A literature term paper analyzes a certain aspect of a work of literature or discusses a work of literature through the lens of a certain type of literary criticism. The goal of literature term papers is to say something new about works of literature; therefore, the student should try to exercise creativity while thinking about a chosen text.
Literature term papers usually begin with a thesis of high originality, although the student will research others' critical essays to support his or her thesis or to contrast with it. Therefore, the idea stage is very important to the overall project, and at times it may be the most difficult stage.
The student who initially remembers a few literature term paper possibilities will have an easier time developing a thesis. First of all, one may identify the symbolism in a work of literature and discuss either how the various symbols relate to each other or how a certain symbol appears in the author’s oeuvre. Similarly, the student may examine the use of names in a text to see if the names or the meanings behind them tell the student anything about the author’s intent. The goal in these approaches and others like them is to comb the text for a new meaning that no one has heretofore recognized.
One may also examine a work of literature from the point of view of a certain type of literary criticism. For example, one may explore what a work of literature conveys to the feminist, the postmodernist, or the postcolonialist. As the student progresses through the department's literature classes, he or she will become more and more comfortable viewing literature from different perspectives.
Literature term papers can be a wonderful experience for the student who thinks freely on a work of literature. The student should trust his or her instincts about the selected work of literature and write a paper that competently defends its thesis.