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AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
(Rev. October 2016)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Writing and Research Resources ...........................................................................................
Research and Writing: From Planning to Production ............................................................
Style (Spelling, Punctuation, Numbers, Abbreviations, etc.) ................................................
Capitalization List .......................................................................................................
Document Formatting ...........................................................................................................
Citation Formatting................................................................................................................
Biblical Citation Formatting ...................................................................................................
Note: The AGTS Doctor of Ministry program uses the
notes-bibliography style of citation (chapters 16 and 17
in the book) from the Turabian 8th edition. You may
disregard chapters 18 and 19, the author-date style.
This Guide represents the continuation of our transition
from the 7th to 8th edition. Should you notice any
references from the 7th edition still in this Guide, please
notify the D.Min. office to assist us in future revisions.
Should you have specific questions regarding style or
formatting that you do not find answers to in this Guide
or in Turabian, please consult with your editor.
Turabian 8 available for purchase HERE.
Turabian 8 Online “quick guide” available HERE.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Writing Resources
For research and writing resources for your D.Min. papers and project, please visit the D.Min.
Participant Resources Website (http://www.agts.edu/dmin/project/index.html). There you will find
the following items:
D.Min. Writing Style Guide
Paper Template
Biblical-Theological Resources
Editors List
Alumni Abstracts
Plagiarism avoidance information
Paper Template
Prospectus Template
Project Template
Project Outline
The Internet is a wealth of writing resources. Below you will find a short list; Google “Writing
Resources” for more!
Chicago Manual of Style Online
Purdue University Online Writing Lab
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills
150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively
Dartmouth’s “What Is an Academic Paper?”
Fuller Seminary D.Min. Writing Resources (See specifically “D.Min. Writing Helps,” pp. 5-7).
Grammar Quizzes: Practice on Points of English Grammar
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Research and Writing: From
Planning to Production
Turabian Research and Writing section. Refer to Part I in Turabian 8, which covers the following
research and writing issues:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
What Research is and How Researchers Think about It
Moving from a Topic to a Question to a Working Hypothesis
Finding Useful Sources
Engaging Sources
Planning Your Argument
Planning a First Draft
Drafting Your Report
Presenting Evidence in Tables and Figures
Revising Your Draft
Writing Your Final Introduction and Conclusion
Revising Sentences
Learning from Your Returned Paper
Presenting Research in Alternative Forums
On the Spirit of Research
See also The Craft of Research by Booth, Colomb, and Williams. This book is an invaluable resource
for planning your work and working your plan. It will help you understand what research is; how to
connect with your reader; how to plan your project—from topic to question to problem to sources to
the use of sources; to pulling your argument together—from claims to warrants (and key steps in
between); to drafting and revising your project. Make the most of this book through your project
phase especially.
The following items (in alphabetical order) address some additional, specific research and writing
issues that arise while doing D.Min. projects and papers.
Integrating Sources
“In order to use a source effectively in your paper, you must integrate it into your argument in a way
that makes it clear to your reader not only which ideas come from that source, but also what the
source is adding to your own thinking—what the source is doing in your paper. In other words, each
source you use in a paper should be there for a reason, and your reader should not have to guess
what that reason is. When you're finished drafting your paper, you should always go back and make
sure that you have made conscious decisions about how and where to use each source and that
you've made the reasons for those decisions clear to your readers. The following section offers
guidance about how to make these decisions, as well as advice on the nuts and bolts of integrating
sources into your paper.” (See Harvard Guide to Using Sources: “Integrating Sources” here for more:
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Avoid introducing quotations with “says,” “states,” etc. Instead, integrate your quotations in with the
text (see Turabian 7.5, 25.2).
for samples.
Use a colon when introducing a quote that is a complete sentence.
Use a comma when introducing a quote that is an incomplete phrase.
Introduce quotes with your own words. See the following helpful list from Nancy Vhymeister, p. 118
of words to use when introducing quotations:
points out
points to
Helpful transitional words to use between paragraphs (Vhymeister, 118):
accordingly but
consequently in addition
in like
at the
same time
on the
other hand
on the
to sum up
See the link below for another list of helpful transition words:
Introductions and Conclusions
Good introductions and conclusions are a vital component of good writing, assisting with purpose,
flow, cohesiveness, clarity, and more. See these resources to help you strengthen the skill of crafting
good introductions and conclusions:
Craft of Research, chapter 14, “Introductions and Conclusions”
Turabian, chapter 10 (p. 102) “Writing your Final Introduction and Conclusion”
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Tips on writing a good introduction:
Tips on writing a good conclusion:
Vhymeister, 2008 (pp. 103-106)
Write introductions last.
Add no new material in a summary or conclusion—whether concluding material at the end
of sections or at the final summary/conclusion point.
Make sure each paragraph develops one topic/idea/unit of thought—preferably with a topic
sentence and at least three to four detail sentences. Paragraphs should have progressive
development: the reader should understand why sentence 3 follows sentence 2; this order could not
be reversed.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Clarity is the point of good grammar. Oftentimes with poor grammar
results in vagueness and ambiguity, and the writer’s argument is lost. The
following items provide key items of importance to consider when writing
your D.Min. papers and projects, many of which will help increase clarity.
As you follow these writing tips and guidelines while proceeding through
the program, you will continue to strengthen your writing skills and
increase your influence exponentially.
Turabian. Refer to Part III in Turabian 8, which covers the following style issues:
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Names, Special Terms, and Titles of Works
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Tables and Figures
Online Resources. Again, the Internet is a wealth of information for style questions. You can often do
a simple search such as “accept” or “except” for insight on an issue.
The following items (in alphabetical order) address some of the most common style issues that arise
while doing D.Min. projects and papers. Items from the above listing in Turabian are woven in to this
section at their appropriate alphabetical point. For example, look under “P” for “Punctuation” and
“N” for Numbers.
Abbreviations (See Turabian, ch. 24, pp. 331-346)
AG not A/G
See “Abbreviations in Citations and Other Scholarly Contexts” (24.7, pp. 344-345)
Abbreviations in footnotes are acceptable.
Confine use of etc., e.g., and i.e. to parenthetical references within the text. Outside of parenthetical
references, use “for example” instead of e.g. and “that is” instead of i.e.
Use range of actual pages instead of “ff.”
[sic] Other than sic (25.3.1, pp. 352-353), do not italicize Ibid. or other abbreviations of Latin terms.
a.m. and p.m. rather than AM and PM (23.1.5)
without, not w/o; with, not w/
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Do not abbreviate century numbers. (Use thirteenth, not 13th.) Hyphenate twentieth-century only
when it modifies something, such as: twentieth-century history…
Put a space between initials of a person’s name: A. B. Simpson
Spell out U.S. (United States), U.N. (United Nations), NT (New Testament) [Chicago, 15.34:
Abbreviation U.S. is permissible when used as an adjective.]
Spell out an abbreviation at its first use, with the abbreviation in parentheses following: Committee
for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
Subject-Verb Agreement (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/esl/eslsubverb.html)
Subject-Verb Agreement (http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/sv_agr.htm)
If your subject is singular, your verb must be, too.
Right: “The boy eats the pie.”
Right: “The people eat the pie.”
Wrong: “A child reads better if you read to them every day.”
Right: “Children read better if you read to them every day.”
It gets trickier when there is a descriptive phrase tucked between the subject and the verb.
Remember, a modifier doesn’t change the form of the verb.
Right: “The group of people is eating the pie.”
What’s the trick here? Knowing how to identify the subject.
In this sentence, “the group” is the subject, not “people.”
The subject is always whoever or whatever is performing the action.
Similar mistake: Adjective used as adverb, e.g. “I did good in this course.”
Subject-Pronoun Agreement (http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/pronante.html)
Pronoun and Pronoun Antecedent Agreement
Wrong: Christians need to experience healing in their life.
Right: Christians need to experience healing in their lives.
Wrong: The believer is responsible for the strategic investment of their time.
Right: The believer is responsible for the strategic investment of his or her time.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Use a “curly” apostrophe instead of a straight one.
See Turabian 7th ed., pp. 285-287 for correct use.
Do not confuse possessives with plural forms.
