Turning the pages
A stack of extended essays is piled high on my desk..this is my reading this month. I try to pace myself, reading only a few each day so that my approach remains fresh and curious.
Although there are inevitably some essays that disappoint, there are many more delightful surprises this year. Some essays astound with their clear lucid writing, others with the sheer dedication and passion for the chosen topic. I have read engaging essays on topics as diverse as handmade artist books, cult performance art, site specific architectural decoration, Picasso's muses and many more.
The best essays have a very focused research question or topic and thus a real incentive to research; having a clear focus also helps to build up a convincing argument or thesis.
Essays driven by strong personal interest and meaningful contact with an artist, or work of art are often very successful, especially if guided in the early stages by a wise teacher who can help the student to formulate an angle or research question. Supervisors can help to point the student in the direction of appropriate resources and research methods and a good supervisor can make a big difference.
As would be expected, the weakest essays are those without a clear focused topic. Essays with topics that are too broad and general such as “the role of women in art”, or even “the role of women in abstract art” are difficult to build up a convincing argument or point of view. Much better to take a narrow approach such as “Joan Mitchell and Agnes Martin; different approaches to abstract painting in the late 20th century”.
I find It is always beneficial when essays refer to examples of specific artworks, which in turn allow for detailed visual analysis. An essay without these specific examples misses the opportunity for analysis and for using art terminology.
On the whole, it seems that students from schools all over the world are producing mostly high quality essays that show a genuine interest and sensitivity to the visual arts in a broader context.
The Extended Essay teaches so many important skills: not least how to research, structure, and write an essay. If students can succeed at this in high school they will be well prepared for higher education, and for any occasions in their lives when they encounter the need for formal writing skills.
An extended essay is a 4,000-word research paper usually completed as a requirement for undergraduate. For undergraduate art students, universities and colleges usually require them to submit an art extended essay on a certain art topic on their area of specialty or concentration. Writing an extended essay about arts can be challenging due to the broad scope of topics and medium to discuss. The following article narrows down the things you need to consider in writing an extended essay in the field of arts.
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Choose the Topic Wisely
Art is a very extensive topic to discuss in an essay. The first step is to choose a topic that interests you the most. Among the common topics for an art essay include but not limited to abstract design, architecture, personalized crafts, advertising, photography (portrait, landscape, macro, and digital), fashion, contemporary and classical arts, and sculpture.
In choosing art extended essay topics, it is important to pick the one, which is really close to your field of study. For example, if you are taking up Fine Arts Major in Digital Arts, you must choose the subject related to your field such as digital painting, digital photography, different mediums in digital art, and among others.
Setting Up the Main Idea
Once the topic was approved, you must be able to draft the main idea of your extended essay. The main idea is the focus of the essay – it is where everything will revolve. To set up the main idea, you can draft an outline and list down the major ideas you want to discuss. At the bottom of each idea, you can list down the supporting details and research that will support them. An outline also helps you organize your thoughts, allowing you to include only the things related to the topic. It also restricts you to get overwhelmed and stumble with too many information you come across with.
Researching Related Ideas
Start your research once the draft is done and all thoughts are laid out. Among the most common sources of information include published materials such as books and magazines, art exhibits, autobiographies, bibliographies, and online materials such as eBooks. When conducting a research, do not forget to take note of the sources to cite for supporting details. Citing your sources also provides a stronger position for your extended essay.
The Act of Writing
Once all materials are ready, you can now start the actual writing. You do not have to worry delivering a perfect extended essay on the first draft because nobody does. An amazing essay is not written overnight. It is a product of series of revisions, solid research materials and other supporting documents to solidify the topic idea. For example, if you are writing extended essay visual arts, you have to gather as many written materials about visual arts and the artists who became prominent in this medium. You will also have to write about the materials that those artists used in delivering beautiful and perfect visual art masterpieces.
It is also important to let someone read and criticize your work, additional extended essay help is always good. A different set of eyes will allow you to see the flaws, inconsistencies, weaknesses of the essay you have written. Note the remarks and suggestions of your editor and consider the revisions being made to polish your work. You can check for the validity of the remarks and question them objectively.
After incorporating the changes and edit suggestions of your trusted reviewer, read your material again and you will be relieved with the positive changes that happened to your work. If you feel like another round of review is needed, feel free to ask your professor or mentor to review it before submitting it to the panel.