The aim is to explore a topic or an object (s) either based on your presentation, or on a topic discussed with your Professor. In any paper, you should be able to argue a thesis/ research question by placing your object or subject in its cultural/historical and stylistic spheres. All papers must be between 7 to 10 pages, and must have images, proper footnotes, and a full book/research bibliography at the end of the paper. The Internet may be used as a reference for your oral presentation, but if you use it for your PAPER, please only use educational web pages and minimize your reliance on the information available to you at your fingertips, as tempting as it is WIKIPEDIA is not always a reliable source of information. Do not simply cut and paste information off the Web sites. For the paper, a minimum of 3 books and or articles published by the academic community on the subject must be used. If papers only use the Internet as the main research source, the paper grade will be marked down. The paper has multiple parts; the Paper Outline/synopsis/footnote, and the complete paper with proper footnote and bibliographic citations. Please follow the criteria set for this paper below
There are several basic books that can explain how best to write a proper art history paper, here are two I recommend for purchase. There are plenty of copies in the library and I am sure you will be able to find even sections of it on the Internet. The books are small but worth purchasing and they do a great job of explaining such important tools of art history like a formal analysis or what is comparative analysis in a research paper.
1. Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing About Art. (Eighth Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.
2. Munsterberg, Marjorie Writing About Art https://writingaboutart.org/index.html
Here are a few points to keep in mind as suggestions for these papers:
GUIDELINES FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS:
This paper should be a well-written research paper worthy of an upper division 300 level course. It should be 10 pages and MUST include a full bibliography with footnotes (as opposed to in-text citations) plus illustrations/images.
The aim is to explore a topic or an object (s) either based on your presentation, or on a topic discussed with your Professor. In any paper, you should be able to argue a thesis/ research question by placing your object or subject in its cultural/historical and stylistic spheres. All papers must be 10 pages, and must have images, proper footnotes, and a full book/research bibliography at the end of the paper. The Internet may be used as a reference for your oral presentation, but if you use it for your PAPER, please only use educational web pages and minimize you reliance on the information available to you at your fingertips, as tempting as it is WIKIPEDIA is not always a reliable source of information. Do not simply cut and paste information off the Web sites. For the paper, a minimum of 3 scholarly books and or articles on the subject must be used. If papers only use the Internet as the main research source, the paper grade will be marked down.
The assignment consists of 3 parts, each due at a different date, and every part of the paper is worth a certain point for an accumulated 20 points.
Paper Part 1: A brief explanation of your topic the problem or query you wish to address and a working thesis (200 words). You must include a sample footnote and bibliography, see below.
Paper Part 2: Formal analysis of one object which you will be exploring to support your thesis. You will have one opportunity to revise the paper after it has received a preliminary grade before due date. All final revisions are due on or before week 8 ends. There are ample sources for description of this fundamental tool in art history. If you prefer to use the Internet, I suggest the link below to familiarize yourself with paper formats in art history http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/humanities/arthistory.shtml
Paper part 3: A detailed outline of your essay, including a clear thesis, an abstract, and annotated bibliography with at least 5 scholarly references,
Paper Steps: Every Paper should include the following:
Here are some steps you must take if you like to get a full 15 points for the paper:
Discuss your topic with me ASAP that means in person and by February 16th and choose an object you would like to put in your paper as the one object or monument to write a formal analysis.
Remember every Paper should have an argument, a workable thesis, a question you are answering….
Read primary and or secondary literature on your object/monument and find comparable material to your selected piece.
Write a formal analysis of your object/monument and create an outline for the paper.
Figure out your research question and state it in the beginning of the paper and place the thesis within the existing literature. I.e.: it can be as varied as your own interests, i.e.: musical interests in Islam, Astrology in Islamic Art, the role of women in Muslim society of 14th century as seen in manuscripts, etc….
Address your thesis through both original an even secondary research
Come to a conclusion about your topic and fully support your thesis with fully cited scholarly research
Course criteria on FOOTNOTES and BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATIONS (worth 5 points):
FOOTNOTE SAMPLE AND HOW TO DO IT ON MS WORD:
- For published articles or book entries:
Last name of author, year of publication: page numbers. Ex: Smith, 2012:12-15.
- For Internet webpages:
If author’s name is available then use the same format as above if not, then:
Webpage, year of publication: page number if available. Ex: metmuseum.org, 2000:12.
If none of the above is available then just the name of the webpage. ex: metmuseum.org
I would like you to use the aforementioned style for formatting for your footnotes. This is my preference and if you have to have a label for everything you may call it “Goodarzi’s refined MLA style”! In other words, I would like you to have all your footnotes as follows: author’s Last name, the year of publication: and the page numbers (Stronach, 2005:142.).
If you are using Microsoft Word Footnotes are placed as an Insert and are automatically placed on the bottom of the page. When using MS WORD, place your cursor in the spot you would like to insert a footnote, then on the menu bar choose Insert- footnote, select Footnote, select numbers and hit OK. Magically you will get a separation line on the bottom of the page, which will then allow you to insert your footnote citation, as noted above. If you do not cite the footnotes properly, your grade will automatically drop by 5 points and your paper will be considered plagiarized.
BOOK FORMAT: A proper bibliography is a scholarly researched article or book and must be cited on a separate page at the end of your 7 pages paper. Remember a good research paper should have a long bibliography with minimal Internet web pages! Also, the final paper must have illustrations or images supplied with source for those images at the end of the paper.
