Tuesday, 17 March 2015

1st Year Essay Brief

BTEC Extended Diploma

This project contributes evidence towards:
·         Core Unit 2 (Historical and Contextual Understanding).

Assignment Title:  “From Impressionism to the 21st Century”

Assignment Outline:

You are curating an exhibition: “From Impressionism to the 21st Century”
You may select only 10 works of Art for the exhibition.
Which 10 do you select? And what selection criteria do you use?
Through a process of research you need to familiarise yourselves with the development of visual Art over the last 130 years. There will be a lecture to help you to achieve this.
Once you have some background knowledge you need to use your own judgement to select the 10 Artworks that you feel summarise the developments in Art since 1870.
Give careful consideration to your selection policy. Do you select by Artist or Artwork? Or do you select the works by considering the 10 most important Art Movements of modern times?
Do you select the 10 works according to how influential they have been? [In which case you may choose works which may be of dubious Artistic merit (Duchamp’s fountain), or which are not necessarily the ‘best’ work of an Artist (Kandinsky’s first abstract watercolour)]. Or, for the purposes of this exhibition, is the individual merit of each Artwork more important than its historical ‘status’?
Once you have made your final selection, you will need to analyse each work in detail and justify your choices.


Please read these guidelines carefully, and follow them closely.
·         2000 – 3000 words (excluding bibliography, list of quotations etc.)
·         Word-process your essay (Use a version of Microsoft Word, or Word for Mac).
·         Use spell check.
·         Include a word count.
·         Include a cover sheet that gives the assignment title and your name.
·         Number your pages.
·         Consider layout and presentation of text carefully, text should be justified; put headings in a larger font size and make them Bold. Use italics for quotations. Use 1.5 line spacing.
·         Include a contents page giving page numbers for each section of your essay (Introduction, Artworks included in the Exhibition, Conclusion, Bibliography).
·         Include illustrations of all your chosen Artworks, and ensure these are integrated into the text at relevant points. Either scan from textbooks or cut and paste illustrations from websites.
·         Bind your final essay; use the service available in the LRC (approx. 75p for a plastic comb spine, acetate cover and card backing).

Divide your essay into sections, using the following subheadings:

·         Include an introduction, in which you carefully explain your selection criteria. (Approx. 200 words).
Artworks included in the exhibition.
For each Artwork you have selected provide commentary that addresses the following points:
  1. Full factual information relating to the Artwork – when it was produced, by whom, scale and media; identify if the Artwork is associated with a particular movement.
  2. Visual Analysis, discuss each Artwork in terms of technique, use of colour, composition and atmosphere/mood.
  3. Theoretical information – What influenced the Artist? What social, political or personal references (if any) was the Artist making with the work? How did the Artwork influence future generations of visual Artists?
  4. Your personal response to each work. Justify your reasons for selecting it. This should be an informed personal view, resulting from your research into the work and your understanding of the Artist’s intentions in producing it.
·         Avoid plagiarism. If you are using information from a source either include it as a quotation or substantially reword your source. If plagiarism was discovered in an academic piece like this would result in automatic failure.
·         Back up points you make by using quotations from Artists or critics. An essay of this length should contain 6-12 quotations, you cannot pass this assignment if you do not use quotes.
“Artworks included in the exhibition” should form the bulk of your essay (1800-2500 words),
180-250 words per Artwork.

·        Use your Conclusion to explain why you think your selection of ten images provides an effective snapshot of the developments within the visual Arts since impressionism. How do the images work together? Do they combine smoothly or provide dramatic contrasts? You could use your conclusion to describe a viewer’s experience as they walk through the exhibition.
·        You need to produce an accompanying diagram that illustrates the floorplan/layout of your exhibition, this should help you to describe the viewer’s experience.

·         Ensure you credit the sources of all your Quotations. Do this via a list of quotations after your conclusion or in a footnote at the bottom of each page where you use a quotation.
·         In the text quotes should begin on a new line, and be in italics. Number each quote in sequence.
·         Quotations must be integrated into the main text of your essay, not presented separately.
·         When you list your quotes ensure you follow this format: quote number, author of source, title or web address of source, and page reference if appropriate. e.g.
1. Berger, John. Success and Failure of Picasso. p.87
If you cannot identify an author for a source just give the publication name or website address. Whether you are referencing through footnotes or a list of quotations you should follow the same format.

·        Include a Bibliography listing all the books, magazine or newspaper articles, websites, galleries, TV or Film sources you used in writing your essay (the more sources the better).
·        In the bibliography list printed sources first (books, newspaper and periodical articles). List these sources in alphabetical order, by author’s surname, then state title, publisher, and date of publication [these details are usually found near the front of a book]), e.g.
Berger, John. Success and Failure of Picasso. Penguin books, 1965.
Watson-Smith, Kate. Van Gogh’s shoes may fetch £4m. The Independent, 11.09.99
       After books make a separate list of websites used in researching your essay.

Stage One
·         By Thursday 19.03.15  send an email to: 
1.       A list of your 10 selections for the exhibition.
2.       A list of relevant sources that you have identified (at least 3 books/articles and 3 websites).
·         You will receive feedback on your choices via email to help you to complete your essay.

Stage Two
·         Write and illustrate your essay using the checklist to ensure you meet all the submission requirements.
·         Print out final version.
·         Take your completed essay to the LRC and get them to bind it.
·         Hand in completed and bound essay by 4.30pm on Monday 30th March.  

Assessment Criteria
You will be marked on how effectively your essay:
·         Shows clear understanding of developments in the visual Arts since 1870.
·         Presents well researched findings in the designated format.
·         Expresses opinions supported by images and quotations from established sources.
Suggested Resources:
·         Alton College Library for books and periodicals.
·         The Internet.
·         Other libraries and books from home.

In order to pass this assignment you must ensure your work covers all the bullet points in the following list.

Have you…
·         Word-processed your assignment using “Word”?

  • Included a title page, with your name and the assignment title?
  • Included a contents page detailing page numbers for each section of your essay?
  • Numbered your pages?
  • Used Bold for all headings, and a larger Font size?
  • Justified your text throughout?
  • Used 1.5 line spacing throughout?
  • Thoroughly spell checked your whole assignment?
  • Proof read the whole essay carefully, to ensure meaning is clear throughout?
  • Avoided excessive repetition?
  • Avoided excessive biographical information?
  • Included an introduction?
  • Used your introduction to explain your selection criteria?
  • Included at least 6 quotations in your text?
  • Italicised your quotations?
  • Started each quotation on a new line?
  • Numbered each quotation?
  • Headed your main text: Artworks included in the Exhibition.
  • Integrated illustrations of each selected Artwork into your Essay?
  • Sub-headed each Artwork selected with the Artist’s name and the title of the Artwork.
  • Included full factual information for each Artwork? (Date, Artist, scale, media).
  • Provided visual analysis of each Artwork selected? (Technique, colour, composition, mood etc.)
  • Given your own opinion on each Artwork, and explained your reasons for selecting it?
  • Selected and commented on 10 works of Art?
  • Avoided lifting sections directly from your sources? You must either substantially reword passages or use quotations.
  • Included a conclusion in which you compare and contrast the Artworks in your exhibition?
  • Included a floorplan diagram of your intended exhibition layout.
  • Included a word count of your main text? (Needs to be between 2000 and 3000 words).
  • Credited the sources of each one of your numbered quotations via footnotes or a list of quotations? (See brief for further guidance).
  • Included a bibliography of sources that includes at least 3 books and 3 websites you have referred to. (See the brief for guidance on how to list your bibliography).
  • Bound your essay suitably?

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