237130_Wk8_Task#1_Critical and Contextual Studies Tool Kit

Planning and Preparation

  • Highlighting key words or phrases within the task and writing out what I need to do in my own words.
  • Doing a “brain dump” of all my ideas in their rawest forms.
  • Using MindMup to create mind maps which allow me to visualise how key ideas and points are linked.
  • Writing down all my ideas as sentences or phrases that I can work into a body of text.

Writing Skills

  • Identifying my style of writing so that I can expand and improve on my current methods.
  • Using a formal, academic tone; no contractions, no personal pronouns.
  • Contextualising; providing the viewer with “the big picture” before embarking on in-depth description or analysis.
  • Expressing ideas in a concise, specific manner by discarding any unnecessary text that doesn’t aid in the reader’s understanding of my point.
  • Linking all ideas to one another, and to any sources or visual texts I reference.
  • Working quotes into the text so they support and exemplify ideas.
  • Acknowledging all influences with in-text citations and a Works Cited list in MLA style, and by giving credit to the author of an idea when paraphrasing.
  • Taking a break before rereading my essay aloud to check for mistakes or inconsistencies.

Content and Visual Text Analysis Tools

  • Doing a brain dump of every physical aspect of the visual text so I can form an in-depth description of it.
  • Interpreting what each individual aspect of the text means, as well as the text as a whole.
  • Writing down every idea the artefact inspires in me as rough sentences which can then be refined and worked into a body of text.
  • Examining the implicit as well as the explicit.
  • Placing the visual text in context.

Research and Information Gathering Tools and Protocols

  • Identifying key words within the question to break down the topic and identify the main points my research should be based around.
  • Using credible sources to locate visual texts and information: ARTstor, Discover, Massey Library catalogue, and Google Scholar. Other trustworthy sources of information could include academic books/journal articles, libraries, and museums.
  • Checking the copyright license before use.
  • Narrowing down my search results in order to pinpoint more relevant information by using artists, artworks, ideas, or themes that I find in an original search result as a basis for a new search.
  • Note taking – underlining key phrases in the text and jotting ideas next to these (printed media); watching videos and writing down key quotes or ideas (video);  writing down any information I find in my own words rather than copying it straight from the source in order to avoid plagiarism (web).