Before submitting this final draft, I recommend that you perform the self-review sheet emailed in class today. Again, remember, the essay should be driven by an idea/issue related to the artist’s body of work (not driven by information).
While you will be incorporating contexts (often this includes background information, histories, biographies, interviews, criticisms, etc.), that information should always serve a purpose in the essay; in other words, it should be put to work to help the reader think and rethink the idea/problem under consideration.
Contexts should frame and reframe how the reader sees, interprets, or understands the artist’s work. Keep the works of art central to the essay. Components of the essay: word images (3-6) that vividly depict various exhibits which you are curating for the essay; analysis of those images in light of the idea you are considering; your own questions and insights that help direct the essay; evidence: at least 4 outside sources that serve to ground your claims or that help you stage your own questions and reflection in relation to these sources—incorporate quotes as well as paraphrasing.
Both in-text citation and works cited required as per MLA formatting required. When the essay is finished, review each sentence for clarity.
Remember to use concision: where you can replace a clunky phrase with a more specific word, do so. Cut words like “very” if you tend to overuse.
Choose active verbs where it makes sense to do so rather than gerunds (-ing words) to create energy in your sentences.
Before beginning: Read the entire essay once before responding. While reading mark places where you feel most engaged or confused.
- Idea: Do you establish a complex idea, question, or problem related to the artist’s BOW that you will investigate in the essay?
- Beginning: Does the beginning stage an image or scene form the artist’s BOW? After re-reading the entire essay, is this still the best beginning?
- Key terms: Do you build a constellation of key terms that work together to form a larger idea? What are those terms?
- BOW: Do you represent multiple works from your artist’s body of work? Are your representations vivid? Do you curate the most essential details?
- Evidence: How do the texts work within the essay? Does your “evidence” respond to an idea presented? Do you spend time thinking with the evidence and “deepening” that idea? Do you use contexts as lenses that help us better understand the body of work? And does each new piece of evidence help your essay shift and evolve? Remember, no two pieces of evidence should do the same thing. Each piece of evidence should further the conversation you’ve initiated.
- Concepts: Do you work with concepts in the essay? Do you apply those concepts back to the BOW? Concepts should be put to work as part of a constellation of thinking.
- Claims: Do you make claims at the beginnings and endings of paragraphs? How can these claims be refined or further developed?
- Critique: How do you incorporate critique? Do you further develop the critique by another critic? Or do you counter the critique of another critic? What could be added to the essay to draw this contrast forth?
- Voice: Can the reader hear your voice on the page? Do you need to bring your own voice and mind further into the foreground of the essay?
- Transcendence: Through the process of writing your essay you should have begun to unlock or discover something, and the reader should experience this revelation or change. How does the artist’s work confront the world? Or what can they reveal to us? Spend some time here thinking about your ending.