Once you have reviewed the data table or catalogue and determined which
text/s you would like to use for your class, use the exercise template
below to add the text/s into the bracketed space. Exmp: [Add in the
chosen texts here]
You can either copy and paste the exercise template below or you can
download the exercise template in RTF (Rich Text Format) for editing in
any Word Processor.
Click Here For the Print Version (Rich Text Format - Generic Format for
any Word Processor)
Click Here For the Print
Version of the Grading Rubric (Rich Text Format - Generic Format for
any Word Processor)
This illustration exercise provides a framework for students to think
about the form and function of illustrations in books and offers
strategies for students to evaluate book illustrations.
As you work through this exercise, please keep the
following in mind:
1. You must comply with all of the rules of the Rare Book Room.
- Please wear gloves (which are provided by the Rare Book
Room) while handling all texts.
- Please handle all texts with care; do not bend book spines
back, bend pages, and so on.
- You may only use pencils while working in the Rare Book
Room; pens are not allowed.
Choose one of the following illustrations:
[Add in the chosen illustrations here]
2. The Rare Book Room is open from 9:00 until 5:00, Monday through
Friday, and Tuesday evenings from 5:00 until 9:00.
As you look at an illustration, consider the
- What is the location of the illustration in the text? Is
the location significant?
- What is being depicted in the illustration?
- Consider the composition of the illustration. What is your
eye drawn towards first? What is in the foreground of the illustration?
The background? Are the different areas of the illustration
symmetrical, or not? Are the areas of the illustration equally light?
- Consider the style of the illustration. Look especially at
the representation of the human body, details of clothing, the
realistic (or unrealistic) representation of objects, plants,
buildings, and so on.
- What purpose does this illustration serve? What is the
relationship between the illustration and the text? Why include this
illustration in this work?
- Consider that every illustration reflects ideas about its
subject. How does the illustration interpret its subject, and/or
interpret the text?
- What is the effect of this illustration on the viewer?
Based on your responses to these questions, you should be able
to write a brief (one to two page essay) in which you develop a thesis
about the illustration.
Please keep the following in mind:
- State your thesis at the beginning of your essay. Your
thesis may focus on the style, content, or composition of the
illustration–-or anything else that you find compelling about it.
Remember that a thesis is a position statement and that you need to
stake a position about this illustration in your essay.
- The more specific evidence you use in your essay to prove
your point, the better.
- Your essay should not be a list of
responses to the questions 1 through 7 above. The questions are
intended to give you some strategies to begin your analysis; they do
not provide the structure (or the thesis) for your essay, nor are they
intended to limit your analysis.
- Each paragraph of your essay should support your thesis
statement. Please make sure that there are transitions between
paragraphs, so that each paragraph leads to the next, and make sure
that each paragraph builds upon its predecessor.
- A seemingly simple illustration can be filled with
meaning. Your job is to make sense of it.
- This assignment does not require external
research—although you may choose to pursue research if you wish. This
assignment does require careful viewing, thinking, and writing.