How to choose interesting topics for an Italian literature essay

So you have been asked to write an essay on Italian literature and are looking for an interesting topic. This brief guide will outline the most important steps on how to choose a topic which satisfies not only your evaluator, but a potential broader audience.

Find a topic that interest you first, then write in a reader-friendly way

A good starting question to ask yourself is the following:

What kind of Italian literature topic would I like to read about?

It’s best to find a topic that you are interested in yourself–a topic that you would be thrilled reading about. While your writing should always focus on your reader and your ideas should be presented in a read- and enjoyable way, the topic itself should reflect your own interests in Italian literature. This way you make sure to stay motivated throughout the writing process and stay focused despite potential hardships.

Choose a topic you are familiar with

Rather than exploring unknown territory and potentially overwhelming yourself with research on a new topic, you might want to choose a subject you’re already familiar with. Knowing your subject in advance makes it easier to come up with an interesting and important scope before starting the actual research and writing work.

Link topics of interest

Maybe you have developed an interest in a few areas of Italian literature. Ask yourself if there’s a way to link them. Are there overlaps you could explore and turn into an essay of long-lasting interest? Can you merge two or more subjects?

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re interested in Religious Literature and the works of Dante.

You could research how the prose in Religious Literature affected the writings of Dante.

  1. Find a good scope
  2. Make sure your topic is not too broad. It will be harder to present interesting details and come to a satisfying conclusion when picking a theme that’s too broad. Rather than writing about the life and times of Dante, you might want to pick a specific time in his life.

    On the contrary, your topic should not be too narrow either. This makes it harder to find good sources and you are more likely to run out of things to write about.

  3. Compare two people with a similar background
  4. Are you interested in two or more Italian writers with a similar background? In this case, you could write a compare and contrast essay, finding and outlining unlikely connections between them and presenting a whole new angle on their lives.

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