EXAMPLE FROM PROF. BRAD LOVE
As we discussed and reviewed in class, your assignment for Wednesday is a personal essay that will have a few steps.
First, go to the Blanton Museum and select a painting of person that interests you. Any painting will work, as long as it engages you. Use that painting to make as many observations as you can about the person in the painting—what was she like as a person, what was her life like, what interests did she have? Be creative; use your imagination, as we discussed.
Again, your observations here are just your impressions based on the subject person’s posture in the painting or perhaps the clothing or the background scenery. Maybe the title of the painting will give you clues about the person in the painting.
The next step is to do some thinking about your hometown and how you explain it to other people. When you meet new people here at UT, how do you describe where you’re from? Make notes about that information.
Once you have some imaginative observations about a Blanton painting and some thoughts about how to describe your hometown, spend some time thinking about how the subject of the painting and your town would mix. What would the person in the painting like and dislike, understand and not understand about your hometown?
Use that information to outline a five-paragraph essay like we practiced in class. What does your opening paragraph look like? What is your main thesis statement (big point) concerning the person in the painting andyour hometown? What goes in the three body paragraphs of your essay?
Come to class, then, Wednesday with: 1) your notes about the painting, 2) notes about your hometown, 3) an essay outline containing the information that makes up your opening paragraph, and 4) the ideas that will fill in your body paragraphs.
You don’t have to actually write the whole essay by Wednesday, but you should be able to say, “This is my main point (thesis statement), here are the reasons I think that (essay map), and here is the evidence that will go in my body paragraphs.”
Further instructions on the art essay are attached and on the Blackboard “course documents” section. This document is a guide intended to offer advice to those who might like a little more direction. Obviously, you are welcome to continue asking me questions, too.
Remember, the goal is to pick a painting that focuses on a person, and the museum is free with your UT id so you can make a selection on your own time. Just be sure to pick a painting that’s about an individual so you can learn about that person, and we’ll work together to build an essay from there.
The goal is to have a solid essay outline together by class time on Wednesday. We will be discussing writing and research more at that point as well so that you can complete the essay by Friday.