When you conduct literary research, you are adding to the conversation literary scholars have (probably) been having about a work (poem, short story, play, or novel) since it was first published.
So what does that mean?
Your professor may have provided a list of topics from which to choose - these are usually a good option because there will definitely be something "there" when you get started. In other words, your professor likely would not have suggested a topic that leads to a dead end.
It's possible, though, that none of the available choices appeal to you, and if your professor has said other topics are allowed (generally this would be with the condition of approval by him/her), consider pursuing the following strategies. The upside here is that whenever possible, it's better, easier, and more fun to research something that truly interests or intrigues you. To do research well, you have to spend a lot of time thinking, reading, and writing about the topic; most would agree that it's easier if it doesn't bore you to death. So, consider these options:
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