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A Short Guide to Research
- First, review your assignment thoroughly and choose a topic.
- Next, start gathering information right away - don't procrastinate!
- Begin by navigating to the Miramar College home page.
- Find background information in print books, eBooks and Reference databases.
- As you read about your topic, increase your searching power by jotting down keywords and their synonyms, names of people, places and events.
- Add more specific or up-to-date information by searching the library databases. (Log on with your your Miramar ID and last name to research when off campus.)
- Email a librarian or stop by for after-hours help with research, citations, library policies, and more.
Research Paper Guidelines ARTF 113
For the research paper assignment, you will be asked to submit a few assignments throughout the course of the term (see the course syllabus for due dates):
THE PAPER PROPOSAL
A sheet will be provided for you on Blackboard that you will fill out and submit as your Paper Proposal for your Research Paper. I the Research Paper, you will discuss two works of art coming from the time periods we will study in this course (Africa, Native Americas and Oceania). When you choose the works of art, find 2 examples from distinct time periods (for example one work from the Ancient Egyptians, and one from the Olmec culture).
Select two works that share either a common theme or a common subject matter. This will allow you to make some strong comparisons/contrasts between the artistic styles, cultures, context, etc. The big idea behind the paper is to show how different a common theme or subject matter can be represented depending on the artistic and cultural background of the artist.
When picking works of art, you must follow these guidelines:
- They must come from artists/cultures discussed in our books
- They must be from 2 distinct artistic movements, cultures or time periods
- I would suggest museum websites like these below for picking your works:
To complete the paper proposal, you will be asked to include the following:
- Images of the 2 works of art you choose
- Title, Artist (if known), Date, Culture, Medium and Size for both works
- A very brief explanation of what the two works of art have in common
- Your thesis statement (what you will prove in your paper)
The Thesis Statement:
When you have picked a theme or subject matter, turn it into a thesis statement.
For example: “Both Egyptian and Mayan kings commissioned works of art that served religious and propagandistic purposes.”
Or something like: “The human figure was a popular subject in the Ife and Aztec cultures, and these sculptures give us insight into the artistic and cultural differences of those groups.”
The Outline/Sources Sheet
You will also be asked to write up a rough outline of your paper, to give me a better idea of where you will be going with the paper. In that, I would ask that you expand on the basic requirements for the assignment:
- Intro Paragraph, with thesis statement from your paper proposal
- Detailed descriptions of the works of art
- Describe the subject matter, the style and the possible meaning of the works
- Establish the context of the works. Include information on each of these:
- Explain how each work fits into its artistic movement (for example, what makes it a good example of the Baroque period)
- Describe how the works tie into their cultural context (religious, social, economic, etc.)
- Research the two artistic traditions. Describe the personal philosophies of each
- What was typical of the art they made? How does the example show that?
- What were the purposes of their art in general?
- Compare and contrast the works directly
- Explain clearly how the similar subject matter or theme is treated by each
- Point out how the context helped shape the representation of the theme/subject matter you chose
- Images (Do not include these in the text)
- Identify the images by title, artist, date and medium
- Works Cited
You will provide for me a list of potential sources you will be using for your paper. These should come from the library databases. You must follow these guidelines for the references:
- A minimum of 5 references
- 1 reference should be a print book. The rest can be online resources (meaning from the library databases…not websites you find on Google)
- Include full citations for each resource—either MLA or APA format
I will also ask that you provide for me in this assignment, one quote from one of your resources. You will copy and paste the quote directly onto the sheet provided in Blackboard. Below that, you will paraphrase the quote and get it into your own words. The purpose of this is to give you some practice paraphrasing the things you read while doing research instead of simply copying/pasting.
The final paper should follow the guidelines below. Have your rough draft as close to that finished product as possible:
- At least five double-spaced pages in length;
- This does NOT include a cover sheet
- The first paragraph should start at the top of the first page
- Images may not be placed in the text to boost the length
- This does NOT include the bibliography
- 12 point font (Times New Roman or Arial)
- 1-inch margins
- When you use either direct quotes or ideas from other authors, you must make citations with those items in your paper.
- Bibliography/Works Cited/References/Works Consulted page after the essay
- At least 5 sources—NO WIKIPEDIA.
- 1 source must be a printed book
- The rest may come from library databases, Google scholar, etc.
- Photocopies of the works to which you make reference should come at the end of the paper after the bibliography.
- Illustrations should be identified by:
- date (if known)
If this is not turned in on time, you will not receive credit for the rough draft or the peer review.
Fully prepared papers will be exchanged for peer review (see dates in the course calendar), and you will receive a grade for the effort made in critiquing the paper assigned to you. Carefully proofread the paper offering suggestions on both mechanics and content. Write comments on the text of the paper AND use the Peer Review sheet provided on Blackboard.
Pretend that you have no art history background. Are the concepts explained clearly for anyone to understand? If you do not turn in your paper for peer review, you will receive no points for the peer review assignment.
Make any changes necessary and submit the final version to Blackboard.