DTS Advising desires to support and equip students in their academic journey. If students or faculty have suggestions for additional resources to include or add, please submit the Writing Resource Request form.

General Writing and Research

This section provides information about paper formatting, general writing resources, the research process, reading skills, and Zotero citation software.

Students should utilize the Word document (below) to format all papers at DTS, unless otherwise specified by the professor or individual assignment.

 Turabian Template Word Document

This 8-minute video (login required) provides information on how to format the Turabian template in Word and save this as a Word template. The video was recorded specifically for the Seminary Readiness course but the general principles are applicable for all students.

 Video: Setting up Turabian Template

The DTS Turabian Supplement provides DTS specific guidance in areas that differ or are not included in the Turabian style manual, including the abbreviations for books of the Bible and key words to capitalize in papers.

DTS Turabian Supplement

This template provides a consolidated list of the most common types of resources master’s level students use in research papers or course assignments. Students should consult the DTS Supplement Guide and current edition as the authoritative guides.

Template for Commonly Cited Sources

This short video discusses academic writing and the importance of citations.

Recommended Resources

The following document provides an overview of research terms, databases, and tools.

Research Terms and Examples

This 15-minute video guides students on how to utilize the ATLAS/ATLA database. Some locations may be different in this video, but the principles remain the same.

Recommended Resources

5 Steps to Writing Better Papers with Dr. Sandra Glahn

10 Tips for Writing Final Project PDF

Developing a Research Question

Writing a Thesis Statement

Passive vs. Active Voice

Note: Students should utilize active voice in academic writing.

Recommended Writing Resources

Students receive various reading assignments in each course. The following chart is from the Student Handbook (1.5) and an example of the approximate time for different types of reading.

Types of ReadingAmount of TimeExample
Reading, Light (biography, light application)1 min / page200 pages = 3.5 hours
Reading, Heavy (dense theology, commentary)4 min / page300 pages = 20 hours

Each semester, Dr. Greg Hatteberg (Director of Alumni and adjunct BE professor) provides a course on-campus and one in Canvas on Speed Reading. Students may register at any point during the fall or spring terms. Below is the information for Spring 2023 and instructions on how to enroll:


Tips for Reading Comprehension

Recommended Resources

Grammarly.com – This is a free resource to check basic spelling and grammar. It may not be suited for all types of academic writing. The Premium option provides more suggestions and features for an annual fee.

Plagiarism (1.16 in Student Handbook)

Plagiarism occurs in research whenever a writer appropriates material that falls outside the sphere of common knowledge and is from any source not his own without indicating his or her indebtedness to that source. The theft may have to do with substance (i.e., ideas or information taken from a source without acknowledgment in the form of proper documentation), or it may have to do with verbal expression (i.e., wording or phraseology taken from a source without acknowledgment in the form of proper documentation and quotation marks around the quoted material), or using text written by a generation system as one’s own (i.e., entering a prompt into an artificial intelligence tool and using the output in a paper).

In any of these forms, plagiarism constitutes a serious academic and ethical impropriety. For this reason, any work submitted that gives clear evidence of plagiarism, whether committed deliberately or naively, will receive a grade of zero.

Each case will be reported to the dean of students. Depending on the circumstances, the student may be subject to additional disciplinary action.

Cheating (1.16 in Student Handbook)

Cheating involves dishonest or deceptive attempts to gain credit for academic work through the use of notes, aids, computer tools, or the help of other students in ways expressly prohibited by the instructor. Where it is determined that there is clear evidence of cheating, the assignment or exam in which the cheating occurred will receive a grade of zero. Each case will be reported to the dean of students.

Depending on the circumstances, the student may be subject to additional disciplinary action.

Recommended Resources

Students in the EdD (Doctor of Education) degree or in some Counseling Ministries (CM) courses may utilize APA formatting. Turabian is the standard for most courses at DTS. Students should review the course syllabi, assignment instructions, or rubrics to determine which formatting to use. When in doubt, ask the professor or grader for clarification.

 Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) APA Resources

Zotero is a free, citation management software to organize and insert bibliographic information for assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to check that citations and bibliographic information are accurate.

Go to: https://www.zotero.org/ 

Create a free account: https://www.zotero.org/user/register 

Install web browser extension (Chrome, Safari, Firefox)

Creating a Footnote in Word

Turabian (Notes-Bibliography)

The first four minutes describe how to use the Notes-Bibliography system in Zotero. Students may need to search the Style Manager for Turabian 8th edition (full note) since the 9th edition is not currently available. Students should consult the DTS Supplement and 9th edition for accuracy.

Media Center Training on Zotero (49 minutes)

Department Specific Resources

Each department will require different types of assignments and various skills toward achieving the desired learning outcomes. Students should review the course syllabus and course files for instructions on specific assignments within each course. Students should also clarify assignment expectations with the professor and/or GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant). The resources below are a supplement to those provided within each course.

ST5101-5106 will require a Doctrinal Synthesis Paper. These papers provide an opportunity for students to articulate their theological beliefs for the major doctrines covered in each course and their relevance for Christian Ministry.

Doctrinal Synthesis Overview

For students who completed and received advanced standing or transfer credit for any ST5102-5105 course, the following document provides instructions and the topics to include for each ST course before students write and submit their Capstone Doctrinal Statement in ST5106 Eschatology.

Doctrinal Synthesis Information for Advanced Standing Students

Chris McMaster, Logos Master Trainer, provides a brief (6-minute) overview of how students can use Logos in researching and formulating their doctrinal synthesis papers.


How to Write a Doctrinal Synthesis for All It’s Worth

Doctrinal Synthesis Presentation Handout

Formatting Doctrinal Synthesis Papers in Word (Windows)

Formatting Doctrinal Synthesis Papers in Pages (Mac)

The library team created a 50-minute video explaining how to format a synthetic chart for biblical books using Excel.

Creating a Synthetic Bible Chart Using Excel

Making a Bible Timeline

BE5104 Map Assignment

ThM students take five semesters of Greek and four semesters of Hebrew. Other students may take language courses but should consult with their assigned academic advisor to determine if it will count toward their degree requirements as an approved elective.

Resources Before Enrolling in Language Courses

Preparing for Greek Guide

Resources While Enrolled in Language Courses (Tutoring Information)

Language professors often have office hours or resources available to help students. The NT and OT departments also provide language tutors (free of charge to students!). Below is the tutoring information for Spring 2023: