Mark Twain Quotes

March 19, 2015

Graffiti Art (Bomb It!)

Which were the issues presented by the documentary watched in class? Do you have a personal opinion on this matter? Is graffiti a type of art? 

Using (Bibliographical) Sources

When writing a research paper (and not only that kind of paper) you are supposed to survey a lot of materials - books, specialized magazines, broadcasts, museum and art gallery publications, the Internet,a.s.o. All the pieces of information belonging to those sources that you may want to use in your own paper must be correctly acknowledged. This can be done in a number of ways; there are many models you can use. First ask your teacher/publisher-editor which style to adopt. If you do not have to stick to one requirement  you may consider the following two most widely used styles:

The MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

also called "in-text"/parenthetical documentation - the bibliographical information is supplied in the text, in brackets, where that piece of information is used; however, the bibliography ("works cited") is yet to be given at the end of the paper.

  • Peter Johnson claims that Raphael's works are ......(21), where 21 is the number of the page in the book you had previously mentioned, written by Peter Johnson.
  • Raphael's works are ... (Johnson: 21)
  • Turner's magnificent brushwork style can be considered a precursor of Impressionism (Johnson, Turner's Art: 38) -- this is another book by the same author, so you have to mention this other title.
  • Pratt mentions that Picasso met Matisse in Paris,1906...(qt. in Johnson: 99) -- this is to acknowledge the fact that you used an indirect piece of information; you didn't actually read Pratt, but you found him quoted in Johnson; apud is another term for this)
IDEM / IBIDEM : there are different opinions about how to use these Latin terms when acknowledging to sources; mainly, idem (id.) means "the same person who had been cited before", while ibidem (ibid.) means "at the same place" as cited before; some people use "op cit" (Latin opere citato) for "in the work cited before"

Works Cited (the bibliography in the MLA style)

  • Johnson, Peter. Raphael's Art. Washington, Thomson University Press, c. 2006. (a book published by a university publishing house)
  • Johnson, Peter. "Turner's Art." Art of the World Monthly, September 2008: 29-41. (an article in a monthly magazine)
  • Johnson, Peter. "Impressions." 21 Apr. 2010,>. (Internet, blog post)
  • Johnson, Peter. "The Book Illustration Art." The Art Bulletin 98 (2005): 201-203 (volume no. 98 of an art journal, pages 201-203)
  • Johnson, Peter et al. "The New Realism", Ann Arbor UP, 2010 (there are other authors, besides Johnson)
The Chicago Style

- the bibliographical information appearing in the text is documented as numbered footnotes (at the bottom of the page) or as endnotes (a numbered list at the end of the paper; their content is more or less the same as in MLA style; use p. or pp. for the number/s of the page(s) where you took information from); notes are not exclusively used for bibliographical information; you may also add some extra information on your own, or personal interpretations and comments on the cited/mentioned ideas.

1. Johnson, Peter.Raphael's Art (Washington, Thomson University Press, c. 2006), 21 (this can be a footnote or an endnoWorks Cited (Chicago)

Johnson, Peter.Raphael's Art. Washington, Thomson University Press, c. 2006

Johnson, Peter. "Turner's Art." Art of the World Monthly, September 2008, 29-41

Johnson, Peter."Impressions" [21 Apr. 2010]. Available from

Johnson, Peter. "The Book Illustration Art". The Art Bulletin 98 (2005), 201-203

Note 1: All the above names and titles are construed. They cannot be found in reality. They were meant only as examples.

Some publishers have very strict rules as to how the documentation should be given. Personally, I consider only the correct, truthful acknowledgment of the sources to be important, and not so much the style, which should be the writer's choice. Either way, do not forget to always mention where you have taken your information from, whether you quote it exactly or you paraphrase it, you summarize it, e.t.c.

Note 2: However, notice that such "works cited" entries as the following cannot be accepted at all:

  • album arta 'Mari personalitati- Leonardo da Vinci (quoted exactly)
  • Sabrina Laurnt, "Was Dali a Genius" (quoted exactly)    

please follow the link below in order to understand what plagiarism is and how one can avoid it:

March 17, 2015

The Research Paper

main communicative purpose: to contribute to the existing research effort in the field
secondary purposes:

  • to persuade readers that the proposed thesis (opinion, idea) is right (expository research paper)
  • to persuade readers that the proposed thesis is the correct/better one as opposed to another thesis (argumentative research paper)
  • to survey the most valid and convincing of  the existing research on a subject (descriptive research paper)
main differences between the critical essay and the research paper: the research paper is not merely a personal opinion about a subject (like in the case of the critical essay); it is the result of thorough scientific investigation, of many readings on the researched subject; it is the result of conscious and objective choices of the previous findings; it is longer in size; it requires the correct documentation of all the sources used for investigating the subject.