• For singular possessive use ’s (the dog’s dish)
• For words ending in “s” use s’ (politicians’ votes)
• Form the plural of capital letters and numbers with just an “s” (1950s). However, if adding an
“s” to a lowercase letter may seem to create a different word (is, As), then add an apostrophe
(dotting the i’s).
• Add an apostrophe before s when an abbreviation contains internal periods or both capital
and lowercase letters. (PhD’s or Ph.D.’s)
• See general rule and special cases listed in Turabian.
• For contractions (in place of the missing letter) It’s = it is (not to be confused with Its)
Articles (use of)
Avoid…“Attempt to”
Instead of saying you will attempt to do something in a particular section of your paper or project,
just do it.
Avoid…Colloquial language, Clichés, Trite Expressions
For example: instead of “a lot of” use “substantial.” These “worn” words (see Cheney, Getting the
Words Right, 143-145) are OK in the interest of getting your first draft out, but come back and revise
them before your final copy. “Because worn out words surface without much thought, they may
reflect that lack.” (Cheney, 144).
Avoid…Dangling Participles
Dangling participles are modifiers that have no word to which they can be correctly attached. Very
often, they are -ing or -ed word groups at the beginning of a sentence.
Wrong: Having leaped out of a second-story window, her leg was broken by the fall. (A leg cannot
leap out of a window.)
Right: Having leaped out of a second-story window, the girl suffered a broken leg in the fall.
Wrong: When opened, a snapshot fell out.
Right: When the book was opened, a snapshot fell out.
Rewrite the following sentences to correct any misplaced or dangling modifiers:
Jeff offered an apple to the horse that he had been carrying around in his pocket for two weeks.
After passing her grade 6 English exam, the teacher congratulated the pupil.
At the age of 24, my daughter was born.
Jason and Paulette stood and watched as the deer bounded away, hand in hand.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Mark handed the book to the woman that he had found lying covered with dust under the sofa.
A man was escorted out by the security guard who was drunk and disorderly.
Avoid…Emphasis Words
Avoid overuse of trite emphasis words such as really, very, tremendous, greatly, totally, etc.
Avoid…End-of-Sentence Prepositions
Instead of: Hispanic leaders will need to understand this in order to understand themselves and the
emerging youth they will minister to.
Use: …to whom they will minister.
Instead of: This is something we need to continually work on.
Use: This is something on which we need to continually work.
Instead of: I don’t know where I am at.
Use: I don’t know where I am.
Do not use: Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, etc.
Use: First, Second, Third.
Simply use the word “gifts,” as “giftings” is not a word (although used extensively in Christian and
specifically Pentecostal/Charismatic circles!).
Avoid…Misplaced Modifiers
A modifier is misplaced when it is placed next to something it was not meant to modify.
- After rotting in the cellar for weeks, my brother brought up some oranges.
- My brother brought up some oranges after they had rotted in the cellar for weeks.
- For sale: Antique dresser for woman with thick legs and large drawers.
- For sale: Woman's antique dresser with thick legs and large drawers.
Put the modifier as close as possible to the noun it is modifying.
When in doubt, start with the subject; then move right away to your verb.
If you keep your sentence structure simple, you are less likely to misplace a modifier.
- Mother gave the cake to the homeless man that she had baked and iced yesterday.
- Mother gave the homeless man the cake that she had baked and iced yesterday.
- We watched the tree come crashing down with bated breath.
- We watched with bated breath as the tree came crashing down.
- Scurrying into the hole in the baseboard, Melissa spotted a tiny gray field mouse.
- Melissa spotted a tiny gray field mouse scurrying into the hole in the baseboard.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
- We need to stop dumping waste into the environment which kills the fish.
- We need to stop dumping waste, which kills the fish, into the environment.
Avoid…Overuse of Commas.
I have always, overused commas, I don’t really, know why, they just, fascinate me, commas can be
used, for tons, they can be used, for lists, and, totally, rad descriptions, but also, just for fun, I have,
been, overusing commas, forever, I know the, proper rules for comma, use, they, have been, drilled
into, me all my life, by, my teachers, but still, I overuse them, perhaps, I do not know, how to stop,
using them, is it possible that, that one button to the right, of “m” is addictive, I wonder, I do not
know, but what I do know, is that I just wrote, one, grammatically correct (according to my
computer), sentence with one hundred twenty-one words, in it.
Avoid…Overuse of Parenthesis
I hereby admit to my addiction (which I also admit to have spelled wrong). You see I have been over
using a certain part of grammar to the point that it annoys people, (although it does not annoy me, it
creates rather more clarity in my mind). Many people find this certain part of grammar to be rather
useful (so perhaps I have just found it to be more useful)! I hate to admit my apparent folly (but I still
don’t consider it a problem), but I … I … OVER-USE PARENTHESIS!
Avoid…Passive Voice
The passive voice tends to slow down the flow of written material, tends to be vague (who must
consider these things?), and tends to overuse the verb “to be” instead of using stronger verbs and a
better variety of verbs. See Elements of Style, 4th edition, p. 18.
You know you’re writing in active voice when the subject of your sentence performs the action. As
much as possible, identify who is doing the action as you’re putting the sentence into an active form.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
This gets rid of the “to be” verb (was, were, is, are, being, etc.), puts the sentence into a more vibrant,
active form, and informs the reader of the source of the action.
Instead of: “These concerns must be considered.”
Use: “Participants in the program must consider these concerns.”
Instead of: “There were a number of dead leaves covering the ground.”
Use: “Dead leaves covered the ground.”
A sentence is in the passive voice if the SUBJECT is not the DOER of the action or if it’s not clear who
did something.
Wrong: The memo was written by the secretary.
A sentence is in the active voice if the SUBJECT is the DOER of the action.
Right: The secretary wrote the memo.
Identify the following sentences as either active or passive:
Two raccoons were spotted by the children.
The workers painted our house.
Our spring flowers are being warmed by the sun.
Joshua jumped in all of the mud puddles outside our back door.
Myriam wrote a speech for the wedding.
The fence beside our driveway was damaged by the snowplow.
The following sentences are in the passive voice. Rewrite them in the active.
A beautiful mountain scene was painted by an AGTS student.
Many new applications were received by the Registrar's Office.
A wonderful time was had by Shelley in Cuba.
Adult learning is enjoyed by all AGTS D.Min. participants.
See Elements of Style, 4th edition, p. 18; see also Cheney, 172-176; Wilbers, 31-33 “Take the Most
Direct Route,” 55-58 “Prefer the Active Voice” (including knowing when to use the passive), and 5862 “Nouns and Verbs” about avoiding nominalizations.
Avoid…Run-on Sentences.
There was a time — in distant history to you and me, but to those who lived through that time very
much a modern one — when, with nothing more than quill, parchment, gaslight and inkwell,
Victorians, as they were called then, who thought themselves clever enough to take up the mighty
yoke of language, crafted marvelous, dignified, soaring, melodic sentences that danced about the
periphery of comprehension, through the very soul of the English language, down so many twists and
turns and inlets and eddies that a reader, inundated by an onslaught of language as such, would be
forced to compose himself and begin the tedious, but ultimately rewarding, process of returning to
the start of such a sentence and piecing its meaning together word by word, clause by clause, until
said reader felt satisfied and knowledgeable of the material written therein.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Avoid… use of the phrase, “The Author”
In reflective doctoral papers (especially for Core 1 and Core 3), or for the more personal portions of
your doctoral project (chapters 4 and 5 and portions of 1), use “I” or “me” (sparingly). Avoid use of
“the author” as it is artificial. The reader knows who “the author” is.
Avoid…beginning sentences with “This” or “It.”
Work on identifying the antecedent so as to clearly and specifically identify to what or to whom you
are referring. You don’t want to leave your reader asking, “What?” or “Who?”
Avoid…overuse of the word “Today.”
“Christians today need” could be simply “Christians need” OR “Contemporary Christians
Avoid…overuse of the verb “To Be”
Choose active verbs in place of verbs of being (am, is, are, were, was, be, become, being, becoming).
See this article on ways to minimize the verb “to be” in your writing:
Avoid…We/Our/Us pronouns
In academic writing, avoid the use of the pronouns “we,” “our,” and “us.” These tend to be vague:
We need to do better on this issue. (Who is we? Christians? Leaders? Pentecostal leaders specifically?
