How to Write a Theological Paper

5 Sep

I forget where I found this link, but it was to John Frame‘s article titled, “How to Write a Theological Paper.” Being a seminary professor, I would imagine that this article was attached to a syllabus.

At any rate, he offers very helpful tips on how to write a theological paper. Although these principles could, in theory, be used for other academic works, many of his principles revolved around theological and scriptural points.

Furthermore, this article is not geared towards teaching one how to write a summary, but rather, “your own creative response to your research.” He offers the following principles:

1. Choose a topic with care, one that will be helpful to people, one that you can handle adequately in the time available to you and in the length of document you intend to write (or size of nonwritten presentation).

2. Understand your sources.

3. Write down what you find interesting.

4. Ask questions about your sources.

5. Formulate a critical perspective on your sources.

6. Organize your notes according to topics of interest.

7. Ask, then, What do I want to tell my audience on the basis of my research? Determine one or more points that you think your readers, hearers, viewers (etc.) ought to know.

8. Be self-critical.

9. Decide on an audience.

10. Decide on a format and style.

11. Produce your formulation—on paper or use whatever medium you choose.

Click here to read the entire article with more explanation on each point.


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