College Art History Essay Tips

There are no major tips to doing an art history essay. If you’ve done essays before then you know exactly to do and what not to do. Even if you only did them in grade school, the same general rules apply:

  • Start on the essay early.
  • Research.
  • Format properly.
  • Have a thesis statement and introduction.

The only things that have changed since then are that the classes are harder and the essays need to be better written and researched. Here are some tips to get you through the essay writing process.

Manage Your Time

The importance of time management cannot be stressed enough. With proper time management you’ll be able to work on your essay, handle other essays, tests, and homework assignments, and have some time left for yourself. In short it’s all about:

  • Putting time aside to work on the essay in installments.
  • Stepping away for a bit to get a breather.
  • Returning to your essay refreshed.
  • Repeat.

That’s all! That isn’t difficult at all, actually. Doing your essay with less than a week left is just no good and shouldn’t be done at any time. If you get your syllabus on the first day of class and you know when the assignment is due and that you have a whole quarter or term to handle it, it means just that: you have a whole term to handle it. No reason it shouldn’t be worked on during the term and completed.


This means sitting down and reading…a lot. There’s also some note taking in there, but mostly reading. Since art history is a pretty broad subject, you’ll need to narrow it through research unless you know what area and the topic you want to write about or if your instructor actually gave you a specific topic or area.

If neither of those are the case, you’ll need to get cracking and whittle art history down to a few topics to make the essay manageable. After that, you’ll want to reflect on what you found and form a thesis statement. A strong thesis statement will carry your introduction and the essay as a whole.

Write Your Paper

Drafting, formatting, citations, bibliography, etc. and so on are all included here. The areas to worry about are the introduction—mentioned above—and the closing. Both will need to be strong to hold up the essay—especially your introduction. The closing will only be as strong as the essay was and will also briefly review the essay.

Just Do The Essay

Yes, this is rather direct, but sometimes you just don’t want to do the essay. You should know it’s not going anywhere if you hide the books, close the laptop, close the essay related tabs, and so on. Just do the essay. You have a whole term to get it done!

Published on  August 18th, 2018