Visual Analysis

Select a piece of visual art for your subject from one of the museum collections linked on the course site. Then, write a well-developed, interesting, and original essay (1000 words minimum) that analyzes the content and design of it (a painting, photograph, or other visual piece). Submit your visual with the paper. Library research is not required, but may be used; any use of sources (words or ideas) must be properly documented with MLA style in-text citations and a works cited. Due by midnight on the due date. Using the tools laid out in Writing Analytically (Notice and Focus, 10 on 1, and The Method), analyze the image thoroughly. Make interpretive leaps from your observations by asking and answering “So what?” about them. Organize your essay around specific claims that analyze patterns and contradictions (repetitions, strands, binaries, anomalies), then tell the reader why these observations and interpretations are important, interesting, or unusual. Your thesis should reveal some [arguable] understanding about the piece, which the rest of your essay will support. In analyzing the visual, consider the its ‘rhetoric’: • What do you notice? (observations of patterns and contradictions: repetitions, strands, binaries, anomalies) • What are the elements ‘saying’? (argument/message/points) • Who is the visual ‘saying’ it to? (specific audience/consumer group) • Why is the visual ‘saying’ it that way? (interpretive leaps) • Ask, ‘so what?’ In your essay, place the visual argument in a context for your readers. What was its intended purpose? Why was it created, or do you know? From analyzing patterns and contradictions, explain why the appeals in the visual are or are not persuasive, and comment on any cultural values its argument addresses, criticizes, or advocates. Your aim is to convince your readers to take seriously your analysis of the visual argument and offer fresh insights into understanding the possible visual arguments. Refer to the visual analysis examples in Writing Analytically: • Portrait analysis (pp. 33-5, 71-3) • Magazine cover art analysis (pp. 84-9) • film analysis of a particular scene, treated like a visual (pp. 174-5) • Photo analysis essay (pp. 23-4) • Painting analysis (pp. 188-92; the weakness is that this is a first draft, which includes too much background info on painter, too many questions, overuse of first-person pronouns.) Learn from these examples and strengthen your paper with clear, specific points of analysis and use evidence from the visual piece to support your points. Submit your paper and visual to me by e-mail and the paper by itself on the course site to Turnitin by the deadline. Late papers will lose 10 points per day. The link to submit on the course site is at the bottom of the visual analysis module. here is the link to the art work  picked:

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