Skip to main content

ART 301: Fine Arts Research Papers: Writing About Art

Spring 2019

Writing about other artists / others' work

For those new to art history (and for general inspiration for everyone) discipline-specific guides to art research and writing about art can be very useful:

Citing Your Sources

Writing a research paper means documenting, or "citing," the sources of the information you use. How do you cite your sources? Every time you quote from or mention another person's writing or research in your own paper, you also mention the source of that work in a little aside called an "annotation." At the end of your paper, you include a list called a bibliography of all the sources you used throughout.

There are many different ways to annotate or call out sources in your paper, and many different ways to format the bibliography. These are called citation styles, and the professor who assigns a paper (or the publisher of a paper if it is being written for publication) tells writers which style they should use for any particular paper. 

Citing Images

Artstor logo

Here is a short, authoritative guide to image citation from Artstor (a non-profit organization that builds and distributes the Digital Library, an online resource of more than 1.9 million images):



I also like this guide from Colgate University:

Writing an Artist's Statement

  • Here are some questions offered at to help artists think when writing about their own work:
    • What keeps you coming back to the studio, day after day?
    • What’s the best way someone has responded to your artwork (comment in a guest book, at an exhibit, etc.)
    • What questions are you asked most frequently about your work?
    • What’s your artist story? (as opposed to your biography and CV)
    • Who is your art for?

Style Manuals

The Writing Center

Writing Center logo

The Robert E. Hemenway Writing Center at the the University of Kentucky offers free and friendly help to all UK students, faculty, and staff. Graduate student consultants and undergraduate consultants assist with the process of composing and communicating in writing, speaking, and multimedia projects across the curriculum, at every stage of the composing and communicating process.

The Writing Center is located in the W. T. Young Library Hub in room B108B.

Online Writing Lab

Research 101 LibGuide