Expert answer:4 page Visual Text Analysis AND Glossing


Solved by verified expert:You will SUBMIT TWO DOCUMENTS(1) 4.5 PAGE ESSAY(2) GLOSSING ASSIGNMENT OF WRITTEN ESSAYPART 1: THE ESSAYMAJOR ASSIGNMENT #2: VISUAL TEXT ANALYSIS Textual analysis “closely examines a text both for what it says and how it does so…” (NFG, p. 94). In this assignment, you will select a text, analyze its content and how the writer conveys it and use evidence from the text to support your analysis. “Your goal is to understand what it says, how it works and what it means” (NFG, p.112),ASSIGNMENTSelect a still image to analyze:An advertisementA photographA paintingA drawingA screenshot (from a website, video game, etc.)Compose an analysis that includes:Summary of the text; author’s relevant credentialsAttention to the context of when it was created, who created it, its purpose, etc.A clear thesis about the text (what you think about its meaning, impact, effect, etc.)Sufficient supporting evidence (details) from the text Analysis / evaluation of the text’s style, tone, structure, etc. and how they support your thesisA conclusion that goes beyond the text to make a larger point (does it ‘work’ and why; it doesn’t work and why not).CRITERIA4-5 PAGES; Note: This should include examples from the image that explain/support your thesisACCURATE GRAMMAR, SPELLING, PUNCTUATION, WORD CHOICE AND USAGECareful editing and proofreading for sentence structure, unnecessary words, correct use of the apostrophe and spelling of easily confused words.Skillful (and varied) integration of quoted, paraphrased or summarized materialMLA FORMAT FOR THE FOLLOWINGin-text citations for quoted, paraphrased, and summarized materialbasic essay formattingthe Works Cited list (to include all sources cited)Note: At minimum, you should be citing the image and the source of the rhetorical informationCAREFUL ORGANIZATION AND PRESENTATION OF ALL FACETS OF A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS AS NOTED ABOVE AND DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED HANDOUTSBE SURE TO SUBMIT A COLOR COPY OF THE IMAGE WITH YOUR PAPERPART 2:Assignment InformationDue DateWednesday, June 12, 2019 12:00 PMPoints Possible20It should look like this:1.Paragraph 1Question 1Question 2Question 3Completing this activity will help you strengthen your organization and development.


