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How to Write an Art History Research Paper

You’ve been assigned an art history paper to write. You would prefer to finish your assignment on time using a minimum of stress, as well as your instructor fervently hopes to read an engaging, well-written paper. Here are some dos and don’ts to guide you, written by an art history professor who has graded thousands of these papers ranging in the superlative towards the fantastic, the undesirable plus the phenomenally ugly.

Preparation
1. Opt for a Subject You Appreciate

Appear through an art history book, slowly and leisurely.
Appear through our list of art history topics for concepts. Fantastic beginning points are our lists of movements, artists’ bios and image galleries.
Choose a subject primarily based on eye appeal and compelling personal interest.
two. Fill Your Brain with Facts

Try to remember: a automobile performs on gas, a brain performs on information. Empty brain, empty writing.
Study your subject making use of websites, books and articles.
Study the footnotes in the books and articles – they can lead to creative pondering.
3. Be an Active Reader

Ask your selfqueries whilst you read and appear up what you can not discover or never comprehend around the page.
Take notes.
Search the web with all the words, names, titles you discover.
Create down interesting facts and thoughts that come to thoughts when you read.
Writing Your Essay: Introduction, Bodyand Conclusion
1. The Introduction

Compose a thesis statement. Declare that you just have noticed some thing concerning the art, creating, artist, architect, critic, patron, or what ever your focus is for the analysis.
Then, “frame” your thesis. Tell your reader about discovering information and facts which will assistance us recognize a function of art/building better. (One example is, the French artist Paul Gauguin moved to Tahiti late in life. Your thesis analyzes his late paintings in terms of his Tahiti life style. You’ve read his biography, Noa, Noa and also other sources for suggestions to help your thesis.)
In the event you are focusing on artworks, don’t forget to place the artist’s name/artists’ names, the title(s) with the function(s) plus the date (s) inside the initial paragraph. You are able to refer for the title(s) alone thereafter.
2. Body: Describe and Point Out What You would like the Reader to Notice.

For those who are going to include things like the artist’s/architect’s biography, begin having a short summary. Unless your paper is often a biography from the particular person, most of your paper needs to be about the art, not the life.
Ensure that your arguments are constructed inside a parallel fashion: Establish a sequence of information.
Take into consideration the paragraph a unit of data. Each paragraph should talk about a single topic within the quantity of information and facts you strategy to cover.
Tips for units of information or topics: look, medium andmethod, narrative, iconography, history, artist’s biography, patronage, etc. – whatever will help you help your thesis.
Iconography could possibly need additional than a single paragraph, specially if your whole paper is about analyzing the iconography of a operate of art.
Create about the connections amongst what you described in these analyses and what you declared in the thesis statement
Comply with precisely the same sequence of concepts for the second artwork, developing, artist, architect, critic, patron, and so forth.
Stick to the same sequence for the third artwork, constructing, artist, architect, and so on.
Any time you have analyzed all of theexamples, synthesize: evaluate and contrast.
Comparison: Dedicate one particular paragraph to discussing what’s the very same about the artworks, the developing, the architects, the artists, the critics, the patrons, etc.
Contrast: Dedicate one paragraph to discussing what exactly is unique regarding the artworks, the developing, the architects, the artists, the critics, the patrons, and so forth.
Conclusion: What Do You want Your Reader to Study from your Essay?
Reiterate the thesis.
Remind your reader about your findings within a summary sentence or two.
Persuade the reader that you have demonstrated that your thesis is sound primarily based on your findings.
Optional: state that your evaluation is important when it comes to understanding a bigger picture (but not as well large). For examples, the artist’s other operate from that period, the artist’s perform all together, the artwork’s relationship to the movement or the artwork’s relationship to that moment in history. The connection shouldn’t open a new subject, but basically offer you the reader food for believed then declare this investigation is beyond the scope of the paper. (It demonstrates that you just thought of it, but you are not going to go there.)
Don’t write that art history is fantastic and you have learned a great deal. You will be writing to your teacher, and s/he is tired of reading that sentence for the umpteenth time. Leave an excellent impression and prevent being trite.
Editing
Make sure to footnote/cite your sources in the body on the paper when you use info or an opinion from a book, report, web page, and so forth.
Make a list of one’s sources at the end with the paper. Follow your teacher’s instructions and/or pay a visit to a web-site on citation style or bibliography style. Ask the teacher which citation style s/he prefers.
Verify for the following:
Titles for operates of art should be in italics: The Birth of Venus
Initial and last names begin with a capital letter. Exceptions contain spot and familial indicators including “da,” “del,” “de,” “den” and “van,” among other folks, unless the last name begins the sentence. (“Van Gogh lived in Paris.”)
Months and days with the week commence with a capital letter.
Language, nationalities and country names commence having a capital letter.
Leonardo is just not referred to as da Vinci.
Above All
Don’t wait until the last minute to start your essay.
Get started your research just after midterms.
Start off to create at least a single week ahead of the paper is due.
Take the time to EDIT, EDIT, EDIT – be concise and clear.
Ask your professor for assistance and tips as you create your paper – s/he will enjoy discussing the topic with you.

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