Essay Papers Writing Online

Tips and tricks for crafting engaging and effective essays.

Writing essays

Writing essays can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and strategies, you can create compelling and impactful pieces that captivate your audience. Whether you’re a student working on an academic paper or a professional honing your writing skills, these tips will help you craft essays that stand out.

Effective essays are not just about conveying information; they are about persuading, engaging, and inspiring readers. To achieve this, it’s essential to pay attention to various elements of the essay-writing process, from brainstorming ideas to polishing your final draft. By following these tips, you can elevate your writing and produce essays that leave a lasting impression.

Understanding the Essay Prompt

Before you start writing your essay, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the essay prompt or question provided by your instructor. The essay prompt serves as a roadmap for your essay and outlines the specific requirements or expectations.

Here are a few key things to consider when analyzing the essay prompt:

  • Read the prompt carefully and identify the main topic or question being asked.
  • Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines provided, such as word count, formatting requirements, or sources to be used.
  • Identify key terms or phrases in the prompt that can help you determine the focus of your essay.

By understanding the essay prompt thoroughly, you can ensure that your essay addresses the topic effectively and meets the requirements set forth by your instructor.

Researching Your Topic Thoroughly

Researching Your Topic Thoroughly

One of the key elements of writing an effective essay is conducting thorough research on your chosen topic. Research helps you gather the necessary information, facts, and examples to support your arguments and make your essay more convincing.

Here are some tips for researching your topic thoroughly:

Don’t rely on a single source for your research. Use a variety of sources such as books, academic journals, reliable websites, and primary sources to gather different perspectives and valuable information.
While conducting research, make sure to take detailed notes of important information, quotes, and references. This will help you keep track of your sources and easily refer back to them when writing your essay.
Before using any information in your essay, evaluate the credibility of the sources. Make sure they are reliable, up-to-date, and authoritative to strengthen the validity of your arguments.
Organize your research materials in a systematic way to make it easier to access and refer to them while writing. Create an outline or a research plan to structure your essay effectively.

By following these tips and conducting thorough research on your topic, you will be able to write a well-informed and persuasive essay that effectively communicates your ideas and arguments.

Creating a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a crucial element of any well-crafted essay. It serves as the main point or idea that you will be discussing and supporting throughout your paper. A strong thesis statement should be clear, specific, and arguable.

To create a strong thesis statement, follow these tips:

  • Be specific: Your thesis statement should clearly state the main idea of your essay. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Be concise: Keep your thesis statement concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.
  • Be argumentative: Your thesis statement should present an argument or perspective that can be debated or discussed in your essay.
  • Be relevant: Make sure your thesis statement is relevant to the topic of your essay and reflects the main point you want to make.
  • Revise as needed: Don’t be afraid to revise your thesis statement as you work on your essay. It may change as you develop your ideas.

Remember, a strong thesis statement sets the tone for your entire essay and provides a roadmap for your readers to follow. Put time and effort into crafting a clear and compelling thesis statement to ensure your essay is effective and persuasive.

Developing a Clear Essay Structure

One of the key elements of writing an effective essay is developing a clear and logical structure. A well-structured essay helps the reader follow your argument and enhances the overall readability of your work. Here are some tips to help you develop a clear essay structure:

1. Start with a strong introduction: Begin your essay with an engaging introduction that introduces the topic and clearly states your thesis or main argument.

2. Organize your ideas: Before you start writing, outline the main points you want to cover in your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas.

3. Use topic sentences: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. This helps the reader understand the purpose of each paragraph.

4. Provide evidence and analysis: Support your arguments with evidence and analysis to back up your main points. Make sure your evidence is relevant and directly supports your thesis.

5. Transition between paragraphs: Use transitional words and phrases to create flow between paragraphs and help the reader move smoothly from one idea to the next.

6. Conclude effectively: End your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis. Avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion.

By following these tips, you can develop a clear essay structure that will help you effectively communicate your ideas and engage your reader from start to finish.

Using Relevant Examples and Evidence

When writing an essay, it’s crucial to support your arguments and assertions with relevant examples and evidence. This not only adds credibility to your writing but also helps your readers better understand your points. Here are some tips on how to effectively use examples and evidence in your essays:

  • Choose examples that are specific and relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Avoid using generic examples that may not directly support your argument.
  • Provide concrete evidence to back up your claims. This could include statistics, research findings, or quotes from reliable sources.
  • Interpret the examples and evidence you provide, explaining how they support your thesis or main argument. Don’t assume that the connection is obvious to your readers.
  • Use a variety of examples to make your points more persuasive. Mixing personal anecdotes with scholarly evidence can make your essay more engaging and convincing.
  • Cite your sources properly to give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism. Follow the citation style required by your instructor or the publication you’re submitting to.

By integrating relevant examples and evidence into your essays, you can craft a more convincing and well-rounded piece of writing that resonates with your audience.

Editing and Proofreading Your Essay Carefully

Once you have finished writing your essay, the next crucial step is to edit and proofread it carefully. Editing and proofreading are essential parts of the writing process that help ensure your essay is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you effectively edit and proofread your essay:

1. Take a Break: Before you start editing, take a short break from your essay. This will help you approach the editing process with a fresh perspective.

2. Read Aloud: Reading your essay aloud can help you catch any awkward phrasing or grammatical errors that you may have missed while writing. It also helps you check the flow of your essay.

3. Check for Consistency: Make sure that your essay has a consistent style, tone, and voice throughout. Check for inconsistencies in formatting, punctuation, and language usage.

4. Remove Unnecessary Words: Look for any unnecessary words or phrases in your essay and remove them to make your writing more concise and clear.

5. Proofread for Errors: Carefully proofread your essay for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Pay attention to commonly misused words and homophones.

6. Get Feedback: It’s always a good idea to get feedback from someone else. Ask a friend, classmate, or teacher to review your essay and provide constructive feedback.

By following these tips and taking the time to edit and proofread your essay carefully, you can improve the overall quality of your writing and make sure your ideas are effectively communicated to your readers.

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what to write about in an art essay

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Art Essay Writing Guide

Table of Contents

What is the purpose of an art essay?

Generally, an art essay is an essay that talks about art in sculpture, paintings, architecture, music and portraits.

These kinds of essays are used for:

  • Painting visual pictures: an art essay is an essay that showcases visual arts and creative ideas that people have come up with.
  • Improving creativity: the whole purpose of art essays is to provide a platform for students to tap into their creative side and vividly paint a picture of a certain image using words.

art essay writing

Art essay topic choice

Like every other essay, there are general tips that should be considered when coming up with an art essay writing topic.

  • The type of art: this may include a painting, a sculpture or just a simple hand diagram. The type of art is important as it sets out what you are supposed to write about.
  • What intrigues you about the art: this is the most important part of the essay. The whole art essay is based on what you want others to know about the piece of art.
  • Personal interests: what you, as a writer, love is very important as it narrows down the topic. It is easier to write on topics that are well-known to you.

There are a number of art essay writing topics to choose from.

Below is a list of topics for an art essay

  • Differences between Picasso’s concepts and Matisse’s
  • The history of art in the Netherlands
  • Differences between Bernini and Borromini
  • The inspiration behind famous painting
  • The Mona Lisa
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Ancient Roman structures
  • The sculptures of nude women
  • Impressionism era of art in Netherlands
  • The graphics of modern day art
  • Insinuations behind ‘The Thinker’
  • The Pieta of Michelangelo
  • The contribution of Vincent Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian
  • Flemish Baroque in the 17th century.

The above are some of the good topics for an art essay.

Structure of an art essay

The art essay topics determine the kind of structure to build on. However, most have a standard art essay structure.

Sample of art essay outline

Introduction.

The Mona Lisa is one of the most known paintings in the world. This is the painting of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo, believed to have been painted in the 16th century. It is the work of Leonardo da Vinci and it was purchased by King Francis I. The Mona Lisa is currently under the ownership of the French government.

Thesis statement

The Mona Lisa has had a great impact towards the contribution of art in France:

(i)    It is one of the most famous paintings in the world. The Mona Lisa is the painting that everyone wants to see. It is so precious that only a copy of it is actually showcased in the museum.

(ii)    It has led to the growth of art. The Mona Lisa has inspired artists all over France. There has been a rise of many artists including Camille Pissarro, a painter, and Etienne-Jules Marey, a photographer.

It is clear that the Mona Lisa is the soft spot in France. The French take pride in it and have used it to improve their lives. Besides its contribution to art, it has also placed France among the leading countries that celebrate art. This has therefore created a culture of being drawn to art and it is reflected in their way of life.

The above is a sample of outline for an art essay.

art essay tips

Arts essay tips on writing the introduction

An art essay introduction identifies the art and the artist. Art is diverse, as it could be sculptures, architecture, performing arts or paintings in it. This is where you state why you chose that topic.  It also contains a history of the said art and brief details, like who the artist is, the year, the location, etc.

The introduction for an art essay states the thesis. It may be a general statement about the art or a specific aspect of it.

Tips on thesis writing

The thesis statement should be simple and easy to write about. Too complex statements tend to be confusing.

  • Pick a statement that is closer to your understanding.
  • Ensure it is as simple as possible.
  • To avoid irrelevancy, one can have an art essay draft that they can build on.

Tips on the body (transitions, paragraphs, and length)

This is the main part of the essay where you derive analysis based on your point of view.  Describe why the art is so appealing to you. Ensure that your defense covers an angle that has not already been covered for uniqueness. For example, one can focus only on the strokes of a portrait. However, ensure that what you describe is relevant to the thesis of your art essay topics.

The essay should not be too long. The sentence construction should also be well done. For this reason, it is advisable to have your points arranged into paragraphs. Ensure that each paragraph is independent and speaks volumes. This ensures that the art essay hooks the reader.

The transition from one paragraph to the next should also be smooth. Using cliché transitions makes the essay boring; therefore, you need to be creative.

Tips on conclusion writing

In an art essay conclusion, one needs to state their opinion. What you think the artists` feelings were and why they decided to paint it the way they did. At this point, you can state the events that contributed to the artist coming up with that art. The conclusion for an art essay requires a lot of research into the background of both the art and the artist(s). For this reason, the references and sources of the information should be cited.

Advice for writers

In art essay writing it is important to first do your research. Art is so diverse and this can be sometimes confusing. The topic to write on should be related to your interests, for example, as a musician, you would find it easier to write about performing arts and music. Besides this, do not plagiarize any work done. Cite and state all sources, making sure that you observe all rules of patent and copyrights.

For you to be a good writer, these art essay tips will be very helpful.  The best writer is the one who admits to being in a need of help. The art essay writing guide can also be used to find more about art essay writing steps. Different sources could give different art essay outlines so you need to be careful.

Finalizing the essay

After writing the art essay, it is important to have a clean essay. This calls for proofreading and editing. Proofreading ensures that you do not have any grammatical errors, the art essay outlining is as required, your sentence construction is good and the language used is the required one. Some sites offer art essay writing guide for use when one gets stuck.  Proofreading also ensures that the art essay structure is followed. After this is done, ensure that the format used is correct whether APA, MLA or Chicago.

what to write about in an art essay

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Essays About Art: Top 5 Examples and 9 Prompts

Essays about art inspire beauty and creativity; see our top essay picks and prompts to aid you.

Art is an umbrella term for various activities that use human imagination and talents. 

The products from these activities incite powerful feelings as artists convey their ideas, expertise, and experience through art. Examples of art include painting, sculpture, photography, literature, installations, dance, and music.

Art is also a significant part of human history. We learn a lot from the arts regarding what living in a period is like, what events influenced the elements in the artwork, and what led to art’s progress to today.

To help you create an excellent essay about art, we prepared five examples that you can look at:

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1. Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? by Linda Nochlin

2. what is art by writer faith, 3. my art taught me… by christine nishiyama, 4. animals and art by ron padgett, 5. the value of art by anonymous on arthistoryproject.com, 1. art that i won’t forget, 2. unconventional arts, 3. art: past and present, 4. my life as an artist, 5. art histories of different cultures, 6. comparing two art pieces, 7. create a reflection essay on a work of art, 8. conduct a visual analysis of an artwork, 9. art period or artist history.

“But in actuality, as we all know, things as they are and as they have been, in the arts as in a hundred other areas, are stultifying, oppressive, and discouraging to all those, women among them, who did not have the good fortune to be born white, preferably middle class, and above all, male. The fault lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cycles, or our empty internal spaces, but in our institutions and our education–education understood to include everything that happens to us from the moment we enter this world…”

Nochlin goes in-depth to point out women’s part in art history. She focuses on unjust opportunities presented to women compared to their male peers, labeling it the “Woman Problem.” This problem demands a reinterpretation of the situation’s nature and the need for radical change. She persuades women to see themselves as equal subjects deserving of comparable achievements men receive.

Throughout her essay, she delves into the institutional barriers that prevented women from reaching the heights of famous male art icons.

“Art is the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects that can be shared with others. It involves the arranging of elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions and acts as a means of communication with the viewer as it represents the thoughts of the artist.”

The author defines art as a medium to connect with others and an action. She focuses on Jamaican art and the feelings it invokes. She introduces Osmond Watson, whose philosophy includes uplifting the masses and making people aware of their beauty – he explains one of his works, “Peace and Love.” 

“But I’ve felt this way before, especially with my art. And my experience with artmaking has taught me how to get through periods of struggle. My art has taught me to accept where I am today… My art has taught me that whatever marks I make on the page are good enough… My art has taught me that the way through struggle is to acknowledge, accept and share my struggle.”

Nishiyama starts her essay by describing how writing makes her feel. She feels pressured to create something “great” after her maternity leave, causing her to struggle. She says she pens essays to process her experiences as an artist and human, learning alongside the reader. She ends her piece by acknowledging her feelings and using her art to accept them.

“I was saying that sometimes I feel sorry for wild animals, out there in the dark, looking for something to eat while in fear of being eaten. And they have no ballet companies or art museums. Animals of course are not aware of their lack of cultural activities, and therefore do not regret their absence.”

Padgett recounts telling his wife how he thinks it’s unfortunate for animals not to have cultural activities, therefore, can’t appreciate art. He shares the genetic mapping of humans being 99% chimpanzees and is curious about the 1% that makes him human and lets him treasure art. His essay piques readers’ minds, making them interested in how art elevates human life through summoning admiration from lines and colors.

“One of the first questions raised when talking about art is simple — why should we care? Art, especially in the contemporary era, is easy to dismiss as a selfish pastime for people who have too much time on their hands. Creating art doesn’t cure disease, build roads, or feed the poor.”

Because art can easily be dismissed as a pastime, the author lists why it’s precious. It includes exercising creativity, materials used, historical connection, and religious value. 

Check out our best essay checkers to ensure you have a top-notch essay.

9 Prompts on Essays About Art

After knowing more about art, below are easy prompts you can use for your art essay:

Essays About Art: Art that I won't forget

Is there an art piece that caught your attention because of its origin? First, talk about it and briefly summarize its backstory in your essay. Then, explain why it’s something that made an impact on you. For example, you can write about the Mona Lisa and her mysterious smile – or is she smiling? You can also put theories on what could have happened while Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

Rather than focusing on mainstream arts like ballet and painting, focus your essay on unconventional art or something that defies usual pieces, such as avant-garde art. Then, share what you think of this type of art and measure it against other mediums.

How did art change over the centuries? Explain the differences between ancient and modern art and include the factors that resulted in these changes.

Are you an artist? Share your creative process and objectives if you draw, sing, dance, etc. How do you plan to be better at your craft? What is your ultimate goal?

To do this prompt, pick two countries or cultures with contrasting art styles. A great example is Chinese versus European arts. Center your essay on a category, such as landscape paintings. Tell your readers the different elements these cultures consider. What is the basis of their art? What influences their art during that specific period?

Like the previous prompt, write an essay about similar pieces, such as books, folktales, or paintings. You can also compare original and remake versions of movies, broadway musicals, etc.

Pick a piece you want to know more about, then share what you learned through your essay. What did the art make you feel? If you followed creating art, like pottery, write about the step-by-step process, from clay to glazing.

Visual analysis is a way to understand art centered around what the eyes can process. It includes elements like texture, color, line, and scale. For this prompt, find a painting or statue and describe what you see in your essay.

Since art is a broad topic, you can narrow your research by choosing only the most significant moments in art history. For instance, if you pick English art, you can divide each art period by century or by a king’s ruling time. You can also select an artist and discuss their pieces, their art’s backstory, and how it relates to their life at the time.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips !

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Writing Essays in Art History

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Art History Analysis – Formal Analysis and Stylistic Analysis

Typically in an art history class the main essay students will need to write for a final paper or for an exam is a formal or stylistic analysis.

A formal analysis is just what it sounds like – you need to analyze the form of the artwork. This includes the individual design elements – composition, color, line, texture, scale, contrast, etc. Questions to consider in a formal analysis is how do all these elements come together to create this work of art? Think of formal analysis in relation to literature – authors give descriptions of characters or places through the written word. How does an artist convey this same information?

Organize your information and focus on each feature before moving onto the text – it is not ideal to discuss color and jump from line to then in the conclusion discuss color again. First summarize the overall appearance of the work of art – is this a painting? Does the artist use only dark colors? Why heavy brushstrokes? etc and then discuss details of the object – this specific animal is gray, the sky is missing a moon, etc. Again, it is best to be organized and focused in your writing – if you discuss the animals and then the individuals and go back to the animals you run the risk of making your writing unorganized and hard to read. It is also ideal to discuss the focal of the piece – what is in the center? What stands out the most in the piece or takes up most of the composition?

A stylistic approach can be described as an indicator of unique characteristics that analyzes and uses the formal elements (2-D: Line, color, value, shape and 3-D all of those and mass).The point of style is to see all the commonalities in a person’s works, such as the use of paint and brush strokes in Van Gogh’s work. Style can distinguish an artist’s work from others and within their own timeline, geographical regions, etc.

Methods & Theories To Consider:

Expressionism

Instructuralism

Postmodernism

Social Art History

Biographical Approach

Poststructuralism

Museum Studies

Visual Cultural Studies

Stylistic Analysis Example:

The following is a brief stylistic analysis of two Greek statues, an example of how style has changed because of the “essence of the age.” Over the years, sculptures of women started off as being plain and fully clothed with no distinct features, to the beautiful Venus/Aphrodite figures most people recognize today. In the mid-seventh century to the early fifth, life-sized standing marble statues of young women, often elaborately dress in gaily painted garments were created known as korai. The earliest korai is a Naxian women to Artemis. The statue wears a tight-fitted, belted peplos, giving the body a very plain look. The earliest korai wore the simpler Dorian peplos, which was a heavy woolen garment. From about 530, most wear a thinner, more elaborate, and brightly painted Ionic linen and himation. A largely contrasting Greek statue to the korai is the Venus de Milo. The Venus from head to toe is six feet seven inches tall. Her hips suggest that she has had several children. Though her body shows to be heavy, she still seems to almost be weightless. Viewing the Venus de Milo, she changes from side to side. From her right side she seems almost like a pillar and her leg bears most of the weight. She seems be firmly planted into the earth, and since she is looking at the left, her big features such as her waist define her. The Venus de Milo had a band around her right bicep. She had earrings that were brutally stolen, ripping her ears away. Venus was noted for loving necklaces, so it is very possibly she would have had one. It is also possible she had a tiara and bracelets. Venus was normally defined as “golden,” so her hair would have been painted. Two statues in the same region, have throughout history, changed in their style.

Compare and Contrast Essay

Most introductory art history classes will ask students to write a compare and contrast essay about two pieces – examples include comparing and contrasting a medieval to a renaissance painting. It is always best to start with smaller comparisons between the two works of art such as the medium of the piece. Then the comparison can include attention to detail so use of color, subject matter, or iconography. Do the same for contrasting the two pieces – start small. After the foundation is set move on to the analysis and what these comparisons or contrasting material mean – ‘what is the bigger picture here?’ Consider why one artist would wish to show the same subject matter in a different way, how, when, etc are all questions to ask in the compare and contrast essay. If during an exam it would be best to quickly outline the points to make before tackling writing the essay.

Compare and Contrast Example:

Stele of Hammurabi from Susa (modern Shush, Iran), ca. 1792 – 1750 BCE, Basalt, height of stele approx. 7’ height of relief 28’

Stele, relief sculpture, Art as propaganda – Hammurabi shows that his law code is approved by the gods, depiction of land in background, Hammurabi on the same place of importance as the god, etc.

Top of this stele shows the relief image of Hammurabi receiving the law code from Shamash, god of justice, Code of Babylonian social law, only two figures shown, different area and time period, etc.

Stele of Naram-sin , Sippar Found at Susa c. 2220 - 2184 bce. Limestone, height 6'6"

Stele, relief sculpture, Example of propaganda because the ruler (like the Stele of Hammurabi) shows his power through divine authority, Naramsin is the main character due to his large size, depiction of land in background, etc.

Akkadian art, made of limestone, the stele commemorates a victory of Naramsin, multiple figures are shown specifically soldiers, different area and time period, etc.

Iconography

Regardless of what essay approach you take in class it is absolutely necessary to understand how to analyze the iconography of a work of art and to incorporate into your paper. Iconography is defined as subject matter, what the image means. For example, why do things such as a small dog in a painting in early Northern Renaissance paintings represent sexuality? Additionally, how can an individual perhaps identify these motifs that keep coming up?

The following is a list of symbols and their meaning in Marriage a la Mode by William Hogarth (1743) that is a series of six paintings that show the story of marriage in Hogarth’s eyes.

  • Man has pockets turned out symbolizing he has lost money and was recently in a fight by the state of his clothes.
  • Lap dog shows loyalty but sniffs at woman’s hat in the husband’s pocket showing sexual exploits.
  • Black dot on husband’s neck believed to be symbol of syphilis.
  • Mantel full of ugly Chinese porcelain statues symbolizing that the couple has no class.
  • Butler had to go pay bills, you can tell this by the distasteful look on his face and that his pockets are stuffed with bills and papers.
  • Card game just finished up, women has directions to game under foot, shows her easily cheating nature.
  • Paintings of saints line a wall of the background room, isolated from the living, shows the couple’s complete disregard to faith and religion.
  • The dangers of sexual excess are underscored in the Hograth by placing Cupid among ruins, foreshadowing the inevitable ruin of the marriage.
  • Eventually the series (other five paintings) shows that the woman has an affair, the men duel and die, the woman hangs herself and the father takes her ring off her finger symbolizing the one thing he could salvage from the marriage.

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How to write an art essay best ideas for students.

April 10, 2020

art essay

Do you need to write an art essay? Perhaps this is the first time you have been tasked by your professor with such an assignment. Don’t worry though; writing an art essay is not as difficult as you may think. Even though many students don’t know much about art, they still manage to write excellent papers. How do they do it? Simple: they read guides and learn the best tips and tricks from industry experts. Alternatively, they get some help from qualified assignment writers . If you want to write the paper all by yourself, we have all the tips and tricks you need right here. Read on!

The Importance of Art Education Essay Samples

So, what is art essay writing? Why is it important? Truth be told, writing about art can be fun and captivating. However, we realize art is not something everyone is fond of writing about. The main reason why art essay writing is important is because your professor wants to get an interesting, original essay from you. Your final grade depends on your ability to write an excellent paper. What is more important is the art history essay example. Here is why:

By reading some art essay examples, you get an idea of how the final version of your paper should look like. Reading works written by seasoned writers can teach you a thing or two about writing in academic format. You can “steal” some ideas from the samples. However, make sure you don’t copy and paste any content from samples you find online.

