Presentation of Essays and Assignments


The due dates for essays and assignments will be notified by the lecturer in each unit.


2.1 From 2017 assignment submission will be through Turnitin on ARK, unless otherwise indicated by lecturer. This is a requirement of the University of Divinity for assignments over 750 words. For assignments under this word count, it is the lecturer’s discretion as to whether the assignment needs to be submitted via Turnitin on ARK or via another means. This will be indicated on the unit guide.

2.2 Hardcopy assignment submission may be lodged in the slot provided next to the reception window or they may be given to the faculty member who will register the date and pass them on to the office for recording in the ledger.

2.3 Dreadful penalties will be applied to late submission of essays/assignments received after the agreed date – see the following link for policies on special consideration, late work and extensions:

Click here


3.1 Assignments submitted to ARK are to be typed using a word processing tool (most file types are accepted but check ARK if you are having trouble). Unless advised by your lecturer do not submit a PDF.

3.2 The lecturer may require a hardcopy version of an assignment. It is to be typed on A4 paper. Handwritten manuscripts will not be accepted. Hardcopy versions are not required if the assignment is submitted via ARK.

3.3 Each copy of assignment must contain:

(i) Text
(ii) Appropriate footnotes or endnotes
(iii) Bibliography (separate by page break)
3.4 Here is a very good web site for tips on writing an essay (tip – this an excellent resource)

3.5 Word count includes headings and all text, footnotes and references and excludes bibliography.



4.1 Assignments submitted via ARK do not require an assignment cover sheet.

4.2 Hardcopy assignments must include a completed assignment cover sheet attached to each copy of the assignment.

Click for an editable and printable assignment cover sheet  (pdf) (editable doc)



5.1 Setting out

The typing and spacing required for your assignment will be advised by your lecturer in the unit guide which is presented at the beginning of the unit. A typical pattern for formatting is using 1.5 or double line spacing, margins at 2.54cm and a font such as Times New Roman  (don’t use fancy fonts).

5.2 Quotations

Short quotations up to about three lines in length belong in the body of the text, enclosed in quotation marks.

Longer quotations should appear as separate paragraphs,

  • single-spaced,
    • indented by 1 cm at both left and right margins,
    • without quotation marks,
    • optionally in smaller type,
    • and with a line space above and below the paragraph.

All quotations must be acknowledged in footnotes or in-text citations. Paraphrases and indirect quotations are not placed in quotation marks, though the source of the material should still be acknowledged. Information derived on-line must be cited fully and consistently.

5.3 Scripture references

When a quotation from the Bible is used, the scripture reference should be given in the main body of the text and placed in brackets, along with the version cited in abbreviated form. If one version is used throughout the assignment, this may be indicated after the first reference.

Example: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matt 22:21b, NASB)

When specific references are given, the names of the books of the Bible are to be abbreviated, without a following full-stop. A consistent method of indicating chapter and verse should be followed. When a reference is not exact, the name of the book should be written in full (e.g. Romans 8).

Abbreviations for biblical books

Abbreviations for biblical books follows the format given by Patrick H. Alexander et al., The SBL Handbook of Style: For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999).

Old Testament

Abbreviated form Full form Abbreviated form Full form
Gen Genesis Eccl (or Qoh) Ecclesiasters (or Qoheleth)
Exod Exodus Song

Or (Cant)

Song of Songs (Song of Solomon or Canticles)
Lev Leviticus Isa Isaiah
Num Numbers Jer Jeremiah
Deut Deuteronomy Lam Lamentations
Josh Joshua Ezek Ezekiel
Judg Judges Dan Daniel
Ruth Ruth Hos Hosea
1-2 Sam 1-2 Samuel Joel Joel
1-2 Kgs 1-2 Kings Amos Amos
1-2 Chr 1-2 Chronicles Obad Obadiah
Ezra Ezra Jonah Jonah
Neh Nehemiah Mic Micah
Esth Esther Nah Nahum
Job Job Hab Habakkuk
Ps/ Pss Psalms Hag Haggai
Prov Proverbs Zech Zechariah
Mal Malachi

