Writing Your Research Paper

 

 

click here to open a printable version of this guide

 

Due Date:
May 2
Points Possible:
40 + 20 + 20 + 120 = 200 points
Length:
An adequate discussion of the topic, on average a minimum of 5 pages
Format:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style

 

 

Students are required to write a Research Paper that adequately covers a topic relevant to this course. The paper should reflect extensive research on a minimum of three different artworks and should demonstrate a basic understanding and application of the descriptive techniques and art historical methodologies learned during the semester.

Whether you are investigating the career of a single artist, a particular period of art history, or a specific art historical issue, you will need to analyze specific works of art to demonstrate the concerns of your topic and to support your arguments. The paper must follow MLA guidelines, and cite at least four credible sources of information originating on paper.

Your discussion should include:

  • Detailed descriptions of three artworks
  • Analysis and interpretations of the artworks utilizing the art historical methodologies learned in the Methodologies Matrix
  • Research with citations that support your analysis
  • Consideration of the social, political and cultural contexts that the works were made under
Barbara Kruger. Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face. 1981 - 83.

 

 

 

 

 

Requirements
Once you've gathered topical information, the paper that you write should include:
 
At least four credible sources of information originating on paper should be cited in the body of your paper. These sources include magazine articles, books and musuem pamphlets.
 
You may use internet sources, but do so with great CAUTION
 
Proper and appropriate MLA citations are vital. It is important that you give credit to any source of facts, information or ideas that did not entirely derive from you. Information that is part of the public realm like an artist's birth date or the name of an exhibition that she participated in does not need to be cited. However, information that the writer cannot assume a reader in their field would happen to know must be cited using MLA guidelines. Please consult the Formatting a Research Paper pamphlet on the additional course material page and guide to citing sources below.
 
An in depth discussion of at least three artworks that relate to your topic. This discussion should include a detailed formal description of the works and utilize at least one art historical methodology to develop a scholarly understanding.
 
Consideration of the social, political and cultural contexts under which the artworks discussed were created and related to the paper topic.

 

 

 

 

 

Credible Sources
Explanation and examples of credible sources:
A "credible" source is one that is written by someone who has studied the subject extensively and has some authority over the topic.  Importantly, credible sources take great care to credit the sources of their information, inspiration and research!
 
 

a work published by a reputable publisher
(i.e. Pren Hall or MIT Press)

a work that has been written or edited by an authority on the subject (like a professor or someone who has been writing in the field for a number of years)
a work printed in a leading journal or magazine
a work found on a website written by an authority on the subject and that is regularly updated
Explanation and examples of sources that are NOT credible:
A source that is not credible has no obvious authority or scholarship in the subject. Sources without credibility will not give credit to their sources of information
 
 
Wikipedia
a pamphlet or zine that has no clear author and that does not cite it's sources
your friend's research paper from last semester
a blog (or any website for that matter) that does not cite its sources and provide full bibliographic information for its works cited
 
Where to find credible sources?
Chaffey College library catalog
 
Find in a Library
 
Chaffey College magazine database

 

 

 

 

 

Steps
1. Research your topic
Search library catalogs for books
Search Chaffey's online databases for relevant magazine articles from the library's web page > click on "Agent" > provide student ID# and birth date > click on "Databases A to Z" > click on the recommended databases "Academic Search Premier" and "JStor"
Search the internet taking the credibility of the author and institution providing the information into account
Search your textbook
2. Write an outline
 
Organize the information you would like to share, the points you would like to make, the artworks you plan on analyzing and any citations you plan on making
3. Write a rough draft
4. Complete Community Assignment #4
Use the feedback provided by your partner to add, revise and clarify what you have already written
5. Review your second draft and make necessary corrections.
6. Use the research paper rubric (below) to evaluate what you have written
Have you included all of the necessry information and required components?
Are there parts that could be added to, condensed or clarified?
Have you included in-text and full bibliographic entries on your Works Cited page for all of the necessary citations?
7. Finalize by printing your paper, saving a copy and reviewing it once more to ensure that all of the requirements have been met.

 

 

 

 

 

Giving credit where credit is due - Step by step

It is very important that you give credit to any source of facts, information or ideas that you did not completely create on your own.  Please consult your instructor’s Formatting a Research Paper pamphlet for further information on documenting your sources.

