Now, list on a chart those 5 main elements you’ve chosen to focus in on and compile detailed notes for each piece in relation to those elements, items or topics to expand upon in the comparison essay.
Here’s an example of a compare-and-contrast essay > using two works from the Renaissance and Neoclassicism eras: Michelangelo’s David and Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Notice that these two pieces were chosen because they both are considered by scholars to be representative of their time periods and that both of the artists used unconventional ideas in their depiction of the current political and social conditions of the day. It’s important that you choose two pieces that allow you to make appropriate comparisons relating to the concepts you are learning in your art history class. This is an important first step as you prepare to write an effective essay that covers multiple main issues covered in class.
Be sure to use the appropriate terminology and skills from the course readings and specific to the discipline of art history. For example, in introductory art history courses, students are required in their exam essays typically to compare and contrast different works demonstrating not only their learned skills of formal visual analysis, but also their ability to place works and monuments in a historical context. This means comparing works not only in terms of the differences in their formal elements, but also in terms of the socio-political, theological, regional or cultural reasons behind those differences.
You can use a Double Cell Diagram (see for example the bubble graphic organizer at ) and start making your own for free online at or at . Or you can use the simple chart, available for download above.
Now that you have the information and key information for a good essay answer, what is the question? Spend some time thinking from your instructor’s perspective and develop a good essay exam question that would be the prompt for you to write an essay from your brainstorming and chart developed in Steps 3 and 4.
This learning activity supports the preparation of students in the to conduct a sustained piece of analysis of a work of art, in this case, and that makes use of logical argument, coherent theses and evidence of art history, ideally with an informed, appropriate use of library sources. In a course fulfilling the Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities, students learn to interpret, evaluate and analyze creations of the human intellect while recognizing the validity of different points of view.
An evaluation is a piece of writing where you look at your project as a whole and discuss its successes and weaknesses. This can help others understand what you were trying to achieve. You need to be honest and use appropriate art language. Evaluating your work is really important for getting marks in .
Understanding your personal interests can help identify your skills and values, jumpstarting the self-assessment process. Think about those activities and hobbies that have provided you with unique gratification. For example, if you are passionate about volunteering and have sought out every opportunity to do so, you may find great rewards in helping others and making a positive contribution to society. Academic interests should not be overlooked. If you found enjoyment from a particular class project, think about what it was about the project that you enjoyed most, and how this will give you clues about skills and values that interest you.
5. Assign a letter grade. The following criteria are used by colleges when assigning a grade to the paper. Papers are evaluated for content and organization, as well as for grammar and mechanics. Most college professors assign a failure to any paper with three major errors in grammar. Some colleges are even stricter regarding grammar.
6. Miscellaneous considerations
The essay will exhibit one or more of the following problems:
Major errors in grammar: The following are considered major errors in grammar.
The goal of this activity is to promote a more thoughtful, active, and in-depth approach to studying in general and exam preparation more specifically. This exercise requires you to focus on the creation (and presentation) of a sample art history exam essay in which you are required to compare and contrast two pieces of art with a good attempt at critical thinking and analysis. This will also invite you to think in detail about how a typical college exam essay tests you on learned material as well as how your answers would include information ideally addressed. By focusing on what it takes to craft an effective exam essay question, you will think more deeply and with more subtlety about the material on an upcoming exam. Perhaps most importantly, going through this exercise should also discourage the dreaded “cram the night before” approach to studying undertaken by too many students.