10 hints to help you start writing an art history essay

Students who study art history do it because they love the subject, not because they want to write papers. Unfortunately, students in this major (and in every other major) do need to write essays to prove they know the material. Instructors like to assign art history comparison essay projects because comparing and contrasting pieces of art offer students the opportunity to share what they see in the pieces.

Students who love art do not all love writing, which is they can follow this link and read below to get tips to get started on their assignments:

  1. Pick a topic. In most cases, the instructor will pick a period of art history and students will get to do the rest. It is a good idea to pick artwork that speaks to you, that you absolutely love because you will get to know more about it.
  2. Get to know the artwork. Take a good look at the art and really get to know every little corner of the piece.
  3. Conduct some research. After you have examined the art, study the history of the piece. What was the artist’s purpose in creating it? What was the original reception of it? Take time to find out everything you need to know to complete the assignment.
  4. Formulate a thesis. Essays need to be persuasive in nature, so you will need to craft a thesis to show what you will prove. This sentence should be the guiding statement for your paper.
  5. Write an outline. This is where you organize what your paragraphs will do. There should be an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use what you know from lessons on writing so you can craft this paper.
  6. Craft the rough draft. Your rough draft should follow the outline, but include all of the details. There are samples that you could look at or you can use everything that you already know about writing. This is the part where you should prove everything you know about the art that you chose to analyze.
  7. Add examples. Double check that you have included examples that support your thesis. In most cases, student writers tend to forget to add enough examples and support to make their papers the best they can be.
  8. Read it aloud. Once you get the rough draft full of examples and loaded with support for them, it is time to read it outloud to yourself. You don’t have to read it loudly, just read it. You will hear mistakes.
  9. Edit and revise. Correct the mistakes. Remove what is not needed and add what you need. Repeat steps 8 and 9 as needed.
  10. Write the final and submit for grading.

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