Essay Structure and Citation Guidelines (paraphrased from UC Berkeley online resources)

Good essays have a clear, overarching argument that is developed and substantiated in the body of the paper. Citations are used to support the accuracy of the information in the essay. All info in the essay needs to be related in some way to the main topic of the essay question. By the conclusion, the reader should have a new perspective on the topic at hand.

ORGANIZATION OF THE ESSAY

Introduction
(Theme and Thesis)
Fully identify the narrative works you have chosen.

For this assignment, one must be currently on view in the Cloisters Museum, the other must be currently on view in the Metropolitan Museum. 

The most important functions of the introduction are to introduce your topic and to present the relevant issues of the topic.

Body
For the purposes of this essay, you might want to organize your writings so that you move from a brief review of relevant points in the readings to your analysis of the material. For example, the reader should clearly understand the narrative (the story) being told in the art, how the narrative is conveyed and the culture in which it was produced. You might also want to introduce some ideas from the museum labels and the textbooks on the style of the images used in the narrative.

As you reread your draft, make sure that the paragraphs in the body of the paper are in some way related to the main focus of the essay. And, when you switch to the discussion of the other narrative, make sure to use transitional sentences that clarify the switch.

Conclusion
By the conclusion of the essay, the reader should have more or new insight into the topic at hand. An unwritten rule of conclusions is that they shouldn't include radically new material. While your conclusion should re-emphasize the most important argument of your paper in a clearly stated manner, you can enhance the sense of completion if you return to a major idea—now in more nuanced form—initially presented in the introduction.

CITATIONS
Use information from both textbooks, cite the name of the author and the year of publication. Use the page number from which the quote was taken. Cite museum labels when information is taken from that source by putting the name of the museum in the parenthesis. See mla guides.

If you use direct quotes in your essay (a good technique in writing), make sure you cite the author(s), year of publication. Include page number when you quote directly from the work or refer to specific passages. See guide for including citations as end notes.

Key idea citations
Give credit to an author if you paraphrase a key idea from your source. See mla guides.
i.e. During the Northern Renaissance, disguised religious symbolism included ordinary household items such as a shiny copper vessel to represent Mary's purity. (Kleiner 2009: 522)

Include a "Work Cited" page that gives bibliographic information about the source of the material that you cited in your text. See mla guidelines for information on how to format a Work Cited page.

Please use spell-check and grammar-check.

Grammar note: Some students still confuse "it's" and "its." If you use the apostrophe, you are writing a contraction for "it is." Since we avoid contractions in formal writing, spell out "it is" if this meaning is appropriate. If you mean the possessive form of the pronoun "it" the correct form is "its"—with no apostrophe (e.g. Each religion has its own specific symbols and practices). Please use spell check (and even grammar check) before you turn in your final draft. In either case, there should be no "it's" in your final paper—only "it is" or "its."