Research Paper Ideas

For the research paper, I am interested in looking more into letters between people in relationships whether it is a romantic love letter, friends, or people who are pen pals. I think I want my main question to be about how letter-writing affects relationships between people for the better or worse. I think how much people are willing to share shows how strong a relationship is or how strong a person may want it to be. It would also be interesting to analyze the tone or theme in the letters over time to see if and how they change. I will use the resources I was already provided and look into finding more examples of letters that show strong or valuable relationships. For information on love letters, from class, I can use My Dear Bessie and the love letters to strangers. For pen pal relationships I can look at 84 Charing Cross Road and also find more examples. Another idea I have would be looking into more letters that are similar to the one Kurt Vonnegut wrote to a school board. I would want to see why certain letters are written and what is the impact for both the writer and the person receiving them. I also want to see if writing letters has been a persuasive technique for people who are trying to prove a point or get something done. I would look at who is receiving the letter and why they are receiving it, the audience it is shared with, and what actions happen after people read it. It would be interesting to look at letters from history during important events and see how letters played a role in them. One letter that comes to mind is Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. I could talk about why he wrote it to certain people, what was it in response to, and how it got out to the public. I could even be more specific in my overall topic and focus on a single time period such as letters from the civil rights movement in the 1960s. It would also be interesting though to see look at letters from different time periods and see if they were effective in those different time periods.

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