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Oklahoma City Community College Keith Leftwich Memorial Library

Art Appreciation - ART 1053

Guide to assist students researching art/artists for Art Appreciation


The purpose of this research paper is to allow you to go more in depth into the study of a specific artist and work of art, and to prepare you for the formal research and writing assignments you will encounter throughout your college experience.

Art criticism is the discussion or evaluation of visual art.  Art criticism typically includes evaluating style, theme, movements (surrealism, modernism, etc.), historical and/or sociological aspects (how does the art fit into a historical period or how have sociological aspects affected the art piece), and interpretation of the art piece (what the viewer "gets" or "sees" from the art).

You will select an artist and work of art from a list provided by your professor.  The assignment is broken into 3 stages to help you stay focused on the process and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed at the end of the term.

Dates for submission of each stage will be given to you by your professor and listed in your syllabus.

Stage 1: Topic and Annotated Bibliography

The first stage is to submit your chosen work of art and an annotated bibliography for the sources you will be using.  To create an annotated bibliography, begin with the complete citation for the work in the appropriate Chicago Style.  Next, write a short summary of the source.  This will include how this source will assist in your research, and a summary of the information that will be used from the source.

Research guidelines:

MUST use at least five sources

  • Only one source may be a website
  • Site must have a domain name of .org, .edu, .gov, or another nation's equivalent to these domains
  • Do NOT use Wikipedia as a source
  • Do not use dictionaries or encyclopedias as sources either in print or electronic
  • Do not use the course text book as a source
  • All other sources must be published books or scholarly journals

Stage 2: Outline

The second stage is the outline.  The outline is exactly that: how your research paper will flow.  The outline should show the research you are presenting and how ir supports your thesis.  Creating an outline at this point in the process makes writing the actual paper much easier. 

The downside is that you will need to have all your research completed and be ready to start writing.  Any articles or books that you may need to borrow through Interlibrary Loan will need to have already been requested and received.

Stage 3: Final Paper

The third stage is the final paper.  Writing the paper at this point should be much easier since all of the research has been gathered in order to submit your annotated bibliography and the outline.  

Guidelines for final paper

  • MUST be 4 - 5 pages in length excluding title page, imagery, and bibliography
  • Double spaced
  • 12 point font
  • Written in the Chicago Style
  • Title page
  • End notes or foot notes
  • Bibliography to include citations for all sources used including imagery