  • Primary components of a coming-of-age novel: female and male perspectives
  • Elements of the coming-of-age novel in London’s Martin Eden
  • Satire in contemporary British and American literature
  • Satire or cynical humor: exploring Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary
  • Literary devices in naturalistic writing: Emile Zola’s approach
  • Elements of an antinovel in Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy
  • Early examples of short stories: Charles Dickens’s style
  • Timeframes and symbols in Jonathan Nolan’s Memento Mori
  • Dystopian fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Coming-of-age novel or American dream novel: The Great Gatsby
  • The role of education and the media in dystopias
  • Crime fiction: is it pulp reading or high literature?
  • The suspense in Agatha Christies’ and Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings
  • The vampire in the 19th-century and 21st-century literature

Literary Topics: Uncommon Themes in Literature

  • Allegory and choice of animals in Orwell’s Animal Farm
  • Allegories in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
  • Multiculturalism and allusions in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon
  • Faulkner’s metaphors in The Sound and the Fury
  • Imagery in Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem The Raven
  • Music and enigma in The Raven
  • The role of personification in William Blake’s poetry
  • Comparing Ancient Greek and William Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter
  • The function of trochaic meter in Shakespeare’s works
  • Symbolism and imagery in William Blake’s poem Ah Sunflower
  • Symbols and metaphors in The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Flower symbolism in D.H. Lawrence Odour of Chrysanthemums
  • Color as a symbol of Morrison’s God Help the Child
  • Symbolism in Le Guin’s The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
  • Satire in Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden
  • Jane Austen’s personal traits in the narrator of Persuasion
  • Early forms of the stream of consciousness: Jane Austen’s style
  • Epistolary novels: works of Bram Stocker and Mary Shelley
  • Slave’s narrative in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon
  • Peculiarities of addressing the reader in Shakespeare’s sonnets
  • Virginia Wolf’s stream of consciousness: narration or confession?
  • The narrator in Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage
  • Authorial intrusion as a way to entice readers

🖊️ Literary Analysis Prompts: Top 21

We’ve gathered a total of 21 excellent literary analysis prompts for you. They cover a wide variety of genres and epochs, so you’ll surely find something that suits your needs. Check them out to gain inspiration for your assignment or project!

The Cask of Amontillado Literary Analysis Prompt

  • The central theme of The Cask of Amontillado is revenge. In your essay, you can analyze how suspense contributes to the revenge plot.
  • You may also explore the story’s tone and how it helps to build tension.
  • Alternatively, you can focus on the Gothic elements and their impact on the story’s atmosphere.

A Rose for Emily Literary Analysis Prompt

  • There are several important symbols in A Rose for Emily , such as a strand of hair, Emily’s house, or the ticking watch. You can dive deeper into their meaning and significance.
  • You may also focus on the story’s themes. They include death and conflict between generations.
  • Try analyzing literary devices Faulkner uses, including metaphors, irony, and personification. How do they contribute to the story’s mood?

The Story of an Hour Literary Analysis Prompt

  • One of the central themes featured in The Story of an Hour is freedom. Analyze what kind of freedom is discussed and how free the main character really is.
  • You may also explore Kate Chopin’s writing style. For example, focus on how irony complements the story’s plot and tone.
  • Another aspect that you can focus on is symbolism . Notable examples include time, death, and heart trouble.

Tell-Tale Heart Literary Analysis Prompt

  • Analyze why Edgar Allan Poe chose to tell the story in the first person. How does it contribute to the gloomy tone?
  • Or, you may focus on the story’s themes : guilt, confinement, and mental health. How are they represented?
  • Finally, you can examine the symbols in Tell-Tale Heart , such as the house, the bed, the bedroom, and the eye. Try to find out the meaning behind them.

Fahrenheit 451 Literary Analysis Prompt

  • Explore the use of animal imagery and the lack of nature descriptions in the novel.
  • You can also focus on the harmful effect of technology and its contribution to the dystopian world of Fahrenheit 451 .
  • The story’s central theme is censorship vs. freedom of speech. You may explore this conflict in your essay.

Prompt for a Literary Analysis of The Canterbury Tales

  • Analyze the themes of The Canterbury Tales . These include deceit, the church’s corruption, and the importance of company.
  • Focus on examining the writing style. Try to find out how it contributes to the tales’ tone and atmosphere.
  • You may also explore the symbols, such as clothing, appearance, and spring. If you’re curious about this literary work, check out our article on the symbols in The Canterbury Tales .

Prompt for a Literary Analysis of Barn Burning

  • Consider examining the conflict between loyalty to one’s family and obedience to the law.
  • Focus on analyzing the symbols of Barn Burning , such as the soiled egg and fire.
  • You can also explore the role of darkness in the story. Dive deeper into its contribution to the tone of Barn Burning .

Make sure to check out our Barn Burning study guide to learn more facts about the story.

Death of a Salesman Literary Analysis Prompt

  • Examine how the author covers the American dream theme in Death of a Salesman . What is the characters’ interpretation of the American dream?
  • You can also try analyzing the symbols in the play, such as diamonds, seeds, the rubber hose, and Linda’s stockings.
  • You may also focus on exploring the mythological figures connected with the story. Dive deeper into the comparisons to the Greek gods, such as Hercules and Adonis.

Want to know more? Check out our Death of a Salesman study guide .

Frankenstein Literary Analysis Essay Prompt

  • In your essay, you can focus on the symbols of Frankenstein , such as darkness and fire. Why are they important?
  • Another aspect you can concentrate on is the point of view. Mary Shelley writes from the perspective of 3 different characters. What does it help to achieve?
  • You can also explore the novel’s themes: sublime nature, family, creation, and dangerous knowledge. Check out our article on the themes in Frankenstein to learn more about them.

Hamlet Literary Analysis Essay Prompt

  • There are numerous themes in Hamlet that you can examine in your essay, including revenge, the supernatural, death, corruption, and politics.
  • You can also focus on the symbols of the story and their significance. They include Hamlet’s dark clothes, the skull , and the weather.
  • One of the motifs in Hamlet is misogyny. You can analyze its representation in the play.

To understand the play better, check out our Hamlet study guide .

Hamlet has been translated into Klingon.

Prompt for a Literary Analysis of Night by Elie Wiesel

  • One of the themes of Night is silence. You can explore why it is important and what it represents.
  • You can also focus on the symbolism of night and fire . Try to find out the meaning behind them.
  • Consider analyzing the characters in the novel and their actions in dramatic situations. Check out our article on characters in Night to learn more.

Othello Literary Analysis Prompt

  • One of the central themes of Othello is isolation and its dangers. Examine how it is portrayed.
  • Another theme you can analyze is that of justice. Try focusing on how the characters are driven by the desire to do always the right thing.
  • Consider exploring the famous metaphors from the play, such as jealousy being a “green-eyed monster.”

If you want to understand this literary work better, make sure to check out our Othello study guide .

Pride and Prejudice Literary Analysis Prompt

  • When it comes to the themes in Pride and Prejudice , you can focus on integrity, love, family, gender, class, and reputation.
  • Another central theme of the novel is marriage. Discuss the importance of marriage and its connection to social status and money.
  • In your essay, you can elaborate on the symbolism of dancing and its significance.

Don’t forget to check out our study guide on Pride and Prejudice to learn more about the novel’s elements.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Literary Analysis Prompt

  • Consider analyzing the motifs of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight : games, the color green, and the seasons.
  • Apart from the motifs, you can also examine the themes of nature, chivalry, Christianity, courtesy, and truth. To learn more about them, check out our article on the themes of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight .
  • Finally, you may explore the symbolism of the green girdle. It’s an essential element of the poem and deserves special attention.

The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis Essay Prompt

  • One of the most popular symbols of The Great Gatsby is the green light. You can focus on exploring its iconic status in world literature.
  • One of the central themes of The Great Gatsby is the American dream . Analyze how it is portrayed and the author’s attitude to it.
  • Another idea for an essay is to write about the novel’s characters: Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, the Buchanans, and others. Make sure to read our article on The Great Gatsby characters to understand them better.

The Lottery Literary Analysis Prompt

  • What role do family ties play in The Lottery ? You can dive deeper into this motif and analyze its meaning and importance.
  • Another central theme of The Lottery is tradition. Your essay can focus on how dangerous it is to follow conventional practices blindly.
  • There are several symbols in the story, but the lottery itself is the key one. You can explore what it represents. And don’t forget to check out our analysis of The Lottery to learn more.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis Literary Analysis Prompt

  • One of the major themes of Metamorphosis is psychological distance. You can analyze how the main character’s transformation leads to his alienation.
  • Explore the story’s recurring symbols, such as food, the father’s uniform , and the portrait of a woman wearing furs.
  • Another point that you can focus on is the motifs of the story. They include transformation and sleep.

You’re welcome to read our The Metamorphosis study guide to learn more about the story.

The Necklace Literary Analysis Prompt

  • Consider analyzing the story’s themes. Some examples are greed, the deceptiveness of appearances, and vanity. Check out our article on The Necklace’s themes to learn all about them.
  • You can also focus on exploring the symbolism of the necklace . Try to dive deeper into how a piece of jewelry is connected to high status and wealth.
  • Explore how the class conflict is presented in The Necklace . You can also analyze the author’s attitude to it.

The Odyssey Literary Analysis Prompt

  • In your essay, focus on the epic’s main themes: vengeance, hospitality, and loyalty.
  • Homer uses many epithets in The Odyssey to describe the sea, such as “wine-dark.” Look into what they may represent.
  • Another good point for discussion is the symbolism. Consider discussing the significance of the wedding bed, the sea, eagles, and food.

To understand the poem better, check out our The Odyssey study guide .

The Yellow Wallpaper Literary Analysis Essay Prompt

  • The wallpaper is the central symbol of the story. In your essay, try to uncover its significance and how it affects the main character.
  • You can also analyze how Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses different types of irony in the story. Examples include dramatic, verbal, and situational irony.
  • You can also focus on The Yellow Wallpaper’s themes. Some of them are self-expression, mental illness, gender roles, miscommunication, and the role of women in marriage.

Don’t forget to check out our study guide if you want to know more.

Wuthering Heights Literary Analysis Prompt

  • Explore the symbolism of moors, nature, and ghosts. Emily Bronte uses these symbols to represent not only abstract ideas but also characters’ personalities.
  • You can also examine the central themes of Wuthering Heights. Some of them are love and passion, class conflict, revenge, and the supernatural.
  • Another point worth writing about is nature imagery and how the author uses it to represent the characters’ personalities. To learn about it, make sure to check out our Wuthering Heights analysis .

✍️ Writing a Literary Analysis: Step by Step

Now, after you’ve decided on your topic, it is time to write your analysis.

Don’t know where to start? Well, we got your back! Here are some steps for you to write a great literary essay.

Plagiarism definition.

If you wish to learn more, you can check out our guide on how to write a literary analysis.

Best Tips for Writing a Literary Analysis

There are many things to keep in mind when writing about literature. But there’s no need to worry: we are here to help you. Here are the four components that will help to make sure you get an excellent grade on your essay:

  • Make sure you refer to the literature you write about in the proper format. For example, the titles of plays and full-length books should be italicized, while poems and short stories should be in quotation marks. You may consult Purdue University’s excellent citation guides to be on the safe side.
  • Ensure that the quotes are properly attributed with the correct page numbers.
  • Avoid directly quoting or borrowing arguments from previously published literary analysis samples. Using the same forms of argument and language is a form of plagiarism.
  • Remember that you need a brief introduction with a clear thesis statement, distinct body paragraphs, and a cohesive conclusion. If you find it hard to write concisely, feel free to use our essay shortener to save time.

📃 Literary Analysis Example for Free

Looking for a fully-formatted literary analysis example? Look no further! Download our excellent sample in PDF format below.

The Little Match Girl is a short story by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s a touching tale about a poor girl who spends New Year’s Eve working on the streets, dreaming of a better life, and warming herself by lighting matches she failed to sell. Some of the main themes include loneliness, struggle, and cruelty.

We hope that you found some inspiration to take your essay on the next level. Let us know what literary studies topic you like the most and other literary analysis ideas you have!

❓ Literary Analysis Essay FAQs

If you’re writing a literary analysis, make sure you don’t summarize the text you are analyzing. Instead, focus on your thesis and the supporting evidence. You should also avoid using phrases such as “in my opinion.”

A literary analysis should always include information on the text’s components. They include plot, setting, themes, motifs, imagery, tone, and character analysis. Don’t forget to write about the way the author uses these elements and how they contribute to the overall work.

The introductory part of your literary analysis should include a thesis statement that conveys the structure of your essay. Don’t forget to mention the author and provide background information about the text. Remember to start your body paragraphs with a topic sentence.

A literary analysis is usually 5-paragraphs long. The introduction and conclusion consist of one paragraph each, while the main body has three.

A literary analysis is a type of writing assignment containing an analysis of a literary piece. In a literary analysis, you should evaluate and interpret the work by analyzing its plot, setting, motifs, themes, characters, and style.

Further reading:

  • Case Study Analysis Example + How-to Guide
  • How to Write a Film Analysis Essay
  • Short Story Analysis: Step by Step How-to Guide
  • How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: Outline, Examples, & Writing Steps
  • Literature Review Outline: Examples, Approaches, & Templates
  • Find a Topic Idea: Questia
  • A CS Research Topic Generator: Purdue University
  • 50 Critical Analysis Paper Topics: Owlcation
  • Variations on a Theme: Common Types of Literary Analysis Papers: UVM Writing Center
  • How do I find literary analysis essay topics? Baker Library
  • Literary Terms: Purdue O.W.L.
  • Literary Terms: Stanford University
  • How To Write A Literary Analysis Essay: Bucks College
  • Writing Critical Essays about Literature: Gallaudet University
  • Literature (Fiction): UNC Writing Center
  • Literary criticism: Britannica
  • Fiction vs Non-Fiction – English Literature’s Made-Up Divide: The Guardian
  • Feminist Literary Criticism: ThoughtCo
  • Feminist Criticism: Washington State University
  • A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis: UW Madison
  • William Shakespeare Biography: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
  • William Shakespeare:
  • Hamlet Topic Overview: Gale
  • Macbeth – Themes: BBC
  • From Plato to Platonism: Cornell University Press
  • Sophocles: World History Encyclopedia
  • Charles Dickens, 1812-1870: University Of California
  • Heroes and the Homeric Iliad: University of Houston
  • Historical Context of Song of Solomon: Columbia College
  • The Red Badge of Courage: University of South Florida
  • William Blake: University of Delaware
  • William Butler Yeats: Yale University
  • Chaucer’s Influences: University of Glasgow
  • John Keats: King’s College London
  • UVA Commemoration Looks at King’s ‘Why We Can’t Wait’ in Light of Today’s Issues: University of Virginia
  • Alice Walker: National Museum of African American History & Culture
  • Virginia Woolf: University of London
  • Harper Lee: Encyclopedia of Alabama
  • A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner: Baruch College
  • Death of a Salesman and Death of a Salesman: The Swollen Legacy of Arthur Miller: Columbia University
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: The Ohio State University
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Boston College
  • Themes In Wuthering Heights: Brooklyn College
  • The Metamorphosis: Grossman School of Medicine
  • Gothic and the Female Voice: Examining Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”: Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
  • The Literature Review: University of Southern California
  • Cicero (106—43 BCE): Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Analyzing Novels & Short Stories: TAMU Writing Center
  • Literature Analysis: PLU Writing Center
  • What Is Analysis?: Austin Community College
  • Writing Your Literary Analysis: University of Hawaii
  • Literary Analysis Paper: Western Michigan University
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  • 120 Literary Essay Topics

Students may be assigned a literary analysis essay when taking an English, literature, or writing class. This essay aims to analyze a particular work or body of work within the context of literature.

Students giving this type of writing assignment often find that while they can understand the texts being studied, they have difficulty putting their thoughts about them into words. This can be frustrating because literary analysis requires both interpretation and evaluation, two skills that can be challenging to put on paper.

Fortunately, we’ve created an expert guide to help students write the best literary analysis essay possible. Additionally, we’ve included 120 literary analysis essay topics that offer a wide range of interesting options for students to choose from.

What Does Analysis Mean?

While students may have written essays with different purposes in the past, a literary analysis essay asks them to take a different approach. When students engage in literary analysis, they explore the text deeply and in detail. They are not simply summarizing the plot or retelling the story. Instead, they are looking at the how and why of the text, delving into its deeper meaning.

Students must learn how to go beyond simple surface-level analysis and move towards a more complex understanding of the text. This can be achieved by asking the right questions, such as:

  • How does the author use literary devices?
  • What is the author’s purpose in writing this text?
  • What are the underlying themes in the text?
  • What does the text reveal about the author’s point of view?

Answering these questions can help students move beyond simply understanding a text to being able to analyze it effectively.

Types of Literary Analysis Essays

There are three common types of literary analysis essays that students may be asked to write. Each has its own unique purpose and focus.

Character Analysis

In a character analysis, students are asked to analyze a character from a literary work. This could be a protagonist, an antagonist, or a minor character. This type of essay aims to help students understand the role that characters play in a work of literature. To do this effectively, students must pay close attention to how the author develops the character throughout the text.

For example, if a student were asked to write a character analysis of Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, they would need to consider how Gatsby is developed throughout the novel. This might involve looking at how Fitzgerald uses symbolism, narration, and dialogue to reveal things about Gatsby’s character.

Theme Analysis

A theme analysis essay focuses on a work of literature’s central theme. The purpose of this type of essay is to help students understand the theme’s role in the work as a whole. To do this effectively, students need to identify the work’s major themes and understand how they are developed throughout the course of the text.

For example, if students were asked to write a theme analysis of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, they might identify the book’s central themes of teenage angst and rebellion. They would then need to examine how these themes are developed throughout the course of the novel.

Symbolism Analysis

A symbolism analysis essay focuses on how a work of literature uses symbols to represent ideas or themes. The purpose of this type of essay is to help students understand how symbols are used to convey ideas and messages in a work of literature. To do this effectively, students need to be able to identify the work’s major symbols and understand their significance.

For example, suppose a student was asked to write a symbolism analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In that case, they might examine the ways in which the green light, the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, and the valley of ashes function as symbols in the novel.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

When writing a literary analysis essay, it is important to be sure that you are clear about your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the main point of your essay and should be concise and easy to understand. Some good examples of thesis statements for literary analysis essays include:

“In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses symbols to represent the teenage experience.”

“Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism in The Great Gatsby reveals the theme of the corruption of the American dream.”

Once you have your thesis statement, you will need to support it with evidence from the text. This could be done through the use of quotes, examples, or other types of evidence. Be sure that you are clear on what your evidence is and how it supports your thesis.

Another important aspect of writing a literary analysis essay is organization. Your essay should be well-organized and flow smoothly from point to point. Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph and supporting evidence to back it up. Be sure to transition smoothly between paragraphs to make your essay easy to follow.

Finally, the conclusion of your essay should sum up the main points of your argument and leave the reader with a clear understanding of your position. A good conclusion will also restate your thesis in different words than how it was stated in your introduction.

120 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

Students stuck on a topic for their essay can use any of these 120 literary analysis essay topics to get inspired.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Symbolism

  • How does the author use symbols to represent ideas in the text?
  • What is the significance of the book’s title?
  • How do the book’s characters embody the themes of the text?
  • What objects or images appear throughout the book, and what do they symbolize?
  • How does the author use color to convey ideas in the text?
  • What is the significance of the book’s setting?
  • What does the narrator’s point of view reveal about the characters and events in the text?
  • How does the author use foreshadowing to build suspense in the story?
  • What motifs appear in the text, and what do they symbolize?
  • How does the author’s use of irony contribute to the text’s overall theme?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Theme

  • What is the book’s central theme? Why?
  • How does the author explore the book’s main theme?
  • What messages does the author convey about the book’s main theme?
  • How does the author develop the book’s secondary themes?
  • What messages does the author convey about the book’s secondary themes?
  • How does the author’s choice of words contribute to the development of the theme in the text?
  • What characters embody the book’s central themes, and how do they represent them?
  • How does the author’s use of figurative language contribute to developing a theme in the text?
  • What events in the book support the main theme, and how do they contribute to its development?
  • How does the author’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in the text?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Character

  • How do the book’s characters develop throughout the story?
  • How do the book’s characters contribute to the development of the plot?
  • How does the author use dialogue to reveal information about the book’s characters?
  • What physical traits do the book’s characters possess, and how do they contribute to the story?
  • What psychological traits do the book’s characters possess, and how do they contribute to the story?
  • How do the book’s characters interact with each other, and what does this reveal about them?
  • What motivates the book’s characters, and how does this contribute to the development of the plot?
  • How does the author’s use of point of view contribute to the development of the book’s characters?
  • What conflicts do the book’s characters face, and how do they resolve them?
  • How do the book’s characters change by the end of the story, and what does this reveal about them?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Plot

  • What is the book’s main plot?
  • How does the author develop the book’s main plot?
  • What messages does the author convey about the book’s main plot?
  • How does the author develop the book’s secondary plots?
  • What messages does the author convey about the book’s secondary plots?
  • How does the author’s choice of words contribute to the development of the book’s plot?
  • What events in the book support the main plot, and how do they contribute to its development?
  • How does the author’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the book’s plot?
  • How does the author’s use of figurative language contribute to the development of the book’s plot?
  • What characters embody the book’s main plot, and how do they represent it?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Setting

  • How would a different setting affect the book’s plot?
  • How does the book’s setting contribute to the development of its characters?
  • What messages does the author convey about the book’s setting?
  • How does the author use the book’s setting to develop the book’s mood?
  • How do events in the book make the setting more or less real?
  • How does the author’s use of description contribute to the development of the book’s setting?
  • What physical traits does the book’s setting possess, and how do they contribute to the story?
  • What psychological traits does the book’s setting possess, and how do they contribute to the story?
  • How does the author use the book’s setting to develop the book’s theme?
  • What symbols are present in the book’s setting, and what do they represent?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About American Classic Literature

  • Compare and contrast the American Dream as it is portrayed in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman.
  • How does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in The Great Gatsby?
  • What similarities and differences exist between the characters in The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird?
  • In what ways does Harper Lee’s use of first-person point of view contribute to the development of Atticus Finch’s character?
  • How does J.D. Salinger’s use of figurative language contribute to the development of Holden Caulfield’s character?
  • What messages about society does Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman convey?
  • How does the author’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in All My Sons?
  • What messages about family does Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie convey?
  • What messages about love and relationships does Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf convey?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About British Literature

  • How does Shakespeare’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in Romeo and Juliet?
  • What messages about family does William Golding’s Lord of the Flies convey?
  • What messages about love and relationships does D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers convey?
  • How does the author’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in Women in Love?
  • What messages about society does George Orwell’s Animal Farm convey?

Literary Analysis Topics About Poetry

  • How does the author’s choice of words contribute to the development of the theme in a particular poem?
  • What messages about society does the poem convey?
  • How does the author’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in the poem?
  • What clues in the poem suggest the poet had a troubled life?
  • What physical traits does the poem’s speaker possess, and how do they contribute to the poem’s development?
  • What psychological traits does the poem’s speaker possess, and how do they contribute to the development of the poem?
  • How would a different choice of words contribute to the development of the poem’s theme?
  • What different images does the author use in the poem, and how do they contribute to its development?
  • Compare and contrast the author’s use of imagery in two different poems.
  • How does the author’s use of sound contribute to the development of the poem?

Literary Analysis Topics About Theater

  • Examine how the playwright’s use of stage directions contributes to character development in the play.
  • How does the playwright’s use of dialogue contribute to the development of the theme in the play?
  • What messages about love and relationships does the play convey?
  • How does the author’s use of symbolism contribute to the development of the theme in the play?
  • What messages about family does the playwright’s use of figurative language convey?
  • How does the author’s use of point of view contribute to the development of the play’s characters?
  • In what ways does the playwright’s use of setting contribute to the development of the play’s plot?
  • What messages about society does the play convey?
  • How would a change in the play’s setting contribute to its development?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About YA Novels

  • Explore the main differences between the book and its film adaptation.
  • What messages about love and relationships does the novel convey?
  • Examine the use of adolescent slang in the novel and its effects on the development of theme.
  • Argue for or against including a particular novel in high school curriculums.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Speeches

  • Compare and contrast Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech with Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet
  • Explore the symbolism in Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
  • Analyze the rhetoric in JFK’s “Moon Speech.”
  • What messages about society does Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech convey?
  • How does Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” speech contribute to his character development?
  • What physical traits does the speaker possess, and how do they contribute to the development of the speech?
  • What psychological traits does the speaker possess, and how do they contribute to the development of the speech?
  • How would a different choice of words contribute to the development of the speech’s theme?
  • What different images does the author use in the speech, and how do they contribute to its development?
  • Compare and contrast the author’s use of imagery in two different speeches.
  • Does the intensity of the rhetoric in the speech contribute to its effectiveness?
  • How does the author’s use of sound contribute to the development of the speech?

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Books Turned into Movies

  • Explore the themes of capitalism in Fight Club.
  • Discuss how The Catcher in the Rye is an autobiographical novel.
  • Analyze the character of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Compare and contrast the book and film versions of The Great Gatsby.
  • Examine the use of color in The Great Gatsby.
  • Explore the theme of betrayal in The Great Gatsby.
  • Analyze the character of Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.
  • Compare and contrast the book and film versions of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Examine the use of point of view in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Analyze the character of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Non-Fiction Books

  • Compare and contrast two biographies of the same person.
  • Analyze a section of the US Constitution.
  • Compare and contrast two religious texts.
  • Analyze the historical effects of the writings of Niccolo Machiavelli.
  • Compare and contrast the ideas of Karl Marx and Adam Smith.
  • Analyze the thoughts of Rousseau on education.
  • Evaluate the methods used in a self-help book.
  • Review a political science text.
  • Compare and contrast the autobiographies of two different philosophers.
  • Compare and contrast the claims made in two history books.

With any of these 120 literary essay topics, you’ll be able to deep-dive into the world of literature and create an impressive essay on any text you’ve read.

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450+ Literary Analysis Topics Ideas & Title Examples for Inspiration

Literary Analysis Essay Topics

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Finding that ideal literary analysis topic can be as complex as the literature you're studying. But fear not! Backed by our experience, we’ve gathered some good literary analysis essay topics worth your attention. 

In this blog article, we will tell you how to choose a great title and drop inspirational ideas for your literature analysis. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the best literary analysis topics.

What Are Literary Analysis Topics?

Literary analysis topics are the types of analytical essay topics that deal with examining any work of literature. It might be a novel, a short story, or even literary criticism. You can select any of these topics to write a literary analysis on. 

Topics for literary analysis might focus on various elements of the literature you are supposed to study. For instance, you may explore the following things:

  • Literary devices
  • Structure and style

Essentially, your task is to unleash the hidden meanings and interpret the messages conveyed in the literary works.

>> Learn more: How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

Features of Good Literary Analysis Topics

Before we move on to the literature essay topics, let’s talk about what makes a title stand out. Good literary analysis topics should:

  • Be related to the literature
  • Provide an opportunity for further exploration of the work as a whole.
  • Raise interesting questions and allow for different interpretations.
  • Inspire readers to think about the topic in more detail.

Choosing the right topic is very important. If you need extra help from experts, rely on our team of academic professionals. Say ‘ do my essay for me ’ and get an authentic essay crafted in line with your needs.

How to Choose a Literary Analysis Topic?

Are you staring at a blank page and don’t even know what literary analysis essay topic to choose? We know that feeling. It can be as challenging as finding a perfect rhyme in a sonnet, but no worries! Below we've got some easy steps to help you select a great literary analysis topic:

  • Read and reflect Start by immersing yourself in the text. As you read, keep an eye on themes, characters, and symbols that catch your attention.
  • Ask questions This is where your inner Sherlock should come out! Question everything about the book. Why does a character behave a certain way? What's the significance of that recurring symbol? These queries are the seeds of your literary analysis.
  • Find connections Look for links in the text – between characters, themes, or even the historical context. These connections often make for a compelling literary analysis essay title example.
  • Keep it focused Remember, you're writing an essay , not a book! So, zoom in. Instead of tackling a broad topic like "Imagery in To Kill a Mockingbird," focus on something more specific, like "The use of bird imagery in To Kill a Mockingbird."
  • Find a new angle If you're choosing a popular book, find a fresh angle. Instead of going with the crowd, create your own path. A unique perspective will make your analysis stand out.

Powered up by these guidelines, you are sure to find an excellent literary analysis essay idea. Now, let’s see what literary analysis titles and writing prompts we have prepared for you.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics List

If you are not sure how to get started, look at the list of essay titles below. Here, we’ve selected top literary essay topics and prompts to kickstart your journey into literature. Let’s begin with some basic themes and literary elements:

  • Symbolism in Emily Dickinson's poetry.
  • Women’s portrayal in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Orwell's use of dystopia in 1984.
  • Time in Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • Death's representation in Edgar Allan Poe’s works.
  • Mystery and suspense in Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series.
  • Symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Portrayal of masculinity in Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.
  • Handling of grief in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.
  • Solitude in Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • Role of supernatural elements in Macbeth.
  • American Dream in Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby.
  • Postcolonial themes in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.
  • The role of setting in A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Juxtaposition of civilization and savagery in Golding's Lord of the Flies.

Good Literary Analysis Essay Topics

If you're searching for that spark of inspiration, look no further. Choose a title idea from the collection of literary analysis essay prompts we added below:

  • Jane Austen's social satire in Sense and Sensibility.
  • Use of stream-of-consciousness in Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway.
  • Survival in Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
  • Love in Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
  • Illusion versus reality in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Ambition's consequences in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
  • Power in George Orwell's Animal Farm.
  • Role of nature in Jack London's Call of the Wild.
  • Innocence in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • J.D. Salinger's use of first-person narrative in Catcher in the Rye.
  • Conflict of individual versus society in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
  • Isolation in Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis.
  • Friendship in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.
  • Social class in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
  • Gender roles in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

Interesting Literary Analysis Topics

Are you looking for something more mind-blowing? Consider these interesting literary analysis essay topics ideas to shake things up a bit:

  • Irony in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • Satire in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
  • Perspective shifts in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.
  • Justice in Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman .
  • Power dynamics in Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men.
  • Fear in Stephen King's The Shining.
  • Identity crisis in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.
  • Spiritual growth in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha.
  • Betrayal in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.
  • Symbolism in Toni Morrison's Beloved.
  • Freedom in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
  • Class struggle in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
  • Portrayal of war in Joseph Heller's Catch-22.
  • Obsession in Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray .
  • Romanticism in J.M Barrie's Peter Pan.

Unique Literary Analysis Essay Topics

When it comes to a literary analysis paper, standing out from the crowd can make all the difference. If you're looking to bring a touch of uniqueness to your writing, consider one of these these distinctive literary analysis prompts:

  • Magical realism in Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • Portrayal of rebellion in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 .
  • Maternal relationships in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club.
  • Existentialism in Albert Camus' The Stranger.
  • Deceit in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
  • Quest for identity in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.
  • Treatment of time in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • Pride in Sophocles' Antigone.
  • Role of memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved.
  • Perspective and truth in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner.
  • Portrayal of destiny in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
  • Madness in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper.
  • Courage and survival in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.
  • Role of society in George Orwell's 1984 .
  • Youth and age in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye .

Best Literature Essay Topics

Are you ready to take your analysis to the next level? Take a look at these top-notch literary topics for essays, each one carefully crafted for an A+ analysis essay :

  • Challenging societal norms in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.
  • Portrayal of love in Pablo Neruda's poetry.
  • Loss and grief in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.
  • Paradox in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • Representation of animals in Jack London's The Call of the Wild.
  • Disillusionment in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night.
  • Trauma and healing in Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns.
  • Use of language in James Joyce's Ulysses.
  • Quest for identity in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.
  • Portrayal of family in August Wilson's Fences.
  • Loyalty in Homer's Iliad .
  • Portrayal of survival in Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
  • Duality in Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • Isolation in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
  • Influence of society in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.

Easy Literary Analysis Title Examples

If you are a novice or prefer simple literary analysis essay ideas, this list is for you.

  • Uncovering themes in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • The symbolism in Lord of the Flies.
  • Understanding character development in Great Expectations.
  • Love and relationships in Pride and Prejudice.
  • The role of setting in Wuthering Heights.
  • Morality in Moby Dick.
  • Exploring imagery in The Great Gatsby .
  • Power dynamics in Animal Farm.
  • Social critique in Brave New World.
  • Conflict in Romeo and Juliet .
  • Identity and culture in The Namesake.
  • Supernatural elements in Macbeth .
  • The quest for freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • Aging and time in The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Survival in Life of Pi.

Topics for Literary Analysis in Different Genre

Exploring different genres can add a whole new dimension to your literary analysis. Whether it's the captivating world-building of fantasy or the futuristic visions of science fiction, each genre offers a bunch of literary analysis ideas for any taste. Check out the following literary analysis essay topics sorted by genre:

  • Utopian ideals in H.G. Wells' The Time Machine.
  • Symbols and motifs in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
  • Suspense in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
  • Love in Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook.
  • Representation of war in Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth.
  • Humanity in Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Courage in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • Justice in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series.
  • Conflict in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
  • Time in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.
  • Portrayal of technology in William Gibson's Neuromancer.
  • Good versus evil in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
  • Clues in Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
  • Portrayal of passion in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
  • Use of historical detail in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.

American Literature Essay Topics

American literature has produced some of the most iconic works in history. Take a glance at these essay topics for American literature analysis essay topics to get motivated:

  • Racial tensions in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • Transcendentalism in Walden.
  • Role of women in The Scarlet Letter .
  • Slavery and freedom in Beloved.
  • The meaning of home in Langston Hughes' poetry.
  • Masculinity and honor in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.
  • Individualism in On the Road.
  • Illusion versus reality in Death of a Salesman.
  • Navigating adolescence in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  • Tragic hero in A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Consequences of power in The Crucible .
  • Love and loss in The Fault in Our Stars.
  • Identity in Invisible Man.
  • Nature and the self in Leaves of Grass.
  • Religion and faith in The Poisonwood Bible.

English Literature Essay Topics

If you are a British literature enthusiast, don’t skip this list. Below, we have collected the most trending literary analysis title examples in English literature:

  • Class struggle in Dickens' Oliver Twist.
  • Mysticism in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
  • Misogyny in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
  • Role of weather in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
  • Satire of Victorian Era in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • Subversion of romance in Jane Austen's Emma.
  • Landscape and memory in Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd.
  • War and its effects in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Power and corruption in George Orwell's Animal Farm.
  • Maturation in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre .
  • Religious doubt in Graham Greene's The End of the Affair.
  • Time and consciousness in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse.
  • Subconscious in D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers.
  • Rebellion against society in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange.

Literary Analysis Topics for Students

We've carefully curated literary analysis essay topics suitable for students at different levels of education. From high school to college, there's something for everyone. We've categorized these topics for a literary analysis essay according to academic level to help you find what fits your needs best. Are you ready to dive in? Get prepared to discover literary analysis title ideas that will make your writing process an absolute pleasure.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for Middle School Students 

  • Understanding friendship in The Outsiders.
  • Lessons about tolerance in Wonder.
  • Courage and bravery in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • The importance of individuality in A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Family and identity in The Giver.
  • The theme of adventure in Treasure Island.
  • Life lessons in Charlotte’s Web.
  • Overcoming obstacles in Bridge to Terabithia.
  • The impact of rumors in The Watsons Go to Birmingham.
  • Symbolism in Tuck Everlasting.
  • The significance of heritage in Esperanza Rising.
  • Power of persistence in Hatchet.
  • Examining the hero's journey in Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.
  • Struggles with fairness in The Westing Game.
  • The role of honesty in The Secret Garden.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for High School Students

  • Tragic love in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Prejudice and racism in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • The dangers of ambition in Macbeth.
  • The importance of friendship in The Outsiders.
  • Symbolism in The Great Gatsby.
  • Coming of age in The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Man versus nature in Moby Dick.
  • Power and corruption in Animal Farm.
  • Morality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • The impact of war in All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Human nature in Lord of the Flies.
  • The role of the American dream in Death of a Salesman.
  • Heroism in Beowulf.
  • Innocence and experience in Catch-22.
  • Dystopian society in Fahrenheit 451.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for College Students

  • Irony and satire in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Freedom in A Doll's House.
  • Role of madness in Hamlet.
  • Colonialism and its impacts in Heart of Darkness.
  • Alienation and isolation in The Metamorphosis.
  • Tragedy and fate in Oedipus Rex.
  • Exploring human consciousness in Mrs. Dalloway.
  • Modernism in Ulysses.
  • Language and power in 1984.
  • Identity and society in Invisible Man.
  • Existentialism in Waiting for Godot.
  • Feminism and gender roles in The Yellow Wallpaper.
  • Justice and judgment in Crime and Punishment.
  • The influence of society on individuals in A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Role of memory in Remembrance of Things Past.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics in Poetry

Poetry has a unique way of touching our hearts and minds. Poem analysis can reveal hidden meanings behind the verses. If you're searching for literary analysis essay topics with a focus on poetry, check out some pointers in the sections below.

Romeo and Juliet Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Fate and destiny in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Masculinity and its influence on the characters' actions.
  • The impact of family feuds on individual choices in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Concept of time in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Understanding love at first sight through Romeo and Juliet.
  • The juxtaposition of love and violence in the play.
  • Secret identities and deception in Romeo and Juliet.
  • The influence of peer pressure on the events of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Contrasting views of love: Exploring the perspectives of Romeo, Juliet, and other characters.
  • Dreams and omens in Romeo and Juliet.

Hamlet Literary Analysis Essay Topics Ideas

  • Hamlet's madness: Genuine condition or clever ruse?
  • Revenge and its destructive consequences.
  • Role of women: Analyzing the characters of Gertrude and Ophelia.
  • Appearance versus reality: The dichotomy of disguise and deceit.
  • Hamlet's soliloquies: A window into his psyche and moral dilemmas.
  • The tragic flaw of Hamlet.
  • The ghost of King Hamlet: Its role and significance.
  • Corruption and decay in Hamlet's kingdom.
  • Father-son relationships in Hamlet.
  • Morality and ethical decision-making in Hamlet.

Macbeth Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Supernatural elements in Macbeth.
  • Moral decline of Macbeth throughout the play.
  • Lady Macbeth's role in Macbeth's ambition and actions.
  • Guilt and its consequences in Macbeth.
  • The power of prophecy and its impact on Macbeth's decisions.
  • Role of sleep and sleeplessness in the play.
  • The symbolism of blood in Macbeth.
  • Disorder and chaos in Macbeth.
  • The transformation of Lady Macbeth's character over the course of the play.
  • The portrayal of kingship and tyranny in Macbeth.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics Ideas & Prompts

Still can’t find a topic? Scroll down to spot more fantastic literary analysis writing prompts and ideas, categorized by popular works. Whether you're analyzing character development, theme, or narrative style, you will definitely recognize some good literary analysis topics ideas.

Frankenstein Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Role of nature in shaping the characters of Frankenstein.
  • Dangers of unchecked ambition in Frankenstein.
  • Impact of isolation on Victor Frankenstein and his creature.
  • Women in Frankenstein's world.
  • Creator and creation in Frankenstein.
  • Creature’s desire for companionship.
  • Frankenstein as a critique of enlightenment ideals.
  • Concept of 'otherness' in Frankenstein.
  • Knowledge and ignorance in Frankenstein.
  • Comparing Victor Frankenstein and his creature.

Beowulf Literary Analysis Essay Prompts

  • Christian and pagan elements in Beowulf.
  • Lineage and ancestry in Beowulf.
  • The symbolism of monsters in Beowulf.
  • The representation of kingship in Beowulf.
  • Fame and reputation.
  • Treasure and gift-giving in Beowulf.
  • Loyalty in the world of Beowulf.
  • Good versus evil in Beowulf.
  • Beowulf's three battles: A comparative analysis.

The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis Topics

  • Destructive power of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.
  • Social classes in The Great Gatsby.
  • Motif of the 'green light' in The Great Gatsby.
  • Illusion versus reality in The Great Gatsby.
  • Time and the past in The Great Gatsby.
  • The role of geography and setting.
  • The portrayal of love and desire.
  • Significance of Gatsby's parties in the novel.
  • Symbolism of the 'Valley of Ashes' in The Great Gatsby.
  • Nick Carraway as an unreliable narrator.

Fahrenheit 451 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Censorship and its impact on society in Fahrenheit 451.
  • Technology in Fahrenheit 451's dystopian society.
  • Symbolism of fire.
  • Motif of mirrors in Fahrenheit 451.
  • Individuality versus conformity in Fahrenheit 451.
  • Portrayal of reading and books in Fahrenheit 451.
  • Mechanical hound and its role.
  • The impact of isolation and disconnection in Fahrenheit 451.
  • Happiness and fulfillment represented in the book.
  • Symbolism of the phoenix in Fahrenheit 451.

Othello Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • The impact of jealousy on the characters of Othello.
  • Race and racism in Othello.
  • Manipulation and its role in this play.
  • Representation of women in Othello.
  • Appearance versus reality in Othello.
  • Reputation and honor in this play.
  • Impact of insecurities on the character of Othello.
  • Role Desdemona's handkerchief plays.
  • Motif of animals in Othello.
  • Friendship and betrayal as represented in this play.

The Catcher In The Rye Literary Analysis Topics

  • How does Salinger represent teen angst in Catcher in the Rye?
  • Role of Phoebe in Holden Caulfield's life.
  • Analysis of Holden's perception of adulthood.
  • Symbolic meaning of the Museum of Natural History.
  • Red hunting hat as a symbol of isolation.
  • Salinger's portrayal of mental illness through Holden.
  • Relevance of the carrousel scene at the end of this novel.
  • Language and narrative style in Catcher in the Rye.
  • Understanding Holden's relationships with other characters.
  • How does this title relate to Holden's personality and actions?

The Crucible Literary Analysis Topics

  • Fear and hysteria as represented in The Crucible.
  • Power dynamics in Salem's society.
  • John Proctor's character development throughout this play.
  • Abigail Williams' motivations.
  • Analysis of Arthur Miller's use of historical events.
  • Symbolism of the witch trials.
  • Religion and how it is represented in The Crucible.
  • Comparing the characters: Elizabeth Proctor vs. Abigail Williams.
  • Suspicion and paranoia in this play.
  • Relevance of The Crucible in today's society.

1984 Literary Essay Topics

  • George Orwell's depiction of totalitarianism.
  • Concept of Newspeak.
  • Surveillance and control in 1984.
  • Winston's rebellion against the Party.
  • Symbolism of the glass paperweight.
  • Analysis of the Party's manipulation of history.
  • Role of Big Brother in this novel.
  • ulia's character and her contrast to Winston.
  • Significance of Room 101.
  • Doublethink and its influence on citizens' mentality.

The Story of an Hour Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Mrs. Mallard's freedom and confinement.
  • Irony in The Story of an Hour.
  • Theme of time in this short story.
  • Heart and it symbolism.
  • Portrayal of marriage in The Story of an Hour.
  • Significance of the open window.
  • Railroad and its role in this story.
  • How does Mrs. Mallard's reaction reflect societal norms?
  • Analysis of Louise's transformation.
  • Representation of life and death.

The Cask of Amontillado Literary Analysis Ideas

  • Revenge in The Cask of Amontillado.
  • Significance of setting in this story.
  • Symbolism of the cask.
  • Montresor as an unreliable narrator.
  • Concept of pride in this story.
  • Foreshadowing in The Cask of Amontillado.
  • Contrast between Montresor and Fortunato.
  • Motif of disguise and deception.
  • Exploring the concept of madness.
  • How does the catacomb setting contribute to the story's tone?

Pride and Prejudice Literary Analysis Prompts

  • First impressions in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Jane Austen's portrayal of marriage and social status.
  • The theme of pride in this novel.
  • Understanding the character of Mr. Darcy.
  • Significance of the title in understanding this novel.
  • Contrasting characters of Elizabeth and Jane.
  • Letters and their role in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Social hierarchy and class in this novel.
  • Theme of family in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Lydia and her impact on the plot.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis Literary Analysis Title Examples

  • Exploring Gregor Samsa's transformation.
  • Kafka’s portrayal of family relationships.
  • Symbolism of the apple in Metamorphosis.
  • How does Kafka depict the human condition?
  • Understanding Grete's role in this story.
  • Kafka's commentary on work and responsibility.
  • Gregor's room as a symbol of his inner state.
  • Role of dehumanization in Metamorphosis.
  • Kafka's style in conveying existentialist themes.
  • Understanding the character of Mr. Samsa.

Topics for Literary Analysis of The Odyssey

  • Role of hospitality in ancient Greek society.
  • Examination of Odysseus as a hero.
  • Vengeance in The Odyssey.
  • Significance of the Underworld.
  • Role of gods and goddesses in the plot.
  • Women characters in The Odyssey.
  • Understanding Telemachus' character arc.
  • Significance of Ithaca in Odysseus’ journey.
  • Analysis of deception.
  • Circe: Character analysis .

The Old Man and the Sea Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Perseverance in Hemingway's novel.
  • Analyzing Santiago's relationship with the sea.
  • Significance of Santiago's dreams about lions.
  • Hemingway's portrayal of friendship and camaraderie.
  • Symbolism of the marlin.
  • The sea and its significance in Santiago's journey.
  • Heroism as depicted in this novel.
  • Role of nature and its depiction.
  • Santiago's hand injury and its symbolic meaning.
  • Defeat and its role in shaping Santiago’s character.

Jane Eyre Literary Analysis Topics

  • Gothic elements in Jane Eyre.
  • Concept of the madwoman in the attic.
  • Religion in Jane's life and development.
  • Portrayal of women's independence in the novel.
  • Significance of Thornfield Hall.
  • Motif of fire and ice in Jane Eyre.
  • Examining the character of Mr. Rochester.
  • Understanding the role of Adele in this novel.
  • Analyzing forgiveness.
  • Jane’s quest for self-identity and belonging.

The Scarlet Letter Literary Topics for Essays

  • Sin and guilt and how they are depicted.
  • Symbolism of the scarlet letter 'A'.
  • Understanding Hester Prynne's character development.
  • Role of Pearl as a symbol.
  • Exploration of hypocrisy.
  • Examination of the Puritan society.
  • Roger Chillingworth as a character.
  • Role of secrets and hidden identities.
  • Significance of the forest and the town.
  • Portrayal of women in The Scarlet Letter.

Of Mice and Men Literary Analysis Essay Ideas

  • Lennie's dream and its impact on this story.
  • How does Steinbeck present George and Lennie's friendship?
  • Decoding symbolism in Of Mice and Men.
  • Loneliness in this novel.
  • Analyzing Steinbeck's portrayal of the American Dream.
  • Unraveling Curley's wife's character.
  • A critical look at attitudes towards women.
  • Analysis of power dynamics in Of Mice and Men.
  • Steinbeck’s depiction of life during the Great Depression.
  • Understanding the tragic end: Was there an alternative?

Lord of the Flies Literary Analysis Titles

  • Loss of innocence in Lord of the Flies.
  • Power struggle: Analyzing leadership styles of Jack and Ralph.
  • Deconstructing the symbol of 'beast' in the novel.
  • Golding’s portrayal of the thin veneer of civilization.
  • Survival instincts in Lord of the Flies.
  • Motif of the conch shell in this novel.
  • Exploring fear and its implications.
  • Golding's view on human nature.
  • A critical look at the novel's ending.
  • Understanding the novel’s allegorical elements.

To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Racial injustice in this novel.
  • How does Scout's perspective shape the narrative?
  • Harper Lee's portrayal of small-town life in the South.
  • Moral education in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Understanding Boo Radley's impact on this story.
  • Symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Analysis of Atticus Finch's parenting style.
  • Class structure in Maycomb County.
  • Gender roles in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Bravery in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics & Title Ideas by Themes

Are you interested in how the good is represented in literature. Or, want to explore the dark side of human nature? No matter what theme you’re analyzing, these literary analysis topics will surely help you get your gears turning.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics on Education

  • Exploring education's impact in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Jane Eyre's education and its effects on her life.
  • Learning and wisdom in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Views on education in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
  • Education’s role in the development of Huck Finn.
  • Value of practical knowledge in Moby-Dick.
  • Understanding Malvolio’s wisdom in Twelfth Night.
  • How The Great Gatsby criticizes education in the 1920s.
  • Education as liberation in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
  • Women's education in Pride and Prejudice.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics on Religion 

  • Understanding religious allegory in Lord of the Flies.
  • Christian symbolism in The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Religion’s impact on communities in The Poisonwood Bible.
  • Religious imagery in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience.
  • Criticism of the church in The Canterbury Tales.
  • Dystopian views of religion in Brave New World.
  • How The Scarlet Letter deals with religion and sin.
  • Portrayal of religious hypocrisy in Huckleberry Finn.
  • Religious aspects in Paradise Lost.
  • Comparing religious symbolism in Moby Dick and Billy Budd.

