What are some possible research essay topics concerning Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter?I need a topic that is RESEARCH-ABLE on the scarlet letter. Perferably not on the common symbols in...

What are some possible research essay topics concerning Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter?

I need a topic that is RESEARCH-ABLE on the scarlet letter. Perferably not on the common symbols in the novel. Needs to be able to be written into an 8-10 page paper

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Writing a research essay on The Scarlet Letter involves working extensively with primary source material in order to explain some particular facet of the novel. For example, Hester is characterized by expertise as a seamstress. This offers several potential research topics. One angle might be to compare Hawthorne’s descriptions of her sewing with actual non-fiction works about sewing techniques and technology written during the period. Another possibility is to investigate the economic underpinnings, the degree to which women could earn their livings doing fine sewing, how much customers would pay, cost of living, etc.

The main thing you need to do for a research paper is to define an extremely narrow topic and do in-depth library research using primary materials. You also should investigate the MLA International Bibliography to see the state of existing scholarship in your topic.

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