ARTS 1A Final Exam

The Final Exam requires you to write an essay response to a prompt of your choice (as follows), relying on your
class notes to complete your essay. Respond to one prompt only.
Overall, the final exam is worth 60 points. Carefully note the Grading Rubric at the bottom of this page.
Choose ONE of the following essay prompts on which to base your Final Exam:
Choice no. 1: Methods of Interpretation
PART A: How do methods of interpretation help us understand how works of art were made?
PART B: How do methods of interpretation help us understand the meaning(s) of works of art?
Throughout parts A and B, support your ideas with detailed discussion of art, as well as documents,
readings, and “spotlight on technique” videos presented in class this quarter.
Important note: The methods of interpretation we explored together include gender analysis; feminist art
history; economic determinism; world-systems theory; formal analysis; postcolonial theory; and
intellectual history.
Choice no. 2: Elements of Arts and Principles of Design
PART A: How do artists use elements of art and principles of design to make works of art visually
powerful?PART B: How do artists use elements of art and principles of design make works of art
Throughout parts A and B, support your ideas with detailed discussion of art, as well as documents,
readings, and “spotlight on technique” videos presented in class this quarter.
Important note: The elements of art we have discussed this quarter include line, light, color, texture,
shape, and space. The principles of design we have explored include rhythm, balance, emphasis and
accents, proportion and scale, and unity and variety. To explore the “visual power” of works of art,
consider how the elements of art and principles of design grab and keep the attention of our eyes. To
explore the “meaning” of visually powerful works, consider how the elements of art and principles of
design increase the significance or importance of works of art to their original viewers, or to their viewers
Grading Rubric/Points Breakdown
4 Introduction
12 Use of Art presented in Weekly Chapters, in part A of your chosen prompt
12 Use of Art presented in Weekly Chapters, in part B of your chosen prompt
6 Use of Weekly Documents (both parts A and B)
6 Use of Weekly Spotlight on Technique Videos (both parts A and B)
6 Use of Weekly Readings (both parts A and B)
. 4 Conclusion
. 5 Overall clarity

5 Thoroughness in addressing both parts A and B of your chosen prompt

TIPS for successful completion of your essay Page 2 of 2

  1. Before beginning your essay, reading the Grading Rubric carefully. Understand that you will receive up to
    60 points for your essay and the closer you follow the Grading Rubric the more likely it will be that you
    will receive full credit for your essay.
  2. Do not do additional research beyond the parameters of your class notes. Any uncredited ideas you steal
    from other writers will result in an F grade on your Final Exam. If you took notes on the weekly chapters,
    documents, spotlight on technique videos, readings, and completed the our discussion and group analysis
    posts, you have everything you need to complete this exam successfully.
  3. If you do not understand the essay prompt you have chosen, seek clarification and ask for help from the
  4. This is your last ARTS 1A assessment, so demonstrate the breadth and depth of what you have learned
    this quarter, exploring works of art by many artists in detail. Since this is the Final Exam, you are welcome
    to draw from your notes across the entire quarter.
  5. When you use documents, spotlight on technique videos, and weekly readings, quote from them directly
    and call attention to your thinking process, identifying why you have chosen to use them. As you
    complete parts A and B, integrate discussion of several works of art discussed in class with discussion of
    weekly documents, spotlight on technique videos, and readings.
  6. When you write your introduction and conclusion, do not rely on generalizations about art, or make big,
    sweeping statements. Instead, focus on introducing and concluding your own ideas. It is best if you simply
    introduce your goals for your essay in your introduction (“I intend to explore . . .”) and raise questions. In
    your conclusion, summarize what you accomplished in your essay (“In this essay I analyzed . . .”) and
    indicate what further questions you may feel inspired to explore about your topic at a later time.
  7. Write in your own voice from your own perspective. Write the essay that only you can write. Use the
    pronoun “I” as you write about works of art discussed in class and use our weekly documents, spotlight on
    technique videos, and readings to support your ideas.
  8. There is no required “length” for this essay. You decide how long it needs to be. Essays which receive full
    credit will explore both parts of a chosen prompt thoroughly and clearly, interweaving numerous and
    detailed references to works of art discussed in class, in conjunction with weekly documents, spotlight on
    technique videos, and readings. The body of the essay must be introduced and concluded with a
    straightforward introduction and conclusion, in language that is relevant to the content of your specific
  9. Choose a 12-point font and double space your essay, leaving one-inch margins around your text. Upload
    your essay as a single pdf or Word doc into Canvas during week 12. Use your own name as the file name.
    No late Final Exams can be accepted.
    Final Exams which contain plagiarized content will receive an “F” grade.

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