Literary Analysis Essay Topics on Race

  • Discussing racial prejudices in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Understanding racial disparities in The Color Purple.
  • Representation of race in Othello.
  • Racial discrimination in Nella Larsen's Passing.
  • Concept of race in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • Racial dynamics in Go Set a Watchman.
  • Racial identity in The Bluest Eye.
  • Race and identity in Invisible Man.
  • Racial politics in James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain.
  • Racial tensions in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

War and Peace Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Understanding war's impact in All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Depiction of warfare in War and Peace.
  • Post-war society in The Sun Also Rises.
  • Effects of war on Mrs. Dalloway.
  • Concept of peace in A Separate Peace.
  • Interpreting war in Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.
  • Post-war life in The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Pacifist messages in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • Consequences of war in A Farewell to Arms.
  • Portrayal of war in The Red Badge of Courage.

Literary Analysis Topics on Justice and Judgment

  • Concept of justice in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Justice and injustice in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations.
  • Judgment in Jane Austen’s Emma.
  • Analyzing justice in George Orwell's 1984.
  • Exploring judgment in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Justice in A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Critique of justice in William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.
  • Judgment in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
  • Justice in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
  • Portrayal of justice in The Merchant of Venice.

Literary Analysis Ideas About Good and Evil

  • Good and evil in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • Good vs evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
  • Struggle between good and evil in Moby-Dick.
  • Dichotomy of good and evil in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Conflict of good and evil in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Good and evil in Golding's Lord of the Flies.
  • Representation of good and evil in Heart of Darkness.
  • Exploration of good and evil in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • How Bram Stoker’s Dracula deals with good and evil.
  • Examining the balance of good and evil in Macbeth.

Bottom Line on Literary Analysis Essay Topics

When you're dealing with a literary analysis paper, it can be overwhelming to come up with unique topics. The trick is finding the perfect topic that you will be excited to work with. These literary analysis ideas should help get you started in the right direction. From time-tested classics to more modern works, we focused on different themes so you can pick the one you like.

Remember, in academics, there's always room for some expert advice and help. Why not lean on seasoned professionals to guide your way? Our team at StudyCrumb is here to assist you, providing expert-level guidance for your writing.


Our proficient writers can provide a unique, high-quality essay tailored just for you. Don't let the ticking clock stress you out! Buy college essay now and receive an original writing piece that surpasses your expectations.


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How to Write a Literary Analysis

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  • How to write a literary analysis essay | A step-by-step guide

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay | A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on January 30, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 14, 2023.

Literary analysis means closely studying a text, interpreting its meanings, and exploring why the author made certain choices. It can be applied to novels, short stories, plays, poems, or any other form of literary writing.

A literary analysis essay is not a rhetorical analysis , nor is it just a summary of the plot or a book review. Instead, it is a type of argumentative essay where you need to analyze elements such as the language, perspective, and structure of the text, and explain how the author uses literary devices to create effects and convey ideas.

Before beginning a literary analysis essay, it’s essential to carefully read the text and c ome up with a thesis statement to keep your essay focused. As you write, follow the standard structure of an academic essay :

  • An introduction that tells the reader what your essay will focus on.
  • A main body, divided into paragraphs , that builds an argument using evidence from the text.
  • A conclusion that clearly states the main point that you have shown with your analysis.

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Table of contents

Step 1: reading the text and identifying literary devices, step 2: coming up with a thesis, step 3: writing a title and introduction, step 4: writing the body of the essay, step 5: writing a conclusion, other interesting articles.

The first step is to carefully read the text(s) and take initial notes. As you read, pay attention to the things that are most intriguing, surprising, or even confusing in the writing—these are things you can dig into in your analysis.

Your goal in literary analysis is not simply to explain the events described in the text, but to analyze the writing itself and discuss how the text works on a deeper level. Primarily, you’re looking out for literary devices —textual elements that writers use to convey meaning and create effects. If you’re comparing and contrasting multiple texts, you can also look for connections between different texts.

To get started with your analysis, there are several key areas that you can focus on. As you analyze each aspect of the text, try to think about how they all relate to each other. You can use highlights or notes to keep track of important passages and quotes.

Language choices

Consider what style of language the author uses. Are the sentences short and simple or more complex and poetic?

What word choices stand out as interesting or unusual? Are words used figuratively to mean something other than their literal definition? Figurative language includes things like metaphor (e.g. “her eyes were oceans”) and simile (e.g. “her eyes were like oceans”).

Also keep an eye out for imagery in the text—recurring images that create a certain atmosphere or symbolize something important. Remember that language is used in literary texts to say more than it means on the surface.

Narrative voice

Ask yourself:

  • Who is telling the story?
  • How are they telling it?

Is it a first-person narrator (“I”) who is personally involved in the story, or a third-person narrator who tells us about the characters from a distance?

Consider the narrator’s perspective . Is the narrator omniscient (where they know everything about all the characters and events), or do they only have partial knowledge? Are they an unreliable narrator who we are not supposed to take at face value? Authors often hint that their narrator might be giving us a distorted or dishonest version of events.

The tone of the text is also worth considering. Is the story intended to be comic, tragic, or something else? Are usually serious topics treated as funny, or vice versa ? Is the story realistic or fantastical (or somewhere in between)?

Consider how the text is structured, and how the structure relates to the story being told.

  • Novels are often divided into chapters and parts.
  • Poems are divided into lines, stanzas, and sometime cantos.
  • Plays are divided into scenes and acts.

Think about why the author chose to divide the different parts of the text in the way they did.

There are also less formal structural elements to take into account. Does the story unfold in chronological order, or does it jump back and forth in time? Does it begin in medias res —in the middle of the action? Does the plot advance towards a clearly defined climax?

With poetry, consider how the rhyme and meter shape your understanding of the text and your impression of the tone. Try reading the poem aloud to get a sense of this.

In a play, you might consider how relationships between characters are built up through different scenes, and how the setting relates to the action. Watch out for  dramatic irony , where the audience knows some detail that the characters don’t, creating a double meaning in their words, thoughts, or actions.

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Your thesis in a literary analysis essay is the point you want to make about the text. It’s the core argument that gives your essay direction and prevents it from just being a collection of random observations about a text.

If you’re given a prompt for your essay, your thesis must answer or relate to the prompt. For example:

Essay question example

Is Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” a religious parable?

Your thesis statement should be an answer to this question—not a simple yes or no, but a statement of why this is or isn’t the case:

Thesis statement example

Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” is not a religious parable, but a story about bureaucratic alienation.

Sometimes you’ll be given freedom to choose your own topic; in this case, you’ll have to come up with an original thesis. Consider what stood out to you in the text; ask yourself questions about the elements that interested you, and consider how you might answer them.

Your thesis should be something arguable—that is, something that you think is true about the text, but which is not a simple matter of fact. It must be complex enough to develop through evidence and arguments across the course of your essay.

Say you’re analyzing the novel Frankenstein . You could start by asking yourself:

Your initial answer might be a surface-level description:

The character Frankenstein is portrayed negatively in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .

However, this statement is too simple to be an interesting thesis. After reading the text and analyzing its narrative voice and structure, you can develop the answer into a more nuanced and arguable thesis statement:

Mary Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

Remember that you can revise your thesis statement throughout the writing process , so it doesn’t need to be perfectly formulated at this stage. The aim is to keep you focused as you analyze the text.

Finding textual evidence

To support your thesis statement, your essay will build an argument using textual evidence —specific parts of the text that demonstrate your point. This evidence is quoted and analyzed throughout your essay to explain your argument to the reader.

It can be useful to comb through the text in search of relevant quotations before you start writing. You might not end up using everything you find, and you may have to return to the text for more evidence as you write, but collecting textual evidence from the beginning will help you to structure your arguments and assess whether they’re convincing.

To start your literary analysis paper, you’ll need two things: a good title, and an introduction.

Your title should clearly indicate what your analysis will focus on. It usually contains the name of the author and text(s) you’re analyzing. Keep it as concise and engaging as possible.

A common approach to the title is to use a relevant quote from the text, followed by a colon and then the rest of your title.

If you struggle to come up with a good title at first, don’t worry—this will be easier once you’ve begun writing the essay and have a better sense of your arguments.

“Fearful symmetry” : The violence of creation in William Blake’s “The Tyger”

The introduction

The essay introduction provides a quick overview of where your argument is going. It should include your thesis statement and a summary of the essay’s structure.

A typical structure for an introduction is to begin with a general statement about the text and author, using this to lead into your thesis statement. You might refer to a commonly held idea about the text and show how your thesis will contradict it, or zoom in on a particular device you intend to focus on.

Then you can end with a brief indication of what’s coming up in the main body of the essay. This is called signposting. It will be more elaborate in longer essays, but in a short five-paragraph essay structure, it shouldn’t be more than one sentence.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

Some students prefer to write the introduction later in the process, and it’s not a bad idea. After all, you’ll have a clearer idea of the overall shape of your arguments once you’ve begun writing them!

If you do write the introduction first, you should still return to it later to make sure it lines up with what you ended up writing, and edit as necessary.

The body of your essay is everything between the introduction and conclusion. It contains your arguments and the textual evidence that supports them.

Paragraph structure

A typical structure for a high school literary analysis essay consists of five paragraphs : the three paragraphs of the body, plus the introduction and conclusion.

Each paragraph in the main body should focus on one topic. In the five-paragraph model, try to divide your argument into three main areas of analysis, all linked to your thesis. Don’t try to include everything you can think of to say about the text—only analysis that drives your argument.

In longer essays, the same principle applies on a broader scale. For example, you might have two or three sections in your main body, each with multiple paragraphs. Within these sections, you still want to begin new paragraphs at logical moments—a turn in the argument or the introduction of a new idea.

Robert’s first encounter with Gil-Martin suggests something of his sinister power. Robert feels “a sort of invisible power that drew me towards him.” He identifies the moment of their meeting as “the beginning of a series of adventures which has puzzled myself, and will puzzle the world when I am no more in it” (p. 89). Gil-Martin’s “invisible power” seems to be at work even at this distance from the moment described; before continuing the story, Robert feels compelled to anticipate at length what readers will make of his narrative after his approaching death. With this interjection, Hogg emphasizes the fatal influence Gil-Martin exercises from his first appearance.

Topic sentences

To keep your points focused, it’s important to use a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph.

A good topic sentence allows a reader to see at a glance what the paragraph is about. It can introduce a new line of argument and connect or contrast it with the previous paragraph. Transition words like “however” or “moreover” are useful for creating smooth transitions:

… The story’s focus, therefore, is not upon the divine revelation that may be waiting beyond the door, but upon the mundane process of aging undergone by the man as he waits.

Nevertheless, the “radiance” that appears to stream from the door is typically treated as religious symbolism.

This topic sentence signals that the paragraph will address the question of religious symbolism, while the linking word “nevertheless” points out a contrast with the previous paragraph’s conclusion.

Using textual evidence

A key part of literary analysis is backing up your arguments with relevant evidence from the text. This involves introducing quotes from the text and explaining their significance to your point.

It’s important to contextualize quotes and explain why you’re using them; they should be properly introduced and analyzed, not treated as self-explanatory:

It isn’t always necessary to use a quote. Quoting is useful when you’re discussing the author’s language, but sometimes you’ll have to refer to plot points or structural elements that can’t be captured in a short quote.

In these cases, it’s more appropriate to paraphrase or summarize parts of the text—that is, to describe the relevant part in your own words:

The conclusion of your analysis shouldn’t introduce any new quotations or arguments. Instead, it’s about wrapping up the essay. Here, you summarize your key points and try to emphasize their significance to the reader.

A good way to approach this is to briefly summarize your key arguments, and then stress the conclusion they’ve led you to, highlighting the new perspective your thesis provides on the text as a whole:

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.

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644 Literary Analysis Essay Topics & Good Ideas

18 January 2024

last updated

Literary analysis essay topics include a diverse landscape of genres, time periods, authors, and themes. They can explore the subtle nuances of symbolism in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” the treatment of femininity in Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” or the depiction of dystopia in George Orwell’s “1984.” Various themes may dissect the function of soliloquy in Shakespeare’s plays or delve into the role of realism and magic in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Discussions on contemporary works might question the societal implications found in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Analysis can also touch on broader aspects, such as the influence of historical context on literary development or the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in literature. Hence, literary analysis essay topics facilitate a profound exploration of literature’s multi-faceted nature.

Best Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Exploring Symbolism and Other Themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Decoding Gothic Elements in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”
  • Interpreting Allegorical Meanings in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
  • Investigating Feminist Themes in Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”
  • Scrutinizing Social Constructs in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Unveiling Cultural Commentary in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”
  • Revealing Dystopian Elements in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Examining Existentialism in Albert Camus’ “The Stranger”
  • Analyzing Satire in Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”
  • Highlighting Racial Prejudice in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Assessing Immigrant Experiences in Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Namesake”
  • Dissecting Historical Context in Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
  • Pondering on the Paradox of Freedom in Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange”
  • Surveying Eco-Criticism in Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible”
  • Detailing Magic Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”
  • Probing the Clash of Ideologies in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”
  • Delineating Human Nature in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • Comparing the Past and Present in George Eliot’s “Middlemarch”
  • Contrasting Class and Gender in Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”
  • Understanding the Subversion of Gender Roles in Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando”
  • Decoding Satirical Portrayal of American Society in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
  • Evaluating the Concept of Heroism in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”

Literary Analysis Essay Topics & Good Ideas

Easy Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Unraveling the Psychology of Fear in Stephen King’s “It”
  • Comprehending Trauma and Healing in Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”
  • Investigating Environmental Ethics in Rick Bass’s “The Watch”
  • Clarifying Absurdism in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”
  • Appraising Romanticism in Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”
  • Gauging the Effects of Colonialism in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
  • Judging War’s Consequences in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five”
  • Differentiating Reality and Fantasy in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
  • Parsing Faith and Doubt in Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi”
  • Scrutinizing the Concept of Time in Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”
  • Inspecting Self-Identity in J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Delving Into the Power of Language in George Orwell’s “1984”
  • Analyzing Love and Sacrifice in Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”
  • Extrapolating Class Conflict in Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”
  • Measuring Human Connection in Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway”
  • Studying the Influence of Cultural Heritage in Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club”
  • Surveying the Pursuit of Happiness in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”
  • Deciphering the Intricacies of Memory in Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”
  • Contemplating Maturation in Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Disentangling Illusion and Reality in Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire”
  • Decoding the Dilemma of Choice in Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
  • Analyzing Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”
  • Discussing Themes of the Human Spirit in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • Probing Into the Conflict of Science and Religion in Ian McEwan’s “Enduring Love”

Interesting Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Probing Into Ethical Ambiguity in Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd”
  • Grasping Loss and Acceptance in Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go”
  • Decoding Southern Identity in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”
  • Tracing the Evolution of Feminine Independence in Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”
  • Dissecting Political Machinations in Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men”
  • Understanding Postmodernism in Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49”
  • Interpreting the Influence of Tradition in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera”
  • Deconstructing the Dystopian Society in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Appreciating Nature and Transcendentalism in Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”
  • Evaluating the Role of Innocence in J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey”
  • Probing the Concept of Morality in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”
  • Assessing the Impact of Alienation in Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”
  • Investigating the Clash of Cultures in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah”
  • Analyzing the Absurdity of War in Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”
  • Scrutinizing the Power of Ambition in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Critiquing Gender Stereotypes in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Interpreting the Notion of Justice in Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”
  • Dissecting Existentialist Themes in Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Nausea”
  • Exploring Rebirth and Redemption in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov”
  • Examining Racial Identity in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”
  • Disentangling the Theme of Prejudice in Mark Twain’s “Pudd’nhead Wilson”
  • Investigating Power Dynamics in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for High School

  • Exploration of Heroism in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • The Portrayal of Society in Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Symbolic Themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Understanding Gender Roles in Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”
  • Romanticism vs. Realism in Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”
  • Dystopian Themes in George Orwell’s “1984”
  • The Power of Fate in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”
  • Fear of the Unknown in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • The Influence of Setting in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”
  • Love and Betrayal in William Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • The Struggle for Identity in J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • The Interplay of Power and Corruption in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
  • Evolution of Characters in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”
  • Roles of Dreams in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”
  • Unveiling Racism Through Narrative in Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”
  • Contrasting Morality in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”
  • Death as a Motif in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry
  • The Psychology of the Characters in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
  • Irony and Satire in Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”
  • The Dilemma of Choice in Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
  • Class and Social Conflict in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for Middle School

  • Disillusionment in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”
  • Ambition and Its Consequences in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • The Concept of Time in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”
  • Reflection of Society in Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”
  • The Role of Prophecy in Homer’s “The Iliad”
  • Humanity’s Inherent Goodness in Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl”
  • Illusion vs. Reality in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”
  • Examination of Nihilism in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes From Underground”
  • Survival and Hope in Elie Wiesel’s “Night”
  • Nature and Self-Discovery in Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”
  • Exploration of Mental Health in Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”
  • Tragedy and Redemption in John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”
  • Individual vs. Society in Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  • Parenting and Childhood in Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”
  • Unveiling Gender Stereotypes in Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando”
  • The Impact of Isolation in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”
  • Quest for Immortality in Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
  • Depicting Class Struggle in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • The Paradox of Freedom in Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange”
  • The Weight of Guilt in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables”

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for College Students

  • Postcolonial Perspectives in Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”
  • Gothic Elements in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”
  • Feminist Critique of Virginia Woolf’s “To The Lighthouse”
  • Satirical Devices in Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”
  • Existential Themes in Albert Camus’s “The Stranger”
  • Racism and Identity in Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”
  • Narrative Structure in “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
  • Exploration of Consciousness in James Joyce’s “Ulysses”
  • Religious Allegory in John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
  • Examining Sexuality in E. M. Forster’s “Maurice”
  • Romanticism in Wordsworth’s “The Prelude”
  • Imperialism Critique in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
  • Roles of Nature in Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”
  • Impact of Industrial Revolution on Dickens’s “Hard Times”
  • Commentary on Social Class in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Nihilism in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground”
  • Exploration of Southern Gothic in Flannery O’Connor’s Stories
  • Influence of the American Dream on Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Power Dynamics in George Orwell’s “1984”
  • War Commentary in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five”
  • The Concept of Time in Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway”

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for University

  • Commentary on Materialism in Theodore Dreiser’s “Sister Carrie”
  • Rebellion against Victorian Norms in Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”
  • Individualism in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”
  • Struggles of the Immigrant Experience in Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club”
  • Reflections on War in Wilfred Owen’s Poems
  • Cultural Clash in “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith
  • Exploration of Adolescence in Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”
  • Examination of Insanity in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Postmodernism in Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49”
  • Examination of Loss and Grief in Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”
  • Isolation and Loneliness in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”
  • Exploration of Self-Discovery in Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”
  • Dystopian Themes in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Examination of Childhood Trauma in Stephen King’s “IT”
  • Influence of Religion in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov”
  • Exploration of Feminine Mystique in Betty Friedan’s Work
  • Roles of Faith in Elie Wiesel’s “Night”
  • Significance of Social Status in Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence”
  • Modernism in T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”
  • Influence of Culture and Tradition in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”
  • Destruction of Innocence in J. D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”
  • Examination of Hubris in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”

Classics Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • The Symbolic Role of Water in Homer’s “The Odyssey”
  • The Tragic Hero’s Journey in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”
  • Gender Dynamics in Euripides’ “Medea”
  • Foreshadowing in Virgil’s “The Aeneid”
  • Portrayal of Power and Corruption in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”
  • Fate in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”
  • Theme of Justice in Aeschylus’ “Oresteia”
  • Exploration of Identity in Dante’s “Inferno”
  • Concept of Love in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Conflict Between Individuality and Society in Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Representation of War and Heroism in Homer’s “Iliad”
  • Nature of Gods and Mortals in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
  • Revenge in Euripides’ “The Bacchae”
  • Examination of Madness in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Symbolism of the River in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Irony in Voltaire’s “Candide”
  • Exploration of Fate and Free Will in Sophocles’ “Antigone”
  • Theme of Transformation in Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”
  • Loyalty and Betrayal in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Pride and Hubris in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”

George Orwell’s “1984” Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Totalitarianism and Surveillance in George Orwell’s “1984”
  • Language and Control in Orwell’s “1984”
  • Rebellion and Resistance in “1984”
  • Power and Manipulation in Orwell’s “1984”
  • The Role of Technology in “1984”
  • Symbolism of Big Brother in Orwell’s “1984”
  • Love and Intimacy in a Dystopian Society in “1984”
  • Identity and Individuality in “1984”
  • Propaganda and Indoctrination in Orwell’s “1984”
  • The Theme of Doublethink in “1984”
  • Psychological Manipulation in Orwell’s “1984”
  • The Significance of Newspeak in “1984”
  • Rebellion through Art and Literature in “1984”
  • The Loss of Freedom and Privacy in Orwell’s “1984”
  • Roles of Memory and History in “1984”
  • Gender Roles and Sexual Repression in “1984”
  • The Critique of Totalitarianism in Orwell’s “1984”
  • Language as a Form of Control in “1984”
  • The Destruction of Love and Relationships in “1984”
  • Themes of Fear in Orwell’s “1984”
  • The Role of the Proles in “1984”

Literary Analysis Essay Topics on Coming-of-Age Novels

  • The Transformative Journey of Self-Discovery in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Identity Formation and Racial Prejudice in “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Rebellion and Independence in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
  • Gender Roles and Societal Expectations in “Jane Eyre”
  • Moral Development and Ethical Dilemmas in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Maturation and Loss of Innocence in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Cultural Assimilation and Individuality in “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”
  • Exploration of Sexuality and Personal Growth in “Call Me by Your Name”
  • Class Divide and Social Hierarchy in “Great Expectations”
  • Acceptance and Belonging in “The Outsiders”
  • Coming-of-Age and the Pursuit of Freedom in “The Scarlet Letter”
  • Family Dynamics and Emotional Resilience in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • The Search for Identity and Heritage in “The Color Purple”
  • Friendship and Loyalty in “The Kite Runner”
  • Loss and Healing in “The Secret Life of Bees”
  • Discovering Personal Values and Morality in “The Book Thief”
  • Coming-of-Age in the Face of War in “All Quiet on the Western Front”
  • Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery in “The Bell Jar”
  • Rebellion Against Societal Norms in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  • Race and Prejudice in “Invisible Man”

Analysis Essay Topics on Gothic Literature

  • Supernatural Elements in Gothic Literature: Exploring the Role of Ghosts and Hauntings
  • The Sublime and the Gothic: Analyzing the Concepts of Terror and Awe
  • Female Characters in Gothic Literature: A Study of Their Roles and Representations
  • Madness and Insanity in Gothic Fiction: Portrayals and Symbolism
  • The Role of Setting in Gothic Literature: Examining the Haunted Houses and Dark Landscapes
  • The Power of Secrets in Gothic Novels: Unraveling Hidden Truths and Consequences
  • The Use of Symbolism in Gothic Literature: Decoding Cryptic Messages and Meanings
  • Psychological Horror in Gothic Fiction: Analyzing the Inner Turmoil of Characters
  • Duality and Doubling in Gothic Novels: Exploring the Split Identities and Shadows
  • Death and Decay in Gothic Literature: The Ephemeral Nature of Life and Beauty
  • The Portrayal of Villains in Gothic Fiction: From Monsters to Manipulative Minds
  • The Role of Women Writers in Gothic Literature: Examining Their Contributions and Challenges
  • The Influence of Gothic Architecture in Literature: Analyzing the Aesthetic and Atmosphere
  • Supernatural vs. Rational in Gothic Fiction: Clash of Beliefs and Realities
  • The Grotesque in Gothic Literature: Disfigured Bodies and Distorted Characters
  • Gothic Literature and the Exploration of Fear: Unveiling Human Anxieties and Phobias
  • The Subjugation of Women in Gothic Novels: Analyzing Power Imbalances and Patriarchy
  • Dreams and Nightmares in Gothic Literature: Unconscious Desires and Fears
  • The Evolution of Gothic Literature: Tracing its Development from Horace Walpole to the Present
  • The Role of Religion in Gothic Fiction: Exploring the Themes of Sin, Redemption, and Damnation
  • Love and Desire in Gothic Novels: Unconventional Relationships and Obsessions

