Major Research Paper

Major Research Paper Guidelines


The Major Research Paper (MRP) is an exercise in writing the equivalent of a publishable article. Therefore, it is to be 35-50 (and not exceeding 50!) pages in length, including foot/endnotes, acknowledgments, bibliography, and a list of illustrations. The paper should demonstrate the student¹s ability to undertake original research and should take the format of an article to be submitted for publication. It is normally expected that the MRP will develop from research or a paper submitted for a course within the M.A. Program in Art History, and could include work developing from an internship.


All MRPs must be based on a meaningful and manageable question or set of questions. Students are encouraged to informally discuss their ideas with individual faculty members. When a student determines an MRP topic that they would like to pursue they must present the proposal to the Graduate Program Director (GPD) for discussion, decide on an appropriate supervisor, and set up a committee. The MRP proposal (including Ethics forms) is normally submitted by the beginning of the 3rd (summer) term of study.

The committee for the MRP will consist of two suitable members of the Graduate Faculty; the supervisor must be a member of the Art History Graduate Faculty. A draft of the MRP must be submitted to your supervisor by the end of 4th (Fall) term in order to ensure convocation in June. It is the role of the supervisor and reader to guide the student in researching the chosen topic and in preparing the text in a suitable form. The MRP must be approved by the committee, and the Graduate Program Director, but does not involve a formal oral defense. A copy of the MRP is to be deposited with the Art History Graduate Program office.


Ethics procedures must be followed for every thesis or MRP, with extra required paperwork if there are human participants to be involved. Please visit Ethics Procedures for more information on how to complete the art historical ethics procedures.

Important Dates

  • MRP final copy due to the Graduate Program office by Friday, April 29, 2022, for students graduating in June 2022.

Final Format of MRP

Text to be printed in 12 pt. font, double-spaced, left justification only. Footnotes and/or endnotes are to be single-spaced and maybe a smaller font. Margins are to be one inch on top, bottom, and sides. The layout of MRP is as follows:

  • Abstract
  • MRP Title page
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Illustrations
  • Text with Footnotes
  • Bibliography
  • Illustrations