By arttrav on Mar 18, with 8 Comments Probably the main reason that I write about experiencing art through travel is that being brought to museums in Europe as a child is what got me interested in art in the first place.
Testimonials How to Write an Art History Essay A good art history essay comprises a strong central thesis supported by judiciously selected evidence and critical argumentation. Your task is to critically evaluate the sources, to select the most plausible interpretations of the facts, and to present them in a logical, compelling and systematic manner so as to bolster your thesis.
Answer the Question The first rule in writing an art history essay is to make sure that you answer the question set. This means that everything you write must be relevant to that end. Thinking hard about the question itself, about what it means, the issues it raises, and the various ways it might be answered, is far more important than most students realise.
Read Widely but Wisely Having understood the parameters of the question, the next task is to find a way of tackling it that does more than simply regurgitate the answers you find in standard textbooks. While encyclopaedias and general textbooks are useful for gaining an initial overview of your topic, such reading does not count as citable research.
The bulk of your reading should concentrate on specialised books and scholarly articles.
Art historians, like historians in general, must be sceptical. This means examining your sources critically and comparatively. As an art history student, you should weigh up the evidence used by a range of scholars and avoid over-reliance on particular texts or authors.
An historical debate should first be understood before one stakes out a position within it, and this means drawing upon second, third and fourth opinions before arriving at a conclusion.
Use Evidence Critically During your degree your examiners will be less interested in your conclusion than in how well you are able to support it. Always substantiate your claims with judicious use of relevant evidence.
Sources should be examined critically rather than simply taken at face value. Vague, unsubstantiated and sweeping statements should always be avoided.
As far as possible you should formulate an argument that does justice to all the information available, while also considering alternative points of view. Avoid Narratives A good art history essay marshals plausible evidence in support of its arguments, but is never simply a narrative of events. Generally speaking, if you find yourself telling a story, the likelihood is that you have drifted from the point.
Essay questions require clear answers supported by coherent arguments. This requires you to structure your material in the best logical order, an order that will rarely if ever coincide with the chronological sequence of historical events.
Get the Introduction Right In essay writing as in life more generally, first impressions count. An introduction is often the most difficult part to write, but it is well worth spending time getting it right. A strong introduction should grab the reader's attention, clarify how you will tackle the question, provide a clear outline of what is to follow, and set the tone for the rest of the essay.
Employ the Signpost Principle Always employ the signpost principle:Look through an art history book, slowly and leisurely.
Look through our list of art history topics for ideas. Good starting points are our lists of movements, artists' bios and image galleries. Pick a topic based on eye appeal and compelling personal interest. Satavahana Empire ( BC – AD ) Kuninda Kingdom ( BC – AD ) Mitra Dynasty (c. – c. 50 BC) Shunga Empire (–73 BC) Indo-Greek Kingdom.
Practice - Writing your conclusion. Here is an essay from the field of Art History. Read the question and the introduction written in response to it.
Essay Question. In spite of claims to the contrary, the influence of the ‘macaroni’ was limited to their relationship with gendered models of masculinity and fashion. Sample Conclusion for History Paper.
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A Short Guide to Writing About Art. Eighth Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, For more information about writing a formal analysis, see the handout titled “Writing an Art History Paper,” on the Writing Center Web site, or Sylvan .