Study and Writing Guides


Guides for Testing, Writing, Research, Choosing Classes, and more, all right here!

 General Art History Resources and Advice…   Ape Reading in the Library of Antonio Alberi at Orvieto

Read directions for all assignments, submit work on time, and ask questions if they are not clear to you.

For announcements as well as your syllabi and outlines, go to Blackboard.

For Art Images go to ARTStor on the Grafton Library Website.  You will find a folder for your class.

For interesting facts about Art History, become a friend of Art History Resources on Facebook!! He posts lots of interesting, useful interactive material.

Have You Ever Taken An Art History Exam?

Here Is What To Expect…

What Dr. James has prepared guidelines for what work is expected, how to make a timeline, how to prepare for an art history test, and the format of her exams. You may find these resources on the Blackboard page for your class.

Your Worst Enemy is Your Own Procrastination.  

College is not high school.  You need to study. Whether for tests or term papers or projects, study as you go. Come to class prepared. Read before class and type out notes after class. Then you’re reviewing before a test and not trying to learn new material. Get sleep!  Don’t try to substitute the all-nighter and last minute cramming for procrastination.  If you don’t believe your old fuddy duddy geeky professor who really cares about your success, see what the experts say: Smithsonian Magazine: Go to Sleep! All Nighters Don’t Work!

Writing Guidelines:

The Department of Art and Art History at Mary Baldwin takes the business of writing seriously, as it not only prepares students for Art History classes, but it prepares students for life. Clear, articulate writing is important in all professions.  The Department of Art and Art History complies with the discipline standard for Art History as established by the College Art Association and uses the Chicago Manual of Style. The rules of notation are condensed and clearly presented in Kate L.Turabian,  A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations,  (U. Chicago Press). Sylvan Barnet’s Writing About Art (8th edition) not only shows the basic examples of the Chicago style of notation, but also he gives instruction in how to approach your art topic. He gives examples of good student writing. These books are available in the college bookstore or on line. Important Note: Art History notation for papers requires either footnotes or endnotes. In text parentheses (MLA style) is not permitted.

WRITING RESOURCES: Available for you on the Blackboard link for your class or by request by email from Dr. James.

How to Write an Essay:   What makes writing good? This resource gives pointers and instructions for the essay, whether a paper or an essay question on an exam. Look at the Blackboard link for your class, scroll down the left hand menu, and look for resources…

Museum Papers: These assignments primarily involve formal analysis. What is a Formal Analysis and how do I write one? Check your Blackboard link and see.

Research Papers: Dr. James’s Research and Writing Guide gives you general information and instruction regarding the research process, brainstorming and organizing, and the required form and appearance of your paper.Check your Blackboard link !

Form and Notation: For Art History and the Humanities, use the Chicago Manual of Style  (Turabian) form. Art history does not use in text parentheses or the MLA format. The basics of Chicago Style notation and bibliographic format are in Dr. James’s Notation GuideChicago Manual of Style guide sheets are available on the Grafton Library website or in hard copy at the library.  The Chicago Manual of Style maintain a website to which you can post questions.

Additional Resources for the Craft of Writing…

In addition to guidelines and suggestions Dr. James has posted for good writing, grammar, and spelling, see that she is not alone in her expectation of high standards.  Look at the Link to English Professor Dr. Ralph Cohen’s picky rules. He is witty, but, at the same time, very serious and correct about the business of clear, correct writing. Take his suggestions to heart.

Perdue University Writing Lab is an excellent source for writing tips and is recommended strongly by most departments at Mary Baldwin College. OWL (Online Writing Lab). TNote also other useful online resources through Perdue.

Dartmouth College offers excellent suggestions for student papers, how to approach the material.