Format and Style
- Papers must be between 10 and 12 full pages of text. Papers shorter than the minimum or longer than the maximum will be graded accordingly. The page limits are exclusive of the cover page and bibliography.
- The cover sheet should include the topic, your name, course number, and date submitted.
- Bibliographical resources must reflect the diversity of resources available, including commentaries, journal articles, biblical dictionaries, lexicons, etc.
- Use Times New Roman size 12 font (and an equivalent size for Greek and Hebrew fonts in the main text). Footnotes may be written in size 10 font.
- 1 inch margins on all sides (please check your computer’s settings; do not use the 1¼ inch default).
- The main text should be double-spaced. Footnotes and block text should be single spaced. This can be automatically set on your computer. Do not leave gaps between paragraphs.
- You may use footnotes or endnotes. Biblical citations should be inserted in the text and not in the notes. References to multiple biblical passages should be moved to the notes.
- As a general rule, secondary citations (commentaries, articles, theological dictionaries, etc…) should be in the notes and not the main text unless central to the argument.
- Papers should be paginated (insert page numbers). My personal preference is the upper right hand corner.
- It may be helpful to incorporate the sectional titles to organize your paper, e.g. Form, Sitz im Leben, etc.
- Papers will be graded on four aspects: research, format (including footnotes, citations and bibliography), style (grammar, spelling), and content.
General Style issues
- My preference is a single space after a period or question mark.
- The paper should have a general introduction and conclusion.
- Employ the historical-critical method of exegesis. Refer to the Exegetical Method Handout available on the e-course page. These guidelines provide a skeleton, a basic outline. You may wish to organize to constitutive components in a different order. In addition, you are free to incorporate another methodology or approach to supplement the historical-critical method.
- Use the ‘em’ dash (—) rather than a double hyphen (–) for the grammatical dash mark. (The word processor should automatically convert the double hyphen to the em dash. If not it can be located under ‘insert-symbol’ and you can assign it to a key.)
- Avoid contractions (don’t, can’t, won’t) in formal writing.
- Be aware of the distinctions between the hyphen – ; the en dash – ; and the em dash —.
- Do not leave your parentheses orphans! References in parenthesis following a clause or sentence should be included within the punctuation of that clause or sentence. Do not leave your parentheses sitting between sentences:
Incorrect: Paul says he is “crucified with Christ.” (Gal 2:20) That is why he ….
Correct: Paul says he is “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20). That is why he ….
- If you have any questions cf. K. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (6th edition).
 This is a holdover from typewriters, were space was fixed and could only be increased by the hard return. Modern word processing has more control over space settings.
 Rules like this are agreements, like driving on the right. In this case the outcome desired is to look good, save space, and enhance readability. Modern typefaces (proportional-spaced text) are designed to look best with a single space after the period (or the full stop, for the British in the room.) It is generally accepted that the practice of putting two spaces at the end of a sentence is a carryover from the days of typewriters with monospaced typefaces. Monospaced fonts (Courier, typewriter) take up more space and look best with two spaces after the period. Currently among stylists there is a huge debate over the space(s): Chicago argues for single space; APA argues for double space; MLA remains indifferent.