Replace who or what you mean instead of using these pronouns.) Also, these pronouns can also get
“preachy” at times.
Avoid…Word Repetition in Close Proximity
For example: Many problems arise within the marriage that cause a break in the covenant. A break in
the covenant can… Use a good Thesaurus to locate synonyms; this will add variety and spice to your
Avoid… “You” pronoun
In an academic paper, do not speak to your reader directly with the pronoun “you.” Again, this can
tend to be vague, and is too informal for the academic context. This is used only for dialogue.
Do not bold anything except first level subheadings.
Clarity is one of the major goals of good writing. Every writing book or online resource worth its salt
will have a section on how to improve clarity. Below is an example of a sentence that, due to word
order, is unclear as to who is naked!
“J. B. Green describes first-century crucifixion as a cruel, public affair. Lower class citizens would hang
on a cross in a well-traveled location. Often naked and exempt from burial, birds would eat their
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Note a possible re-writing in order to achieve clarity:
“J. B. Green describes first-century crucifixion as a cruel, public affair. Lower class citizens, often
naked and exempt from burial, would hang on a cross in a well-traveled location, and birds would eat
their flesh.”
Spell out as: I will, do not, does not, will not, I am, could not, and so on.
Do not confuse (see also “Homonyms” and “Malapropisms” below)
“begin/began” and “start/ed”
(When to use each? See this video: http://binged.it/1kAxpwI
Start/Started – start a journey, start working for machines, make machines start
Start + infinitive or -ing
Start + off, up, out, back
Begin/Began –
Begin/Began + infinitive
Jane (started/began) cooking the dinner at 1 PM
He (started/began) out for work an hour ago; hasn’t he arrived yet?
After this party we have a lot of dirty dishes. Can you (start/begin) a dishwasher?
Here is a helpful video on when to use "start" and when to use "begin" in writing:
* He began/started working here two years ago. (little to no difference)
* Let us begin this meeting with a message from our president. (for more formal)
* He's starting to annoy me! (for less formal)
* My car won't start! (for machines or for making something start)
* I started the washing machine an hour ago.
* He's starting/beginning (to) improve. (Infinitive preferred for start/begin)
* We began to realize/understand/know... (when used in continuous)
“its” (possessive) and “it’s” (contraction for it is)
“lay” and “lie”
“than” and “then”
“accept” and “except”
“lead” and “led” (The past tense of lead is led, not lead. Ex., God led me into missions.)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
“reoccur” and “recur”
“while” (which refers to time/during) with “though/although” (in spite of, even if)
(See Eats, Shoots & Leaves, pp. 43-44)…but it’s not as simple as one might think! (See below…)
First Person
(See “we/our/us” above) While it is permissible to use first person when you refer specifically to
yourself (especially in Core 1 and Core 3), avoid using the first person when your written material is
not particularly personal. Limited use of “I” is permissible, as long as you stay consistent. With first
person plural, “We need to…” could be “Christians need to.” In the project, you will use first person in
a limited fashion in chapters 1, 4, and 5 but not in chapters 2 and 3, which are research chapters.
See “Appropriate Language: Overview” (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/608/01/)
See “Stereotypes and Biased Language” (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/608/05/)
See “Appropriate Pronoun Usage” (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/608/06/)
Be sensitive to gender and ethnic considerations. Use plurals, Christians, believers, creation,
humankind, humans, people, men and women, etc., to avoid referring to only he, him, man, mankind,
etc. Use he or she, men or women, etc. sparingly. Do not use he/she or s/he.
See the AGTS policy on non-discriminatory language below, as it appears in the AGTS Student
Handbook (http://www.agts.edu/community/student_handbook/2005studenthandbook.pdf):
Non-Discriminatory Language
All AGTS students, employees, and faculty members are urged to use non-discriminatory language in both verbal
and written communication at the Seminary. This commitment to equality and community is rooted in the
Biblical revelation of God’s will to form one united people, including men and women from every nation, people,
tongue, and tribe (Rev. 7:7-9). It recognizes that no particular group constitutes the norm among God’s people
(Gal. 3:28). It also responds to the Biblical injunction that we consider the interests of others above our own
Writers and speakers are free to translate the Bible directly or quote any published translation that is generally
accepted among Biblical scholars. Students, however, should use a particular translation if it has been prescribed
by a professor for his or her class. When referring to God as Father or to the person of Jesus Christ, the masculine
pronoun is required.
For more specific guidelines on non-discriminatory language, see the following materials:
* Gender: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/14/
* Regarding Disabilities/ “Considerate Identification”/“People First” Language:
* Age Discrimination
Writers should be careful not to make any negative statement about members of any particular age group or
generation. Avoid making pejorative statements about younger people today as compared with previous
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
generations. Also, avoid referring to older people in ways that suggest that they are diminished in abilities unless
describing a particular pathology. More specific guidelines can be found in the APA Publication Manual, including
the following excerpt:
“Be specific in providing age ranges; avoid open-ended definitions such as ‘under 18’ or ‘over 65,’ boy and girl are
correct terms for referring to people of high school age and younger. Young man and young woman and male
adolescent and female adolescent may be used as appropriate for persons 18 and older, or of college age and
older, use men and women. Elderly is not acceptable as a noun and is considered pejorative my some as an
adjective. Older persons is preferred. Age groups may also be described with adjectives. Gerontologists may
prefer to use combination terms for older age groups. Examples (young-old, old-old, and very old and oldest old),
which should be used only as adjectives. Dementia is preferred to senility; senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s
type is an accepted term.” (APA Manual 2001, p. 69).
Avoid misusing and confusing one word with another that sounds the same.
Every day/everyday
Do not italicize words for emphasis. Do italicize:
titles (of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and movies)
foreign words - If a foreign word is in parentheses, only the word, not the parentheses, should be
(krima). Use brackets for phonetic renderings of foreign words: Krima [kree’-mah].
Words defined as terms. (22.2.2)
Jr. and Sr. in bibliography
Omit comma between first name and abbreviation.
See 16.2.2 Gates, Henry Louis Jr., and Cornel West...
Lists/Enumerations (23.4.2)
Introduce an appositive list with a colon. Do not indent lists with bullets or numbers; place bullet or
number at the left margin and tab in. For bulleted items that are more than one line, set your indent
for word wraparound rather than tabbing in manually for each line. From 21.1, p. 296: “Put a period
at the end of items in a vertical list only if the items are complete sentences (see 23.4.2). Otherwise,
omit terminal periods, even for the last item, and do not capitalize the first words.”
This is misusing a word by confusing it with another word that sounds similar. A number of words
sound similar, but mean very different things.
Example: Affect (verb) and Effect (noun)
Wrong: Your ability to communicate clearly will effect your income immensely.
Wrong: The affect of a parent’s low income on a child’s future is well documented.
(See list, continued on next page…)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
all right/alright
Avoid “no” and “not” (Avoiding the negative can also eliminate unnecessary uses of the verb “to be”).
Example: The counseling protocol has not been tested [remains untested]. See Elements of Style, pp.
19-20, “Put statements in positive form.” Instead of “He was not very often on time,” you could write,
“He usually came late.”
Numbers and Dates (See Turabian chapter 23, pp. 318-330)
General Rule
Spell out numbers through one hundred and any whole numbers followed by hundred, thousand,
hundred thousand, million, and so on (23.1.1)
“Ignore the general rule when you have a series of numbers in the same sentence that are above and
below the threshold, especially when those numbers are being compared” (p. 321). Of the group
surveyed, 78 students had studied French and 142 had studied Spanish for three years or more.
“If your topic relies heavily on numerical data, follow a different rule: spell out only single-digit
numbers and use numerals for all others” (p. 320) He hit the wall at 65 miles per hour, leaving skid
marks for nine feet.
Do not use small superscript for (4th, 1st) after numbers; use 1st, 2nd, 4th. Word makes a small
superscript automatically, so you need to fix it manually.
Percents and Percentages (23.1.3)
Use percent not %; and percent not per cent. “Use numerals to express percentages and decimal
fractions, except at the beginning of a sentence” (p. 321).
If a number has two words, use a hyphen (fifty-five).
“Never begin a sentence with a numeral” (23.1.2).
Use the word “and,” not an ampersand (&).
