Writing Workshops & Resources

Making Your Point: Crafting and Defending a Thesis Statement (Thurs., 1/22)

In the world of social media, there is often little need (or enough characters!) for well-reasoned thesis statements. Yet, in both the academy and the church, being able to articulate and support an idea is an essential skill. In this hands-on workshop, you'll have a chance to sharpen your ability to craft compelling and thoughtful thesis statements. Click here for the PowerPoint.

Writing as Interpretation: Strategies for Exegesis Papers (Thurs., 2/5)

The exegesis paper comes with all the major challenges of other writing assignments, but in addition it also entails the delightful and daunting work of interpreting Scripture. Building off the instruction you have received in OT502 and NT502, this workshop focuses on strategies for crafting a strong and well-structured interpretation of a biblical text. Click here for the PowerPoint.

From the Classroom to the Congregation: Writing for Ecclesial Contexts (Tues., 3/3)

One secret to writing at Candler is knowing when to write each kind of paper—this kind for OT, that kind for contextual education, another for a scholarship application, and yet another for your ordination authority! How can you increase this wisdom and build on it for writing for the church? Are there certain things to avoid? How can you translate what you've learned for local congregations? In addition to discussing these questions, this workshop offers practical suggestions for how writing can play a key role in your pastoral leadership and on-going spiritual formation.

Religious and Not Spiritual?: Thinking Faith and Believing Academics Together in Your Writing (Thurs., 4/9)


Books on Writing 

  • How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles van Doren

  • The Seminary Student Writes, Deborah Core

  • Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White

  • Elements of Grammar, Margaret Shertzer

  • Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers, Lucretia B. Yaghjian

Style and Citation Guides 

  • A Manual for Writers, Kate Turabian

  • The SBL Handbook of Style, Patrick H. Alexander, ed.

Online Writing Resources 

  • Emory University Writing Center
    The Emory University Writing Center is not intended to provide Candler students with personal instruction and consultation. However, their website has resources for grammar, writing and ESL issues.

  • Louisville Seminary Online Writing Lab
    Includes not only advice about how to write better, but also extensive handouts and information on other academic skills, from note-taking to test preparation. Its orientation toward students of theology makes it an excellent resource. Also includes help with the Presbyterian ordination exams.

  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
    This amazing and extensive site includes guidance about every stage of the writing process. Its depth of grammatical resources is particularly impressive. Also includes tutorials on writing for specific fields, although (sadly) not for theological writing.

  • Duke Divinity School
    One of the best divinity school writing centers around. Includes resources on writing, grammar and research.

  • Critical Writing at the University of Pennsylvania
    Links to help with grammar and writing style. Click the plus-sign box on "Online Resources" to see what's available. The site even includes the lyrics to the Schoolhouse Rock songs you may remember from Saturday morning TV!

  • Diana Hacker's Rules for Writers
    Based on a popular series of books, this unique site offers online quizzes on writing and grammar; click on "Electronic Writing Exercises" or "Electronic Grammar Exercises" and see how well you do!