   
Here is what you need to do...
   
You read the following entry in a book and would like to include it as a quote in your paper:
 
The limitations of art history as a discipline have been articulated by many other feminist art historians.  Nevertheless, after almost two decades of feminist art historical writing, it is clear that critical issues of women's historical production remain unanswered.
 
You can include this information in your paper in a number of ways. For example:
 
 
as a quote:
 
 
Traditional art history textbooks often grossly exclude the contributions of women artists. But as Whitney Chadwick notes, "The limitations of art history as a discipline have been articulated by many other feminist art historians.  Nevertheless, after almost two decades of feminist art historical writing, it is clear that critical issues of women's historical production remain unanswered."
 
 
as a reference point:
 
Traditional art history textbooks often grossly exclude the contributions of women artists.   Respected feminist art historian, Whitney Chadwick makes the important point that art history's failings have been duly noted by feminist critics, yet it is still obvious that women's art history has not been satisfactorily researched, documented and critiqued.
 
 
as an idea:
 
 
Traditional art history textbooks often grossly exclude the contributions of women artists.   Art history's failings have been duly noted by feminist critics, but it is still obvious that women's art history has not been satisfactorily researched and written about.
   
   
Now, how do you adequately credit the source of your information??
 
Whether you quoted the author, made reference to her idea or want to note her idea's influence on your own opinion you will need to note that you used her quote or idea in your sentence.  You do this by first inserting a paranthetical notation at the end of the appropriate sentence that tells the reader the author's name and the page that you found the information on.  Like this:
   
 
Traditional art history textbooks often grossly exclude the contributions of women artists. But as Whitney Chadwick notes, "The limitations of art history as a discipline have been articulated by many other feminist art historians.  Nevertheless, after almost two decades of feminist art historical writing, it is clear that critical issues of women's historical production remain unanswered" (Chadwick, 15).
   
 
Traditional art history textbooks often grossly exclude the contributions of women artists.   Respected feminist art historian, Whitney Chadwick makes the important point that art history's failings have been duly noted by feminist critics, yet it is still obvious that women's art history has not been satisfactorily researched, documented and critiqued (15).
   
 
Traditional art history textbooks often grossly exclude the contributions of women artists.   Art history's failings have been duly noted by feminist critics, but it is still obvious that women's art history has not been satisfactorily researched and written about (Chadwick, 15).
 
 
Is that it?  Am I done?
   
No, your citation is still not complete.  Now you need to give complete bibliographic information to your reader on a "works cited" page.  The works cited list should be the last page of your paper and provides your reader with the information they will need to find the information you used.  Here's how it should look:
   
Chadwick, Whitney.  Women, Art and Society.  Fourth edition. New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2002.

 

 

 

 

 

More Information
Here is more information and sources that will help you with MLA style and writing your paper.
   
Research and Documentation Online
Diana Hacker's site outlining various citation styles, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Guide to Writing Research Papers
CCC's guide to MLA format & writing research papers
Using Modern Language Association (MLA) format
Purdue's guide to utilizing MLA format
Writing the Art History Paper
Dartmouth's guide to writing various kinds or art history papers
Writing Guide
University of Rochester guide for art and art history students

 

 

 

 

 

Research Paper Rubric
Adequate discussion of topic
__________ out of 25 points
 
Reflects extensive research
__________ out of 15 points
 
 
Supports analysis with sources
__________ out of 10 points
 
Consideration of specific works of art
__________ out of 35 points
 
Three artworks discussed in depth
__________ out of 6 points
 
Descriptions of artworks
__________ out of 9 points
Use of art historical methodologies to analyze works
__________ out of 20 points
MLA format
 __________ out of 15 points
 
Margins, font, spacing, etc.
__________ out of 5 points
 
Works Cited Page
__________ out of 10 points
Citations
__________ out of 30 points
 
Four paper sources cited
__________ out of 12 points
 
 
Use of credible sources
__________ out of 12 points
 
 
Citations given when appropriate
__________ out of 6 points
 
Consideration of context
__________ out of 10 points
Style and clarity (spelling, grammar, readability)
__________   out of 5 points
Total
________ out of 120 points