Short Guide to Writing About Art, A, 11th edition

  • Sylvan Barnet

Choose the option that's right for you

$9.99 / mo

4-month term, pay monthly or pay $39.96

Enjoy these features

  • Up to 2 devices
  • Discounted tutor access
  • Exclusive offers

$14.99 / mo

4-month term, pay monthly or pay $59.96

Enjoy these features

  • Up to 2 devices
  • Discounted tutor access
  • Exclusive offers

Learn more, spend less

  • Listen on the go

    Learn how you like with full eTextbook audio

  • Learn anytime, anywhere

    Get the app to access your eTextbook whenever you need it

  • Make it your own

    Your notes. Your highlights. Your eTextbook

  • Find it fast

    Quickly navigate your eTextbook with search

  • Stay organized

    Access all your eTextbooks in one place


A Short Guide to Writing About Art provides you with the tools to effectively articulate ideas about art. You'll analyze drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and architecture, as the text guides you in writing a formal analysis, a research paper, a review of an exhibition, an essay, and more.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2015

ISBN-13: 9780137612604

Subject: Art

Category: Art History Survey

Table of contents

In this Section:

  1. Brief Table of Contents
  2. Full Table of Contents


  1. Writing About Art
  2. Writing About Art: The Big Picture
  3. Formal Analysis and Style
  4. Analytical Thinking
  5. Writing A Comparison
  6. Writing an Entry in an Exhibition Catalog
  7. Writing a Review of an Exhibition
  8. Virtual Exhibitions: Writing Text Panels and Other Materials
  9. How to Write an Effective Essay
  10. Style in Writing
  11. Art Historical Research
  12. Some Critical Approaches
  13. Writing a Research Paper
  14. Manuscript Form
  15. Writing Essay Examinations


  • Chapter 1: Writing About Art
    • What Is Art?
    • Why Write about Art?
    • The Imagined Reader as the Writer's Collaborator
    • The Functions of Critical Writing
    • Some Words about Critical Thinking
    • A Sample Critical Essay
    • What Is an Interpretation—and Are All interpretations Equally Valid?
    • Expressing Opinions: The Writer's “I”
  • Chapter 2: Writing About Art: The Big Picture
    • Standing Back: Kinds of Writing (Informing and Persuading)
    • Close-Up: Drafting the Essay
    • Checklist of Basic Matters
  • Chapter 3: Formal Analysis and Style
    • What Formal Analysis Is
    • Formal Analysis Versus Description
    • Sample Essay: A Formal Analysis
    • Postscript: Thoughts about the Words "Realistic" and "Idealized"
    • Cautionary Words about Slides and Reproductions in Books and on the World Wide Web
  • Chapter 4: Analytical Thinking
    • Subject Matter and Content
    • Form and Content
    • Getting ideas for Essays: Asking Questions to Get Answers
    • Another Look at the Questions
  • Chapter 5: Writing A Comparison
    • Comparing as a Way of Discovering
    • Two ways of Organizing a Comparison
    • Sample Essay: A Student's Comparison
    • Rebecca Bedell: "John Singleson Copley's Early Development: From Mrs. Joseph Mann to Mrs. Ezekial Goldthwait"
    • Checklist for Writing a Comparison
  • Chapter 6: Writing an Entry in an Exhibition Catalog
    • Keeping the Reader in Mind
    • A Sample Entry
    • Checklist for Writing a Catalog Entry
  • Chapter 7: Writing a Review of an Exhibition
    • What a Review Is
    • Three Sample Reviews
  • Chapter 8: Virtual Exhibitions: Writing Text Panels and Other Materials
    • Kinds of Exhibitions
    • Kinds of Writing Assignments
  • Chapter 9: How to Write an Effective Essay
    • The Basic Strategy
    • Looking Closely: Approaching a First Draft
    • Revising: Achieving a Readable Draft
    • Peer Review
    • Preparing the Final Version
  • Chapter 10: Style in Writing
    • Principles of Style
    • Get the Right Word
    • Writing Effective Sentences
    • Write Unified and Coherent Paragraphs
    • A Note on Tenses
  • Chapter 11: Art Historical Research
    • Accounting for Taste
    • Historical Scholarship and Values
  • Chapter 12: Some Critical Approaches
    • Social History: The New Art History and Marxism
    • Gender Studies: Feminist Criticism and Gay and Lesbian Studies
    • Biographical Studies
    • Psychoanalytic Studies
    • Iconography and Iconology
  • Chapter 13: Writing a Research Paper
    • Primary and Secondary Materials
    • From Subject to Thesis
    • Finding the Material
    • Art Research and the World Wide Web
    • Keeping a Sense of Proportion
    • Reading and Taking Notes
    • Checklist for Note-Taking
    • Incorporating Your Reading into Your Thinking: The Art of Synthesis and Drafting and Revising the Paper
    • Checklist for Reviewing a Revised Draft of a Research Paper
  • Chapter 14: Manuscript Form
    • Basic Manuscript Form
    • Some Conventions of Language Usage
    • Quotations and Quotation Marks
    • Acknowledging Sources
    • Documentation
    • Footnotes and Endnotes: Chicago Manual Style
    • Chicago Manual of Style
  • Chapter 15: Writing Essay Examinations
    • What Examinations Are
    • Writing Essay Answers
    • Last Words

Your questions answered

Introducing Pearson+. Reimagined learning, designed for you. Choose from one eTextbook or over 1,500 eTextbooks and study tools, all in one place, for one low monthly subscription. A new way to buy books that fits your budget. Make the most of your study time with offline access, enhanced search, notes and flashcards — to get organized, get the work done quicker and get results. Plus, with the app, put textbooks in your pocket and learn wherever. It's time to upgrade the textbook and simplify learning, so you can have time to live too.

Pearson eTextbook is an easy-to-use digital textbook available from Pearson+. Make it your own by adding notes and highlights. Download the Pearson+ mobile app to learn on the go, even offline. Listen on the go with our new audiobook feature, available for most titles.

When you choose a plan, you're signing up for a 4-month 'term'. You can opt to make a one-time payment for the initial 4-month term or pay monthly. If you opt for monthly payments, we will charge your payment method each month until your 4-month term has ended. You can turn on auto-renew in My account at any time to continue your subscription before your 4-month term has ended.

When you purchase a Pearson+ subscription, it will last 4 months. Before your initial 4-month term ends, you can extend your subscription by turning auto-renew on in My account.

If you turn auto-renew on, we’ll automatically renew your subscription and charge you every month until you turn off auto-renew. If you made a one-time payment for your initial 4-month term, you’ll now pay monthly.

To avoid the next payment charge, make sure you turn auto renewal off 1 day before the auto renewal date. You can subscribe again after auto-renew has been turned off by purchasing another Pearson+ subscription. We use your credit card to renew your subscription automatically. To make sure your learning is uninterrupted, please check your card details before your first monthly payment.

With a Multi Pearson+ subscription plan, you can download up to 10 titles on the Pearson+ app from My list on each of your authorized devices every month.

When you're using your Multi Pearson+ subscription plan in a browser, you can select and read from as many titles as you like.