A monograph is an expository or argumentative writing that is elaborated at the end of a research project, whether documentary, experimental or of any kind.

Precision, plausibility, impartiality and clarity are expected from a monograph, since it is the document that is given to third parties to give an account of the subject investigated, the findings found and the conclusions drawn from them.

In fact, the various academies that exist use the monograph as the most common mechanism for checking the knowledge acquired or for the execution of a certain experimental program (Polk et al, 2001).

Types of monographs

Research monograph

This type of monograph is similar and has similar points and objectives with scientific research. This guy doesn’t usually talk about old topics, but seeks to inquire and research new topics.

Compilation monograph

It is one of the most complicated, since the different studies and / or investigations come from bibliographic sources. So, what this type of monograph does is detail, review and analyze this type of sources or bibliographic references and thus collect the best and truthful in a single project.

Analysis monograph

It is the most interesting of all, this type is only given through practices, tests and hypotheses on the subject or research. Without practices and errors, the results do not usually occur in this type of monograph.


First step

Don’t choose a topic that’s too broad (which will make it impossible to address it properly) or too narrow (so no one cares about the results). For example, the topic ‘Motivating employees in the club sector’ is too broad. There are (probably) hundreds of factors that affect motivation. Instead, select a possible factor (such as the role of training in employee motivation) as the topic.

A monograph focused on the “XYZ Club Kitchen Redesign Factors” is too narrow. Instead, you could study generic issues of importance to kitchen design in clubs.

Select a topic which must meet the requirements of viability, originality, usefulness and relevance.

When considering their topics, authors should:

Evaluate several possible topics of special interest to them. Review the information already available on each topic.

Examine the feasibility of each of the potential topics, including the resources available to support your specific research effort.

Consider the general interest of the public.

Explore personal interests and consider your training, experience and professional goals. In general, choose themes that suit your personal strengths.

Topics to avoid

Do not choose a theme if:

The conclusions are irrelevant.

If the bibliography already provides all the necessary information to understand it.

Make it so broad that you will never be able to properly complete your work.

Tips for getting ideas

Consider problems that are often difficult to solve, especially those for which you have provided a unique solution.

Think about issues that other managers cite as problems.

Bring a notebook of ideas.

Read the existing monographs.

Do important research on the topic you are considering.

Second step

Get the approval of the subject by the Academic Council.

Third step

Select the members of the monograph support group

Fourth step

Develop the monograph proposal

After approval (modification, if necessary) of the topic of the monograph, prepare a proposal that includes an outline, a survey, and a draft, if applicable, suggesting what you want to do and how you intend to do it.

The following is an example outline for the mcm monograph proposal. The questions/issues to be addressed in each section are introduced to explain what each section should achieve.

Exposure of the problem

The problem or area that the monograph will address is … (why is it important?).

A brief review of the literature

People who have already spoken and/or written about my topic are… .

Other research/research on my subject include……

Proposed research methods

The method(s) used to answer my question(s) and/or to obtain more information to help answer my question(s) will be… .

Some previous studies that have used my research method(s) are…

Results, discussion and implications

How do I plan to organize the results of my study?

How will I ensure that my findings have practical application?

Questions to ask yourself about your proposal

Is the problem clear, is it open to investigation and can it have an answer?

Have you placed your problem in the context of previous studies?

Is the proposed research method adequate to find an answer to the problem?

Is the issue within your remit?

Can you complete your study in a reasonable time?

Is the way you will approach your problem logical?

Does my approach allow the capabilities of my monograph support group to be used? Have the members approved the proposal?

In addition to the outline mentioned above, the proposal should contain a brief literature review (what have others reported on the subject?), a description of the research method or methods to be used and a draft of the survey, if applicable.

Fifth step

Ensure the approval of the proposal by the Academic Council. His proposed monograph will allow members of the Academic Council to better understand their monograph plans. The proposal may be submitted at any time after the Academic Council has approved the topic of the monograph.

Before proceeding with the development of your monograph, you should carefully reconsider your proposal and make the necessary changes, as the proposal should drive the development and writing of your monograph.

Step Six

Research/collect information

The word “research” means “search again.” Research for the MCM monograph involves looking for the suggested ideas and material developed by others and bringing them together in new ways or discovering something about them that has never been known.

An objective research method requires that one gather facts and interpret them in a way that allows conclusions to be drawn. Think of the MCM monograph as a report that will present to club officials about the conclusions you have reached after having thoroughly researched, organized and analyzed information on a topic.

As you research your topic, you’re likely to discover three types of tests:

Facts – Elements of information that can be observed and measured objectively.

