A successful art term paper is a result of the thorough topic examination through the comprehensive research, critical analysis, and synthesis of different reliable sources of information. Knowing how to write a comprehensive art term paper is a fundamental skill that students acquire and develop in art classes. Writing an effective art term paper requires in-depth consideration of the material learned during a particular semester. In almost all cases, a term paper is written on a subject drawn from the works and readings finished during a term. The art term paper is intended to describe a milestone event in the history of art, analyze and interpret the artworks of a particular artist, or argue a significant point regarding the art design and style using a specific painting as an example.
In general, an art term paper is the significant students’ work that is characterized as a scientific way to present some factual information, conduct a critical analysis within different fields of art – sculpture, architecture, graphic design, painting, photography, fashion design, etc. However, the most popular field of study is art history. The ability to analyze the visual arts and connect an art object with a particular era, movement, or event in history is highly-demanded. Analyzing the art objects enhances the student’s understanding of the particular historical period and its impact on culture.
1. Formal Analysis
This type of analysis requires full consideration and the comprehensive description of some formal qualities of an art object, be it sculpture or music. Specifically, you should look at the design elements the artist used in the artwork, including composition, texture, colors, lines, shape, space, form, unity, contrast, and rhythm. Keep in mind that a formal quality means that the unique design “relates to the form” or “reveals the texture” but it is not “fancy,” “exciting,” or “elegant.” The central goal of the assignment is to explain how and why the artist arranged various design elements. Remember that in an art term paper, your instructor expects a highly-detailed interpretation of the artwork. So take your time and focus on this aim to impress your instructor. Taking some notes from different sources (even this one) can help you write a good term paper on Art.
In writing a formal analysis, pay your attention to the logical order of the final version of the paper. The following options can work:
2. Stylistic Analysis
Under a stylistic analysis, it is important to look closely at the artwork to touch on its style. Your task is not only to identify the style of the work but also explore how the elements of the object fit to a specific stylistic category. For instance, take into consideration the opposite art movements, Renaissance or Romanticism. Moreover, the assignment can include the comparison of two works with the focus on some stylistic features. For example, one painting by Picasso is compared to another one by Cavalcanti. Although you are expected to describe the formal qualities of the work. The conclusion should follow one of the points outlined below:
It is focused on the particular object, gesture, action, or pose and explains one of the following:
In particular, if you are assigned one of the iconographic works of Mesopotamia, you should identify and interpret which elements make the object unique. For example, you can say that the Mesopotamian artists used the cylinder seal, ritual scenes, and divine figures to represent religious motifs in regional wall paintings and sculptures. What is more, the natural shape of human-headed bulls, dragons, or lions adds the originality to the work.
If you feel bewildered, read Gretta Tritch Roman’s essays on iconography, where she explains some unique characteristics of Mesopotamian iconographic works. In addition, Gretta Tritch Roman makes some important distinctions between iconography and iconology which students are often confused about. Iconography is a popular field of study for art historians. So they created a significant number of articles and books on some essential themes. The National Art Library is one of the most reliable sources of information in the field of iconography.
To write a comprehensive, well-organized, and at the same time, original art term paper, you should thoroughly examine the assignment and understand its requirements.
If your instructor does not provide a list of topics for an art term paper, you should bear all responsibility for choosing a perfect one by yourself. Such a topic should not limit your thinking to only one or two aspects of art but allow expanding your mind and thoughts to show the best achievements. If you are confused, read our list of suggested art topics or visit a local gallery to become inspired to create an original topic on your own. The following list includes topics that are often used for the art term paper:
In the process of writing an art term paper, you will definitely rely on the other writers’ ideas and opinions to supply your evidence and support your position. Sources used in the paper take an important part of any term paper and should be placed on the separate page after the conclusion. A list of references can contain different scholarly books, scientific articles, as well as online articles from the educational and governmental websites. A bibliography should be arranged in an alphabetical order. Note that you should cite the source every time you use others’ point of view in your paper. Every piece of information that does not belong to the common knowledge should also be cited in the form of paraphrased references or in-text citations.
The thesis statement is a central part of the art term paper since all arguments are derived from its meaning. An effective thesis should provide a direction for the formal analysis of artwork and give its interpretation. Remember that a thesis statement should involve an original insight regarding the topic of the art term paper and inform the reader about your formal choices to be explored in the body. The thesis statement should be one complex sentence that is placed at the end of the first paragraph or in other words, introduction. Here are a few options for an effective thesis statement:
As soon as you have reviewed all the sources and come up with a thesis statement, you should decide whether you support the exact point or not, and how to prove your thesis statement. As a result, every student should take a position that can be proved by reliable, current, and credible sources. In general, the art term paper requires a lot of extensive research and personal analysis. Consider the fact that your position should be presented in an accurate and logical way. Any art term paper consists of:
After you have written your art term paper:
Therefore, using these proofreading tips, you can check the validity and coherence of your art term paper.