Inclusive numbers (see 23.2.4)
Forty to fifty, not 40-50
Use 1 or 2 instead of I or II for 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, and so on.
For parts of written works such as chapters, use Arabic numerals (chapter 5).
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Dates (see 23.3) and Times (23.1.5)
May 2005 (no comma between)
February 1998, not Feb ’98
Comma after date: On June 7, 2005, the Senate passed a resolution.
Spell out centuries (thirteenth century); hyphenate if modifying: first-century teaching
AD and CE precede the number (AD 70), BC and BCE follow it (515 BC). (23.3.2)
Decades, Centuries, and Eras (see 23.3.2)
In general, use numerals for decades: 1930s
If century is clear, spell out: sixties and seventies, not ’60s and ’70s
Use 2000s, as “two thousands” is awkward.
For ages: use "thirties" (instead of 30s)
For clarity, describe fully the first two decades of any century: Many of these discoveries were
announced during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
For centuries, use either numerals (1600s) or lowercase spelled-out names:
No hyphen: He lived in the sixteenth century.
Hyphen: He wrote sixteenth-century novels.
See full listing of comma usage at Turabian 21.2. Primary uses:
When listing a series of three things (red, white, and blue). Note that there is comma before “and” in
a series.
Before a conjunction when what follows is an independent clause:
I went to the store, and I saw my mother trying on shoes.
Between individual elements of names of places (Springfield, MO)
Do NOT use a comma between independent clauses; use a semicolon, as in:
I went to the store; I saw my mother trying on shoes.
Use semicolons: (1) to separate independent clauses not separated by a coordinating conjunction:
I love you; I’m sure you love me; (2) with a coordinating conjunction “…if the clauses are long and
have commas or other punctuation within them” (p. 301); (3) before the words then, however, thus,
hence, indeed, accordingly, besides, and therefore; (4) when “items in a series have internal
punctuation” (p. 302) such as: “Green indicates vegetation that remained stable; red, vegetation that
disappeared; yellow, new vegetation.” (p. 302)
A fun resource for semicolons: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Colons should not directly follow verbs.
Wrong: …whose basic elements were: (1) red, (2) white, and (3) blue.
Right: …whose basic elements were (1) red, (2) white, and (3) blue.
OR (Right): contained these basic elements: (1) red, (2) white, and (3) blue.
21.5question marks
21.6exclamation points
Exclamation points are rarely used in academic writing (except in a quotation!!!!!).
21.7hyphens and dashes
See 21.7 in Turabian for hyphen and dash use and also 20.3, regarding “Compounds and Words
Formed with Prefixes.”
See also Chicago Manual of Style Hyphen table:
See also: http://www.grammar-quizzes.com/punc-hyphen.html
Use a hyphen, not a dash, between page numbers (e.g., 315-316).
Note the proper form of the following words:
One word:
everyday (as adj.)
prefallen state
Hyphenated words:
well-equipped (see 20.3.1 for when
this is hyphenated and when it is not.)
Two words:
decision making
problem solving
team taught
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
21.7.3Em Dash
Use a computer generated “em dash” (—) instead of two hyphens (--). (Obtain em dash by going to
“insert” and then “symbols.” Or, Word automatically turns two dashes into an em dash if you have
auto format on and continue to type. Ex. This--becomes This—instead.) Note: there should be no
spaces before or after the em dash. See 21.7.3 for use of “em” dash for setting off a parenthetical
element. Note: Three “em” dashes are required in bibliographies for multiple titles by same author.
21.8parentheses and brackets
21.10quotation marks
Replace straight quotes with “smart quotes” or what we sometimes call “curly quotes.” (You can use
find and replace to do this. Change default in computer by going to “tools,” “auto correct,” and “auto
format.”) Often material copied from the Web or an e-mail defaults to straight quotation marks. Also
use “curly” apostrophes instead of straight.
Put definitions within quotation marks; ex., tsadaq can also be translated as “righteous”
NOTE: Punctuation always goes INSIDE the quotation marks: John said, “I don’t think I understand
See Turabian chapter 20 regarding spelling issues. Also make use of the Web for an abundance of
resources that will help clarify spelling questions. Many words have alternative spellings. For
example, the D.Min. has a preferred spelling of “worshiping” and “counselor” instead of
“worshipping” and “counsellor.” Use the American spelling “toward” instead of “towards.”
Hyphenation - For spelling issues related to hyphenation questions, see “hyphens and dashes” above
under “Punctuation” and also 20.3 in Turabian, regarding “Compounds and Words Formed with
Plural Forms - See 20.1 for plurals and 20.2 for possessives. Do not confuse the two.
Possessive - See 20.2 for possessives and 20.1 for plurals. Place an apostrophe “s” (’s) after words
that end in “z” such as Horowitz’s Unholy Alliance. Remember that “its” is possessive, and “it’s”
means “it is.” Example: The organization was concerned with its image. (Note: to align with Chicago
Manual of Style 16, we will use Jesus’s for plural possessive for Jesus instead of Jesus’.)
Split Infinitives
Elements of Style (p. 58) says, “There is precedent from the fourteenth century down for interposing
an adverb between to and the infinitive it governs, but the construction should be avoided unless the
writer wishes to place unusual stress on the adverb (to diligently inquire, to inquire diligently).”
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
However, Elements also says on p. 78, “The split infinitive is another trick of rhetoric in which the ear
must be quicker than the handbook. Some infinitives seem to improve on being split, just as a stick of
round stovewood does. ‘I cannot bring myself to really like the fellow.’ The sentence is relaxed, the
meaning is clear, the violation is harmless and scarcely perceptible. Put the other way, the sentence
becomes stiff, needlessly formal. A matter of ear.” So allow a split infinitive if the meaning is clearer
and the sound better.
Tense as it relates to the D.Min. project chapters:
Chapter 1 - past and present relative to the problem; future relative to proposed project.
Chapters 2 and 3 – (refer to guidelines at the link below, especially in reference to quoting biblical
Chapters 4 and 5 - past tense since they describe evaluation and summary of project. In the
contribution to ministry section of chapter 5, use past tense to describe what contribution the project
already has made to ministry as a result of your project and then future tense when you talk about
ways it will continue to make a contribution in the future.
Regarding use of the “Historical Present” tense, note the following:
(This document was originally from
although that Word document link is no longer posted.)
This word is ONE THAT IS often overused. [This word is often overused.] Learn when that is needed
and when it is not. Consider how it sounds and consider meaning. If you can do without that, then do.
If it is necessary to meaning, keep that.
Not needed: She knew she could do it. (Instead of: She knew that she could do it.)
Needed: A stir that suggested disapproval swept the audience.
“He felt that his big nose, which was sunburned, made him look ridiculous.” (Elements, 78)
To omit the that here, you have, “He felt his big nose…”
When you NEED “That” (http://web.ku.edu/~edit/that.html)
Aaron suggests that the creation of the idol was beyond his control when he describes how he threw
the gold into the fire and out came a calf.
Tip from Microsoft Word: Word’s grammar correction indicates that “which” requires a comma
before it, whereas “that” does not. Strunk & White say “that” is defining and restrictive, and “which”
is non-defining, or nonrestrictive.
Defining: The lawn mower that is broken is in the garage. (Tells which one)
Non-defining: The lawn mower, which is broken, is in the garage. (Adds a fact about the mower in
Often you just need to trust your ear to know WHICH word to use (the first example below sounds
better, yes?):
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
You may have to trust your ear, which is usually a good judge.
You may have to trust your ear that is usually a good judge.
See also: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/which-versus-that-0
Basic rule of thumb: use “who” when referring to people, “that” when referring to things.
Variety in Sentence Beginnings
Many style choices can help enhance a sense of variety in your writing. Word variety helps move your
writing along, as it is more interesting and helps to keep the reader’s attention better. Often writers
tend to overuse “Th” words at the beginnings of sentences, for example, such as The, There, and This.
See the link below for a helpful list of words to use as sentence starters in order to help increase
variety in your writing:
Note: This page also lists helpful transition words, which help provide variety both within a paragraph
and between paragraphs.
Whether or If?
