How to Write a Good Essay (on Visual Culture)

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  • In my senior year of University I had to basically write a pseudo dissertation for my psychology class. I wasn’t about to kill my last moments in uni on writing an ACTUAL NOVEL about abnormal psychology. Then, I was desperate. Asked every friend I had at the time if they would be willing to write an dissertation for me in less than a month and all of them said no. As a last resort, I turned to Digitalessay.net and I am so glad that i did. For less than $100 my writer finished the whole dissertation in a week. Could not be recommending a website more.
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How to Write a Good Essay (on Visual Culture)

  1. 1. How did the work of Sarah Lucas critically challenge conceptions of how contemporary artists should approach gender?<br />Create a strong introduction... And the rest will follow.<br />Fig 1. Lucas, S (1996) [photograph] Held at Tate Modern<br />
  2. 2. What do you need to tell the reader?<br />
  3. 3. For this study I did some research on Sarah Lucas, which I will write about here. <br />
  4. 4. For this study I did some research on Sarah Lucas, which I will write about here. <br />Your reader doesn’t care how you got here, they just want to read the resultant project – from which it will be obvious that you have done research when you include references etc.<br />
  5. 5. For my essay for CVCS I will look at the work of Sarah Lucas.<br />
  6. 6. For my essay for CVCS I will look at the work of Sarah Lucas<br />This doesn’t say very much at all. The reader got more from your title than this.<br />
  7. 7. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. <br />Ok, it repeats the question a bit. But that’s not a bad thing – you are supposed to be closely guided by your question. With this in place you can immediately move into a relevant discussion. Don’t waste words with vague remarks about research or the artist, cut to the point.<br />
  8. 8. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. <br />There are other ways of including this information, it doesn’t have to come first<br />Blah BlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Blah BlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlah . Considering these issues the central question posed by this study is: How does the work of Sarah Lucas critically challenge our conceptions of how contemporary artists should approach gender?<br />
  9. 9. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. <br />What now? What else does the reader need to know? <br />
  10. 10. This purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. <br />What now? What else does the reader need to know? <br />WHY? Why study this now? Why should the reader give a ______ ?<br />
  11. 11. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. Lucas’ practice draws upon crude double-entendres, spreads from tabloid newspapers and she often presents herself in an aggressive, masculine or unglamorous way. These traits seem to indicate a rejection of more theoretical or aesthetic interests and reflect an approach that is open to popular culture and working class values... <br />So here we’re just giving our reader a bit more information so we can then go in for the kill...<br />Fig 2. Lucas, Sarah (1998) Human Toilet Revisted [Iris Print] Held by National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh<br />
  12. 12. Given that art is still primarily viewed by a middle class audience it seems important to understand what impact Lucas’ work had, so that we might better understand the relationship between class and gender in art today.<br />Given that a lot of feminist writing has been criticised for being middle class, it seems pertinent to understand how Lucas’ work challenged conventional approaches to art, so that we can gain a better understanding of the possibilities it creates for a more democratic feminist art.<br />Given the continued pressure on young women to be feminine, it is crucial to understand how and why Lucus’ was able to successfully draw upon conflicting representations in order to successfully market herself as a rebel.<br />Here are some examples of my ‘punch line’. By this stage it’s already feeling like I need some research.<br />
  13. 13. What else does the reader need to know?<br />
  14. 14. What else does the reader need to know?<br />What’s the context for this study?<br />
  15. 15. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. Lucas’ practice draws upon crude double-entendres, spreads from tabloid newspapers and she often presents herself in an aggressive, masculine or unglamorous way. These traits seem to indicate a rejection of more theoretical or aesthetic interests and reflect an approach that is open to popular culture and working class values. Given that art is still primarily viewed by a middle class audience (REFERENCE) it seems important to understand what impact Lucas’ work had, so that we might better understand the relationship between class and gender in art today.<br />A key writer on the relationship between British art and popular culture is John Roberts. He supports artist’s use of everyday materials and argued that Young British Art, with which Lucas was involved, “achieved ... a level of distribution and recognition outside of the professional art audience... because its interests and pleasures are judged by its non-specialist audience as being matters of a shared culture and not the exercise of acquired taste.” (Roberts 1998, p. 77) Robert’s is suggesting then that this art was part of a cultural shift, that would see it reach a new audience. If this is the case then...<br />
