The text of your paper must be a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8 double-spaced typewritten pages. It must have 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper. (Neither the footnotes, nor the bibliography, nor the illustrations, nor the title page count towards the page length).
Your thesis statement should present a well thought-out and concise assertion of your understanding of the topic you chose (usually in 1 – 2 sentences in the introduction or near the beginning of the essay), thereby providing your essay with its critical focus. It should offer a well thought-out central idea rather than an overtly argumentative statement.
The evidence (primary and secondary sources) you provide for your thesis will include your interpretation, analysis, and description of the characteristics of works of art and texts, and must at all times relate to your thesis.
Primary sources refer to the original materials (not what another author says about them) created usually at the time under study. In the case of art, primary sources will most likely be the art (paintings, sculptures, installations) itself, interviews with artists, manifestos, contemporary criticism, some theoretical writings, and personal and public correspondence. In general, you can treat all of the texts included in Harrison and Wood’s book Art in Theory 1900 – 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas as primary texts.
You must choose at least two texts in Art in Theory to provide textual support for your thesis, and one of these texts must serve as an anchor for your argument. In other words, it will relate in some way to your thesis, and you will refer to it through the course of your analysis.
These sources are made up of interpretations and commentary on primary sources, especially works of art. Secondary sources include books (monographs, anthologies, and exhibition catalogs) and articles in scholarly journals. You should begin your search for your sources by visiting SCAD’s Jen Library catalog.
There are a number of useful digital databases on this site, and you should first try JSTOR as it includes articles from a large number of peer-reviewed academic journals and most can be downloaded as PDF files.
Your bibliography (the list of textual sources) must include at least three secondary sources, alongside the minimum two primary sources you will cite.
At the center of the art historical method is the formal analysis of images. You must include at least three images of works of art with your paper, and they should, like primary and secondary texts, serve as support for your thesis and analysis. Your paper should include some formal analysis of these works (line, shape and space, value, color, texture, and sometimes time) as well as iconographic and historical analysis (see the Writers’ Studio handout on writing in art history).
You will include copies of some images with your paper, after the body of your text and before the bibliography. Visit ArtStor and SCAD’s Visual Resources Center to discover images to use in your paper.
Your illustrations should appear just before your bibliography, no more than two per page. Illustrations should be referred to by sequential numbers in the text and in parentheses when the work is first mentioned, using the word “fig.” for figure.
Example: “. . . Jan van Eyck’s Annunciation in the National Gallery of Art (fig. 1) . . . unlike his Annunciation in Madrid (fig. 2) . . .”
Illustrations should appear at the end of the text and before the bibliography. The title of the work of art is italicized. Be sure to cite the collection housing the work. Each illustration must contain a caption with all the following information:
Figure #. Artist, Title of the Work, Date. Museum, City. Source:
Your paper must include footnotes (at the bottom of the page) in Chicago-Turabian style to document all quotations and all sources for information (see the Writers’ Studio handout on creating notes and bibliographic citations in Chicago/Turabian, 8th ed.). Do not use parenthetical notes. See this site for more help with citation formatting.
Your bibliography, which will also be formatted in Chicago-Turabian style, will include a minimum of two primary sources and three secondary sources cited accurately in Chicago-Turabian style. Sources that are unacceptable include any encyclopedia, reference works such as the Grove Dictionary of Art, and most Internet sources. The best bibliography will be made up of a variety of sources, and websites should only be cited judiciously.
After completing a draft of your text, proofread your work and confirm that all elements are properly formatted.
Use the book called, A Short Guide to Writing About Art by Sylvan Barnett for a sample and information on a research paper.
Submit your text as one document that includes your name, date, course number, and title of your project. These elements must be organized in the following order: text, images, and bibliography.
Be sure to include page numbering. If you use a title page, ensure that the first page of the body of your text is listed as 1.
Follow the submission guidelines listed below.
Your bibliography (the list of textual sources) must include AT LEAST THREE SECONDARY SOURCES, alongside the MINIMUM TWO PRIMARY SOURCES that you will cite.
Separately label with subheadings, the Primary and the Secondary sources that support your paper.
(See below for identifying/formatting more on Primary and Secondary sources.)
This Bibliography must be formatted in Chicago-Turabian style and alphabetized by authors’ last names or titles (if no author is listed).
You should expand your search for your sources by visiting SCAD’s Jen Library catalog. There are a number of useful digital databases on this site, and you should first try JSTOR as it includes articles from a large number of peer-reviewed academic journals and most can be downloaded as PDF files (search key words in SCAD library’s JSTOR/LexisNexis ).
In its final version, the bibliography should include all the texts you are consulting. Your paper must include FOOTNOTES (at the bottom of the page) in Chicago-Turabian style. Do not reverse authors’ names in your footnotes. This is only done when alphabetizing, like in the Bibliography. To document all quotations and all sources for information (see the Writers’ Studio handout on creating notes and bibliographic citations in Chicago/Turabian, 8th ed.).
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