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Visual, Performing, and Literary/Language Arts

This LibGuide provides an overview of the different kinds of items that might be considered "art" and the theories and criticism that surround this category.

Research Tips

Many students have faced the difficult position of being assigned an essay and having no idea where to start.  This is where this guide can help.  Here are some tips to help you get started: 

  1. First, what are you being asked to analyze?  Is it a photograph?  A poem?  A short story?  A chapter in a novel?  If you get to choose something you have covered in class, choose something that you don't mind working with for a couple of weeks.  If you get to choose something outside of class, choose something that speaks to you on some level.  Why that thing speaks to you doesn't have to make sense.  It's okay that it just does.
  2. Figure out what kind of paper you are being asked to write.  It is a close reading?  A compare/contrast essay? A rhetorical analysis?  An expository essay?  A researched argument paper?  Something else?
  3. If you are doing a close reading, see the "Poetry" LibGuide for how to conduct this kind of essay.  For a compare/contrast essay, see the "World Literature" LibGuide to help you.
  4. If you are doing a rhetorical analysis, you will need to remember the terms ethos, logos, and pathos.  Here are some tips:
    1. ethos - credibility of the speaker (tip for remembering:  ethics)
    2. logos - message of the speaker, backed up by evidence and logical reasoning (tip for remembering:  logic)
    3. pathos - emotional appeal (tip for remembering:  pathetic)
  5. For a researched argument paper, you are going to want to use the databases.  Make sure that you have a lot of terms in mind that you can search.  Synonyms are important.  Make sure to click on "Full Text" and "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" before you start searching.  Remember to use the advanced search features.  See the "Recommended Databases" in this guide for some databases to help you get started.
  6. Make sure to write down the page number and author when you copy and paste a quote, as often you will forget which article the quote came from and where, so be really scrupulous about this.
  7. Make sure to outline before you write to avoid problems with organization.

If you are looking for some general sources about writing and researching papers, try some of the the ones listed below.  This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a sample of some things to think about when you research topics and write papers.

4000 Suisun Valley Road
Fairfield, CA 94534
(707) 864-7000
2001 North Village Parkway
Vacaville, CA 95688
(707) 863-7836
545 Columbus Parkway
Vallejo, CA 94591
(707) 642-8188
530 Hickam Ave., Bldg. 249
Travis Air Force Base, CA 94535
(707) 424-2431