AA.4: Each student curator is required to produce a formal research paper for their particular “room.” This is much like a museum catalog paper art historical researchers write specific research arguments about the exhibition to add to a catalogue (I suggest that you look at a recent museum exhibition catalogue for writing samples). These individual research papers must form specific arguments connecting the choice of artworks to the theme utilizing academic research to support all arguments made.
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This paper is not a guide to the exhibit and stands alone. Thus, you will want to avoid listing artifacts or making direct reference to the digital exhibition space. Write the paper as if the exhibit does not exist and create the exhibit to emphasize the points made in the paper.
The paper should begin with an introduction to the theme being considered and rationale for selecting works. A strong thesis statement will lead the paper into discussing works of art, analyzing them in connection with the theme that you have chosen, supporting your argument. The paper must then include a conclusion and must have proper citations throughout in MLA format.
The paper should be between 5-7 pages. This paper may be incorporated into the exhibition, but you must consider the method of delivery as 5-7 pages of text is unlikely to be read by the average museum-goer. If you wish to combine this with your museum project, consider cutting out bits of useful information to display with the works that you have chosen.
Due on the last day of the term.
- This is an argumentative paper under the umbrella of your group’s theme. The concept is a funneling down to a narrow theme about a topic (the topic that your group had chosen).
- Example: Your group chooses Religion. Your room might be devoted to the Mesopotamian Period. You would then compile artifacts that discuss the topic of religion and demonstrate unique aspects of that religion and culture through their formal characteristics relating to the context.
- Section headers are unnecessary for such a short paper. Section headers also force you to write about each piece independent of the others and not in conversation with them in the context of the “room” that they will be displayed in in the show. The paper is your chance to compare and contrast these artifacts and to support your argument. Leave the separate informational listing of artifacts to your presentation where each image may end up being viewed independently.
- Images in-text are distracting, especially when I make some comments and it quickly ruins all the work you did to put the images where you thought the text flowed. Place the images at the end with a full MLA caption and reference to them parenthetically in-text (Figure #).
- Why do students include spaces between paragraphs or no indenting to the first line of a paragraph?! These are writing issues that I shouldn’t have to cover in art history and take time away from my commenting on your content. I will honestly say that I am less a stickler for length than I am for depth of answer.
- Write as if I am a blind man. Describe the pieces and don’t assume anything of me. For instance, “You will see…” The more formal detail you can describe, the richer the paper and the more connections you might find to support your argument or connect formally with the theme or context.
- TONE! We are in an academic setting and you are an undergraduate student. First person is out of the question as you are currently “interns” in my gallery. Once you are published curators, then I might care about your personal opinions. Until then, please support all your arguments with researched academic articles.
- Research: Make sure you get beyond the encyclopedic resources and that there are authors attributed to the work.
6 pages /1650 words 5 sources mla format
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