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Art and Art History: Home

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Art and Art History

Getting Started

Here are some tips for getting started on your research assignment:

  1. Know the assignment requirements. Sounds obvious, right? Even so, it bears repeating. Read the assignment and grading rubric carefully and make sure you understand the expectations. You may want to print it out and highlight the major points you need to stay on track. For research purposes, you'll need to know things like deadlines, how many sources you need, what kind of sources you need, what type of information you need from your sources, and how to properly credit your sources.
  2. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. Your instructor is the best person to tell you about their expectations for your assignment. You can also get expert research assistance from the Library and writing assistance from English faculty in the Writing Center.
  3. Be strategic and start early. An Internet search can quickly yield numerous results, but locating credible and relevant sources for academic research is usually a much longer, more thoughtful, nonlinear process. Before deciding on your artworks, ensure you can find the required number of reputable sources on those works. This means starting your research long before selecting your artworks. It could be very frustrating for students who select works only to find out later that not much has been written about the art or their creators.
  4. Select artworks you find compelling. You'll be spending a lot of time researching and analyzing these pieces and the artists or architects who created them. Make it worth your time and effort for your own sake. Your fascination for the subject will drive your motivation, leading to a richer learning experience for you and a higher-quality research paper.

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