Writing About Art / Edition 6

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This straightforward guide prepares students to describe, interpret, and write about works of art in meaningful and lasting terms. Designed as a supplement to Art History survey and period texts, this efficient book features a step-by-step approach to writing–from choosing a work to write about, to essay organization, to research techniques, to footnote form, to preparing the final essay. For beginners as well as more advanced students.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205645787
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 7/29/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 376,852
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

INTRODUCTION: Writing as Critical Thinking 1


CHOOSING IMAGES: How to Select the Works of Art You

Plan to Write About 9

Visiting Museums and Galleries, 9

Choosing Works of Art to Write About: Some Questions of Taste, 16

Writing Comparative Essays: Some Advantages, 18

Choosing Works from “The Museum without Walls,” 21

The Computer and “The Museum without Walls,” 24

Summary, 27



and How to Describe What You See 29

Considering the Subject Matter of the Work, 31

Describing the Formal Elements You Discover in the Work, 35

Line, 35

Shape and Space, 36

Light and Dark, 40

Color, 43

Other Elements, 47

Recognizing the Principles of Design, 54

Rhythm and Repetition. 54

Balance, 55

Proportion, 56

Scale, 57

Unity and Variety, 58

Considering Questions of Medium, 59

Beginning Your Essay By Describing the Work, 61

Asking Yourself about the Work of Art: A Summary, 64

Questions to Ask Before Writing About a Work of Art, 64



to Look for Help in Understanding What You See 66

Taking the Title and Label into Account, 66

Considering Informational Labels Accompanying the Work, 70

Consulting Artists’ Statements and Exhibition Catalogues, 72

Discovering Other Helpful Material in the Library and Online, 74

Research Online, 75

Using the Library Catalogue and Databases, 77

Using Art Dictionaries and Other Guides, 81

Considering the Work’s Historical and Cultural Context, 82

Quoting and Documenting Your Sources, 89

Learning the Art of Quoting, 89

Acknowledging Your Sources, 90

Choosing Your Footnote Style, 91

Citing Internet Sources, 96



of Writing about What You See 98

Gathering Together What You Know, 98

Taking Notes in a Gallery or Museum, 98

Taking Notes As You Read, 99

Focusing Your Discussion, 101

Brainstorming and Mapping, 103

Using Prewriting as a Way to Begin, 105

Online Writing, 110

Creating a Finished Essay, 112

Organizing Your Essay: From Description to the Verbal Frame, 112

Developing an Argument or Thesis, 116

Revising and Editing, 118

A Revision Checklist, 120

Writing about Art: The Final Product, 121



and Principles of Good Writing 126

1. Possessive Apostrophes, 127

2. Commas, 127

3. Comma Splices, 128

4. Run-on Sentences, 129

5. That and Which, 129

6. Titles, 129

7. Foreign Phrases, 130

8. Split Infinitives, 130

9. Sentence Fragments, 130

10. Colons, 131

11. Semicolons, 131

12. Dashes, 132

13. Parentheses, 132

14. Quotations, 133

15. Ellipses, 133

16. Dangling Modifiers, 134

17. Subject-Verb Agreement, 134

18. Pronoun Agreement, 135

19. Pronouns and Gender Issues, 135

20. Indefinite Antecedents (it and this), 136

21. Correlative Expressions, 136

22. Verb Tense Consistency, 137

23. Diction Consistency, 137

24. Concrete and Specific Language, 138

25. Frequently Misspelled Words, 138

Notes 140

Index 143

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