GUIDE FOR WRITTEN WORK
AUSTIN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
The following instructions applyto any written work prepared for classes at Austin Grad. This guide is based on Kate Turabian's AManual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), whichcan be consulted for more detailed information. All Austin Grad professors have agreed to these guidelines.
a. Use standard 8.5" x 11" white(unlined) paper of good quality for all work.
b. Use one side of the sheet only.
c. Center the title two inches from the topof the first page. Capitalize allletters in the title. Leave twoblank lines between the title and the first line of text.
d. Prepare a separate title page (see exampledocument also available on web site).
II. THE SHORTESSAY: an essay is a literarycomposition dealing with a given subject from a limited or personal viewpoint.
a. An essay should have a clearly definedpurpose. Most short essays fallinto one of the following categories:
i. Presentation ofthe author's personal opinion on a given subject.
ii. Presentation in anorganized manner of information relevant to a given subject.
iii. Presentation of a collectionof viewpoints on a given subject.
b. An essay is NOT a paraphrase of an article froma reference book. It should be theproduct of your own reflection.
III. THE BOOKREVIEW: a book review consists ofsummary and evaluation of the work of another author. It should include the following items:
a. Identify basic publication data (authoror editor, title, publisher, date). If the book is an English translation of a foreign work, identify thetranslator. If the book is part ofa series, identify the series.
b. Provide any relevant information about theauthor of which you are aware, such as areas of special expertise, previouspublications on the same or related subjects, etc.
c. Identify the author's central thesis orpurpose and explain briefly his or her methodology. Identify the assumptions of presuppositions the authorbrings to the investigation.
d. Explain how the book is organized and summarizebriefly the topics and main points of each chapter.
e. Evaluate the book in terms of the followingkinds of questions (though not necessarily in the order presented).
i. Are the author'spresuppositions, methodology, and approach valid and appropriate to thesubject? Does the author fail todiscuss important aspects of the topic?
ii. How well does the author supporthis or her thesis? What are thestrengths and weaknesses of the argumentation?
iii. Do the book's conclusions agree withscholarly opinion as a whole on the subject or do they represent a significantdeparture? What contribution doesthe book make to scholarly discussion of the topic?
iv. What issues does the book raise that callfor further study and reflection?
IV. THE RESEARCHPAPER: The most important step inpreparing a research paper is to choose the topic wisely. The topic should be manageable (subjectto adequate treatment within the number of pages allowed) and coherent (focusedon a clearly defined issue or problem). Sometimes the topic is assigned. In that case your first objective is to understand clearly the depth andbreadth to be covered in the paper. Understanding clearly the scope of your topic will help to give focus toyour research and writing. Thegreatest single problem of student writers is a lack of unity in theirwork. That is, they do not come toa clear understanding of their task and then organize all material to supportand carry out that task. "Padding" merely to gain extra pages and "going off ontangents" are two common symptoms of this problem.
a. Determine the scope of your subject andoutline what you envision as various aspects of the paper.
b. Gather information relevant to thesubject. Use index cards or aspecial notebook for recording useful data. Explore the following sources in particular:
i. Reference books andencyclopedias. These will give yougeneral information and sometimes brief bibliographical suggestions but usuallynot a detailed study.
ii. The Card Catalog, particularlyunder subject headings. Exhaustall the different possibilities. For example, if your subject deals with war, some headings you mightcheck are "war," ethics-war," "pacifism,""conscientious objection," etc.
iii. Indexes to periodical literature. CD-ROM access to American TheologicalLibrary Association Religion Indexes is available in the library. This index will point you to helpfulperiodical articles and essay material on biblical, religions, pastoral,theological, and church history-related topics.
c. Write a rough draft using your outlineand the information you have gathered, inserting footnotes to show the sourcesof your information.
i. Footnotes serve severalpurposes. They (1) establish thevalidity of evidence, (2) acknowledge indebtedness to sources, (3) direct otherinvestigators to pertinent material, and (4) allow the writer to developcertain side points without interrupting the continuity of the text.
ii. If you use material from anotherauthor, you must give him or her credit by means of a footnoted citation. To present another writer's work orthought as if it were your own is to be guilty of PLAGIARISM. Plagiarism is a form of theft.