See what Grammar Girl has to say about whether to use whether or if:
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Capitalization List1
Abrahamic Covenant
Adamic Covenant; Adamic nature
adversary (Satan)
Almighty, the (Deity)
Ante-Nicene Period
Antichrist (the person)
Apostle (when followed by Paul, Peter, etc.)
apostles (except when part of the title, such as Apostles’ Creed)
apostolic (except when part of a title, i.e., Apostolic Church, Apostolic Era)
ark (Noah’s or ark of the covenant)
Ascension, the (but: ascension of Jesus)
Atonement, Day of; Atonement, the (but: the atonement of Christ)
Augsburg Confession
Authorized Version (King James)
Many of the words in this alphabetical capitalization list are adapted from the Style Manual of the General
Council of the Assemblies of God (Springfield, MO), n.d. Used by permission.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
B.C. (after numeral: 4 B.C.)
baby; the baby Jesus
Babylonian captivity
Baptism (meaning in the Holy Spirit or in water; but: baptism in the Holy Spirit or Spirit baptism)
Battle of Armageddon
beast (Antichrist)
Beautiful Gate (but: gate Beautiful or gate called Beautiful)
Bible, biblical, nonbiblical
Bible college (“She had a Bible college education.” But, “He went to Eugene Bible College.”)
Blessed Hope
Blood, the (but: the blood of Christ)
Body (the Church, but: body of Christ)
Book (as in “the Book of Acts”)
Book of Life, the
Book of Mormon
Book of Revelation
Book, the (Bible)
Bread of Life (Christ)
Bride – (the Church, but: bride of Christ). This is true with most concepts: capitalize the Rapture (but, rapture of Christ);
capitalize the Resurrection (but, the resurrection of Christ); capitalize the Second Coming (but, the second
coming of Christ).
Catholic (but: catholic, meaning universal)
century, first (ninth, tenth, twentieth) Hyphenate when modifying: a twentieth-century trend…
chapter (as in, chapter 5 of this project)
Children of Israel (but: people of Israel)
Christ (but: a false christ)
Christ child
Christian Era
church (a building or a local group)
Church (universal, the invisible body of Christ)
Church Age
church and state
church fathers
City of David
civil rights
Comforter (the Holy Spirit)
Communion (the Lord’s Supper)
Council, Jerusalem
Council, the (Jewish Council)
Covenant, Davidic (Abrahamic, Adamic/Edenic, Davidic, New, Old)
creation, the
Creator, the
cross, a
Cross, the (but: the cross of Christ)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Crucifixion, the (but: crucifixion of Jesus)
crusade (evangelistic meeting)
Crusades, the
Davidic Covenant
Day of Atonement
Day of Judgment
Day of Pentecost
Day of the Lord
Decalogue (the Ten Commandments)
Deity (the word)
Deity pronouns: He/Him/His; Me, My, Mine; Thee, Thou, Thy, Thine; You, Your, Yours
deity pronoun: himself
devil, the (but: Satan)
district/District (Kansas District Council, Kansas district, district council)
Divine (only when referring to God, i.e., “the Divine”)
divine, divinity
divine guidance
divine providence
Early Church
Elder Brother (referring to Jesus)
Eleven, the (referring to the apostles)
end-time, end times, end-times event
Epistle (when used as the book’s title: “Epistle to the Ephesians”)
epistle (when not used as a title: “Paul wrote an epistle to the church at Ephesus”
Epistles, the (but: Pauline epistles)
evangelical (however, capitalized if part of an official name of an organization or
church, sometimes capitalized if referring to Evangelical believers or
churches—if it is capitalized to refer to churches that are fundamentalist
Executive Presbytery (but executives, executive presbyters)
Exodus, the (and the Book of Exodus) (but: the exodus of the Israelites)
faith, the
Fall, the (but: the fall of man)
Father of Lies
Father, the (but: fatherhood of God)
Feast of Atonement
Feast of Ingathering
Feast of Passover (but: feast of the Passover)
Feast of Pentecost
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Unleavened Bread
Feast of Weeks
Fellowship, the (Assemblies of God or Pentecostal)
first Adam (but: Last Adam as in Jesus)
01-2006 for when to
capitalize and when not to:
“These two designations cut
across all of the six Christian
traditions (Anglican,
Independent, Marginal,
Orthodox, Protestant and
Roman Catholic).
Evangelicals (with uppercase
E) are mainly Protestant
churches, agencies and
individuals that call
themselves by this term (for
example, members of the
National Association of
Evangelicals); they usually
emphasize five or more of
seven, nine or twenty-one
fundamental doctrines
(salvation by faith, personal
acceptance, verbal
inspiration of Scripture,
depravity of man, Virgin
Birth, miracles of Christ,
atonement, evangelism,
Second Advent, et al).
The lowercase term
evangelicals refers to
Christians of evangelical
conviction from all traditions
who are committed to the
evangel (gospel) and
involved in personal witness
and mission in the world; it
includes Evangelicals but
also all who do not belong
to specifically Evangelical
churches or agencies, nor
give their primary identity as
‘Evangelical,’ yet remain
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
First Cause, the (Deity)
First Epistle of John
Flood, the
fruit of the Spirit
Full Gospel (if part of organization name)
full gospel (as in “I preach the full gospel”)
Garden of Eden, Garden of Gethsemane
Garden, the (Eden or Gethsemane)
general epistles
General Presbytery (but general presbyters)
God is a Spirit (but: God is spirit)
God the Almighty
God’s Law
God’s Word (Bible)
God’s word (promise)
Golden Rule
good news (gospel)
good Samaritan
Good Shepherd, the
gospel (good news), the gospel of Christ
Gospel of John (or John’s Gospel)
Gospels, the
Great Commission, the
Great Tribulation, the
Great White Throne, the
He, His, Him, himself (Deity)
Heavenly Father
Holy Bible
Holy City (New Jerusalem)
Holy Land
Holy of Holies, Holy Place, Holiest of All
Holy Spirit (not Holy Ghost)
Holy Writ
Incarnation, the (but: the incarnation of Christ)
Infinite, the (Deity)
Capitalization of Titles
Words to capitalize in titles (See 22.3, “Titles
of Works”):
Use headline style capitalization (see p. 314)
for titles of works in English.
Use sentence-style capitalization for titles of
works in foreign languages.
“…capitalize the first letter of the first and
last words of the title and subtitle and all
other words” except as follows:
1) articles
2) prepositions (unless emphasized, as in: “A
River Runs Through It” or used as an adverb,
as in: “Look Up” or an adjective: The On
3) to when used as part of an infinitive; to
and as unless it’s the first or last word
4) coordinating conjunctions
5) second part of a hyphenated compound
unless it’s a proper noun or adjective
6) parts of proper nouns normally in
lowercase: Ludwig van Beethoven
Note: the word following a colon in a
subtitle is capitalized, even if it is an
article or preposition. (Example:
Computer-Aided Graphics: A Manual
for Video-Game Lovers).
Correcting errors in source titles.
Example: if title of article has “12,”
which would normally be corrected to
“Twelve”–leave as is. For titles from
the eighteenth century or earlier,
retain original capitalization and
spelling; if word is in all caps, use initial
caps only.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Jerusalem Council
John the Baptist
John the Beloved
Jordan River (but: river Jordan)
Judgment Seat (but: judgment seat of Christ)
Judgment, the
Judgment, the Great White Throne
Judgment, the Last
King James Version
King of Glory
King of Judah (Jesus)
king (of Judah): David was the king of Judah.
King of kings
kingdom of heaven, the
Kingdom of Israel/Judah
Kingdom, the or “God’s Kingdom” or “Christ’s Kingdom” (but: kingdom of God)
kingdom (as in kingdom of God)
Kinsman-Redeemer (Christ)
lake of fire
Lamb’s Book of Life, the
land of Promise (but: Promised Land)
Last Adam (but: first Adam)
last days
Last Judgment, the
Last Supper
latter day
latter rain
Law of God (or God’s Law)
Law, the (Mosaic Law, but: the law of Moses)
Law and the Prophets, the
Lawgiver (Deity)
laws of God
Light of the World (Deity)
Living Word (Deity)
Logos, the
Lord of hosts
Lord of lords
Lord’s Day
Lord’s Prayer
Lord’s Supper (Communion)
Lord’s table
lordship of Christ, the
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
the (Christ)
Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Master Teacher (Christ)
Master, the (Deity)
mercy seat
messiah, a
messiah, false
Messiah, the (Christ)
Messianic Age
Millennium, the (millennial when referring to a span of time; Millennial when referring to the “Millennial generation.”)