An excellent way to get an art analysis essay example that is 100% original (i.e. you can’t find it anywhere on the Internet) is to have an academic writer compose it from scratch for you.

Finding Some Great Art Essay Topics

Do you need to write an essay about art? Or perhaps your professor asked you to write an art analysis essay. In any case, the topic you choose for your paper is very important. As long as you manage to find an intriguing topic, you stand a very good chance of getting bonus points. Let’s face it: professors want original, interesting papers. They are most certainly bored of reading the same art history essay written on the same old topics time and time again. You can even write a “compare and contrast two works of art essay” and stand out from the rest of your class. Here are the three best ways to get some topics for a college essay about art:

Search online but don’t pick the obvious topics. Dig deeper and try to find something none of your classmates thought of. Don’t be afraid to ask for ideas on art blogs and forums. There are plenty of experts who will gladly give you some topic ideas for free. Simply contact an academic writing company and ask them to send you a list of original topics. It won’t take them long to send you a comprehensive list of exceptional ideas.

Quick Guide on How to Write an Art Essay

Do you need to write an “is graffiti art essay” (or an “is graffiti art or vandalism essay”)? Regardless of the topic you choose, there are just a couple of steps you need to follow to write a great essay on art. Let’s show you how to write an art analysis essay in just 5 easy steps:

  • Find a couple of interesting art essay topics and pick the most interesting one. Then, come up with the best thesis statement possible. What does your short essay about art aim to demonstrate?
  • Write the introduction. You need to learn how to write a good intro if you want to learn how to write an art essay. In the intro, you need to present the thesis statement and a bit of background information about the topic.
  • Write three body paragraphs, each one dealing with just one important idea. This works for anything from an art comparison essay to an art appreciation essay. Make sure you use each body paragraph to present just one idea that supports your thesis statement.
  • Craft a catchy conclusion. You need to summarize everything you’re discussed and – optionally – write a call to action. This is the way to end every essay from a compare and contrast art essay to an art critique example essay.
  • Edit everything and proofread it twice. Make sure your paper is well organized and your writing flows well. Also, there should be no typos in the text.

That’s it! Follow the guide above and create college essay art that will earn you a top grade every time. As a tip, you should consider writing an importance of art education essay. Your professor will be flattered for sure. But of course, you can write anything including an art critique essay and still get a top grade. You just need to be careful about which topic you choose and how you support your thesis statement. Very few professors expect works of art from students. However, they want to see that you’ve really invested some time and effort into writing the best paper possible. Finally, we advise you to steer clear of the renaissance art essay. Writing one is usually more difficult than you think.

visual analysis

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what to write about in an art essay

Visual Analysis: How to Analyze a Painting and Write an Essay

what to write about in an art essay

A visual analysis essay is an entry-level essay sometimes taught in high school and early university courses. Both communications and art history students use visual analysis to understand art and other visual messages. In our article, we will define the term and give an in-depth guide on how to look at a piece of art and write a visual analysis essay. Stay tuned until the end for a handy visual analysis essay example from our graduate paper writing service .

What Is Visual Analysis?

Visual analysis is essential in studying Communication, English, and Art History. It's a fundamental part of writing about art found in scholarly books, art magazines, and even undergraduate essays. You might encounter a visual analysis as a standalone assignment or as part of a larger research paper.

When you do this type of assignment, you're examining the basic elements of an artwork. These include things like its colors, lines, textures, and size. But it goes beyond just describing these elements. A good analysis also considers the historical context in which the artwork was created and tries to understand what it might mean to different people.

It also encourages you to look closely at details and think deeply about what an artwork is trying to say. This kind of analysis makes you appreciate art more and teaches you how to explain your ideas clearly based on what you see in the artwork.

What is the Purpose of Visual Analysis?

The purpose of a visual analysis is to recognize and understand the visual choices the artist made in creating the artwork. By looking closely at different elements, analysts can learn a lot about how an artwork was made and why the artist made certain choices. 

For example, studying how colors are used or how things are arranged in the artwork can reveal its themes or the emotions it's trying to convey. Also, understanding the time period when the artwork was created helps us see how societal changes and cultural ideas influenced its creation and how people reacted to it.

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How to Write a Visual Analysis Step-by-Step

To create an insightful visual analysis, you should not only examine the artwork in detail but also situate it within a broader cultural and historical framework. This process can be broken down into three main steps: 

  • Identifying, describing, and analyzing the visual material
  • Situating the visual material in its context
  • Interpreting and responding to the content of the visual material.

Let’s discuss each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Identify, Describe, and Analyze the Visual Material

Begin by clearly identifying the visual material you will analyze. This could be a painting, photograph, sculpture, advertisement, or any other visual artwork. Provide essential information such as the title, artist, date, and medium. 

Next, offer a detailed description of the visual material. Focus on the key elements and principles of design, such as:

  • Composition

Describe what you see without interpreting its meaning yet. For instance, note the use of bright colors, the placement of objects, the presence of figures, and the overall layout. This descriptive part forms the foundation of your analysis, allowing your reader to visualize the artwork.

Afterward, consider how the artist uses elements like contrast, balance, emphasis, movement, and harmony. Analyze the techniques and methods used and how they contribute to the overall effect of the piece. 

Step 2: Situate the Visual Material in its Context

To fully understand a piece of visual material, you need to consider its historical and cultural context. Start by researching the time period when the artwork was created. Look at the social, political, and economic conditions of that time, and see if there were any cultural movements that might have influenced the artwork.

Next, learn about the artist and their reasons for creating the visual material. Find out about the artist's life, other works they have made, and any statements they have made about this piece. Knowing the artist’s background can give you valuable insights into the artwork's purpose and message.

Finally, think about how the visual material was received by people when it was first shown and how it has impacted others over time. Look for reviews and public reactions, and see if it influenced other works or movements. This will help you understand the significance of the visual material in the larger cultural and artistic context.

Step 3: Interpret and Respond to the Content of the Visual Material

Now, combine your description, analysis, and understanding of the context to interpret what the visual material means. Talk about the themes, symbols, and messages the artwork conveys. Think about what it reveals about human experiences, society, or specific issues. Use evidence from earlier steps to support your interpretation.

Afterward, consider your own reaction to the visual material. How does it personally resonate with you? What emotions or thoughts does it provoke? Your personal response adds a subjective aspect to your analysis, making it more relatable.

Finally, summarize your findings and emphasize the importance of the visual material. Highlight key aspects from your identification, description, analysis, context, and interpretation. Then, it concludes by reinforcing the impact and significance of the visual material in both its original setting and its enduring influence.

Who Does Formal Analysis of Art

Most people who face visual analysis essays are Communication, English, and Art History students. Communications students explore mediums such as theater, print media, news, films, photos — basically anything. Comm is basically a giant, all-encompassing major where visual analysis is synonymous with Tuesday.

Art History students study the world of art to understand how it developed. They do visual analysis with every painting they look it at and discuss it in class.

English Literature students perform visual analysis too. Every writer paints an image in the head of their reader. This image, like a painting, can be clear, or purposefully unclear. It can be factual, to the point, or emotional and abstract like Ulysses, challenging you to search your emotions rather than facts and realities.

6 Questions to Answer Before Analyzing a Piece of Art

According to our experienced term paper writer , there are six important questions to ask before you start analyzing a piece of art. Answering these questions can make writing your analysis much easier:

  • Who is the artist, and what type of art do they create? - To place the artwork in context, you should identify the artist and understand the type of art they create. 
  • What was the artist's goal in creating this painting? - Determine why the artist created the artwork. Was it to convey a message, evoke emotions, or explore a theme?
  • When and where was this artwork made? - Knowing the time and place of creation helps understand the cultural and historical influences on the artwork.
  • What is the main focus or theme of this artwork? - Identify what the artwork is about. This could be a person, place, object, or abstract concept.
  • Who was the artwork created for? - To provide insight into its style and content, consider who the artist intended to reach with their work. 
  • What historical events or cultural factors influenced this painting? - Understanding the historical background can reveal more about the significance and meaning of the artwork.

Count on the support of the professional writers of our essay writing service .

Elements of the Visual Analysis 

To fully grasp formal analysis, it's important to differentiate between the elements and principles of visual analysis. The elements are the basic building blocks used to create a piece of art. These include:

Art Element 🎨 Description 📝
✏️Line A mark with length and direction, which can define shapes, create textures, and suggest movement.
🌗Value The lightness or darkness of a color, which helps to create depth and contrast.
🔶Shapes Two-dimensional areas with a defined boundary, such as circles, squares, and triangles.
🔲Forms Three-dimensional objects with volume and thickness, like cubes, spheres, and cylinders.
🌌Space The area around, between, and within objects, which can be used to create the illusion of depth.
🌈Color The hues, saturation, and brightness in artwork, used to create mood and visual interest.
🖐️Texture The surface quality of an object, which can be actual (how it feels) or implied (how it looks like it feels).

Principles of the Visual Analysis

The principles, on the other hand, are how these elements are combined and used together to create the overall effect of the artwork. These principles include:

Principle of Art 🎨 Description 📝
⚖️Balance The distribution of visual weight in a composition, which can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
🌗Contrast The difference between elements, such as light and dark, to create visual interest.
🏃‍♂️Movement The suggestion or illusion of motion in an artwork, guiding the viewer’s eye through the piece.
🎯Emphasis The creation of a focal point to draw attention to a particular area or element.
🔄Pattern The repetition of elements to create a sense of rhythm and consistency.
📏Proportion The relationship in size between different parts of an artwork, contributing to its harmony.
🔗Unity The sense of cohesiveness in an artwork, where all elements and principles work together effectively.

Visual Analysis Outline

It’s safe to use the five-paragraph essay structure for your visual analysis essay. If you are looking at a painting, take the most important aspects of it that stand out to you and discuss them in relation to your thesis. 

Visual Analysis Outline

In the introduction, you should:

  • Introduce the Artwork : Mention the title, artist, date, and medium of the artwork.
  • Provide a Brief Description : Offer a general overview of what the artwork depicts.
  • State the Purpose : Explain the goal of your analysis and what aspects you will focus on.
  • Thesis Statement : Present a clear thesis statement that outlines your main argument or interpretation of the artwork.

The body of the visual analysis is where you break down the visual material into its component parts and examine each one in detail. This section should be structured logically, with each paragraph focusing on a specific element or aspect of the visual material.

  • Description: Start with a detailed description of the visual material. Describe what you see without interpreting or analyzing it yet. Mention elements such as color, line, shape, texture, space, and composition. For instance, if analyzing a painting, describe the subject matter, the arrangement of figures, the use of light and shadow, etc.
  • Analysis of Visual Elements: Analyze how each visual element contributes to the overall effect of the material. Discuss the use of color (e.g., warm or cool tones, contrasts, harmonies), the role of lines (e.g., leading lines, contours), the shapes (e.g., geometric, organic), and the texture (e.g., smooth, rough). Consider how these elements work together to create a certain mood or message.
  • Contextual Analysis: Examine how the context in which the visual material was created and is being viewed influences its interpretation. This includes historical, cultural, social, and political factors. Discuss how these contextual elements impact the meaning and reception of the visual material.
  • Interpretation: Discuss your interpretation of the visual material. Explain how the visual elements and contextual factors contribute to the meaning you derive from it. Support your interpretation with specific examples from the material.
  • Comparative Analysis (if applicable): If relevant, compare the visual material with other works by the same creator or with similar works by different creators. Highlight similarities and differences in style, technique, and thematic content.

The conclusion of a visual analysis essay summarizes the main points of the analysis and restates the thesis in light of the evidence presented.

  • Restate Thesis: Reiterate your thesis statement in a way that reflects the depth of your analysis. Show how your understanding of the visual material has been supported by your detailed examination.
  • Summary of Main Points: Summarize the key points of your analysis. Highlight the most important findings and insights.
  • Implications: Discuss the broader implications of your analysis. What does your analysis reveal about the visual material? How does it contribute to our understanding of the creator's work, the time period, or the cultural context?
  • Closing Thought: End with a final thought that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. This could be a reflection on the significance of the visual material, a question for further consideration, or a statement about its impact on you or on a broader audience.

If you want a more in-depth look at the classic essay structure, feel free to visit our 5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY blog.

Visual Analysis Example

In this section, we've laid out two examples of visual analysis essays to show you how it's done effectively. Get inspired and learn from them!

Key Takeaways

Visual analysis essays are fundamental early in your communications and art history studies. Learning how to formally break down art is key, whether you're pursuing a career in art or communications.

Before jumping into analysis, get a solid grasp of the painter's background and life. Analyzing a painting isn't just for fun, as you need to pay attention to the small details the painter might have hidden. Knowing how to do this kind of assignment not only helps you appreciate art more but also lets you deeply understand the media messages you encounter every day. 

If you enjoyed this article and found it insightful, make sure to also check out the summary of Lord of the Flies and an article on Beowulf characters .

If you read the whole article and still have no idea how to start your visual analysis essay, let a professional writer do this job for you. Contact us, and we’ll write your work for a higher grade you deserve. All college essay service requests are processed fast.

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What are the 4 Steps of Visual Analysis?

How to write a formal visual analysis, what is the function of visual analysis.

Adam Jason

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

what to write about in an art essay

  • Added new sections
  • Added new writing steps
  • Added a new example
  • Updated an outline
  • Duke University. (n.d.). Visual Analysis . https://twp.duke.edu/sites/twp.duke.edu/files/file-attachments/visual-analysis.original.pdf  
  • Glatstein, J. (2019, December 9). Formal Visual Analysis: The Elements & Principles of Composition . Www.kennedy-Center.org. https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/resources-for-educators/classroom-resources/articles-and-how-tos/articles/educators/visual-arts/formal-visual-analysis-the-elements-and-principles-of-compositoin/  
  • MADA: Visual analysis . (n.d.). Student Academic Success. https://www.monash.edu/student-academic-success/excel-at-writing/annotated-assessment-samples/art-design-and-architecture/mada-visual-analysis  

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay

University of Texas

  • University of Texas Libraries

Art and Art History

  • How to Write About Art
  • Overview Resources
  • Find Art & Art History Books
  • Find Art and Art History Articles
  • Find Images
  • Color Resources
  • Collecting & Provenance This link opens in a new window
  • Art Collections at UT
  • Foundry @ FAL Information
  • Professional Art Organizations

Write and Cite

  • Cite Sources UT Austin Guide Learn more about what citations are and how to manage them. Includes information about citation tools like Noodle Tools and Zotero.
  • UT Austin University Writing Center A resource for help with your writing. The Writing Center includes one on one consultations as well as classes.
  • OWL Purdue - Chicago Style The OWL Purdue is a great resource for writing and citation help. Chicago Style is the preferred citation format for art history. The OWL also includes citation help for other styles include APA and MLA.

Writing Aids and Publication Manuals

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ARTS - Herzberg: Writing Essays About Art

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  • Current Artists and Events
  • Local Art Venues
  • Video and Image Resources
  • Writing Essays About Art
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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

What is a compare / contrast essay.

In Art History and Appreciation, contrast / compare essays allow us to examine the features of two or more artworks.

  • Comparison -- points out similarities in the two artworks
  • Contrast -- points out the differences in the two artworks

Why would you want to write this type of essay?

  • To inform your reader about characteristics of each art piece.
  • To show a relationship between different works of art.
  • To give your reader an insight into the process of artistic invention.
  • Use your assignment sheet from your class to find specific characteristics that your professor wants you to compare.

How is Writing a Compare / Contrast Essay in Art History Different from Other Subjects?

You should use art vocabulary to describe your subjects..

  • Find art terms in your textbook or an art glossary or dictionary

You should have an image of the works you are writing about in front of you while you are writing your essay.

  • The images should be of  high enough quality that you can see the small details of the works. 
  • You will use them when describing visual details of each art work.

Works of art are highly influenced by the culture, historical time period and movement in which they were created.

  • You should gather information about these BEFORE you start writing your essay.

If you describe a characteristic of one piece of art, you must describe how the OTHER piece of art treats that characteristic.

Example:  You are comparing a Greek amphora with a sculpture from the Tang Dynasty in China.

Greek amphora

If you point out that the color palette of the amphora is limited to black, white and red, you must also write about the colors used in the horse sculpture.

Organizing Your Essay

Thesis statement.

The thesis for a comparison/contrast essay will present the subjects under consideration and indicate whether the focus will be on their similarities, on their differences, or both.

Thesis example using the amphora and horse sculpture -- Differences:

While they are both made from clay, the Greek amphora and the Tang Dynasty horse served completely different functions in their respective cultures.

Thesis example -- Similarities:

Ancient Greek and Tang Dynasty ceramics have more in common than most people realize.

Thesis example -- Both:

The Greek amphora and the Tang Dynasty horse were used in different ways in different parts of the world, but they have similarities that may  not be apparent to the casual viewer.

Visualizing a Compare & Contrast Essay: 

Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) .

  • Creates interest in your essay
  • Introduces the two art works that you will be comparing.
  • States your thesis, which mentions the art works you are considering and may indicate whether the focus will be on similarities, differences, or both. 

Body paragraphs 

  • Make and explain a point about the first subject and then about the second subject 
  • Example: While both superheroes fight crime, their motivation is vastly different. Superman is an idealist, who fights for justice …… while Batman is out for vengeance. 

Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs) 

  • Provides a satisfying finish 
  • Leaves your reader with a strong final impression. 

Downloadable Essay Guide

  • How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay in Art History Downloadable version of the description on this LibGuide.

Questions to Ask Yourself After You Have Finished Your Essay

  • Are all the important points of comparison or contrast included and explained in enough detail?
  • Have you addressed all points that your professor specified in your assignment?
  • Do you use transitions to connect your arguments so that your essay flows into a coherent whole, rather than just a random collection of statements?
  • Do your arguments support your thesis statement?

Art Terminology

  • British National Gallery: Art Glossary Includes entries on artists, art movements, techniques, etc.

Lee College Writing Center

Writing Center tutors can help you with any writing assignment for any class from the time you receive the assignment instructions until you turn it in, including:

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • MLA / APA formats
  • Grammar and paragraph unity
  • Thesis statements
  • Second set of eyes before turning in

Contact a tutor:

  • Phone: 281-425-6534
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Other Compare / Contrast Writing Resources

  • Southwestern University Guide for Writing About Art This easy to follow guide explains the basic of writing an art history paper.
  • Purdue Online Writing Center: writing essays in art history Describes how to write an art history Compare and Contrast paper.
  • Stanford University: a brief guide to writing in art history See page 24 of this document for an explanation of how to write a compare and contrast essay in art history.
  • Duke University: writing about paintings Downloadable handout provides an overview of areas you should cover when you write about paintings, including a list of questions your essay should answer.
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what to write about in an art essay

How to Write an Art Essay, Structure and Topics

Learning how to write an art essay can be a process that takes time. Ensuring you have the right structure, topics, and overall quality is important to how your essay is received and marked if it’s an assessment. Writing a custom essay on a specific subject takes a lot of research, time, and patience, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a successful art essay.

Listen to the Experts

If it’s your first time writing an essay about art, have a chat with people who have done it before and have excelled at it. Asking an art essay expert for advice will be useful for a number of reasons. They have been through the process you’re currently going through, they’ve overcome the challenges and learned the ins and outs of what it takes to write a high-quality art essay. Have a chat to them about what they recommend before getting down to the nitty gritty of writing your essay.

Structure Your Essay

When it comes to an art essay, you can follow the tried and tested traditional essay formula. With an introduction paragraph, three or four body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph, your structure will make sense and be easy to follow. Before you begin writing, be sure to assign a focus to each of your paragraphs and figure out how you’re going to link them to each other. A well-structured essay introduces new ideas whilst linking back to previous ideas that the essay has addressed. Draw or write out a rough structure with all of these little details penciled in before you begin to write your art essay.

Choosing a Topic

Reference appropriately.

Whether you’re writing an art essay for a project in a class or doing it for your own interest and reasons, it’s important to credit your sources of information. In a lot of classes, you’ll be asked to reference using a specific style, and it’s important to adhere to that instruction. If you’re on your own, you can choose what reference style works best for you and your work. MLA is a popular choice when it comes to art essays. Be sure to keep track of the sources for your essay information, and credit any artists whose pieces you use as a reference in your essay. Images may require a different referencing style depending on your essay so be sure to follow that specific style of referencing accordingly to avoid plagiarism.

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Art Essay Examples

Cathy A.

Art Essay Examples to Get You Inspired - Top 10 Samples

Published on: May 4, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

art essay examples

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Are you struggling to come up with ideas for your art essay? Or are you looking for examples to help guide you in the right direction? 

Look no further, as we have got you covered!

In this blog, we provide a range of art writing examples that cover different art forms, time periods, and themes. Whether you're interested in the classics or contemporary art, we have something for everyone. These examples offer insight into how to structure your essay, analyze art pieces, and write compelling arguments.

So, let's explore our collection of art essay examples and take the first step toward becoming a better art writer!

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Good Art Essay Examples

In the following section, we will examine a selection of art essay examples that are inspiring for various academic levels.

College Art Essay Examples

Let’s take a look at college art essay examples below:  

The Intersection of Art and Politics: An Analysis of Picasso's Guernica

The Role of Nature in American Art: A Comparative Study

University Art Essay Examples

University-level art essay assignments often differ in length and complexity. Here are two examples:

Gender and Identity in Contemporary Art: A Comparative Study

Art and Activism: The Role of Street Art in Political Movements

A Level Art Essay Examples

Below are some art paper examples A level. Check out: 

The Use Of Color In Wassily Kandinsky's Composition Viii

The Influence of African Art on Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'avignon

A Level Fine Art Essay Examples

If you're a student of fine arts, these A-level fine arts examples can serve as inspiration for your own work.

The Use Of Texture In Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night

Exploring Identity Through Portraiture: A Comparative Study

Art Essay Examples IELTS 

The Impact of Art on Mental Health

The Effects of Technology on Art And Creativity

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

AP Art Essay Examples

A Comparison of Neoclassical and Romantic Art

An Examination Of The Effects Of Globalization On Contemporary Art

Types of Art Essay with Examples

Art essays can be categorized into different types. Let's take a brief look at these types with examples:

Art Criticism Essay : A critical essay analyzing and evaluating an artwork, its elements, and its meaning.

The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali: A Critical Analysis

Art History Essay: A comprehensive essay that examines the historical context, development, and significance of an artwork or art movement.

The Renaissance: A Rebirth of Artistic Expression

Exhibition Review: A review of an art exhibition that evaluates the quality and significance of the artwork on display.

A Review of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Exhibition

Contemporary Art Essay: An essay that explores and analyzes contemporary art and its cultural and social context.

The Intersection of Technology and Art in Contemporary Society

Modern Art Essay: An essay that examines modern art and its significance in the development of modernism.

Cubism and its Influence on Modern Art [insert pdf]

Art Theory Essay: An essay that analyzes and critiques various theories and approaches to art.

Feminist Art Theory: A Critical Analysis of its Impact on Contemporary Art [insert pdf]

Additional Art Essay Example

Let’s take a brief look at some added art essay samples:

Artwork Essay Example

Artist Essay Example

Advanced Higher Art Essay Example

Common Art Essay Prompts

Here are some common art essay topics that you may encounter during your coursework:

  • Describe a piece of artwork that has inspired you.
  • A comparative analysis of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Michelangelo's David.
  • Analyze the cultural significance of a particular art movement.
  • Discuss the relationship between art and politics.
  • Compare and contrast two works of art from different time periods or cultures.
  • The representation of identity in art
  • The Evolution of Artists' Paintings:
  • From Traditional to Contemporary Art
  • The representation of identity in Frida Kahlo's self-portraits.
  • The significance of oil on canvas in the history of art.
  • The significance of the Mona Lisa in the Italian Renaissance

Art Essay Topics IELTS

Here are some art essay topics for IELTS students. Take a look: 

  • The value of art education.
  • The role of museums in preserving art and culture.
  • The impact of globalization on contemporary art.
  • The influence of technology on art and artists.
  • The significance of public art in urban environments.

Tips For Writing a Successful Art Essay

Here are some tips for writing a stand-out art essay:

  • Develop a clear thesis statement that guides your essay: Your thesis statement should clearly and concisely state the main argument of your essay.
  • Conduct thorough research and analysis of the artwork you are writing about : This includes examining the visual elements of the artwork, researching the artist, and considering the historical significance.
  • Use formal and precise language to discuss the artwork: Avoid using colloquial language and instead focus on using formal language to describe the artwork.
  • Include specific examples from the artwork to support your arguments: Use specific details from the artwork to back up your analysis.
  • Avoid personal bias and subjective language: Your essay should be objective and avoid using personal opinions or subjective language.
  • Consider the historical and cultural context of the artwork: Analyze the artwork in the context of the time period and cultural context in which they were created.
  • Edit and proofread your essay carefully before submitting it: Ensure your essay is well-organized, coherent, and free of grammatical errors and typos.
  • Use proper citation format when referencing sources: Follow the appropriate citation style guidelines and give credit to all sources used in your essay.
  • Be concise and focused in your writing: Stick to your main thesis statement and avoid going off-topic or including irrelevant information.
  • Read your essay aloud to ensure clarity and coherence: Reading your essay out loud can help you identify inconsistencies or any other mistakes.

The Bottom Line!

We hope that the art essay examples we've explored have provided you with inspiration for your own essay. Art offers endless possibilities for analysis, and your essay is a chance to showcase your unique opinions.

Use these examples as a guide to craft an essay that reflects your personality while demonstrating your knowledge of the subject.

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what to write about in an art essay

How to analyze an artwork: a step-by-step guide

Last Updated on August 16, 2023

This article has been written for high school art students who are working upon a critical study of art, sketchbook annotation or an essay-based artist study. It contains a list of questions to guide students through the process of analyzing visual material of any kind, including drawing, painting, mixed media, graphic design, sculpture, printmaking, architecture, photography, textiles, fashion and so on (the word ‘artwork’ in this article is all-encompassing). The questions include a wide range of specialist art terms, prompting students to use subject-specific vocabulary in their responses. It combines advice from art analysis textbooks as well as from high school art teachers who have first-hand experience teaching these concepts to students.

COPYRIGHT NOTE: This material is available as a printable art analysis PDF handout . This may be used free of charge in a classroom situation. To share this material with others, please use the social media buttons at the bottom of this page. Copying, sharing, uploading or distributing this article (or the PDF) in any other way is not permitted.

READ NEXT: How to make an artist website (and why you need one)

How to analyse a piece of art

Why do we study art?

Almost all high school art students carry out critical analysis of artist work, in conjunction with creating practical work. Looking critically at the work of others allows students to understand compositional devices and then explore these in their own art. This is one of the best ways for students to learn.

Instructors who assign formal analyses want you to look—and look carefully. Think of the object as a series of decisions that an artist made. Your job is to figure out and describe, explain, and interpret those decisions and why the artist may have made them. – The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 10

Art analysis tips

  • ‘I like this’ or ‘I don’t like this’ without any further explanation or justification is not analysis . Personal opinions must be supported with explanation, evidence or justification.
  • ‘Analysis of artwork’ does not mean ‘description of artwork’ . To gain high marks, students must move beyond stating the obvious and add perceptive, personal insight. Students should demonstrate higher order thinking – the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize information and ideas. For example, if color has been used to create strong contrasts in certain areas of an artwork, students might follow this observation with a thoughtful assumption about why this is the case – perhaps a deliberate attempt by the artist to draw attention to a focal point, helping to convey thematic ideas.
Although description is an important part of a formal analysis, description is not enough on its own. You must introduce and contextualize your descriptions of the formal elements of the work so the reader understands how each element influences the work’s overall effect on the viewer.  – Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art 2
  • Cover a range of different visual elements and design principles . It is common for students to become experts at writing about one or two elements of composition, while neglecting everything else – for example, only focusing upon the use of color in every artwork studied. This results in a narrow, repetitive and incomplete analysis of the artwork. Students should ensure that they cover a wide range of art elements and design principles, as well as address context and meaning, where required. The questions below are designed to ensure that students cover a broad range of relevant topics within their analysis.
  • Write alongside the artwork discussed . In almost all cases, written analysis should be presented alongside the work discussed, so that it is clear which artwork comments refer to. This makes it easier for examiners to follow and evaluate the writing.
  • Support writing with visual analysis . It is almost always helpful for high school students to support written material with sketches, drawings and diagrams that help the student understand and analyse the piece of art. This might include composition sketches; diagrams showing the primary structure of an artwork; detailed enlargements of small sections; experiments imitating use of media or technique; or illustrations overlaid with arrows showing leading lines and so on. Visual investigation of this sort plays an important role in many artist studies.
Making sketches or drawings from works of art is the traditional, centuries-old way that artists have learned from each other. In doing this, you will engage with a work and an artist’s approach even if you previously knew nothing about it. If possible do this whenever you can, not from a postcard, the internet or a picture in a book, but from the actual work itself. This is useful because it forces you to look closely at the work and to consider elements you might not have noticed before. – Susie Hodge, How to Look at Art 7

Finally, when writing about art, students should communicate with clarity; demonstrate subject-specific knowledge; use correct terminology; generate personal responses; and reference all content and ideas sourced from others. This is explained in more detail in our article about high school sketchbooks .

What should students write about?

Although each aspect of composition is treated separately in the questions below, students should consider the relationship between visual elements (line, shape, form, value/tone, color/hue, texture/surface, space) and how these interact to form design principles (such as unity, variety, emphasis, dominance, balance, symmetry, harmony, movement, contrast, rhythm, pattern, scale, proportion) to communicate meaning.

As complex as works of art typically are, there are really only three general categories of statements one can make about them. A statement addresses form, content or context (or their various interrelations). – Dr. Robert J. Belton, Art History: A Preliminary Handbook, The University of British Columbia 5
…a formal analysis – the result of looking closely – is an analysis of the form that the artist produces; that is, an analysis of the work of art, which is made up of such things as line, shape, color, texture, mass, composition. These things give the stone or canvas its form, its expression, its content, its meaning. – Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art 2

This video by Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Naraelle Hohensee provides an excellent example of how to analyse a piece of art (it is important to note that this video is an example of ‘formal analysis’ and doesn’t include contextual analysis, which is also required by many high school art examination boards, in addition to the formal analysis illustrated here):

Composition analysis: a list of questions

The questions below are designed to facilitate direct engagement with an artwork and to encourage a breadth and depth of understanding of the artwork studied. They are intended to prompt higher order thinking and to help students arrive at well-reasoned analysis.

It is not expected that students answer every question (doing so would result in responses that are excessively long, repetitious or formulaic); rather, students should focus upon areas that are most helpful and relevant for the artwork studied (for example, some questions are appropriate for analyzing a painting, but not a sculpture). The words provided as examples are intended to help students think about appropriate vocabulary to use when discussing a particular topic. Definitions of more complex words have been provided.

Students should not attempt to copy out questions and then answer them; rather the questions should be considered a starting point for writing bullet pointed annotation or sentences in paragraph form.

How to write art analysis

CONTENT, CONTEXT AND MEANING

Subject matter / themes / issues / narratives / stories / ideas.

There can be different, competing, and contradictory interpretations of the same artwork. An artwork is not necessarily about what the artist wanted it to be about. – Terry Barrett, Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary 6
Our interest in the painting grows only when we forget its title and take an interest in the things that it does not mention…” – Françoise Barbe-Gall, How to Look at a Painting 8
  • Does the artwork fall within an established genre (i.e. historical; mythical; religious; portraiture; landscape; still life; fantasy; architectural)?
  • Are there any recognisable objects, places or scenes ? How are these presented (i.e. idealized; realistic; indistinct; hidden; distorted; exaggerated; stylized; reflected; reduced to simplified/minimalist form; primitive; abstracted; concealed; suggested; blurred or focused)?
  • Have people been included? What can we tell about them (i.e. identity; age; attire; profession; cultural connections; health; family relationships; wealth; mood/expression)? What can we learn from their pose (i.e. frontal; profile; partly turned; body language)? Where are they looking (i.e. direct eye contact with viewer; downcast; interested in other subjects within the artwork)? Can we work out relationships between figures from the way they are posed?
What do the clothing, furnishings, accessories (horses, swords, dogs, clocks, business ledgers and so forth), background, angle of the head or posture of the head and body, direction of the gaze, and facial expression contribute to our sense of the figure’s social identity (monarch, clergyman, trophy wife) and personality (intense, cool, inviting)? – Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art 2
  • What props and important details are included (drapery; costumes; adornment; architectural elements; emblems; logos; motifs)? How do aspects of setting support the primary subject? What is the effect of including these items within the arrangement (visual unity; connections between different parts of the artwork; directs attention; surprise; variety and visual interest; separates / divides / borders; transformation from one object to another; unexpected juxtaposition)?
If a waiter served you a whole fish and a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the same plate, your surprise might be caused by the juxtaposition , or the side-by-side contrast, of the two foods. – Vocabulary.com
A motif is an element in a composition or design that can be used repeatedly for decorative, structural, or iconographic purposes. A motif can be representational or abstract, and it can be endowed with symbolic meaning. Motifs can be repeated in multiple artworks and often recur throughout the life’s work of an individual artist. – John A. Parks, Universal Principles of Art 11
  • Does the artwork communicate an action, narrative or story (i.e. historical event or illustrate a scene from a story)? Has the arrangement been embellished, set up or contrived?
  • Does the artwork explore movement ? Do you gain a sense that parts of the artwork are about to change, topple or fall (i.e. tension; suspense)? Does the artwork capture objects in motion (i.e. multiple or sequential images; blurred edges; scene frozen mid-action; live performance art; video art; kinetic art)?
  • What kind of abstract elements are shown (i.e. bars; shapes; splashes; lines)? Have these been derived from or inspired by realistic forms? Are they the result of spontaneous, accidental creation or careful, deliberate arrangement?
  • Does the work include the appropriation of work by other artists, such as within a parody or pop art? What effect does this have (i.e. copyright concerns)?
Parody: mimicking the appearance and/or manner of something or someone, but with a twist for comic effect or critical comment, as in Saturday Night Live’s political satires – Dr. Robert J. Belton, Art History: A Preliminary Handbook, The University of British Columbia 5
  • Does the subject captivate an instinctual response , such as items that are informative, shocking or threatening for humans (i.e. dangerous places; abnormally positioned items; human faces; the gaze of people; motion; text)? Heap map tracking has demonstrated that these elements catch our attention, regardless of where they are positioned –  James Gurney writes more about this fascinating topic .
  • What kind of text has been used (i.e. font size; font weight; font family; stenciled; hand-drawn; computer-generated; printed)? What has influenced this choice of text?
  • Do key objects or images have symbolic value or provide a cue to meaning ? How does the artwork convey deeper, conceptual themes (i.e. allegory; iconographic elements; signs; metaphor; irony)?
Allegory is a device whereby abstract ideas can be communicated using images of the concrete world. Elements, whether figures or objects, in a painting or sculpture are endowed with symbolic meaning. Their relationships and interactions combine to create more complex meanings. – John A. Parks, Universal Principles of Art 11
An iconography is a particular range or system of types of image used by an artist or artists to convey particular meanings. For example in Christian religious painting there is an iconography of images such as the lamb which represents Christ, or the dove which represents the Holy Spirit. – Tate.org.uk
  • What tone of voice does the artwork have (i.e. deliberate; honest; autobiographical; obvious; direct; unflinching; confronting; subtle; ambiguous; uncertain; satirical; propagandistic)?
  • What is your emotional response to the artwork? What is the overall mood (i.e positive; energetic; excitement; serious; sedate; peaceful; calm; melancholic; tense; uneasy; uplifting; foreboding; calm; turbulent)? Which subject matter choices help to communicate this mood (i.e. weather and lighting conditions; color of objects and scenes)?
  • Does the title change the way you interpret the work?
  • Were there any design constraints relating to the subject matter or theme/s (i.e. a sculpture commissioned to represent a specific subject, place or idea)?
  • Are there thematic connections with your own project? What can you learn from the way the artist has approached this subject?

Wider contexts

All art is in part about the world in which it emerged. – Terry Barrett, Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary 6
  • Supported by research, can you identify when, where and why the work was created and its original intention or purpose (i.e. private sale; commissioned for a specific owner; commemorative; educational; promotional; illustrative; decorative; confrontational; useful or practical utility; communication; created in response to a design brief; private viewing; public viewing)? In what way has this background influenced the outcome (i.e. availability of tools, materials or time; expectations of the patron / audience)?
  • Where is the place of construction or design site and how does this influence the artwork (i.e. reflects local traditions, craftsmanship, or customs; complements surrounding designs; designed to accommodate weather conditions / climate; built on historic site)? Was the artwork originally located somewhere different?
  • Which events and surrounding environments have influenced this work (i.e. natural events; social movements such as feminism; political events, economic situations, historic events, religious settings, cultural events)? What effect did these have?
  • Is the work characteristic of an artistic style, movement or time period ? Has it been influenced by trends, fashions or ideologies ? How can you tell?
  • Can you make any relevant connections or comparisons with other artworks ? Have other artists explored a similar subject in a similar way? Did this occur before or after this artwork was created?
  • Can you make any relevant connections to other fields of study or expression (i.e. geography, mathematics, literature, film, music, history or science)?
  • Which key biographical details about the artist are relevant in understanding this artwork (upbringing and personal situation; family and relationships; psychological state; health and fitness; socioeconomic status; employment; ethnicity; culture; gender; education, religion; interests, attitudes, values and beliefs)?
  • Is this artwork part of a larger body of work ? Is this typical of the work the artist is known for?
  • How might your own upbringing, beliefs and biases distort your interpretation of the artwork? Does your own response differ from the public response, that of the original audience and/or  interpretation by critics ?
  • How do these wider contexts compare to the contexts surrounding your own work?

COMPOSITION AND FORMAT

  • What is the overall size, shape and orientation of the artwork (i.e. vertical, horizontal, portrait, landscape or square)? Has this format been influenced by practical considerations (i.e. availability of materials; display constraints ; design brief restrictions; screen sizes; common aspect ratios in film or photography such as 4:3 or 2:3; or paper sizes such as A4, A3, A2, A1)?
  • How do images fit within the frame (cropped; truncated; shown in full)? Why is this format appropriate for the subject matter?
  • Are different parts of the artwork physically separate, such as within a diptych or triptych ?
  • Where are the boundaries of the artwork (i.e. is the artwork self-contained; compact; intersecting; sprawling)?
  • Is the artwork site-specific or designed to be displayed across multiple locations or environments?
  • Does the artwork have a fixed, permanent format, or was it  modified, moved or adjusted over time ? What causes such changes (i.e. weather and exposure to the elements – melting, erosion, discoloration, decaying, wind movement, surface abrasion; structural failure – cracking, breaking; damage caused by unpredictable events, such as fire or vandalism; intentional movement, such as rotation or sensor response; intentional impermanence, such as an installation assembled for an exhibition and removed afterwards; viewer interaction; additions, renovations and restoration by subsequent artists or users; a project so expansive it takes years to construct)? How does this change affect the artwork? Are there stylistic variances between parts?
  • Is the artwork viewed from one angle or position, or are dynamic viewpoints and serial vision involved? (Read more about Gordon Cullen’s concept of serial vision here ).
  • How does the scale and format of the artwork relate to the environment where it is positioned, used, installed or hung (i.e. harmonious with landscape typography; sensitive to adjacent structures; imposing or dwarfed by surroundings; human scale)? Is the artwork designed to be viewed from one vantage point (i.e. front facing; viewed from below; approached from a main entrance; set at human eye level) or many? Are images taken from the best angle?
  • Would a similar format benefit your own project? Why / why not?

Structure / layout

  • Has the artwork been organised using a formal system of arrangement or mathematical proportion (i.e. rule of thirds; golden ratio or spiral; grid format; geometric; dominant triangle; or circular composition) or is the arrangement less predictable (i.e. chaotic, random, accidental, fragmented, meandering, scattered; irregular or spontaneous)? How does this system of arrangement help with the communication of ideas? Can you draw a diagram to show the basic structure of the artwork?
  • Can you see a clear intention with alignment and positioning of parts within the artwork (i.e. edges aligned; items spaced equally; simple or complex arrangement; overlapping, clustered or concentrated objects; dispersed, separate items; repetition of forms; items extending beyond the frame; frames within frames; bordered perimeter or patterned edging; broken borders)? What effect do these visual devices have (i.e. imply hierarchy; help the viewer understand relationships between parts of artwork; create rhythm)?
  • Does the artwork have a primary axis of symmetry (vertical, diagonal, horizontal)? Can you locate a center of balance? Is the artwork symmetrical, asymmetrical (i.e. stable), radial, or intentionally unbalanced (i.e. to create tension or unease)?
  • Can you draw a diagram to illustrate emphasis and dominance (i.e. ‘blocking in’ mass, where the ‘heavier’ dominant forms appear in the composition)? Where are dominant items located within the frame?
  • How do your eyes move through the composition?
  • Could your own artwork use a similar organisational structure?
  • What types of linear mark-making are shown (thick; thin; short; long; soft; bold; delicate; feathery; indistinct; faint; irregular; intermittent; freehand; ruled; mechanical; expressive; loose; blurred; dashing; cross-hatching; meandering; gestural, fluid; flowing; jagged; spiky; sharp)? What atmosphere, moods, emotions or ideas do these evoke?
  • Are there any interrupted, suggested or implied lines (i.e. lines that can’t literally be seen, but the viewer’s brain connects the dots between separate elements)?
  • Repeating lines : may simulate material qualities, texture, pattern or rhythm;
  • Boundary lines : may segment, divide or separate different areas;
  • Leading lines : may manipulate the viewer’s gaze, directing vision or lead the eye to focal points ( eye tracking studies indicate that our eyes leap from one point of interest to another, rather than move smoothly or predictably along leading lines 9 . Lines may nonetheless help to establish emphasis by ‘pointing’ towards certain items );
  • Parallel lines : may create a sense of depth or movement through space within a landscape;
  • Horizontal lines : may create a sense of stability and permanence;
  • Vertical lines : may suggest height, reaching upwards or falling;
  • Intersecting perpendicular lines : may suggest rigidity, strength;
  • Abstract lines : may balance the composition, create contrast or emphasis;
  • Angular / diagonal lines : may suggest tension or unease;
  • Chaotic lines : may suggest a sense of agitation or panic;
  • Underdrawing, construction lines or contour lines : describe form ( learn more about contour lines in our article about line drawing );
  • Curving / organic lines : may suggest nature, peace, movement or energy.
  • What is the relationship between line and three-dimensional form? Are  outlines used to define form and edges?
  • Would it be appropriate to use line in a similar way within your own artwork?

leading lines - composition

Shape and form

  • Can you identify a dominant visual language within the shapes and forms shown (i.e. geometric; angular; rectilinear; curvilinear; organic; natural; fragmented; distorted; free-flowing; varied; irregular; complex; minimal)? Why is this visual language appropriate?
  • How are the edges of forms treated (i.e. do they fade away or blur at the edges, as if melting into the page; ripped or torn; distinct and hard-edged; or, in the words of James Gurney, 9 do they ‘dissolve into sketchy lines, paint strokes or drips’)?
  • Are there any three-dimensional forms or relief elements within the artwork, such as carved pieces, protruding or sculptural elements? How does this affect the viewing of the work from different angles?
  • Is there a variety or repetition of shapes/forms? What effect does this have (i.e. repetition may reinforce ideas, balance composition and/or create harmony / visual unity; variety may create visual interest or overwhelm the viewer with chaos)?
  • How are shapes organised in relation to each other, or with the frame of the artwork (i.e. grouped; overlapping; repeated; echoed; fused edges; touching at tangents; contrasts in scale or size; distracting or awkward junctions)?
  • Are silhouettes (external edges of objects) considered?
All shapes have silhouettes, and vision research has shown that one of the first tasks of perception is to be able to sort out the silhouette shapes of each of the elements in a scene. – James Gurney, Imaginative Realism 9
  • Are forms designed with ergonomics and human scale in mind?
Ergonomics: an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely – Merriam-webster.com
  • Can you identify which forms are functional or structural , versus ornamental or decorative ?
  • Have any forms been disassembled, ‘cut away’ or exposed , such as a sectional drawing? What is the purpose of this (i.e. to explain construction methods; communicate information; dramatic effect)?
  • Would it be appropriate to use shape and form in a similar way within your own artwork?

Value / tone / light

  • Has a wide tonal range been used in the artwork (i.e. a broad range of darks, highlights and mid-tones) or is the tonal range limited (i.e. pale and faint; subdued; dull; brooding and dark overall; strong highlights and shadows, with little mid-tone values)? What is the effect of this?
  • Where are the light sources within the artwork or scene? Is there a single consistent light source or multiple sources of light (sunshine; light bulbs; torches; lamps; luminous surfaces)? What is the effect of these choices (i.e. mimics natural lighting conditions at a certain time of day or night; figures lit from the side to clarify form; contrasting background or spot-lighting used to accentuate a focal area; soft and diffused lighting used to mute contrasts and minimize harsh shadows; dappled lighting to signal sunshine broken by surrounding leaves; chiaroscuro used to exaggerate theatrical drama and impact; areas cloaked in darkness to minimize visual complexity; to enhance our understanding of narrative, mood or meaning)?
One of the most important ways in which artists can use light to achieve particular effects is in making strong contrasts between light and dark. This contrast is often described as chiaroscuro . – Matthew Treherne, Analysing Paintings, University of Leeds 3
  • Are representations of three-dimensional objects and figures flat or tonally  modeled ? How do different tonal values change from one to the next (i.e. gentle, smooth gradations; abrupt tonal bands)?
  • Are there any unusual, reflective or transparent surfaces, mediums or materials which reflect or transmit light in a special way?
  • Has tone been used to help communicate atmospheric perspective (i.e. paler and bluer as objects get further away)?
  • Are gallery or environmental light sources where the artwork is displayed fixed or fluctuating? Does the work appear different when viewed at different times of day? How does this affect your interpretation of the work?
  • Are shadows depicted within the artwork? What is the effect of these shadows (i.e. anchors objects to the page; creates the illusion of depth and space; creates dramatic contrasts)?
  • Do sculptural protrusions or relief elements catch the light and/or create cast shadows or pockets of shadow upon the artwork? How does this influence the viewer’s experience?
  • How has tone been used to help direct the viewer’s attention to focal areas?
  • Would it be appropriate to use value / tone in a similar way within your own artwork? Why / why not?

