Ideas for Literary Analysis Research Papers

There are many paths to take when approaching a literary analysis paper. Novels, poems and plays provide numerous themes, characters and plots for you to examine if you’re ready to commit to the research. By engaging the text of your chosen story, you may even reconsider your own perspectives on life, society and your sense of self.

Author’s Influence

Discuss the ways in which the author’s life may have influenced the work of literature. For example, you can examine how Lewis Carrol’s religious affiliation and background as a logician and photographer influenced his famous works “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” These kinds of topics will require some extensive research into autobiographical and biographical works concerning the author.

Historical and Social Influence

Examine how historical events or social context influenced the book. For example, research how Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” examines the World War I from a German perspective. You can also compare the initial reception of the book to its current treatment by critics. You will find that certain works, including “All Quiet on the Western Front,” stirred controversy upon their original publication.

Imagery Analysis

If the work features reoccurring phrases, images or scenes, you can focus on how these elements add to the overall work. For example, explore how the frequent descriptions of the characters’ eyes add to the text of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Imagery analysis can become especially useful when you are examining a work of poetry.

Character-Driven Analysis

The characters are the heart of literary works, so choose an interesting character and examine his motives and maturation throughout the text. For example, you can write about how you believe the protagonists of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” develop as the episodic plot moves along. When dealing with allegorical works, such as Nathanial Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” you can explore the symbolism behind the characters.

Compare with Other Works

If you’ve read other works by the same author, you can draw various comparisons between the works. For example, examine the similarities between the characters, plots and literary devices of William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night.” You can also compare works that explore similar themes, even if they don’t share the same author.


How to Improve Your Proofreading

You’ve crafted a letter, manuscript, or essay designed to impress someone important. You’ve read and re-read the document for mistakes only to discover that some errors were overlooked. If you’ve already sent the final draft after this discovery, you can only hope these mistakes go unnoticed by the recipient. Avoid potential embarrassment in the future by taking a few simple steps to improve your proofreading.

  1. Read the document backward word by word. The eyes tend to jump at the same spots when reading a document. Reading backward helps to break this habit as you are forced to read each word separately and catch spelling errors.
  2. Take another look at your work with fresh eyes. If you have some time after you’ve completed your final draft, walk away from it and do something else for a while. When you return refreshed, you’ll be able to look at your work with a fresh pair of eyes and a new point of view.
  3. Speak the words aloud. Reading aloud helps you to hear your writing differently. Circle any spot that sound awkward or contain errors so you can revise them later.
  4. Get rid of some of the commas. The average person tends to put commas in the wrong place or overuse them all together. Check each comma in your work and determine whether it’s needed.
  5. Let a friend look at your work. A fresh set of unbiased eyes can do wonders. Naturally, we tend to avoid seeing errors in our own writing, but others may be able to catch them more readily. Have your friend underline the potential errors so you can have an idea of what your recipient may notice. Be sure to make the necessary corrections.
  6. Use your computer’s spell checker. While computers aren’t foolproof, they can be helpful. Give attention to the possible mistakes highlighted by your computer. Use discretion when following the computer’s suggestions. It may identify accurately spelled words as mistakes if it does not recognize them.
  7. Pay attention to the typical errors. Refer to your earlier writings that were proofread by a professor or someone else like an editor. Be sure your new writing does not duplicate the errors found in previous works.

How to Close a Research Paper

The close, or conclusion, is one of the most important parts of a research paper. It brings together all key pieces of information presented earlier in the paper and gives the reader a final perspective. The conclusion provides an ending to the paper, leaving the reader satisfied that he was given all necessary information on the topic.

Examine the key points you made throughout your research paper. The number of key points depends on how extensive the topic is and the paper’s length. An extensive topic probably has many key points.

Write each key point while constructing the first draft of your conclusion. This will give you a list of each point that you made.

Summarize all of the key points from your list into one or two paragraphs in the conclusion. Tie them together so that they give the reader a sense that the paper is complete and that she has all information necessary on the topic.

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