Literary Analysis Topics on Historical Fiction

  • The Role of Power and Corruption in Historical Fiction
  • Exploring the Effects of War on Historical Fiction
  • Love and Betrayal in Historical Fiction Novels
  • The Portrayal of Gender Roles in Historical Fiction Literature
  • Analyzing the Theme of Identity in Historical Fiction
  • The Significance of Historical Settings in Fictional Narratives
  • Rebellion and Revolution in Historical Fiction
  • The Impact of Historical Events on Fictional Characters
  • Examining Historical Accuracy in Fictional Works
  • Social Class and Its Representation in Historical Fiction
  • Analyzing the Role of Historical Figures in Fictional Narratives
  • The Use of Symbolism in Historical Fiction Novels
  • Examining the Role of Religion in Historical Fiction
  • Exploring the Theme of Freedom in Historical Fiction Works
  • The Influence of Culture and Customs on Historical Fiction
  • The Representation of Historical Trauma in Fictional Narratives
  • Roles of Secrets and Hidden Histories in Historical Fiction
  • Analyzing the Power Dynamics in Historical Fiction Novels
  • The Portrayal of Race and Ethnicity in Historical Fiction Literature
  • Effects of Colonialism and Imperialism in Historical Fiction

Literary Analysis Topics About Magical Realism

  • Love and Transformation in Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits”
  • Symbolism and Metaphor in Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”
  • Magical Realism as a Vehicle for Social Critique in Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”
  • The Intersection of Reality and Fantasy in Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”
  • Magical Realism as a Tool for Cultural Identity in Jorge Luis Borges’ “Ficciones”
  • The Exploration of Time and Memory in Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”
  • Feminine Power and Magical Realism in Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber”
  • The Use of Magical Realism in Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  • Myth and Legend in Alejo Carpentier’s “The Kingdom of This World”
  • The Theme of Supernatural in Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed”
  • Magical Realism and Postcolonialism in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Half of a Yellow Sun”
  • The Concept of Dream and Reality in Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”
  • The Role of Magical Realism in José Saramago’s “Blindness”
  • Dreams and Visions in Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera”
  • Magical Realism and the Power of Imagination in Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”
  • The Influence of Magical Realism in Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
  • Symbolism and Allegory in Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi”
  • Magical Realism and Political Satire in Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses”
  • The Theme of Destiny and Fate in Laura Esquivel’s “The Law of Love”
  • The Role of Magical Realism in Ben Okri’s “The Famished Road”
  • Nature and the Supernatural in Isabel Allende’s “Eva Luna”

Modernist Literature Analysis Topics

  • The Evolution of Cultural Identity in Modernist Novels
  • Exploring Fragmentation and Streamlining Consciousness in Modernist Literature
  • The Influence of World War I on Modernist Poetic Expression
  • Reimagining Gender Roles in Contemporary Modernist Fiction
  • Deconstructing Traditional Narrative Structures in Avant-Garde Novels
  • The Role of Urbanization in Shaping Modernist Literary Movements
  • Capturing the Essence of Modernity in Revolutionary Modernist Poetry
  • The Representation of Time and Memory in Innovative Modernist Prose
  • Modernist Literature and the Crisis of Faith in a Changing World
  • Experimentation with Language and Form in Cutting-Edge Modernist Poetry
  • The Impact of Psychology and Psychoanalysis on Bold Modernist Fiction
  • Social Critique and Satire in Provocative Modernist Novels
  • Rediscovering Mythology and Folklore in Transgressive Modernist Poetry
  • Modernist Literature and the Quest for Genuine Personal Expression
  • Examining Alienation and Isolation in Revolutionary Modernist Works
  • The Transformation of the Heroic Ideal in Groundbreaking Modernist Prose
  • Modernist Literature and the Exploration of Fluid Identity Constructs
  • The Representation of Modernist Sensibility in Abstract Poetry
  • Challenging Established Values and Morality in Defiant Modernist Novels
  • The Modernist Aesthetic: The Influence of Visual Arts on Literary Innovations

Literary Analysis Essay Topics on Movies

  • Cultural Identity in “Inception”: Exploring the Layers of Selfhood
  • The Power of Redemption in “The Shawshank Redemption”
  • Love and Sacrifice in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
  • Gender Roles and Stereotypes in “Mad Max: Fury Road”
  • Loss and Grief in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Betrayal and Loyalty in “The Departed”
  • Technology and Humanity in “Ex Machina”
  • Social Class and Inequality in “Parasite”
  • Freedom and Rebellion in “V for Vendetta”
  • Existentialism and Absurdism in “Fight Club”
  • Coming-of-Age in “Moonlight”
  • Morality and Ethics in “No Country for Old Men”
  • Symbolism and Allegory in “Pan’s Labyrinth”
  • War and Its Consequences in “Apocalypse Now”
  • Identity and Belonging in “Lost in Translation”
  • Power and Corruption in “Citizen Kane”
  • Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in “The Last Emperor”
  • Individualism vs. Conformity in “The Truman Show”
  • Nostalgia and Memory in “The Great Gatsby”
  • The Hero’s Journey in “Star Wars: A New Hope”
  • Environmentalism and Nature in “WALL-E”

Postcolonial Literature Analysis Topics

  • Colonialism’s Impacts on Identity Formation in Postcolonial Literary Analysis
  • Decolonizing Language and Literature: Strategies Within Postcolonial Textual Analysis
  • Gendered Power Dynamics in Postcolonial Literary Works
  • Resistance and Rebellion Explored in Postcolonial Fiction
  • Subverting Colonial Narratives: Reimagining History in Postcolonial Literature
  • Hybridity and Cultural Identity Formation in Postcolonial Text Analysis
  • The Politics of Representing the Postcolonial in Fiction
  • Postcolonial Eco-Criticism: Nature and the Environment in Literary Analysis
  • Indigenous Perspectives and Voices in Postcolonial Literature
  • Exploring Postcolonial Diasporas: Migration and Exile in Literary Works
  • Examining the Language of Colonization in Postcolonial Texts
  • Rewriting and Reimagining Canonical Texts in the Postcolonial Context
  • Nationalism and Anti-Colonial Movements Explored in Postcolonial Literature
  • Globalization and Its Impact on Postcolonial Literary Spaces
  • Postcolonial Feminist Theory and Women’s Agency in Literature
  • Negotiating Identity in Postcolonial Autobiographies
  • Resistance through Oral Tradition: Folklore and Mythology in Postcolonial Texts
  • Slavery’s Legacy Explored in Postcolonial Literary Analysis
  • Revisiting the Past: Historical Fiction in the Postcolonial Context
  • Postcolonial Perspectives on Language and Translation in Literature

Literary Analysis Topics About Satire and Social Criticism

  • The Use of Irony in Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” as a Social Critique
  • Satirical Depiction of Political Corruption in Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
  • The Subversive Power of Satire in Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Analyzing Gender Roles and Stereotypes in Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”
  • A Critical Examination of Society’s Obsession With Wealth in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Satirical Commentary on War and Nationalism in Heller’s “Catch-22”
  • Critiquing the American Dream in Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • The Use of Satire to Challenge Gender Inequality in Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Social Criticism and Satire in Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five”
  • Analyzing the Satirical Portrayal of Religion in Voltaire’s “Candide”
  • The Critique of Victorian Society in Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”
  • Satirical Exploration of Consumerism in Palahniuk’s “Fight Club”
  • Examining Satire as a Vehicle for Criticizing Colonialism in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
  • Social Commentary on Racism and Prejudice in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Analyzing the Satirical Attack on Totalitarianism in Huxley’s “Brave New World”
  • Critiquing Class Inequity through Satire in Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”
  • The Use of Satire to Highlight the Absurdity of War in Vonnegut’s “Mother Night”
  • Social Criticism of Victorian Morality in Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
  • Satirical Portrayal of Bureaucracy in Kafka’s “The Trial”
  • Analyzing the Satirical Critique of Education in Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper”
  • Critiquing the Hypocrisy of Society in Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”

Social Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Gender Inequality in Literature: Analyzing the Portrayal of Women in Classic Novels
  • Racial Discrimination in Contemporary Fiction: Examining the Representation of People of Color
  • Environmental Crisis in Literature: Depicting the Devastating Consequences of Climate Change
  • Social Class Struggles in Victorian Novels: Unveiling the Disparity Between the Rich and the Poor
  • The Role of Literature in Promoting Social Justice: Investigating the Power of Words in Activism
  • Immigration and Identity in Literature: Exploring the Experience of Cultural Assimilation
  • The Stigma of Mental Illness in Literary Works: Challenging Societal Misconceptions
  • Dystopian Societies in Science Fiction: Reflecting on Contemporary Social Issues
  • LGBTQ+ Representation in Contemporary Young Adult Literature: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction in Literature: Examining the Portrayal of Dependency
  • Political Corruption in Novels: Critiquing Power Structures and Governance
  • Bullying and Peer Pressure in Coming-of-Age Novels: Analyzing the Impact on Adolescent Characters
  • Aging and Ageism in Literature: Exploring the Challenges Faced by Older Characters
  • Homelessness in Urban Fiction: Shedding Light on Socioeconomic Marginalization
  • Mental Health Stigma in Historical Literature: Revealing the Cultural Attitudes of the Past
  • Disability Representation in Contemporary Fiction: Examining the Portrayal of Disabled Characters
  • War and Trauma in Literature: Investigating the Psychological Effects of Conflict
  • Cultural Appropriation in Literary Works: Addressing Issues of Identity and Authenticity
  • Human Rights Violations in Historical Fiction: Uncovering Social Injustices of the Past
  • Poverty and Social Inequality in Classic Literature: Reflecting on the Lives of the Impoverished

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About a Subject of Race

  • Societal Constructs of Race in Postcolonial Fiction
  • Cultural Identity and Racial Stereotypes Within Contemporary Narratives
  • Power Dynamics and Racial Divisions in Historical Literary Works
  • Racism and Resistance Explored in Afrofuturistic Novels
  • Language’s Roles in Shaping Racial Narratives and Identity
  • Intersectionality: Examining Race and Gender in Women’s Literature
  • Symbolic Representations of Race in Poetry From the Symbolist Movement
  • Racial Inequality and Pursuit of Social Justice in Young Adult Novels
  • The Representation of Biracial Characters in Literary Works
  • Racial Assimilation and Identity Crisis Explored in Immigrant Fiction
  • Racial Discrimination and Community Dynamics in Urban Novels
  • Race as Performance: Deconstructing Racial Expectations in Postmodern Literature
  • Formation of Racial Identity in Coming-of-Age Stories
  • Racial Injustices and Class Struggles in Southern Gothic Fiction
  • The Portrayal of Native Americans in American Literary Works
  • Racial Otherness and Exoticism in Colonial-Era Literature
  • Exploring Racial Violence and Trauma Through Literary Memoirs
  • Racial Reconciliation and Healing Themes in Contemporary Poetry
  • Race and Memory: Unpacking Historical Fiction’s Depiction of the Past
  • Satire and Social Critique: Analyzing Racial Themes in Satirical Novels
  • Racial Utopias and Dystopias in Speculative Fiction

Literary Analysis Essay Topics About Symbolism and Allegory

  • The Profound Symbolism of Nature in Romantic Poetry
  • Allegorical Representations of Good and Evil in Classic Literature
  • Symbolic Interpretations of Metamorphosis in Kafka’s Work
  • Shakespearean Tragedies: Unveiling Symbolic Layers
  • Allegorical Themes in George Orwell’s Satirical Works
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Unraveling Symbolism and Allegory
  • The Green Light’s Symbolic Significance in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Unveiling Symbolism: The Conch Shell in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Dante’s “Divine Comedy”: Journey Through Allegory
  • Symbolism and Allegory in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Masterpiece
  • The Symbolic River in Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Allegorical Elements in Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha”
  • Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”: Uncovering Symbolic Layers
  • Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”: Allegorical Reflections of Society
  • Colors as Symbols in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Symbolism and Allegory in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”
  • J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”: A Tale of Symbolic Depth
  • Symbolism in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”
  • Allegorical Representations of Death in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry
  • Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”: The Symbolic Mockingbird

Literary Analysis of War and Peace Topics

  • Impacts of Conflict on Individual Identity and Sense of Self
  • Consequences of Diplomatic Negotiations in Historical Fiction
  • Societal Transformation: The Influence of Warfare and Peacemaking
  • Nonviolent Resistance as a Literary Expression
  • Familial Dynamics in the Context of Armed Conflicts in Literature
  • Exploring the Psychological Toll of Combat Through Literary Works
  • Symbolism of Serene Landscapes in Anti-War Novels
  • Women’s Roles in Wartime and Peace in Literary Texts
  • Analyzing the Metaphorical Language of Conflict and Harmony
  • Interplay of Love and Strife in Literary Depictions
  • Representation of War Heroes in Literature: Impact on Societies
  • The Use of Irony in Writings About War and Peace
  • Evolution of War Narratives from Classical to Contemporary Works
  • Theme of Reconciliation in Literary Works on War and Peace
  • Propaganda’s Influence on Public Perception of Armed Conflicts
  • Power Dynamics in Politics: War’s Influence in Literary Texts
  • Contrasting the Brutality of Warfare With the Ideal of Harmony
  • Exploring Loss and Grief in Literary Works on War
  • War Poetry: Representation and Emotional Resonance
  • Healing the Wounds of War: Role of Music and Art in Literature
  • Honor and Sacrifice: Conceptualization in War Novels

Women’s Literature Analysis Essay Topics

  • Exploring Female Identity in Contemporary Fiction
  • Unveiling the Subversive Power of Women’s Memoirs
  • Empowering Female Characters in Historical Novels
  • Examining Gender Roles in Science Fiction Literature
  • Deconstructing Patriarchy in Feminist Poetry
  • Resilience and Resistance: Women’s Stories of Survival
  • Challenging Stereotypes in Women’s Crime Fiction
  • Motherhood and Maternal Bonds in Literature
  • Reimagining Fairy Tales From a Feminist Perspective
  • Female Sexuality in the Works of Women Authors
  • Intersections of Race and Gender in Women’s Literature
  • Feminist Dystopias: Questioning Gender Norms
  • Women’s Coming-of-Age Stories: Identity and Self-Discovery
  • Subverting Male Gaze: Reclaiming Female Narratives
  • Exploring Sisterhood and Female Friendships in Literature
  • Women’s Roles in War and Conflict: Narratives of Courage
  • Portrayals of Mental Health in Women’s Literature
  • Resistance and Activism in Women’s Poetry
  • Breaking Boundaries: Female Protagonists in Historical Fiction
  • The Politics of Body and Beauty in Women’s Writing

William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” Literary Analysis Topics

  • The Tragic Hero’s Soliloquies in “Hamlet”: Analyzing the Role of Self-Reflection
  • Deception and Betrayal: Unraveling Motives of Characters in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Exploring the Complex Relationship Between Hamlet and Ophelia: Analyzing Love and Madness
  • Revenge as a Central Theme in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”: Examining the Consequences of Vengeance
  • Supernatural Intrigue: The Influence of the Ghost in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Analyzing the Role of Women in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”: Gertrude and Ophelia’s Impact
  • Duty vs. Conscience: Hamlet’s Moral Dilemma and Its Ramifications
  • Sanity vs. Madness: Unraveling Hamlet’s Mental State
  • The Power of Language in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”: Analyzing Rhetoric and Wordplay
  • Unmasking Deceptions: The Theme of Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Fatal Flaw: Analyzing Hamlet’s Tragic Downfall
  • Mortality and Existentialism: Exploring the Theme of Death in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Analyzing the Symbolism of “The Mousetrap” in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Fate and Destiny: Examining the Tragic Elements in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • The Significance of Hamlet’s Delay: Investigating the Protagonist’s Inaction
  • Unveiling Corruption: Analyzing Political Intrigues in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Comparing and Contrasting Hamlet’s Relationships With His Father and Uncle
  • Family Dynamics: Exploring the Theme of Family in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • The Inner Conflict of Hamlet: Analyzing the Struggle Between Passion and Reason
  • Foils: Examining Contrasting Traits of Characters in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • The Consequences of Indecision in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” Literary Analysis Topics

  • Fate and Destiny in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Tragic Love in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Gender Roles and Expectations in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Youth and Impulsivity in the Tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Contrasts Between Love and Hate in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • The Role of Mercutio in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Social Class and Conflict in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Parental Influence in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Language and Wordplay in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Light and Darkness in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • The Role of Nurse in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Themes of Loyalty and Betrayal in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Revenge in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Death and Suicide in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Individual vs. Society in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Time and Hastiness in the Tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Passion and Lust in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Use of Foreshadowing in “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Friendship in the Play “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Music in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”

William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” Literary Analysis Topics

  • Ambition: A Catalyst for Destruction in “Macbeth”
  • Guilt and Conscience in Shakespeare’s Tragedy, “Macbeth”
  • Power and Corruption: Exploring “Macbeth”
  • The Tragic Hero’s Downfall: Analyzing “Macbeth”
  • Supernatural Elements in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Gender Roles and Stereotypes in “Macbeth”
  • Fate vs. Free Will in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Manipulation and Deception: Themes in “Macbeth”
  • Appearance vs. Reality: Unveiling “Macbeth”
  • Lady Macbeth’s Influence on Macbeth’s Tragedy
  • Blood Imagery: Symbolism in “Macbeth”
  • Ambiguity in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Loyalty and Betrayal: Unraveling “Macbeth”
  • The Witches’ Role in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Soliloquies: Insight into Characters in “Macbeth”
  • Madness and Mental Decline in “Macbeth”
  • Violence: Themes in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • Sleep and Dreams: Symbolism in “Macbeth”
  • Disruption of Natural Order in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • The Concept of Time in “Macbeth”
  • Honor and Macbeth’s Tragic Flaw: A Character Analysis

“Beowulf” Literary Analysis Topics

  • Heroic Archetypes in “Beowulf”: Exploring the Role of the Hero in the Epic Poem
  • Symbolism in “Beowulf”: Analyzing the Significance of Grendel’s Lair
  • Women in “Beowulf”: An Examination of Gender Roles and Femininity
  • The Concept of Loyalty in “Beowulf”: Unraveling the Threads of Trust
  • Fate and Destiny in “Beowulf”: A Journey of Predestined Heroes
  • Beowulf’s Moral Code: An Exploration of Honor and Virtue
  • The Theme of Good vs. Evil in “Beowulf”: The Battle of Light and Darkness
  • Christian Influences in “Beowulf”: The Clash of Paganism and Christianity
  • The Role of Kingship in “Beowulf”: Leadership and Power
  • The Importance of Boasting in “Beowulf”: Pride and Bravery
  • Revenge and Retribution in “Beowulf”: Examining the Cycle of Violence
  • The Supernatural Elements in “Beowulf”: Magic and the Otherworldly
  • Heroic Sacrifice in “Beowulf”: Analyzing Acts of Selflessness
  • The Concept of Time in “Beowulf”: Life, Death, and the Passage of Ages
  • Nature and the Environment in “Beowulf”: The Symbolism of Land and Sea
  • Beowulf’s Battle With Grendel: An Analysis of Violence and Conquest
  • Friendship and Companionship in “Beowulf”: The Bonds of Brotherhood
  • Honor and Reputation in “Beowulf”: The Price of Glory
  • Monsters and Monstrosity in “Beowulf”: The Line Between Human and Beast
  • Wisdom and Knowledge in “Beowulf”: The Importance of Experience

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” Literary Analysis Topics

  • Romanticism in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”: Exploring the Portrayal of Emotions and the Sublime
  • The Monster as a Tragic Hero: Analyzing the Character Development and Moral Ambiguity
  • Gender Roles in “Frankenstein”: Examining the Portrayal of Masculinity and Femininity
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Discussing the Influence of Environment and Upbringing on the Characters
  • The Pursuit of Knowledge: Investigating the Consequences of Scientific Ambition and Discovery
  • Social Alienation in “Frankenstein”: Analyzing the Theme of Isolation and Its Impact on the Characters
  • Responsibility and Accountability: Examining the Ethical Dilemmas Faced by the Characters
  • The Doppelgänger Motif: Exploring the Presence of Doubles and Reflections Throughout the Novel
  • Monstrosity as a Symbol: Discussing the Metaphorical Representation of the Monster in Society
  • Parent-Child Relationships in “Frankenstein”: Analyzing the Dynamics Between Victor and His Creation
  • Gothic Elements in the Novel: Examining the Use of Darkness, Horror, and the Supernatural
  • The Role of Fate in “Frankenstein”: Discussing the Influence of Destiny and Predestination
  • The Power of Language: Analyzing the Importance of Communication and Rhetoric in the Novel
  • The Subversion of Gender Stereotypes: Examining the Unconventional Female Characters in the Story
  • Revenge and Retribution: Discussing the Motives and Consequences of Seeking Vengeance
  • The Prometheus Myth: Analyzing the Allusions to the Greek Myth and Its Significance
  • The Role of Science in Society: Discussing the Ethical Implications of Scientific Progress
  • The Theme of Ambition: Analyzing the Characters’ Pursuit of Power, Success, and Recognition
  • Guilt and Remorse in “Frankenstein”: Examining the Characters’ Moral Struggles and Regrets
  • The Role of Nature in the Novel: Discussing the Symbolic Significance of Natural Elements
  • The Sublime in “Frankenstein”: Analyzing the Awe-Inspiring and Terrifying Aspects of the Sublime

Literary Analysis Topics on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”

  • Influence of Wealth and Materialism in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Symbolism of the Green Light in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Examining the American Dream in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • The Role of Social Class in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • The Significance of Gatsby’s Extravagant Parties in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Exploring the Decline of the American Dream in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Examining Nick Carraway as the Narrator in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • The Symbolic Role of the Valley of Ashes in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Analyzing the Theme of Time in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • The Role of Morality and Ethics in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Betrayal and Deception in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Foreshadowing in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Examining the Motif of Eyes and Vision in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Religion and Spirituality in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Analyzing the Theme of Isolation in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Fate and Destiny in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Nick Carraway’s Midwest Background in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Hope and Despair in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Dreams and Aspirations in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Examining the Theme of Identity in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”

Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” Literary Analysis Topics

  • Individualism vs. Conformity in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”
  • Power and Authority: A Critical Analysis of “The Crucible”
  • Betrayal and Loyalty: Exploring Motives in “The Crucible”
  • Hysteria and Mass Psychology: An Analysis of “The Crucible”
  • Reputation’s Impacts on Social Standing in “The Crucible”
  • Justice and Injustice: A Closer Look at “The Crucible”
  • Truth and Deception: Unveiling Hidden Agendas in “The Crucible”
  • Guilt vs. Innocence: A Moral Examination of “The Crucible”
  • Religion and Morality in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”
  • Fear and Paranoia: Examining the Motifs in “The Crucible”
  • Gender Roles and Patriarchy: A Feminist Perspective on “The Crucible”
  • Integrity and Moral Courage in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”
  • Social Class and Inequality: The Struggle in “The Crucible”
  • Manipulation and Control: Unveiling the Tactics in “The Crucible”
  • The Power of Accusation in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”
  • Conflict and Resolution: Analyzing Dynamics in “The Crucible”
  • Redemption and Forgiveness: Themes in “The Crucible”
  • The Proctor Family: Examining the Role in “The Crucible”
  • Symbolism and Allegory in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”
  • The Significance of the Salem Witch Trials in “The Crucible”
  • The Destructive Power of Rumors in “The Crucible”

Literary Analysis Topics on Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”

  • Censorship and Its Influence on Society in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Symbolic Imagery in Ray Bradbury’s Novel “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Character Development and Transformations in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • The Role of Technology in Bradbury’s Literary Work “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Conflict Between Conformity and Individuality in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • The Power of Literature in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Social Criticism in Ray Bradbury’s Famous Novel “Fahrenheit 451”
  • The Dystopian Society Portrayed in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Loss of Human Connection and Relationships in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Rebellion and Its Significance in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Fire as a Symbolic Element in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Psychological Themes Explored in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Intellectual Freedom and Its Importance in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Alienation and Isolation in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • The Role of Education in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Memory and Identity Exploration in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • The Importance of History in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Gender Roles and Stereotypes Addressed in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • The Influence of Mass Media in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Dehumanization of Society in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”

William Shakespeare’s “Othello” Literary Analysis Topics

  • Identity and Self-Deception in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Manipulation and Envy in “Othello”
  • The Power of Language in the Tragedy of Othello
  • The Role of Women: Subversion and Agency in “Othello”
  • Love and Treachery in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • The Tragic Hero’s Downfall: Othello’s Demise
  • Deception and Illusion in “Othello”
  • The Destructive Nature of Revenge: Themes in “Othello”
  • Racism and Prejudice in the Play “Othello”
  • Influence of Social Hierarchies: Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • The Burden of Guilt and Conscience in “Othello”
  • Friendship and Loyalty Explored in “Othello”
  • Hubris: The Fatal Flaw in Othello’s Character
  • The Consequences of Iago’s Machinations in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Loss of Innocence: Themes in “Othello”
  • The Role of Fate and Destiny in Othello’s Tragedy
  • Othello and Desdemona: A Tragic Love Affair
  • Symbolism of the Handkerchief in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Honor and Reputation in the Play “Othello”
  • Themes of Illusion and Reality in “Othello”
  • Power Dynamics and Control in Shakespeare’s “Othello”

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Literature Topics and Research

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This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

What kinds of topics are good ones?