Color / hue

  • Can you view the true color of the artwork (i.e. are you viewing a low-quality reproduction or examining the artwork in poor lighting)?
  • Which  color schemes have been used within the artwork (i.e. harmonious; complementary; primary; monochrome; earthy; warm; cool/cold)? Has the artist used a broad or limited color palette (i.e. variety or unity)? Which colors dominate?
  • How would you describe the intensity of the colors (vibrant; bright; vivid; glowing; pure; saturated; strong; dull; muted; pale; subdued; bleached; diluted)?
  • Are colors transparent or opaque ? Can you see reflected color?
  • Has color contrast been used within the artwork (i.e. extreme contrasts; juxtaposition of complementary colors; garish / clashing / jarring)? Are there any abrupt color changes or unexpected uses of color?
  • What is the effect of these color choices (i.e. expressing symbolic or thematic ideas; descriptive or realistic depiction of local color; emphasizing focal areas; creating the illusion of aerial perspective; relationships with colors in surrounding environment; creating balance; creating rhythm/pattern/repetition; unity and variety within the artwork; lack of color places emphasis upon shape, detail and form)? What kind of atmosphere do these colors create?
It is often said that warm colors (red, orange, yellow) come forward and produce a sense of excitement (yellow is said to suggest warmth and happiness, as in the smiley face), whereas cool colors (blue, green) recede and have a calming effect. Experiments, however, have proved inconclusive; the response to color – despite clichés about seeing red or feeling blue – is highly personal, highly cultural, highly varied. – Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art 2
  • Would it be appropriate to use color in a similar way within your own artwork?

Texture / surface / pattern

  • Are there any interesting textural, tactile or surface qualities within the artwork (i.e. bumpy; grooved; indented; scratched; stressed; rough; smooth; shiny; varnished; glassy; glossy; polished; matte; sandy; grainy; gritted; leathery; spiky; silky)? How are these created (i.e. inherent qualities of materials; impasto mediums; sculptural materials; illusions or implied texture , such as cross-hatching; finely detailed and intricate areas; organic patterns such as foliage or small stones; repeating patterns ; ornamentation)?
  • How are textural or patterned elements positioned and what effect does this have (i.e. used intermittently to provide variety; repeating pattern creates rhythm ; patterns broken create focal points ; textured areas create visual links and unity between separate areas of the artwork; balance between detailed/textured areas and simpler areas; glossy surface creates a sense of luxury; imitation of texture conveys information about a subject, i.e. softness of fur or strands of hair)?
  • Would it be appropriate to use texture / surface in a similar way within your own artwork?
Industrial and architectural landscapes are particularly concerned with the arrangement of geometries and form in space… Dr. Ben Guy, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment using CGI Digital Twins, Urban CGI 12
  • Is the pictorial space shallow or deep? How does the artwork create the illusion of depth (i.e. layering of foreground, middle-ground, background ; overlapping of objects; use of shadows to anchor objects; positioning of items in relationship to the horizon line; linear perspective ( learn more about one point perspective here ); tonal modeling; relationships with adjacent objects and those in close proximity – including the human form – to create a sense of scale ; spatial distortions or optical illusions; manipulating scale of objects to create ‘surrealist’ spaces where true scale is unknown)?
  • Has an unusual viewpoint been used (i.e. worm’s view; aerial view, looking out a window or through a doorway; a scene reflected in a mirror or shiny surface; looking through leaves; multiple viewpoints combined)? What is the effect of this viewpoint (i.e. allows certain parts of the scene to be dominant and overpowering or squashed, condensed and foreshortened ; or suggests a narrative between two separate spaces ; provides more information about a space than would normally be seen)?
  • Is the emphasis upon mass or void ? How densely arranged are components within the artwork or picture plane? What is the relationship between object and surrounding space (i.e. compact / crowded / busy / densely populated, with little surrounding space; spacious; careful interplay between positive and negative space; objects clustered to create areas of visual interest)? What is the effect of this (i.e. creates a sense of emptiness or isolation; business / visual clutter creates a feeling of chaos or claustrophobia)?
  • How does the artwork engage with real space – in and around the artwork (i.e. self-contained; closed off; eye contact with viewer; reaching outwards)? Is the viewer expected to move through the artwork? What is the relationship between interior and exterior space ? What connections or contrasts occur between inside and out? Is it comprised of a series of separate or linked spaces?
  • Would it be appropriate to use space in a similar way within your own artwork?

Use of media / materials

  • What materials and mediums has the artwork been constructed from? Have materials been concealed or presented deceptively (i.e. is there an authenticity / honesty of materials; are materials celebrated; is the structure visible or exposed )? Why were these mediums selected (weight; color; texture; size; strength; flexibility; pliability; fragility; ease of use; cost; cultural significance; durability; availability; accessibility)? Would other mediums have been appropriate?
  • Which skills, techniques, methods and processes were used (i.e. traditional; conventional; industrial; contemporary; innovative)? It is important to note that the examiners do not want the regurgitation of long, technical processes, but rather to see personal observations about how processes effect and influence the artwork in question. Would replicating part of the artwork help you gain a better understanding of the processes used?
  • Painting: gesso ground > textured mediums > underdrawing > blocking in colors > defining form > final details;
  • Architecture: brief > concepts > development > working drawings > foundations > structure > cladding > finishes;
  • Graphic design: brief > concepts > development > Photoshop > proofing > printing.
  • How does the use of media help the artist to communicate ideas?
  • Are these methods useful for your own project?

Finally, remember that these questions are a guide only and are intended to make you start to think critically about the art you are studying and creating.

How to analyse your own artwork

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this article you may also like our article about high school sketchbooks (which includes a section about sketchbook annotation). If you are looking for more assistance with how to write an art analysis essay you may like our series about writing an artist study .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] A guide for Analyzing Works of Art; Sculpture and Painting, Durantas

[2] A Short Guide to Writing About Art , Sylvan Barnet (2014) (Amazon affiliate link)

[3] Analysing Paintings , Matthew Treherne, University of Leeds

[4] Writing in Art and Art History , The University of Vermont

[5] Art History: A Preliminary Handbook , Dr. Robert J. Belton, The University of British Columbia (1996)

[6] Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary , Terry Barrett (2011) (Amazon affiliate link)

[7] How to Look at Art , Susie Hodge (2015) (Amazon affiliate link)

[8] How to Look at a Painting , Françoise Barbe-Gall (2011) (Amazon affiliate link)

[9] Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist James Gurney (2009) (Amazon affiliate link)

[10] Art History , The Writing Centre, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

[11] Universal Principles of Art: 100 Key Concepts for Understanding, Analyzing and Practicing Art , John A. Parks (2014) (Amazon affiliate link)

[12] Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment using CGI Digital Twins , Dr. Ben Guy, Urban CGI (2023)

Amiria Gale

Amiria has been an Art & Design teacher and a Curriculum Co-ordinator for seven years, responsible for the course design and assessment of student work in two high-achieving Auckland schools. She has a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Honours) and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. Amiria is a CIE Accredited Art & Design Coursework Assessor.

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Tips for Writing Your Art Essay for University

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How to Write An Art Essay & Dissertation

Art students have to know their subject to perfection. It’s not only about making art but being an expert in your craft. Hence, students have to embark on a long and complicated journey of research, analysis and search for meaning. These are not the easiest steps to complete in your early twenties. Neither is it easy to do so in ‌writing. However, that’s what is expected of all college students. They need to learn how to write essays, even when writing is not their specialty. So, for all the art students out there, we have created a brief guide on tackling art essays in university. Have a look!

what to write about in an art essay

Choose a wise topic

Everything starts with an idea, or, in our case, a topic. To have a strong essay, you need just as strong a topic. Students often rush to choose the art they want to cover without focusing on questions they want to raise in their papers. So, first, think about what you want to talk about. It is as simple as that. Think about what interests you the most during class discussions or what ideas you feel are important to talk about. In other words, start by defining what drives you.

Next, narrow down your focus and choose one question. It should be close to the theme you’ve covered in a class, yet original enough to bring new opinions and judgments. A good topic should be relevant, appropriate, daring, and unique. It immediately informs readers what they are about to find inside those papers. Such a topic will also guide you during all further steps.

Here are some topic examples to inspire you:

  • The  influence of technology  on modern art
  • Art as the voice of the oppressed
  • Globalization and its effect on the art scene
  • Current influences on modern art
  • The role of the political environment in art

Form a strong subject

You are not writing an art essay to describe the piece of art in front of you. That’s not a university-level essay. Instead, you use art to go deeper into the topic. Let’s say you want to talk about social injustice and how artists are covered it in their works. Perhaps, you want to speak of the influence of religion on certain artists. Overall, you have an idea in your mind. Now, it is time to describe what you are going to do about it. That’s how you form a thesis statement.

Here you should express the very purpose of your paper. You pose an argument that the further text will try to answer. That’s where you can demonstrate your critical thinking, logic, analytical mind, and so on. A strong thesis statement will narrow down your future writing and keep your focus only on essential elements.

Of course, no paper is final without plenty of sources to prove your ideas, thoughts, and arguments. A student must be well-educated on the topic they write about to deliver a professional paper. In fact, if you are not sure about your research skills, see an  all assignment help review  and seek professional help from this reliable source.

In other cases, be ready to spend several days in online libraries, archives, or even museums. Learning as much as possible on your subject and topic is necessary for convincing storytelling and unbiased argumentations.

Give context

Before moving too much into analysing your thesis statement, begin with giving more context to the story. Thus, you should start by describing the piece of art or an artist you centre the paper around. The context of their upbringing and professional journey, as well as the time period and social environment of that matter greatly for their creations.

You have to help people understand what inspired those artists or movements, why they created the given pieces, or what was the overall art scene at the time. Such context helps readers see the bigger picture and understand the depth of your arguments.

Proofread and edit

Finally, a paper is never complete before the editing stage is over. You can’t put all that hard work into an essay just to destroy it with bad grammar, silly typos, and structural errors. That’s why each student needs to proofread their texts.

Of course, such a skill doesn’t come easy for young people, especially those who are uncertain about their writing abilities. Fortunately, you can find plenty of good editors online. For instance,  in his all assignment help review Will Martins concluded  that many service professionals can do an excellent job of proofreading students’ essays. Perhaps, you should consider such an option.

Bottom line

Writing is a skill like any other. It comes with practice and determination. However, learning a few useful tips beforehand will help you adjust your writing approach and master useful techniques faster. So, the next time you need to write an essay, apply these steps in your process. After all, art is not only pleasant to look at. It is also meant to bring up emotions, thoughts, and ideas in people. Talking about these things is no less exciting than discussing art as it is. So have fun with your next essay and good luck!

Luke Hickman

Luke Hickman

Luke Hickman is a printmaker and artist with over 15 years of experience. He studied at Norwich University, graduating with a BA (Hons) Fine Art, and has worked in both the commercial printing and digital marketing industries for over 7 years. Luke's work revolves around the idea of creating art that can illustrate a story with topics covering war, politics and history.

what to write about in an art essay

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165 Artists Essay Topics & Examples

In case you’re writing about contemporary artists or art history, we have a whole lot of interesting ideas for you! Our experts have collected visual art essay topics and examples right below.

🏆 Best Art Essay Topics & Examples

⭐ interesting art topics to write about, 📑 good research topics about art, 📌 simple visual art essay topics, 👍 good artists & art essay topics, ❓ art essay questions.

  • The Challenges Emerging Artists Are Facing in Emerging Art Scenes The Flemish art period between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries involved significant and dynamic events in the historical mark in the field of artistry.
  • Art and Society: Goals and Duties of Artists Therefore, it can be asserted that one of the roles of art is to preserve the cultural trait and heritage of a community or society. This is both to the user of the artistic material […]
  • Gibran Khalil Gibran-Lebanon Writer and Artist Gibran’s mother settled in Boston together with a young Gibran, his two younger sisters, and his half brother. Holland was a member of the European avant-garde-movement and he acted as a tutor and mentor to […]
  • Revolutionary Art in America: Society and Artists This paper will highlight the purpose of revolutionary art in the society and at the same time discuss how revolutionary art has affected art and artists in America.
  • Photography: An Artist Statement In the first image, I arranged the details in the composition to guide the observer through the place I captured by the camera. With the help of the play of the light and shadow, I […]
  • Responsibility of Artists to Address Social Problems in Their Work In light of the significant power that art and by extension artists hold, there arises the question of whether artists have a responsibility to address social problems through their works.
  • Optical Illusion: Technique to Artist and Designer The main aim of this paper is to reveal how optical illusion fascinates and deceives as influenced by art and design spearheaded by artists and designers of the modern day.
  • Origin and History of Salsa Music, Greatest Artists It is important to note that the youth loves and have interest in music than adults and this is why salsa was heavily affected.
  • Early Childhood Memories Impact on Artists’ Journey The reason for childhood memories to have such profound importance for the development of one’s artistic style and attributes can be explained by the acquisition of the executive function that occurs during early childhood.
  • How and Why Do Advertisers Use Specific Works of Art or Artists to Sell Their Products? The role of the art in the adverts is to give an image to the company and its products. In all the artistic values, the most comprehensive is space as it is a combination of […]
  • Fu Baoshi as One of the Most Famous Chinese Artists Fu Baoshi is one of the most famous Chinese artists who contributed greatly into the development of the national art. One of his works reveals aspirations of Chinese people who lived in the middle of […]
  • Tracey Moffatt: Australian Artist Her photography masterpieces are permanently included in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
  • Leonardo da Vinci – Artist, Scientist, Inventor The painting “The Amo Valley” also portrayed some of the best artistic styles. This talent made it easier for Leonardo da Vinci to produce the best paintings.
  • Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock: The Revolutionary Modern Artists The essay addresses the contribution of these famous artists to their particular art movements and in general, the world of art.
  • Social Media and Female Artist Representation Such a project has been facilitated by the emergence of new media, characterized by the emergence of both the internet and social media.
  • Modernist Art: Pablo Picasso and Umberto Boccioni Early 20th-century European culture, which was characterized by a growing interest in the avant-garde and a rejection of conventional art forms, fostered the success of both artists, due to the fact that their experimentation and […]
  • Jiro Takamatsu, a Japanese Artist In “The Temperature of the Sculpture,” Takamatsu may have used the materials and tools available to him to express this change in Japanese society.
  • The Determinants of Self-Employment for Artists Working in the free art market has advantages: diversity is encouraged, and the artist is not limited to just painting and sketching.
  • The Discussion of Women Artists For the situation to change, it is important to talk more about artists the heroines of the past, their contemporaries, and their heritage.
  • Salvador Dali: Artist in the Area of Surrealism Art Salvador Dali was among the most prominent artists in the area of surrealism art. It “balances a rational vision of life with one that asserts the power of the unconscious and dreams”.
  • Artists Peter Paul Rubens and Katharina Grosse Exemplified by the works of Peter Paul Rubens and Katharina Grosse, artworks have transitioned from the Flemish Baroque to the Gagosian style, where an artist enjoys the interplay of architecture, sculpture, and painting.
  • Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists Exhibition It identifies itself with the goals of the Aboriginal population of the country and engages in activities to support their cultural heritage. The institution is also on the frontline to showcase a number of activities […]
  • Principles of Design in Female Artists’ Works Displayed in the Louvre In Peace Bringing Back Abundance, the level of precision while showing the figures is less intense than in the other painting, which creates a sense of lightness and sanctity.
  • Ron English: The Famous Graffiti Artist This paper explores and analyses the aspects of graffiti – a form of painting and the work of one of the most famous and talented graffiti artists.
  • The Appearance of an Artist The musician’s wardrobe also influences the perception of performance, and it is important for performers not only of popular music, but also of classical music.
  • Ai Weiwei as a Contemporary Art Artist The meaning of human rights and the destiny of the Chinese people are of primary significance for the artist, so many of his works reflect the issues that Weiwei recognizes and wants to eliminate.
  • Jean Michel Basquiat and Zainul Abedin as Outstanding Artists The artist’s imagination gives the paintings a magical realism that reflects the actual situations in the world and the spirit of the time the master lived.
  • “The Eco Artists Turning Trash Into Treasure” by Webster It is interesting to see how artists can convey the message and bring awareness to the environmental impact of the modern human lifestyle, which generates large amounts of waste and pollution.
  • Paul Benny’s Work: Artist Presentation Paul Benney’s artwork mainly deals with painting of people’s portraits. The themes of his work touch on issues embraced daily.
  • An Analysis of Two Works by Digital Artists: Smith and Cutts This artwork is summoned to stress the peaceful nature of the protests and to show the inadequate response on the part of the authorities.
  • David Hockney: The Pop Artist and His Works The “Day Pool with 3 Blues” is a picture of extreme simplicity, and it is necessary to mention, that the advantage of this particular canvass is the feelings, that arise when the picture is viewed.
  • An Artist-Entrepreneur’s Lean Startup Therefore, in the case of Sikander, the first key factor in ensuring the success of her project’s business model is having a stable customer base.
  • DaWangGang Artist: Exploring Music Interculturalism This paper discusses the role and the place of the Chinese musical band Dawanggang in the world that is still defined by the tension between the Occident and Orient.
  • The Legacy of Artemisia Gentileschi: One of the Greatest Female Artists of the 16th-17th Centuries During her active years, Gentileschi had to face a great deal of adversity and social resistance, which was not unusual for driven and ambitious women of her era.
  • “The Smoking Plant” Project: Artist Statement It is the case when the art is used to pass the important message to the observer. The live cigarette may symbolize the smokers while the plant is used to denote those who do not […]
  • Romanticism. Artists Associated With the Movement Art dealt mostly with issues of motive and realism while other forms of art dealt with the darkness of the community on one hand and its magnificence on the other.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci – The Greatest Artist of Renaissance In the modern day, Leonardo da Vinci is considered by many to be the greatest artist and possibly even the greatest person of all time. The greatness of Leonardo is evidenced by the description of […]
  • Juan Luis Guerra a Dominican Artist Also, he is predominantly linked with the popular Dominican music genre known as bachata, though partly true, he exploits the elementals of bachata tempo with elements of bolero in his works. The impact of his […]
  • Artist Willem de Kooning and Critic Harold Rosenberg the Language and Concepts The kind of art the artists in this movement did put America on the international stage and dimmed the light for Paris, which had been the center of art in the world.
  • Marcelle Ferron and Celine Dion: Canadian Artists Moreso she learnt to be strong and fought for the rights of women and was straight forward in her approaches about life.
  • Crossover Artists in the 1970s However, if analyze the peculiarities of each style, it is quite easy to find out the difference and be amazed of how rich and wonderful the world of music is.
  • Colonialism in the Work of Some Artists In the second half of the past century, the American art world shattered the traditional views on the tradition to passively depict the objects.
  • Artist-Promotion Relation: Commercialization and Art Through Orlean’s article, the artist-promotion relation, in addition to being a commercially successful marketing move, it could be sensed that the author views this relationship as a step of closing the gap between the art […]
  • Andy Warhol: An American Pop-Artist In the process of describing the creative process of Andy Warhol it is evident how closely the word ‘Genius’ is intertwined with their creativity.
  • European Baroque: Artists, Features, Ideas The style of Baroque was spread all over the European continent in different expressions of art from 1590 and until the beginning of the eighteenth century. Many outstanding artists are representing the style and epoch […]
  • Angony Rising: Melbourne Native Artist His art is popular because of the way that he is able to reveal his experience through the bold figures and forms of primitive art.
  • Analysis of Creative Process of Notable Artists In addition, Parody was a fundamental constituent of Bach’s creative process, and the Lutheran Masses are excellent illustrations of that process.
  • The Rise of Virtuoso Artists in the 18th Century While it is true that ornamentation played a very important role in the early baroque music performance and that it was instrumental to the early sociento style of music, there is no denying fact that […]
  • Canadian Artists: Emily Carr and Jack Bush My opponents may argue that this is a way of self-expression but in this case, the expressive means are very limited and narrow.
  • Studies in Contemporary Art and Artists The paper is claimed to review some of the most known contemporary artists, and define the particularities, that may be regarded as mnemonic traces of their arts.
  • The Origins of Poetry of Famous Americans Artists Realizing this is the origin of his own poems, Whitman may have extrapolated this concept to all poets in the above statement, suggesting that the origin of all poems is in the lives of the […]
  • Artist Bibliography on Elizabeth Catlett Although she went to the university to study printing she has stated in her earlier interviews that she changed to painting because of the influence of James A Porter.
  • Illustrators Artists and Designers They have indeed been a great influence in my interest to art and design and have greatly contributed to the economic growth, political and social enhancement of their nations.
  • Women Writers and Artists About Social Problems The uniqueness of Mary Cassatt’s style is that she depicts the natural desires and values of women, women, and their hopes.
  • Frida: The Biography of The Legendary Mexican Artist The plot revolves around two prominent events in Frida’s life – the trolley car accident in 1929 that breaks her back and dooms her to a life of excruciating pain, and her marriage to Diego […]
  • Great Women Artists in the World History The first overreaching cause of the absence of great female artist throughout history was the subjugated position of women as a gender in the majority of societies.
  • Artists’ Legal Advice Services Definition ALAS has shown to foster collaboration with artists through holding events during which artists share their experiences and ask for the advice of the organization’s team.
  • The Job of the Artist Is to Always Deepen the Mystery Among a variety of definitions of art, it is possible to say that it is one of the forms of education, and artists become the best educators who use their skills and experience.
  • Gustave Courbet: Revolutionary Artist of Romanticism While the clergy is visible from the background of the work, the decision by the painter to focus on the dog in the foreground was even more appalling.
  • Artists in Jazz Music and Dance Development The core areas in this study will include; the presentation, the ensemble, the musical instruments, and the memories of the events.
  • Artist as a Genius: Johann Sebastian Bach Bach’s talent was evident from his mastery of the organ and the violin, as well as the great pieces that he composed.
  • Collaborating With Artists in the Luxury Brand Industry As the conventional approaches to product development fail to support the concept of exclusivity in the present-day environment, the collaboration of luxury brands with artists comes to the rescue of the very essence of luxury […]
  • Robert Smithson: Extraordinary Artist The works on the website made me realize that Smithson was a person who paid much attention to the environment and the way it influences and is influenced by the population of the Earth.
  • Contemporary Female Artists in Turkey The secrecy associated with Islam and gender roles in some parts of Asia has further compounded this mystery because few people know what to make of the place of women in traditional Islamic societies and […]
  • Decoloniality in Art and Artist as Ethnographer The review is divided into three main sections including the identification of the main arguments and the explanation of their worth, the evaluation of the supportive material and the clarification of methodological framework, and, finally, […]
  • Arabic Calligraphy and Contemporary Artists Arabic calligraphy is a form of art involving the use of the Arabic language and alphabet. In the old town of Jeddah, for instance, artists have blended Arabic calligraphy with graffiti to create calligraffiti.
  • Pollaiuolo vs. Titian: Two Renaissance Artists Comparison For instance, in the fourteen century and at the beginning of the fifteenth century, “the profile form of a portrait head, largely inspired by antique coins,” was widespread.
  • Robert Wilson: Artist and His Beliefs It is possible to say that by examining these qualities, one can better appreciate the achievements of Robert Wilson. This is one of the challenges Robert Wilson is ready to face.
  • Artist Marcel Duchamp and His Works Duchamp claimed that the main purpose of art was intellectual satisfaction; he shared that he was tired from the expression “stupid as a painter,” and that attitude had to be changed.
  • Edward Ruscha, an American Artist Ruscha was born in 1937 in Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, and is currently based in Culver City, California. In 1969, Ruscha also worked as a guest professor of art at the University of […]
  • Pre-Raphaelite Artists The Pre-Raphaelites artists opted to go back to the aspects of art that involved copious details, complex compositions of Italian and Flemish art, in addition to the use of intense colors.
  • A.A. Bronson’s Through the Looking Glass: His Personal Identity as a Canadian Artist Thus, his work Through the Looking Glass is the one of the best works that reflect the author’s vision of reality and the one that reflects the author’s sense of Canadian identity.
  • Living as a Non-Speaking English Artist in English Speaking Country The efficient performance of a non-English speaking artist as well as his or her participation in the growth of the economy of a host English speaking nation is to a larger extent, influenced by cultural […]
  • Popular Street Artists In an effort to discredit the Bank of England, Banksy satirically replaced the words ‘Bank of England’ with ‘Banksy of England.’ During the Notting Hill Carnival, a certain individual dished out the fake money to […]
  • Art History: A Close Study of a Chinese Artist Cai Guo-Qiang His unique skills in artwork have led to the advancement of his signature in most events. His inspiration has ensured that he remains in the limelight in most of his solo works.
  • A Written Analysis of Other Artists’ Works The composition of the painting The composition of the picture seems to be of a particular importance, as numerous elements of the painting, including texture, forms, lines, etc.show the depth or perspective of the author’s […]
  • The Life of an Artist: “Just Kids” by Patti Smith Patti never thought of disclosing to anybody the change that had occurred in her relationship with Robert but she discovered that it was important for her to find something different.
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce The most unique aspect of the book is the author’s innovative use of sense to describe the thoughts and feelings of the character.
  • Melancholy Caused by Fasting: An Artist in the Modernist Period In the personality of the hunger artist, we may notice the generalized character of a modernist artist, and in the actions of fasting, we may recognize the characteristics of modernism as an epoch in history […]
  • Post-Colonial and Contemporary British Muslim Artists The art presented by these Muslims bears the attitude portrayed by the British society towards them and the Islamic religion as a whole and the artists’ own views on Islam.
  • How Director is Able to Yield Higher Productivity of the Artists? Through the above analysis it could be said that through effective thought-process, observation and thorough planning, a director is able to yield higher productivity of the directors.
  • Arts and Artists Being Affected by Today’s Realities Arts and artists have inevitably been affected and influenced by advancement in technologies, changes in global communication, and an accelerated tempo of globalization in various ways.
  • The Artist’s State of Mind: Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” The painting also has a tree that also stretches to the sky; it is the tallest feature in the village. The choice of color in the painting is also an indication of the painter’s mood.
  • Artists in Exile: How Refugees From Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts, by Joseph Horowitz Knowledge of the type of music in that era is will help in the understanding of the book especially the German way of expressing inner motion.
  • One Holy Image By Two Great Artists One of the most important themes in the western art is religion, and one of the most inspiring images for may be each of the greatest artists has been the Virgin Mary.
  • The Contemporary Artists and Their Contributions Since childhood, she admired the work of Mexican and Southwest artists and this drove her to apply their employment of warm colors in her individual paintings.
  • The Role of an Artist: Anne Deavere Smith and Tod Hackett In comparison to one literary character, Tod Hackett from The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, Anna Deavere Smith does not want to lose her mind and be guided by the current events; she […]
  • Artist Report: Antonio Puleo The postures of the children during the photography add strength to the morality theme, which is a major focus in the whole documentary. The process of growing up and sexuality is one of the key […]
  • Chinese Art (Zhang Hongth: Studio Visit and Artist Talk) In a wide-ranging discussion, he touched on humor, the cathartic value of defacing the iconic image of a dictator, China’s imperiled environment, the dangers of political art in that country, and his feelings as a […]
  • Madness and Art: Is The Artist a Holy Madman? The members of the movement known as l’Art Brut, and others, drew a connection between art and madness, art and mysticism, and art and outsider status for whatever reason.
  • To What Extent Do Artists Using Collaborative Strategies Influence Society?
  • The History of Women Artists During the Early Centuries in Italy
  • Graffiti : How The Rise Of Graffiti Has Digitally Its Artists
  • The Importance Of Art As A Guideline For Future Artists
  • Three Unforgettable Artists Since The 1960’s: Heart, Brian Mc Knight, And Pink
  • Impressionist Artists Georges Seurat and Camille Pissaro
  • The Lives of the Painters of Modern Life: The Careers of Artists in France from Impressionism to Cubism
  • The Lack Of Known Women Artists In Pre Modern Art
  • Women Artists And The Female Form
  • The World Through the Eyes of the Artists of the Harlem Renaissance the Early Modern Period
  • Beneath the Rainbow: Enchanting Stories and Poems from Kenya, Illustrated by African Artists
  • Comparison Of Musical Artists Rage Against The Machine And Writer George Orwell
  • The Multicultural Influences of the Silk Road on Artists in the Tang Dynasty
  • Transformation in the Artwork of Contemporary Artists
  • Censorship In Music Children Artists Problems
  • Distinctive Features in the Works of Kazakh and Russian Artists
  • The Use of the Uncanny by Artists or Designers in Their Work
  • Conflict & Tension: What Writers Can Learn From How Visual Artists Use Contrast
  • The Role That Visual Artists Play In Our Modern Day Society
  • The Importance of the Works of Art by Colombian Artists
  • Graphic Design: A Superb Career Option For Technology Savvy Artists
  • The Mexican Artists: The Artists on the Go for the Next Masterpiece
  • Female Artists And Its Effects On Society
  • A Graphic Cosmogony: Artists Imagine How the Universe Was Born
  • How Geographic Differences Influenced American Artists
  • Kandinsky on the Spiritual Element in Art and the Three Responsibilities of Artists
  • The Moral Rights of Artists: Droit Moral ou Droit Pécuniaire
  • The Link Between Artists and Bipolar Disease
  • The Life and Painting Works of Pop Artists Andy Warhol
  • Understanding Abstract Art Artist Artists Subject
  • The Musical Tradition, Impact and Influential Artists of the Blues Musical Style
  • The Shaping of Renaissance and the Artists During the Period
  • Visual Artists Transmit the Values and Beliefs of Society
  • The Portrayal of Female Artists
  • The Rap Industry Has Been At War With New Artists Trying For Change Raps
  • An Analysis of the Design and the Importance of Marketing for Post Collegiate Artists
  • Use Of Art Criticism On The Artists Personal Opinions
  • An Analysis of Formalist and Avant-Garde Artists in the Modern Art
  • Why There are No Great Women Artists by Linda Nochlin
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Essay on Art

