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 coming up with 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.
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.
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.
Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing About Art, 10th ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 2010.
Tucker, Amy. Visual Literacy: Writing About Art. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
Citing Your Sources
How you cite your sources is another element of writing an art history research paper. There are several different styles and methods for citing sources, however ,when writing an art history paper only the Chicago Manual of Syle should be used. There are three useful guidelines below that wll help explain how to cite sources using this method.
The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
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 wrting 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 turtoring, call 450-5123.
Have a quick question? Call the writer's hotline at 450-5123.