instances of research papers:

the seminar paper, different papers throughout the MA and PHD programs, the graduate course thesis, the M.A. thesis/dissertation, the doctoral dissertation, the feature / scientific article (in specialized magazines, bulletins, journals, on the Internet), the lab/scientific report, the scientific lecture

standard move pattern:

expository research paper:

Move I: Introducing the present research

Step 1: Introducing the general topics and the specific content
Step 2: Introducing research findings so far
Step 3: Stating the thesis / proposing new findings/approach
Step 4: / Move II: Transition: Presenting the points of proof (at least 3)

Move III: Developing points of proof

Step 1: Developing point of proof 1
Step 2: Developing point of proof 2
Step 3: Developing point of proof 3

Move IV: Concluding by reinforcing the thesis

Move V: (not optional) Works cited

argumentative research paper:

Move I: Introducing the topics

Move II: Acknowledging opposition

Step 1: Acknowledging counterthesis
Step 2: Acknowledging counterpoint 1
Step 3: Acknowledging counterpoint 2
Step 4: Acknowledging counterpoint 3

Move III: Stating the thesis

Move IV: Transition:

Step 1: Acknowledging disagreement with counterpoints 1,2,3
Step 2: Proposing constructive arguments 1,2,3

Move V: Developing refutations and arguments:

Step 1: Developing refutations 1,2,3 (why the existing counterarguments are not valid, or why they are now superseded)
Step 2: Developing constructive arguments 1,2,3 (insisting upon why the proposed constructive arguments are valid, or why they are better, newer, a.s.o. , than the existing counterarguments)

Move VI: Concluding upon the validity of the thesis

Move VII: Works cited

Specific discourse strategies (besides those employed by the critical essay): 

  • inserting other opinions (other authors) on the same subject
  • synthesizing previous research
  • assuming the voice of authority (with rights and obligations)
  • commenting upon sources (by agreeing or disagreeing with them)
  • paraphrasing
  • quoting
  • acknowledging to sources (notes + bibliography)

Task 1: Read the research paper Marina Abramovics--Between Art and the Extreme by Roxana Andonie. What type of a research paper is it? Which were the previous findings on this subject the author had access to and presents in her paper? What is the new  insight she proposes here? What do you think about her use of sources? Are they relevant? Are they well acknowledged?

Rhythm 0

Rhythm 10

Task 2:
Write a research paper on an art subject of your choice. You may think about a shorter version of your graduation paper, or you may choose a seminar task for another subject you study (esthetics, art history, etc). Make sure you mark in the specified moves and steps. Take care about acknowledging to the sources you use and about giving the bibliography. You may use either endnotes, notes at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or notes in brackets (in-text documentation).

Deadline for task 1: March 31, 2015
Deadline for task 2: April 1 and 8, 2015

March 04, 2015

The Compare and Contrast Essay

general term - comparison

more specific meanings - showing similarities = comparing

- showing differences = contrasting

communicative purpose(s): depending on the specific intention of the writer, we can speak about:

  • descriptive comparison - to show similarities and differences between two artworks
  • expository comparison - to show similarities and differences between two issues in order to support a personal thesis
  • argumentative comparison - to show similarities and differences between two issues in order to support a personal thesis that is expected to encounter considerable opposition

standard move-pattern(s) : two patterns: the "block" pattern and the "point by point" pattern

the "block" pattern

Move I: Introducing the theme and the compared artists
Step 1: Setting the stage (the general context in which the two terms intended for comparison belong)
Step 2: Introducing the artists + works + theme(s)
Step 3: Stating the thesis and points of proof (if they exist in the writer's intention)
Move II: Transition: announcing intended organization (the block pattern)
Move III: Developing description/analysis/points of proof/constructive arguments
Step 1: artist/artwork A: elements 1,2,3 / points of proof 1,2,3 / constructive arguments 1,2,3
Step 2: artist/artwork B: elements 1,2,3 / points of proof 1,2,3 / constructive arguments 1,2,3
Move IV: Concluding upon the basic differences and/or similarities (by showing to what extent these have served the intended communicative purpose of the essay)
Move V (optional) Works cited

the "point by point" pattern

Move I: Introducing the theme and compared artists (see above)
Move II: Transition (announces the "point by point" pattern)
Move III: Developing description/analysis/points of proof/constructive arguments

Step 1: Describing/analysing element 1 / elaborating on point of proof 1 / offering constructive argument 1 for work/artist A

Step 2: Describing/analysing element 1 / elaborating on point of proof 1 / offering constructive argument 1 for work B

Step 3: element 2 / point of proof 2 / constructive argument 2 for work A

Step 4: element 2 / point of proof 2 / constructive argument 2 for work B

Move IV: Concluding

Move V (optional) Works cited

Task 1:

Read the text Two Edges of the Subconscious Reality in the Twentieth-Century Art by Olga Bersan

 What pattern is there used? Which are the elements being compared? What  discourse strategies are employed by the writer?