iii. Number footnotes consecutively (1, 2, 3,etc.) and place them at the end of the paper with corresponding referencesthroughout the text. This iseasiest for the typist. As analternative (more convenient for the reader), you may place footnotes at thebottom of the pages to which they refer. NOTE: Some samples ofcorrect form for footnotes are displayed at the end of this document and in theexample paper template available on the web site.
iv. Relatedto footnoting is the subject of quotations. There are two ways to present direct quotations in yourpaper, depending upon their length. Short quotations (two lines or less) may be included in the text withinquotation marks in the regular double-spaced format. Longer quotations should be indented four spaces andsingle-spaced with a double space both before and after the quotation. This is called a "block"quotation. Block quotations shouldnot be enclosed within quotation marks.
v. When quoting another authordirectly, it is permissible to omit material irrelevant to your purpose, butyou must indicate that you are doing so by using "ellipsispoints."
Ifthe omission occurs WITHIN a sentence, use three dots with a space before eachone and space after the last one, as follows:
Hauerwasobserves, "The world...assumes that it has no need to be forgiven."
Ifpunctuation occurs before the ellipsis, it is placed next to the word with nointervening space. For example:
John A.Hostetler writes, "In keeping with Anabaptist practice,...the wicked andthe obdurate members must be excluded from the group."
If theomission occurs at the END of the sentence, use four dots. The first, placed immediately after thelast word, is the period:
Hayes andHolladay observe, "The Bible contains a rich diversity of literaryforms...."
vi. When passages from the Bible are cited orquoted, the location can be indicated without using a footnote. In your first reference to a text,write the name of the book in full along with the relevant chapter and versenumbers: Genesis 5:3; Romans 6:4;I Thessalonians 2:15. Insubsequent references, you may use the standard abbreviations for biblicalbooks (listed in the front matter of most Bibles): Gen. 6:4; Rom. 12:15; I Th.3:2. Cite consecutive verses inthe same chapter by using a hyphen (Col. 3:1-3). Non-consecutive verses in the same chapter should beseparated by a comma (Heb. 5:1, 3; Job 3:1-6, 8).
d. Prepare a bibliography, that is, a completelist, alphabetized according to authors' last names, of the sources that youconsulted in writing your paper. NOTE: Samples of correctform for bibliographical entries are displayed at the end of this document andon the example paper template available on the web site.
e. After some time has passed, re-read yourpaper. Read it first formechanical errors, such as errors in punctuation, spelling, andcapitalization. Then read it aloudto see how one paragraph flows to the next. Determine also whether the paper covers the area youintended and whether it answers the questions you set out to address. Make any necessary revisions and typethe final draft.
V. CORRECTFORM FOR BIBLIOGRAPHIC ENTRIES AND FOOTNOTES
Ineach example below, the first reference gives the proper form for a footnote,and the second gives the proper form for its corresponding bibliographicentry. If one of your referencesdoes not fit any of the following categories, see Turabian's guide for furtherexamples. NOTE: In the examples below, titles that areitalicized should be underlined, if italics are not available on thecomputer system being used. Neveruse both italics and underlining in the same text.
a. Book (one author)
1StanleyHauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom(Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), 37.
Hauerwas, Stanley. The Peaceable Kingdom. Notre Dame: Universityof Notre Dame Press, 1983.
b. Book (two authors)
1JohnH. Hayes and Carl R. Holladay, Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook, rev. ed. (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1987), 24-26.
Hayes, John H. and Carl R. Holladay. Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner'sHandbook. Rev. ed. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1987.
c. Book in a Series
1C.S. Mann, Mark: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, Anchor Bible 27 (Garden City: Doubleday &Company, Inc., 1986), 369.
Mann, C. S. Mark: A New Translation withIntroduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible 27. Garden City: Doubleday& Company, Inc., 1986.
d. Article in a Journal
1JamesD. Hester, "The Rhetorical Structure of Galatians 1:11-2:14," Journal of Biblical Literature 103 (1984):227.
Hester, James D. "The Rhetorical Structure of
Galatians 1:11-2:14." Journal of
Biblical Literature 103 (1984): 223-233.
e. Article in a Multi Volume Bible Dictionary
Flemington, "Baptism," in Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, ed. George A. Buttrick (Nashville: Abingdon Press,
"Baptism." In Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, ed. George A. Buttrick, 1:348-353. Nashville: Abingdon