THE WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT:
Drawing on your notes, compose an analytical essay that relates the formal choices and media of your given work to what you think might have been the artist’s intentions for it
Note that you may not necessarily have to discuss all the formal elements—instead, focus your assessment on the most striking ones. (Though in order to achieve this, you should really take all of them into account!)
It would be useful to begin with a general description of your work, and then make a judgment about what you think the artist may have intended to convey in terms of subject matter and/or intellectual and emotional content. How is the viewer expected to read this work, and what should they get out of it? This will serve as the organizing thesis for your paper, and should be stated in the first paragraph. Then make effective discussion of the formal elements (explain how and where you see these in the work) in order to support this thesis (i.e., as “evidence”).
How has the artist used formal choices to reinforce the intended reading and reception of the work? Conclude with a reasoned assessment of the work in terms of the artist’s overall success in deploying these strategies.
Remember that this is NOT an exercise in contextual research: library or on-line
research may be interesting and helpful to you, but it is not required, and will generally be only marginally relevant to this assignment. Avoid including ‘filler’ in the form of biographical information about the artist, histories of art movements, what art historians say, etc. This assignment is about YOUR ability to look, to describe, to analyze, and to shape a convincing argument based on the visual evidence.
Your paper should be no more than about 5-7 pages, double-spaced, 10- or 12-point type.
There is no need to include illustrations, but I would suggest that an image of your work and a scan of these sheets of notes (with your sketch of the work) would be appropriate to submit with your essay in order to help the instructor better understand your process of thinking. Your finished paper should be submitted to an assignment dropbox which will be set up on our course’s eLearn/Moodle website; this will have an automatic cutoff date and time, after which no further submissions will be accepted. The Capilano University Writing Centre website has useful online resources. It’s also a good idea to have a friend proofread your paper, both for
errors and clarity—if your friend can’t figure out what you’re trying to say, the instructor probably can’t either!
A NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: All Capilano University regulations concerning plagiarism will be strictly adhered to for this assignment. Uncredited passages of text taken from other sources are plagiaristic, and in any case this kind of outside research is not required for this assignment. In addition, note that this is NOT a collaborative exercise: any two or more papers which contain identical or near-identical ideas and text will be given a grade of zero. Further information on plagiarism can be found on the Course Outline and on the Capilano