Creating Documentation for Crown’s Arts & Sciences Competition
Written by Elena Hylton, edited by Lissa Underhill
The East Kingdom A&S Rubric is designed to make it easier for competitors to know what judges are looking for, and to help judges better understand entries. The rubric has six categories and your work will be matched to a number in each category. By answering some of the questions listed below (either in your documentation/poster or your in-person explanation) you can better help the judges to understand what your process was to create your entry.
Not every question will apply to every project and there may be other important aspects to your project that you want to include even if not prompted by a question here, but these are the bits of information that your judges are likely to be looking for from you. How you organize and share this information can vary dramatically – bullet points, a poster board, a separate appendix, a short speech, a written paper, a visual guide with lots of photographs – but answering these questions can give you a great starting point in creating effective documentation.
How much time/effort did this project take to research and make? What new things did this project encourage you to learn? What challenges did you encounter while researching/creating it?
What materials did you use for your project? Were the materials the same as those in period? How do you know what the period materials were (museum description of an item from the period, a book on the topic, an entry in an archeological report)? If they were different, why (cost, accessibility, ease of use, safety)? If different, what changes if any do you think this made to the final product?
How did you create your object? Go into details, possibly with pictures to help explain how you did things. How does this compare to how people did things in period (include your sources for how you know this)? What tools did you use for this? Did you need to get or create specialized equipment?
What did you learn in creating this project? Did you make a mistake and have to figure out how to work around it? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do this project again?
What sources did you use? What examples from in period did you find (objects, paintings of objects, letters describing use or creation of objects)? What modern sources helped your research (books, articles)? Did any sources list contradictory information, and if so what did you think about it?
Sources make up the foundation of your research, so you may want to consider looking at some of the links at the end of this guide for more information on evaluating sources and how to find good ones. In general, every time you make a statement (“linen was used for this in the 16th century” “this style of sword was used by the average soldier in the English army under Henry V”) provide the source where you got that information.
Please keep in mind that anytime you are going from someone else’s work that you need to say this by citing (listing) where you got this idea or information. Basing your work on someone else’s without saying so is considered cheating/plagiarism, and just saying that something is period without giving proof is not research.
What time period is your project from? What location? How would your item have been used in period? Who would have created it? Who would have used it? How do you know these things (from modern books, paintings, period letters – list your sources for each element)?
There is no one correct format for your entry, but having a clear organization may make it easier for your judges to quickly understand your ideas. One breakdown could be:
- Introduction to the idea (what your project is, why you chose it, and maybe the period items and modern sources that inspired you),
- Materials (what did you use to make it, why, and how did you know what it was period),
- Methods (how did you make it, why, and how did you know it was period), and
- Things Learned (what did you discover during this process, what would you have done differently, cool things you noticed)
We hope this helps you better understand the East Kingdom A&S Rubric. For more information on writing documentation join us at an A&S Consultation Table at an event, contact your local A&S Minister, or take a look at the following resources which talk not only about documentation, but also provide tips on how to research and create A&S displays:
By Lady Elena Hylton (East). Focuses on research, but also provides citation and documentation advice.
By Lady Judith bas Rabbi Mendel & Master Galefridus Peregrinus (East). Covers several ideas about documentation and how competition standards can vary from Kingdom to Kingdom.
By THL Peryn Rose Whytehorse (Meridies). Shows a sample documentation format with ideas about how to research as well.
By Mistress Juana Isabella de Ramirez y Montoya (West). A brief discussion of A&S and a walkthrough of some choices that she makes when recreating a period cooked item.
By Raziya bint Rusa and Master Philip White. Handouts discussing research, documentation, and how to display work at A&S competitions.
By Mistress Allfrun ketta of Akeru Thunder (Aethelmearc). A decision making matrix for documentation.