500 words essay on art.

Each morning we see the sunshine outside and relax while some draw it to feel relaxed. Thus, you see that art is everywhere and anywhere if we look closely. In other words, everything in life is artwork. The essay on art will help us go through the importance of art and its meaning for a better understanding.

essay on art

What is Art?

For as long as humanity has existed, art has been part of our lives. For many years, people have been creating and enjoying art.  It expresses emotions or expression of life. It is one such creation that enables interpretation of any kind.

It is a skill that applies to music, painting, poetry, dance and more. Moreover, nature is no less than art. For instance, if nature creates something unique, it is also art. Artists use their artwork for passing along their feelings.

Thus, art and artists bring value to society and have been doing so throughout history. Art gives us an innovative way to view the world or society around us. Most important thing is that it lets us interpret it on our own individual experiences and associations.

Art is similar to live which has many definitions and examples. What is constant is that art is not perfect or does not revolve around perfection. It is something that continues growing and developing to express emotions, thoughts and human capacities.

Importance of Art

Art comes in many different forms which include audios, visuals and more. Audios comprise songs, music, poems and more whereas visuals include painting, photography, movies and more.

You will notice that we consume a lot of audio art in the form of music, songs and more. It is because they help us to relax our mind. Moreover, it also has the ability to change our mood and brighten it up.

After that, it also motivates us and strengthens our emotions. Poetries are audio arts that help the author express their feelings in writings. We also have music that requires musical instruments to create a piece of art.

Other than that, visual arts help artists communicate with the viewer. It also allows the viewer to interpret the art in their own way. Thus, it invokes a variety of emotions among us. Thus, you see how essential art is for humankind.

Without art, the world would be a dull place. Take the recent pandemic, for example, it was not the sports or news which kept us entertained but the artists. Their work of arts in the form of shows, songs, music and more added meaning to our boring lives.

Therefore, art adds happiness and colours to our lives and save us from the boring monotony of daily life.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Conclusion of the Essay on Art

All in all, art is universal and can be found everywhere. It is not only for people who exercise work art but for those who consume it. If there were no art, we wouldn’t have been able to see the beauty in things. In other words, art helps us feel relaxed and forget about our problems.

FAQ of Essay on Art

Question 1: How can art help us?

Answer 1: Art can help us in a lot of ways. It can stimulate the release of dopamine in your bodies. This will in turn lower the feelings of depression and increase the feeling of confidence. Moreover, it makes us feel better about ourselves.

Question 2: What is the importance of art?

Answer 2: Art is essential as it covers all the developmental domains in child development. Moreover, it helps in physical development and enhancing gross and motor skills. For example, playing with dough can fine-tune your muscle control in your fingers.

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Art Essay Writing Guide

By: Henrique Bertulino

Art Essay Writing Guide

Art Essay is a job that has primarily aesthetic or entertaining value. This term most often uses when referring to literary jobs. A literary and artistic career has primarily aesthetic or fun value. Thus, they are opposed to documentary or scientific positions, because, for the latter, the principal is cognitive value.

What Is an Art Essay?

What is a short art essay, choose your art topic, research your claims, provide visual analysis, offer clear analysis, how to start your art essay, and what to include, the body of your art essay, how to conclude your art essay, art essay topics examples, art essay outline example, general information, brief description, describe art elements, describe principles of design, opinions and conclusions.

The specificity of art jobs is that they often tell about events that seem to have taken place in a fictional world, with fictional characters. Sometimes a job of craft tells about people who exist or existed, but at the same time, the author of such an action can add fictional details.

The essay's concept is a unit of which concept defines as pictures, thoughts, and experiences that arise in the reader's imagination during the text's perception. All job aims at analyzing the situation of art through a system of images.

The artwork is a kind of art that shows us about the world in the form of poems, paintings, books. In scientific and artistic careers, cognitive information reveals through the plot, characteristics of illustrations, events, phenomena, and years of creation.

In terms of genre and thematic diversity, it is stories, cognitive tales, natural phenomena, historical events, outstanding personalities, discoveries in various fields of knowledge. Work with this text format aims to develop students' ability to find cognitive information, identify essential features, establish cause-and-effect relationships, and so on.

Art is a complex combination of artistic and professional qualities that determine the painter's job in literature. Art is directly related to creative freedom, originality, taste, a sense of proportion of the author in covering the topic.

The painter's process and the principles of each painter's art are based on life's realities. However, a creative idea is not limited to one fact, even if it is incredibly significant. The painter generalizes a specific phenomenon, distinguishes it from similar ones.

A high-level professional achieves the desired result due to thorough training, multiplied by the daily job - this is the highest manifestation of the craft embodied. A position of art is a complex unity of components that interconnect into a harmonious whole.

The work's ideological content finds its expression through a system of illustrations, which acts as its form, and the type of illustrations, in turn. With the help of the author's word, the student conveys the hero and the author language, which allows them to express the attitude to the world, to give it an assessment.

How Do You Write an Art Essay?

  • The author and the narrator's coincidence, bright and free expression of the author's "I."
  • Linguistic means are a way to convey the narrator's artistic image, emotional state, and mood.
  • The use of stylistic figures in the text includes metaphors, comparisons, metonymy, emotionally expressive vocabulary, and phraseological units. Create an art history research paper outline for convenience in the topic.
  • Versatility - the use of linguistic means of other styles (colloquial, journalistic) subordinate to the implementation of a creative intention. From these combinations, what is called the author's style is gradually formed.
  • Use of verbal polysemy - words are chosen to not only "draw" illustrations and put a hidden sense into them.
  • The artistic style aims to convey the author's emotions and create a mood and emotional mood in the reader.

It is important to pay sufficient attention to writing. It is good to write on any topic for a literature essay, and then a good grade is provided. It would help if you navigated in general directions; in this case, any item will be within our reach.

In addition to the ability to draw up a plan and express your thoughts, it is also essential to get acquainted with various literary jobs: to read. Compare and contrast essay topics on literature are closely related to literary jobs and require reading them.

You will need to refer to the characters and argue with facts from domestic and world writers' specific jobs. Read as much as possible, and then writing essays will not be a problem. Over time, the experience of presenting thoughts on a research paper in a structured form appears, then, on the contrary, any topic is understandable.

Avoid general wording. If the job talks about treason, this does not mean that this example will fit any topic of the direction. Claims must confirm the thesis, and the argument will answer the question of the definition of the concept.

You can use one claim, but in this case, it is necessary to give a full parsing of the job within the framework of the topic. It would help if you did not overload the essay with literary arguments, either for typing words or getting a good grade. As a rule, this only leads to disastrous consequences.

Use only the research work that you have read to support the thesis to avoid factual errors. Don't retell the piece. Parsing and your reasoning are needed. Each claim should support your argument, so the topic should make micro-conclusions.

There are many types of text analysis: linguistic, lexical, stylistic, literary. The latter includes reviews of a lyric job and a report of a prose job. In addition to a holistic parsing, it is possible to single out such types of parsing as parsing of a separate episode, characterization of a hero, group characteristics of heroes, comparative aspects of two heroes, two jobs, parsing of decorative details (portrait, landscape).

All of these types of parsing need to be taught to students. But at the same time, one should not forget that the study's task is not to disassemble a literary job in sections. Mainly the mission is to facilitate an in-depth reading of the research text.

It doesn't have to be meaningless. Deep meaningfulness is the first and foremost requirement for parsing and its indispensable conditions. Thus, the report must always assume a goal.

In a lesson, we give students an assignment: find in the story a plot, a climax, a denouement. What is the teacher for this assignment? If this is a lesson where the concept of "composition" is first introduced. And its purpose is to give an idea of the composition of a story and teach how to find elements of writing; then, such task justify.

If the teacher gave this task to highlight the compositional elements, then the job will already be meaningless, formal. To subordinate the parsing to the goal means studying the situation's aspects to understand its content and meaning.

These goals must relate to the matter's essence, leading deep into the essay writer's inner world. It is essential to reveal through parsing what would have gone unnoticed without it.

Structure of the Art Essay and Its Features

The structure of the essay consists of three required elements: introduction, body, and conclusion. The absence of one of the article's composition elements is considered a mistake and taken into account in the assessment.

It is challenging to write the introduction and conclusion. The presentation's function is to introduce a topic and give preliminary, general information about the problem behind the proposed issue. The end goal is to summarize, summarize what said, complete the research text, and draw attention to the most important thing.

The most common flaws when writing an introduction and conclusion:

  • presentation of general information that is not directly related to the topic;
  • expression of one's enthusiastic attitude towards job or author, one's desire to be like the author or hero;
  • very long, protracted introduction.

The introduction should not contain all the information we know about the author and his job. The presentation can introduce the topic and parsing of the post.

The introduction may contain an answer to the question asked in the topic. Your opinion can present if the title of the issue includes a reference to the applicant's view. A fact from the biography of the author of a literary job can give. Or a feature of the historical period can be characterized if this information is essential for the subsequent parsing of the text.

There is no one type, perfect, an excellent introduction that would fit any topic. The presentation, like the rest of the essay, is written individually. You don't need to go into long arguments right away. First, formulate those problematic questions that can answer in line with your topic.

The central section of the essay is parsing a literary job in the aspect set by the theme. The main thing to avoid when writing the main body is to retell a literary task. Retelling the storyline instead of interpreting the idea, supported by references to the job's relevant episodes, lacks content, leading to a decrease in the score.

The nature of the topic determines the content and composition of the central section of the essay. The general principles can summarize in short:

  • the reasoning should be strictly subordinate to the topic in question;
  • the selected literary material (if the article is written not one at a time, but according to several jobs) must accurately correspond to the topic (its excess or incompleteness will be a lack of the essay);
  • parity should observe between the general provisions, forward theses and comments, and examples from the job's text in the piece.

The essay ends with a conclusion. The main requirement for the completion: it should not be purely formal. The teacher reading the project should not doubt its necessity. The conclusion should organically link to the previous presentation.

In conclusion, it is sometimes appropriate to give an overview of all the points you understood in the central section. Especially if the topic required various material or a long chain of evidence. In conclusion, the writer's attitude to the job, it's heroes, and the problem can express.

It must start correctly that without affectation, excessive enthusiastic assessments have a clearly expressed definite sense and must prepare by the central part's material. Otherwise, it would help if you refrained from expressing your opinion. Many students are looking on the Internet - write my essay for me cheap , if you still do not have time to write in person, then use these services.

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Introduction:

  • invitation to the conversation;
  • definition of the topic (problem) of the text;
  • author's presentation;
  • transition to the central section, connection with it.

The next stage is to reflect the position of the author of the text on the highlighted problem. This can sum up in one phrase. How does the author answer this question?

Your point of view may coincide with the author's point of view, which may differ from it. To say, "I agree/disagree with the author" is not enough. It is required to bring two arguments. If you provide the same case as the author himself, it does not count.

A significant conclusion is a big minus, which says that you cannot summarize your thoughts. The introduction and conclusion should not be more than 25% of the entire job. Schematically, your composition should be similar to the shape of a circle, should be closed.

Guidelines for Analysis of Art in Your Essay

Outline of a written analysis of the artwork:

  • What kind of job are we talking about? Author, title, years, collection, technique, pages. There is no need to retell the biography. For brainstorming, do creative writing exercises .
  • The purpose and objectives of the job. What and why are you writing it? Why are these jobs chosen? How exactly will the parsing be done? What is this parsing for? Why is it necessary to compare practices?
  • In each of the subsections, a relationship made between the formal reception and the image. In the comparison, the description and parsing go sequentially (the second job compare with the first) or in parallel.
  • Repetition of the main conclusions regarding the image this is the sense of the job. Answering the questions above, one can define a position of art, mastering a variety of thinking skills. The artist breaks out of the framework of his horizons.

When writing your essay, give your definition of "art." Explain why this is how you define the concept. Give two examples to support your reasoning. One example should be from a literary text, and the second example can be from life.

Here general information depends on the quality of assimilation and the speed of understanding the text. The continually growing volume of information forces schoolchildren and students to work with documents and adults. Highlighting the main idea quickly will allow you to reduce the time spent on reading.

The main body of the text is what the text creates. What the author approves, what denies, what he warns against. The text has a title, which expresses its topic or main idea. The author gradually reveals the text's topic: he moves from one part of the problem to another.

Describe what you see in the picture in your own words. You can use epithets, comparisons. Pay attention not only to the main details but also to the secondary ones. Let the picture come to life, become understandable and close.

It's always interesting to know why the author chose this particular plot. Perhaps the ever dreamed of writing something like that, or the idea came suddenly, as an inspiration? Was there an incident or the artist was in a non-standard life situation? Maybe age or surroundings played an important role?

Sometimes pictures are written in just a few hours and become famous. Sometimes it takes decades to write a canvas. Describe all jobs using this algorithm. Sometimes the plot depicted seems not very attractive, but some fantastic stories connect with the picture itself.

First, you need to choose the kind of art with which the knowledgeable are the best, what they like the most. Second, you need to know the appropriate terminology. When writing a response about a fiction job, you need to remember what the plot, composition, means of creating a comic, lyrical hero, artistic ways, theme, idea is.

When working on a response about a picture, it is necessary to skillfully use such terms and concepts: the genre of the film, the technique of execution and materials, color, tones and halftones, contrast, the first, second plan, background, the nature of overlaying colors.

If a specific person named in the text, you need to be especially careful and cautious in your assessments, their expression, so as not to offend the person, not to put her in an uncomfortable position. This applies not only to some negative phenomena, facts, but also positive ones.

The main element of art can be called the jobs themselves, as its physical display. These are pictures, graphics, actors' play, lyrics, and poetry. They can divide into several main types.

Before we get into the details of how to value craft, let's re-emphasize that the whole point of recognizing creativity is to explain why we like or dislike something, not just whether we want it or not.

For example, you might not like a picture because it is too dark, but you might still like its theme or appreciate it in general. Put, saying, "I don't like this picture" is not enough. We need to know the reasons for your opinion and whether you think that the job has any positive qualities.

The easiest way to make out and therefore appreciate a job of craft is to examine its context or premises. This is because it helps us know what was in the painter's mind when creating the post.

Art and design are two inextricably linked concepts. The role of design often underestimate, considering its only task to be excessive decoration, and some do not recognize designers as creators, calling them "just decorators." However, this opinion is wrong. Design is one of the highest forms of human creativity because it serves real people's real needs.

Design is always functional, and the function can even be the emotion it evokes. Some objects do not need to be practical or economical. But the idea behind them is modern and innovative. Foresees the future trends that make people use them and think, learn, and create.

A drawing or illustration conveys the painter's final vision of the idea. This results in an illustration in a book, a canvas in a gallery, a job in a frame that hangs on the wall.

Conclusions are a short, concise summary of the main results of the job. Findings should write in the form of short sentences, each of which represents a complete thought. As a rule, conclusions reflect the practical section of the job.

Usually, the number of conclusions corresponds to the number of tasks assigned. When completing theses, at least six ends are required. This means that the results obtained by solving one of the problems can describe in several conclusions.

Usually, the conclusion is based on the content of the job. For example, in the first part, the main results obtained from the literature's parsing should be presented.

It is difficult for students to write new jobs and, therefore, more often search engines, the phrases " write my paper for me " hear. We advise you to use the letter-to-order function, and it saves time, value youth!

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How to Write an Art Comparison Essay

Jared lewis, 25 jun 2018.

How to Write an Art Comparison Essay

Writing an art comparison essay can be a difficult task for the novice art student. Students of art or art history often assume that any interpretation is as good as another, but in reality, to adequately interpret a work of art and then compare it to another, you will need to learn a little about the artist and the historical context of the composition.

Research the historical context of each piece of art. In order to adequately understand any work of art you must understand the circumstances under which it was produced. Artists are considered cultural innovators and often have an idea or truth they are trying to convey with any given composition or group of compositions. You have to first understand the artist as a person before you can adequately understand the meaning of his or her work. In order to understand the artist as a person you will also need to understand the time in which they lived. Picking up a good art history or humanities textbook will help you get started understanding the context.

Find the similarities and differences. Once you have placed each work within the proper context and before you actually begin to write your essay, sit down with a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil and write down the similarities and differences in each work. Questions to consider are the historical, political, philosophical, and religious differences of the time in which each work was composed. What do each of these works say about these issues? Do the works contain any symbolism? If so, how do the symbols differ and how are they similar? What do the symbols tell the observer about each composition?

Consider the medium through which the piece of art was created. Is it a painting or sculpture? Is the art representational or abstract? Is there a technique or style used that tells the observer something about the meaning of the composition? Who or what are the subjects of the work? The questions you can ask regarding any particular work of art are actually unlimited, but should always include some of these basic questions.

Compose your essay. Once you have analyzed each key piece of art you should develop some type of thesis statement related to that analysis. For instance, a comparison of any of Jackson Pollack's works with Van Gogh's "Starry Night" might yield a thesis statement indicating that both artists expressed themselves similarly by painting in a manner that revealed their inner emotions. Van Gogh was known to cake the paint onto the canvas and create a visible texture that was reminiscent of his inner torment while Pollack's abstract art was created by slopping paint onto large canvases, often in a drunken rage. You can then compare and contrast the elements of each composition to reveal how these artists methods were similar. The key to writing a good comparison and contrast essay is to be as clear and concise as possible, but also to be as detailed as possible regarding each element of the compositions.

Revise your work. If you are submitting your work for a grade you should take the time to reread and revise your essay before turning it in. Even the best writers rarely get their work exactly right on the first try. Have someone else proofread and offer suggestions for revision if possible. It is generally much easier for someone else to spot clarity issues and point them out than it is for you to do it yourself. Getting a little help from a friend, family member, or colleague is a great way to strengthen your writing and increase your chances of getting a positive response from the reader.

