Before you start making your notes on the selected work of art, you should write your thesis statement. The latter is the most important part of your thesis, around which you will build your paper. Your thesis statement might be an answer to your research question that will be expanded in your thesis, or your key argument. In case of Klimt, you might state that his art is inspired by the early forms of art as much as it reflects the current trends and falls into the frameworks of the current artistic movements. Don’t also forget that your introduction is where you should make a proper reference to the piece of art by including its name, author, and year.
A research essay cannot simply report on historical events or ideas, it must have a particular point. The reader wants to know, “Why am I reading this?” “What is the author arguing here?” You may think about it in this way: a prosecuting attorney would not simply present a host of evidence to a jury without arguing a particular case. The evidence itself does not constitute an argument – it must be presented to the reader after they have been advised of the argument, or “charges” at hand. When formulating a thesisstatement, consider the kinds of questions that students typically have: