Literature Extended Essay Topics

What is an Extended Essay?

An extended essay is an in-depth academic research paper, typically written by a student as part of a college or university degree. This type of essay requires you to research and analyze a topic and reach a conclusion supported by evidence. It is usually assigned by professors and should be between 2000 and 4000 words long, depending on the subject and institution.

What Will this Guide Cover?

This guide will help you to choose an appropriate extended essay topic and understand how to research and write your essay. It includes tips on brainstorming, researching, outlining, writing, editing and proofreading, as well as presenting your ideas. Additionally, we will provide some useful resources to complete and finalize your essay. By the end of this guide, you will have all the information you need to write an effective and engaging extended essay.
Literature Extended Essay Topics

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  • The Influence of Historical Context on the Themes of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”.
  • Exploring the Use of Magic Realism in Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.
  • The Depiction of War and its Aftermath in Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front”.
  • Examining Gender Roles and Feminism in Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre”.
  • Religious Allegory in John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”: A Deep Dive.
  • Post-colonial Analysis of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”.
  • Tragedy and Fatalism in Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”.
  • Exploring the Theme of Isolation in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.
  • A Study of Stream of Consciousness Narrative in James Joyce’s “Ulysses”.
  • The Representation of American Society in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”.
  • Understanding Nature and Industrialization Through William Wordsworth’s Poetry.
  • The Influence of Russian History on the Characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov”.
  • Depictions of Masculinity and Heroism in Ernest Hemingway’s Works.
  • Shakespeare’s Use of Supernatural Elements in “Macbeth”: An Analysis.
  • Examining the Nuances of Race and Culture in Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth”.
  • The Role of Nature and Wilderness in Jack London’s “Call of the Wild”.
  • Dystopia and Social Critique in George Orwell’s “1984”.
  • Comparing the Gothic Elements in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.
  • Symbolism and Allegory in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”.
  • Understanding Human Behavior Through the Lens of William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”.

Brainstorming Prompts to Help You Choose an Extended Essay Topic

An extended essay is a long piece of academic writing that explores a specific research topic. Writing an extended essay can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! To help you get started, consider the following five sample topics. Each includes four to five questions to help determine if that topic is right for your essay and two to three sentence description of the topic.

1. Exploring the Role of Gender in 19th Century Literature

  • What aspects of gender roles and/or relations are relevant to my research?
  • What specific literary works and/or authors should I investigate?
  • Can I find enough evidence to write an extended essay on this topic?
  • What challenges might I face when researching and writing about this topic?

This topic explores the role of gender within 19th century literature, including how gender is portrayed, represented and discussed within various literary works.

2. Examining the Impact of War on Modern Literature

  • How has war affected modern literature?
  • Which authors, works and movements should I investigate?
  • Are there any ethical considerations I should take into account?
  • How will I use evidence to support my argument?

This topic examines the impact of war on modern literature, from how it influences the themes and characters portrayed within certain works to how it shapes literary movements.

3. Understanding the Use of Symbolism in British Romanticism

  • How have symbols been used in British Romantic literature?
  • Which symbols are most significant?
  • How can I analyze symbolism within specific works?
  • What new insight could I gain by studying this topic?

This topic looks at the use of symbols in British Romanticism, from exploring what different symbols mean to analyzing how they are used within various works.

4. Analyzing the Representation of Nature in Gothic Fiction

  • What does the representation of nature tell us about Gothic fiction?
  • Can I draw connections between representations of nature and the plot?
  • What aspects of nature should I focus on in my research?
  • How can I evaluate the significance of the representation of nature?

This topic examines the representation of nature in Gothic fiction, from how it contributes to the atmosphere of the story to how it reflects the themes and ideas explored within the work.

5. Investigating the Development of Postcolonial Writing

  • What themes and trends should I consider when researching postcolonial writing?
  • What authors and works are relevant to the subject?
  • Are there any cultural differences I should be aware of during my research?
  • What evidence can I use to support my argument?

This topic looks at the development of postcolonial writing, focusing on how it reflects the experiences of individuals living in colonial societies as well as how it has evolved over time.

Researching Extended Essay Topics

Researching an extended essay topic can seem like an intimidating task. After all, the quality of your research and the accuracy of your facts can make or break your essay. Fortunately, there are two simple and straightforward methods to help you gather the information you need to write an excellent paper.

Primary Sources

The first approach is primary sources. Primary sources such as academic papers, government documents, and interviews are essential for getting accurate facts about a topic. When researching with primary sources, it’s important to look for reliable sources and cross-reference them with other credible sources. Additionally, be careful to use your own words when summarizing the content from your primary sources to avoid plagiarism.

Secondary Sources

In some cases, secondary sources may be easier to access than primary sources. Secondary sources include books, magazine articles, and newspaper articles that have been written about a topic. While these sources can provide useful background information on a subject, it is important to use caution when relying on secondary sources. Be sure to double-check facts and information against primary sources before including them in your paper.

Even with these two methods, researching extended essay topics can be challenging. Start by gathering as many resources as possible and then narrow down your focus. Referencing information from reliable primary and secondary sources can help you create an accurate and well-rounded essay.

Outlining Your Extended Essay

Creating an effective outline is an important step towards writing a successful extended essay. With an outline, you can determine the structure of your essay and ensure that all arguments and evidence are presented in a logical order. Here are some tips to help you create a thorough and effective outline for your extended essay:

Step 1: Decide On Your Position

The first step when outlining your extended essay is to decide on your position or argument. This will be the main point of your essay, so spend some time thinking about how you want to present your topic and what evidence you will use to support it.

Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas and Evidence

Once you have determined your position, begin brainstorming your ideas and evidence. Consider which examples would be relevant to your argument and make a list of any facts, quotes, or other pieces of information that could be used to back up your argument.

Step 3: Structure Your Outline

Once you have gathered all of your ideas and evidence, it’s time to structure your outline. Start by forming your main points/arguments and then break each point down into smaller, more specific ideas and evidence. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay flows logically.

Step 4: Add Supporting Details

When outlining your essay, don’t forget to include supporting details. Be sure to include facts, quotes, and other evidence to support each point. This will make your essay more persuasive and provide readers with a better understanding of your argument.

Step 5: Review Your Outline

Once you have completed your outline, take some time to review it. Make sure all of your points and evidence are coherent and relevant to your position. Also, check for any spelling or grammar errors and make any necessary changes.

By following these steps, you should be able to create an effective outline for your extended essay. Remember, an outline is an important tool for creating a more organized and thorough essay. Taking the time to create one will help ensure that your extended essay is both well-written and successful.

Writing Your Extended Essay

Writing an extended essay can be a tricky process, but once you know where to start, it’s easy! Here are the steps you should take when drafting your extended essay:

1. Introduce Your Topic

The first step to writing your extended essay is to introduce your main topic. Think about your chosen research area and come up with a few sentences that will capture your reader’s attention. This should form the basis of your essay and will act as a reference point throughout your research.

2. Developing Research

Once you have finished introducing your topic, it is time to develop your research. You need to ensure that your insights are supported by evidence. Search for authoritative sources such as academic journals and textbooks, primary documents, and interviews, amongst other methods. It is important to consider multiple perspectives on your topic and synthesize them into your paper.

3. Creating a Checklist

It’s important to have a checklist when writing your extended essay. Make sure you have done your research thoroughly and have consistently referred to it throughout your essay to prove your claims. Check off each point on your list as your essay progresses and make sure you have included all the points and evidence you identified at the beginning.

4. Common Mistakes To Avoid

When writing your extended essay, there are some common mistakes you should be aware of. These include plagiarism, submitting an essay without proofreading and editing, not following your outline, and relying solely on your opinion rather than evidence-based facts. If you keep these in mind when drafting your essay, you’re one step ahead!

Conclusion

Writing an extended essay is a complex process, but can be made easy if you follow the right steps. Start by introducing your topic, then move on to developing your research. Make sure you have a checklist of what to include and double check for common mistakes. With this guide, you’ll be well on your way to writing your perfect extended essay!

Editing and Proofreading Your Extended Essay

Editing and proofreading are important steps in the extended essay writing process. Editing your essay helps you to refine your arguments and make sure they’re clear and coherent. Proofreading is the final step before submitting your paper, and involves carefully checking your work for any errors. Here are some tips to help you edit and proofread your essay effectively:

  • Make sure your argument is clear: Read your essay carefully to check that your argument is easy to understand. If not, try restructuring it to make it more clear.
  • Check for grammar and spelling mistakes: Check for any spelling or grammar mistakes and if necessary, use a grammar or spell checker.
  • Update format and citations: Make sure all citations are in the correct style and format – typically either Harvard or MLA.
  • Look out for redundancy: Remove any redundant or unnecessary words in your essay. This will help to strengthen your argument.
  • Get a second opinion: Ask someone else to read your essay and provide feedback. Getting an outside opinion can help clarify any confusion or mistakes you may have missed.

By ensuring you edit and proofread your extended essay thoroughly, you can ensure you submit a high-quality paper that meets all of the criteria. Remember to take your time when proofreading, and don’t forget to check for formatting and citation errors.

Presenting Your Extended Essay Ideas

Presenting your extended essay ideas can be a challenging task. To ensure that your essay stands out and has maximum impact, you need to follow certain strategies when presenting it. Here we will focus on strategies for writing an introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and appendix.

Introduction

The introduction of your essay is the first paragraph that readers will read, and it should capture their attention. It should provide a brief overview of the content of the essay, and give your readers an understanding of what they can expect to read and why it’s important. Be sure to include a strong thesis statement that outlines the main point of your essay.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs should provide supporting evidence for your thesis statement. Present facts and data that is relevant to your topic. Make sure to link each paragraph to your thesis statement. This will ensure that your readers understand how the information provided supports your argument.

Conclusion

Your conclusion should sum up your essay by highlighting the main points discussed in the body paragraphs. Make sure to provide a clear call to action or suggest future topics for exploration. You can also provide an open-ended question or something that encourages further thought and discussion.

Appendix

The appendix of your essay should include additional information such as tables, figures, graphs, and other supporting documents. Be sure to include a description of each item in order to help the reader understand its relevance to the essay.

By following these strategies when presenting your extended essay ideas, you can ensure that your essay stands out and has maximum impact.

Conclusion

The extended essay can be a daunting task for any high school student, especially when it comes to finding the right topic. But with the right planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This guide has provided you with information on how to brainstorm your extended essay topics, research them and outline them. It has also provided you with tips on writing, editing and proofreading your extended essay as well as some tips on presenting your ideas. We hope this guide has been helpful in getting your extended essay off the ground.

If you need further help or advice there are plenty of online resources available. Many schools offer writing workshops that can help you refine your skills. There are also plenty of websites and books devoted to the art of extended essay writing. Do not hesitate to reach out for help.

We wish you the best of luck in your extended essay journey!

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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