You may choose to develop a Research Report or an iSearch paper as the Signature

You may choose to develop a Research Report or an iSearch paper as the Signature Assignment for this class.
Both options provide the opportunity to research and then develop a comparison of two learning objects from the list of pairs.
1. The research report follows a conventional essay format in developing your comparison. This means that your report will present the topic using an introduction, and will develop the comparison using body paragraphs. A concluding paragraph summarizes what you learned or areas for further exploration. Your ideas, and arguments for this paper must be guided by/supported by facts from college appropriate research, which the student cites/acknowledges through in-text citations.
2. An iSearch paper is written in the first person, and presents a record of your research, your exploration into using books, Wikipedia, museum websites and databases, an explanation of your process, and finally, how writing this paper has affected or changed your thinking about visual culture.
Whichever option you choose, this Signature Assignment should be between approximately 1200 to 1500 words, including captions for your visual images, but NOT INCLUDING the written text for your annotations. Please save in a PDF file format.
This assignment should demonstrate your best ability in written communication, critical thinking, and information literacy.
PROMPT: Select a pair of objects from the list of pairs provided by your instructor. Provide a thorough and detailed descriiption of each object (do a formal analysis). Research each object. Based on the results of your research, with the canon in mind, establish connections between the two objects using ONE of the following ways of knowing:
1. contextual analysis– context refers to a comparison of the differing socio-political-economic conditions that are present and impacting culture in the two time periods of objects you’ve chosen
2. semiotic analysis — semiotic analysis refers to a comparison of the differing ways two diverse time periods use signs and symbols
3. gender analysis — gender analysis refers to a comparison of how the time periods define, empower, privilege and represent gender
In your conclusion, discuss new and/or unexpected insights you gained from your research and analysis of your comparison, and possibly about Visual Culture more generally.
III. Research Report/ iSearch Paper Draft
Drafting is an important part of good writing. Like any kind of art and design making, no one is really satisfied with their first attempt. Everyone wants good feedback, suggestions for improvement, glaring errors or omissions pointed out. The same is true for writing. Good writers are not born, they are the result of practice, drafting and feedback.
Getting feedback on your draft will definitely improve the quality of your written communication, critical thinking, and information literacy. Your instructor will use the rubric to grade your draft, and provide comments. This will be returned to you via email. Your revised Signature Assignment and annotations are due two weeks after the draft is returned. The due date will be stipulated by your instructor in your email.
IV. Annotations for Research Report/ iSearch Paper
Final Annotations are due and submitted with your Research Report or iSearch paper.
An annotated bibliography is a precise explanation of the relevance, authority, accuracy and point of view or purpose of your source. This is where you will justify the credibility and value of your source and demonstrate your Information Literacy (your ability to locate, identify, and evaluate information) about the sources that you are using. In an annotated bibliography, you evaluate the following:
author credentials
type of source and the intended audience
purpose / bias / points of view
relevance of source to the paper
currency of the source
You will write at least two annotations for your Research Report or iSearch paper.
Your annotation will be a comprehensive paragraph that demonstrates your ability to identify and evaluate the source that you are using.
Annotation example:
Scholarly / Academic Source
Zemel, Carol. “Sorrowing Women, Rescuing Men: Van Gogh’s Images of Women and Family.” Art History, vol. 10, no. 3, Sept. 1987, p. 351. Art & Architecture Source.
[Author Credentials] Carol Zemel is an art historian with a PhD from Columbia University. She has authored many books and articles in art journals. She was a Professor in the Department of Visual Art & Art History at New York University.
[Audience / Type of Information] Art History is a peer-reviewed journal. The audience for it is art historians and probably undergraduate majors in art history. The article is an in-depth discussion (24 pages) on the topic. It contains only black and white illustrations. Otherwise, the text is mostly text-based with lots of footnotes and a bibliography.
[Purpose / Bias / Point of View] The author has a feminist focus, and she uses historical information to demonstrate that VG’s paintings of women reflected society views on female sexuality and prostitution. She argues that he viewed prostitutes as fallen women who could be saved through a proper domestic life. The author questions the 19th century male assumption of what all women inherently wanted.
[Currency of the Source] This article was published in 1987, which was after the feminist theory had been well developed so that perspective is included. There were a couple of other articles about Van Gogh and women that I can also use as a comparison.
[Coverage / Scope / Content] The author thoroughly covers this content, although the subject is quite narrow in scope.
[Relevance to Paper] This article discusses the images of women and family in the paintings Vincent van Gogh. I was interested in Van Gogh’s views about women and there was a substantial number of examples and theories of Van Gogh’s view about women that I can use in my paper.

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