Fresh Ideas For Writing A Research Paper On To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, is an American literary masterpiece that is studied in a number of courses throughout high school, college and grad school. Because there has been so much work done on the novel, it can feel as though its academic study has become saturated. And when it comes to writing a good literary research paper the trick is to find some fresh idea that hasn’t been explored in-depth. Here are some research paper topics for your consideration:

  1. What does the mockingbird symbolize in the novel? Follow the theme throughout the story and analyze the ways in which characters reference the bird and the way in which it appears in specific scenes.
  2. In what ways does Boo Radley go from monster to savior in the novel? What lessons can be learned from Scout’s relationship to Scout? Do you believe that Scout’s understanding of Boo is intended to make the latter more relatable?
  3. How does education fit in the novel? What arguments does Lee make for either institutionalized education or the dominance of education in the home? What are her most important pieces of evidence that she provides?
  4. Both Jem and Scout mature a tremendous amount throughout the course of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” What are the main developmental changes they experience and what are the main causes for these changes?
  5. How is law presented or treated in the novel? According to the books central characters, Atticus, Jem, Scout, what are the limitations of law? Do you think there is a greater commentary about the legal system that Lee is trying to make?
  6. If Maycomb, the town in which the events of the novel take place, where a character how would you provide an analysis of it? What would its main identity be? Does it change in any way through the years or remain static?
  7. What is Atticus’s parenting style? How would you describe his relationship with Jem and Scout and is this representative of the style of parenting prevalent in the 1950s or this Lee’s way of describing an uncommon approach?
  8. How does Harper Lee present the American family in the novel? What are the main components of the family? Do you think the Finch’s are juxtaposed with any other presentations of families in the novel, or do they stand alone as the ideal?