An inquiry-based research

An inquiry-based research paper of 1500-2000 words. Choose a topic from the list below. These are broad topics and you will need to find a narrow focus within them.  Your paper should have at least five (5) academic reference courses.  This should not include your textbook, Wikipedia, Brittania, Encarta, or any other online dictionaries or other very short non-academic Internet entries.  You have access to online academic journals through the University of Manitoba library system.  This is the best place for you to begin your search on your chosen topic. JSTOR is one online example through the UofM library system that has a lot of resources that may be helpful as you research. If you do not know how to conduct online research, please visit the library and ask for help from the reference librarian. Your paper should be submitted through UMLearn in the corresponding Assignment Folder.

Formatting Guidelines:

  1. You must use a standard letter size page in portrait view (21.59cm x 27.94cm / 8” x 11”).
  2. You must use either 1.5 or double spacing.
  3. You must use Times New Roman font, size 12.
  4. You must use 3cm margins on all edges. You may indicate a paragraph change by either a line space or by indenting, BUT you must be consistent.
  5. Your paper is to be free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  6. You may use either English or American spelling, again you must be consistent. If you have had difficulty in writing papers, it is suggested that you make use of the resources offered by the University of Manitoba.
  7. Cite dates as follows:  1832-1836; 15 July 1836; the fifteenth-century; c. 1500; fifteenth-century houses.
  8. Place quotations within double inverted commas; quotations within quotations in single inverted commas.  Quotations more than 6 lines long should start on the next line and use a single-spaced block quote format.
  9. Italicize the titles of books, journals, works of art, buildings, and theses. Do not underline them.
  10. You are to use the Chicago Style for referencing the sources of your information.
  11. Your paper should have a cover page with your name, student number, and the title of your paper.
  12. Your paper is to be submitted in either .doc, .docx, or PDF format only.


Please choose from ONE (1) of the following topics:

  1. Discuss the impact of World War I and World War II on the art of the twentieth century.  Support your discussion with examples of no less than five (5) artists.
  2. Discuss the work of Rebecca Belmore, one of Canada’s leading Indigenous artists.  What are the social and political concerns in Belmore’s work?  Support your argument a full discussion of two of Belmore’s works.
  3. Discuss body art at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century.  What are the concerns of the artist?  How are these represented in their work.  In your paper you should present the work of at least two artists who primarily use the body in their work, whatever medium or discipline they choose.
  4. Discuss artists who work is about the environment and climate change.  How do these individuals use their art to try and promote human understanding and change?  In your paper you should present the work of at least three artists who are environmentalists and who follow the ideology of Environmental Humanism.
  5. Choose a contemporary Canadian Indigenous artist.  You are to discuss the social and political concerns inherent in their work.  What is their message?  How do they believe that art can institute social change and awareness?  You must discuss at least two distinct examples of the artist and their work to support your argument.
  6. Choose a contemporary Canadian artist.  You are to discuss the social context in which they create their work.  What do they hope to accomplish with their art and what is the message?  You are to choose three distinct works of the artist in order to support your statements and discussion.
  7. Is it craft or is it art?  Choose the work of a Canadian working in a medium/discipline other than painting, sculpture, or architecture.  Discuss their practice in relation to the materials and processes the artist uses.  How has traditional craft influenced their work?  What is the social and cultural context in which they create?  Provide three to four examples to support your discussion.

Grading Rubric for Written Papers:

Regarding the quality of the paper:

  1. Does the paper have a clearly formulated thesis?
  2. Is it written in formal, academic language appropriate to the subject?
  3. Are the citations appropriate/overused or underused?
  4. Is there evidence of original thought?
  5. Is this a work of such high standard that even with some editing, it could be published in a professional journal?

Thus, papers will be graded to the following rubric:

A+ Excellent work; clear, flawless, engagingly written, well organized, logical, and demonstrating a clear command of the topic and showing original insights in the interpretation. The work exceeds all the minimum requirements of the assignment and shows a sophisticated thesis that is well supported by evidence. Demonstrates the ability to critically analyze and/or synthesize issues and problems. There is clear evidence of advanced research. There are virtually no problems with writing style, grammar or spelling. In other words, it is impeccable in every measure or expectation.

A Exhibits almost all of the characteristics of the A+ paper but with some minor flaws in argument.

B+ The work is very good. It is well written and organized. It meets and often exceeds the minimum requirements of the assignment with frequent flashes of original thought. There is evidence of an advanced understanding of the material and evidence of attempts to critically analyze and/or synthesize issues and problems. There is clear evidence of advanced research. There are very few problems with writing style, grammar or spelling.

B Exhibits almost all of the characteristics of the B+ paper but has slight problems with the understanding of the issues and problems.

C+ The work is acceptable. It is generally clear and easy to read and meets and sometimes exceeds all of the minimum requirements of the assignment. There is evidence of a basic if unambitious or underdeveloped understanding of the material with limited analysis. There is clear evidence of basic research and/or analytical skills but there are some problems with the writing style, grammar or spelling that exceed those for the B+ to B range.

C The work is acceptable but has slight issues with clarity. It is not always easy to read but meets or sometimes exceeds the minimum requirements of the assignment. There is slightly less of an understanding of the material and there are attempts at analysis. There is clear evidence of basic research skills.

D The work is marginal. It meets only the minimum requirements of the assignment. There is evidence of only a simplistic understanding of the material. There is limited evidence of research and/or analytical skills. There are significant problems with writing style, grammar, or spelling.

F The work is unsatisfactory. It does not meet the minimum requirements of the assignment and it fails to grasp even the most basic of concepts.

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