How to Write A Visual Analysis Paper

How to Write A Visual Analysis Paper

Students pursuing History, Art History, and English courses may need to write a visual analysis paper during their study. This type of essay requires a student to describe a visual display or a specific image. Moreover, instructors use this essay to evaluate if a student can explain how an artist puts different components together. Writing this type of essay may be challenging, but the right guidelines make it easier.

What Does a Visual Analysis Paper Examine?

The subject or image examined in a visual analysis paper may vary. A trainer can require students to describe and analyze a photograph, a visual demonstration, or a household item such as a cooker. One may use various literary tools to give a reader a comprehensive understanding of the subject. There is also a wide array of topics in which a student can write a visual essay. The most common concepts are sculptures, architecture, drawings, and paintings. Regardless of the object under examination, a visual analysis paper requires a student to understand the basic concepts of the subject.  However, a visual analysis essay does not require one to have a prior encounter with the object. Instead, one only needs to give a well-grounded claim on the context and a fair interpretation.

How to Cite Images in a Visual Analysis Essay

 A student may have to include a copy of the image under discussion in the essay. The first paragraph should state the essential facts relating to the piece. Such facts are the title of the image, name of the artist, name of the collection or museum the art is in, and the date the artist completed the work. The description should also state the type of image and the nature of the art medium used.

The Structure of a Visual Analysis Essay

  •  Introduction

 A student should introduce their visual analysis essay with basic facts regarding the art. One can first describe the object clearly so that the reader can imagine it. Then one should give a brief description of the creation of the image. Additionally, the introduction should provide some intriguing facts about the artist or the piece. This may include information on how people perceived the art after its creation.

A student should refrain from over listing facts about the art. Instead, one can keep the introduction fascinating by giving a personal opinion of how they interpret the image. A person can also explain the main message communicated in the art and state common misunderstandings about the picture. The introduction should also have a thesis statement that will state the meaning of the art. It is recommendable that a student reviews the purpose of the piece to modern society when selecting a thesis statement. Moreover, one should consider the artists’ intended audience and history of the public opinions regarding the art.

  • Body

The body of a visual analysis essay should contain approximately four ideas that support the thesis statement. Some students prefer to give their opinion on art before researching thoroughly. This step may help to prevent the interference of a person’s interpretation. On the other hand, other people prefer to study before analyzing a piece. This step also helps one to make an informed opinion regarding art. Regardless of the selected technique, one should ensure that they observe all angles of the image to reveal any hidden aspect. Some aspects of art can also show some characteristics of the artist. For instance, the brushstrokes of a painting can tell the social class of an artist.

 Once a student gets a personal view of the art, he or she should analyze and describe it objectively. A visual analysis essay should follow a structured classification of the elements of the piece. Additionally, one should ensure that they use facts to support their observations. A student can find these facts in the historical placing of the art, such as a museum.

  • The Conclusion of a Visual Analysis Essay

The conclusion of a visual analysis essay should repeat the thesis statement and give an interesting fact about the piece. One can compare this art with another piece or suggest speculation on how the artist would think about his work. A student should also avoid listing additional details about the image in the conclusion as they may confuse a reader.

Elements to Use When Describing Images in a Visual Analysis Essay

 There are various elements of design one can use to give a reader a vivid picture of the image. Such include

Composition- This refers to a description of the image contents and an explanation of their relationship. 

Focal Point- This refers to the point that draws the most significant attention of a viewer. This aspect helps one understand the meaning of the piece.

Lines- This refers to the boarders in the image that an artist uses to draw attention to the focal point.

Texture- The texture of an image can either be smooth or rough. In some cases, the art may have a pattern that links it to real-life objects.

Shape- An artist may use various forms such as circles and squares to increase focus on the image.

Form- An artist can use shading and light to give a two-dimensional piece a three-dimensional look. They may also use this technique to highlight some aspects of the image.

Symbolic elements- Some parts of an image may have a historical or symbolic meaning. These symbols can also have cultural implications that audiences perceive differently.

Size-  Refers to the magnitude of the image and ratio of items in the art. A variation in the size of components may indicate the significance of each item in the piece.

A student may sometimes lack confidence in their opinion regarding art when writing a visual analysis paper. At EssayTank, we provide credible visual analysis essay writing services to students at all academic levels. We have writers specialized in Art History and English to help you deliver a detailed paper.  Our writers also provide free unlimited revisions within two weeks after you receive a completed paper.


Published on: 18 Jun 2020

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