  16. 16. This purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. Lucas’ practice draws upon crude double-entendres, spreads from tabloid newspapers and she often presents herself in an aggressive, masculine or unglamorous way. These traits seem to indicate a rejection of more theoretical or aesthetic interests and reflect an approach that is open to popular culture and working class values. Given that art is still primarily viewed by a middle class audience (REFERENCE) it seems important to understand what impact Lucas’ work had, so that we might better understand the relationship between class and gender in art today.<br />A key writer on the relationship between British art and popular culture is John Roberts. He supports artist’s use of everyday materials and argued that Young British Art, with which Lucas was involved, “achieved ... a level of distribution and recognition outside of the professional art audience... because its interests and pleasures are judged by its non-specialist audience as being matters of a shared culture and not the exercise of acquired taste.” (Roberts 1998, p. 77) Robert’s is suggesting then that this art was part of a cultural shift, that would see it reach a new audience. If this is the case then...<br />And remember to keep saying why things are relevant to your project...<br />
  17. 17. What else does your reader need to know?<br />Well so far we’ve told them what the purpose of the study is and we’ve started to provide a context for it. But it seems like something is missing: we seemed to jump all of a sudden into some big ideas...<br />
  18. 18. What else does your reader need to know?<br />What is your approach ? What are you going to look at and why? What methods will you use?<br />
  19. 19. This purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Sarah Lucas’ work overturned conventional approaches to gender within the field of contemporary art. Lucas’ practice draws upon crude double-entendres, spreads from tabloid newspapers and she often presents herself in an aggressive, masculine or unglamorous way. These traits seem to indicate a rejection of more theoretical or aesthetic interests and reflect an approach that is open to popular culture and working class values. Given that art is still primarily viewed by a middle class audience (REFERENCE) it seems important to understand what impact Lucas’ work had, so that we might better understand the relationship between class and gender in art today.<br />A key writer on the relationship between British art and popular culture is John Roberts. He supports artist’s use of everyday materials and argued that Young British Art, with which Lucas was involved, “achieved ... a level of distribution and recognition outside of the professional art audience... because its interests and pleasures are judged by its non-specialist audience as being matters of a shared culture and not the exercise of acquired taste.” (Roberts 1998, p. 77) Robert’s is suggesting then that this art was part of a cultural shift, that would see it reach a new audience. If this is the case then, it suggests that Lucas’ work was connected to a specific series of changes. What it doesn’t tell us is how these changes are connected to the issue of gender.<br />After further exploring Roberts’ argument, looking at the work of other critics who do not share his views, we will need to further explore the work of writers specifically interested in how Young British artists were dealing with gender, in order to pick up on connections to the changes outlines by Roberts and class more generally. This will lead us to visually analyse two keys pieces of Lucas’ work in order to carefully think about what she individually contributes as an artist, comparing it to the work of ...<br />
  20. 20. Ok, we’ve nearly done the Introduction – though it might need a bit of editing once we’ve worked out the rest. We’ve written 335 words so far which leaves plenty of space for the main parts of our analysis and a conclusion.<br />Because we’ve carefully put together a strong introduction it means that our reader will be able to understand exactly what we are going to look at and how it contributes to the study (though we’ll keep reminding them!) Our visual analysis has a clear purpose too. We can look very carefully at visual sources in order to make specific points relating to our discussion, breaking images down and considering their context.<br />Because we’ve carefully put together a strong introduction it also means that we should have a strong conclusion. Not just “Sarah Lucas’ art critically challenged ... because it included popular culture and everyday life”, but:<br /> “Reading the work of John Roberts, and criticisms of it, we were able to establish that the critical success of Young British Art was limited by the fact that it still required a specialist audience to interpret it. However in relation to gender we can see that Lucas’ work is challenging to conventional views which assume that there is a proper way to deal with feminist issues and which are often very class specific. Looking closely at Lucas’ photographs we can see that she carefully included references in her work that undermine...”<br />
  21. 21. The introduction offered here is only an example, and isn’t intended to promote a ‘paint by numbers’ approach. <br />All the information in this text could be re-ordered or prioritised differently, HOWEVER, IT HIGHLIGHTS KEY ELEMENTS ESSENTIAL TO ANY GOOD INTRODUCTION, AND BY EXTENSION, ANY GOOD PIECE OF ACADEMIC WRITING.<br />
  22. 22. Purpose:  What is this study trying to achieve? What is the specific area you are going to analyse? Why should the reader be interested in it?<br />Context:  How is this subject being discussed today?  Who are the key writers discussing this topic?  What are they saying?  How are writer's specific arguments being constructed?  What are the key developments within the area you are looking at?  What precedent is there for a study of this kind (i.e. other writers looking at sub cultures, and their reception)? (This is where you really show your research off and substantiate the study.  Lots of references, some quotes) <br />Approach:  How does your study relate to this context?  What will it contribute to/ challenge what has already been said?  How will the reader gain a better understanding of your specific area by following this study?  What methodologies will you use (i.e. textual analysis, reading primary sources like fan's accounts etc.) <br />
  23. 23. Create a strong introduction... And the rest will follow.<br />

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