Mosaic Law
Most High God, the
Most Holy Place
Movement, the (Assemblies of God or Pentecostal)
Name, the (but: name of Christ)
Nazarene (place of birth)
Nazarite, Nazirite (vow, person)
network (v. to connect; n. group closely connected and working together)
Network (Northwest Ministry Network, Northwest Network)
new birth
New Covenant
new earth
new heaven
New Jerusalem
New Testament Era
Nicene Creed
Nicene Fathers
Nicene, Nicene Period
non-Christian (but: unchristian)
North, etc. --------------
Northern Kingdom (but: northern kingdom of Israel)
Old Covenant
Old and New Testaments, the Old Testament Scriptures
One, the (Christ)
orthodox Christianity
Orthodox (as in Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Parable of the Prodigal Son
Paraclete (Deity)
Passover, the; Passover Feast (but: Passover supper)
Pastor (as in: Pastor Jones, but: Mr. Jones is a pastor.)
pastoral epistles
Pauline epistles (but: the Epistles)
Pentateuch, Pentateuchal
Pentecost, Pentecostal
people of Israel
Person (Deity; but: person of the Holy Spirit)
plan of redemption
Pneuma (Holy Spirit)
pool of Bethesda
pope, the
Post-Apostolic Church
Post-Nicene Period
preferred usage notation: predominantly instead of predominately
Prince of Darkness
Prince of Peace
Prodigal Son, the; the Prodigal
Promise, land of
Promised Land
promised land of Canaan
Prophetic Books (of the Bible)
Psalm 23 (but: a psalm)
Psalmist, the (but: the psalmist David)
Psalms, Book of
rabbinic (except when referring to Rabbinic Hebrew)
Rapture (but: rapture of the Church)
Redeemer (Christ)
redemption, plan of
Reformation, the
resurrection (final resurrection of the dead)
Resurrection, the (but: the resurrection of Christ)
Revelation, Book of
revelation of Christ
river Jordan (but: Jordan River)
sabbath (a time of rest)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Sabbath, Sabbath Day
Sacred Writings, the
Satan (but: satanic)
Savior (but: a savior)
Scofield Reference Bible
Scripture, a verse of
Scripture, the (synonym of Bible)
Second Coming, the (but: the second coming of Christ)
Sermon on the Mount
Seventy, the (the specific group Christ
sent out two-by-two)
Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath)
Shepherd Psalm, the
Solomon’s Temple
Son of Man (Deity)
sonship of Christ, Jesus’ sonship
soul winner, soul-winning (adj.)
Southern Kingdom (but: southern
kingdom of Judah)
spirit (when referring to a person’s spirit)
Spirit of God, the
Spirit of Truth, the
Spirit, the (Holy Spirit)
Sunday school
tabernacle (not Tabernacle)
Talmud, Talmudic
Tanakh (acronym for Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim)
temple, the (but: Solomon’s Temple)
Ten Commandments (First
Commandment, Sixth
Commandment, etc.)
Thee, Thou, Thine, Thy, thyself (Deity)
Third Person of the Trinity
Throne of Grace
Transfiguration, the (but: the
transfiguration of Christ)
tree of life
tribe of Judah
Tribulation, the (referring to the Great Tribulation period)
Trinity, the
Triumphal Entry
Twelve, the (but: twelve disciples)
Twelve Tribes (but: twelve tribes of Israel)
Twenty-third Psalm
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
unchristian (but: un-Christlike, non-Christian)
Upper Room
Virgin Birth (but: virgin birth of Christ)
virgin Mary
Vol. (in Bibliography format)
vol. (in footnote format)
who, whom, whose (Deity)
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Wise Men (Magi)
Word of God (Bible)
Word, the (the Bible as a whole)
words of God
Written Word
You, Your, Yours (Deity)
NOTE: The Chicago references for capitalization of president’s cabinet, academic titles, and degrees
can be found in 8.64, 8.18, and 10.20.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Document Formatting
See the D.Min. PAPER template and D.Min. PROJECT template here:
1. Download the templates.
2. Watch the videos posted at that site (shorter one from 2012, longer one from Feb 2015).
3. Follow the instructions within the templates. Doing so will provide you with a ready-made,
formatted paper or project chapter. (Be sure to have your paragraph symbol on so you don’t
accidentally delete a section break. If you do delete that break, the formatting will be lost.)
4. You will note that SECTION/CHAPTER/PART headings are 2” from the top, with the chapter
number and title in all caps above the heading. Use Arabic number (CHAPTER 3), not three.
5. If you have further questions about format, your D.Min. editor will be happy to help you.
Note: Turabian Appendix A contains instruction about format guidelines. However, for D.Min. papers
and project chapters, follow the formatting pre-set in the template.
List sources in alphabetical order.
Begin SOURCES CONSULTED two inches from the top of the page, centered
Format SOURCES CONSULTED headings as below:
Biblical-Theological Literature Review
Separate your chapter 2 sources under this heading. Make sure to set your automatic indent so that
the second and subsequent lines will be indented, as in this sample.
General Literature Review
Separate your chapter 3 sources under this heading. Make sure to set your automatic indent so that
the second and subsequent lines will be indented, as in this sample.
If you have an extensive list, group books under headings; for example, a project on leadership could
include sources on General Leadership, Church Leadership, etc. These headings would be centered
and not bolded (under the bolded headings for chapters 2 and 3).
NOTE When you submit your chapters 2 and 3 to your editor, adviser, and D.Min. Project
Coordinator, please include your bibliographic sources from those chapters.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Use a 12-point font, Times Roman or Times New Roman for D.Min. papers and the D.Min. project.
Footnotes should be 10-point.
Use footnotes, not endnotes, in D.Min. papers unless a professor specifically requires the use of
endnotes for a particular assignment. Use footnotes for all D.Min. projects.
Space after footnote number:
Be sure there is a space between your footnote number and the text of the footnote. Word
does this automatically, and this will also be taken care of automatically by using the D.Min.
template, which sets 12 pt. “after” a single line. If you are not using the template, however,
avoid a manual return to place a line between. Instead: (1) highlight your footnote text, (2) go
to “Paragraph” under the HOME tab, and (3) under “Spacing” add 12 pt. in the “after” box.
This will add a single space between your footnote entries. This also applies to spacing for
bibliographic entries in our SOURCES CONSULTED section.
Indenting Footnotes:
Footnotes should have an automatic indent set to the half-inch mark. Second and subsequent
lines should be on the left margin. Avoid tabbing in. Set your ruler for automatic indent. (If
you use the template, this is already established for you!) See sample footnote below.2
There should be no comma after the title: title (City: Publisher, Year), 23.
Space between Footnotes:
Footnotes should have one line between each entry. This is set automatically in the paper and
project templates. Do not return between each entry. Select your text, then go to paragraph
and select 12 in the “after” box under “spacing.”
If at the end of a footnote a reference is needed, the citation is in parentheses with the period
following (Ibid., 9).
Footnote Numbering:
Begin footnotes again at #1 at the beginning of each new chapter/section for the D.Min.
For course papers, however, the template is set up so that footnote numbers are consecutive
throughout the paper.
Firstname Lastname, Title of Book: Secondary Title of Book Showing That a Footnote May Extend to Two Lines
(Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2014), 245.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
See pp. 393 in Turabian for the styles of subheadings. Although the book lists five levels, it is rare that
in a doctoral project that you will need more than the third-level subheading. Note the AGTS choices
below based on the Turabian levels:
First-level Subheading
Second-level Subheading
Third-level Subheading
Fourth-level subheading
Line Spacing
Double-space the main body of text; use single space only in footnotes and in the Table of Contents if
the title requires two lines. Appendix material may be single-spaced.
All papers should have a one-inch margin on all sides, except for the first page of all major
sections/chapters, which has a 2-inch margin at the top. Title page has 2-inch top and bottom
margins. See the paper or project templates posted on the D.Min. participant resources website.