  • 1 Academy of Art University: Compare/Contrast Art History Essay

About the Author

Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.

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How to Write an Art Critique: Examples & Strategies

An art critique paper involves a comprehensive analysis and assessment of an artwork. Though this looks a bit complicated, the task doesn’t require a lot of time if you have sufficient critique writing skills. It’s an interesting assignment for students of art colleges as well as high schoolers. All you need is to study some art critique examples and learn some effective techniques. It will help make your essay creative and attention-grabbing.

This article by Custom-writing experts will show you how to write an art review and criticism. It will serve as a guideline for your excellent paper! On the page, you will see all the basic information as well as tips and art critique templates.

  • 🎨 Basic Information
  • 👣 Step-by-Step Guide
  • 🔬 Feldman’s Method
  • Architecture
  • Photography

🔗 References

🎨 art critique: basic information.

Critical analysis of artwork stimulates and encourages the discussion of art. When you write it, you express your opinion. And when you receive a critique, you learn from others. Every person evaluates art differently. Some pay extra attention to the color scheme and composition. Others appreciate realistic qualities in artworks. And some people look for expressiveness and emotion.

Formal analysis of an artwork includes the stages of description, analysis, interpretation, and judgement.

You may think that because of these differences, we can’t objectively critique art. Luckily, there is an accepted way to conduct a formal analysis of an artwork. It’s called Feldman’s method, and it consists of four elements: description, analysis, interpretation , and judgment . More information on these elements can be found in section 3.

👣 How to Write an Art Critique Step by Step

STEP #1. Create an outline before you start writing.

It will help you develop the structure of your essay. In the draft, answer these questions:

What do you want to write about?
What are the key points?
What evidence supports your ideas?

STEP #2. Decide on what info about the artwork you will need.

Then use credible sources to collect all the necessary data.

STEP #3. Provide a clear thesis statement .

A thesis here would be the main idea that would reflect your vision of an artistic piece. Don’t underestimate the importance of a thesis! It will guide you through writing the entire essay. It will also help your readers understand your art criticism better.

STEP #4. Note your first spontaneous reaction to the artwork.

By the end of the process, you may better understand your first impression or even change your mind!

STEP #5. Write the main body using Feldman’s method.

Study the artwork and assess its content, as well as its purpose. Explain which features of the piece of art you spot as the most exciting and less successful. Find more information on the elements of the method below.

STEP #6. Write your conclusions about the artwork.

They should base on all the information you have gathered.

🔬 Feldman’s Method: 4 Art Critique Elements

To write a perfect art critique paper, use the four elements mentioned before: description, analysis, interpretation, and judgment. Understanding these elements will allow you to evaluate any artwork thoroughly and objectively.

When you start writing a critique , remember that a useful analysis provides your view of the object’s strong and weak attributes.

Description

First of all, describe the artwork. At this stage, you don’t have to analyze anything. You just answer the question: what do you see?

Here are some essential questions that you might want to answer in your artwork description:

What is the title of the work and the name of the artist?
What is the artwork made of?
What colors, shapes, and textures did the artist use?
What techniques were used by the artist?
What are the objects you see in the artwork? Does it depict people, plants, or abstract forms?

E.g., this is an oil painting of a woman in profile. She’s wearing a black dress in contrast with a brown background.

The next step you take when writing an art critique assignment is analysis. To analyze an artwork means to evaluate how its elements correlate with each other. At this stage, you figure out what helps the artwork to convey an idea or a mood.

When writing this section, answer the following questions:

Do the features of the piece complement each other?
Do they create chaos or harmony?
Are there any artwork elements, such as balance, proportion, similarity, and contrast? What are the most prominent?
Search for historical underpinnings that became a basis for the artwork under analysis. How does it tell the story of its time?
Are there any exciting effects, such as movement or soft focus?
What is your emotional reaction to the artwork?

E.g., the tonal range of the painting creates a dark and brooding atmosphere. The sharp shadows create dramatic contrasts.

Interpretation

In this next section, we are looking for the meaning behind the artwork. It may seem like a tough task, especially if the artwork is cryptic or too unusual. But don’t worry: at this stage, the interpretation is entirely up to you!

Remember: you shouldn’t make your interpretation too arbitrary! Provide evidence and point out what exactly influenced your understanding of the artwork.

Here are the questions that you can answer while interpreting an artwork:

How does this art object make you feel?
What do you think of when you’re looking at the artwork?
What did the artist want to tell you as a viewer?
What do you think about the title of the work? Does it influence your interpretation?

E.g., in this painting, the artist wanted to show us the king’s personality and achievements.

And now it’s time to express your opinion ! You’re deciding if the work succeeded in creating a mood or telling a story.

It’s essential to be objective when judging an art object. Remember: even if there’s something you don’t like, the work still can be successful! And don’t forget to provide evidence that supports your judgment.

Here are some points that can help you write the fourth part of your review:

What do you think: is the work successful or not?
Does this art object seem original or not?
What do you feel when looking at this piece of artwork?
Go back to your first impression. Has anything changed? What did you learn?
What have you learned from this work that you might apply to your artwork or your thinking?

E.g., the artwork successfully conveys the atmosphere of a battle through its composition and color scheme. Learning about its backstory helped me to appreciate the painting even more.

📜 Art Critique Examples

As you can imagine, all kinds of masterpieces are subject to art criticism. For example, you can choose to write about paintings, drawings, sculptures, or even buildings. And, naturally, all these forms of art have their specific features!

These tips will provide you with an art critique template for anything, be it an oil painting or a cathedral.

Painting Critique Examples

Paint is a medium that emphasizes light, colors, and space. You can discuss these and many other points in your critique.

❓ DISCUSSION POINT✔️ EXAMPLE
What school of painting does it belong to?Is it typical or unusual for this particular school?
Describe the way the artist applies paint. Are there broad paint strokes, small points of color, or just a smooth surface? What effect does it help to achieve?
Describe how the light is depicted. Where does the light come from? Is there a strong value contrast? In what way does the shadow function? What, in your opinion, does it evoke?
Speak about the handling of space in the picture. Does it look flat or three-dimensional? What kind of perspective is used? (e.g., one-point perspective, or bird’s eye view?)

Sculpture Critique Examples

Similarly, many specific factors influence the overall impression of a sculpture. Below are some things to pay attention to.

❓ DISCUSSION POINT✔️ EXAMPLE
Say if the material gives a particular texture to the statue. Is the surface smooth, or is it uneven?
The surrounding space is just as important as the sculpture itself. Describe the place (in the museum, in a park, in front of a building) where it is situated. What does it add to the sculpture?
Speak about the color of the sculpture. Is it painted? Does it rely on natural lights and shadows?
Describe the composition of the sculpture. What does it look like when you approach it? Did the sculptor provide any instructions on how to position it?

Architecture Critique Examples

You can write art critiques on architecture, too! Just bear in mind the points below.

❓ DISCUSSION POINT✔️ EXAMPLE
What architectural style does it belong to?
Was it built with a purpose? Did a specific person request it?
Did one architect complete the building, or were there any alterations? Why were they made?

What do the exterior and the interior look like? What effect do they produce? Is there a contrast between them?

Photography Critique Examples

Analyzing a photograph is a lot like critiquing a painting. Still, there are some unique features to consider.

❓ DISCUSSION POINT✔️ EXAMPLE
How does the photographer use focus? Is any part of the image blurry? What effect does it produce?
Is the picture monochrome? If yes, describe its tone, contrast, and shadows. If no, describe the use of color.
If it’s a photo of a face, pay extra attention to the emotion it expresses. If it’s dynamic, discuss the sense of motion.

Art Critique Topics

  • Describe and analyze The Scream by Edvard Munch.
  • Interpret the symbolism of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper .
  • Examine the painting techniques used by Van Gogh when creating The Starry Night.
  • Analyze and compare Mona Lisa by Leonardo and The Starry Night by Van Gogh.
  • Explain why Claude Monet’s Impression, Sunrise differs from a typical impressionist work of art.
  • Compare the sculptures of David by Donatello, Verrocchio, and Michelangelo .
  • Discuss the historical significance of Kritios Boy sculpture.
  • Describe the effect of Kevin Carter’s photography Starving Child and Vulture on you.
  • Critique of Study for the Head of Julius Caesar by Andrea Del Salto.
  • Compare the themes and specifics of Tiziano’s The Assumption of the Virgin and El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz .
  • Explore the meaning of The Sacred and Profane Love by Titian .
  • Analyze the peculiarities of Francisco Goya’s technique in his diptych, The Clothed Maja and The Naked Maja .
  • Describe the statue of Lady Sennuwy and its cultural and historical value.
  • The specific features of The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio .
  • Critical analysis of Mary Cassatt’s painting Louise Nursing her Baby .
  • Explain how using lines and contours, Michael Sweerts adds realism to his painting Head of a Woman .
  • The use of composition and color in Pierre Bonnard’s The Breakfast Room .
  • Analyze The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt van Rijn.
  • Discuss the significance of Olympia by Edouard Manet.
  • Examine Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni .
  • The visual details and the message behind the photograph The Starving Boy in Uganda by Mike Wells .
  • Analyze the use of colors in Flaming June by Frederic Leighton.
  • Discuss the similar details in the architecture of The Palatine Chapel at Aachen and St. Michael’s Chapel in Hildesheim.
  • Describe Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear by Vincent Van Gogh.
  • Critique of Spirit Spouse sculpture.
  • Explore the unique architecture of Egyptian tombs.
  • Analyze the scene depicted by Winslow Homer in A Visit from the Old Mistress .
  • Present your impressions of Edward Weston’s photograph Pepper No. 30 .
  • The interpretation of the photograph Afghanistan Girl by Steve McCurry.
  • Critique of the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna as an example of Byzantine mosaic work and architecture.
  • Present your interpretation of Pablo Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon .
  • Compare the paintings Christ Crowned with Thorns by Matthias Stom and The Luncheon on the Grass by Édouard Manet.
  • Biltmore Manor as a bright example of American architectural style.
  • The role of lines and proportions in The Thinker by August Rodin .
  • Describe Robert Rauschenberg’s Monogram and your impressions of it.
  • Give the critical analysis of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s style using Salon de la Rue Des Moulins as an example.
  • Analyze the style and composition of Nighthawks by Edward Hopper .
  • The style and thematic elements of Frederic Remington’s Indian Fire God .
  • Discuss the details of the painting Toy Pieta by Scott Avett and the feeling it evokes.
  • Analyze Michelangelo’s The Birth of Adam .
  • The role of shape and color in the painting The Broken Column by Frida Kahlo.
  • Examine the distinguishing characteristics of Charles White’s drawing Hand .
  • The hidden meaning of the abstract expressionist’s works N umber 1 (Lavender Mist) by Jackson Pollock and Number 61 (Rust and Blue) by Mark Rothko .
  • Discuss how Claud Monet uses color to create the desired atmosphere in his painting Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare .
  • Analyze the example of Neo-Babylonian art: Panel with Striding Lion .
  • Describe Mondrian’s painting Boogie Woogie on Broadway .
  • Explore the effect of Paul Cézanne’s technique on the viewers in Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses .
  • The importance of color in The Sick Heart by Paul Klee .
  • Discuss Vincent van Gogh’s manner and choice of color in his painting The Potato Eaters .
  • Describe the traits that make The Family of Charles IV by Francisco de Goya a satiric work of art.

✏️ Art Critique FAQ

Any piece of art only becomes famous with the help of opinions. They are expressed by respected specialists. These opinions can be called critiques. One can make a critique in the form of a paper, article, or essay.

To comment on artwork like a pro, consider these steps :

  • Identify a genre/style/epoch.
  • Note typical features of the genre/style/epoch in the artwork.
  • Note what is peculiar, not typical for this style, etc.
  • Refer to the broader context, other works of the author.

Think about this type of essay as a reaction to what the author “tells” you through the artwork. Try to focus on a more or less objective review; do not fall into pure criticism or admiration.

The four major steps used in art criticism are:

  • Description,
  • Interpretation,

If you identify various aspects you want to focus on, you may describe each of them in that order.

  • Art criticism and formal analysis outline
  • Teaching Students to Critique
  • How to Judge Art: Five Qualities you can Critique whether you’re an Artist or not
  • The Most Influential Art Critics Today
  • Magazines About Art and Online Newsletters
  • The Steps to Art Criticism: The Virtual Instructor
  • How to Analyze an Artwork: Step-by-Step Guide: Student Art Guide
  • Visual Analysis Guidelines: Skidmore College
  • Exploring Photographs: Khan Academy
  • Guidelines for Analysis of Art: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • How to Critique Your Painting: Artists Network
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‘Nice flow of brightness’ is a typical representative of comments generated by the jargon of art critiques I got from a friend painter when I exposed one of my paintings on Facebook. Utter nonsense with no artistic value, just to please me, a beginner in painting.

wow, thank you so much, I`m an artist I want to know whether you have a sample platform i can give you my work for some simple criticism.

Custom Writing

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we don’t have such a platform.

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Art Of Smart Education

How to Write a HSC Visual Arts Essay Using a Scaffold

Artist surrounded by portraits - Visual Arts Essay Scaffold Featured Image

When it comes to HSC Visual Arts there’s lots of ways to practice and prepare for your exams, but writing an essay for it can be difficult — if only there was a scaffold you could use to make things easier…

Even if you know you want to memorise an essay, or just go in with key points, knowing how to actually write your response is the most important factor.

Fortunately we’ve come up with this awesome article that lets you know exactly how to use a Visual Arts essay scaffold to write a strong essay!  

So follow along, figure it out and then give it a go and you’ll be on your way to a Band 6 in no time!

What Is Scaffolding? Introduction Body Paragraph 1a Body Paragraph 2a Body Paragraph 1b Body Paragraph 2b Conclusion

What Is Scaffolding in the HSC Visual Arts Essay?

Scaffolding basically involves laying out the individual elements of an essay one by one so that you can see exactly what you need to include .

what to write about in an art essay

Throughout high school you probably filled out a scaffold or two for different class tasks and assignments.

Essentially they work by making you aware of exactly what you need to be including in any given response and how to make sure you create the best essay possible.

For the purpose of our scaffold, we’ll be going through and breaking down each paragraph of a Visual Arts extended response/essay. We’ll identify the individual points or ideas you need to include, as well as the best ways to work them into your response.

That way you’ll be bale to go into any art essay knowing exactly what you need to write.

We’ve included example sentences for our introduction and conclusion , as well as one body paragraph to show you exactly what kind of things you should and could be writing.

Download your very own Visual Arts Essay Scaffold

Visual Arts Essay Scaffold Preview

Introduction of the HSC Visual Art Essay

Step 1: thesis sentence responding to the question.

This should be concise and to the point, as you want your thesis to be super clear to whoever is reading your essay. Make sure that whatever you’re saying is answering/responding to the question being asked and try to avoid overly long or complex theses.

what to write about in an art essay

Example Question: Art is about reflecting reality. Thesis sentence: “While art may reflect reality, it also acts as an expression of imagination.”

Step 2: Context about artists and artworks

First of all you’ll have to introduce each of your artists and at least two of their artworks, as you’ll be analysing these in your essay. You may then want to add some brief context – even if it’s just one or two descriptors, such as mentioning that one artist is Australian, or that both are women. Whatever context you do mention should be relevant to or play a role in your thesis or main ideas.

Example “Del Kathryn Barton is one such artist, who uses symbolism and decorative patterns to convey concepts of femininity and imagination in her works That’s when I was another tree 2 and She appeared as a lover might.   On the other hand artists such as Barbara Kruger, who uses boldly coloured text in her works Untitled (Pro-life for the unborn/Pro-death for the born) and Untitled (Your body is a battleground) , show how reflecting reality can be pivotal to an artwork.”

Step 3: Signpost the main ideas of the essay

Signposting is the art of telling the reader what you’re going to talk about without actually starting to talk about it. This means you’ll want to briefly name or mention the key ideas or arguments you’ll focus on in your essay, but don’t go into any detail yet! That’s for your body paragraphs.

Example “These two artists despite their differences in style and subject matter both show a respect for that which is real and imagined in their artworks and practice. Hence they reveal through their works that art may reflect reality, but it expresses imagination as well.”

Body Paragraph 1a

Step 1: introduce the first idea you signposted.

It’s time to start detailing your main ideas or arguments from your introduction. You want to use your strongest idea first, so pick the one you know the best or can argue the best and explain it here in a little more detail. Make sure your sentence also makes it clear how this idea links to your thesis and/or the question.

what to write about in an art essay

Example “ That’s when I was another tree 2 is one of Barton’s works that uses visual language to express the abstract concept of femininity, using line and symbolism to express an imaginative interpretation of the idea.”

Step 2: Introduce Artist 1 and the artwork you’re analysing

Bring in your first artist by giving some more context on them as is relevant to the idea you’re writing about. This may include their nationality, when they lived, their social background, etc. You’ve already named the artwork you plan to analyse for this paragraph so briefly describe it for the audience. You don’t need to get too in-depth in your descriptions, but make sure the reader knows enough for the rest of your paragraph to make sense.

Example “Barton’s own role in society as a woman clearly influenced both her experiences of reality and her choice to create imaginative, expressive works about it. The image shows a nude girl holding a cat and looking upward, with ribbon wrapped around her arms and hair.”

Step 3: Analyse the artwork using the principles and elements of design, the frames and the conceptual framework

This is the trickier part – actually analysing. You need to make sure you know and understand the artwork and how it relates to or proves the ideas you’re trying to argue.

Analysing how the work interacts with the elements and principles of design, the frames and the conceptual framework is usually the best way to do this. Brush up on analysing the principles of design, the frames, and conceptual framework of art !

Example “The use of thin, jagged line work in the outlines and details of the image create a sense of sharpness and fragility, reminiscent of the edges of broken glass. Meanwhile the inclusion of the ribbons tied to and around the naked figure acts as a symbol for being trapped; trapped by society, trapped by reality and trapped by the expectations of young women in modern times. The cat also acts as a symbol, often tied to the idea of female manipulation, however the dark pink of it paws contrasted with its white claws highlight the way it cuts into the girl’s hand, yet another symbol of physical entrapment.” 

Step 4: Explain how Artist A reflects the idea

Usually most of these connections will be made in your analysis, but you need to really drive home the point you’re making about why this idea is relevant to your artist and vice versa. Do this with a simple sentence stating exactly how the two are linked.

Example “In this work Barton uses imaginative imagery to create an image that expresses an idea without being rooted in reality, thus she is able to accurately and interpretively reveal the abstract idea of femininity.” 

Step 5: Sum up the idea and link back to your thesis

You need to end your paragraph solidly, so make sure your concluding sentence brings your idea, analysis and thesis all together. Make sure to use high modality words like “proves”, “exemplifies”, etc.

Example “Therefore Barton and her work  That’s when I was another tree 2 act as evidence that while art may reflect reality, it is also an expression of imagination.”

Body Paragraph 2a

Step 1: reiterate the first idea you signposted.

Restate the idea from your last paragraph but this time focus on how it links to your second artist. You may want to throw in some simple comparative language as well to begin the contrasting between your two artists, such as “on the other hand”, “in contrast to”, etc.

Step 2: Introduce Artist 2 and the artwork you’re analysing

Do this in the same way as you did in paragraph 1a, making sure to point out any relevant context that may be relevant for your analysis. Also make sure to comment on any important similarities or differences between this artist/artwork and the first artist/artwork.

Just as you did in paragraph 1a you now need to analyse the artwork. Remember you’re analysing comparatively, so comment on whether this artwork is similar or different to the first artwork you looked at, or if it has both different and similar elements.

Step 4: Compare and contrast Artist 1 with how Artist 2 reflects the idea

Really drive home your comparison here by stating how your idea is relevant to this new artist, then comparing and contrasting with how it was relevant to your first artist. This just makes sure you’re covering all bases and making sure your comparative analysis is on point.

Do the same as what you did for paragraph 1a, just make sure to add in a little mention of your comparison. Sentence starters such as “Similar to Artist 1, Artist 2 has proven…” are a great way to do this.

Body Paragraph 1b

Step 1: introduce the second idea you signposted.

Even though your first idea was the stronger one, you want to make sure your second idea is argued and analysed just as well. Introduce the idea in more detail just like you did before, making sure to mention how it connects to your thesis of your HSC Visual Arts Essay.

Step 2: Reintroduce Artist 1 and the artwork you’re analysing

Add any extra context we may need for this artist and then get into naming and describing the new artwork you’re analysing. You have less to write here this time around so don’t worry if you feel you’ve written a little less.

Do this just as you did for paragraph 1a, focusing on the elements and principles of design, the frames and the conceptual framework. Try to avoid analysing all the artworks in the same way, so if you focused on colour symbolism last time, try analysing the use of line or the materials used this time round.

Step 4: Explain how Artist 1 reflects the idea

Again, this is just as you did it in paragraph 1a. One thing you can add would be a comment on how the different or similar ways in which the artist reflects each of the ideas you’ve presented. For example maybe their exploration of your first idea was very obvious, whereas the second was more subtle.

This is the same as you did the first time – make it punchy and powerful and you’re good to go.

Body Paragraph 2b

Step 1: reiterate the second idea you signposted.

Take the idea from paragraph 2a and restate it focusing on your second artist/artwork, including some comparative language for extra punch.

Step 2: Reintroduce Artist 2 and the artwork you’re analysing

Do this just like you did in paragraph 1b – you’ll totally have the hang of this by now.

At this point you’ll be an analysis whiz, so keep it up like you did in paragraph 1b by analysing and comparing at the same time for the best effect.

Step 4: Compare and contrast Artist 2 with how Artist 1 reflects the idea

Smash that comparative analysis out of the park with some final summary on how the two artists/artworks relate in regards to the idea you’re looking at.

This is your last body paragraph so sum it up superbly and you’re almost at the finish line. Make sure to really drive home your idea and how it links to your thesis as well, just to make sure your essay is super cohesive and clear.

hsc visual arts essay example of painting with sky

Conclusion for the HSC Visual Arts Essay

Step 1: summarise and restate your thesis responding to the question.

Your conclusion is just reminding readers of what they’ve read, so create a punchy sentence that reminds them what your thesis was and how it was responding to the question posed.

Example “While art may reflect reality, the fact of the matter is that it also acts as an expression of imagination, as proven in the works of Barton and Kruger.”

Step 2: Sum up the ideas you originally signposted

Grab those ideas you signposted in the beginning and sum them up succinctly in 1-2 sentences, making sure it’s super clear how and why you argued/proved them. Make mention of your artists and artworks here as well just to sum everything up at the end of your HSC Visual Arts Essay!

Example “While Barton and Kruger are two contrasting artists with vastly different art styles and practices, looking at both demonstrates that reality and imagination may both be explored by any artist. Though each may appear more skewed towards either reality or imagination, their works prove that both ideas play an important role in their artmaking.”

Step 3: Conclude the essay with a strong, snappy sentence

Go out with a bang by creating an awesome finishing line that totally sums up what you’ve said in your essay. This may be a reiteration of your thesis with an “I proved it” twist, or you can use a suitable quote from one of your artists if you’re feeling fancy!

Example “Thus there can be no argument that both reality and imagination are pivotal aspects of both the art world and the worlds and lives of artists themselves.”

And there you have it! By following the steps we’ve laid out in our scaffold it’s totally simple to create your own awesome HSC Visual Arts Essay.

Make sure to focus on the key elements we identified and you’ll be heading straight for those top marks!

