Here are few example literature thesis topics:
Bear in mind that these are literature thesis topics, not literature thesis statements. Any one of the above topics couldn’t be covered in 30,000 pages, much less 30 to 40 pages (depending on the requirements of your department). Add to any of the above topics a few modifiers and you will be getting closer to a strong, focused literature thesis.
For example, take Southern Literature. At least this is narrowed down enough to include a region (the southern states of America) and a time period (the 200+ years in which writers have been depicting the South that is the essence of Southern literature). English literature doesn’t even have that going for it.
With Southern literature, you can narrow it down in a number of ways. Female authors or male authors or one author in particular (ie Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Willa Cather), or even one book by one of these authors. Perhaps you are interested in a comparative study of scenes which include burning barn imagery in a few different southern novels. Maybe you are interested in dialect. Perhaps it is the black experience in the South or the black female experience in the South that has captured your attention. Maybe novels placed in southern Georgia are of interest to you. Whatever it is, make sure that you have enough material to feed your thesis but not so much that you are overwhelmed.
Once you’ve taken a topic and narrowed the focus, you will need to pick the details. Even having arrived at a Southern literature topic with a focus on African American females, you’ve still got a great deal to choose from. Pick a certain author, one book or two, a decade, an historical event or sociological change and find an angle.
Choosing an angle for your literature thesis is simultaneously the most challenging and most interesting aspect of the statement development. You must pick something that hasn’t been done to death but also something that isn’t so obscure that you have no research to draw from. Yes, your ideas are important, but for a thesis, you need to have the backing of scholars for at least part of your conclusion.
Now the disclaimer: don’t narrow your literature thesis topic down too much. If you want to write about the dress that Jane Eyre is wearing when she leaves the orphanage, you probably aren’t going to find enough information to fill up 30 to 40 pages.
You may be able to skirt the ‘overdone’ and the ‘too little done’ factors if you live in an area where your author lived, some historical monuments have been developed to acknowledge your angle or the author or the book. Perhaps the author is still living and you can track him or her down. Maybe a retired scholar lives nearby and wouldn’t mind an afternoon spent with you discussing your subject. Creating primary or original research will only be looked upon favorably as long as it is relevant to your literature thesis and bends to fit the requirements of the department. If you have concerns about the usability of some of your ideas, don’t be afraid to ask. The worst they can say is ‘no’ and ‘no’ isn’t always the last thing they’ll say.