Writing Policies For The School Of Music

Writing competence is a necessary skill for all music majors. Accurate, well-organized writing informs clear thinking and provides an essential means of effective communication with one's peers, instructors, and evaluators. The School of Music offers a wide variety of writing opportunities to improve skills, and the following standards and guidelines have been adopted:

All students are expected to write in clear, well-organized prose conforming to the standards of American English composition, including mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization), logical organization of material, clarity and economy of expression, consistency in style, and proper documentation.

The School of Music strongly encourages all students to purchase the following:

    • Music Education majors will need Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition.
    • All other writing requires the most recent edition of The Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations

All major assignments must be typed, double-spaced, and error-free, with proper footnote and bibliographic style.

All incoming graduate students are required to write one essay selected from several general topics as part of the diagnostic/placement examinations. This essay is then analyzed to determine potential writing problems and the appropriate faculty members are alerted. These students are sometimes referred to the Student Writing Center for consultation.

The graduate core curriculum includes writing-intensive courses (580:210, 580:211, 590:221 and 590:11xg) that require essay exams, expository writing and final term papers. Many elective courses require term papers, essays, position papers, and book and article reports. Various majors have their own writing requirements for specific courses as well.

Most programs require a final written Thesis, abstract, or document. The written comprehensive examination required of all graduate students includes essay questions that are analyzed for mechanics as well as content.


The School of Music follows the policies and procedures on academic ethics as detailed in the Graduate Student Handbook.

"Plagiarism is defined as the process of stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another, or presenting as one's own an idea or product which is derived from an existing source." (Graduate Student Handbook)

Evidence of Plagiarism may result in the lowering of a course grade, removal of Graduate Assistantships, or suspension from the university.

More on plagiarism

UNI Policies and Procedures on Plagiarism