How to write an essay: Stretch a three paragraph idea into a five page gem

Does the idea of writing an essay fill you with dread? You’re not alone. But learning how to write an essay is easy once you get used to the essay structure. Unlike a research paper where you are using the viewpoint of other researchers, in an essay you’re going to frame your own point of view and support it with well-organized facts and examples.

Learn how to write an essay with ease. (Credit: Orin Zebest/Flickr)

Learn how to write an essay with ease. (Credit: Orin Zebest/Flickr)

Check out your course syllabus to see if your course requirements include writing an essay. Sooner or later you’re going to have to do one. Here are some tips on how to make sure that your essay is long enough to make the grade. Read more

A new look at Sherlock Holmes for your next literature research paper

Without a doubt, Sherlock Holmes is one of the most beloved fictional characters in not only British literature but all of literature. The list of actors who have portrayed the consulting detective includes everyone from Charleton Heston to Benedict Cumberbatch. Now we have a truly unique interpretation of the character in the film Mr. Holmes starring Ian McKellen.

Ian McKellen portrays an elderly Sherlock Holmes in the film Mr. Holmes. (Credit: Roadside Attractions)

Ian McKellen portrays an elderly Sherlock Holmes in the film Mr. Holmes. (Credit: Roadside Attractions)

In this film we find the great detective much older and frailer than he has ever been depicted on film. The story was adapted from Mitch Cullen’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. If you’re writing a research paper on literary characters or famous detectives, be sure to go and see Mr. Holmes. Read more

Research topic: Literary book awards and lifetime achievement

Some good research paper topics for your literature class are to write about literary awards, such as the National Book Award, the Lambda Literary Awards for gay and lesbian fiction, and the Newbery Award for children’s literature.

Neil Gaiman presents a special literary award, the National Book Award, to Ursula K. Le Guin (Credit: Vimeo)

Neil Gaiman presents a special literary award, the National Book Award, to Ursula K. Le Guin (Credit: Vimeo)

Among the National Book Award winners was Ursula K. Le Guin who won a lifetime achievement award. For your term paper, you could write about the history, scope and famous winners of these literary book awards. Read more

Award winning short stories in contemporary literature as your research topic

Analyses of award winning short stories are among the good research paper topics in the field of contemporary literature. There are many short story genres, languages and themes to research and any number of awards you can look at to find source material.

A stack of contemporary literature books. (Credit: Jono's Book Reviews)

A stack of contemporary literature books. (Credit: Jono’s Book Reviews)

Here are some interesting research paper topics on inspirational short stories. Read more

Madame Bovary: Compare the two movies and book for your research paper

The story Gustave Flaubert told in his novel Madame Bovary was based on the suicide of a real woman, caught in an unhappy marriage and dealing with mounting debts. What captured Flaubert’s imagination is still relevant today, as two new 2015 movies are based on the novel—Gemma Bovery and Madame Bovary.

Discuss the two new Madame Bovary movies for your research paper. (Credit: Variety)

Discuss the two new Madame Bovary movies for your research paper. (Credit: Variety)

The book-to-movie adaptations approach the French classic very differently, one in a straightforward and literal manner and the other much less so. Read more

Summer reading — The best books for college students

This summer you might be tempted to walk away from anything remotely connected to learning. But summer reading is a great thing, and not just for college students.

If you need a little inspiration when it comes to compiling your top books to read, here are some suggestions for the best books to keep your mind in tip-top shape during the break. Read more

Thomas Hardy literature and film adaptations as your research topic

Good thing Henry James isn’t around to review the latest film adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. In a review James wrote when the novel was first published, he wrote of the main character, Bathsheba Everdene (played by Carey Mulligan in the new movie): “We cannot say that we either understand or like Bathsheba. She is a young lady of the inconsequential, willful, mettlesome type.”

Learn more about the Thomas Hardy novel turned film adaptation. (Credit: Shockya.com)

Learn more about the Thomas Hardy novel turned film adaptation. (Credit: Shockya.com)

But who knows, maybe he would approve of the latest incarnation more than the novel, as most reviews seem to. For your next research paper in literature, discuss the many perceptions of this Thomas Hardy classic. Read more

Fact vs. fiction—research paper topics on nonfiction authors

Juxtaposing fact vs. fiction or examining why nonfiction books are important for school children to read are both good research paper topics to pursue in a study of nonfiction books.

Learn here about the differences between fiction and nonfiction. (Credit: David Tran)

Learn here about the differences between fiction and nonfiction. (Credit: David Tran)

Other good topics include the best or most well-known nonfiction books and why memoirs have become so popular. Read more

Paddington Bear and children’s literature for your research paper

For good research paper topics for your children’s literature or film studies class, consider writing about the popularity and process of converting classic and contemporary children’s books into film. The recent Paddington Bear movie is the newest entry, following a trend set by Where the Wild Things Are, Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte’s Web and more contemporary fare like Coraline, How to Train Your Dragon and The Secret World of Arrietty.

Paddington Bear and creator Michael Bond. (Credit: Felicity McCabe)

Paddington Bear and creator Michael Bond. (Credit: Felicity McCabe)

Term paper topics could be to write about the production of children’s movies based on popular literature. Read more

Literary themes to consider for research paper topics

In search of research paper topics focused on literary themes? The most recent and major trend revolves around young adult books. Dystopian novels and vampire books have received a lot of attention, but their popularity may be waning.

Consider discussing different literary themes for your next research paper. (Credit: The Express Tribune)

Consider discussing different literary themes for your next research paper. (Credit: The Express Tribune)

Why were those two literary themes so big in young adult books and what trends are on the rise? Read more