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Every student who takes art history courses will sooner or later be assigned the task of writing a research paper.Sometimes your professor may assigned the specific topic you write on, but at other times you are responsible for formulating your own research idea.I once wrote a 10-page paper on the symbolism in Jan Van Eyke’s “Arnolfini Portrait”.
By planning out a good topic in advance, you set yourself up for less stress, better grades, and overall success.
Professors who give a task to write an art essay or research paper usually subject their student to a double challenge.
How did the interpretation of this scene change over fifty years? Or, you could compare three different state-built churches in a particular city within a particular time period.
How did each reflect the attitudes of the government of its time?
Make sure that your question is open-ended enough that the answer isn’t overly-simple, but narrow enough that you are tackling a topic that can be addressed in a paper of this size.
If you find the answer is too simple, consider researching the development of the issue.late 1300s, early 1500s, etc.) or a particular region (e.g. Do you have an artist or subject matter in mind on which you would like to focus?If you have some preliminary preparation before meeting with your professor, he or she will likely be better able to help you and will appreciate the work that you have already undertaken.The possibilities for this kind of paper can be endless.Pose a question that is out of the ordinary and that you do not know the answer to, and attempt to answer it.For example, would you like to write your paper on painting, sculpture, or architecture?Are you interested in the works from a particular time period (e.g.” Or, “Was Michelangelo influenced more by Roman or Greek art?” The trick is to formulate a distinct question that leads your investigation.After deciding on a topic, make sure to ask for the titles of a few key books or articles you should consult to help you get started.Note: be careful about writing a paper on the same topic as your professor’s dissertation or other primary area of focus.