Header/footer = .5 inch. NOTE: D.Min. PROJECTS should have a 1.5-inch LEFT margin (for binding
The paper and project templates are already set to have the front matter (title page, etc.) pages in
Roman numerals, then the first page of each MAIN section with the page number at bottom center,
and then the page number in the upper right hand corner on subsequent pages. (This is set
automatically in the template.)
Separator Line
Make sure there is a blank space between the text separator line and the first footnote on each page
(Word will make this space automatically when you insert the first footnote. There is no need to add
a separate space.) Separator at bottom of page should be short over new notes, long over continuing
notes; to make a long one short, an extra space above the footnote may need to be removed.
Space after Final Punctuation
Be sure to have only one space after end punctuation and colons (21.1, p. 296). Perform a “find” and
“replace” to take care of this problem quickly if you’ve added two spaces after punctuation. (Yes, I
know you probably learned to type on a typewriter, and it was two spaces then; but with the advent
of computers, it’s ONE…trust me!)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
At this link, http://www.agts.edu/dmin/project/samples_templates.html, there are three templates
provided for you during your D.Min. program:
1. Paper template – for use in preparing papers during the course phase.
2. Prospectus template – for use in preparing your prospectus during Project Design
3. Project template – for use in preparing your project chapters and your final, compiled project.
Note: Use individual chapter templates for each chapter. When the project is reader-ready
(after ALL editor, adviser, and coordinator changes have been made), you will work with your
editor to compile all of the separate chapters into the final project template to be readerready.
Widowed Lines
A page should not end with a “dangling” subhead or a single line of a paragraph. Click on Format,
then Paragraph, then the tab for Line and Page Breaks. Check “Widow/Orphan Control” to avoid
widowed lines. To keep a heading with the text that follows, click “Keep with next.”
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Citation Formatting
Proper citation serves as a vital component of quality academic writing. Turabian chapter 15,
“General Introduction to Citation Practices” notes four excellent reasons for citing sources:
1. To give credit.
2. To assure readers about the accuracy of your facts.
3. To show readers the research tradition that informs your work.
4. To help readers follow or extend your research.3
See Turabian chapter 16, “Notes-Bibliography Style: The Basic Form,” and chapter 17, “NotesBibliography Style: Citing Specific Types of Sources” for citation format required in D.Min. papers and
projects. See a summary on page 145-148 (Figure 16.1) for the basic patterns. Do not use the
“Author-Date” (parenthetical reference) style of chapters 18 and 19. See also chapter 25,
“Quotations” (pp. 346-357) for avoiding plagiarism.
See also:
“Did I Plagiarize? The Types and Severity of Plagiarism”
Additional Citation Formatting Guidelines:
• Do not use Dr., Rev., Mr. or any other title when referring to an author.
• Use author’s full name upon first reference.
• Use only author’s last name (not first) with subsequent references.
• If two authors, cite last name of both authors on subsequent references: Gill and Cavaness.
If you cite two authors (of separate books) with the same last name, use the author’s first
name whenever you cite him or her.
If a book’s authors have the same last name (such as a married couple), add both last names
(See the hypothetical example in the footnote below).4
For more than one work by the same author, in the Bibliography list books alphabetically by
title, with second and subsequent works having a three “em-dash” line in place of author’s
name (see 16.2.2, “Arrangement of Entries”):
Gates, Henry Louis Jr. America behind the Color Line…
———. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of…
Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed., rev. Wayne C.
Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff (Chicago: The
University of Chicago Press, 2013), 135-136.
Paul Wood and Dene Wood, Another Great Book by Amazingly Intelligent Assemblies of God Theological
Seminary Authors (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2011), 1.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
• If two authors or editors, add a comma before the “and” in the bibliography:
Botterweck, G. Johannes, and Helmer Ringgren, eds.
Block Quotations
“Run four or fewer quoted lines into your running text.” (p. 74)
“Set off five or more lines as an indented block.” (p. 74)
For use of epigraphs used as block quotes, see (p. 352).
Do not set off with quotations marks.
Leave a blank line before and after the block quote.
Indent entire quotation to the half inch mark only on the left side of the quotation. Extend all the way
out on right.
If the original you are quoting is the beginning of a paragraph, indent the block quote a half inch and
capitalize the first word.
Preserve quotation marks within the quote. (Note: A quote within a block quote should be set off
with double quotation marks, not single.)
For a block quote of more than one paragraph, do not add a blank line between; indent first line of
second paragraph (p. 350).
See for paragraph omission within a block quote.
Block quotation footnote number should be at the end of the quote itself, not at the end of the
introductory sentence that introduces the block quote (see sample at end of this sentence). 1
Class/Course Lecture (footnote and bibliographic forms):
Earl Creps, “Renewing the Spiritual Leader” (class notes for Core 1 Course at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary,
Springfield, MO, February 7, 2008), 41.
Creps, Earl. “Renewing the Spiritual Leader.” Class notes for Core 1 Course at Assemblies of
God Theological Seminary, Springfield, MO, February 7, 2008.
(17.5.3) – note, the info below is not in reference to Theological dictionaries.
• For well-known reference works, cite only in notes. You may choose to include a specific work
in your bibliography if it is critical to your argument. In the footnote, omit facts of publication,
but specify edition if not first. For an alphabetically arranged work, cite thus: Encyclopaedia
Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Salvation.”
• For less well-known works, include publication details in notes and list the work in your
bibliography (See p. 190 for note and bibliographic sample.)
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
ed. and eds. (see p. 146, fig. 16.1 and, p. 167)
When you have…
editor instead of author
author plus editor
author plus translator
edition number
single chapter in an edited book
When referring to an edition
Footnote format
, ed.
Bibliographic format
(or “eds.” if more
than one)
ed. (“edited by”)
Edited by
Translated by
2nd ed.
2nd ed.
in… , ed.
, edited by
Note the distinction between a chapter in a book and an article
in a magazine or journal (no use of “in” or “In” needed).
Editions and Volumes (See 17.1.3, pp. 170-171) (footnote and bibliographic forms):
• Use 2nd ed. not 2nd.
• Book with more than one edition:
Author, Title, 8th ed. (City: Publisher, Year), page.
Author. Title. 8th ed. City: Publisher, Year.
• For Revised edition:
Author, Title, rev. ed. (City: Publisher, Year), page.
Author. Title. Rev. ed. City: Publisher, Year.
• For Reprint edition:
Author’s name, Title (1975; repr., City: Publisher, Year), page.
Author’s name. Title. 1836. Reprint, City: Publisher, Year.
For Volumes (See 17.1.4, p. 171-172 for details; this can get complicated!)
(For multi-volume works, cite volume you used.)
Author, Volume Title, vol. 1, Series Title (City: Publisher, Year), page.
Author. Volume Title. Vol. 1, Series Title. City: Publisher, Year.
See 25.3.2, “Omissions.” Note: Read section closely, as there are different types of uses for ellipses
depending on the circumstances. Use computer generated ellipsis () rather than three periods (. . .).
(Obtain ellipsis by going to “insert” and then “symbols.” Or, note: Word may change three typed
periods into an ellipsis automatically.)
Do not use an ellipsis before or after the quotation if what you are quoting can stand alone.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Leave a space after the text and before the ellipsis, and after the ellipsis and before the next text.
Note the following uses of ellipses:
Basic, most common usage, omission of text: “What we require … is a new method.”
Placement of the other punctuation depends on whether the omission precedes or follows
the mark: “We are fighting for the holy cause of Slavdom;  for freedom;  for the Orthodox
cross.” “All this is not exactly in S’s tradition …; and it was not your style.”
E-mail (citation of)
See pp. 195-196, 261.
Emphasis Mine
If, in a quotation you have italicized a word or phrase for the purpose of emphasis, add [emphasis
mine] immediately after the italicized word or phrase. See (25.3.1, p. 354) for more details.
Et al.
For a book with four or more authors, use et al only in the footnote citation:
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall et al, Title…
Do not use et al in the bibliography. (See 19.1.1, p. 230), but format as follows:
Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd, James Leloudis, Robert Korstad, Mary Murphy, Lu Ann Jones, and Christopher
B. Daly.
Full and Subsequent References and Use of “Ibid.”
See 16.4, “Short Forms for Notes.”
You must give full bibliographic information for the first-time reference of each source in each
chapter, even though you may have used it in a previous chapter.
