Writing Your Research Paper

 

 

click here to open a printable version of this guide

 

Due Date:
December 1
Points Possible:
20 + 30 + 25 + 200 = 275 points
Length:
An adequate discussion of the topic addressing each point on the rubric
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 and include analysis of at least three different works of art that demonstrates an understanding of the descriptive techniques and art historical methodologies learned during the semester.

The paper must follow MLA guidelines, and cite at least five credible sources of information originating on paper.

Roy Lichtenstein, Big Painting no. 6, 1965.
 
   
Requirements
Your discussion must include:
  • Skilled and extensive research on your thesis
  • Minimum of five in-text citations in MLA format that support your analyses and arguments
  • Minimum of five credible text sources cited that originated on paper
  • Visual analysis (descriptions) of three works of art pertaining to your thesis
  • Analysis and interpretation of three works of art utilizing at least two art historical methodologies
    (biography, feminism, formalism, iconography, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and semiotics)
Consideration of historical context the work was made under

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?
Chapman University Leatherby Libraries Catalog
 
Find in a Library

 

 

 

 

 

Steps
1. Research your topic
Search library catalogs for books
Search Chapman's's online databases for relevant magazine articles from the libary's web page. 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. Consider having a Community Member read your rough draft
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 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