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Writing & Research in the Disciplines: The Arts

Brief descriptions of the thinking and writing used by individual disciplines; recommended library databases


The Arts generally include: architecture, music, opera, theatre, dance, painting, sculpture, illustration, drawing, cartoons, printmaking, ceramics, stained glass, photography, installation, video, film and cinematography, to name but a few. "The Arts" are commonly classified into several overlapping categories, such as: finevisualplasticdecorativeapplied, and performing.

Professional and academic writing in the Arts should include:

  • Lots of descriptive language. Artists want to visualize the piece through the writing and rely on the writer to provide a useful depiction through words.
  • Analysis of symbolism, technique, organization, medium, theme and structure. These concepts hold a lot of meaning in the Arts and should be considered when appropriate.
  • A sense of cultural relevance. You might need to provide evidence of the culture in which the piece was created to show how the piece reflects and/or affects the culture in which it was created.
  • The beauty of language. In these disciplines the use of direct quotes is much more acceptable than in the Social Sciences. 

Writing Guides

Research sources

Links to Research Guides

Below are links to  several research guides created here at Walker Library either for a specific discipline or program or for a specific assignment.  They will give you a little deeper understanding of what instructors might require.

Library Catalog

Search beyond MTSU: WorldCat

Books about Writing in the Arts

Uses the search box above to locate more books.