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Instructions for the term paper ! This semester’s term paper is a research project on a painting at the Met Museum. It will be due in class on November 21, 2019. ! The paper should be at least 1200 words long, double-spaced, and typed rather than handwritten. (I suggest that you use12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins on all sides. This will result in a paper four pages long.) It can be longer if you want, but it doesn’t have to be. ! Here is a summary of what you will have to do for this assignment. Each of these steps is described in more detail below: !

• Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and choose a painting to write about (see the detailed instructions below for instructions on how to choose the painting)

• While at the museum, sketch the painting and take notes • Research the painting in at least three reliable, scholarly sources, not including your

textbook or the Met website • Write a paper about the painting • Properly cite all of your research with footnotes, and include a bibliography • Submit your paper on the due date, along with your sketch and a dated museum receipt !!

! Step 1: museum visit ! Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street) and select any European painting that falls within the periods and styles covered by this class (late Gothic through Neoclassical, or roughly the years 1250 to 1800). You don’t have to limit yourself to the periods I’ve already talked about so far; it can be from any kind of painting that will be discussed during this semester. However, the painting must be from before the year 1830. ! Be sure to get a dated ticket or receipt when you go to the Museum (or take a photo of yourself with the painting you’ve chosen); you will need to attach it to your paper when you turn it in. ! Once you’re at the museum and you’ve chosen the piece you want to write about, sketch it and take notes. In addition to recording any important facts about the painting that are included in the museum’s wall text, you might want to write down your impressions of it. If you’re looking at a

piece that you picked in advance from the textbook or the Met website, make note of anything you see that wasn’t apparent in photos that you saw beforehand. (Note: the Met doesn’t allow flash photography or the shooting of videos, and in some galleries photography is not allowed at all. In addition, you can only use pencils for taking notes and sketching; no pens, paints, pastels, or charcoal are allowed for general visitors.) !!! Step 2: research: ! For the next step, you have to research the painting using at least three reliable sources that are based on scholarly research, not including your textbook or the Met website. Here are the rules for this:

! 1. You can’t use your textbook as one of your main sources. However, you can use the

textbook as a fourth/additional source. 2. The following kinds of sources are OK to use: art history books; academic/scholarly art

journals; writings by professional art historians; museum websites (not including the Met website, although you can use it as a fourth source). Basically, anything written by an art historian is perfect for this assignment.

3. These kinds of sources are NOT OK, and your grade will go down a lot if you use them: blogs of any kind; writings by people who aren’t art historians; Wikipedia or other encyclopedias; newspaper or magazine articles (See the appendix below for more information about this rule.)

4. Finally, do not use the following sites: theartstory.org; arthistory.net; artsy.net; biography.com; history.com; bbc.com; any website with a name like artist’s name.com or artist’s name.org (for example, pablopicasso.org); or any other site that doesn’t have citations and a bibliography. If you use any of these sources, I may return your paper ungraded and either have you rewrite it or do another one on a different artwork.

5. If you’re not sure about whether a source is OK to use, e-mail me to ask.

! One more note: You can begin your research by looking up your painting on the Met Museum website (https://allaplusessays.com/order). The Met has information on everything in its holdings, and some of the more well-known objects are also described in short essays in the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (https://allaplusessays.com/order). Both of these websites are a good place to start because they may contain information about other sources that you can use, but neither site counts toward your three required sources. as I said above. However, if you do use any information from these sites, you have to cite them in your paper and include them in your bibliography. For more about this, see the information on citations below, and in the additional document about plagiarism that I will make available on Canvas. You can also use your textbook as an additional source of information if you want to, but it doesn’t count toward your total of three sources either. However, as with the Met websites, if you use any information from the textbook, you must cite it in the paper and include it in your list of sources.

! Step 3: Writing the paper ! Your paper should present a mix of facts and your own impressions, with most of the weight placed on the facts. You can devote up to 250 words (about 3/4 of a page) to your own response to the work, but no more. Here are some suggestions for things to write about (not all of these will be relevant for all artworks): !

• Who made the painting, when, where, and why? Is there anything about the painting or the artist that’s historically important?

• Where was the painting originally located, and what function did it serve? Do we know who originally commissioned it and/or owned it?

• What type of painting medium and techniques were used? (oil paint, tempera, fresco?) • Is there any symbolism or significant imagery in the painting? Does it tell a story? If it’s a

religious painting, what religious story or meaning does it contain? If it’s not a religious painting, what does it show, and why was it made?

• What aspects or details of the painting are only visible when you’re standing in front of it, as opposed to what you can see in photographs of it?

