Selecting a Work of Art for Research


Minimum 3 – 5 pages to be completed by the last day of class; topic to be selected by the student and referred to the instructor for approval.

Research Paper:

This research essay must analyze an artwork of your choice.  It is intended to explore both the formal and historical qualities of the work.  It may be something that we have discussed in class, or you may select a work of which you are familiar. MLA guidelines apply.  At least three scholarly reference works must be selected, which may include online sources.


Selecting a Work of Art for Research


The best place to do this is by visiting a museum.  While there choose a work that appeals to you and that is included in the period covered by this course.  It may be Western or Non-Western art.


When you have found something interesting, look at it as a design first.  What Visual Elements and Principals of Design does it employ?  Why is this design of interest to you?  Review the aspects of the work that appealed to you and list them as they occurred to you.


Now, look at the label and find out the name of the artist, the title of the work, and the date of its creation.  This information is needed to complete your analysis by discussing the style of the work and how the work represents the culture and time period in which it was created.  What has the artist included of a personal viewpoint?


Your grade for the research project will be based on the average of two components:


Original content (including the quality of sources)

MLA format


Mechanics of an Essay:


Your paper should be well organized and correct in grammar, punctuation and spelling.  Titles of artworks are either underlined or italicized.  Articles are set-off with quotation marks.  All information, including ideas and theories that derived from another person’s work including published and online material, and museum notes, must be cited.






Policy on Academic Honesty:


This course seeks to empower students to produce exemplary work based on the highest principles of academic quality.  All submitted student work must be the student’s own individual work.  Any form of plagiarism or cheating will be treated according to the policy stated in the Saddleback College Student Handbook.


Citing Sources:


Follow the Citing Sources instructions of the MLA guidelines.  Remember, using the words or ideas of others in your writing without identifying the source is plagiarism (academic theft).