Selecting a good dissertation topic is vital, as this will provide a strong foundation upon which to build the rest of the work. A weak dissertation topic will inevitably lead to a weak dissertation; something which you want to avoid happening at all costs! Often students realise too late that their dissertation is based on a bad choice of topic and have no choice but to start again.
Don’t want this to be you? Choose a dissertation topic with your strengths in mind. Of course, you want your topic to be impressive, but make sure you choose a subject area in which you feel comfortable working. If you attempt to write a dissertation based on a topic you are unsure of, it will show.
Dissect your chosen topic until you can’t think of anything else to write – then use your notes to work out whether this particular topic will make a good dissertation. You can also ask your tutor for advice – after all, they know what they’re talking about! Once you have selected a strong, interesting topic, you’re well on your way to writing an amazing dissertation – good luck!
When it comes to English Literature, there's no end to the topics that you can research on that novel or other piece that you've been reading. The easiest way to get an idea for that next research topic on English literature for your essay is to start broad and then work toward making it more specific and interesting for your readers. Here are a few examples of research topics in literature to get you started (for a more extensive list of research topics in literature, please check out the link that can be found at the bottom of this article):
1. Gender roles
How are the roles of men and women portrayed in the novel? Are they distinctly different? Do they have equal rights? What gender expectations do they follow or fight against?
2. Comparisons between genres
How does each genre tell its story? What are the differences and similarities between the two? Is one more effective than the other?
3. Historical background
Who is the author and what is their story? Were there controversies associated with him/her or their work? What is the significance of this novel in the time it was written? How does it reflect the society and beliefs of its time?
What issues in politics does this novel address? Discrimination? Rights? Equality?
How is this novel religious? What beliefs is it promoting or questioning?
6. Comparisons between two characters
This can be between characters in the same novel or two different ones. How are their differences and similarities important to the novel?
7. Comparisons between two novels
If the novels seem completely different but represent the same genre or come from the same time period, this may be something you want to explore.
8. Allusions within the novel
What are some significant allusions within the novel? These could be religious, refer to other novels or authors, etc. How is this important to understanding the novel and its place in English Literature?
What are some of the most notable criticisms out there? What is your response and how does it compare to other critics out there?
What are important symbols in the novel? How are they significant?