The first step when preparing for your composition finale is to outline a topic of interest for your research. Many times we start the research process with a big and general topic. In the following example, a general topic is the starting point that leads to the development of a more refined topic.
⇒ This is a general topic. Let’s refine it:
⇒ Still too broad. Although we regionalized this topic by adding France, the scope is too large (women in 19th century)
⇒ much smaller. We refined this topic by narrowing it to the role of women
⇒ We defined the topic more by adding women writers and their position in 19th-century France
A syllabus is one helpful tool for drawing topics of interest. Once you have a topic, you can explore optics related to a particular literary work, or in the case of 19th-century literature, the influence of a 19th-century author within the Romantic period or forward, for example. The following example shows that before defining a topic, we gathered information about a particular work, its time period, and its influences in the 19th century and forward.
⇒ You could consider themes or the influence of this 1831 short story known as The Unknown Masterpiece:
⇒ One optic could consider Baudelaire's critical writing style
⇒ One optic could consider societal censorship with literary topics that make us uncomfortable