Topic selection

Download as a word file here: Topic selection worksheet

The final paper is designed for you to gain skills of art historical research, learn how to formulate a scholarly argument, and give you the opportunity to explore an art movement or style beyond what we have looked at this semester. For this paper, you will be selecting a period that wasn’t covered in our class and exploring visual art from its time.

This Topic Selection worksheet is intended to help you plan the first stage of your research and gather basic information about your topic.

To help you get started, here are some online resources that are useful for broad overviews of art movements. Note that while these online tools are helpful for preliminary research, you will be expected to reference more in-depth scholarly texts for the final paper.

  1. Boundless Art History:
  2. Metropolitan Museum Heilbrunn timeline:
  3. Smarthistory:

Once you have explored these resources, answer the sections below.

  1. Tentative title of paper (this can be changed later)
  2. What is your key concept or theme? (Think of the broad themes we have been discussing in class– for example, art and propaganda, depictions of race in art history, art and religion etc.)
  3. Justification– what drew you to this theme? What is it that interests you about it
  4. What time period will you be covering? (Dates from __ to __) If it is an approximate time period, say circa. Note: keep in mind the scope of the paper; just saying 18th century for example would be too broad for your research– try to be as specific as possible.
  5. What region (country or culture) is your topic situated in?
  6. What is the broader historical context? List the prominent historical events (wars, political changes etc.) happening during this time.
  7. Based on initial research, who are the prominent artist or artists working during this time period in this region?
  8. Insert images of five artworks from this time period and region. You may or may not end up discussing these artworks in your final paper, but this is to give a sense of the visual styles you will be analyzing.
  9. Considering that you are yet to do in-depth research on this topic, what are some questions that you have about this topic? What are you trying to find out about this period through your research?