What Are The Approaches To Writing An Art History Research Paper

Although art history research paper is similar to other research papers in many ways ,its arguments are based on what you see. To write this type of paper , you need to be familiar with terminologies required in analyzing artistic work. You should also be able to come up some arguments to describe your opinion on the artistic work.

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When are writing an art history research paper, you should first decide what you want to say about the art. You should then use your own descriptions to make your point. Ensure that you only describe the relevant points on what you see in the piece of artistic work.


There are five categories of art history research papers. These include formal analysis, sociological essay, biographical essays, iconography and iconology. Ideas on art research paper topics can be generated from on any of these categories.


A formal analysis art history research paper considers the parts of the artistic piece of work, analyzes them and brings out some refreshing understanding of the work. It highlights a new way of seeing the artistic work. It involves recording your thoughts about a piece of work ,considering how the piece is displayed ,the artwork’s formal elements like color, style, light and space and bringing out your own arguments on the work.  


The sociological essay approach to writing art history research paper involves looking at the era in which the piece of art was done. It looks at how the era affected or motivated the artist or his piece of work. It may also touch on the social issues that affect art such as the impact of leadership on art.


The biographical approach describes the influence of the artist’s life on his her artistic work .Iconography on the other hand explores symbols in an artistic piece of work to identify images in that piece of work. Iconology approaches involves the study of images through literary sources to interpret artistic work.


When writing an art history research paper, remember to analyze as you describe. As you make your descriptions, ensure that you include the arguments you want to make. Keep in mind the intention of your paper by including your own analysis in your descriptions. The structure of your paper also matters .Your structure can be chronological or spatial.


You can use chronological structure if you are using biographical approach in writing the paper. For example when you are discussing the life of the artist who created the piece of work you can describe the events from the earliest to the latest. Spatial structure can be used when using a formal analysis approaches like when you are discussing the elements of a particular work.


To write a good research paper, it is advisable to avoid using the word ‘I’ when making your argument. This will make your arguments more formal and objectives instead of subjective personal opinions.


You can use any of the above approaches which suits you best to write outstanding art history research paper.

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