Inferences – Statements about the unknown made from what is known.

Judgments – Expressions of someone’s approval or disapproval of something described, usually (hopefully!) based on some evidence.

Perhaps the most difficult determination you’ll have to make is deciding which of the three types of tests you’re learning when you read something or talk to someone.


When you carry out your research, keep a notebook with the following items:

Sources – Names and addresses of people you want to interview or survey and books, magazine citations, and Internet addresses that are relevant to your topic.

Research strategy: notes on questions related to your topic, possible sources of response, and thoughts on how to address these sources.

Reading: notes about what you’ve read in relation to your topic. When it comes to collecting information, you will see that it is of two types:

Secondary information: Generic information applicable to your topic, which provides some background.

Primary information: specific information directly applicable to your project. Primary information usually comes from interviews and written surveys.

Basics of questionnaires

The basics of the questionnaire are as follows:

Have written questions directly related to the goal of your project.

Ask everyone the same questions.

Have written questions with space to record abbreviated answers.

Use open and closed questions.

Summarize the answers in the database as soon as possible after the interview.

When preparing surveys, remember that all questions must be directly related to the project. Don’t ask “nice to know” questions.

Recognize that neatness, spelling, and formatting really count.

Questionnaire questions

There are four basic types of questions:

Yes/No (Would you use food delivery?).

Multiple choice/alternative questions (How often would you use a food delivery service on a monthly basis? The answers can be [Never; 1-2 times; More than 4 times]).

Scale (Rate the importance of food delivery service to you: response options can range from 1 [unimportant; irrelevant] to 5 [very important; critical]).

Open question (What is your opinion about food delivery service?).

Detailed explanations of survey statistics go beyond the purpose of this discussion. However, it is usually best to have at least 30 responses from each group of people interviewed and/or surveyed.

Seventh step

As noted above, the monograph is likely to have several parts. The proposal encourages the development of the monograph itself. Below is a common organizational format for a professional report.


This section should include the people who helped you with your monograph.

Executive summary

This summary of your monograph briefly (less than one page) summarizes the objective or objectives of your project, the methodology and the main conclusions (recommendations). If it is succinct, well-written, and relevant to the reader’s needs, the executive summary will encourage the reader to read the monograph itself.

Problem Statement

This section starts the monograph. It describes the issue, explains why it is a cause for concern and sets out the importance of its approach.

Literature review

In the literature review section, you should present the relationship between your current study and previous work done on the subject. You must provide a logical flow of information from what is previously known to the beginning of your own investigation.

At the end of the section and as you describe your study, the reader should think, “Of course, the need for this monograph is clear, and it’s important for the club industry.”

You’ll know you’ve studied enough for literature review when the articles and books you’re reading become redundant; you are not learning anything new by continuing to study reference sources.

When you take notes for the literature review, keep track of the full references. This will save you the task of having to retrieve information such as the page number or publication date that will be required for a full citation when writing your monograph (Kamerow, 2008).

Statement of the study method

The method section is derived from the problem approach and review of the literature. In this section you should describe the steps you used to conduct your research. The method section contains:

The subjects: people, organizations, events or materials that are studied.

Instruments or measures: how and what you used to learn about your topic. (These may be surveys, behavioral observations, interviews, and/or examination of existing material.)

Procedures – Processes you used to conduct your study. How did you select your participants and when, where and how was the data collected?

Also, to explain what you didn’t try to do (so as not to do too much), you can submit a section called “Study Limitations.”


The results section clearly presents its conclusions. It may include tables, figures, and/or interview summaries.

In the Discussion/Implications section, you should review your findings with respect to previous studies. We should also suggest the implications of the research, the limitations that may affect the way managers or others use the information from their study and their recommendations for future studies. This is the area where you make recommendations on how others can make use of the information in the monograph.

Bibliographic references

The References section should include the citations referenced throughout the monograph.


This section should include supporting information that is detailed and useful for understanding the project, but that could interrupt the flow of information if included in the body of the monograph.

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Also you might be interested in: Hermeneutics in Qualitative Analysis

Bibliographic References

SPIE, “SPIE Code of Ethics”, http://spie.org/Documents/Publications/SPIE-Code-ofEthics.pdf.

H.C. Polk, Jr., et al., “Consensus statement on submission and publication of manuscripts”, J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. 121(6), 1029–1030 (2001).

D. Kamerow, “Who wrote that article?”, Br. Med. J. 336(7651), 989 (2008)

How to write a monograph

How to write a monograph. Photo: Unsplash. Credits: Jeremy Bishop

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