Museum visits and effective searching

A Bronx Community College student talked with us about a paper she had to write for a required art class. She visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her class, and the assignment was to select a piece of art to discuss in her paper.

While this student was initially displeased that she was required to take an art class (since her major is psychology), she ultimately enjoyed the research assignment:

“But when I was doing the research, I learned that art, it’s not just about looking pretty. It’s about history too. You can’t write an art paper without talking about the history. So, you know, learning about the historical significance of it. I came to appreciate art more even though I was made to take that class.”

The student told us that prior to the museum visit it was difficult for her to focus on the assignment:

“That’s me burying an outline that a professor gave us until I actually have to deal with it. ‘Cause he gave us our, the paper, he gave us the outline way before we actually had to…No he gave us some instructions, paper instructions, way before we actually went to the museum I think. And I think I just lost it in a pile of papers at my house because I’m very messy.”

While she wasn’t required to do additional research for this paper, she did research a bit more to answer a few questions that her professor had after reading the first draft of the paper:

“I think I just went to Google, but normally for my research papers I would go to one of the databases that the school has here in the library, like Academic Search Complete. But I don’t think that I knew how to use…I knew how to use Academic Search Complete, but I didn’t know how to use some of the art websites because it was the first time that I ever had an art paper.”