Proposal & Annotated Bibliography
This class is 20th-century art history
As the first steps in the research process, you will need to refine your paper topic and produce a working annotated bibliography. Please submit this information as a type-written, double-spaced document in an 11- or 12-point font that is submitted to Blackboard’s “Discussions” link labeled “Research Paper Proposal & Annotated Bibliography” by 5 pm, Friday, July 24.
The paper topic proposal should narrow your topic and focus and begin to indicate the argument that you will make in the final paper. The paper topic proposal requires research in order to make your proposal as close to your final paper topic as possible. I strongly suggest that you come to office hours to discuss your topic proposal in advance. The written proposal must include
1. A preliminary thesis statement. A thesis statement is “a proposition stated as a conclusion which you will then demonstrate, or ‘prove’ in your paper.” It is the focal point around which your research will revolve. It is not a question, it is an answer. Your thesis statement must take a position. It announces the argument or points you want to prove. The thesis tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. It is a road map for the paper, telling the reader what to expect. The thesis is usually one or two sentences somewhere in the introduction that presents the argument to the reader. At this point, your thesis will be a working thesis. It will likely need refining and revising as you write the rest of the paper. Thesis statement examples:
a) “This paper examines the ways in which Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting Street, Berlin (1913) reflects the chaos and eroticism seen throughout Germany’s thriving cities at the beginning of the twentieth century. Primarily through a distorted use of color, line, texture, and spatial perspective, Kirchner was able to provoke a sense of awareness in the viewer using an expressive style —emblematic of the German Expressionist Die Brücke group — and address the transition from the tradition of the past into the modern future.”
b) “This paper examines the ways in which Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (1979) challenges the male-dominated culture of post-World War II America as promoted by art movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. With its overt celebration of needlepoint, china painting, and feminine ‘central-core’ imagery, it demonstrates Chicago’s aim to elevate women’s“craft” to the level of fine art in order to explore the often-silenced conditions of women and to produce truthful renditions of women’s experiences, culture, and heritage.”
2. The second part of this exercise is the working Annotated Bibliography. An annotated bibliography gives a brief account of the available research on a given topic. It is a list of research sources that includes concise descriptions and evaluations of each source. An annotation usually contains a brief summary of content and a short analysis or evaluation. As you evaluate your sources consider: the content and scope of the work, the main argument, the intended audience, the conclusions, the relevance of the text for your research, the themes or concepts that are emphasized, your reaction to the text, what you gleaned from the source. The evidence (primary and secondary sources) you provide for your thesis will include your interpretation, analysis, and description of the characteristics of works of art and texts, and must at all times relate to your thesis.
Primary sources refer to “first hand” information directly from the artist or the artist’s contemporaries– the original accounts created usually during the time under study. In addition to examining the artwork itself, you will also need to research interviews with the artist, manifestos, or essays written by the artist, contemporary criticism, and personal and public correspondence written by the artist. Your bibliography must include at least 1 primary source.
These sources are made up of interpretations and commentary on primary sources, especially works of art. Secondary sources include books (monographs, anthologies, and exhibition catalogs) and articles in scholarly journals. You should begin your search for your sources by visiting SCAD’s Library catalog. 4
There are a number of useful digital databases on this site, and you should first try JSTOR as it includes articles from a large number of peer-reviewed academic journals and most can be downloaded as PDF files.
Your bibliography (the list of textual sources) must include at least three secondary sources, alongside the minimum one primary source.
Each annotation should be about 3-4 sentences in length. Annotations should be concise and distill the most important and relevant details of that source. The annotated bibliography starts with the bibliographic details of a source (the citation) followed by the annotation.