- What is a scholarly monograph?
- How to identify a scholarly monograph
- How to navigate a scholarly monograph
- One-volume work
- Gives in-depth treatment to a specialized subject
- Written by a scholar in the field
- Written mainly for an academic audience
Here's a sample scholarly monograph on a topic that you might not expect:
Example: Burbick, Joan. Rodeo Queens and the American Dream. New York : Public Affairs, 2002.
Look for the “About the Author” page and the “Acknowledgements” page
- Does the author hold an advanced degree or teach at a university?
- Has the author written other major works in the field?
- Does the author acknowledge colleagues at a university, or library, or archives?
- Did the author receive fellowships or grants that made the writing of the text financially possible?
Example: “About the author” paragraph from book jacket. May also be found at the beginning or end of the book.
Example: Acknowledgements are also usually found either at the beginning or the end of the text.
Most scholarly monographs are published either by university presses or scholarly societies.
Example: Check the copyright page to find the publisher of the book.
A scholarly monograph should have an extensive bibliography that cites some of the following types of sources:
- Journal articles
- Primary sources
- Books by other experts in the field
Example: Works Consulted list in MLA format.
A scholarly monograph should have an index near the end of the book and most have appendices or notes as well.
Example of an index
- To find out if a particular monograph might meet your research needs:
- Skim the introduction and/or preface.
- Read through the table of contents.
- If you need to use a scholarly monograph to find specific facts for your research or for an
exam, but don’t want to read the whole thing:
- Use the index to look up terms related to the information you need.
- Use chapter titles and subheadings to narrow your search.
- Scan the text quickly and extensively to find what you need.
- If you are reading the text for a class or to write an analytical essay:
- Read closely. Scholarly monographs are usually much denser than popular literature and may be difficult to digest.
- Reread passages that are unclear.
- Read difficult sections aloud.
- Check some of the citations that the author has listed. You might find additional sources for your own research.
- Evaluate the arguments presented to see whether they answer your research questions, support or contradict your own research, and whether or not they make sense to you.