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Writing Across the Curriculum

ARH 327: Modern Painting: Fauvism to Abstract Expressionism
Writing in the Majors Guidelines
Professor Sharon Jordan

Role of Writing

In this course, students will gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of modern European and American painting, sculpture, architecture, and design from approximately the 1880s until the 1960s. On a weekly basis, we will engage in the visual analysis of works of art, both in class discussions and through in-class writing exercises, in order to analyze and understand various styles of modern art within their historical, social, and artistic contexts. Writing will be used throughout the course in order to help students understand the course material; to articulate and explain complex ideas; to apply vocabulary and methodologies used in the study of art history; and to foster individual skills in personal expression.

Disciplinary Writing

In this course, students will read and develop writing skills in different genres or texts types that are part of art historical discourse, including:

  • Summaries and reviews of scholarly articles, primary source readings, and secondary sources, including exhibition catalogues and the textbook, to distill and summarize content.
  • Personal reflections in order to express opinions and ideas clearly and persuasively.
  • Written analyses of artworks in short essay form in-class and on exams to apply art historical vocabulary and combine art historical analysis with personal observations.
  • A final research paper assignment to integrate course material on modern art, primary and secondary art historical sources, visual analysis, and curatorial preparation on a student-selected modern art subject.

Expectations of Students in a WIM Course

By being a member of the class, each student is expected to:

  • Attend class regularly, be prepared with the weekly reading assignment, and participate in class discussion.
  • Complete informal writing exercises.
  • Prepare in-class essays on class lectures and course readings to develop reading comprehension and note-taking skills, as well as essay-writing skills.
  • Collaborate with peers in group work to synthesize and review class material and organize content.
  • Participate in peer review of students’ written work to develop editorial skills.
  • Prepare short written essays, such as museum observations, that will occur outside of class, and in-class essays, including on the midterm and final exams.
  • Complete a semester research paper, which will be broken down into smaller component parts for preparation throughout the semester, including:
    • one-page thesis statement to identify and explain the subject of their individual research.
    • an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary source materials.
    • the selection of supporting artworks from secondary sources and the Museum of Modern Art.
    • a final research paper, including illustrations, bibliography, and assignment checklist.

Expectations of Faculty in a WIM Course

In this course faculty will:

  • Provide feedback in each course session.
  • Help students synthesize and understand course material.
  • Clearly explain course expectations and assignments.
  • Facilitate work in small groups and guide class discussion to strengthen analytic skills.
  • Prepare students for conducting research.
  • Lead discussions on research tasks and components, including:
    • development of a thesis statement.
    • citation of sources.
    • preparation of annotated bibliography.
    • preparation and use of an outline.
    • preparation and presentation of written work.
  • Provide written feedback and editorial comments on:
    • one-page thesis statement for research paper and preliminary annotated bibliography.
    • essay answers on the midterm and final exams.
    • first draft of the research paper and the revised version of the research paper using an assignment rubric and checklist.

Criteria for Assessing Student Writing

  • Does the student follow instructions for assignments and exams as stated on assignment instructions and study guides, as discussed in class, and as made accessible on Blackboard?
  • Does the student utilize the checklist in the preparation of their research paper?
  • Are the primary and secondary sources well chosen, demonstrating an understanding of art historical content and research methodologies?
  • Does the student complete written assignments on time in the requested format?
  • Does the writing demonstrate an understanding of and engagement with the course material?
  • Does the writing regularly incorporate the analysis of artworks as examples to support the topic?
  • Do the written assignments cite sources in footnotes and in a bibliography?
  • Does the writing evidence a lively, engaged, and inquisitive voice?
  • Are written assignments clear, thorough, specific, well organized, and appropriate for their audience?