RESEARCH PAPER GUIDELINES:
â€” Your paper should be three pages (not including cover page, references, and images), 12-point font and double-spaced.
â€” Margins should be 1″ on each side of the paper.
â€” Number all pages.
â€” The cover sheet for the paper should include the following information: title of paper, your name, course title and number, course instructor, and date paper is submitted.
â€” All sources should be listed in a separate bibliography attached at the end of your paper. Use APA or MLA style citation.
â€” Include images of the artworks. Type label information. Images can be incorporated into the text or gathered at the back.
â€” Findvariouspublicationsforyourchoicesanddiscussthedifferentinterpretations suggested by different scholars. Wikipedia will not be accepted as a resource.
â€” Make sure you proofread your paper for adhering to the information listed above, as well as incorrect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other errors.A formal analysis includes an analysis of the forms appearing in the works you have chosen. These forms give the work its expression, message, or meaning.A formal analysis assumes a work of art is a constructed object that has been created with a stable meaning (even though it might not be clear to the viewer) that can be ascertained by studying the relationships between the elements of the work.To aid in writing a formal analysis, you should think as if you were describing the work of art to someone who has never seen it before. When your reader finishes reading your analysis, she/he should have a complete mental picture of what the work looks like. Yet, the formal analysis is more than just a description of the work.
â€¢ In the first paragraph, called the introduction, you will write:
â€” short history of your period you are assigned to (for art period papers)
â€” meaning and importance of art or museums in our lives and the reason of your choice of particular artist or museum (for artist/artwork and museum/gallerytour paper)
â€¢ Body paragraphs will cover: â€¢ For art period papers:
â€” the name of the artist (if known), title (which is underlined or italicized every time you use the title in your paper, date, and medium (if known)
â€” what you think is the subject
â€” description of the works
â€” answer questions like these: What do I think is the meaning of these work? Whatis the message that this work or artist sends to the viewer? What is this work all about?
â€¢ For artist / artwork papers:
â€” artistâ€™s biography
â€” title, medium, date of the works
â€” what you think is the subject
â€” description of the works
â€” answer questions like these: What do I think is the meaning of these work? Whatis the message that this work or artist sends to the viewer? What is this work all about?* Each artwork will be described in separate paragraphs.Formal analysis should include not only a description of the piece, but especially those details of the work that have led you to come to your thesis. Yet, your paper should not be a random flow of ideas about the work (i.e. stream of consciousness writing). Rather, your paper should have a sense of order, moving purposefully through your description with regard to specific elements (ex: one paragraph may deal with composition, another with a description of the figures, another with the background, another about line, etc.). Please use descriptive language and adjectives to describe your work. Begin with a general description of the work, and then move on to the more specific elements. Finally, in your conclusion (the final paragraph) you should end your paper with a restatement of your thesis.
â€¢ For museum / gallery visit papers
â€” museumâ€™s history, architecture, theme of the exhibition, types of collections on exhibit (painting, sculpture, ceramic, glasswork, etc.), gallery settings, etc.
â€” state a brief opinion regarding the museum visited. How did the visual appearance (exterior and interior) feel? Was there any correlation between the exterior and interior? Were the works of art well displayed? Was the atmosphere helpful or confining to your enjoyment appreciation of the works of art?
â€” brief descriptions of two artworks from museum / gallery
â€” reflect on what you learned during your visit
â€” Include some physical proof of your attendance: a photo of yourself on location;a receipt for payment, etc.
â€¢ Conclusion paragraph:
â€” your overall impression of the artworks and museum/gallery.
Things to consider when writing a formal analysis (in no particular order):
Record your first impression(s) of the artwork. What stands out? Is there a focal point (an area to which the artist wants your eye to be drawn)? If so, what formal elements led you to this conclusion? Your impressions can help you reach your thesis.
What is the subject of the artwork?
Composition: How are the parts of the work arranged? Is there a stable or unstablecomposition? Is it dynamic? Full of movement? Or is it static?
Pose: If the work has figures, are the proportions believable? Realistic? Describe the pose(s). Is the figure active, calm, graceful, stiff, tense, or relaxed? Does the figure convey a mood? If there are several figures, how do they relate to each other (do they interact? not?)?
Proportions: Does the whole or even individual parts of the figure(s) or natural objects in the work look natural? Why did you come to this conclusion?
Line: Are the outlines (whether perceived or actual) smooth, fuzzy, clear? Are the main lines vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or curved, or a combination of any of these? Are the lines jagged and full of energy? Sketchy? Geometric? Curvilinear? Bold? Subtle?
Space: If the artist conveys space, what type of space is used? What is the relation of the main figure to the space around it? Are the main figures entirely within the space (if the artwork is a painting), or are parts of the bodies cut off by the edge of the artwork? Is the setting illusionistic, as if one could enter the space of the painting, or is it flat and two-dimensional, a space that one could not possibly enter?
Texture: If a sculpture, is the surface smooth and polished or rough? Are there several textures conveyed? Where and How? If a painting, is there any texture to the paint surface? Are the brushstrokes invisible? Brushy? Sketchy? Loose and flowing? Or tight and controlled?
Light and Shadow: Are shadows visible? Where? Are there dark shadows, light shadows, or both? How do the shadows affect the work?
Size: How big is the artwork? Are the figures or objects in the work life-sized, larger or smaller than life? How does the size affect the work?
Color: What type of colors are used in the work? Bright? Dull? Complimentary? Does the artist use colors to draw your attention to specific areas of the work? How? If a sculpture, examine the color(s) of the medium and how it affects the work.
Mood: Do you sense an overall mood in the artwork? Perhaps several different moods? If so, describe them. How does the mood interpret how you view the work?You can be as creative in your presentation/writing style as you wish to be.
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