Monographic text functions and characteristics

Monographic text

monographic text, monograph, or academic treatise, is an extremely detailed essay or book that covers a very specific topic or limited to a single topic. This type of text is designed to be understood as one, although sometimes they can be written in several volumes.

A monographic text presents new information that promotes the career and field in which the author develops. This generally follows a predictable pattern in terms of the content it covers.

Usually, only one author is involved in the development of a monographic text, but there can be cases of joint collaborations.

A review, a substantiation and a presentation accompany the process of publishing a monograph. The document itself tends to be short.

Characteristics of monographic texts

Synthesize the information

Monographic texts are responsible for synthesizing existing information in order to make it better structured and clearer.

Focuses on one topic

It should be as specific as possible, avoiding wandering about other topics, no matter how closely linked they are to the main one.

Is impartial

Although the author may bias the information he collects, a distance must be maintained when capturing the information and analysis of the subject to be discussed.

Its extension is not limited

There is no marked protocol. The more complex an investigation is, or the longer it takes, the more likely it is that the essay or book will be longer.

Individual authorship

A collaboration brings additional expertise and new ideas to a project, but it can make the writing job more logistically challenging and can result in conflict if the authors misunderstand the message you are trying to convey.

They give a lot of importance to references

The monographs do not start from scratch, since they are a compilation of information contributed by other researchers. Therefore, it is fair that they are referenced and given the place they deserve.

Functions of a monographic text

Provide new information

The main objective of a monographic text or monograph is to present information and academic research on a very specific topic.

The data included is always aimed at educating an audience in a certain way and, ideally, this should also promote the author’s field of study towards future research.

This means that the individuals who write these documents always need to be sure that they are not conducting research or writing on topics that have already been covered without contributing something new.

Grant academic status

Given the primary purpose of an academic treatise, professionals typically produce them as a means of displaying their expertise and gaining credibility. As a result of this, professionals manage to reach new and higher positions.

Many fields require the publication of one of these texts before the author can obtain a particular title or job. In general, it can be said that the more an author publishes, the more respected they will become.

However, in some cases a single essay or book can become so important that the author will always be recognized for that work, regardless of whether it makes additional publications.


Monographic texts generally share the same basic elements, no matter what topics they are covering.


They usually identify an objective for the research and the main question that the author was trying to answer.

Identification and hypothesis

They also try to clearly identify what results are expected from the work itself. These documents detail the results and discuss the implications and applications of the monograph.


The last important element in this type of publication are the sources and references used. Although many of the academic treatises include this element, the author might be required to present them in some slightly different way, depending on his field, or he would have to add or omit some section.

Authors who develop in the fields of visual arts and humanities generally use the MLA ( Modern Language Association ) format , or those in social sciences use the APA ( American Psychological Association ) format .


Only one author is behind the authorship of a monograph, however, two scholars can collaborate if they have been conducting the research together.

In cases where more than one person is in  charge of writing the paper, the author whose name appears first is generally considered the lead researcher or main author.


Short monographs are similar in structure to a long essay, although these are usually longer than an article because they go into explaining more details. Longer publications can be comparable in length to a book.

It can take an author several weeks or months to write a short monograph, while a long one can take a year or more to develop. When these lengthy writings also require an extensive research period, the time devoted to this work must be greater and more forceful.

Almost all academic writing goes through a review period. Colleagues in the author’s field examine the work for problems such as methodological flaws or errors in the structure of the text.

The author may have to extensively review their production based on the findings of the reviews. These may involve the extension of the investigation period. The production of a review of the writing can be prepared as a defense, in cases in which the production is linked to the acquisition of a title.

The author then presents a final version at a conference or at events deemed relevant within his field.


Authors are usually offered a single publication of their monograph. In particular cases, these can attract the attention of an even larger community and therefore the printing press must be larger to meet the demand.

When one of these works takes the form of an essay, it is typically published within an academic journal. Universities or small printers usually handle a book version, but the costs associated with such publications can make it impractical to produce limited copies of a monograph.

As new technologies are developed, many academics see them as a potential publishing solution.

Publishing a treatise on the Internet can make it available to a much larger audience. Also, ezines are much less expensive than physical alternatives.

Monographs are generally available in libraries after they have been published. These can also be found in academic departments in universities and business related to the publishing field.


A university monographic text could focus on aspects of history. For example, on the impact of social networks in the 2008 US presidential elections, beginning the so-called “2.0 policy” with the candidacy of Barack Obama as the main phenomenon to be studied.

To carry out the monograph, the information obtained from the different bibliographic sources (media, history books, autobiographies, statistics, etc.) must be synthesized.

You should avoid delving into other types of information that are not binding on social networks, since these are the main topic.

The monograph would consist of a title page, a summary of the monographic text, an introduction on the proposed topic, what conclusions are expected to be drawn, hypotheses, analysis and references.

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