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  4. Dividing your work into paragraphs
  5. Paragraphs activity

Paragraphs activity

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The following text (after the heading ' Sample text') describes the importance of proper captioning of artwork in books. It has had the paragraphs spaces removed so that it is one block of text. Try to identify where the paragraphs should begin. Remember, paragraphs often start with topic sentences (a statement that is expanded upon in the remainder of the paragraph) so topic sentences are found at the start of paragraphs.

Identify the new paragraphs in the following question by clicking near the end of a sentence to create a new paragraph below (keyboard users can tab to the sentence and press enter to create a new paragraph below). Then click Show correct answer to compare your version with ours.

Click a sentence to create a new paragraph

New paragraph

A reproduction of a painting nearly always comes with a full caption.

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For example: Colour Plate 1 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Artist in his Studio, c.1629, oil on panel, 25x32 cm.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 38.1838.

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This gives you a great deal of useful information, not just the artist's name and title of the work, but also the date when it was painted.

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The caption will tell you whether the artist used oil, pastel etc, what surface he or she painted on, and what its dimensions are.

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The final piece of information is the name of the collection where the work can be found.

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However, I want to warn you about titles.

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Of course they can be helpful in telling you what it is you should be seeing, but remember that the title by which a work of art becomes known was not necessarily given it by the artist.

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The older the work, the less likely the title is to be original and the more likely it is to be the product of later interpretation.

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Information about medium will help you to imagine the effect of the original work.

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This effect will depend in part on the physical form of the original work and on the function for which it was intended.

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Works on paper tend to be less expensive than works on canvas or wood.

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Artists will often use pencil, ink or crayon on paper to try out ideas and details before working them up in the more expensive medium of oil on canvas or wood.

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Information about size should be read in connection with information about medium.

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Clearly an oil painting small enough to be carried is a very different kind of thing from a mural occupying an entire wall.

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When reproduced in a book, however, they might appear the same size.

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Where such information is given, it can help you: for example, a small oil painting is likely to have been produced for a private purpose.

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A large work is more likely to have been commissioned for some public purpose.

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If you keep these points in mind, they will help you interpret the image you are looking at.

Correct answer

A reproduction of a painting nearly always comes with a full caption. For example: Colour Plate 1 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Artist in his Studio, c.1629, oil on panel, 25x32 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 38.1838.

However, I want to warn you about titles. Of course they can be helpful in telling you what it is you should be seeing, but remember that the title by which a work of art becomes known was not necessarily given it by the artist. The older the work, the less likely the title is to be original and the more likely it is to be the product of later interpretation.

Information about medium will help you to imagine the effect of the original work. This effect will depend in part on the physical form of the original work and on the function for which it was intended. Works on paper tend to be less expensive than works on canvas or wood. Artists will often use pencil, ink or crayon on paper to try out ideas and details before working them up in the more expensive medium of oil on canvas or wood.

Information about size should be read in connection with information about medium. Clearly an oil painting small enough to be carried is a very different kind of thing from a mural occupying an entire wall. When reproduced in a book, however, they might appear the same size. Where such information is given, it can help you: for example, a small oil painting is likely to have been produced for a private purpose. A large work is more likely to have been commissioned for some public purpose. If you keep these points in mind, they will help you interpret the image you are looking at.

Commentary

Paragraph one

A reproduction of a painting nearly always comes with a full caption. For example: Colour Plate 1 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Artist in his Studio, c.1629, oil on panel, 25x32 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 38.1838.

This gives you a great deal of useful information, not just the artist's name and title of the work, but also the date when it was painted. The caption will tell you whether the artist used oil, pastel etc, what surface he or she painted on, and what its dimensions are. The final piece of information is the name of the collection where the work can be found.

Paragraph two

However, I want to warn you about titles. Of course they can be helpful in telling you what it is you should be seeing, but remember that the title by which a work of art becomes known was not necessarily given it by the artist. The older the work, the less likely the title is to be original and the more likely it is to be the product of later interpretation.

Our comment on paragraph two – this paragraph focuses on the changing nature of artwork titles.

Paragraph three

Information about medium will help you to imagine the effect of the original work. This effect will depend in part on the physical form of the original work and on the function for which it was intended. Works on paper tend to be less expensive than works on canvas or wood. Artists will often use pencil, ink or crayon on paper to try out ideas and details before working them up in the more expensive medium of oil on canvas or wood.

Our comment on paragraph three – In this paragraph, the focus is on the importance of medium.

Paragraph four

Information about size should be read in connection with information about medium. Clearly an oil painting small enough to be carried is a very different kind of thing from a mural occupying an entire wall. When reproduced in a book, however, they might appear the same size. Where such information is given, it can help you: for example, a small oil painting is likely to have been produced for a private purpose. A large work is more likely to have been commissioned for some public purpose. If you keep these points in mind, they will help you interpret the image you are looking at.

Our comment on paragraph four – this paragraph discusses why artwork size is important part of captions.