Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal – instruction


Analyzing an artwork may be new to you however, after digging into this essay you will see the connection it has to other disciplines such as a poem or piece of literature that you may have already analyzed. Your previous experience will serve you in thinking and writing like an art historian. You must still make an argument about something, but in this case you will use art (instead of, say, dialogue from a play) to build and defend your argument. You have also been building your art vocabulary in the previous essays for this course such as the compare and contrast. This vocabulary is just like the vocabulary you would learn when dealing with any technical subject. Learning how to analyze and research a work of art takes time, practice and a working knowledge of the visual arts vocabulary. In addition to using art vocabulary to formally analyze a work, I am asking you to also look beyond the image and through the object toward theoretical, historical, or social contexts of the object, artist, or time period. I would like you to write about how the formal or stylistic qualities of the object reflect or affect the time in which they were made. More specifically look at the object’s relationship to ideas about gender, class, artistic creation, culture, or politics associated with that time. As you can see, this assignment leaves you a fair amount of latitude in finding and pursuing a topic. Regardless of the theoretical perspectives you use or apply, be sure that your essay contains a strong argument. Here is your assignment:

How to structure your final essay.

  • Must be written in essay format.
  • 10-12pt font
  • Times New Roman or Arial
  • All sources must be cited, both within the paper and on a works cited page
  • Though I am not assigning an exact page requirement for this, a successful essay will be between approx. 3-5 pages. Keep your discussion on point and concise. Avoid filler and repetition in your writing.
  • Give a thorough formal and theoretical analysis of the piece.



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