New Testament

Matt Matthew 1-2 Thess 1-2 Thessalonians
Mark Mark 1-2 Tim 1-2 Timothy
Luke Luke Titus Titus
John John Phlm Philemon
Acts Acts Heb Hebrews
Rom Romans Jas James
1-2 Cor 1-2 Corinthians 1-2 Pet 1-2 Peter
Gal Galatians 1-2-3 John 1-2-3 John
Eph Ephesians Jude Jude
Phil Philippians Rev Revelation
Col Colossians

Refer to the guidelines in the SBL Handbook of Style for further abbreviations such as the Apocrypha and Septuagint, and Pseudepigrapha. The Turabian guidelines also point to the SBL Handbook of Style in terms of biblical references.


5.4 Punctuation.

As well as the normal rules of punctuation, the following should be used:

.” (full stop inside quotation marks at end of quotation).

, ” (comma always inside quotation marks).

“; “: (semi–colon and colon remain outside quotation marks.

?” (when the quotation itself is a question).

“? (if the student is questioning the actual quoted material).

…” (matter omitted from within a quotation).

‘…’ (quotation within a quotation, use single quotation marks for the inner set of quoted words)


5.5 Numbers

Unless specific guidelines are proposed for a piece of quantitative research the following guidelines apply.

  • Write the “twentieth century” not the “20th century”
  • Never begin a sentence with a numeral, either spell the number or recast the sentence (“Fifty days after the resurrection the Church celebrates the feast of Pentecost.”)
  • If a number under a hundred occurs on its own, spell it (there are four not 4 canonical gospels)
  • Write in Arabic numerals (1,2,3) when you have series of numbers over a hundred in a sentence (105 cows, 575 sheep and 7 horses)


5.6  Foreign Words

Italicise isolated words and phrases in foreign languages that are technical, or unlikely to be familiar to readers of English.

  • g., Paolo Freire coined the term conscientização to speak of the process of developing critical consciousness.
  • g., Ressentiment was first used as a philosophical term by Friedrich Nietzsche.


Do not italicise foreign words that are so familiar that they appear in standard English dictionaries: e.g., de facto, de gustibus, vis-à-vis.


5.6 Abbreviations

Abbreviations generally have a full stop/period after them: for e.g., etc., Conventional abbreviations for books of the Bible are an exception to this rule (see 5.5 above). The full stop may be followed by a comma as in ibid., but it may never be followed by a second full stop.

  • Truncations which give only the first part of an abbreviated word are indicated by a concluding period (Prof., Rev., ed., trans., vol.,); contractions, which give the beginning and end of an abbreviated word, in British and English usage do not have a concluding period the first and last letter of a word, do not have full stops (e.g., Fr, Revd, Dr, St, vols).
  • The abbreviations ‘don’t’, ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’ etc. should not be used in essays, except in quoted conversations. (We wouldn’t say you can’t say won’t but don’t).



There are two basic reference systems: notes-bibliography style (or simply bibliography style) and author-date style (sometimes called reference list style). These styles are essentially the same as those presented in The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, with slight modifications for the needs of student writers.

Bibliography style is used widely in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in footnotes or endnotes and, usually, a bibliography. This is the style preferred by University of Divinity for coursework assignments, research papers, theses, and dissertations.

Click here to see the Chicago manual of style and a quick guide to Chicago Manual of Style

Click here to see a ‘Turabian Style Guide

(Handy hint – print off a copy by clicking here and keep it by your computer)

A basic description is provided here.

In both systems, the following conventions apply:

  • Book and journal titles appear in italics. If the italic style is unavailable, titles may be underlined.
    • The title of a book is to be taken from the title page, not from the cover only.
    • The sub-title is part of the title and to be included.
    • Authors’ names are to appear as the authors give them, including given names and middle initials.
    • The bibliography alphabetically lists, by author’s surname, all works actually referred to or quoted in the paper; it does not include all works consulted or read.