Your paper should be a research paper investigating a work of art, or a group of works of art, or an artist, or a topic in some depth, not a broad survey, such as "Indian art" or “Song dynasty landscape painting.”


Content of the paper:

Your paper should be a research paper investigating a work of art, or a group of works of art, or an artist, or a topic in some depth, not a broad survey, such as “Indian art” or “Song dynasty landscape painting.”

A paper should not be a summary of the textbook or class notes.

Consult at least three books or journal articles on your topic; pay special attention to recent studies, particularly those from university presses and scholarly journals. The success of the paper depends heavily on the quality of your bibliography.

One important source you can easily use to find useful scholarly articles is HYPERLINK which MSU library subscribes, and you can search for key words and download articles. For example, if you want to write a paper on an artist, you can search the artist’s name.

Do not write on topics with no connection to the course, for example, African art.

Organize your paper around your thesis (your idea, your argument, your opinion, your own understanding concerning works of art).

Your thesis or argument should not be too simple or vague; for example, “Buddhist art is great,” “Japanese architecture is influenced by Chinese architecture.”

Your thesis should be of scholarly nature ; it should not be an aesthetic statement

If you do not have a thesis or idea about an art work, you may want to write an introduction to an art work (its date, the artist, its historical background, its style, its function etc.) or a topic, or an artist. But this type of paper will not receive an A, unless you demonstrate in your paper that you are a thoughtful, careful, and serious researcher, and present your materials well.
This course emphasizes the importance of writing. It requires a paper outline with an annotated bibliography (due on 11/4) and a paper (5-7 pages, due on 11/25). The outline (one page, typed) should include your basic bibliography–at least three books or journal articles on your topic, and you should explain why you choose these sources. It must be based on solid research, demonstrated partly by your bibliography. The purpose of the outline is to help you and give you some guidance, and make sure that you are on right track: the topic is meaningful, manageable, and can contribute greatly to your knowledge and understanding of the course. The topic must be related to the materials covered or to be covered in the course or approved by the instructor.

The paper should show your independent research on a topic beyond the levels of the lectures or the textbook. A paper should include careful description, discussion, and explanation of a work of art, or a group of related works of art, or an artist, or a topic. It should not be a hodgepodge of different sources without your own synthesizing or analysis. Critical comments from the instructor are not intended to criticize you, but to improve your paper and writing skill. Late paper will not be accepted. The best papers will be recommended to participate in the Lee Scholarship competition conducted by the Asian Studies Programs.

If you use library materials, do not write on them; do not make marks on library books.

Format of the paper:

Paper based on web-information (except scholarly journals in electronic form) is not acceptable.

Purchased paper is not acceptable.

Provide page number.

Use font no. 12, double space.

Illustrations: make a copy of the art work you discuss in your paper, and if necessary, copies of other images you discuss in the paper, and attach them at the end of your paper (do not insert them in your text) as “fig. 1,” “fig. 2,” etc. Don’t cut images from books, particularly library books. For illustrations and images, you can use the Visual Resource Library.

Provide the sources of the images.

Provide footnotes for citations of sources; use correct format.

Provide a bibliography; use correct format.

Do not use cover.

Give a title to your paper.

At the beginning of your paper, you may want to write an introductory paragraph, introducing your subject, your thesis, and the structure of your paper.

At the end, you may want to write a summary.

It is an introductory course in traditional (not modern) Asian arts and cultures with the focus on greatest works of visual art. It is designed for students without any background in Asian cultures or art history. The course shows some main trends and unique characteristics of the most important cultural developments as seen certain greatest artistic monuments. The course concentrates on topics of art and history, art and religion, art and philosophy, aesthetics, style, and creative process of art. It pays special attention to cultural exchanges and common themes that ran through different areas of Asia. Meanwhile, it emphasizes indigenous traditions to highlight uniqueness of different heritages. It adopts historical and comparative perspectives to achieve an understanding of the pre-modern Asian civilizations in their own terms and from a holistic view of Asia. The goal of the course is to provide a basic framework of knowledge and images of traditional Asian arts and cultures.