For subsequent references, use author’s last name and page number: Palma, 19.
If the author has more than one book in your paper or project, use a shortened form for the title in
order to specify title you’re using: Maxwell, 21 Irrefutable Laws, 19.
Use Ibid. for a citation immediately following the same author. If the page number is the same as the
previous reference, just use Ibid. If the page number is different, use Ibid. followed by a comma and
the page number. Make sure to place a period and a comma after Ibid. (Ibid., 27.) Do not italicize Ibid.
Be careful that the Ibid. truly refers to the documented resource immediately preceding it. Often with
cutting and pasting footnotes, the final product may not reflect the original Ibid. reference. Use of
citation software such as Zotero can preclude that problem as it automatically updates the footnotes
when one is added in between.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Internet citation form (See Samples at 17.7.1, page 197)
Footnote format:
Firstname Lastname, “Title of Article,” Website Name, Publication or Revision Date, accessed Month,
Day, year, http://www.fullURL.com.
Bibliographic format:
Lastname, Firstname. “Article Title.” Name of Website. Publication or Revision Date. Accessed
January 1, 2014. http://www.fullURL.com.
If there is no author to the article, list alphabetically by title of the website or name of its owner or
Be sure to put the FULL URL of the web site so that the actual article can be immediately located by
following the link. Remove hyperlinks when listing a website.
Italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, courses, and movies.
Italicize foreign words.
Italicize third-level subheadings.
Italicize words defined as terms (22.2.2)
See “Online and Other Electronic Books” at the top of page 181 in Turabian (17.1.10).
See Online Turabian Guide, “Books Published Electronically”
Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
(New York: Vintage, 2010), 183–84, Kindle.
Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New
York: Vintage, 2010. Kindle.
Logos Bible Software (how to cite)
Cite the book with as much of the bibliographic information as possible as a regular hard copy
citation. Then at the end just add Logos Bible Software.
Author Firstname Lastname, Title of Book (City, ST: Publisher, Year), page# if you have it,
Logos Bible Software.
Author Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City, ST: Publisher, Year. Logos Bible Software.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Magazines (17.3) and Journals (17.2, 16.1 on page 148).
Be sure to distinguish between these formats. Journals are scholarly in nature. See Online Turabian
Guide section on Journals and Magazines (main formats are below; see website for full listing):
Journal (footnote and bibliographic formats):
Alexandra Bogren, “Gender and Alcohol: The Swedish Press Debate,” Journal of Gender Studies 20, no. 2 (June
2011): 156.
Bogren, Alexandra. “Gender and Alcohol: The Swedish Press Debate.” Journal of Gender Studies 20,
no. 2 (June 2011): 155–69.
Magazine (footnote and bibliographic formats):
Jill Lepore, “Dickens in Eden,” New Yorker, August 29, 2011, 52.
Lepore, Jill. “Dickens in Eden.” New Yorker, August 29, 2011.
Remember to distinguish between a chapter or essay within a book (see 16.1, #5, p. 147) and an
article in a journal (see 16.1, #6, p. 148).
One Source Quoted in Another (17.10, p. 215)
“Responsible researchers avoid repeating quotations that they have not actually seen in the original.
If one source includes a useful quotation from another source, readers expect you to obtain the
original to verify not only that the quotation is accurate but also that it fairly represents what the
original meant. If the original source is unavailable, however, cite it as ‘quoted in’ the secondary
source in your note. For the bibliography entry, adapt the ‘quoted in’ format as needed.” See page
215 for format.
Make sure you are consistent in how you list publishing companies (not Zondervan in some places,
and Zondervan Publishing House in others).
Reviews (see 17.5.4) See also:
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_citationguide.html, “Book Review”)
Footnote format:
Lewis Brogdon, review of Women in Leadership, by Kimberly Alexander and Alice Gause,
Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 31, no. 2 (2009): 305.
Bibliography format:
“You generally need not include reviews in your bibliography, although you may choose to include a
specific review that is critical to your argument or frequently cited.” (p. 192)
Brogdon, Lewis. Review of Women in Leadership by Kimberly Alexander and Alice Gause. Pneuma:
The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 2009.
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
[sic] (
If the author you are quoting makes a spelling or grammar mistake, use [sic] in the quote to show it is
not your spelling or grammar mistake, but copied from original. See 25.3 section on “Modifying
State Abbreviations
Use the two-state abbreviation (MO instead of Mo.) for citations.
When the city name is common, always use the state abbreviation (Springfield, MO: GPH…)
When the city name is well known, the state is not needed: (New York: Harper Collins…)
When the city name is obscure but the state is identified by the publisher name, the state
abbreviation is omitted. For example: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
(See 17.1.1, Editor or translator in addition to an author;, Editor or translator in place of an
See “Editions and Volumes” above
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Biblical Citation Formatting
See 24.6 and 17.5.2.
The first time you quote Scripture, insert the following footnote: All Scripture quotations, unless
otherwise noted, are from (name of version you use). In the project, do this in each chapter.
After Scripture has been quoted in text, put Scripture reference(s) in parentheses (NOT IN A
FOOTNOTE), using the abbreviations below. For example: (Gen. 3:12-13). Note that the period goes
AFTER the closing parenthesis: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
If you refer to a different version than your main source, put the abbreviation of that version in
parentheses also: (Gen. 3:12, NIV). See 24.6.4 (p. 342) for a list of abbreviations for versions of the
Bible. The Bible paraphrase, The Message, is spelled out since it does not have a standard
abbreviation yet.
Make sure multiple Scripture references are in proper sequence as found in the Bible (Gen. 1:1; Mark
1:1; Rev. 1:1). Use a colon between different books when listing multiple sources.
Abbreviations: (See Turabian 24.6.1, pp. 340-343); use traditional not shorter version listed. Note that
the Arabic numeral is used for numbered books (1 Thess., not I Thess.)
Old Test.:
1 Sam.
2 Sam.
2 Kings
1 Chron.
2 Chron.
Ps. (pl.
Song of Sol.
New Test.:
1 Cor.
2 Cor.
1 Thess.
2 Thess.
1 Tim.
2 Tim.
1 Pet.
2 Pet.
1 John
2 John
3 John
Do not abbreviate a biblical reference in running text of the paper: (“The opening chapters of
Ephesians constitute a sermon on love.” OR “According to Genesis 1:27, God created man in His own
image.” OR “Jeremiah, chapters 42-44, records the flight of the Jews to Egypt.)
DO abbreviate a biblical reference when it appears in a footnote (Chicago, 15.47-49).
Subsequent Citation from Bible Passages:
If you refer to verses from the same chapter as the previous citation, use the abbreviation v. or vv. for
verse(s) (e.g., vv. 17-18).
AGTS D.Min. Writing Style Guide (October 2016)
Do not repeat a book abbreviation for a citation immediately following one from the same book. For
example: (Exod. 3:12) and later in the same paragraph (4:12).
Do repeat the book once you have begun a new paragraph. This helps to reorient the reader to the
book of the Bible you are referring to, without having to look back in the previous paragraph to do so.
In biblical referencing, Turabian and the Chicago Manual discourage the use of “f” and “ff.” Use the
specific page range of verses instead.
Use a hyphen between verses instead of a comma (72-73, not 72, 73)
When more than one Psalm is being referenced, use Pss. Instead of Ps.
Be sure to double-check EVERY Scripture reference for accuracy.
Use “cf.” sparingly, and it is preferable only in footnotes.
Use 1 or 2 instead of I or II for 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, and so on.
Do not list Bibles in the bibliography/SOURCES section (16.2.3).
Article in Volume of a Series or Set (footnote and bibliographic forms):
Ronald B. Allen, “Numbers,” in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, vol. 2, Expositor’s Bible Commentary: With
the New International Version, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), 794.
Allen, Ronald B. “Numbers.” In Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers. Vol. 2, Expositor’s Bible
Commentary: With the New International Version, edited by Frank E. Gaebelein, page range.
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990.
Book in Series or Set (footnote and bibliographic forms):
Herman N. Ridderbos, The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia, The New International Commentary of the
New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1953), 97.
Ridderbos, Herman N. The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia. The New International
Commentary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.,
Word Biblical Commentary (footnote and bibliographic forms):

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