The best topics are ones that originate out of your own reading of a work of literature, but here are some common approaches to consider:

  • A discussion of a work's characters: are they realistic, symbolic, historically-based?
  • A comparison/contrast of the choices different authors or characters make in a work
  • A reading of a work based on an outside philosophical perspective (Ex. how would a Freudian read Hamlet ?)
  • A study of the sources or historical events that occasioned a particular work (Ex. comparing G.B. Shaw's Pygmalion with the original Greek myth of Pygmalion)
  • An analysis of a specific image occurring in several works (Ex. the use of moon imagery in certain plays, poems, novels)
  • A "deconstruction" of a particular work (Ex. unfolding an underlying racist worldview in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness )
  • A reading from a political perspective (Ex. how would a Marxist read William Blake's "London"?)
  • A study of the social, political, or economic context in which a work was written — how does the context influence the work?

How do I start research?

Once you have decided on an interesting topic and work (or works), the best place to start is probably the Internet. Here you can usually find basic biographical data on authors, brief summaries of works, possibly some rudimentary analyses, and even bibliographies of sources related to your topic.

The Internet, however, rarely offers serious direct scholarship; you will have to use sources found in the library, sources like journal articles and scholarly books, to get information that you can use to build your own scholarship-your literary paper. Consult the library's on-line catalog and the MLA Periodical Index. Avoid citing dictionary or encyclopedic sources in your final paper.

How do I use the information I find?

The secondary sources you find are only to be used as an aid. Your thoughts should make up most of the essay. As you develop your thesis, you will bring in the ideas of the scholars to back up what you have already said.

For example, say you are arguing that Huck Finn is a Christ figure ; that's your basic thesis. You give evidence from the novel that allows this reading, and then, at the right place, you might say the following, a paraphrase:

According to Susan Thomas, Huck sacrifices himself because he wants to set Jim free (129).

If the scholar states an important idea in a memorable way, use a direct quote.

"Huck's altruism and feelings of compassion for Jim force him to surrender to the danger" (Thomas 129).

Either way, you will then link that idea to your thesis.

essay topics literature

100 Best Literary Research Topics – Fresh Perspectives on Literature Pieces

Selecting the right literature topics for a research paper work can be challenging due to the wealth of literary works and themes available. To find the perfect topic, focus on your personal character interests, the scope of your assignment, and the availability of resources or requirements of American universities. Reflect on the literary periods, authors, or themes that captivate you, and investigate potential questions or ideas related to them. Seeking guidance from your instructor or peers can also be beneficial, as can browsing academic journals, literary critiques, or scholarly databases to discover trending literature research paper topics or ongoing debates in the literary and cultural field.

How to Understand If a Topic Is Good?

Choose literary topics for research paper works that genuinely interest you ensure there is a sufficient amount of primary and secondary sources, and contribute to the existing body of knowledge. You need to determine if literary research topics in history are suitable for your literary research paper, consider the factors: interest and engagement with the literary research topic, the scope and maintenance of the subject.

Test it with an Outline

You need to create a preliminary outline for your paper, organizing your ideas and potential arguments logically. Together with our research paper writing service , you gain the success results. In another way, you can concentrate on the text`s main points and reveal the literary research topics intricacy, pertinence, and scope.

Write a Thesis Statement

Craft a premise statement that encapsulates your central argument and offers a fresh perspective on your chosen literature research paper ideas to ensure it is neither overly broad. An effective premise statement should be clear, concise, and debatable, sparking further discussion and analysis, and if you feel troubled with managing this task our website writes for you any essay .

List of Literature Research Topics

When choosing literary research topics, consider exploring various spheres of interest that offer diverse subjects for examination. For instance, focus on the works of specific authors, the characteristics of a particular literary period, or the themes and poetry that recur across different eras. Delve into the representation of historical and social issues in literary research topics, such as gender roles, race, or mental health, and investigate how to make the list of the best research paper topics . By examining American literature research topics, you can find literature topics for research that resonates with your interests and contributes to the existing body of literary knowledge. Additionally, you may explore genres like science fiction or magical poetry, examining their impact on society and culture. Investigating the relationship between literature and other disciplines, such as philosophy, psychology, or history, can also yield fascinating American or British lit research paper topics.

British Literature Research Paper Topics

You can investigate captivating elements of literary research paper topics through an array of research work topics. By scrutinizing distinct themes, genres, and historical eras, you can profoundly comprehend the multifaceted and diverse landscape of English literary research subjects and their impact on American authors. This exploration allows you to broaden your knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and foster a genuine appreciation for the creative and intellectual contributions within the field of English literature research topics.

  • Gender Roles in Shakespeare’s Plays.
  • Power Representation in Jane Austen’s Novels.
  • Love and Marriage in John Donne’s Poetry.
  • Gothic literature’s influence on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
  • Imperialism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
  • Symbolism in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
  • Nature’s Role in William Wordsworth’s Poetry.
  • Social Class in George Eliot’s Middlemarch.
  • Supernatural Elements in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
  • World War I’s Impact on Early 20th-Century Literature.

American Literature Topics

From iconic novels to influential authors, these literary research topics encompass the essence of American identity, history, and culture. Unravel the complexities of this vast literary landscape as you delve into themes of race, ethnicity, the American Dream, and more, uncovering the unique perspectives and voices that have shaped and defined American literature throughout the centuries.

  • The American Identity in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
  • The American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
  • The American Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
  • Race and ethnicity in James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain.
  • The American Slavery in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • Road Trip in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
  • Magical Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • The American Civil Rights Movement’s Impact on 1960s American Literature.
  • The American Religion in Flannery O’Connor’s works.
  • The American West in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.

Science Fiction Literary Research Essay Topics

With these topics, you can delve into a myriad of literary research topics that explore the depths of futuristic societies, alternate realities, and advanced technology. Unearth the themes, symbolism, and socio-political commentary embedded within these stories, fostering a deeper appreciation for the power and allure of sci-fi literary research topics.

  • Artificial Intelligence in Asimov’s “I, Robot” and Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
  • Dystopia in Orwell’s “1984” and Huxley’s “Brave New World.”
  • Alienation in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.”
  • Time Travel in Wells’ “The Time Machine” and L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”
  • Genetic Engineering in Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake.”
  • Environmentalism in Herbert’s “Dune” and Butler’s “Parable of the Sower.”
  • Virtual Reality in Gibson’s “Neuromancer” and Stephenson’s “Snow Crash.”
  • Post-apocalyptic settings in McCarthy’s “The Road” and Mandel’s “Station Eleven.”
  • Identity in Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” and Delany’s “Dhalgren.”
  • Extraterrestrial Life in Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Lem’s “Solaris.”

High School Literary Research Essay Topics

These subjects should be carefully selected for their relevance and appeal, they provide the perfect foundation for developing critical thinking, analytical skills, and a love for literature. Discover thought-provoking issues relevant to high school readers with these high school literary research topics. By delving into contemporary literary research topics that resonate with teenage audiences, you can foster a greater appreciation for literature and its impact on young minds.

  • Mental Illness in Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and Plath’s “The Bell Jar.”
  • Symbolism in Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” and its relevance today.
  • Identity and Self-Discovery in Baldwin’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and Walker’s “The Color Purple.”
  • Racism and inequality in Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.”
  • Nature and Symbolism in Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” and Frost’s works.
  • Isolation and Loneliness in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
  • Gender Roles in Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” and Chopin’s “The Awakening.”
  • Magical Realism in Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and Allende’s “The House of the Spirits.”
  • War and its effects in Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” and Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five.”
  • The American Dream in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”

Modernist Literature Research Paper Topics

Discover interesting literature topics of self-discovery, rebellion, and experimental styles that resonate with teenagers, while gaining an understanding of the cultural and historical influences that fuelled this revolutionary movement. Fell the groundbreaking literary movements in these modernist research topics in literature and chose the best one for you.

  • Fragmentation in Modernist Literature: Joyce’s Ulysses and Eliot’s The Waste Land.
  • Modernist Literature and Trauma: Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
  • World War I’s Influence on Modernist Literature: Owen’s Works and Ford’s Parade’s End.
  • Time in Modernist Literature: Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.
  • Women’s Role in Modernist Literature: Barnes’ Nightwood and Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea.
  • Identity in Modernist Literature: Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain and Ellison’s Invisible Man.
  • Stream of Consciousness in Modernist Literature: Mansfield’s “Bliss” and Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.
  • Modernist Literature and the City: Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and Eliot’s “Preludes.”
  • Modernist Literature and the Movement: Pound’s The Cantos and H.D.’s Trilogy.
  • The “Lost Generation” in Modernist Literature: Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Renaissance Literature Research Paper Topics

The era, characterized by a remarkable resurgence in culture, art, and intellectual pursuits, has impacted the trajectory of human civilization. Uncover the rich tapestry of the revival literary research topics for your literary research paper.

  • Love in Shakespeare’s Sonnets
  • Women in Twelfth Night and the Duchess of Malfi
  • Humanism in Utopia and Petrarch’s Sonnets
  • Fate in Romeo and Juliet and Doctor Faustus
  • Courtly Love in the Faerie Queene and Astrophil and Stella
  • Classical Themes in Julius Caesar and Dido, Queen of Carthage
  • Reformation in Paradise Lost and the Temple
  • Power in Macbeth and The Revenger’s Tragedy
  • Revival Influence on Hamlet and the Spanish Tragedy
  • Kingship between Richard II and Edward II

Controversial Literature Research Paper Topics

Debate and analyze character issues in literature with these controversial literature literary research topics. These subjects allow you to explore literary research topics, ethical dilemmas, and social commentaries within literary works, providing an opportunity for intellectual growth and open dialogue.

  • Mental Illness Portrayal in Literature: Helpful or Harmful?
  • Cultural Appropriation in Literature Ethics.
  • Racial Slurs Use in Literature Controversy.
  • Trigger Warnings in Literature and Free Speech Impact.
  • Censorship Effects on Literature and Society.
  • Authorial Intent Ethics in Literary Interpretation.
  • Sexuality Representation in Literature Controversy.
  • Violence against Women’s Portrayal in Literature and Society’s Impact.
  • Cancel Culture’s Impact on Literature and Publishing.
  • Literary Classics Value Debate in Modern Society.

World Literature Research Topics

Embark on a literary journey around the globe with these World literary research topics.

  • War Depiction in Global Literature
  • Novel Evolution in Different Cultures
  • Immigration and Diaspora in Literature
  • Love and Relationships in Global Literature
  • Colonialism’s Impact on Global Literature
  • Mythology in Global Literature
  • Cultural Identity in International Literature
  •  Political Oppression and Resistance Themes
  • Eastern Philosophy’s Influence on Western Literature
  • Spirituality and Religion in Global Literature

Literature Research Paper Topics for Students

These literary research topics are designed to challenge students’ critical thinking and analytical skills while fostering a deeper appreciation for literature.

  • Technology’s Impact on Contemporary Literature.
  • LGBTQ+ Community Portrayal in Literature.
  • Mental Health Representation in Young Adult Literature.
  • Feminism’s Role in Shaping Contemporary Literature.
  • Globalization’s Impact on Literature and Culture.
  • Social Justice and Activism Themes in Modern Literature.
  • Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Literature.
  • Postmodernism’s Influence on Contemporary Literature.
  • Environment and Climate Change Representation in Literature.
  • Science Fiction’s Role in Reflecting and Shaping Contemporary Society.

Modern Literature Research Paper Topics

Analyze the intricacies of modern literary research topics masterpieces for university students.

  • Magic Realism in Garcia Marquez’s Works
  • Morrison and Baldwin’s Literary Techniques
  • Feminism in Alice Munro’s Short Stories
  • Postmodernism in Don Delillo’s Novels
  • Mental Illness in the Bell Jar and the Yellow Wallpaper
  • Identity in Adichie and Lahiri’s Works
  • Colonialism’s Impact on Achebe and Ngugi WA Thiong’O
  • Stream of Consciousness in Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses
  • Masculinity in Hemingway’s Novels
  • Memory Role in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Novels

Ancient Literature Research Topics

Delve into the origins of storytelling and literary research topics for your literary research paper. These literary research topics will allow you to investigate various themes, genres, and styles across different time periods, ultimately enhancing your appreciation for the transformative power of storytelling. 

  • Women in Greek Tragedies
  • Mythology in Homer & Virgil Epic
  • Poetry: Greece vs Rome
  • Prophecy in Greek Tragedies
  • Fate in Oedipus Rex & Macbeth
  • Dreams in Egyptian Literature
  • Gods in Mesopotamian Literature
  • Love Poetry: India & China
  • Oral Tradition in African Literature
  • Karma in Mahabharata 

In conclusion, selecting literary research topics is an essential step in the writing process, as it sets the foundation for your entire paper. Explore various subjects within English, American, or global literature, and consider literary research topics such as gender roles, power representation, or the impact of historical events on literature discuss. Remember to choose literary research topics that genuinely interest you, as this will make the literature discussion and writing process more enjoyable and engaging. Test your literary research topics with an outline and a premise statement to ensure it is focused, specific, and manageable.

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Tops 50 Literary Essay Topics

Literature courses are usually all about reading and then writing about what you have just read. Sometimes, it’s quite hard to comprehend what you are reading about, let alone to write an essay and analyze everything. Luckily for you, this article will summarize all the literary analysis topics and ideas you might come across and it will provide insights that will help you a lot when you start writing a good-quality literary essay.

Handy Tips for Composing Good Literary Essays

Before we go to the themes and topics you can approach when writing a literary essay , let’s first take a quick look at some basic rules that you need to keep in mind when writing about literature. It’s nothing too complicated but remembering these rules and applying them when writing could definitely change the end result. Here are 3 things you’d want to take into consideration:

  • Make sure you follow the proper format when writing about literature. A good essay example in this direction is that of titles that should be written in Italic and if we’re referring to poems and short stories, the titles should be between quote marks.
  • If you add quotes to your essay, always make sure you mark them down correctly with the exact location of the quote you are referring to in the original paper.
  • Try to avoid quoting directly or borrowing arguments from other literary essays or analytical papers. It could be considered a form of plagiarism by some of the teachers and you don’t want that.

One final thought before jumping into the subject of topics and ideas for your literary essays. Keep in mind that the topics and fine details are important but you need to have a strong understanding of the basics in order to have a good product. In other words, you need to have a straightforward introduction, a well-defined body, and a strong and comprehensive conclusion.

How to Write Perfect Shakespeare Essays

If you’re studying English, there’s no way in the world to do that without going through the work of William Shakespeare and that’s the main reason we will be starting this article with a list of Shakespeare-based essay topics. Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the most used topic by students all over the world, however, there are still a lot of good essay examples that you can use. Here are some helpful topics if you need to write a Shakespearean literary analysis essay.

Romeo and Juliet

Even though there are a lot of essay examples on this subject all over the internet and the feeling is that you can’t possibly find a new topic on the subject, here are some ideas that you can use to start your paper.

Fate’s Role in Romeo and Juliet

It’s common knowledge that Romeo and Juliet are the first star-crossed lovers in literature. And there are all kinds of clues that Shakespeare introduced all over the text that their love story was, up to a point, sealed by fate.

Dark and Light in Romeo and Juliet

Light and dark, both from a contrast point of view but as well as moments of their love story are present throughout this literary piece. Actually, it is embedded in the entire language of the play and even the character of Romeo has these characteristics present while dealing with contradictory feelings.

Time in Romeo and Juliet

Another very interesting subject for a good-quality essay is the matter of time and the love story between the two characters. Romeo comes to visit during the night and always makes promises of a return in the future. All these happen in a play that has a total timeline of around a week, symbolizing how short our time really is.

Love in Romeo and Juliet

Even though it might seem to be a predictable topic at first glance, love is and will be the ultimate theme and symbol of Romeo and Juliet. The tragic destiny is that the bond of the couple has become a theme for romantic fatalism and that’s the reason it is the number one topic in the literary essays written about Shakespeare’s work.

The competition between Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet in which piece of work of Shakespeare is the most assigned in English courses is tight, however, we’d like to consider Hamlet to be in the second place simply because of the sheer volume of essays written on Romeo and Juliet. If you’re going to focus on this monumental play written by the English genius, here are some topics that should help.

Hamlet and Mortality

If you look closely at Shakespeare’s work, you will notice that a lot of the characters end up dead. Hamlet makes no exception to this rule and there’s so much to analyze and speculate about mortality in this play that you should be just great and write a pretty big essay on this topic.

Misogyny and Women in Hamlet

The play takes place in a time when women did not have too many rights or a certain place in society. You can clearly see that in characters like Ophelia or Gertrude that are not treated well at all. They’d make the main subject of an essay regarding the place of women in the society of those times.

Hamlet and the Theme of Madness

If you’re going to write an essay on Hamlet, you can’t leave out the motive of madness. Just like an essay on Romeo and Juliet couldn’t go without the theme of love, madness is one of the essential characteristics of the play.

The shortest of the mandatory Shakespearean plays, Macbeth is just as full of symbols and meaningful themes and motives that can easily turn into a good literary essay. Here are just a few that you can focus on when writing a piece on Macbeth.

Ambition and Its Corrupting Influence

The main character of this play is in the middle of a quest and there are several moments when he alone decides that the ends justify the means, a theme that can be exploited as an essay topic. Alternatively, you can focus on Lady Macbeth that has quite the same philosophy when it comes to her goals.

Witchcraft in Macbeth

The prophecies issued by the three witches are the main reason why Macbeth is set into action. This theme is often left aside when considering good essay topics in the favor of Lady Macbeth sleepwalking. You could really build something interesting if you choose such a topic since the world of the supernatural is always appealing and attractive.

Another great play by Shakespeare that can be the base of a lot of essay topics. Many of those that had the honor to play the king in this piece have sustained that it’s one of the most intriguing roles due to the king’s slow descent into madness, making him one great essay topic. Apart from that, madness itself is a great approach if you’re going to write a literary essay based on King Lear.

You wouldn’t consider a sonnet to be a good essay topic, however, Sonnet 18 is so succinct and rich in meaning that it can actually give you at least two or three essay topics. First of all, you have adoration and love, which can be a very inspiring topic. Besides that, you have the ever-present theme of jealousy that can, again, make a great topic.

Essays Beyond Shakespeare

It’s natural that the literature world doesn’t end with Shakespeare but it certainly starts there. In the following rows, we will analyze other relevant essay topics derived from big titles of other famous English writers.

Night by Elie Wiesel

This memoir of the holocaust and the events that surrounded it is quite difficult to read for students, the reason why it is often avoided. But what can you do when your teacher requests a Night essay? Well, obviously, you need to start looking for some good topics that will help you develop the structure of the piece you’ll be writing. We’ll give you a helping hand with that by letting you know that you definitely have to touch the subjects of religious faith and the inhuman side of people that are put in extreme situations. When you’re not dealing with fictional literature, it may seem easier to find good topics so the list can go on.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

The story of the 22-year-old McCandless Christopher also known as Alex Supertramp, who decides to abandon society and the modern world to take a 2-year trip into the wilderness of the US. There are a lot of topics and themes that can be extracted from this book. Among them, the escape from society, rebellion against the rules, and sheer power of nature are the favorites when deciding to write a literary essay.

Essays on Ancient Greek Literature

The literature from those times gained a timeless stamp due to the fact that it is so old and is still present in the educational system and did not lose any of its value. From another perspective, since thousands of years have passed between the time these works were written and the moment you have to write an essay on them, the vast majority of topics have already been approached in other works. But even so, there are some things that can be done to bring something new into literary essays based on ancient books.

The Republic – Plato

Plato is, without a doubt, one of the most influential philosophers in the Western World so you can imagine that writing a paper on his very powerful ‘The Republic’ is not at all an easy task. Before you start writing anything, you should take some time and understand the philosophic approach that Plato had. After that, you will be able to find a lot of topics about ‘The Republic’ such as human nature, fight for power, and hierarchy.

Antigone – Sophocles

Another great mind of those times, Sophocles had some really interesting views that he shared in his masterpiece ‘Antigone’. If you’re looking for topics and themes to write about, you can easily go with civil disobedience, human law, and even faithfulness and honor.

Literary Analysis Topic on the Subject of Race

The subject of race was of a great interest to a lot of writers and a lot of books have this subject as a central piece. If you’re looking to write an essay that touches the subject of race, you should definitely take the following works into consideration.

Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M Coetzee

‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ is quite a powerful piece of work that even brought the author a Nobel Prize for Literature. Talking about such an award-winning work, if you were to do a summary of it, you should definitely approach the topic of tension between the fictional town-colony and the surrounding population.

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

This is the story of Marlow and his journey on the Congo River. On his journey, he meets an ivory trader called Kurtz and there are a lot of themes being explored in the book: imperialism, racism, and even how civil the western society is compared to the indigenous population.

Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

Mark Twain is very famous for his fictional pieces that really appeal to a lot of true characteristics that can be found in the society. Huckleberry Finn makes no exception and it includes a lot of characters that depict the political class and the struggle that the population was left with. If you were to write a piece on this book, themes like slavery versus freedom or man versus nature are a must.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

This is another example of a great classic. Like a lot of other great pieces of the 20th century, Harper Lee’s book is focused on the South of America and it explores a lot of subjects of justice and race.

Profound Literary Analysis Topics in Women’s Literature

We approached this subject a bit when we were discussing Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, but it’s time to go deeper into the subject and check out some books dedicated to gender and the place of women in society.

The Works of Alice Walker

Alice Walker is a great literary figure of the 20th century, being the author of a lot of notable books and short stories. From all her portfolio, two works are the musts when it comes to literary analysis.

The Color Purple

Perhaps the most famous work of Alice Walker, this book won a lot of awards for the way it approaches themes like racism, sexism, and modification of traditional gender purpose in the society. All these topics can be successfully used for in-depth literary essays as well.

Everyday Use

This is a short story that approaches the subject of heirloom possessions that are being passed from one generation to another. These are also the main themes and topics that can be used if we are talking about essays since the differences between generations are something quite hot nowadays.

Jane Austin’s Works

Even though she departed early, the talent she has shown was tremendous and the breakthroughs she managed to obtain were incredible for a woman living at the end of the 18th century. She explored the role of women in that society and focused on how much hard work they had to do in order to secure respectable places in society.

Pride and Prejudice

Wealth and social position are just two of the main themes and topics of this book that follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet that must choose between two men. One is a better individual from a moral and physical point of view while the other has a better social position. The topic here is clearly about how wealth can change someone’s standards and it also makes a good essay starting point.

Yet another book that fits perfectly in the pattern we were discussing above, Emma is the tale of a woman that is more interested in seeing her sisters married. This book explores the constraints placed upon women in that period and the symbolism of marriage in that society.