Looking for some inspiration for your Visual Arts Major Work ? We’ve created an article to get the ideas flowing!

On the hunt for other HSC Visual Arts resources?

Check out some of our other articles/guides below!

The Master List of HSC Visual Arts Practice Papers

  • How to Write Effective HSC Visual Arts Study Notes
  • How to Nail HSC Visual Arts Section 1 by Using a Scaffold

Looking for some extra help with using this scaffold for your Visual Arts essay?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational hsc visual arts coaches and mentors.

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today!

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at  [email protected]  or check us out on  TikTok !

Maddison Leach completed her HSC in 2014, achieving an ATAR of 98.00 and Band 6 in all her subjects. Having tutored privately for two years before joining Art of Smart, she enjoys helping students through the academic and other aspects of school life, even though it sometimes makes her feel old. Maddison has had a passion for writing since her early teens, having had several short stories published before joining the world of blogging. She’s currently deferring her studies until she starts her Bachelor of Communication at UTS in the spring.

  • Topics: 🎨 Visual Arts , ✍️ Learn

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How to Write an Abstract in Research Papers (with Examples)

How to write an abstract

An abstract in research papers is a keyword-rich summary usually not exceeding 200-350 words. It can be considered the “face” of research papers because it creates an initial impression on the readers. While searching databases (such as PubMed) for research papers, a title is usually the first selection criterion for readers. If the title matches their search criteria, then the readers read the abstract, which sets the tone of the paper. Titles and abstracts are often the only freely available parts of research papers on journal websites. The pdf versions of full articles need to be purchased. Journal reviewers are often provided with only the title and abstract before they agree to review the complete paper. [ 1]  

Abstracts in research papers provide readers with a quick insight into what the paper is about to help them decide whether they want to read it further or not. Abstracts are the main selling points of articles and therefore should be carefully drafted, accurately highlighting the important aspects. [ 2]  

This article will help you identify the important components and provide tips on how to write an abstract in research papers effectively

What is an Abstract?  

An abstract in research papers can be defined as a synopsis of the paper. It should be clear, direct, self-contained, specific, unbiased, and concise. These summaries are published along with the complete research paper and are also submitted to conferences for consideration for presentation.  

Abstracts are of four types and journals can follow any of these formats: [ 2]  

  • Structured  
  • Unstructured  
  • Descriptive  
  • Informative  

Structured abstracts are used by most journals because they are more organized and have clear sections, usually including introduction/background; objective; design, settings, and participants (or materials and methods); outcomes and measures; results; and conclusion. These headings may differ based on the journal or the type of paper. Clinical trial abstracts should include the essential items mentioned in the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) guidelines.  

what to write about in an art essay

Figure 1. Structured abstract example [3] 

Unstructured abstracts are common in social science, humanities, and physical science journals. They usually have one paragraph and no specific structure or subheadings. These abstracts are commonly used for research papers that don’t report original work and therefore have a more flexible and narrative style.  

what to write about in an art essay

Figure 2. Unstructured abstract example [3] 

Descriptive abstracts are short (75–150 words) and provide an outline with only the most important points of research papers. They are used for shorter articles such as case reports, reviews, and opinions where space is at a premium, and rarely for original investigations. These abstracts don’t present the results but mainly list the topics covered.  

Here’s a sample abstract . [ 4]  

“Design of a Radio-Based System for Distribution Automation”  

A new survey by the Maryland Public Utilities Commission suggests that utilities have not effectively explained to consumers the benefits of smart meters. The two-year study of 86,000 consumers concludes that the long-term benefits of smart meters will not be realized until consumers understand the benefits of shifting some of their power usage to off-peak hours in response to the data they receive from their meters. The study presents recommendations for utilities and municipal governments to improve customer understanding of how to use the smart meters effectively.  

Keywords: smart meters, distribution systems, load, customer attitudes, power consumption, utilities  

Informative abstracts (structured or unstructured) give a complete detailed summary, including the main results, of the research paper and may or may not have subsections.   

what to write about in an art essay

Figure 3. Informative abstract example [5] 

Purpose of Abstracts in Research    

Abstracts in research have two main purposes—selection and indexing. [ 6,7]  

  • Selection : Abstracts allow interested readers to quickly decide the relevance of a paper to gauge if they should read it completely.   
  • Indexing : Most academic journal databases accessed through libraries enable you to search abstracts, allowing for quick retrieval of relevant articles and avoiding unnecessary search results. Therefore, abstracts must necessarily include the keywords that researchers may use to search for articles.  

Thus, a well-written, keyword-rich abstract can p ique readers’ interest and curiosity and help them decide whether they want to read the complete paper. It can also direct readers to articles of potential clinical and research interest during an online search.  

what to write about in an art essay

Contents of Abstracts in Research  

Abstracts in research papers summarize the main points of an article and are broadly categorized into four or five sections. Here are some details on how to write an abstract .   

Introduction/Background and/or Objectives  

This section should provide the following information:  

  • What is already known about the subject?  
  • What is not known about the subject or what does the study aim to investigate?  

The hypothesis or research question and objectives should be mentioned here. The Background sets the context for the rest of the paper and its length should be short so that the word count could be saved for the Results or other information directly pertaining to the study. The objective should be written in present or past simple tense.  

Examples:  

The antidepressant efficacy of desvenlafaxine (DV) has been established in 8-week, randomized controlled trials. The present study examined the continued efficacy of DV across 6 months of maintenance treatment . [ 1]  

Objective: To describe gastric and breast cancer risk estimates for individuals with CDH1 variants.  

Design, Setting, and Participants (or Materials and Methods)  

This section should provide information on the processes used and should be written in past simple tense because the process is already completed.  

A few important questions to be answered include:  

  • What was the research design and setting?  
  • What was the sample size and how were the participants sampled?  
  • What treatments did the participants receive?  
  • What were the data collection and data analysis dates?  
  • What was the primary outcome measure?  

Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated for each cancer type and used to calculate cumulative risks and risks per decade of life up to age 80 years.  

what to write about in an art essay

This section, written in either present or past simple tense, should be the longest and should describe the main findings of the study. Here’s an example of how descriptive the sentences should be:  

Avoid: Response rates differed significantly between diabetic and nondiabetic patients.  

Better: The response rate was higher in nondiabetic than in diabetic patients (49% vs 30%, respectively; P<0.01).  

This section should include the following information:  

  • Total number of patients (included, excluded [exclusion criteria])  
  • Primary and secondary outcomes, expressed in words, and supported by numerical data  
  • Data on adverse outcomes  

Example: [ 8]  

In total, 10.9% of students were reported to have favorable study skills. The minimum score was found for preparation for examination domain. Also, a significantly positive correlation was observed between students’ study skills and their Grade Point Average (GPA) of previous term (P=0.001, r=0.269) and satisfaction with study skills (P=0.001, r=0.493).  

Conclusions  

Here, authors should mention the importance of their findings and also the practical and theoretical implications, which would benefit readers referring to this paper for their own research. Present simple tense should be used here.  

Examples: [ 1,8]  

The 9.3% prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorders in students at an arts university is substantially higher than general population estimates. These findings strengthen the oft-expressed hypothesis linking creativity with affective psychopathology.  

The findings indicated that students’ study skills need to be improved. Given the significant relationship between study skills and GPA, as an index of academic achievement, and satisfaction, it is necessary to promote the students’ study skills. These skills are suggested to be reinforced, with more emphasis on weaker domains.  

what to write about in an art essay

When to Write an Abstract  

In addition to knowing how to write an abstract , you should also know when to write an abstract . It’s best to write abstracts once the paper is completed because this would make it easier for authors to extract relevant parts from every section.  

Abstracts are usually required for: [ 7]    

  • submitting articles to journals  
  • applying for research grants   
  • writing book proposals  
  • completing and submitting dissertations  
  • submitting proposals for conference papers  

Mostly, the author of the entire work writes the abstract (the first author, in works with multiple authors). However, there are professional abstracting services that hire writers to draft abstracts of other people’s work.   

How to Write an Abstract (Step-by-Step Process)  

Here are some key steps on how to write an abstract in research papers: [ 9]  

  • Write the abstract after you’ve finished writing your paper.  
  • Select the major objectives/hypotheses and conclusions from your Introduction and Conclusion sections.  
  • Select key sentences from your Methods section.  
  • Identify the major results from the Results section.  
  • Paraphrase or re-write the sentences selected in steps 2, 3, and 4 in your own words into one or two paragraphs in the following sequence: Introduction/Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. The headings may differ among journals, but the content remains the same.  
  • Ensure that this draft does not contain: a.   new information that is not present in the paper b.   undefined abbreviations c.   a discussion of previous literature or reference citations d.   unnecessary details about the methods used  
  • Remove all extra information and connect your sentences to ensure that the information flows well, preferably in the following order: purpose; basic study design, methodology and techniques used; major findings; summary of your interpretations, conclusions, and implications. Use section headings for structured abstracts.  
  • Ensure consistency between the information presented in the abstract and the paper.  
  • Check to see if the final abstract meets the guidelines of the target journal (word limit, type of abstract, recommended subheadings, etc.) and if all the required information has been included.  

Choosing Keywords for Abstracts  

Keywords [ 2] are the important and repeatedly used words and phrases in research papers and can help indexers and search engines find papers relevant to your requirements. Easy retrieval would help in reaching a wider audience and eventually gain more citations. In the fields of medicine and health, keywords should preferably be chosen from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of the US National Library of Medicine because they are used for indexing. These keywords need to be different from the words in the main title (automatically used for indexing) but can be variants of the terms/phrases used in the title, abstract, and the main text. Keywords should represent the content of your manuscript and be specific to your subject area.  

Basic tips for authors [ 10,11]  

  • Read through your paper and highlight key terms or phrases that are most relevant and frequently used in your field, to ensure familiarity.  
  • Several journals provide instructions about the length (eg, 3 words in a keyword) and maximum number of keywords allowed and other related rules. Create a list of keywords based on these instructions and include specific phrases containing 2 to 4 words. A longer string of words would yield generic results irrelevant to your field.  
  • Use abbreviations, acronyms, and initializations if these would be more familiar.  
  • Search with your keywords to ensure the results fit with your article and assess how helpful they would be to readers.  
  • Narrow down your keywords to about five to ten, to ensure accuracy.  
  • Finalize your list based on the maximum number allowed.  

  Few examples: [ 12]  

     
Direct observation of nonlinear optics in an isolated carbon nanotube  molecule, optics, lasers, energy lifetime  single-molecule interaction, Kerr effect, carbon nanotube, energy level 
Region-specific neuronal degeneration after okadaic acid administration  neuron, brain, regional-specific neuronal degeneration, signaling  neurodegenerative diseases; CA1 region, hippocampal; okadaic acid; neurotoxins; MAP kinase signaling system; cell death 
Increases in levels of sediment transport at former glacial-interglacial transitions  climate change, erosion, plant effects  quaternary climate change, soil erosion, bioturbation 

Important Tips for Writing an Abstract  

Here are a few tips on how to write an abstract to ensure that your abstract is complete, concise, and accurate. [ 1,2]  

  • Write the abstract last.  
  • Follow journal-specific formatting guidelines or Instructions to Authors strictly to ensure acceptance for publication.  
  • Proofread the final draft meticulously to avoid grammatical or typographical errors.  
  • Ensure that the terms or data mentioned in the abstract are consistent with the main text.  
  • Include appropriate keywords at the end.

Do not include:  

  • New information  
  • Text citations to references  
  • Citations to tables and figures  
  • Generic statements  
  • Abbreviations unless necessary, like a trial or study name  

what to write about in an art essay

Key Takeaways    

Here’s a quick snapshot of all the important aspects of how to write an abstract . [2]

  • An abstract in research is a summary of the paper and describes only the main aspects. Typically, abstracts are about 200-350 words long.  
  • Abstracts are of four types—structured, unstructured, descriptive, and informative.  
  • Abstracts should be simple, clear, concise, independent, and unbiased (present both favorable and adverse outcomes).  
  • They should adhere to the prescribed journal format, including word limits, section headings, number of keywords, fonts used, etc.  
  • The terminology should be consistent with the main text.   
  • Although the section heading names may differ for journals, every abstract should include a background and objective, analysis methods, primary results, and conclusions.  
  • Nonstandard abbreviations, references, and URLs shouldn’t be included.  
  • Only relevant and specific keywords should be used to ensure focused searches and higher citation frequency.  
  • Abstracts should be written last after completing the main paper.  

Frequently Asked Questions   

Q1. Do all journals have different guidelines for abstracts?  

A1. Yes, all journals have their own specific guidelines for writing abstracts; a few examples are given in the following table. [ 6,13,14,15]  

   
American Psychological Association           
American Society for Microbiology     
The Lancet     
Journal of the American Medical Association               

Q2. What are the common mistakes to avoid when writing an abstract?  

A2. Listed below are a few mistakes that authors may make inadvertently while writing abstracts.  

  • Copying sentences from the paper verbatim  

An abstract is a summary, which should be created by paraphrasing your own work or writing in your own words. Extracting sentences from every section and combining them into one paragraph cannot be considered summarizing.  

  • Not adhering to the formatting guidelines  

Journals have special instructions for writing abstracts, such as word limits and section headings. These should be followed strictly to avoid rejections.  

  • Not including the right amount of details in every section  

Both too little and too much information could discourage readers. For instance, if the Background has very little information, the readers may not get sufficient context to appreciate your research. Similarly, incomplete information in the Methods and a text-heavy Results section without supporting numerical data may affect the credibility of your research.  

  • Including citations, standard abbreviations, and detailed measurements  

Typically, abstracts shouldn’t include these elements—citations, URLs, and abbreviations. Only nonstandard abbreviations are allowed or those that would be more familiar to readers than the expansions.  

  • Including new information  

Abstracts should strictly include only the same information mentioned in the main text. Any new information should first be added to the text and then to the abstract only if necessary or if permitted by the word limit.  

  • Not including keywords  

Keywords are essential for indexing and searching and should be included to increase the frequency of retrieval and citation.  

Q3. What is the difference between abstracts in research papers and conference abstracts? [16]  

A3. The table summarizes the main differences between research and conference abstracts.  

     
Context  Concise summary of ongoing or completed research presented at conferences  Summary of full research paper published in a journal 
Length  Shorter (150-250 words)   Longer (150-350 words) 
Audience  Diverse conference attendees (both experts & people with general interest)  People or other researchers specifically interested in the subject 
Focus  Intended to quickly attract interest; provides just enough information to highlight the significance, objectives, and impact; may briefly state methods and results  Deeper insight into the study; more detailed sections on methodology, results, and broader implications 
Publication venue  Not published independently but included in conference schedules, booklets, etc.  Published with the full research paper in academic journals, conference proceedings, research databases, etc. 
Citations  Allowed  Not allowed 

  Thus, abstracts are essential “trailers” that can market your research to a wide audience. The better and more complete the abstract the more are the chances of your paper being read and cited. By following our checklist and ensuring that all key elements are included, you can create a well-structured abstract that summarizes your paper accurately.  

References  

  • Andrade C. How to write a good abstract for a scientific paper or conference presentation. Indian J Psychiatry . 2011; 53(2):172-175. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136027/  
  • Tullu MS. Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key. 2019; 13(Suppl 1): S12-S17. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6398294/  
  • Zawia J. Writing an Academic Paper? Get to know Abstracts vs. Structured Abstracts. Medium. Published October 16, 2023. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://medium.com/@jamala.zawia/writing-an-academic-paper-get-to-know-abstracts-vs-structured-abstracts-11ed86888367  
  • Markel M and Selber S. Technical Communication, 12 th edition. 2018; pp. 482. Bedford/St Martin’s.  
  • Abstracts. Arkansas State University. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.astate.edu/a/global-initiatives/online/a-state-online-services/online-writing-center/resources/How%20to%20Write%20an%20Abstract1.pdf  
  • AMA Manual of Style. 11 th edition. Oxford University Press.  
  • Writing an Abstract. The University of Melbourne. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://services.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/471274/Writing_an_Abstract_Update_051112.pdf  
  • 10 Good Abstract Examples that will Kickstart Your Brain. Kibin Essay Writing Blog. Published April 5, 2017. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.kibin.com/essay-writing-blog/10-good-abstract-examples/  
  • A 10-step guide to make your research paper abstract more effective. Editage Insights. Published October 16, 2013. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.editage.com/insights/a-10-step-guide-to-make-your-research-paper-abstract-more-effective  
  • Using keywords to write your title and abstract. Taylor & Francis Author Services. Accessed June 15, 2024. https://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/publishing-your-research/writing-your-paper/using-keywords-to-write-title-and-abstract/  
  • How to choose and use keywords in research papers. Paperpal by Editage blog. Published March 10, 2023. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://paperpal.com/blog/researcher-resources/phd-pointers/how-to-choose-and-use-keywords-in-research-papers  
  • Title, abstract and keywords. Springer. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://www.springer.com/it/authors-editors/authorandreviewertutorials/writing-a-journal-manuscript/title-abstract-and-keywords/10285522  
  • Abstract and keywords guide. APA Style, 7 th edition. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://apastyle.apa.org/instructional-aids/abstract-keywords-guide.pdf  
  • Abstract guidelines. American Society for Microbiology. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://asm.org/events/asm-microbe/present/abstract-guidelines  
  • Guidelines for conference abstracts. The Lancet. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://www.thelancet.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/pdfs/Abstract_Guidelines_2013.pdf  
  • Is a conference abstract the same as a paper abstract? Global Conference Alliance, Inc. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://globalconference.ca/is-a-conference-abstract-the-same-as-a-paper-abstract/  

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Related Reads:

  • What are Journal Guidelines on Using Generative AI Tools
  • How to Write a High-Quality Conference Paper
  • Should You Use AI Tools like ChatGPT for Academic Writing?
  • What is the Importance of a Concept Paper and How to Write It 

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More From Forbes

How not to write your college essay.

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If you are looking for the “secret formula” for writing a “winning” college essay, you have come to the wrong place. The reality is there is no silver bullet or strategy to write your way to an acceptance. There is not one topic or approach that will guarantee a favorable outcome.

At the end of the day, every admission office just wants to know more about you, what you value, and what excites you. They want to hear about your experiences through your own words and in your own voice. As you set out to write your essay, you will no doubt get input (both sought-after and unsolicited) on what to write. But how about what NOT Notcoin to write? There are avoidable blunders that applicants frequently make in drafting their essays. I asked college admission leaders, who have read thousands of submissions, to share their thoughts.

Don’t Go In There

There is wide consensus on this first one, so before you call on your Jedi mind tricks or predictive analytics, listen to the voices of a diverse range of admission deans. Peter Hagan, executive director of admissions at Syracuse University, sums it up best, saying, “I would recommend that students try not to get inside of our heads. He adds, “Too often the focus is on what they think we want.”

Andy Strickler, dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College agrees, warning, “Do NOT get caught in the trap of trying to figure out what is going to impress the admission committee. You have NO idea who is going to read your essay and what is going to connect with them. So, don't try to guess that.” Victoria Romero, vice president for enrollment, at Scripps College adds, “Do not write about something you don’t care about.” She says, “I think students try to figure out what an admission officer wants to read, and the reality is the reader begins every next essay with no expectations about the content THEY want to read.” Chrystal Russell, dean of admission at Hampden-Sydney College, agrees, saying, “If you're not interested in writing it, we will not be interested when reading it.” Jay Jacobs, vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Vermont elaborates, advising. “Don’t try to make yourself sound any different than you are.” He says, “The number one goal for admission officers is to better understand the applicant, what they like to do, what they want to do, where they spend the majority of their time, and what makes them tick. If a student stays genuine to that, it will shine through and make an engaging and successful essay.”

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Don’t Be Artificial

The headlines about college admission are dominated by stories about artificial intelligence and the college essay. Let’s set some ground rules–to allow ChatGPT or some other tool to do your work is not only unethical, it is also unintelligent. The only worse mistake you could make is to let another human write your essay for you. Instead of preoccupying yourself with whether or not colleges are using AI detection software (most are not), spend your time focused on how best to express yourself authentically. Rick Clark is the executive director of strategic student success at Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the first institutions to clearly outline their AI policy for applicants. He says, “Much of a college application is devoted to lines, boxes, and numbers. Essays and supplements are the one place to establish connection, personality, and distinction. AI, in its current state, is terrible at all three.” He adds, “My hope is that students will use ChatGPT or other tools for brainstorming and to get started, but then move quickly into crafting an essay that will provide insight and value.”

Don’t Overdo It

Michael Stefanowicz, vice president for enrollment management at Landmark College says, “You can only cover so much detail about yourself in an admission essay, and a lot of students feel pressure to tell their life story or choose their most defining experience to date as an essay topic. Admission professionals know that you’re sharing just one part of your lived experience in the essay.” He adds, “Some of the favorite essays I’ve read have been episodic, reflecting on the way you’ve found meaning in a seemingly ordinary experience, advice you’ve lived out, a mistake you’ve learned from, or a special tradition in your life.” Gary Ross, vice president for admission and financial aid at Colgate University adds, “More than a few applicants each year craft essays that talk about the frustration and struggles they have experienced in identifying a topic for their college application essay. Presenting your college application essay as a smorgasbord of topics that ultimately landed on the cutting room floor does not give us much insight into an applicant.”

Don’t Believe In Magic

Jason Nevinger, senior director of admission at the University of Rochester warns, “Be skeptical of anyone or any company telling you, ‘This is the essay that got me into _____.’ There is no magic topic, approach, sentence structure, or prose that got any student into any institution ever.” Social media is littered with advertisements promising strategic essay help. Don’t waste your time, energy, or money trying to emulate a certain style, topic, or tone. Liz Cheron is chief executive officer for the Coalition for College and former assistant vice president of enrollment & dean of admissions at Northeastern University. She agrees with Nevinger, saying “Don't put pressure on yourself to find the perfect, slam dunk topic. The vast majority of college essays do exactly what they're supposed to do–they are well-written and tell the admission officer more about the student in that student's voice–and that can take many different forms.”

Don’t Over Recycle

Beatrice Atkinson-Myers, associate director of global recruitment at the University of California at Santa Cruz tells students, “Do not use the same response for each university; research and craft your essay to match the program at the university you are interested in studying. Don't waste time telling me things I can read elsewhere in your application. Use your essay to give the admissions officer insights into your motivations, interests, and thinking. Don't make your essay the kitchen sink, focus on one or two examples which demonstrate your depth and creativity.” Her UC colleague, Jim Rawlins, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management at the University of California at San Diego agrees, saying “Answer the question. Not doing so is the surest way we can tell you are simply giving us a snippet of something you actually wrote for a different purpose.”

Don’t Overedit

Emily Roper-Doten, vice president for undergraduate admissions and financial assistance at Clark University warns against “Too many editors!” She says, “Pick a couple of trusted folks to be your sounding board when considering topics and as readers once you have drafts. You don’t want too many voices in your essay to drown you out!” Scripps’ Romero agrees, suggesting, “Ask a good friend, someone you trust and knows you well, to read your essays.” She adds, “The goal is for the admission committee to get to know a little about you and who better to help you create that framework, than a good friend. This may not work for all students because of content but helps them understand it’s important to be themselves.” Whitney Soule, vice provost and dean of admissions at The University of Pennsylvania adds, “Avoid well-meaning editorial interference that might seem to polish your writing but actually takes your own personal ‘shine’ right out of the message.” She says, “As readers, we connect to applicants through their genuine tone and style. Considering editorial advice for flow and message is OK but hold on to the 'you' for what you want to say and how you want to say it.”