• Is there any disagreement among art historians about what the painting means, how it was made, when it was made, or who made it?

• Why did you choose it? (What was it that interested you about it?) • What (if anything) did you learn during your research that surprised you? !

Feel free to discuss other things about the piece that you learn about during your research. Every painting is unique, and each will have facts about it that are unique too. The idea is to give a good, brief, but detailed account of the artwork. Imagine that you are writing for someone who knows about art history, but is unfamiliar with the specific piece you’ve chosen. How would you describe it to them so that they could form a good mental picture of it and understand when, where, and why it was made? !!

On citations and the bibliography: ! 1. your paper must have both citations in the text and a bibliography. If you don’t include

either (or both), you will get your paper back without a grade and will have to fix it and resubmit it. The highest grade you can get on a resubmitted paper is a B.

2. You must cite all text that’s taken directly from any source (and such quotes must be in quotation marks), but you must also cite any information that you’ve taken from a source and rewritten in your own words (which you should try to do as much as possible, instead of using too many direct quotes).

3. You may use any official academic citation style for this paper (APA, MLA, or Chicago.), as long as you use it correctly and consistently. If you fail to use a proper style manual for your citations and bibliography, you will get you paper back ungraded and will have to correct and resubmit it. Citations must include all of the usual required information

(author, title, date of publication, etc.); don’t just paste a URL into a footnote; I might give you an F if you do that.

4. If you don’t have a preferred citation style, I suggest you use Chicago. I’ve placed two guidelines for this style on the Reference Materials page on Canvas. Both describe how to do citations, with examples of both footnote and bibliography entries.

5. Plagiarism in any form will result in an automatic F on the paper. For more about plagiarism and how to avoid it, see the appendix below, and the document titled “On plagiarism and citations” that’s posted on the Reference Materials page on Canvas. If you get an F for plagiarism, you will have to do another paper on a different artwork if you want a grade for this assignment. !

When you turn in your paper, be sure to attach the ticket stub or receipt (or selfie), along with the sketch you made while you were there. ! Late papers will be penalized one full letter grade per week (for example, an A paper gets a C if it’s submitted two weeks late). ! Be sure that you check your spelling and grammar before you turn in your paper. If there are too many problems, I will take points off or return your paper ungraded. ! If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to ask in class or by e-mail. ! One last note: For New York-based students, admission to the Met is a pay-what-you-want museum, meaning that you don’t have to pay the full price that’s listed on the ticket counter signs. You can pay as much or as little as you want to for your admission. Be sure to bring your student ID when you go there. !! ! !

Appendix: Some additional comments on research, citations, and plagiarism ! Here are some tips on conducting your research and citing your sources, and some information related to my rules for doing your research. Some of these points explain the reasoning behind my requirements, and others consist of things I’ll be thinking about when I grade your paper. ! • Why aren’t encyclopedias OK to use? First, they are often too general in the way they

present information. I want your paper to be specific and detailed. Second, encyclopedias can sometimes be unreliable. Research has shown that encyclopedias like Britannica often contain almost as many factual errors as Wikipedia in entries that deal with specialized fields such as science or art history. !

• Why aren’t art blogs or sites like theartstory.org OK to use as primary sources? Because they don’t have citations showing where their information came from, so there’s

no easy way to verify if the information they contain is accurate. Often, they also don’t include the name of the author. !

• Your bibliography can include everything you’ve consulted during your research, even if you don’t use information from some of your sources in your paper. This includes The Met’s website if you refer to it, whether or not you use any information from it in the paper. This means that you may have more references listed in your bibliography than are mentioned in your footnotes; that’s pretty common for research-based writing. !

• Be sure to put quotation marks around things you’re quoting directly from any of your sources, but don’t rely on direct quotes too much. I want most of the paper to be in your own words. It’s a good idea to only use direct quotation when an author phrases something so well that you can’t improve on what they said. Most of the time, you should try to paraphrase the other person’s ideas to show your understanding of them (but you still have to cite the source when you paraphrase from it). !

• Failure to cite any factual information or ideas that you wouldn’t have known on your own is plagiarism, and will result in a failing grade for your paper. Here’s a simple rule for avoiding plagiarism: if you’re using anyone else’s ideas, always cite them, even if you’re rewriting them in your own words. The point is to give credit to other people for their research and insights, and avoid presenting someone else’s work as your own. However, you don’t have to footnote every single sentence in your paper. A single footnote can cover several sentences in a row that are based on the same source. If you’re using a book or journal article, be sure to include the page number where the information you’re citing is located.

 

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