As the quality of written communication is an important aspect of this unit candidates should consider the following points:
Written material of a critical, analytical nature can be included in a variety of forms, such as a personal study, a journal, a log, reports on gallery visits or an evaluation and reflection on candidates’ work and that of others.
Written material should be no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words.
Sources should be identified and a bibliography and list of visits should be included.
You should demonstrate that they are aware of the discipline of working within given word counts.
Ensure that text is legible and spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate so that meaning is clear
Select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to purpose and to complex subject matter
Organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate.
The personal Investigation will be assessed as a single unit. Evidence of addressing the Assessment Objectives must be provided in both visual and written elements and connections between these two elements should be clearly established. Sources should be identified and acknowledged.
This unit is about you making sense of your own emerging work as an art and design student, developing your understanding of complex issues, meanings and contexts in art and design and applying them in your own terms with purpose and reasoning. Through extensive background reading, visual research, practical investigation/ exploration and annotated evaluation of this research you will provide yourself with the platform to develop ideas towards a final presentation in the form of a coherent and informed body of work and practical outcome(s) supported by an essay of between 1000 and 3000 words. You will need to show links between your own work and that of the artists and designers you have chosen.
This is your opportunity to discuss your ideas and findings of your personal study. You are required to demonstrate your research and analytical skills through reflecting upon your own work and identifying connections with the work of others. You must discuss and evaluate how your practical work has been informed by the work of your selected artists/s.
Introduce your assignment. Explain how you responded to the theme through gathering primary and secondary sources.
Discuss and evaluate how you have explored materials, techniques and processes in your practical work.
Make strong connections between your work and your selected artists work.
Select key examples of your selected artists work (be selective) to analyse how they have selected method, process and style to communicate their ideas in their work. Consider the context and ideas involved in the art movement to which they belong. Use handout - ‘How to critically analyse an artwork’.
Compare your artist’s work to the work of another artist that relates to your ideas or that share the same art movement.
Place images where relevant to your discussions. Use them as vehicles to discuss how your selected artist/s works and how you have practically worked. It is more effective to have a few well-selected images than lots of images that you don’t make sense of.
You must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the working vocabulary and specialist terminology, which is relevant to your chosen area(s) of Fine Art.
The guidelines should be taken as just that. There is no rule, for example, that says you must plan an essay before writing it.
Some people find that they work best by getting the ideas flowing first and imposing some sort of structure later; it is only once they start writing that they start to have an idea of what their direction will be.
Even so, they must be clear at the outset as to what the essay title requires of them to make sure that they stay within its constraints.
If, however, you are fairly new to essay writing and not very confident about it, you might find it helpful to follow the suggested stages in a fairly methodical way.
NB. You might find that the title you have been given does not contain any of these key words. You will have to look carefully at the way the question is phrased, along with any accompanying guidance as to what is expected, to establish what sort of approach is required.
Give reasons for; explain why something happens
Break up into parts; investigate
Identify and write about the main issues; give your reactions based on what you’ve read/heard in lectures. Avoid just personal opinion.
Look for the similarities between two things. Show the relevance or consequences of these similarities. Perhaps conclude which is preferable.
Bring out the differences between two items or arguments. Show whether the differences are significant. Perhaps give reasons why one is preferable.
Weigh arguments for and against something, assessing the strength of the evidence on both sides. Use criteria to guide your assessment of which opinions, theories, models or items are preferable.
Give the exact meaning of. Where relevant, show you understand how the definition may be problematic.
Try using a “spider” or “pattern” plan to brainstorm relevant points – both what you know and what you need to find out. This type of plan reflects the way your brain works and helps to give you an overview of the essay
(See separate guide on Mind Mapping for a more advanced form of pattern planning)
Give star ratings to the points you’ve noted:
*** for key points
** for important points
* for background points
Use different colours, letters or lines to show links.
Number the key points in the order you think you’ll introduce them.
Try the Outline View in Word to plan
Try ways of planning where you can physically arrange the points:
Different points on separate index cards – colour code