The 19th and 20th Century Period

A lot of the literary works that are now studied by English students were completed in the golden era that included the 19th and the 20th centuries. Everything from extraordinary novels to short poems is providing insight into topics that define the Anglophone world and can as well be used in a lot of literary essays.

Part of ‘The Adventures of the Speckled Band’, Sherlock Holmes arose as a very influential character among teachers and students. Essays on the topics of good versus evil and overall order in chaos are among the favorites when writing an essay on this short story.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Yet another awesome example of what the golden period of writing had to offer to readers and essay writers alike. The topics approached in this title are shaping around the dangers of group thinking and how irrationality and rationality are sometimes in conflict that is then expanded into morality or immorality.

The Princess Bride – William Goldman

A very entertaining book that was also transformed into a movie touches the topics of the arbitrary nature of history and time and how love tends to conquer all in the end.

The Rocking Horse Winner – D. H. Lawrence

Lawrence is one of the geniuses of the 20th century in literature and this short story is the best demonstration of his skill. It tells the story of a family that struggles and the main themes that are being explored are greed, money, and a bit of fiction.

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

This book captures the struggles of medium-class individuals during the Great Depression. The central theme is the following of dreams and how powerful the human spirit is when it has a clear goal to fight for.

A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams

Considered by most the best-known American dramatic play, it approaches the themes of fantasy and reality in an eternal conflict as well as the era’s tendency of women to depend on men.

Topics and Themes for Analysis of Poetry

Stephen Crane gave the world ‘War is Kind’, a collection of poems that touched deep and powerful themes such as war, violence, and human greed and all the inspiration came from his personal experience with the American-Spanish and Greco-Turkish wars.You can use it for your poem analysis essay .

John Donne, a total opposite of Stephen Crane, focused his work on sonnets that approached the topics of love, death, religion, and social criticism. It’s true that they lived in different times as well.

Contemporary Literature

If you’re thinking it’s a pity you were born in these times because no good books are written anymore, you are mistaken. What we now consider big classics were not so hot during their times either and that’s the cycle of literature, to become valuable a certain time after the book is released. So, if you want to go with contemporary literature for your essay, here are some suggestions.

Reservation Blues – Sherman Alexie

Depicting the story of a young group of men that get their hands on an enchanted guitar that once upon a time belonged to a legendary bluesman, the book touches sensitive subjects of the Native American life such as endurance, overcoming everyday obstacles, and poverty.

Montana 1948 – Larry Watson

Set in Western American state of Montana, this novella is about a family that struggles to survive in the tough conditions they have to face. Themes of loyalty, family obligations and bonds or even justice are approached by Watson and they can be great sources of inspiration for good essays.

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

This book follows the story of Susie, a young woman that dies but her spirit leaves the body and watches over the investigation of her case. Obviously, the recurrent themes here are justice, mortality, and grief.

Feel free to explore other essay title examples in our blog.

What Response Essays Are and How to Tackle Them

  • How To Write A Conclusion For An Essay
  • How to Write a Process Analysis Essay
  • How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay
  • How To Write a Communication Essay

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100 Best Literature Research Paper Topics For Students

literary research paper topics

Literary research paper topics are among the most interesting to write about. Books are the best teachers for most learners. And, students love reading interesting literature books. But, when asked to write research papers, most students have difficulties choosing their topics. That’s because many issues can be investigated and written about.

For instance, literary topics can be about characters’ personalities in certain works. They can also be about particular characteristics of specific literary genres. Learners can also choose literary analysis topics that focus on the life story of famous writers or poets. But, regardless of what a learner opts to write about, they should choose interesting topics.

What are Interesting Literary Research Paper Topics?

Several factors make a topic interesting to write about. A topic for a research paper or a graduate thesis should generally be definite, specific, and innovative. Also, it should be interesting to research and write about. Here’s how to select interesting literature topics:

Think about something. Explore the idea to select a topic for which you can find sufficient research data from credible sources. Narrow down your subject if you find it too broad.

English literature topics can be classified into different categories. Here some of these categories and topics can be considered in each category.

Great World Literature Research Topics

Perhaps, you’ve been asked to write a literature research paper with a global perspective. Here are some of the literary analysis research paper topics that you can consider.

  • Explain how the supernatural and spirituality help in furthering the development of the plot in the Latin American literature of the early 20th century.
  • What themes are common in the Japanese poems of the early 20th century? How do they differ from those of the early 19th century?
  • Compare the early Chinese literary works and European literary works of the middle ages. How different or alike are they?
  • How were European literary works in the early 20th century shaped by the revolutionary works of Engels and Marx? What examples can demonstrate this influence?
  • Explain how the Muslim philosophers’ work of the 15th century led to new ideas and inventions across the globe.
  • Compare and contrast different anti-British works that originated in India in the 19th century with pro-colonialist works that came from England at the same time.
  • How did the nightmarish utopian future ideas of Aldous Huxley influence modern-day science fiction writers across the world?
  • Explain how the Antigone play by Sophocles deals with the conflict between the central characters while relating to the state laws and individual conscience.
  • How are the sentiments of the authors reflected in Animal Farm by George Orwell and concerns about the October Revolution?
  • Explain some of the examples of literary fiction pieces that have shaped cultures in the world. Have historic, societal, and cultural factors played some roles in shaping these literature pieces?
  • Being a prolific writer in the early and mid-19th century, Charles Dickens’s works were published in serialized forms. How and why has this approach become less fashionable?
  • Compare and contrast the early Japanese literature works and the early Chinese literature works. How do they differ in terms of values and culture?
  • Explain how comedy differs in literature across cultures. What comedy appeared in the early theatrical performances and it’s still present in modern literature?
  • Analyze chivalry and honor critically in the Green Knight and Sir Gawain. What are the qualities of these works from a similar period?
  • Compare and contrast the Odyssey and Iliad by Homer the Ancient Greek. Explain how cultures across the world have adapted the themes presented in the poem.

Top Literary topics for Research Paper

Some topics for literary analysis stand out among students. These are topics that educators recommend for students across the study levels.

  • How is literature an aspect of modern culture?
  • Explain how feminism has influenced modern literature
  • How is psychology utilized in literature?
  • Explain the major social issues that have been exposed by literary works
  • Explain the philosophical tradition of Daoism in the Chinese literature
  • Explain the roles played by death and honor in Japanese literature in the 20th century
  • Explain how the European culture influences the Mid-West literature
  • How has European culture affected modern literature?
  • Analyze the personality of Don Quixote
  • Explain how literature differs between countries.
  • Discuss poetry in the innovative ear of the 21st century
  • Examine racism in the novels of the 1960s and 1970s
  • Explain the exile’s perception in literature
  • Literature and culture? Which one affects the other?
  • How has literature addressed homosexuality?

These can also be great literary debate topics. That’s because learners can have varying opinions about them.

British Literature Research Paper Topics

Students have many topics to choose from when it comes to British literature essay topics. Here are some of the best literature topics from the works of British authors.

  • Discuss Victorian England’s picture with the works of Charles Dickens in mind
  • Discuss the theme of Orphans with the Oliver Twist character in mind
  • Explain how British Literature has influenced different cultures
  • Explain how British literature has addressed gender issues
  • Explain how King Lear highlights the differences between anti-heroes and villains
  • Explain William Shakespeare’s personality- Highlight facts and myths
  • Choose two famous British novels and then compare the characters in them
  • Explain the viewpoint of different writers about the Utopian civilization idea
  • With Harry Potter books in mind, explain why some literature books are considered classics
  • Explain how love and romantic love are presented in Charlotte Bronte’s works
  • Explain how modern literary works have been affected by the Victorian period works
  • Discuss the adultery theme in Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Who are the main characters in Lake Poets’ works?
  • Explain how violent imagery was used in World War I poetry
  • Explain talent as a theme in Milton’s on His Blindness
  • Explain innocence loss in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  • Explain the theme of individualism versus collectivism in Oliver Twist
  • Explain why the popularity of detective novels increased in the XIX century
  • What role did the supernatural play in Macbeth: a case study of three witches
  • Class demarcation in XVII century- The vengeance theme

American Literature Topics

Some teachers ask students to choose American literature research topics for certain reasons. If asked to write on such topics, here are some of the American literature research paper topics to consider.

  • Analyze key aspects of American ideology, particularly in the literature written before the 20th century.
  • Determine thematic concerns and literary styles of the major historical period of American literature between the colonial period and post-modernism.
  • Show the American identity uniqueness of texts
  • Propose connections between the American literature concerns and themes in the larger historical development and social issues that face the present world
  • Examine major concerns and themes that reappear across the American literature
  • Highlight the major themes in Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
  • Explain the African American Experience with female authors like Alice Walker, Zora Neal Hurston, and Toni Morrison
  • Explain the predominant theme in The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • Explain how Jonathan Edwards epitomizes Puritan definitions in his sermons
  • Explain the use of historical personalities and events by Washington Irving as the background for his works
  • The Crucible demonstrates how a community can be torn apart by hysteria. Explain
  • Explain how Sylvia Plath demonstrates the social pressure faced by women in the 1960s in the Bell Jar.
  • Explain how John Knowles demonstrates the impact of war on everyone
  • Explain the strong belief in the education power by Maya Angelou as depicted in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Explain how Thornton Wilder conveys life as a gift in Our Town
  • Discuss the themes of anger and pity in the Grapes of Wrath
  • Explain how Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck portrays the Great Depression struggles
  • Discuss the portrayal of the unconquerable spirit in Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
  • Plays by Eugene O’Neil are tragically realistic. Explain
  • God is humanized in The Creation poem by James Weldon Johnson. Explain

Some of the ideas here are great poetry topics. Nevertheless, they require careful research and analysis to write about.

High School Literary Essay Topics

Some topics in literature are ideal for high school essays. Here are examples of literary analysis paper topics for high school students.

  • Compare and contrast the major characters in your preferred book
  • Choose your favorite character in a book and explain your reasons for liking it
  • Please explain why the quality of a literature book is not determined by its length
  • Highlight the similarities of your favorite books
  • Discuss the top 4 authors in horror books
  • Explain why reading some books is more difficult than reading others
  • Explain what it takes to write a high-quality poem
  • Who is your favorite poet and why?
  • Explain what makes your favorite book interesting
  • Who is your favorite character in literary works and why?
  • What makes some literature books difficult to read?
  • Who are your favorite top 5 authors and why?
  • Should the age of readers be restricted to some books?
  • What is your favorite literary genre?
  • Explain why the author determines the quality of a book more than the story
  • Discuss the literary works of your favorite authors
  • Why is it important to captivate readers with the introductory chapter of a book?
  • Which book genre makes great movies?
  • Why is the work of Harry Potter so popular?
  • Explain why your favorite horror book is scary

Unique Research Topics in English Literature

Some literature research topics are unique and can be written about by learners at different study levels. Here are examples of such topics.

  • Analyze the use of literary devices in novels
  • Discuss the author’s autobiography
  • Analyze literary genres and the role played by an artist in them
  • Compare the works of a similar genre
  • Highlight the gender roles of characters in literary works
  • Social stratification and Harry Potter- Discuss
  • With Charles Dickens’ work in mind, explain the peculiarity of the bildungsroman genre.
  • Explain how The Lord of the Rings uses artificial language
  • Explain how the Sherlock Holmes image influences the world of detective fiction
  • Explain the war theme in the world literature

These are also great literary journalism topics. Nevertheless, they require extensive research to write about.

In a nutshell, students have many literary argument topics to consider. The most important thing is to choose an interesting topic that you can find sufficient data to write about. Also, don’t hesitate to check our history topics .

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Major Essay Topics: Examples

The following prompts are suitable for a midterm or capstone essay which incorporates primary and secondary research, literary and/or historical analysis, and the ability to synthesize multiple texts.

Instructors may assign, remix, and reproduce them to suit class needs.

Romantic Era:

  • Lord Byron: Research other depictions of Don Juan in Western literature and culture. Compare them to the infamous libertine’s portrayal in Byron’s “epic poem.” How is Byron attempting to dialogue with these earlier versions? Which traditional Western ideas about masculinity does he reinforce, and which does he contradict?
  • Prince: Research a contemporaneous slave narrative and put it in conversation with Mary Prince’s writing by comparing the two texts. (Examples of authors in this genre include Harriet Jacobs ,  Frederick Douglass ,  Olaudah Equiano , and  Solomon Northup .) Summarize the key differences and/or similarities between the works. What are the circumstances of each author’s life? When/where did their enslavement take place? How did they become free – if  they became free? Are there any points of commonality in the two narratives?  How did audiences react to each writer? Was there any opposition or attempt to discredit either of them?
  • Shelley and Smith:  A character in the  Watchmen  graphic novel miniseries, as well as the HBO adaptation, is named for Ozymandias. How does the comic-book Ozymandias suggest that we view empire in the present day? Are there any ways in which his storyline echoes Shelley’s and Smith’s concerns? Compare the three texts — as well as how differing eras shape their messages.

Victorian Era:

  • Pre-Raphaelitism: The Lady of Shalott was depicted in a number of nineteenth-century paintings after the publication of Tennyson’s poem, particularly among the British Pre-Raphaelites. Look up one of these images, and analyze how closely it reflects the ideas within the poem — as well as how it adds to and/or diverges from Tennyson’s verses. What moment in the poem has the artist chosen to depict? Why? Does the Lady of Shalott seem weak, powerful, or conflicted in this moment? What does the painting suggest about women and their place within the home and/or the world? What do primary sources suggest about the artist’s thoughts and sentiments, as s/he worked to interpret Tennyson?
  • Tennyson and Morris : Compare the depiction of King Arthur’s wife in William Morris’s “The Defence of Guenevere” and Tennyson’s Idylls of the King.  How does each text frame her affair with Sir Lancelot, and the audience’s ideal response to it? What’s more, how does each text compare with the earlier tale in Malory’s Idylls of the King , written centuries earlier? Finally, what do these disparate portrayals suggest about the spectrum of attitudes toward women, marriage, and fidelity among Victorians?
  • Dickens and Gaskell : Compare the responses to the plight of the working poor in “A Christmas Carol” and  Ruth (or another Gaskell text, North and South ). What remedy does each book suggest for the social problems portrayed? What differences can you spot between the texts’ attitudes and portrayals? Finally, spend some time researching the relationship Charles Dickens had with Elizabeth Gaskell. How did this relationship affect the resulting literature? Does it account for some of the similarities and/or differences you have identified?

Twentieth Century to the Present Day:

  • Eliot: Examine the role of intertextuality in T.S. Eliot’s master work,  The Waste-Land . How does the poem use religious texts? Classical references? Historical accounts? Explain how the “fragments” of these other sources help build Eliot’s vision, and analyze his use of each. You may use Eliot’s letters and journals for clues about these influences.
  • Sassoon and Owens: Compare responses to World War I, using the authors we have studied this term. What ideas about war are present in the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon? How do those sentiments compare to the message of T.S. Eliot’s  The Waste-Land ? Finally, after researching each poet’s biography, what does a side-by-side comparison suggest about the impact of poets’ personal experiences on their work?
  • War and its Aftermath: Examine the depictions of wartime found in Eliot, Sassoon, and Owens, and reconsider them in light of 21st century developments. Select one aspect of war (examples: nationalism, post-traumatic health care, eligibility for military service) and trace its evolution between World War I and the present. Where do we see the echoes of 20th century ideas and attitudes today? Are there any major differences in the way 21st century Westerners talk about these topics now? What are they (give several documented examples), and what might have created those shifts?
  • Gender and Relationships: George Bernard Shaw’s  Man and Superman  is not a typical romantic comedy, by late 20th or early 21st century standards. Compare the play to a relatively recent film of the same genre (examples: Four Weddings and a Funeral [1994], Notting Hill [2001], Love, Actually [2003]). What message(s) does each production send about gender, love, family, and/or relationship decisions? What insights might this comparison give us about cultural change in Britain — or the West, more generally — over time?

British Literature II Copyright © 2020 by melston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Essays About Literature: Top 6 Examples and 8 Prompts

Society and culture are formed around literature. If you are writing essays about literature, you can use the essay examples and prompts featured in our guide.

It has been said that language holds the key to all human activities, and literature is the expression of language. It teaches new words and phrases, allows us to better our communication skills, and helps us learn more about ourselves.

Whether you are reading poems or novels, we often see parts of ourselves in the characters and themes presented by the authors. Literature gives us ideas and helps us determine what to say, while language gives form and structure to our ideas, helping us convey them.

6 Helpful Essay Examples

1. importance of literature by william anderson, 2. philippine literature by jean hodges, 3. african literature by morris marshall.

  • 4.  Nine Questions From Children’s Literature That Every Person Should Answer by Shaunta Grimes

5. Exploring tyranny and power in Macbeth by Tom Davey

6. guide to the classics: homer’s odyssey by jo adetunji, 1. the importance of literature, 2. comparing and contrasting two works of literature  , 3. the use of literary devices, 4. popular adaptations of literature, 5. gender roles in literature, 6. analysis of your chosen literary work, 7. fiction vs. non-fiction, 8. literature as an art form.

“Life before literature was practical and predictable, but in the present-day, literature has expanded into countless libraries and into the minds of many as the gateway for comprehension and curiosity of the human mind and the world around them. Literature is of great importance and is studied upon as it provides the ability to connect human relationships and define what is right and what is wrong.”

Anderson writes about why an understanding of literature is crucial. It allows us to see different perspectives of people from different periods, countries, and cultures: we are given the ability to see the world from an entirely new lens. As a result, we obtain a better judgment of situations. In a world where anything can happen, literature gives us the key to enacting change for ourselves and others. You might also be interested in these essays about Beowulf .

“So successful were the efforts of colonists to blot out the memory of the country’s largely oral past that present-day Filipino writers, artists and journalists are trying to correct this inequity by recognizing the country’s wealth of ethnic traditions and disseminating them in schools through mass media. The rise of nationalistic pride in the 1960s and 1970s also helped bring about this change of attitude among a new breed of Filipinos concerned about the “Filipino identity.””

In her essay, Hodges writes about the history of Philippine literature. Unfortunately, much of Philippine literary history has been obscured by Spanish colonization, as the written works of the Spanish largely replaced the oral tradition of the native Filipinos. A heightened sense of nationalism has recently led to a resurgence in Filipino tradition, including ancient Philippine literature. 

“In fact, the common denominator of the cultures of the African continent is undoubtedly the oral tradition. Writing on black Africa started in the middle Ages with the introduction of the Arabic language and later, in the nineteenth century with introduction of the Latin alphabet. Since 1934, with the birth of the “Negritude.” African authors began to write in French or in English.”

Marshall explores the history of African literature, particularly the languages it was written over time. It was initially written in Arabic and native languages; however, with the “Negritude” movement, writers began composing their works in French or English. This movement allowed African writers to spread their work and gain notoriety. Marshall gives examples of African literature, shedding light on their lyrical content. 

4.   Nine Questions From Children’s Literature That Every Person Should Answer by Shaunta Grimes

“ They asked me questions — questions about who I am, what I value, and where I’m headed — and pushed me to think about the answers. At some point in our lives, we decide we know everything we need to know. We stop asking questions. To remember what’s important, it sometimes helps to return to that place of childlike curiosity and wonder.”

Grimes’ essay is a testament to how much we can learn from literature, even as simple as children’s stories. She explains how different works of children’s literature, such as Charlotte’s Web and Little Women, can inspire us, help us maximize our imagination, and remind us of the fleeting nature of life. Most importantly, however, they remind us that the future is uncertain, and maximizing it is up to us. 

“This is a world where the moral bar has been lowered; a world which ‘sinks beneath the yoke’. In the Macbeths, we see just how terribly the human soul can be corrupted. However, this struggle is played out within other characters too. Perhaps we’re left wondering: in such a dog-eat-dog world, how would we fare?”

The corruption that power can lead to is genuine; Davey explains how this theme is present in Shakespeare’s Macbeth . Even after being honored, Macbeth still wishes to be king and commits heinous acts of violence to achieve his goals. Violence is prevalent throughout the play, but Macbeth and Lady Macbeth exemplify the vicious cycle of bloodshed through their ambition and power. 

“Polyphemus is blinded but survives the attack and curses the voyage home of the Ithacans. All of Odysseus’s men are eventually killed, and he alone survives his return home, mostly because of his versatility and cleverness. There is a strong element of the trickster figure about Homer’s Odysseus.”

Adetunji also exposes a notable work of literature, in this case, Homer’s Odyssey . She goes over the epic poem and its historical context and discusses Odysseus’ most important traits: cleverness and courage. As the story progresses, he displays great courage and bravery in his exploits, using his cunning and wit to outsmart his foes. Finally, Adetunji references modern interpretations of the Odyssey in film, literature, and other media.

8 Prompts for Essays About Literature

In your essay, write about the importance of literature; explain why we need to study literature and how it can help us in the future. Then, give examples of literary works that teach important moral lessons as evidence. 

For your essay, choose two works of literature with similar themes. Then, discuss their similarities and differences in plot, theme, and characters. For example, these themes could include death, grief, love and hate, or relationships. You can also discuss which of the two pieces of literature presents your chosen theme better. 

Essays about literature: The use of literary devices

Writers use literary devices to enhance their literary works and emphasize important points. Literary devices include personification, similes, metaphors, and more. You can write about the effectiveness of literary devices and the reasoning behind their usage. Research and give examples of instances where authors use literary devices effectively to enhance their message.  

Literature has been adapted into cinema, television, and other media time and again, with series such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter turning into blockbuster franchises. Explore how these adaptations diverge from their source material yet retain the key themes the writer composed the work with in mind. If this seems confusing, research first and read some essay examples. 

Literature reflects the ideas of the period it is from; for example, ancient Greek literature, such as Antigone, depicts the ideal woman as largely obedient and subservient, to an extent. For your essay, you can write about how gender roles have evolved in literature throughout the years, specifically about women. Be sure to give examples to support your points. 

Choose a work of literature that interests you and analyze it in your essay. You can use your favorite novel, book, or screenplay, explain the key themes and characters and summarize the plot. Analyze the key messages in your chosen piece of literature, and discuss how the themes are enhanced through the author’s writing techniques.

Essays about literature: Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction

Literature can be divided into two categories: fiction, from the writer’s imagination, and non-fiction, written about actual events. Explore their similarities and differences, and give your opinion on which is better. For a strong argument, provide ample supporting details and cite credible sources.  

Literature is an art form that uses language, so do you believe it is more effective in conveying its message? Write about how literature compares to other art forms such as painting and sculpture; state your argument and defend it adequately. 

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

For help picking your next essay topic, check out the best essay topics about social media .

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Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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Essay Writing Guide

Essay Topics

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

Essay Topics: 100+ Best Essay Topics for your Guidance

By: Nova A.

13 min read

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Jan 29, 2019

Essay Topics

Let’s face it, essay writing can be tedious and boring. Spending hours to write a good essay is difficult, and brainstorming essay topic ideas can be even more confusing.

This is what makes writing essays difficult and time-consuming. Luckily, you can learn  essay writing  with practice and by following some good examples. But before that, you should know how to choose a good and engaging topic for your essay.

To help you get started, we have categorized a list of a number of different types of essay topic lists.

Essay Topics

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Argumentative Essay Topics

An argumentative essay investigates a topic in great detail, forms an argument over it, and defends it using supporting data.

Below are some good argumentative essay topic ideas to help you draft winning essays.

  • School students should be allowed to curate their high school curriculum.
  • The role of physical education in the school system.
  • Should the death sentence be implemented globally?
  • It should be illegal to use certain types of animals for experiments and other research purposes.
  • Should the government do more to improve accessibility for people with physical disabilities?
  • Do people learn the art of becoming a politician, or are they born with it?
  • Social media platform owners should monitor and block comments containing hateful language.
  • Does technology play a role in making people feel more isolated?
  • Will there ever be a time when there will be no further technological advancements?
  • It should be illegal to produce and sell tobacco.
  • Girls should be motivated to take part in sports.
  • Rape victims should abort their unborn children.
  • Fathers should get equal paternity leave.
  • Do teenagers get into trouble because they are bored?
  • Individuals who have failed at parenting should be punished.
  • Vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
  • Covid-19 vaccination has more cons than pros.
  • Social media is the real cause of teenage depression.
  • Is the American education system perfect for society?
  • Recycling should be made compulsory.

