for Writing an Essay from an Art History Assignment
Audience: You must know your audience. The audience
is someone you want to inform about a particular subject.
Express your ideas in a simple and straightforward manner,
and choose words carefully. Do not use jargon-sounding
technical terms unless you're absolutely certain of meaning
and use. Make certain that each word is the best possible
choice for expressing the thought. Use (but don't overuse)
Sentence: You should begin an essay with a sentence
that states what your paper is going to discuss and why
You should ask yourself the following questions when writing
I have an argument? Have I asserted specific points
about form, technique, and display?
my sentences make these points as clearly and specifically
the sentences follow one another in a logical progression?
I providing my reader sufficient glue to
tie my ideas together and give my argument shape and
I expressed my thoughts clearly enough so that the reader
will be able to understand my meaning without being
able to read my mind? (Do not assume that your reader
knows anything about the work you are discussing.)
I read my essay aloud, what do I notice?
my topic sentence clear and strong?
I provided sufficient transitions between paragraphs?
I condensed my writing? Does every word contribute to
the points I want to get across?
I used strong verbs as much as possible and eliminated
there errors of spelling, punctuation, or word choice?
Center: After you're satisfied with a first draft,
make a second. If you need help, contact the Writing Center
(Robinson A116; telephone 3-1200; http://writingcenter.gmu.edu.
Do this early, as the Writing Center is very popular.
on What NOT To Do When the Assignment is an Analysis of Original
analysis of an original artwork is not a research
paper: do not read what others have said about the object
and repeat that, or copy museum handouts, or information
from the Micro-gallery or website, or what the guards have
to say. You should trust Yourself to observe and record
your own observations.
not waste space in your few pages discussing the artist's
biography, philosophy, childhood, love life, or whatever.
There is no need for a biographical introduction: cut right
to the analysis.