Final Paper Writing Assignment: Lion Relief, 604–562 B.C. (Essay Sample)

Guidelines for Term Paper
Choose an object from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that falls within the time periods covered by this course. Hopefully you will be able to decide on a topic during our visit to the museum, although you will probably want to return at least once later in the term as you work on your paper. For easy reference, the galleries that contain works relevant to our course are as follows:
1. Ancient Near Eastern Art: Galleries 400-4062. Egyptian Art: Galleries 100-138 (the Met has a particularly rich collection of work from this period)3. Greek and Roman Art: Galleries 150-176 (again, there is a lot from which to choose in these areas)4. Islamic Art: Galleries 450-464 (we will probably not have time to visit this area on our visit)5. Medieval Art: Galleries 300-307 (you may also want to check out the Cloisters, which is part of the Met and which has a much larger collection of Medieval Art and artefacts)6. Asian Art: Galleries 200-253. This is not an area that we will be studying in depth, but you are welcomed to pick a work from any of these regions (again, we will probably not have time to visit this area on our visit)
Begin your paper with a description of the work of art. This should include such basic elements as the culture in which the work was created, the artist, title, date, medium, dimensions (when these things are known). You should also describe the work’s composition, its subject matter and/or function. This section should serve merely as an introduction and it is your task to take these observations and turn them into an essay.
At this point you will need to also do some research on the time period/culture and the work. Try to find out why it was created, was it commissioned and if so by whom, where did it originally stand and what was its original function? What was the context of the work? What was the social, cultural and/or political milieu? What elements tell us what the work meant? For example, does the work depict a battle scene and if so, who is fighting/winning? What message does this convey to the viewer? Or, is this a religious object? What formal and iconographical elements lead you to this conclusion? Perhaps it is a household item. If so, how do we know this? In other words, you need to explain how the form of the work describes its function
I would suggest that you work with one element of the work at a time, that is, first talk about how it looks and then about what it means within the context of the culture in which it was created. A good way to organize your paper is to write it working from the largest elements first and moving towards the smaller ones.
Writing your paper
The best general resource on writing is the Purdue Owl. This source covers most questions you might have. I have provided links below to guide you to sections specifically related to this paper.
Length: Your paper should be 3-5 pages typewritten, double spaced, 12 point.
Illustrations: Please include at least one image of the work in your paper
Outside sources: You will need to use at least three outside sources (see below on how to cite them and when you need to make a footnote). You may use electronic sources (no Wikipedia!), but one of your sources must be in print (a book or article in a journal). I would strongly suggest submitting a list of your sources to me for approval.
Citations and Footnotes: On how to know when you need a footnote:
On how to cite works using the Chicago Manual of Style
Due: Your paper is due on the last day of class. I will be happy to read drafts and to help you to define your topic

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