General Directions

For each third of the semester, write one essay, choosing from the prompts below.

Essays shall be no longer than 1,000 words in length (about three double-spaced pages, plus endnotes, bibliography [format according to the Chicago Manual of Style], and illustrations as needed).

Consider your essay as a very small research paper. Based on your textbook readings and class discussions, you should go farther in print sources. The JU library has several books on reserve for this class that will be of assistance;  the inter-library loan service will open vast resources to you; the advanced search in GoogleBooks will also reveal great resources. As always, be very shrewd about internet resources.

Essays shall be subject to the following review/assessment (see calendar for specific dates): 

  • Essay PREWRITE due: email your complete paper as a Word doc to Dr. Amundson (for illustrations, provide a second PDF document;  make sure to label each image and refer to them by those labels in your essay); bring a paper copy to class to trade papers with a colleague-reviewer (obviously, you will leave class with a paper to review).
  • Essay returned: by this date, you will receive your paper back from Dr. Amundson with comments; bring the paper you reviewed to class to return to its author.
  • Essay FINAL due: using the comments from your two reviewers, revise your paper and resubmit a single paper copy at the start of class (hard copy, with your reviewer's copy).

Always use staples. No folded corners. No paper clips. No capes.  STAPLES.

Essays will be graded on their content, use of sources, comprehensive and persuasive way they respond to the given question, historical accuracy and interpretative quality.  Organization, grammar skills, and quality of illustrations (when needed) will also be assessed in the grading of this assignment.

Include a header that lists your name, the course title, date, and the number of the question you have answered.  Title sheets are discouraged, but you should include a title for your essay at the top of the first page.

When submitting electronic documents, please abide by the following protocol, including the number of your essay (as numbered below) in place of the “x” and, obviously, substituting your name for mine: 

  • For your essay:                   ARC435-x-Amundson
  • For your illustrations:         ARC435-x-Amundson-figs

Specific Directions

Choose one of the prompts listed under each section. If you would like to alter its parameters, or suggest a different subject for your study, discuss with Dr. Amundson at least two weeks prior to the essay's first due date. For all options, utilize the wide world of resources available to you as outlined above.

Each of these questions is intentionally broad.  To produce a strong essay you will need to write a clear thesis that expresses a specific point of view within the parameters of the subject. Students are encouraged to opt for two different kinds of assignments among those listed here: theory, structures, exhibitions, etc.

Options for the First Essay


Options for the Second Essay

Options for the Third Essay