[mon-uh-graf, -grahf]
A monograph (Classical Greek, "One Writer" or "Single Writing") is a work of writing upon a single subject, usually also by a single author. It is oftentimes a scholarly essay or learned treatise, and may be released in the manner of a book, journal article, editorial or written rant. It is by definition a single document that forms a complete text in itself. An author may therefore declare their own work to be a monograph by intent, or a reader or critic might define a given text as a monograph for the purpose of analysis. Normally it is used for a work intended to be a complete and detailed exposition of a substantial subject at a level more advanced than that of a textbook. Librarians consider a monograph to a nonserial publication complete in one volume or a finite number of volumes. Thus it differs from a serial publication such as a magazine, journal or newspaper.

In popular culture

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, Dr. Watson often shows Sherlock Holmes making reference to one of the monographs which he has written. Though never presented themselves, they are often named by their primary subjects, including such varied topics as the distinction between varieties of tobacco ash, the tracing of footsteps, and the influence of a trade or profession upon the physical characteristics of a human hand.



  • Japanese monograph 152
    Prepared by Military History Section Headquarters, Army Forces Far East
    Distributed by:Department of the Army Office of the Chief of Military History Washington 25 D.C. courtesy of
  • Sample of a monograph, the 9/11 Commission on Terrorist Financing.

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