English Language Dissertation Topics

English students are bright and highly creative. This means they tend to come up with brilliant ideas!

So, coming up with a dissertation topic should be easy, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Coming up with a topic can be stressful so you might try to avoid it. Alternatively, you might have hundreds of great ideas, but not know which one to settle on.

If that’s the case, then don’t worry. This article is here to help you move forward with choosing a topic for your dissertation – so let’s get started!


Sociolinguistics Dissertation Topics

Sociolinguistics is one of the most interesting aspects of English studies, especially in our modern, globalised world. Put simply, sociolinguistics is concerned with how social/cultural norms shape language. Since we are becoming increasingly globalised, there is a debate as to whether our culture and language systems are converging or diverging. Of course, there is no straightforward answer to this debate, and there is still much to learn about the link between society, culture, and language. Here are a few dissertation topics in sociolinguistics to get you started.

  • Mapping the diachronic development of Disney Princesses: How is language used to portray femininity?
  • ‘Well jel’!’ A sociolinguistic analysis of The Only Way is Essex.
  • Are accents still being used to create alterity? A review of blockbuster films from 2019-2020. ‘
  • Mapping second-generation immigrants’ usage of English within the family: When and Why?
  • Politeness and official address (e.g., Sir, Madam, Teacher): A comparison between the UK and China.
  • How do employees use and lose power in workplace meetings? A sociolinguistic analysis.
  • Do males speak more frequently than females? A review of university seminars.
  • Hedges in everyday speech: Why are we so uncertain?
  • A sociolinguistic analysis of advertising for vegan products.
  • A diachronic sociolinguistic analysis of cosmetics reviews 1950 – 2020.
  • Polite participles in everyday speech: Is it a class thing?
  • Building rapport via video conferencing: How does it differ from real-life?
  • Analysing humour between native and non-native English speakers: How is it manifested?
  • The language of love: universal or locally specific?
  • A sociolinguistic analysis of comic book villains.
  • The diachronic evolution of questioning.

Coming up with a Topic

Coming up with your own topic is no easy feat. Above all, it’s important to find a topic that interests you!

If you are an overseas student, you might find it interesting to compare language between the UK and your own country, for example.

So, let’s say you’re from China…

Research from Kaplan (1966) shows that native English speakers prefer to use deductive forms of discourse, whereas Chinese EFL speakers prefer inductive forms of discourse.

However, this research is quite out of date, and since many Chinese people have become English language learners since 1966 (and many now live in the UK), you might question whether this difference still persists…

And there you have it! A curious ‘gap’ in the literature that you can fill with your dissertation.

Need help coming up with a great dissertation topic? Our expert writers are on hand to assist.

Applied Linguistics Dissertation Topics

The field of language and linguistics is sometimes accused of being a bit ‘abstract’. But, in truth, linguistics can be applied to the real world, and these applications hold a great degree of significance, not only for language learning but for wider society. That said, if you’re a practical and solutions-focused person, you might enjoy working on an applied linguistics dissertation. Here are a few titles to inspire you:

  • Children’s adoption of intensifying adverbs: How early should it be encouraged?
  • Becoming a non-native teacher of English: Key challenges and opportunities.
  • Delivering safety training to non-native English speakers – How to test comprehension?
  • Pre-school language formation: Should we actively seek to neutralise gender differences?
  • Online language learning during COVID-19: Opportunities and challenges.
  • Telling my story: Refugees’ journeys through language learning and resettlement.
  • Supporting translators in mental health settings – does more need to be done?
  • How to teach syntax? A critical review of the approaches.
  • Collaborative writing in the ESL classroom.
  • The role of ‘active reflection’ in ESL teaching and learning.

Critical Perspectives for Language Students  

As part of your degree, you have probably come across critical theories such as Feminism, Postcolonialism, and Race Theory. If that’s the case, you could choose to draw upon one or more of these critical theories in your dissertation. Here are just a few titles to consider:

  • How is language used to portray Disney heroes and heroines? A feminist perspective.
  • Are job adverts fair and equal? A critical race theory perspective.
  • English as the lingua Franca: Exploring the effects on indigenous populations.
  • ‘Welcome back to my channel’ How are women creating identities and communities on YouTube? A feminist perspective.

Hopefully, this post has given you a bit of inspiration, but if you’re still feeling stuck then don’t worry! Try some of our top tips for coming up a great English dissertation topic:

  • Look back over your degree – which assignment scored the highest? Which assignment was most interesting to you? This would be a good place to start!
  • Have a brainstorming session with the friends on your course.
  • Contact our PhD Writers today and we’ll provide you with some unique and interesting topics to choose from.



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