*At the end of your essay produce a
; a list of all the books you have read to produce the essay(even if you haven’t quoted from them).
This is essential
Neither footnotes / endnotes nor bibliography count towards the final word count.
Be aware of plagiarism – please refer to smyUCA for guidance on this issue.
When using pictures make sure you include their producer (artist / photographer), their title and their date. If they are of a specific material or size, include this also (i.e., marble, 24 foot high etc.). Also make sure it isclear to what pictures you are referring to in the text when using images in your essay. It may be useful tolabel them numerically, i.e. fig.1. (If doing this, also be sure to still include photographer, title, date with theimage itself)
Compare and contrast specific images – ‘read’ these images carefully, in terms of your responses to themand also in terms of other writing on the photographer’s work.
Look at the photographer’s photographs, not their life stories.
A good essay is an analysis of the work and its many contexts (from the personal to the historical) not justthat of biography. Try to avoid producing lists of life events (for example: they were born in X, then went tocollege in Y etc.) and if using life events – make them intersect with your argument.
What do you want to say about their work?
Look at how photographers use technique as a visual language – examine visual strategies, look atperspectives, camera position, composition, the use of certain styles and motifs. Look at the use of details,textures, colour and contrast.
Be sure to describe the images you use.
Locate their work within a context – who are they associated with, what ideas do they use?
What other photographic histories does their work interact with?
Locate a central idea in the essay and read around it – don’t rely solely on catalogue essays, look around theissues you find.
The more adventurous your research the more interesting the essay will be.
Follow your gut instinct, but be sure to back it up with the relevant research – Remember, an essay consistsmostly of research. The better and more focused the research the more creative you can be with your arguments…
Be sure to structure your essay – provide an introduction and conclusion. In your arguments try to stayfocussed and don’t wander all over the place.
Always have a good starting point:
If given a choice of questions, try and choose the one that either ‘speaks to you’ or that you think presentsthe real challenge (i.e. gets you worked up about the issues).
If asked to write on a subject of your choice – pick a topic that you really want to cover, not one that you thinkis relevant but a little dull. Don’t be afraid of the obscure and the personal – they are always morerewarding…
Always do the research:
Trying to write a presentation or essay on the night before deadline is a recipe for stress ulcers and heartattacks. Any essay is always 90% research with 10% of the time spent writing up the research into an essay.(This is obviously an exaggeration – time should be left to write and rewrite the piece!)
Always PLAN the research:
A very simple point, but if you can structure the research well, the essay can easily mirror it, thus telling thestory of your research (the interesting bits at least). Think about opposing positions, about non-agreeingphotographers / writers, about using many different sources that you can pull together into a grand plan, anargument that takes us through the story of the research.