A Borough of Manhattan Community College student described a paper he wrote in his introductory art history class. This professor also required students to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and select an artwork, though students were directed to go to the museum on their own, outside of class time:
“So, the first part of the assignment or the first thing that we have to do is go to the Met, take a picture of ourself in front of the art that we choose and then write about it, all that we know or we can find in books, the style, the artist, the period, why do we choose the art, what we… what is the style or how do we feel about it.”
This student used many library resources for his research: he went to LaGuardia Community College’s library to get a book that was not available in the library at BMCC (CUNY students can use the libraries throughout the university), and he also went to the New York Public Library’s performing arts branch at Lincoln Center, because he lives close by. The professor required students to use books for this research assignment:
“Because most of the people, he thought, and it’s true, would be easier to sit in front of your computer and start searching what you want and get that information and write one or two pages and… He didn’t want that. He wanted us to look for books. He wanted all the information about the book, the edition, and note, yes, what page is that.”
This student also began his writing in longhand on paper before moving to a computer to type up the final version. He told us that his professor gave some students in the class gold, silver, or bronze medals for their papers. This was the first research paper this student had written at BMCC, and he was pleased to share that his paper got a gold medal.