Guidelines for master's essay

The essay is a scholarly paper written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree under the Plan B option. As such it should be well organized and carefully developed. Students planning to write an essay should consult with their advisor. An advisor's approval of both topic and a preliminary outline of the essay should be obtained before proceeding further.


There is no prescribed format for the text of the master's essay. A list of departmental style preferences is listed below. See the sample title sheet for essay for specific format instructions.

Submission of essays and deadlines

The title page of the essay, signed by the advisor, should be submitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office, 2155 Old Main, no later than the deadline date established for the semester in which the student expects to graduate. The deadlines will be posted on the CLAS website prior to each semester. The title page can be delivered as hardcopy, preferred submission is as a PDF to

Registration for essay direction

Three hours of Master's Essay Direction (7999) are required for the degree. They may be taken in one semester or spread over two or three semesters. Students should try to organize their time so that their essay is complete by the time they have completed their third credit of essay direction.


Inquiries relating to these guidelines or to graduation requirements generally may be directed to the Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office at 313-577-2516 or

Departmental style preferences

Area of study Style guide
Audiology and speech-language pathology American Psychological Association Journal
Classics, Greek and Latin Modern Language Association Handbook
Economics Journal of Macroeconomics
English/comparative literature Modern Language Association Handbook
German Modern Language Association Handbook
History Chicago Style
Human development APA
Linguistics Linguistics Society of America Style Sheet
Mathematics American Mathematical Society Journal
Nutrition and food science Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Food Science
Philosophy Turabian (new edition)
Physics American Institute of Physics Style Manual
Political science Turabian (new edition) with modification (consult your advisor)
Romance languages and literature Modern Language Association Handbook
Sociology American Sociological Association Journal