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General Requirements for Assignments - Bible/Theology and Counselling/Chaplaincy

This guide outlines the College’s expectations for written assessments in Theology, Counselling, and Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care.


Assignments will usually contain the following parts and be presented in this order. Each part should start on a separate page.

  1. Assessment cover sheet
  2. Abstract
  3. Assignment
  4. Bibliography/Reference list
  5. Appendices

Cover Sheet

All assignments should use the Cover Sheet for Assessment Tasks, found on Moodle --> Course Essentials and Forms. The Cover Sheet should be embedded into your assessment document as the first page, but is not included in the word count.

Include your student number and ensure that you have filled in the cover page correctly, according to the template.


An Abstract is a short piece of writing that provides a summary of the following:

  • The Assignment’s main thesis (argument)
  • The main topics/themes that are discussed
  • It can also include the research methodology used (e.g. close reading of a biblical text, survey of scholarly texts and articles, interviews, critical reflection)
  • An abstract of around 150 words is required for assignments with a word count of 1500 words or more.
  • For Research Theses the abstract should be around 300 words in length.

By reading an abstract the reader/marker should be able to anticipate what the assignment will be about. Abstracts should be written in full sentences and should be the student’s own words. Typically abstracts do not include references to other research (by direct quotation or paraphrasing) so there is no need for citations in an abstract. If there are quotations or paraphrasing then usual citation requirements apply.
An abstract should be written in present tense.
If an abstract is not needed, this should be indicated in the Assessment Requirements.

Assignment Main Text

Most assignments will be structured to have an introduction, body and conclusion.


The introduction should outline the main thesis of the assignment, and then the main themes/points in the order of discussion. It should also reference all aspects of the question without rewriting the question. As a general rule, an introduction should be around 5-10% of the length of the word count (i.e. 100-200 words for a 2000-word essay).


The body or main section should cover several topical points, with related discussion, research and analysis. Each topical point should be in a new paragraph, and should begin with a topic sentence. This sentence is the one-liner for the paragraph, including a key word or group of words expressing a dominant idea. Remaining sentences and paragraphs should develop and further explain the topic.


The conclusion should be the final paragraph of the assignment. Its purpose is to draw together the results of the assignment's discussion, research and analysis; it should not include any new data or arguments. The conclusion should restate your argument, tie together all threads of discussion, and follow logically from the body of the assignment.

Bibliography/Reference List

Assignments should use a breadth of resources and a variety of source material, and this should be indicated in the bibliography or reference list. Variety refers to both the type of resource (i.e. periodicals/journals, books, online resources, etc.) and the different perspectives expressed. Too much material expressing the same views lacks the variety required for a good, thorough assignment.

Typically, lecture notes should not be used; when they are used, they should be referenced accordingly. Please check your assessment details or contact your lecturer if you are not sure whether using lecture notes is appropriate, and see the LibGuide (CCSC - APA or BAT - Chicago) for citation details.

Only include resources that you have specifically cited in your assignment. Citations should be correctly formatted in the appropriate referencing system within the bibliography/reference list to avoid plagiarism and indicate appropriate research.

  • Bible and Theology: include a Bibliography. (Unlike a traditional bibliography, this should only include works cited directly.)
  • Counselling and Chaplaincy: include a Reference List.


An appendix will not be needed for most assignments; your assessment outline will indicate when appendixes are necessary or appropriate. If you are not sure, check with your lecturer.

Some examples of appendices include:

  • Annotated bibliography (see the LibGuide)
  • Reflection statement
  • Translation
  • Interview transcript
  • Original statistical data
© 2016 Morling College. Morling College is an affiliated institution with the Australian College of Theology (CRICOS Provider 02650E). Morling College Counselling (CRICOS Provider 03265F).