Guideline for bibliographic and footnote citations:
Please note that there are spaces between each entries, meaning one space after a comma, two spaces after each sub section for example between: first name of the author and the title of his or her article and so on.
Also note that if you do not follow the required footnote and bibliographic citations you will lose points from your total point accrued for the paper.
- For book entry:
Author’s last name, first name year of publication Title of the book (underlined) city of publication. EX; Smith, Thomas 2012 Art, New York.
- For article in a journal or magazine, or a chapter in a book:
Author’s last name, First name, year of publication Title of the article, published in title of the magazine/journal/book , volume number/issue number: page numbers.
Ex: Smith, Thomas 2012 Egypt Art published in Art Journal 12/4:12-15.
- For web pages:
If you have the author’ of the page then act as though it is a book entry otherwise use full URL address plus date accessed.
Ex: Smith, Thomas, 2012 Egyptian art published in http://www.metmuseum.org, p: 12, accessed October 28, 2012.
Ex 2: http://www.metmuseum.org, 12, accessed October 28, 2012.
There are ample sources for description of this fundamental tool in art history. If you prefer to use the Internet, I suggest the link below to familiarize yourself with paper formats in art history. You must have at least one object that you will formally analyze in your paper. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/humanities/arthistory.shtml
Outline with annotated bibliography:
You will need at least three scholarly articles/books/etc. to complete the primary research for your paper. I would like a line or two about what each of your sources are about, guaranteeing that you have not only begun your paper but you are also aware of the basic bibliography for your chosen subject.
Here are a few points to keep in mind as suggestions for these papers:
1. Who is your audience? Assume you are writing both for your classmates and your professor.
2. What tense should I use? If your chosen topic is a work of art, and or you are doing a formal analysis, use the present tense, if it is an archaeological report or on a specific scholar then you can use other tenses, of course if you are speaking of events in the past they should be in the past tense!
3. Whose eyes? You should trust your own eyes, try to develop and trust your instinct and be able to help your audience see the work’s intended function through your observations.
4. What should I look for? Always ask as many questions as you can. Why would a specific piece be made? Why did they choose, for example, the colors that they did in a wall painting or on a pot? Why was one stone preferred over another for a statue? Why was copper used instead of Bronze? Such simple questions can lead you to the right path of explorations.
5. Finally, remember that this is an art history class and therefore if you choose a historic subject such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, remember you should both tell me what the epic is about but also choose a visual representation of Gilgamesh, be it on a wall or a small seal and explore how his representation both follows the epic’s storyline but also what the image of a hero may imply about the ancient Near Eastern ideology.
My GRADING RUBRIC: Each paper should have three main parts, worth accordingly:
Introduction: This is where I read for:
Position of the paper, its argument, thesis, etc…
Organization of their argument
Presentation of the argument with specific selected Objects/monuments
Selected research relevancy and its accuracy to the argument
Clarity and articulation of the Research and its argument
Formal analysis of the selected objects is relevant to the position of the paper; keep in mind that they should also have both historical and analytical validity and clarity but also in context analysis.
Conclusion: Conclusion is clear and connections to the research relevant
Paper is coherent and well organized, no spelling or editing mistakes, writing is clear and concise.
Dos and Don’ts of Essay Writing
Please note: this list is by no means comprehensive, but rather is a compilation of specific characteristics/problems found in many of your papers.
1.5-space, use 12pt Times New Roman font, use regular spaces between paragraphs (no extra spaces!).
Double-check dates and spellings. Also, spell check!
Create a brief outline before starting your essay.
Include a thesis statement at the end of your 1st paragraph. This does not have to break new ground in the art historical world, but it should establish a clear point of view that orients your paper. The thesis should be carried through the body of the paper, and be reiterated in the conclusion.
Quote from sources only if absolutely necessary, otherwise put in your own words. Make sure to cite your sources, even if you are paraphrasing (use the rule: better safe than sorry)!
Narrow your scope. It is always better to zero in on 1-2 objects, and provide a very specific formal/cultural analysis of these objects, rather than to make brief mention of many art works.
Create a vivid formal analysis of art works. Who/what is being depicted? What are the materials, colors, forms, and iconography? How are these forms shown–ie what is the style (angular, fluid, low relief, etc)? What was the function and where would it have been shown (and who would have seen it)? How does the appearance of the artwork relate to the cultural traditions of the society in which it was created?
Use footnotes that proceed chronologically (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) throughout the entirety of the paper. Even if the same source is used multiple times, you must create another footnote for it. If the same source is footnoted twice in a row, you may write “Ibid” for the second footnote. (If this is confusing, please see us for guidance).
Use sweeping generalizations like “Islamic art is fascinating”, “sculpture is important”, etc. WHY is the topic at hand fascinating or interesting visually and/or culturally? This question should lead you to the artwork’s cultural significance.
Use questionable sources like Wikipedia and or blog postings. These are not reliable art historical sources. If you have a question about the validity of a source, always ask us before using it.
Use terms like “obvious/obviously” “naturally” “clearly” or “we can assume.” Nothing in this course is THAT obvious!
Use a cover page.
Forget to include the site where the object originated and/or was found. Be as specific as possible.
Use the same format for footnote and bibliography citations: there are two different formats. When in doubt, however, be as thorough as possible. We should be able to find the source you used without a problem.