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ResearchDefinition by LKaras Work

Writing about Art

What is "Scholarly Research"?

Research on a college level is not compiling and regurgitating information as you did in the past.  It is about the investigation and finding answers to questions.  It begins with a broad subject with general content, gets funneled down into a more focused topic such as a specific issue, and then narrowed further until it is whittled down to a concise research question, thesis statement, or hypothesis.  The research, in the end, answers that question.

When you conduct scholarly research, you read what is considered "scholarly" sources together with your information, and enter a conversation with scholars in the field of art history.  Art history is not a set of facts, but a set of arguments.  Scholars make arguments that shape our beliefs about art and history over time.  When you engage in scholarly research, you engage with their arguments by questioning, troubling, and/or extending them in order to make your own argument or pursue a research question or a problem that vexes you.