Task 2:

Read the essay
Uniform Pigment and Abstract Paintings, by Laura Oprea.What move pattern is here employed and how exactly does it work? Which are the compared elements?

Task 3:

What other aspects would you consider interesting enough to compare for each pair of works? Note these as commentaries under this posted material. You can also comment on the way the two writers made their comparisons.

 Deadline: March 15, 2015

Task 4: 

Write a comparison on a subject of your choice, using one of the two patterns.

Deadline: March 18 and 25, 2015

Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss"

Comment on the documentary you have watched by trying to argue whether The Kiss should be considered a piece of decorative art or of fine art. You may, of course, come with other comments than those presented in the material.

DEADLINE for this task: March 15, 2015

The short video below is just to remind you some facts:

February 19, 2015

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen

Here you can post your comments on Edgar Degas's sculpture.

 Some hints: old versus new in representing human body; relationship with his paintings on the same subject; why that pose? what about the use of materials? Is this an ugly piece or is it a piece of an ugly character? Is it ugly at all? What  is intriguing about it? wax or bronze? why not bronze? what else? Any painters out there? Why would Degas make a sculpture? Any sculptors? the same question.

Deadline: March 1, 2015

The Argumentative Essay


"to argue"= to present reasons for or against a thing; to dispute; to debate

"to persuade" = to convince; to induce somebody to believe

communicative purpose:

- to present, explain, clarify, illustrate a viewpoint (the author's) (so far the goals are identical with those of the expository essay) + to persuade the reader that personal viewpoints are more valid than another person's viewpoints

move pattern:

Move I: Introducing the issue in contention

Step 1: introductory remarks to identify work + artist + issue in contention

Step 2: acknowledging counterthesis and counterpoints (the other person's viewpoints)

Step 3: providing specific details (who, what, when, where)

Step 4: stating the thesis (personal viewpoints - in one complete, unified statement about the issue in contention, precise enough to limit the issue, but general enough to ask for support, not too obvious, and showing the changes proposed to the counterthesis)

Move II: Presenting counterthesis and counterpoints

Step 1: Restating the counterthesis and enlarging upon it (in the introductory move we have just stated it; now we have to show the reader that we bothered to understand what the other person's thesis really claims; therefore, we use our own words to explain what we understood and to convince our reader that we know exactly what the other opinion is)

Step 2: Presenting/restating counterpoint 1 (using our own words to show what the first point of proof used by the other person was)

Step 3: Presenting/restating counterpoint 2

Step 4: Presenting/restating counterpoint 3

Move III: Arguing thesis and providing evidence/proof

Step 1: Restating our own thesis and enlarging upon it (we have to make sure the reader fully understands what we claim)

Step 2: Providing constructive argument 1 and evidence/proof to support it (the weakest) to fight against counterpoint 1

Step 3: Providing constructive argument 2 and evidence to support it (stronger) to fight against counterpoint 2

Step 4: Providing constructive argument 3 and evidence to support it (the strongest) to fight against counterpoint 3

Step 5: Disagreeing with counterpoint 1 (refutation 1)

Step 6: Disagreeing with counterpoint 2 (refutation2)

Step 7: Disagreeing with counterpoint 3 (refutation 3)

Note: We can place side by side (mirror) our constructive argument and our disagreement with the other person's counterpoint in the same step, by convincing the reader that our argument and evidence to support it are correct and are better than the other's.

Move IV: Concluding by enhancing the validity of the thesis

We conclude by reminding our reader (in other words) what we claimed and by suggesting that our arguments were (far) more convincing that the other person's. We must never forget to be polite! We must never forget that our simple claim of a truth (our truth) is not convincing without providing proper arguments and evidence. After all, it is the reader to decide who was more convincing!

Move V: (optional) Works cited


Task 1: Read the texts Fashion Art: To BE or Not to Be, by Maria Hritcu and Damien Hirst--Between Art and Money, by Daniela Codrea; pay attention to the two theses in each of them, to the counterpoints and constructive arguments; which of them convince you most? whose side do you tend to take? why?

Task 2: Express your own viewpoints on these matters (provide your own thesis, arguments, evidence). (orally)

Task 3: Write an argumentative essay (either on these subjects, or on any other), related to art. Make sure you mark down all the moves and steps of your essay as well as some discourse strategies you make use of. The essay should be presented in class and submitted in print, within the deadline. It will be taken into consideration either as the final grade this semester only if you have the 4 attendances IN CLASS; otherwise it will count just as a simple intervention in the class.

DEADLINE Tasks 1 + 2 + 3: March 15, 2015