In general, you will be writing an essay that focuses on the elements and principles we studied in Unit One. You may only write about ONE artwork that you saw in person at the museum. • While you are not required to do any research, you may if you want. Be certain to use citations and a Works Cited page if you do. All words and ideas are assumed to be your own unless they are quoted and cited. All work will be reviewed for plagiarism. Original writing is essential to your success on this assignment. • Always cite (with footnotes) anything that you had to research or any time you borrow someone else’s words, thoughts or ideas (even if these are from your instructor’s lecture or your textbook). Use footnotes AND a bibliography for your citations. Parenthetical references are not the standard in art historical essays. • Footnotes/citations are generally used in three instances: 1) direct quotes 2) indirect quotes/paraphrases 3) when the writer wants to expand or elaborate but the thoughts do not work in the body of the text. • Save direct quotations for really great resources, like first-person, primary sourced remarks. Textbooks and miscellaneous websites generally do not offer quotes worthy of regurgitating. Try to quote artists, critics, patrons or other KEY figures that pertain to your essay. Otherwise, just paraphrase and use a footnote. • Very little of your essay should be about artist biography or context. 80-90% of your paper should be descriptive. • Your thesis should tell me the artist, title, medium and specifically what elements/principles you’re going to write about. Do not try to write about more than 3-5 elements/principles. • Each body paragraph then should focus on those elements/principles you mentioned in your thesis. Describe specific areas of the painting to support your claims from the thesis. • Break the paper into logically grouped paragraphs and then make each paragraph flow neatly into the next. Use transition words (ex., thus, moreover, however, etc) and prepositional phrases to avoid a “choppy” paper. • Repetition is repetitive. Vary your descriptors. Try not to repeat key vocabulary words within the same paragraph. Be as specific as possible. If an object is red, what color of red is it? Avoid “empty” adjectives like “beautiful,” “interesting,” “amazing,” etc., as these words tell your reader nothing. If you believe an image to be beautiful, tell your reader WHY. • Remember this is the written word and NOT the spoken word. Do not write how you talk (ex. using phrases like “I mean” or “the guy” or “you know”). Always refer to “the viewer” as opposed to “you.” • Read your paper aloud to yourself to catch “awkward” sentences and technical errors. • Avoid run-on sentences & use appropriate punctuation!?%&*’’! • Use the resources available to you. Librarians are an excellent resource for research. The MLA handbook is an excellent resource for formatting.