Using your critical method handouts, you will critique an artifact of some sort: visual, musical, theatrical, cinematic, etc. The handouts give specific suggestions, and allow you to select an item of your choosing across a broad list of genres.
You will also review the artifact in relation to how it upholds or derides the Enlightenment principles you have been studying. Simply put, you should notice whether an artifact sustains Humanistic ideals, a trait of the Enlightenment, or is used propagandistically to support some other institution above basic, individual, human rights.
Standards and Criteria
◦ 1500-2500 words
◦ Typed in standard 12 pt. font
USE THIS CRITICAL METHOD HANDOUT AS YOUR GUIDE
Opening paragraph includes: gut reaction to the work, the name of the work, date, media, size, name of the artist, and some information about the artist. Break up this information into small sentences. Ask a question to return to at the end of the paper.
The next few paragraphs include a detailed study of what you see, as in a forensic study. This is not the time for interpretation. This is the time for scientific investigation. Think of this section as describing the work to someone who has lost his/her sight but knows visual imagery and can imagine it in the mind’s eye.
The third section of the paper includes your interpretation of what you have seen and discovered through your analysis. This is where you can project a story or interpret meaning via your own perspective as the viewer. We each bring something different to an artwork; what do you take away from this work, what does it mean to you?
The concluding section of the paper includes an evaluation, similar to a rating system. Through your investigation, you have gained some expertise in the work, so you are now in a better position to judge it. You will also gain insight into your own tastes. In your opinion, is the work good? Be sure to end your paper by revisiting your gut reaction and answering your opening question. Did your response to the work alter in any way through the process of investigation?