Art History Research

How to Find Research Materials

Doing a research paper for various disciplines can be a bit confusing and challenging. Each subject has different resources and criteria for papers. This page is designed to help students conduct research and write a paper for art history.

After developing a topic for your research paper, the next step is to start looking for sources. There are two types of sources to look for: primary and secondary. The link below will take you to a powerpoint presentation on how to find both of these sources particular to art history, plus other research hints and ideas. The presentation is designed specifically for students at the University of Central Arkansas, and centers around the Torreyson Library.

Click here for powerpoint presentation entitled Art History Research Strategies.

How to Recognize a Scholarly Source

While gathering sources for your art history paper, it is important to be able to distinguish between scholarly sources and non-scholarly sources. Scholarly sources are more appropriate for academic research, and therefore should be used exclusively.  Professor Claude Bélanger from Marianopolis College created a document discussing how to recognize scholarly sources. Please click on the link below to read and/or print it.

How to Recognize a Scholarly Source

Writing an Art History Paper

Writing an art history paper also requires certain elements. Formal and contextual analysis, iconography and iconology, knowledge of time period and artistic group should be addressed. Art history papers should also have illustrations of the works you are presenting, and any other visual materials (i.e. maps) that are relevant. Below are several guidelines and books that will help you write an art history paper. Make sure to adhere to any specific requirements from your professor.


Art History Style Guidelines

Writing About Art


The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.



Plagiarism is a very serious violation of Academic Integrity. For more information, see the following:

Academic Integrity at UCA

Everything You Need to Know About Plagiarism

Tip Sheet for Avoiding Plagiarism


Writing Center

While writing your research paper, it is important to take advantage of the services offered by the Writing Center located in Thompson Hall, Room 109. They can assist you with all aspects of writing your paper; from developing a thesis statement to writing a bibliography using the Chicago Style. It would also be beneficial to have the Writing Center look over your final draft for grammatical or other errors that you might have missed. The extra time spent on that could save you some unnecessary points off your paper.

Writing Center Services

To make an appointment for one-on-one tutoring, call 450-5123.

Have a quick question? Call the writer’s hotline at 450-5123.

Short on time? Receive feedback via email at

Also check out their online resources.

The Writing Center is there to help you. Using their services can only benefit you.