Research paper- american art | Architecture and Design homework help


Research Paper Assignment
Research, Analysis, and Comparison-Contrast

Your term paper will be a study of some aspect of American art or architecture.

Choose a style, period, or subject. See this list of sample topics. Note that you are not limited to the sample topics. I will work with you on refining the subject within the scope of the 10-page format. (Illustrations and Works Cited pages are additional.) Note: the subject must be from the time periods and regions under study in this course unless I have approved an exception in advance. For details, you can refer to the Weekly Schedule and Reading in the Course Information book.

The paper will be analytical, but supported by research in secondary sources, such as the textbook, published articles and books, and reliable Internet sources (museum websites), etc. It can be an outgrowth of the Visual Analysis Paper. For example, you could write a longer study of the artistic movement or group work you chose for the first paper. Note: this paper cannot include any substantial text from  your visual analysis paper. 

Reseach Paper Sample Topics

A. The Work of Two Artists Who Are Contemporary with Each Other*
Example: Two American Impressionists: William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam
Thesis: Develop this as you research the topic

1. Introduce Chase by discussing his style. Choose 1 or 2 key works by the artist. Analyze the works in terms of Hokusai’s personal style. 

2. Comparison-contrast with Hassam.** Compare and/or contrast the work of Hassam with that of Chase. What differences do you see and what conclusions of historical significance can you draw? 

*Note: For this type of essay, you are discussing the work of contemporary artists within the same movement, but with identifiable individual styles. 

B. The Work of An Artist and the Influences on His/Her Style

Example: The Influence of Thomas Anshutz and Its Origins in the Work of Thomas Eakins

Thesis: Develop this as you research the topic.

1. Introduce Anshutz by discussing his style. Choose 1 or 2 key works by Anshutz. Analyze the work(s) in detail, focusing on influences on the development of his style.

2. Comparison-contrast with Thomas Eakins. What similarities/differences do you see and what conclusions of historical significance can you draw?** 

C. Stylistic Influences in a Particular Aspect of American Art

Example: The Development of Impressionism in America

Thesis: Develop this as you research the topic.

1. Discuss examples of an American Impressionist, such as Childe Hassam.

2. Use comparison/contrast with a French Impressionist, such as Monet, to clarify and add detail.**

D. Study of a Particular Subject

Example: Representations of Native Americans in 19th Century American Art 

Thesis: Develop this as you research the topic.

1. Discuss examples of the subject in 19th century art, such as prints and painting.

2. Use comparison/contrast among different artists to clarify and add detail. Do you see changes in attitudes over time as settlers move in?**

**Note: Construct smooth transitions. The main subject of the comparison-contrast will be dictated by the thesis. Consult the Barnet book A Short Guide to Writing About Art on writing comparison-contrast essays.


Part 1: Introduce the Works Under Study by Discussing Their Style (4-6 pages)

Choose 1 or 2 key works related to the topic you have chosen. Describe the work(s) in as much detail as you can. Try to analyze how the artist achieves the final composition by carefully detailing how he/she utilizes the “visual” elements of the work (i.e. line, color, shapes or forms, mass and volume, light, texture, depth, balance, message, etc.) and how these work together to create the final composition. Discuss the content or meaning of the work. How has the artist manipulated and organized the artistic form to enhance and communicate meaning in the work? If you have chosen an architect, you will analyze the design, plan, structure, elevation, as well as the interior and exterior details and materials.


Your topic: Two American Impressionists: William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam

Part 1 Work/s: 1 or more works by Chase

Part 2: Comparison-Contrast (3-4 pages)

Compare and/or contrast the work discussed in Part 1 with 1 or 2 “historical” works of American art. The comparative works must be related in some way to the works of your artist/architect. For example, comparative works could be 1) influential on your artist’s style; or 2) by another artist/architect contemporary with yours, working in a similar or different style; or 3) by another artist/architect influenced by the style you analyzed in Part 1. The analysis would point out the significance of the similarities and/or differences. Your comparison pieces can be ones that are similar or very dissimilar in style, or content, or images. Note: Construct a smooth transition between Part 1 and Part 2. The two parts should be integrated. The main subject of the comparison-contrast and of the paper will be the main work/s. Consult the Barnet book A Short Guide to Writing About Art on writing comparison-contrast essays.


Your topic: Two American Impressionists: William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam

Part 2 Work/s: 1 or more works by Hassam

The complete paper will include the following:

1. Documentation: Identify all works of art discussed. Include title, artist, date, media, and dimensions (unless unknown), and publication information (if from a book/periodical/Web page).

2. Style Description/Formal Analysis: (See Part 1)

3. Compare and Contrast: (See Part 2)

4. Illustrations: Provide illustrations of all work discussed (inserted into the text of the paper or at the end). Number these and refer to them by the number in the text. See Barnet’s A Short Guide to Writing About Art for detailed instructions.

5. Bibliography/List of References: Must contain at least two books (one of which can be the textbook) and two published articles. (The article can be accessed in a library full-text database, such as JSTOR, available with a SF Public Library Card. The CCSF Library also subscribes to several databases, including a truncated version of JSTOR.)

6. Citations: Fully cite all information from outside sources. You may use MLA 

This paper will be graded on:

· The detail and depth of your research and analysis. A paper of the minimum length would pass, depending on quality, but would not earn an A or B.

· How well you follow instructions specified here.

· How well you demonstrate a college level standard in format, information, and style of presentation.

· See the rubric

Format Requirements:

The paper must be in MLA format. Access a sample paper here, and follow it closely. If you use any information from other sources, you must cite it in MLA format, which includes both in-text citations and a works cited list. Refer to the sample and the MLA (Links to an external site.) link for details.

8-10 pages (except see above) in 12-point font, double-spaced, properly formatted (see Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art, “Basic Manuscript Form”)

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