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Writing a Visual Analysis
Don’t have an art background? Don’t worry. You probably know a lot more than you realize.
Modern people are surrounded by images every day. Even if you don’t know the terms of how
people analyze art, you will be familiar with many of the tricks that artists use to create a
reaction in the reader, such as making the most important images larger and light, and the less
important ones in the background or fading darker. You can also easily recognize symbolic
colors, such as: red means emergency or blood or danger; green means safe and close to
nature; and blue means cool and relaxed.
Most visual analysis papers will require a clear and vivid description of the image along with an
analysis of the visual composition of the picture in order to explain how the artist put the image
together to create meaning. Although visual analysis essays often focus a lot on the details of
describing the image, you will also need a thesis which tells what the images mean. There are
several ways to do this and your assignment may tell you in which direction to go. Here are
some typical ways to analyze images for meaning:
Analyze the meaning of the image for the artist and his or her time
Analyze the meaning of the image for you and your time
Analyze the changes in meaning of an image over the course of time
Analyze the audience’s reaction to the image
Analyze your own reaction and evaluate the effectiveness of the image
Using the Visual Elements of Design chart will help you to describe the visual elements of the
picture and analyze how each element helps to create meaning.
The text of this handout was taken and adapted from
Visual Elements of Design
Elements of
Focal Point
How the image is put
together. Where
things are placed in
relationship to one
another and to the
space of the canvas.
Key Questions
What is main
figure? How are
other figures
placed in relation
to main figure?
What is left out?
Which elements of
design are most
The different aspects
important in this
the artist can use to
piece (color, line,
put together the
texture, shape,
form, value, size,
text, movement)?
What is the focal
point? What
Where your attention
elements of design
is drawn to in the
does the artist use
to create the focal
What colors are
All of the colors as
used? How do
well as black, white
these colors affect
and neutrals.
the tone, mood
and meaning of the
means using one
image? Are colors
used in predictable
or unpredictable
means using colors
ways? (example:
opposite one another
predictable is red
on the color wheel.
for danger)
Actual lines in
How do lines draw
picture or lines
your attention
created by the
towards or away
placement of other from certain parts
of the picture?
Texture is how rough Where is texture in
or smooth something the image and how
is, or the pattern it does this texture
has. Texture can be
create an
real on three
expectation in the
dimensional art, or
audience of a
represented on two particular touch
dimensional art.
Why important
The way different parts of an image
are put together draws the viewer’s
attention to some parts more than
others. It also creates tone, mood
and meaning.
Meaning comes from what the artist
uses and also what he or she
doesn’t use.
Understanding the focal point helps
you understand the meaning of the
Color can create meaning by
creating moods, highlighting
particular parts of the image,
connecting aspects of the image, or
by being symbolic.
Artists use lines to draw your
attention to the focal point.
Texture links images to real objects
and the use of senses other than
The text of this handout was taken and adapted from
How are shapes
used in the art?
The way in which the
Where does
artist uses circles,
shape, or
squares, rectangles,
ovals and other
between shapes
shapes in the art.
help your eye to
Where has the
artist used shading
How light and
or light to highlight
shading techniques
some aspect of the
make a two
image? Does
dimensional object
some part of the
look like it has three
image stand out as
having three
How are light and
dark used in this
picture? Is there a
Degree of light and symbolic use of
dark in different parts light and dark?
of the picture.
Does the artist use
light or dark to
highlight the focal
Why did the artist
Size can refer to the choose this size for
overall size of the the piece? What is
image and also the the meaning of the
relative size of items difference between
in the image.
sizes of elements
in the image?
Specific parts of the
Are any of the
design which have
aspects of this
symbolic or historical piece symbolic?
meaning (such as a Does the artist
cross for Christianity, intend to use the
or triangles for the symbolism directly
or to invert it?
Our eyes tend to focus on familiar
shapes and see shapes in two
dimensional art.
Form can contribute to making an
image seem more real, and also to
add importance to a part of the
picture through shading and use of
Value can be used along with color.
Extreme changes in value create
contrast which is often used to
provide meaning.
Variation in the size of shapes and
lines indicates relative significance.
Symbols draw on cultural meanings
which can work differently for
different audiences.
The text of this handout was taken and adapted from
“Glossing” an Essay
What Is Glossing?
Glossing is a strategy that enables writers to consider a paper’s purpose, organization, and logic. By
glossing a paper, writers get an overall picture of how its parts fit together and function as a whole.
How Can Glossing Help My Writing?
Specifically, glossing can help writers refine a paper’s unity and coherence:
Paragraph unity means that all ideas in one paragraph should be closely related to its topic sentence
and should further develop that topic sentence. That is, all sentences in a single paragraph must be
unified around a central point or main idea.
Coherence refers to connections among paragraphs and ideas. A coherent essay has a logical flow of
ideas that stem from the sequence of paragraphs and the transitions between paragraphs.
An essay must contain a clear thesis statement, and its body paragraphs must support and help prove the
thesis. Glossing can also help you identify and clarify your thesis as well as ensure that it is developed
throughout an essay.
How to Gloss a Paper
Glossing will help you pinpoint the various sections of your essay and determine if these ideas support its
overall purpose. To get started, chunk your paper into sections (or groups of sentences) and pose simple
questions. The University of Richmond’s Writer’s Web has a worksheet on glossing that is reprinted here.
A gloss can be either a single word, phrase, or sentence. One simple way to gloss is to take a section or a few
sentences from the paper and ask the following questions:
How does…?
You might also ask more specific questions:
How does this section connect with my paper’s overall purpose?
What is the main point of this group of sentences?
Why did I include these ideas in this particular part of the paper?
What am I trying to convey in this paragraph? Try to sum up the main point in one or two sentences.
 The answers to these questions should be written in the margin of your rough draft. These answers
should also be written in your own language. If there is a discrepancy between the answers and your
intentions for your paper, then editing must be done.
 After asking and answering these questions, make a list of the glosses. This will help to sort the ideas and
see the connections between the glosses.
 Next, look at the connections between the glosses and the concept of your paper. Complete this exercise
and print out the result to help you as you revise your draft.

This handout has been adapted from the University of Richmond Writer’s Web:
Glossing Worksheet
What is my thesis? (i.e., What is the general idea I am trying to express, argue, etc.)
Is the thesis included in the introduction? If not, where is it?
Do my paragraphs follow this main idea or thesis? If not, where do they diverge from the thesis?
Do I have topic sentences? Underline those topic sentences.
Do these topic sentences follow the thesis? If not, where do they diverge from the thesis?
Why did I order my paragraphs this way?
Is the order logical? Why or why not?
Does the conclusion do more than simply repeat my introduction word for word?
This handout has been adapted from the University of Richmond Writer’s Web:
Definition of genre
Visual analysis is the basic unit of art historical writing. Sources as varied as art magazines, scholarly
books, and undergraduate research papers rely on concise and detailed visual analyses. You may
encounter a visual analysis as an assignment itself; or you may write one as part of a longer research
The purpose of a visual analysis is to recognize and understand the visual choices the artist made in
creating the artwork. By observing and writing about separate parts of the art object, you will come to a
better understanding of the art object as a whole.
A visual analysis addresses an artwork’s formal
elements—visual attributes such as color, line, texture,
and size. A visual analysis may also include historical
context or interpretations of meaning.
Be sure to read the assignment carefully to decide
which elements of visual analysis your professor
expects you to include. Some professors will look for
a formal analysis alone; others will expect you to
frame your formal description in terms of historical
information. You may be asked to offer one or more
interpretations of the possible meanings of the work.
If necessary, ask your professor or T.A. to clarify
expectations for the assignment.
Figure 1: Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire (1885-7)
Actions to Take
To write a visual analysis, you must look closely at an art object—or at a photograph of an art object—
and translate your visual observations into written text. However, a visual analysis does not simply record
your observations. It also makes a claim about the work of art.

