What is a good topic for a freshman English literature research paper?While my teacher said she is very flexible on book choice I am unsure of where to begin.  I do not know how to write a...

What is a good topic for a freshman English literature research paper?

While my teacher said she is very flexible on book choice I am unsure of where to begin.  I do not know how to write a research paper on literature or what to write about.  HELP!

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What about defining a work as of a certain genre?  For instance, Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" contains elements of magic realism, a genre introduced into American literature by Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Colombia and Jorge Luis BorgesMorrison's novel is one that many people enjoy as it has universal themes along with an interesting plot and unusual characters.

So, if you choose this cotemporary novel, you can research the Magic Realism genre and establish "Song of Solomon" as of this genre.  In addition, you can demonstrate how the symbolism plays an integral part in this genre, as well.

Whatever you decide upon, run your ideas past your instructor; she will probably assist with some suggestions as well.  And, do not forget to check the enotes "how-to" topics.  The site listed below gives pointers on how to write a research paper.  Also, go to the Essay Lab on enotes for help.

When you find a topic in which you are interested, the paper will be exciting to do.  Good luck.

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, if your teacher is flexible as to book choice, you might pick your favorite book--as long as it has some academic value--or you might try a classic book, for instance one of the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes mysteries (they're not too long). What do you like to read? Robert Louis Stevenson's short stories?

Next, as to research, it all depends on what is required. Of course, you'd read the book, then some possible research areas are: author's biography and background (other books, best book, flop of a book etc); the era in which s/he wrote; other authors of that era; what critics say about the book; films made from the book; sociopolitical importance of the book; analysis of symbolism, theme, metaphor, allegory, etc; instances of foreshadowing, name meanings, etc.

The points of research ennumerated above that will be drawn upon DEPEND ON your teacher's requirements. According to those requirements, you may want to research two or the areas above or five of them. So, do find out what your teacher's requirements for "research" are. And happy reading!

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

mwestwood is giving you great advice about talking with your instructor as you narrow down your ideas. How about looking at what you are reading this semester in Freshman English and selecting some characters to compare and contrast? (I am not sure if you are a high school or college freshman, so I will focus on high school ideas.)

Most 9th graders read Romeo and Juliet. Many of them also read Antigone. Both Juliet and Antigone are strong female characters who stand up to their male parents (Juliet's father and Antigone's uncle) and carve their own ways. Both characters end up dying because of their choices.

Good luck with your assignment. You can also post specific questions onto eNotes once you do decide on your topic.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I suggest you begin with your favorite book out of all the ones you have studied so far.  You can then read another similar book, or another book by the same author.  That way you already know that you are interested in the book and you are ready to dig in.

junket | Student

would u plz help me in choosing a field, topic etc. thanking you in anticipation

junket | Student

i am a fresh scholar of M.phil. i am keenly interested in higher study but i dont know how to select a topic in english lterature and carry out research on it. please help me out

kgem | Student

ok i may not be as good as these ppl who answered the question :P but as a literature student i think the easiest topic to write about is Feminism. choose any work that represent the idea of feminism and how women are opressed ...etc for example: Susan Grlaspell's "Trifles" is a short play in 1916, u can find lots of information about it. I personally wrote 2 papers on this play and im gonna do a psychoanalatical study on it for a more advanced class (criticism).

anyways good luck with ur papers i know how hard it is to search for imformation>>.im workoing on 2 researchs right now :s, and if u need help all u need to do is  (simply ask ;) )