Choosing a strong topic is key to writing a great essay. Have a look at our blog to select good  argumentative essay topics  to impress the audience.

Persuasive Essay Topics

A persuasive essay is similar to an argumentative paper. However, in it, the writer wants to convince the readers of their point of view. Simple essay topics would make better essays as they help the students stay focused.

Below is a list of some good persuasive essay topics for you:

  • Energy drinks should be banned in schools and colleges.
  • Gambling should be banned in the United States.
  • Should abortions be banned worldwide?
  • Hunting is an immoral act.
  • Is it okay to use animals in a circus?
  • Harmful dogs should be euthanized.
  • Cell phones should not be allowed in schools.
  • Teachers should pass a professional exam, just like students.
  • Schools should reduce the workload on students.
  • Sex education should be mandatory in high schools.
  • Vlogging isn’t an actual profession.
  • Is LinkedIn helpful for finding a job?
  • Social media has played a big role in increasing business opportunities.
  • Is Java becoming obsolete?
  • Should employers go through the candidate’s social media profiles?
  • Animal testing should be banned.
  • Violent video games should be banned.
  • Parents with mental disabilities should not be allowed to adopt children.
  • Alcohol consumption should be legalized in Muslim countries.
  • Every person should get Covid-19 vaccination.

For your help, we have gathered a wide range of  persuasive essay topics . Give it a read.

Descriptive Essay Topics

A descriptive essay describes a specific thing by using sensory data. It is done to engage the reader’s five senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight).

The following is a list of descriptive essay topic ideas for the students.

  • The person who is responsible for making a difference in my life.
  • Describe a smartphone and its benefits to someone from the ‘60s.
  • The most interesting piece of art I have ever seen.
  • Describe the experience of falling in love.
  • What does a place that only exists in your imagination look like?
  • Describe meeting a famous person.
  • Describe yourself and your personality to a stranger.
  • What will life be like in 2050?
  • An experience that changed my life forever.
  • Your idea of the perfect day.
  • My first trip abroad.
  • The most significant event in American History.
  • A popular book series that disappointed you.
  • A look into my daily life.
  • A day in the life of an ER doctor.
  • A trip to the museum.
  • The most interesting movie I watched during my summer vacation.
  • My favorite childhood memory.
  • An incident that changed my life.
  • An incident that restored my faith in humanity.

Here are some more  descriptive essay topics  to help you find a good idea for your essay.

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Narrative Essay Topics

In a narrative essay, your goal is to share a personal experience by telling a story. This creative form of writing depends on how strong and exciting the theme is. The article topics for students given here are carefully curated and would help the students do good in their essays.

Some examples and topics of narrative topic ideas are presented below.

  • The experience that taught me how looks could be deceiving.
  • A week without internet and technology.
  • The impact your first love had on your life.
  • How much did your teachers contribute to making you the person you are today?
  • An experience that made you realize your parents were or weren’t always right.
  • A moment when someone you didn’t like surprised you with kindness.
  • The influence technology has had on your hobbies and life.
  • An achievement outside of academic life?
  • Which school lesson had the biggest influence on your life?
  • A day when you fought procrastination.
  • The time you faced rejection.
  • The time when you stood against your parents.
  • An experience that left you helpless.
  • The time you prayed to be an only child.
  • An act of kindness you can never forget.
  • Death of a loved one.
  • Your biggest pet peeve.
  • Your definition of a perfect weekend.
  • The things you regret most in life.
  • Your first experience of an air trip.

Choosing interesting  narrative essay topics  is essential to make the content compelling for the readers.

Research Essay Topics

While writing a research essay, the most crucial step is choosing a topic for your essay. Select a topic that is broad enough to compose an entire research essay on it.

Below are some of the best topics for your research essay.

  • Effects of violent cartoons on children.
  • Should universities provide accommodations to disabled students?
  • Events and experiences I agree are causing the increase in terrorism.
  • How do technology and gadgets affect the studies of children?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school?
  • Universities are becoming business-driven.
  • Does college debt affect the future lives of students?
  • Why has the divorce rate changed in the past decade?
  • Schools should allow the use of smartphones in school.
  • Effective ways to decrease depression among our youth.
  • Analyze the relationship between the United States of America and North Korea.
  • Why did the UK decide to leave the EU?
  • Is it true that students learn better in a same-sex school?
  • How does giving kids different gadgets affect their studies?
  • Compare the immigration policies of two different countries.
  • Events that lead to World War I.
  • Pros and cons of studying abroad.
  • How has Covid-19 influenced the education system of the world?
  • Individual acts that lead to Global Warming.
  • Effectiveness of the policies made to control Covid-19.

Looking for more? We have an extensive range of  research essay topics  to make the audience fall in love with your work.

Expository Essay Topics

While writing an expository essay, you have to explain and clarify your topic clearly to the readers.

Below is a list of expository essay topics:

  • Why do teenagers commit suicide?
  • What is the impact of music on our youth?
  • What are the consequences of skipping school?
  • Why do teenagers use drugs?
  • How can pets make you happy and improve your life?
  • Consequences of having alcoholic drinks within a school campus.
  • How does drug use affect relationships?
  • Is global warming a cause of skin cancer?
  • Is sodium bad for your health?
  • What is the line between being overweight and being obese?
  • Why do you want to pursue your desired career?
  • Explain how advancements in science improve the quality of life for humans.
  • What are some unconventional ways of relieving stress?
  • If you could swap your lives with someone, who would it be and why?
  • What are some major stress factors in a teenager’s life?
  • Why is getting a degree important for job life?
  • Pros and cons of getting financial aid.
  • How emotional support animals help in treating mental conditions.
  • How does prostitution influence society?
  • The environmental causes of smoking. has gathered an additional and extensive list of  expository essay topics .

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Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

In a compare and contrast essay, you evaluate and analyze the similarities and differences between the two subjects. Your reader must be able to form an opinion after weighing the pros and cons you have set forth.

Below are some topics for you to choose for your compare and contrast paper:

  • Extroverts and introverts.
  • Generation Y Vs. Generation Z.
  • Traditional Helicopters Vs. Lifesize Drones.
  • Unemployed students Vs. students with a part-time job.
  • SAT and TOEFL.
  • Persuasive and argumentative essays - How are they similar?
  • How were the causes of World War I different from the causes of World War II?
  • Education vs. professional career: what is more difficult?
  • Real-life or spending your time daydreaming.
  • Consequences of earthquake and tsunami: what’s worse?
  • Being popular in high school or alone?
  • Part-time work or studying for a higher degree?
  • Getting married at an old age or a young age?
  • Fashion today Vs. twenty years ago.
  • Donald Trump Vs. Hillary Clinton.
  • Democracy Vs. Dictatorship
  • Vietnam War Vs. War on Terror.
  • Benefits of drinking tea Vs. coffee.
  • Greek and Roman methodologies - Similarities and differences.
  • Traditional Vs. distant learning.

Get more interesting  compare and contrast essay topics  at to impress your instructors.

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

The cause and effect essay explains why something happens and what happens as a result of those happenings. A cause and effect essay is a type of expository essay.

Here are a few topics for your cause and effect essay:

  • What are the causes of eating disorders?
  • Effects of climate change and global warming.
  • The effects of the Feminism movement.
  • What are the causes of increasing depression among teenagers?
  • What are the causes of suicidal thoughts?
  • Is keeping a pet effective in calming your mind?
  • How does divorce affects children?
  • Why are men afraid of commitment?
  • Effects of social media on youth.
  • Has social media affected relationships among families?
  • Discuss the effects of homeschooling on children.
  • Causes of heart diseases.
  • Causes of sibling rivalry.
  • Cramming doesn't help improve test scores.
  • Cause and effect of depression in the workplace.
  • How do abusive parents influence the mental stability of a child?
  • Causes and effects of bullying.
  • Causes of obesity in teenagers.
  • Effects of taking a balanced diet on health?
  • Causes and effects of insomnia.

To get more ideas, visit our  cause and effect essay topics  that are remarkable and well-suited for a great essay.

Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

Argumentative essay topics are quite popular assignments in universities. If you are a student searching for a captivating argumentative essay topic, here is a list of ideas you can consider.

  • Third world war should be prevented by the Russian and US governments.
  • Political policies and practices affecting students.
  • Is gun control effective in reducing crime?
  • Same-sex marriage and constitutional law.
  • Is society over-regulated?
  • Are leaders born or made?
  • No one should be above the law.
  • Monarchy: pros and cons.
  • Rules on Political Activities by Federal Employees.
  • The most corrupt countries in the world.
  • Mercy killing should be legalized in all countries of the world.
  • Death penalties should be abolished.
  • Third-world countries should be provided with education plans by the developed countries.
  • Muslims should not be labeled as terrorists.
  • Illegal immigrants should be given equal rights.
  • Abortions should be legalized.
  • Live-in relationships should be encouraged.
  • Professional athletes should be allowed to consume steroids.
  • Should physical punishments be given to children?
  • Smoking in public should be an offensive crime.

Funny Argumentative Essay Topics

Are you looking for some funny argumentative essay topics for your essay? If so, choose a topic from the following list.

  • Why do people like watching funny videos?
  • What your cat is really thinking.
  • Why spam emails should be your favorite type of email.
  • Why wearing braces is fun.
  • School dropouts are the best in our society.
  • Why I don't like country music.
  • Types of dates.
  • A better way to get things done.
  • What organic food really is.
  • Things guys do that girls hate.
  • How to annoy your friend.
  • Why do women pretend that they enjoy sports?
  • Things preventing you from completing your homework in time.
  • Funny things we see in wedding ceremonies.
  • Why are spam emails more interesting?
  • Why does Starbucks coffee taste better?
  • Why are backbenchers smarter than other students?
  • Clowns are scarier than funny.
  • Should we be maintaining social distancing even after Covid-19?
  • Why is watching movies better than reading books?

Informative Essay Topics for Students

Essay writing requires depth. However, you don’t have to choose a complex topic in middle school, high school, or college.

Here is a list of interesting essay topics for middle school, high school, and college students.

Essay Topics for College Students

  • Virtual classes cannot replace the traditional class system.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of online classes.
  • Is there a need to reform the college education system?
  • Assault weapons should not be legal.
  • People with a history of mental illness should not be allowed to purchase firearms.
  • The taxation system needs to be changed around the globe.
  • Kids should not be the target audience in advertising.
  • The number of calories should be mentioned with every meal.
  • Feminists have effectively improved the workforce for women.
  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • How to identify fake news?
  • How to maintain a healthy life?
  • How to treat PTSD naturally?
  • Should people be judged on their appearance?
  • How is technology influencing the work performance of people?
  • Private Vs. public schools
  • How to choose majors in high school?
  • Impact of legalizing drugs on society.
  • Significance of learning social values.
  • How to prevent bullying on campus?

Essay Topics for High School

  • The choice to join the armed forces should be an individual decision.
  • Listening to music can increase work efficiency.
  • Being honest has more cons than pros.
  • People who have been in an accident value life more than others.
  • Embarrassing moments help boost your confidence.
  • Kindness is the most valuable personal trait.
  • Spontaneity can improve your life.
  • Can hobbies help improve the richness of one’s life?
  • Dressing properly in the office improves work efficiency
  • Being organized can help in school as well as the office.
  • Impact of homosexuality on society.
  • What is feminism?
  • How to overcome fears and phobias?
  • Significance of having leadership skills in job life?
  • Causes and treatments for bipolar disorder.
  • Side effects of consuming antidepressants.
  • How important is mental health in succeeding professionally?
  • How do teaching methods influence learning abilities?
  • Should specially-abled people be allowed to work in offices?
  • Discrimination and racism in the US.

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Essay Topics for Middle School

  • Every child should have chores at home.
  • There should not be any summer classes.
  • Should students continue studying during summer vacation?
  • Parents should pay attention to the amount of time their children spend watching television.
  • Favorite family summer vacation.
  • Sports should be mandatory in every school.
  • Processed foods should not be part of private and public school lunch.
  • Do students still use newspapers for research?
  • Every individual should spend a year doing community service.
  • The weekend should be 3 days long.

Still need help choosing an essay topic? 5StarEssays is a professional  essay writing service  that helps you get a high quality essay. We have a team of essay writers who are professionals and can do your essay . 

We also have an AI-powered paper writer  for you to help you generate an essay in seconds to use as a reference!

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Questions on everything from mental health and sports to video games and dating. Which ones inspire you to take a stand?

essay topics literature

By The Learning Network

Note: We have an updated version of this list, with 300 new argumentative writing prompts .

What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

In Unit 5 of our free yearlong writing curriculum and related Student Editorial Contest , we invite students to research and write about the issues that matter to them, whether that’s Shakespeare , health care , standardized testing or being messy .

But with so many possibilities, where does one even begin? Try our student writing prompts.

In 2017, we compiled a list of 401 argumentative writing prompts , all drawn from our daily Student Opinion column . Now, we’re rounding up 130 more we’ve published since then ( available here as a PDF ). Each prompt links to a free Times article as well as additional subquestions that can help you think more deeply about it.

You might use this list to inspire your own writing and to find links to reliable resources about the issues that intrigue you. But even if you’re not participating in our contest, you can use these prompts to practice the kind of low-stakes writing that can help you hone your argumentation skills.

So scroll through the list below with questions on everything from sports and mental health to dating and video games and see which ones inspire you to take a stand.

Please note: Many of these prompts are still open to comment by students 13 and up.

Technology & Social Media

1. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 2. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 3. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 4. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 5. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 6. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 7. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 8. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 9. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

10. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 11. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 12. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 13. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 14. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 15. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 16. Should Your School Day Start Later? 17. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 18. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns? 19. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 20. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 21. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 22. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 23. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 24. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers? 25. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 26. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 27. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change? 28. Should All Schools Offer Music Programs? 29. Does Your School Need More Money? 30. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 31. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 32. Do Kids Need Recess?

College & Career

33. What Is Your Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? 34. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 35. Should Everyone Go to College? 36. Should College Be Free? 37. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 38. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 39. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 40. Should Fraternities Be Abolished? 41. Is Student Debt Worth It?

Mental & Physical Health

42. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 43. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 44. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 45. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 46. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 47. What Do You Think About Vegetarianism? 48. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs? 49. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 50. Do You Think Porn Influences the Way Teenagers Think About Sex?

Race & Gender

51. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 52. Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? 53. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 54. Should All Companies Require Anti-Bias Training for Employees? 55. Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day? 56. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 57. Should the Boy Scouts Be Coed? 58. What Is Hard About Being a Boy?

59. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 60. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 61. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 62. Should Graffiti Be Protected? 63. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 64. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 65. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 66. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 67. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 68. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 69. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 70. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 71. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 72. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate?

73. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 74. Should College Athletes Be Paid? 75. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 76. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 77. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 78. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 79. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 80. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures?

81. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 82. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones? 83. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 84. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 85. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 86. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art?

Parenting & Childhood

87. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 88. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 89. Should Parents Track Their Teenager’s Location? 90. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 91. How Should Parents Talk to Their Children About Drugs? 92. What Should We Call Your Generation? 93. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 94. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 95. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 96. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 97. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 98. When Do You Become an Adult?

Ethics & Morality

99. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 100. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 101. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 102. Is It O.K. to Use Family Connections to Get a Job? 103. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 104. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 105. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities? 106. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations? 107. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

Government & Politics

108. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 109. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 110. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 111. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 112. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 113. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 114. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government? 115. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates? 116. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 117. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 118. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 119. Should the United States Abolish Daylight Saving Time? 120. Should We Abolish the Death Penalty? 121. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 122. Should the U.S. Get Rid of the Electoral College? 123. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter? 124. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 125. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other?

Other Questions

126. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 127. Should Public Transit Be Free? 128. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language? 129. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 130. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend?

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50 Argumentative Essay Topics for Students

50 Argumentative Essay Topics for Students

4-minute read

  • 11th June 2022

The goal of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to understand and support your position on an issue by presenting your reasoning along with supporting evidence. It’s important to find the right balance between giving your opinions and presenting established research.

These essays discuss issues around a range of topics, including science, technology, politics, and healthcare. Whether you’re a teacher looking for essay topics for your students or a student tasked with developing an idea of your own, we’ve compiled a list of 50 argumentative essay topics to help you get started!

●  Does texting hinder interpersonal communication skills?

●  Should there be laws against using devices while driving?

●  Do violent video games teach or encourage people to behave violently?

●  Should social media sites be allowed to collect users’ data?

●  Should parents limit how long their children spend in front of screens?

●  Is AI helping or hurting society?

●  Should cyber-bullying carry legal consequences?

●  Should Supreme Court justices be elected?

●  Is war always a political decision?

●  Should people join a political party?

●  Is capitalism ethical?

●  Is the electoral college an effective system?

●  Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

●  Should the death penalty be legal?

●  Are governments around the world doing enough to combat global warming?

●  Is healthcare a fundamental human right?

●  Should vaccinations be mandated for children?

●  Are there any circumstances under which physician-assisted suicides should be legal?

●  Should parents be able to choose specific genetic modifications of their future children?

●  Should abortion be legal?

●  Is it ethical to perform medical experiments on animals?

●  Should patients who lead unhealthy lifestyles be denied organ transplants?

●  Should doctors be able to provide medical care to children against their parents’ wishes?

Mental Healthcare

●  What causes the stigma around mental health?

●  Discuss the link between insufficient access to mental health services and the high suicide rates among veterans.

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●  Should cannabis be used as a treatment for patients with mental disorders?

●  Is there a link between social media use and mental disorders?

●  Discuss the effect of physical activity on mental health.

●  Should sports be segregated by gender?

●  Should male and female athletes be given the same pay and opportunities?

●  Are professional athletes overpaid?

●  Should college athletes be paid?

●  Should sports betting be legal?

●  Should online access to art such as music be free?

●  Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?

●  Are there any circumstances under which books should be banned?

●  Should schools be required to offer art courses?

●  Is art necessary to society?

●  Should schools require uniforms?

●  Should reciting the Pledge of Allegiance be required in schools?

●  Do standardized tests effectively measure intelligence?

●  Should high school students take a gap year before pursuing higher education?

●  Should higher education be free?

●  Is there too much pressure on high school students to attend college?

●  Are children better off in two-parent households?

●  Should LGBTQ+ partners be allowed to adopt?

●  Should single people be able to adopt children as easily as couples?

●  Is it okay for parents to physically discipline their children?

●  Does helicopter parenting help or hurt children?

●  Should parents monitor their children’s Internet use?

Proofreading & Editing

An argument could also be made for the importance of proofreading your essay ! The reader can focus more on your message when your writing is clear, concise, and error-free, and they won’t question whether you’re knowledgeable on the issues you’re presenting. Once you have a draft ready, you can submit a free trial document to start working with our expert editors!

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50 Argumentative Essay Topics

Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. 

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and take a position on it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas available to get you started.

Choosing a Great Argumentative Essay Topic

Students often find that most of their work on these essays is done before they even start writing. This means that it's best if you have a general interest in your subject, otherwise you might get bored or frustrated while trying to gather information. (You don't need to know everything, though.) Part of what makes this experience rewarding is learning something new.

It's best if you have a general interest in your subject, but the argument you choose doesn't have to be one that you agree with.

The subject you choose may not necessarily be one that you are in full agreement with, either. You may even be asked to write a paper from the opposing point of view. Researching a different viewpoint helps students broaden their perspectives. 

Ideas for Argument Essays

Sometimes, the best ideas are sparked by looking at many different options. Explore this list of possible topics and see if a few pique your interest. Write those down as you come across them, then think about each for a few minutes.

Which would you enjoy researching? Do you have a firm position on a particular subject? Is there a point you would like to make sure to get across? Did the topic give you something new to think about? Can you see why someone else may feel differently?

50 Possible Topics

A number of these topics are rather controversial—that's the point. In an argumentative essay, opinions matter and controversy is based on opinions, which are, hopefully, backed up by facts.   If these topics are a little too controversial or you don't find the right one for you, try browsing through persuasive essay and speech topics  as well.

  • Is global climate change  caused by humans?
  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Do we have a fair tax system?
  • Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?
  • Is cheating out of control?
  • Are we too dependent on computers?
  • Should animals be used for research?
  • Should cigarette smoking be banned?
  • Are cell phones dangerous?
  • Are law enforcement cameras an invasion of privacy?
  • Do we have a throwaway society?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should companies market to children?
  • Should the government have a say in our diets?
  • Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  • Should members of Congress have term limits?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Are CEOs paid too much?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Do violent video games cause behavior problems?
  • Should creationism be taught in public schools?
  • Are beauty pageants exploitative ?
  • Should English be the official language of the United States?
  • Should the racing industry be forced to use biofuels?
  • Should the alcohol drinking age be increased or decreased?
  • Should everyone be required to recycle?
  • Is it okay for prisoners to vote (as they are in some states)?
  • Is it good that same-sex couples are able to marry?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school ?
  • Does boredom lead to trouble?
  • Should schools be in session year-round ?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the government provide health care?
  • Should abortion be illegal?
  • Are girls too mean to each other?
  • Is homework harmful or helpful?
  • Is the cost of college too high?
  • Is college admission too competitive?
  • Should euthanasia be illegal?
  • Should the federal government legalize marijuana use nationally ?
  • Should rich people be required to pay more taxes?
  • Should schools require foreign language or physical education?
  • Is affirmative action fair?
  • Is public prayer okay in schools?
  • Are schools and teachers responsible for low test scores?
  • Is greater gun control a good idea?
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Essay Topics – List of 500+ Essay Writing Topics and Ideas

List of 500+ essay writing topics and ideas.

Essay topics in English can be difficult to come up with. While writing essays , many college and high school students face writer’s block and have a hard time to think about topics and ideas for an essay. In this article, we will list out many good essay topics from different categories like argumentative essays, essays on technology, environment essays for students from 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades. Following list of essay topics are for all – from kids to college students. We have the largest collection of essays. An essay is nothing but a piece of content which is written from the perception of writer or author. Essays are similar to a story, pamphlet, thesis, etc. The best thing about Essay is you can use any type of language – formal or informal. It can biography, the autobiography of anyone. Following is a great list of 100 essay topics. We will be adding 400 more soon!

But Before that you may wanna read some awesome Essay Writing Tips here .

500+ essay topics for students and children

Get the Huge list of 100+ Speech Topics here

Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should plastic be banned?
  • Pollution due to Urbanization
  • Education should be free
  • Should Students get limited access to the Internet?
  • Selling Tobacco should be banned
  • Smoking in public places should be banned
  • Facebook should be banned
  • Students should not be allowed to play PUBG

Essay Topics on Technology

  • Wonder Of Science
  • Mobile Phone

Essay Topics on Festivals on Events

  • Independence Day (15 August)
  • Teachers Day
  • Summer Vacation
  • Children’s Day
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  • Janmashtami
  • Republic Day

Essay Topics on Education

  • Education Essay
  • Importance of Education
  • Contribution of Technology in Education

essay topics literature

Essay Topics on Famous Leaders

  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • APJ Abdul Kalam
  • Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Swami Vivekananda
  • Mother Teresa
  • Rabindranath Tagore
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
  • Subhash Chandra Bose
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Martin Luther King
  • Lal Bahadur Shashtri

Essay Topics on Animals and Birds

  • My Favorite Animal

Essays Topics About Yourself

  • My Best Friend
  • My Favourite Teacher
  • My Aim In Life
  • My Favourite Game – Badminton
  • My Favourite Game – Essay
  • My Favourite Book
  • My Ambition
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation
  • India of My Dreams
  • My School Life
  • I Love My Family
  • My Favourite Subject
  • My Favourite Game Badminton
  • My Father My Hero
  • My School Library
  • My Favourite Author
  • My plans for summer vacation

Essay Topics Based on Environment and Nature

  • Global Warming
  • Environment
  • Air Pollution
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Rainy Season
  • Climate Change
  • Importance Of Trees
  • Winter Season
  • Deforestation
  • Natural Disasters
  • Save Environment
  • Summer Season
  • Trees Our Best Friend Essay In English

Essay Topics Based on Proverbs

  • Health Is Wealth
  • A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
  • An Apple a Day Keeps Doctor Away
  • Where there is a will, there is way
  • Time and Tide wait for none

Toppr provides free study materials like NCERT Solutions for Students, Previous 10 Years of Question Papers, 1000+ hours of video lectures for free. Download Toppr app for Android and iOS or signup for free.

