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Select a Topic

Begin by exploring topics.  Art topics can be related to medium; artist; style/movement; time and place; subject.  A few topic examples are listed below, but there are many, many more great topics that you can think of yourself. 


  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Ceramic
  • Watercolor


  • Gustav Klimt
  • Jenny Holzer
  • Female Artists
  • African American Artists


  • Realism
  • Abstract
  • Impressionism
  • Arabesque
  • Baroque
  • Art Nouveau

Time and Place

  • Renaissance
  • 19th Century
  • Postwar
  • Germany
  • Africa
  • The American South


  • Greek/Roman mythology
  • The Madonna
  • Urban landscapes
  • Food

Explore with Encyclopedias

You can learn more about your topic by exploring encyclopedias.  They give useful background information but may not count as a source for your assignment.  If your professor has asked you to find peer-reviewed research articles, use the Articles page of this guide.

Form a Research Question

Now that you know a bit about your topic, think of questions that you would like to answer.  An excellent way to do this is to combine two or three ideas from the categories in the [Topic] box: medium; artist; style/movement; time and place; subject.

  1. How does Suzanne Lacy's work fit into the larger feminist movement in post-modern art?
  2. How do artistic depictions of urban landscapes vary between the United States and Mexico? 
  3. What themes are represented in antebellum art by African Americans?
  4. What significance does medium have in Jenny Holzer's work?