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Social Documentary Photography

The research paper is about this topic: Social Documentary Photography (Jacob August Riis).

*Formulating a Thesis
For this paper it will be vital that you construct a thesis and use evidence from your visual
analysis and textual research to support it. But what, exactly, is a thesis?
When one sits down to write a research paper, it is often useful to compare and contrast
different works. But a comparison alone does not constitute a thesis. A thesis requires that
you advance an idea and defend it. This is the key difference between a TOPIC and a THESIS.
For example (from Joni Spigler):
• Imagine that you are on Law and Order and that you have to convince a jury that a
Renoir painting is different than a Degas. That’s pretty easy to do (even if they both fall
within framework of French Impressionist painting). If it is easy for Jack McCoy to
prove something to a jury then it is a topic, not a thesis.
• Your job in constructing a thesis, then, is to go one step further and find a way to
elaborate on the differences that you have identified (do Degas and Renoir represent
diverging trends within French Impressionist painting? Might the unique elements in
Degas work represent the influence of his interest in photography on his painting? Etc.)
• Moreover, your conclusion should be something that you must argue to support. To
figure out whether your idea is a thesis or not, think about what Jack McCoy would
have to do to defend your point in a court of law. What kind of evidence might he
provide? What kind of rhetorical strategies might he use? Take into account possible
counter arguments to your position so that you can be prepared to defend against
them. If you can’t think of any counterarguments, you probably don’t have a thesis.

* Papers must use an absolute minimum of 3 substantive outside
sources. Good papers will likely use five or more.

*As always, your paper must construct a thesis. This means that while research is
important and you must demonstrate an expanded understanding of your topic beyond
what we have discussed in class, you must also make and defend an argument.

*Don’t forget to look at images! This assignment is designed to build on your work with
visual analysis, and photographs should be an integral part of your paper. Be sure to
spend time looking at images as you research your paper so that you can incorporate
visual evidence effectively into the final product.

This is uploaded attachment where also talk and discuss about (Jacob Riis).


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