Observe the artwork and write down your observations. Be precise. Consider the composition,
colors, textures, size, space, and other visual and material attributes of the artwork. Go beyond your
first impressions. This should take some time—allow your eye to absorb the image. Making a sketch
of the work can help you understand its visual logic.

Formulate a main claim. Your claim might do one of the following:
Reflect on the overall organization of the work of art, e.g. “Paul Cézanne’s Mont SainteVictoire [Figure 1] is composed of a number of repeated shapes and lines that serve to unify
the composition.”1
Henry M. Sayre, Writing about Art (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005) 58.
Duke Writing Studio
Figure 2: Rembrandt, The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van
Ruytenburch (The Night Watch) (1642)

Figure 3: Ka-aper (c 25002400 BCE)
Consider how formal elements impact the meaning of the artwork, e.g. “Rembrandt’s use of
chiaroscuro heightens the sense of drama in The Night Watch [Figure 2].”
Relate this work relates to other works you have studied, considering how is it similar to and
different from these objects, e.g. “This Egyptian sculpture combines a highly conventional
symmetrical style with mild asymmetry and a degree of realism [Figure 3].”2
Support your main claim with visual details.
Analyze the form of the artwork: line, color, shape, texture, and material are good places to
Target your description. Address only those elements relevant to your main claim.
Organize your observations in a logical order.

You might, for example, follow a line through the painting, moving from the
background to the foreground, or from left to right. Consider beginning with
composition and moving to material, or vice versa. Many approaches are possible;
choose a structure that makes sense for your main claim.

In the following example, the author introduces the subject of the painting and then
describes the figure’s posture, gestures, and clothing: “Elongated and spectral, the
figure of an older man is seated at a table, painted red. He leans far to the left. His
narrow head is propped upon a skeletal fist; his other hand lies, its fingers slightly
spread, open on the table’s edge. He is wearing a cream-colored cap and a dark blue
jacket [Figure 4].”3
Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art (New York: Longman, 1997) 79.
Cynthia Saltzman, Portrait of Dr. Gachet: The Story of a van Gogh Masterpiece. Money, Politics, Collectors,
Greed, and Loss (New York: Penguin, 1998), xv.
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Explain why you have chosen to discuss these
specific elements. In other words, explain the
significance of your choices for your main claim.


You may decide to incorporate a quotation
from the artist to support your descriptive
choices. For example: “In the corner of the
painting, the barely perceptible outline of a
woman can be seen against a latticed
background. The vagueness of her presence
is necessary, as Bonnard noted in one of his
notebooks, because: ‘A figure should be part
of the background against which it is placed
[Figure 5].’”4
Discuss the relationship among visual elements of
the art work: “The admirable calligraphy of the text
sharply contrasts the paucity of craftsmanship of the
sculpture [Figure 6].”5
Figure 4: Vincent van Gogh,
Dr. Gachet (1890)
Use vocabulary words mentioned in class. Foreshortening, linear perspective, and cross-hatching are
some examples. Be sure to incorporate only those terms appropriate to your object.
 If your assignment asks you to identify the style or
movement associated with the artwork, you can explore this
connection by comparing the artwork’s formal elements to the
stylistic characteristics that you have learned in class. For
example: “Robert Adam’s library at Kenwood is quite classical,
not just because of the Corinthian columns and barrel vaults, but
also because it is symmetrical, geometric, and carefully balanced
[Figure 7].”6
 You may be asked to situate your art object in its historical
context. Ask yourself what the viewer needs to know about the
time period in order to understand this artwork.
o This may include biographical data about the artist,
information about how the artwork was received in its time, or
important framing of the social, political, or economic contexts
of the time.
Figure 5: Pierre Bonnard, Dining Room
overlooking the Garden (1930-1)

As in your formal analysis, choose evidence that
supports your main claim.
Helpful Links
Writing in the Disciplines: Art History:
Overview: Visual Rhetoric /Visual Literacy:
Laure de Buzon-Vallet and Claude Laugier, in Sasha Newman, ed., Bonnard: The Late Paintings (Paris: Centre
Georges Pompidou, 1984) 198.
Denise Schmandt-Besserat, When Writing Met Art: from Symbol to Story (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007)
Penelope J.E. Davies, et. al., Jansen’s History of Art: The Western Tradition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 2007).
Duke Writing Studio

Visual Rhetoric/Visual Literacy: Writing about Paintings
Visual Rhetoric/Visual Literacy: Writing about Photographs
Helpful Books

Suzanne Hudson and Nancy Noonan-Morrissey, The Art of Writing about Art (Belmont, CA:
Thomson Learning, 2002).
Henry M. Sayre, Writing about Art (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005).
Amy Tucker, Visual Literacy: Writing about Art (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001).
Figure 6: The Code of Hammurabi (c. 1792-1750 BCE)
Figure 7: Robert Adam, Kenwood: Middlesex Library (1767-9)

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