Essay Topics for Students from 6th, 7th, 8th Grade

  • Noise Pollution
  • Environment Pollution
  • Women Empowerment
  • Time and Tide Wait for none
  • Science and Technology
  • Importance of Sports
  • Sports and Games
  • Time Management
  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness
  • Cleanliness
  • Rome was not Built in a Day
  • Unemployment
  • Clean India
  • Cow Essay In English
  • Describe Yourself
  • Festivals Of India
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Healthy Food
  • Importance Of Water
  • Plastic Pollution
  • Value of Time
  • Honesty is the Best Policy
  • Gandhi Jayanti
  • Human Rights
  • Knowledge Is Power
  • Same Sex Marriage
  • Childhood Memories
  • Cyber Crime
  • Kalpana Chawla
  • Punctuality
  • Rani Lakshmi Bai
  • Spring Season
  • Unity In Diversity
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Online Shopping
  • Indian Culture
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Indian Education System
  • Disaster Management
  • Environmental Issues
  • Freedom Fighters
  • Grandparents
  • Save Fuel For Better Environment
  • Importance Of Newspaper
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri
  • Raksha Bandhan
  • World Environment Day
  • Narendra Modi
  • What Is Religion
  • Charity Begins at Home
  • A Journey by Train
  • Ideal student
  • Save Water Save Earth
  • Indian Farmer
  • Safety of Women in India
  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
  • Capital Punishment
  • College Life
  • Natural Resources
  • Peer Pressure
  • Nature Vs Nurture
  • Romeo And Juliet
  • Generation Gap
  • Makar Sankranti
  • Constitution of India
  • Girl Education
  • Importance of Family
  • Importance of Independence Day
  • Brain Drain
  • A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed
  • Action Speaks Louder Than Words
  • All That Glitters Is Not Gold
  • Bhagat Singh
  • Demonetization
  • Agriculture
  • Importance of Discipline
  • Population Explosion
  • Poverty in India
  • Uses Of Mobile Phones
  • Water Scarcity
  • Train Journey
  • Land Pollution
  • Environment Protection
  • Indian Army
  • Uses of Internet
  • All that Glitters is not Gold
  • Balanced Diet
  • Blood Donation
  • Digital India
  • Dussehra Essay
  • Energy Conservation
  • National Integration
  • Railway Station
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Health And Hygiene
  • Importance Of Forest
  • Indira Gandhi
  • Laughter Is The Best Medicine
  • Career Goals
  • Mental Health
  • Save Water Save Life
  • International Yoga Day
  • Winter Vacation
  • Soil Pollution
  • Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
  • Indian Culture And Tradition
  • Unity Is Strength
  • Unity is Diversity
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Cruelty To Animals
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Of Mice And Men
  • Organ Donation
  • Life in a Big City
  • Democracy in India
  • Waste Management
  • Biodiversity
  • Afforestation
  • Female Foeticide
  • Harmful Effects Of Junk Food
  • Rain Water Harvesting
  • Save Electricity
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking Sites
  • Sound Pollution
  • Procrastination
  • Life in an Indian Village
  • Life in Big City
  • Population Growth
  • World Population Day
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Statue of Unity
  • Traffic Jam
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
  • Importance of Good Manners
  • Good Manners
  • Cyber Security
  • Green Revolution
  • Health And Fitness
  • Incredible India
  • Make In India
  • Surgical Strike
  • Triple Talaq
  • A Good Friend
  • Importance of Friends in our Life
  • Should Plastic be Banned
  • Nationalism
  • Traffic Rules
  • Effects of Global Warming
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Solar System
  • National Constitution Day
  • Good Mother
  • Importance of Trees in our Life
  • City Life Vs Village Life
  • Importance of Communication
  • Conservation of Nature
  • Man vs. Machine
  • Indian Economy
  • Mothers Love
  • Importance of National Integration
  • Black Money
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Untouchability
  • Self Discipline
  • Global Terrorism
  • Conservation of Biodiversity
  • Newspaper and Its Uses
  • World Health Day
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • A Picnic with Family
  • Indian Heritage
  • Status of Women in India
  • Child is Father of the Man
  • Reading is Good Habit
  • Plastic Bag
  • Terrorism in India
  • Library and Its Uses
  • Life on Mars
  • Urbanization
  • Pollution Due to Diwali
  • National Flag of India
  • Vocational Education
  • Importance of Tree Plantation
  • Summer Camp
  • Vehicle Pollution
  • Women Education in India
  • Seasons in India
  • Freedom of the Press
  • Caste System
  • Environment and Human Health
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Depletion of Natural Resources
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
  • Health Education
  • Effects of Deforestation
  • Life after School
  • Starvation in India
  • Jan Dhan Yojana
  • Impact of Privatization
  • Election Commission of India
  • Election and Democracy
  • Prevention of Global Warming
  • Impact of Cinema in Life
  • Subhas Chandra Bose
  • Dowry System
  • Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
  • Role of Science in Making India
  • Impact of Global Warming on Oceans
  • Pollution due to Festivals
  • Ambedkar Jayanti
  • Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
  • Family Planning in India
  • Democracy vs Dictatorship
  • National Festivals of India
  • Sri Aurobindo
  • Casteism in India
  • Organ trafficking
  • Consequences of Global Warming
  • Role of Human Activities in Global Warming
  • Issues and Problems faced by Women in India
  • Role of Judiciary in the Country Today
  • Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan
  • PUBG Mobile Game Addiction
  • Role of Youths in Nation Building
  • Value of Oxygen and Water in Life/Earth
  • Farmer Suicides in India
  • Start-up India
  • Pollution Due to Firecrackers
  • Life of Soldiers
  • Child Labour
  • Save Girl Child
  • Morning Walk
  • My School Fete
  • Essay on Financial Literacy
  • Essay On Sustainable Development
  • Essay On Punjab
  • Essay On Travel
  • My Home Essay
  • Child Marriage Essay
  • Importance Of English Language Essay
  • Essay On Mass Media
  • Essay On Horse
  • Essay On Police
  • Essay On Eid
  • Essay On Solar Energy
  • Animal Essay
  • Essay On Mango
  • Gender Discrimination Essay
  • Essay On Advertisement
  • My First Day At School Essay
  • My Neighborhood Essay
  • True Friendship Essay
  • Work Is Worship Essay
  • Essay On Self Confidence
  • Essay On Superstition
  • Essay On Bangalore
  • Sex Vs Gender Essay
  • Essay On Social Issues
  • Time Is Money Essay
  • Essay About Grandmothers
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Tips on essay planning and writing

What is an essay, brainstorm your topic by creating a mind map, check you understand what your essay question is asking you, academic writing style, signposting, building an argument and summarising other people's ideas, what is paraphrasing, essay structure, useful links.

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Traditional academic essays are pieces of writing which are designed to demonstrate the following points:

  • that you understand a particular subject
  • that you have undertaken some kind of research
  • that you can produce a clear and coherent argument

This means that you have to combine important ideas, examples, and interpretations from other writers with your own. All of these have to be put together in a linear, written format (making one point, then moving on to the next), which persuades the reader that your line of argument is a convincing one.

Note : There may be variations in the approach you need to take depending on the discipline you are studying. Check with your tutor/department for discipline specific guidelines.

When you choose, or are assigned, an essay question, you are asked to focus on something very specific. It's not just a case of writing down everything you know about the subject. An essay question instructs you to do something with the knowledge you have, and to put it into a certain context, which will allow you to demonstrate the range of your critical thinking.

Essay questions therefore have  instructional verbs  to determine what your approach should be. These are words such as: discuss, analyse, argue, compare, review, evaluate, examine, outline, illustrate .... These tell you how to answer the question and what your essay should do. It is important that you understand exactly what these words mean so that you don’t misinterpret a question.  

essay topics literature

  • For more examples check 'Terms that may be used in essays or examinations'

You will usually be expected to write using academic language and specialist vocabulary from your subject area. Academic writing normally contains these features:

  • Formal writing in an impersonal or objective style and often takes the 'passive' voice.  Passive constructions can be used to avoid using 'I' in essays, e.g. 'It can be argued...'
  • Vocabulary appropriate for particular academic contexts is used which may include technical and specialist words. 
  • Contains references to other writers’ publications which are used to support the arguments in the text
  • You may notice that cautious language is frequently used in reporting research and making claims.  'Cautious language' indicates reservations or tentativeness about the conclusions that may be drawn from the evidence presented. Useful phrases are:  'it may be concluded', and  'we can assume'. 

essay topics literature

Major Signposting

Major signposting is used to signal the introduction of key sections or aspects of the work. These might include the aim, purpose, or structure.

In the introduction:

  • This essay will…
  • The aim of this essay is to…
  • The major issue being discussed is…
  • This essay will define and describe…
  • This essay will critically examine…
  • This essay will first define…then discuss…before making recommendations for…
  • This essay is organised in the following way;

In the conclusion:

  • To conclude,
  • In conclusion,
  • To summarise,
  • It is evident that

Minor Signposting

Minor signposting are linking words and phrases that make connections for your reader and move them through the text.

  • They may be as simple as: First, second, third, next, then, last, lastly, finally
  • To offer a counterpoint: However, although, though, yet, alternatively, nevertheless
  • To indicate an example: For example, notably, for instance, in this case

Linking words and phrases help give your writing more fluidity. Linking words and phrases will help the flow of your academic writing.

Linking words are particularly useful for use in comparing and contrasting ideas and to move from one idea to another.

Check these resources for examples of linking words and phrases:

  • Examples of linking words and phrases (University of Reading via Future Learn)
  • Transitional devices (Purdue University)
  • Signposting (Queen's University Belfast)

Source: Academic Writing Skills by Patricia Williamson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0

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essay topics literature

Often the clearest way to combine different points of view and to show that you have understood those points of view is to summarise them. Each summary of a different viewpoint can include direct and indirect quotations of key points, plus your understanding of what they mean and a comment on the weaknesses and strengths of the idea or viewpoint. Having described, interpreted and analysed other people's ideas, you can then go on to describe your own point of view and explain why you have chosen it.

Writing which ignores any of the parts described above, can become unbalanced. For example, if there are none of your own ideas, the piece becomes a review of everyone else's work. In these circumstances you could be accused of being uncritical. If the writing does not refer to other people's ideas (directly or indirectly), there is a problem of being too personal and non-academic (this partly depends on your subject). Neither of these would be persuasive arguments.

Paraphrasing is expressing someone else’s writing in your own choice of words, while keeping the same essential meaning. As Pears and Shields (2019, p. 15) explain, it is ‘an alternative way of referring to an author’s ideas or arguments without using direct quotations from their text’.

Paraphrasing is generally more highly valued by academics than direct quoting because it allows you to demonstrate a greater understanding of your source and helps you to maintain your personal writing style and the smooth flow of your essay.

Don’t forget to include in-text citations (author and date) in the text of your assignment and full references at the end of your assignment every time you paraphrase someone else’s words or ideas.

  • Paraphrasing - an overview A guide on paraphrasing, academic writing, citing and referencing
  • Introduction
  • The main body
  • Bibliography

The introduction is the official start of the essay and it usually includes some or all of the following:

  • a statement introducing the topic
  • an explanation of why it is important
  • a brief mention of work on the same topic written by other writers
  • a gap or problem in previous related work which will be solved or answered in this essay
  • an outline of the structure of the essay
  • definitions of key terms
  • an anecdote or vignette (short story) which highlights the main point of the essay

The body is the largest part of your writing and this is where you guide your reader through your main ideas and arguments. These ideas and arguments come from your brainstorming and research. It is therefore a mixture of other people’s ideas and your own. These points should be organised into a logical order which allows your reader to follow your train of thought. 

The balance of discussion between your own ideas and information and those from external sources is crucial to the development of your argument. Without this balance, the writing can become either a summary of other people's ideas and theories, or a description of your personal ideas and experiences with no evidence of research. Both of these would lack analysis, a core component of a good essay. It is therefore vitally important to ensure that a mixture of positions are presented.

Each main point will be described, supported and analysed using examples from your own experiences, and information and theories from external sources (books, journals, websites, lectures, etc.). The main points should be clearly organised by using paragraphs. 

In short pieces of writing (< 3,000 words), there will be groups of paragraphs which together form one part of your argument. Usually these sections in "short" essays do not have specific headings. However, they can be clearly identified by using linking phrases which show for example:

  • how many elements the section consists of:

There are four main reasons why ...

  • the connection of additional points:

Another important point to consider is ...  A further issue of importance is ...  Moving on the the issue of ...

  • or the introduction of a contrasting point:

On the other hand, ...  In contrast to the above, ...  An alternative understanding of the issue is ...

Longer pieces of writing and dissertations

In long pieces of writing (> 3,000 words) it is sometimes useful to identify clear sections by using sub-headings. Each section (or chapter of a dissertation or thesis) with a sub-heading is like a short essay which could stand alone. The sub-headings may come from your brainstorm and/or your research. However, the best order for the sections in long essays may only become clear after you have started writing them. When the best order becomes clear, chapter introductions and conclusions can be written in each section.

A short chapter introduction should briefly outline the contents of each section and where possible, should also refer back to the sections before and explain how they are related. Similarly, each section needs a conclusion. This should summarise what has been written in this part and should again make connections to other sections. In particular, it should describe the relationship between this part and the next. These are crucial in order to tell the reader what each part is about and how it fits with the other sections. It is like tying knots between separate pieces of string in order to make a single, stronger cord: your argument. 

The conclusion is the closing part of the essay and, like the  i ntroduction, connects the body of the essay to the title. However, whereas the introduction often starts generally, becomes more focussed and often includes an outline of the main points; the conclusion attempts to summarise the main ideas and arguments, then leads to a final statement.

It should not include new ideas which have not been mentioned before, although you can join ideas you have mentioned in a new way. You may also want to restate questions which you could not answer in your essay, but which you think deserve further study. As the final part of the essay, the conclusion is the last thing which the reader sees. Therefore, it should tie together the different points you have made.

Conclusions often include the following elements:

  • language 'markers' showing that this is the conclusion (e.g. to conclude, in summary, this essay has given an account of...)
  • a summary of the ideas in the main body
  • a comment about the limitations of the scope of the essay / study
  • a glance to the future: a prediction, recommendations for action, suggestions for further research, implications for future policy

A bibliography (or reference list) comes after the conclusion (or appendices and final figures) and includes all the information about the sources you have mentioned in the essay. For more information on referencing please see the Write it Right guide.

  • Academic Writing Basics (Author: Megan Robertson)
  • Academic Writing Essays in English (© 2021 UEfAP)
  • Academic Writing Handbook
  • OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab
  • The Writing Process by English Language Studies group at the MIT Understanding and using the information on this site should make writing not only less anxiety-provoking and more efficient and effective for you, but ultimately it should also help you feel more creative and more satisfied with the products of your writing efforts and learn more in your classes as well.
  • Last Updated: Apr 11, 2024 10:13 AM
  • URL:

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literature ee topics

Literature Extended Essay Topics for IB Students

Writing the Literature extended essay as an IB student is akin to setting off on a grand academic research. From my extensive experience, I’ve found this task to be a cornerstone of the Literature course and a fantastic opportunity to dig into the depths of literary analysis. Today, I will give you some Literature extended essay topics to consider if you want to get a perfect grade.

7. The Illusion of the American Dream

Understanding the literature extended essay.

At first, getting to grips with the essence of the Literature extended essay might seem overwhelming. Yet, from my extensive experience, I can assure you it presents a thrilling opportunity. This paper allows you to demonstrate your ability to critically examine and provide insightful commentary on texts that have evoked strong emotions, presented challenges, or raised questions for you. In this context, I stress the importance of IB DP students choosing personally meaningful topics.

Furthermore, this task offers a chance to dialogue with literature deeply. Through my experiences, I’ve learned that the Literature extended essay is a pathway to dissect narrative structures, character arcs, themes, and the socio-historical contexts that influence literary works. This process deepens your understanding of literature and improves your critical thinking and writing skills.

The Literature extended essay is a unique task that encourages you to articulate your interpretations and argue your perspective backed by evidence from the text. It also teaches you to appreciate literature’s complexity and beauty while challenging you to express your thoughts coherently.

So, choosing a topic and formulating the IB research question you are passionate about is everything. It transforms the task from an academic requirement into a meaningful research of literature that resonates with you. Whether it’s the tragic heroism in classical literature, the portrayal of dystopian societies in modern novels, or the nuances of narrative voice in a collection of poetry, your topic should reflect your interests.

In my experience, dedicating myself to a fascinating topic made the research and writing phases manageable and enjoyable. It allowed me to contribute my unique voice and insights to literary discussions, offering a fresh perspective on familiar works.

Popular Literature Themes for Extended Essays

When choosing a topic for the Literature extended essay, considering popular themes can provide a rich source of material that allows for deep analysis and engaging writing. Here are some universally resonant themes that might inspire IB students.

1. The Conflict Between Individuality and Society

This theme shows how characters assert their identities against social norms, expectations, or oppression. Essays could analyze texts that depict the struggle between individual desires and societal demands, offering insights into how authors portray this conflict.

2. Morality and Ethics

Literature often questions the nature of morality and the ethical dilemmas characters face. An essay could focus on how moral ambiguities are presented and the consequences of ethical decisions for individuals and their communities.

3. The Role of Fate and Free Will

This theme examines whether characters control their destinies or are subject to fate. An extended essay could discuss different perspectives on fate and free will across various texts, analyzing how this theme influences the plot and character development.

4. Love and Relationships

Love, whether familial, romantic, or platonic, is a central theme in many works of literature. Essays could research how relationships are constructed, the impact of love on character development, and how love drives the narrative forward.

5. Rebellion and Conformity

Literary works often show the tension between rebelling against and conforming to societal rules. So, you can provide step-by-step research and analyze texts that showcase characters’ resistance or submission to societal expectations and the personal or communal outcomes of these actions.

6. Death and Mortality

This enduring literary theme provides a prism to look at human emotions, philosophies, and the impact of mortality on life choices. An extended essay could consider how different authors treat the inevitability of death and its influence on living.

Analyzing the portrayal of the American Dream offers insights into how authors perceive the promise of success and prosperity in America. Your extended essay can consider the reality vs. the expectation of the American Dream and its effect on characters across diverse narratives.

Literature extended essay topics

Literature Extended Essay Topics and Research Question

You can write a thoughtful and analytically rich paper by choosing one of these topics for your Literature extended essay:

  • The Representation of Women in Victorian Literature . How do the portrayals of female characters in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations reflect or challenge the Victorian ideals of womanhood?
  • Dystopian Societies in Modern Literature . How do Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 use dystopian elements to critique contemporary social and political issues?
  • The Theme of Redemption in American Southern Gothic Literature . In what ways does the theme of redemption manifest in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood ?
  • Tragedy and the Common Man in 20th Century Drama . How does Arthur Miller’s assertion that tragedy can also involve the common man validate itself within Death of a Salesman ?
  • The Influence of African Culture on Contemporary African American Literature . How does Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah illustrate the influence of Nigerian culture on personal identity compared to African American culture?
  • The Psychological Construction of Fear in Horror Literature . What methods do Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft use to construct fear in their narratives, and how do these methods manipulate reader response?
  • Magical Realism as a Tool for Political Commentary . How does Gabriel García Márquez employ magical realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude to comment on political instability in Colombia?
  • The Evolution of the Heroine in Jane Austen’s Novels. How do the heroines in Pride and Prejudice and Emma reflect the changes in societal expectations of women during Jane Austen’s lifetime?
  • Symbols of Power and Corruption in British Literature . How is the theme of power and corruption depicted through the symbols in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies ?
  • Existentialism in Modern European Literature . How do the existential themes in Albert Camus’ The Stranger and Franz Kafka’s The Trial address the absurdity of human existence?
  • The Bildungsroman Genre: Coming-of-Age in Different Cultures . How do the coming-of-age narratives of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Tsotsi by Athol Fugard depict cultural influences on personal growth?
  • Narrative Structure and Its Effect on Storytelling . How does the non-linear narrative structure affect the reader’s perception of time and memory in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five ?
  • The Role of Supernatural Elements in Shakespeare’s Plays . What role do supernatural elements play in Macbeth and Hamlet , and how do they affect the characters’ decisions and eventual fates?
  • Contrasting Visions of the Future in Science Fiction . How do Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation portray contrasting visions of the future?
  • The Influence of Classical Literature on Modern Fantasy . How have Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid influenced modern fantasy literature, specifically in works like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings ?
  • Feminist Perspectives in Contemporary Poetry . How do the works of Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich contribute to the feminist discourse through their poetry?
  • Narrative Techniques in Non-Fiction . What narrative techniques do Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking use to create a compelling story in non-fiction?
  • Environmental Themes in Literature . How do Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible and Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire use environmental settings to advance their themes?
  • Satire and Social Critique in 18th-Century British Literature . How do Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock use satire as a tool for social critique?
  • Mythology and Modernity in Latin American Literature . How do Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The War of the End of the World intertwine mythology with modern historical events?
  • Loss of Innocence in Children’s Literature . How is the theme of loss of innocence presented in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy?
  • The Literary Portrayal of Tyranny and Resistance . How does Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale depict tyranny and the spirit of resistance?
  • Religious Symbolism in Medieval Literature . What roles do religious symbols play in Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales ?
  • Portrayal of Urban Life in 20th Century American Literature . How do Langston Hughes and John Dos Passos portray urban life in America during the 20th century through their literary works?
  • Humanity and Technology in Cyberpunk Fiction . How is the relationship between humanity and technology researched in William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash ?

These extended essay topics offer a variety of angles and depths for research, allowing students to engage deeply with literature while addressing complex issues and historical contexts.

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Need Help with Your IB Extended Essay?

Maximize your potential and boost your Extended Essay’s excellence with the help of our experts ! Whether starting from scratch or fine-tuning your existing assignment to meet your supervisor’s demands, the team is here to make your dream of a perfect paper a reality. Say goodbye to writer’s block and hello to success with just one click.

Choosing the perfect topic and writing the Literature extended essay offers a unique opportunity to connect deeply with texts that provoke thought, evoke emotion, and capture your imagination. In my extensive experience, approaching this task with dedication transforms it into a deeply satisfying work. Think of this essay as a medium to share your insights about literature and contribute to academic discourse. Also, if you need some help with extended essay writing , just contact our IB experts.

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Liliana Duman

Liliana Duman has a strong background in teaching English language, having graduated from Hacettepe University’s English Language Teaching Department in 2008. With over two decades of experience in the field, she has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share with her students. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Liliana holds a master’s in Teaching Turkish as a Second Language and has previously worked at Başkent and Hacettepe University in Ankara. Currently, she is an EFL instructor at Sakarya University, teaching various skills, including methodology, speaking, reading, writing, and listening. In addition to her teaching, Liliana has also contributed to material development and testing efforts. As well as her work as a teacher, Liliana is an experienced private online ToK essay tutor, providing personal help for both IB ToK students and teachers in all aspects of IB ToK essays and exhibitions. She is dedicated to helping her students succeed and achieve their full potential. In her spare time, Liliana also writes articles for, sharing her expertise and insights on ToK with a wider audience.

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    50 Argumentative Essay Topics. Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and take a position on it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas ...

  22. Essay Topics

    List of 500+ Essay Writing Topics and Ideas. Essay topics in English can be difficult to come up with. While writing essays, many college and high school students face writer's block and have a hard time to think about topics and ideas for an essay. In this article, we will list out many good essay topics from different categories like ...

  23. Library Guides: Tips on essay planning and writing: Home

    You will usually be expected to write using academic language and specialist vocabulary from your subject area. Academic writing normally contains these features: Formal writing in an impersonal or objective style and often takes the 'passive' voice. Passive constructions can be used to avoid using 'I' in essays, e.g.

  24. Literature Extended Essay Topics

    Popular Literature Themes for Extended Essays. When choosing a topic for the Literature extended essay, considering popular themes can provide a rich source of material that allows for deep analysis and engaging writing. Here are some universally resonant themes that might inspire IB students. 1. The Conflict Between Individuality and Society