Don’t Get Showy

Palmer Muntz, senior regional admissions counselor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks cautions applicants, “Don’t be fancier than you are. You don’t need to put on airs.” He adds, “Yes, proofread your work for grammar and spelling, but be natural. Craft something you’d want to read yourself, which probably means keeping your paragraphs short, using familiar words, and writing in an active voice.” Connecticut College’s Strickler agrees, warning, “Don't try to be someone you are not. If you are not funny, don't try to write a funny essay. If you are not an intellectual, trying to write an intellectual essay is a bad idea.”

Anthony Jones, the vice president of enrollment management at Loyola University New Orleans offers a unique metaphor for thinking about the essay. He says, “In the new world of the hyper-fast college admission process, it's become easy to overlook the essential meaning of the college application. It's meant to reveal Y...O...U, the real you, not some phony digital avatar. Think of the essay as the essence of that voice but in analog. Like the completeness and authenticity captured in a vinyl record, the few lines you're given to explain your view should be a slow walk through unrestrained expression chock full of unapologetic nuances, crevices of emotion, and exactness about how you feel in the moment. Then, and only then, can you give the admissions officer an experience that makes them want to tune in and listen for more.”

Don’t Be A Downer

James Nondorf, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at The University of Chicago says, “Don’t be negative about other people, be appreciative of those who have supported you, and be excited about who you are and what you will bring to our campus!” He adds, “While admissions offices want smart students for our classrooms, we also want kind-hearted, caring, and joyous students who will add to our campus communities too.”

Don’t Pattern Match

Alan Ramirez is the dean of admission and financial aid at Sewanee, The University of the South. He explains, “A big concern I have is when students find themselves comparing their writing to other students or past applicants and transform their writing to be more like those individuals as a way to better their chances of offering a more-compelling essay.” He emphasizes that the result is that the “essay is no longer authentic nor the best representation of themselves and the whole point of the essay is lost. Their distinctive voice and viewpoint contribute to the range of voices in the incoming class, enhancing the diversity of perspectives we aim to achieve.” Ramirez simple tells students, “Be yourself, that’s what we want to see, plus there's no one else who can do it better than you!”

Don’t Feel Tied To A Topic

Jessica Ricker is the vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid at Skidmore College. She says, “Sometimes students feel they must tell a story of grief or hardship, and then end up reliving that during the essay-writing process in ways that are emotionally detrimental. I encourage students to choose a topic they can reflect upon positively but recommend that if they choose a more challenging experience to write about, they avoid belaboring the details and instead focus on the outcome of that journey.” She adds, "They simply need to name it, frame its impact, and then help us as the reader understand how it has shaped their lens on life and their approach moving forward.”

Landmark College’s Stefanowicz adds, “A lot of students worry about how personal to get in sharing a part of their identity like your race or heritage (recalling last year’s Supreme Court case about race-conscious admissions), a learning difference or other disability, your religious values, LGBTQ identity…the list goes on.” He emphasizes, “This is always your choice, and your essay doesn’t have to be about a defining identity. But I encourage you to be fully yourself as you present yourself to colleges—because the college admission process is about finding a school where your whole self is welcome and you find a setting to flourish!”

Don’t Be Redundant

Hillen Grason Jr., dean of admission at Franklin & Marshall College, advises, “Don't repeat academic or co-curricular information that is easily identifiable within other parts of your application unless the topic is a core tenant of you as an individual.” He adds, “Use your essay, and other parts of your application, wisely. Your essay is the best way to convey who your authentic self is to the schools you apply. If you navigated a situation that led to a dip in your grades or co-curricular involvement, leverage the ‘additional information’ section of the application.

Thomas Marr is a regional manager of admissions for the Americas at The University of St Andrews in Scotland and points out that “Not all international schools use the main college essay as part of their assessment when reviewing student applications.” He says, “At the University of St Andrews, we focus on the supplemental essay and students should avoid the mistake of making the supplemental a repeat of their other essay. The supplemental (called the Personal Statement if using the UCAS application process) is to show the extent of their passion and enthusiasm for the subject/s to which they are applying and we expect about 75% of the content to cover this. They can use the remaining space to mention their interests outside of the classroom. Some students confuse passion for the school with passion for their subject; do not fall into that trap.”

A Few Final Don’ts

Don’t delay. Every college applicant I have ever worked with has wished they had started earlier. You can best avoid the pitfalls above if you give yourself the time and space to write a thoughtful essay and welcome feedback openly but cautiously. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect . Do your best, share your voice, and stay true to who you are.

Brennan Barnard

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He never saw himself as disadvantaged. Then the government had him write an essay.

It had never occurred to Curtis Joachim to blame racism for his professional setbacks until an SBA application forced him to think differently about his life.

what to write about in an art essay

Curtis Joachim sat at his computer, searching for the words to prove his disadvantage.

It was summer 2023, and a federal judge had just ruled that a government program for minority contractors could no longer automatically accept participants like Joachim. For the first time in the program’s 45-year history, simply being Black was not enough to qualify as “socially disadvantaged” — a key requirement to receive set-asides for lucrative government contracts. Now Joachim, an accountant, had to document his struggles.

He had to write an essay.

So Joachim began examining his life through the prism of disadvantage. It was new terrain for the 56-year-old Marine Corps veteran and longtime entrepreneur, a man who had instinctively equated success with merit.

As he sat down to write, he thought about his many setbacks: the missed promotions, the bankruptcies, the second jobs he took to make ends meet. No matter how hard he had worked, he now realized, there had always been some resistance, almost like an “invisible force” holding him back.

And then it struck him: “It could have been different if I was not a Black man.”

Joachim was writing the essay because of a decision several weeks earlier by a federal judge in Tennessee. A White woman had challenged the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development program , one of the government’s defining affirmative action programs, which certifies businesses as “disadvantaged” so they can pursue federal contracts set aside for minority-owned businesses. Last year, more than a dozen agencies disbursed $24.4 billion through the 8(a) pipeline.

Joachim said the program changed the course of his life, allowing him to win more than $32 million in accounting and auditing contracts over the past decade from the departments of Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation, among others. The experience gave him the foundation to pursue other government work and increase his staff to 15.

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But now, the judge said, the program could no longer admit applicants based solely on their racial identity. Instead, every applicant would have to offer a narrative of disadvantage, one that demonstrated how their identity set them back.

Since last June, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down race-based college admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the nation’s most selective universities have been forced to undergo a similar transformation. Applicants can no longer expect special consideration on the basis of their race, though they can use their personal essays to discuss how race has shaped their experiences .

The Harvard-UNC decision touched off a broader shift in the way institutions approach diversity . In the corporate world and government contracting, as well as higher education, explicit preferences for people of certain races or ethnicities are giving way to processes that focus on the totality of an applicant’s character, said David Glasgow, executive director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at New York University.

Glasgow said he expects to “see more of that kind of individualized essay-based assessment, in part because the Supreme Court has foreclosed the more direct demographic approaches.”

For the 4,800 businesses that participate in the 8(a) program, the court ruling last July touched off a frenzy. The SBA trained additional staff to review the essays that were now pouring in from participants. Lawyers hired by applicants to help complete their narratives said the process sowed confusion — and dredged up past trauma.

Nicole Pottroff, a partner at the law firm Koprince McCall Pottroff, said many applicants drew upon such severe experiences as “sexual harassment, blatant racism — things that were very hurtful to the individual telling the story.”

“Most of this is painful,” Pottroff said. “They’re hoping to repress a lot of these memories.”

In his essay, Joachim needed to describe two episodes when he experienced discrimination to establish what the SBA called “chronic and substantial social disadvantage.” Pottroff worked with Joachim to identify the incidents, which could have taken place during his education, his employment or in his business history.

He chose to write about his time in the military.

Joachim wrote that he had been a “Poster Marine” who spit shined his boots every night, kept his hair “high and tight,” and earned his sergeant’s stripes in just under three years — it typically takes four to five — while attending college at night and competing as a power weightlifter. He had been named Marine of the Month, then Service Member of the Year, the essay said.

None of it was enough to qualify him for the officers training program, which would have provided him with a college education and propelled him into the commissioned officer ranks. Instead, he wrote, a White Marine had been selected.

“It was my lifelong dream to be a Marine Officer,” he wrote, “but that dream was crushed because of the color of my skin.”

For his second incident, Joachim wrote about how, about a decade later after discharge, he repeatedly had been passed over for promotions while working as a civilian with the U.S. Army Audit Agency in Germany. White peers moved to bigger roles, he wrote, even though he was sure he performed better.

“Given my success and incredibly (nearly excessive) hard work — race again was the only ‘advantage’ they all had over me at that time,” he wrote. “And apparently that was a significant enough ‘advantage’ to promote them three years before me.”

Joachim had not always seen things this way. It had not occurred to him to blame racism when he was rejected for the officers training program or missed out on promotions.

“I never saw myself as disadvantaged,” he said. “To me, it was America. You roll your sleeves up and you work hard, and you get there.”

But writing the essay forced him to examine his life through a different lens. He found the idea that his skin color may have contributed to his many setbacks upsetting. It upended his belief that success was just a matter of hard work and perseverance.

The anecdotes in his essay, he wrote, “are just the tip of the iceberg as to the racism and social disadvantage I have faced in this country from the early days of my youth, through my education and career, and through my business history.”

A hard charger

Joachim was 15 when he first landed in the United States in 1984, traveling from Dominica with five siblings to reunite with their father in Brooklyn. Any fears he had about his new country were quickly overtaken by excitement and the sense of limitless possibility it could bring. Because he wasn’t yet a U.S. citizen and college was out of reach, Joachim enlisted in the Marine Corps.

Friends who served with Joachim at Camp Lejeune, N.C., described him as a “hard charger” and a “Marine’s Marine.”

“He was always number one,” said Wayne Jackson, one of Joachim’s roommates. “He was the rabbit that everybody chased.”

Jackson, who is Black, said racism was a “reality” in the Marines when he served, though he believes the branch has since made progress. Another roommate, Jimmy Tran, agreed, noting that his peers often ribbed him about his Vietnamese heritage.

Still, both said making the leap from enlisted man to officer would have been difficult for anyone, no matter how talented. And Joachim faced an especially big hurdle, they said, because he did not have a college degree at the time.

By 1995, having received his U.S. citizenship in the military, Joachim decided to return to civilian life. He sold perfume, first in Virginia Beach and then in Mobile, Ala., for a multilevel marketing company but went bankrupt after his operation collapsed. He worked at a fast-food chain while also loading trucks at a Coca-Cola warehouse.

In all of his endeavors, Joachim was intent on becoming “financially free” and going into business for himself, said his ex-wife, April Joachim.

He got a step closer to that goal in 1998, when he earned a business administration degree from the University of Dubuque in Iowa and went straight to work for the Army Audit Agency in Germany. Though he eventually was made a supervisor and led teams that audited the efficiency of military supply routes during conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, his career plateaued.

In 2004, his work with the audit agency took him to Fort Monroe, Va., where he began selling homes on the side. Taking his cues from Robert Kiyosaki, the real estate guru known for his get-rich-quick seminars , Joachim decided it was time to work for himself. He resigned from the Army Audit Agency and started his own accounting firm, as well as a mortgage company.

Then in 2008, the housing market crashed, ushering in the Great Recession. With his business underwater, Joachim filed for bankruptcy. He managed to find some accounting work for struggling small businesses, while also stocking shelves overnight at Walmart.

As the economy began to recover, Joachim found work for a contractor serving the U.S. Coast Guard, which eventually awarded him a subcontract. It was the break he needed, the launchpad to qualify for the 8(a) program, which “put me in a position to compete” by giving him access to the initial contracts he would need to build credibility with government agencies and fellow contractors, he said.

Suddenly contracts were easier to come by. His accounting firm, the Joachim Group, flourished. He settled on 10 acres in Southern Virginia and sent his son and daughter to college.

In his essay, Joachim reflected on that turnaround.

“The 8(a) Program is one of the only things in my life that has even remotely worked to begin to level the playing field for me as a man in a historically white man’s business world,” he wrote.

Affirmative action programs like 8(a) were designed to recognize past discrimination and “try to make up for that in some ways — without sticking it in your face,” he said. But the process of writing the essay — of having to relive those painful experiences — “forces you to focus on that and think of yourself as a second-class citizen.”

Five days after submitting his essay last August, the SBA accepted it, allowing Joachim to remain in the program for a 10th and final year.

Last month, he “graduated” from 8(a). From now on, the government will no longer classify him as “disadvantaged.”

Now, it’s “sink or swim,” he said. “And, by golly, we’re going to swim.”

what to write about in an art essay

what to write about in an art essay

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The evolution of academic assistance: pre-written essays for sale in the digital age, sponsored post.

  • July 8, 2024

Writing used to be a solitary job where writers would sit at the table in their studies to scribble away imaginary scenarios, people, and events. Today, writing is much more collaborative with writers working out of cafes and dormitories with other students. Academic writing has seen a lot of change in the recent days, thanks to the internet and the AI.

In this blog, we will take a look at academic assistance for students and how pre-written essays for sale are changing the landscape.

Evolution of Academic Assistance

The history of academic assistance for students has been nothing short of a saga. In this section, we will take a look at three major phases in the evolution of academic assistance and how it led to pre-written essays for sale .

Peers and Siblings

In the beginning, meaning before the internet, students do not have any way to seek help from others, save their peers and siblings with some experience. This was easily accessible but it was crude with no guarantee of success and a lot of chances of hit and miss.

AI Essay Writing Tools

With the advancement of the internet and writing tools, AI took center stage with amazing capabilities and scope. But the nascent hype has died down as teachers and instructors have found out ways to tackle AI in essays and papers.

Pre Written Essays for Sale

Today, essays for sale offer amazing value to students in terms of their scope, range, pricing, availability, and so on. Let’s take a look at some of the salient features that make them the ultimate rendition of academic assistance for students in schools and colleges.

Immediate Access

The first thing that is great about these pre-written essays for sale is the first part of their name. Since they are already finished, students do not have to wait for hours or days, and even pay a premium, to get one of these. All it takes is to go to the relevant website, find the right essay, pay for it, and that’s it. From start to finish, it takes no more than a couple of minutes!

Wide Range of Topics

Companies dealing with pre-written essays for sale have dedicated teams for researching the market. They anticipate the demand and come up with topics and titles that cover all the bases for students across the world. That’s why you will find a wide range of amazing essays and papers, available just a download away.

Affordable Pricing

Students do not have surplus cash lying around the dorm to spend on food and essentials, let alone buying essays from essay writing companies. They charge a premium on custom orders and take at least a day to write a 500-word essay. This is where pre-written essays for sale shine as they are available for a fraction of the price with all the benefits.

Lucrative Add-Ons

You might have a notion that once you download a pre-written essay, you are on your own. That’s not true as many reputed companies offer lucrative add-ons and perks to sweeten the deal. For instance, for a nominal price, you can ask for essay editing services. This will allow you to get all the changes in the essay without doing anything yourself. 

Things to Look For Before Buying Pre-Written Essays for Sale

Although pre-written essays for sale are great, you need to do some due diligence before paying your hard-earned cash. Here are some of the things you should check before moving forward with the purchasing of an essay online:

  • The essay should be written by professional writers with experience in academic writing and editing.
  • There should be an established brand behind the development of pre-written essays for sale.
  • You should look for perks and benefits, such as title pages, free formatting, and downloadable plagiarism reports in order.
  • The company has reviews and testimonials from other customers so that you know they are for real.

Wrapping Up

Academic assistance for students in the digital age has come a long way, from its humble roots. Today, students can order a complete essay from the comfort of their homes and get one in seconds. We have covered some aspects in the blog for your assistance in finding the right pre-written essay for sale.

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  1. Art Modernism Essay with 4 artists

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  3. What is an Art Essay and How to Create it?

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COMMENTS

  1. Tips for Writing Effective Essays: A Comprehensive Guide

    2. Organize your ideas: Before you start writing, outline the main points you want to cover in your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas. 3. Use topic sentences: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

  2. What is an Art Essay? Tips to Elevate Your Art Essay Writing

    An art essay is a literary composition that analyzes different aspects of artwork, including paintings, sculpture, poems, architecture, and music. These essays look at the visual elements of different artworks. An art essay, for example, might look at the optical elements and creative approaches utilized in particular works of art.

  3. How To Write An Art Essay, Topics And Structure

    The art essay writing guide can also be used to find more about art essay writing steps. Different sources could give different art essay outlines so you need to be careful. Finalizing the essay. After writing the art essay, it is important to have a clean essay. This calls for proofreading and editing.

  4. Essays About Art: Top 5 Examples And 9 Prompts

    8. Conduct a Visual Analysis of an Artwork. Visual analysis is a way to understand art centered around what the eyes can process. It includes elements like texture, color, line, and scale. For this prompt, find a painting or statue and describe what you see in your essay. 9. Art Period or Artist History.

  5. Writing Essays in Art History

    Art History Analysis - Formal Analysis and Stylistic Analysis. Typically in an art history class the main essay students will need to write for a final paper or for an exam is a formal or stylistic analysis. A formal analysis is just what it sounds like - you need to analyze the form of the artwork. This includes the individual design ...

  6. Art Essay Writing: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

    Craft a catchy conclusion. You need to summarize everything you're discussed and - optionally - write a call to action. This is the way to end every essay from a compare and contrast art essay to an art critique example essay. Edit everything and proofread it twice. Make sure your paper is well organized and your writing flows well.

  7. Visual Analysis: How to Analyze a Painting and Write an Essay

    A visual analysis essay is a type of essay written mostly by students majoring in Art History and Communications. The process of visual analysis can be applied to painting, visual art, journalism, photo-journalism, photography, film, and writing. Works in these mediums are often meant to be consumed for entertainment or informative purposes.

  8. LibGuides: Art and Art History: How to Write About Art

    Writing about Art by Henry M. Sayre This straightforward guide prepares students to describe, interpret, and write about works of art in meaningful and lasting terms. Designed as a supplement to Art History survey and period texts, this efficient book features a step-by-step approach to writing-from choosing a work to write about, to essay ...

  9. LibGuides: ARTS

    Find art terms in your textbook or an art glossary or dictionary; You should have an image of the works you are writing about in front of you while you are writing your essay. The images should be of high enough quality that you can see the small details of the works. You will use them when describing visual details of each art work.

  10. How to Write an Art Essay, Structure and Topics

    Structure Your Essay. When it comes to an art essay, you can follow the tried and tested traditional essay formula. With an introduction paragraph, three or four body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph, your structure will make sense and be easy to follow. Before you begin writing, be sure to assign a focus to each of your paragraphs and ...

  11. Best Art Essay Examples

    Art Essay Topics IELTS. Here are some art essay topics for IELTS students. Take a look: The value of art education. The role of museums in preserving art and culture. The impact of globalization on contemporary art. The influence of technology on art and artists. The significance of public art in urban environments.

  12. How to analyze an artwork: a step-by-step guide

    This results in a narrow, repetitive and incomplete analysis of the artwork. Students should ensure that they cover a wide range of art elements and design principles, as well as address context and meaning, where required. The questions below are designed to ensure that students cover a broad range of relevant topics within their analysis.

  13. Tips for Writing Your Art Essay for University

    To have a strong essay, you need just as strong a topic. Students often rush to choose the art they want to cover without focusing on questions they want to raise in their papers. So, first, think about what you want to talk about. It is as simple as that. Think about what interests you the most during class discussions or what ideas you feel ...

  14. 165 Artists and Art Topics to Write about

    Arts and Artists Being Affected by Today's Realities. Arts and artists have inevitably been affected and influenced by advancement in technologies, changes in global communication, and an accelerated tempo of globalization in various ways. The Artist's State of Mind: Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".

  15. Essay On Art in English for Students

    Answer 2: Art is essential as it covers all the developmental domains in child development. Moreover, it helps in physical development and enhancing gross and motor skills. For example, playing with dough can fine-tune your muscle control in your fingers. Share with friends. Previous.

  16. What Art Essay Consists of And How to Write It

    Structure of the Art Essay and Its Features. The structure of the essay consists of three required elements: introduction, body, and conclusion. The absence of one of the article's composition elements is considered a mistake and taken into account in the assessment. It is challenging to write the introduction and conclusion.

  17. Describing Art: Writing a Formal Analysis

    Writing. The conventions for a formal analysis for a work of art is similar to other writing in the humanities. You. should have a thesis statement and structured paragraphs, and you should adhere to general rules of grammar and style. Remember that you are not simply describing the work; rather, you are using your descriptions of the work to ...

  18. Writing about Art

    In many ways, writing an art history essay is similar to writing other types of essays in the humanities. It requires a clear and focused topic, an arguable thesis, an organized format and structure, clear and coherent paragraphs, and a command of grammar and style. It is important to note that writing about art can encompass a broad range of ...

  19. How to write an Arts Essay

    The structure of the Arts essay generally has an introduction, main body and conclusion. The introduction is the first piece of the essay and is commonly written alongside the conclusion. A good Arts essay requires the introduction to grab the reader's interest immediately. Advice to the writer is to start with his/her claim right away.

  20. 7 Important Art Essays

    Here are seven significant examples of art essays written by some of most influential intellectuals such as Walter Benjamin and Susan Sontag.

  21. How to Write an Art Comparison Essay

    Writing an art comparison essay can be a difficult task for the novice art student. Students of art or art history often assume that any interpretation is as good as another, but in reality you will need to learn a little about the artist and the historical context of the composition. > CLASS ; COLLEGE ; TESTS ;

  22. How to Write an Art Critique: Examples & Strategies

    STEP #3. Provide a clear thesis statement. A thesis here would be the main idea that would reflect your vision of an artistic piece. Don't underestimate the importance of a thesis! It will guide you through writing the entire essay. It will also help your readers understand your art criticism better.

  23. How to Write a HSC Visual Arts Essay Using a Scaffold

    Step 1: Reiterate the first idea you signposted. Restate the idea from your last paragraph but this time focus on how it links to your second artist. You may want to throw in some simple comparative language as well to begin the contrasting between your two artists, such as "on the other hand", "in contrast to", etc.

  24. How to Write an Abstract in Research Papers (with Examples)

    An abstract in research papers is a keyword-rich summary usually not exceeding 200-350 words. It can be considered the "face" of research papers because it creates an initial impression on the readers. While searching databases (such as PubMed) for research papers, a title is usually the first selection criterion for readers.

  25. How Not To Write Your College Essay

    Don't Be Artificial . The headlines about college admission are dominated by stories about artificial intelligence and the college essay. Let's set some ground rules-to allow ChatGPT or some ...

  26. 5 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

    Start writing essays early to allow time for research and editing. Grab the reader's attention immediately with a compelling story. Answer questions directly with sound grammar and style. With so ...

  27. He never saw himself as disadvantaged until he was asked to write an

    Joachim was writing the essay because of a decision several weeks earlier by a federal judge in Tennessee. A White woman had challenged the Small Business Administration's 8(a) Business ...

  28. The Evolution of Academic Assistance: Pre-Written Essays for Sale in

    The essay should be written by professional writers with experience in academic writing and editing. There should be an established brand behind the development of pre-written essays for sale.

  29. Oscar Wilde's Art of Disobedience

    Revisiting his critical writing, we learn a valuable lesson about the critic's role in refusing bad taste and bad politics. "Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man ...

  30. French election: What happened and what comes next?

    On Sunday night, joy: French voters had, once again, kept the far right out of power. On Monday morning, uncertainty: A hung parliament, shaky alliances and the threat of turbulent years ahead.