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Writing & Style Guide (Luther Seminary): Requirements

Abstracts

Abstract Institutional Requirements

If you are a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) student at Luther Seminary, you must include an abstract in your thesis. The word limit for DMin thesis abstracts is 100 words. The word limit for PhD thesis abstracts is 250 words. If you are in another degree program, you may consider writing an abstract if you hope to submit a paper for formal publication.

Writing an Abstract

While very short in terms of overall word count, abstracts are nonetheless an important part of your publication, as they help other scholars locate and incorporate (and thereby publicize) your work. As a result, the following strategies can help you gain a wider audience for your publications:

  • Be sure to include the names of key authors, theories, and terminology in your abstract. This will ensure that those studying similar topics find your work.
  • Your abstract should clarify not only which scholarly paradigm you’ve used, but also any approach you are critiquing, as well as target subject populations.
  • If a publication calls for including key words, you should select key words based on the strategies above.

Institutional Style and Format Requirements

Why Do We Have Institutional Requirements?

Although the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) or Kate Turabian's, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition) address many style and format topics, some things are not addressed or are left up to institutional discretion. The downloadable guide in this tab helps students answer frequently asked questions regarding general writing formats, footnotes, and bibliographies. If you have a question that is not addressed, please Contact Us and we will add it to the guide.

Use with Thesis Templates and Zotero

Students in the Doctor of Philisophy (PhD), Master of Theology (MTh), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree programs are required to use the Templates and Zotero when writing a thesis. We strongly encourage students in all other degree programs to use them as well. Luther Seminary's institutional requirements should easily be adopted while utilizing these tools.

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