Writing Format and Forum Requirements

Forum Requirements

Writing Format for Papers

Standards for all written work, except class forum posts:

  • Double-spaced using 12-point Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins.
  • Include a relevant heading (name, date, assignment title), and subheadings where appropriate, which can be viewed in a Navigation Pane.
  • Multi-page assignments should also include page numbers. 
  • Correct spelling and grammatical errors before submitting all assignments. Spelling, grammar, and writing style will be taken into consideration in evaluating written work. 
  • Use a filename including your name and the assignment name/number, such as Jan_Smith_Project1.docx

In addition to the standards above, follow the standards below based on type of course you are taking:

Papers in Addiction Counseling Courses.
All papers in Addiction Counseling courses should follow the full APA version 7 guidelines for student papers, especially regarding title pages and citation format. See the resources below:

On Citations:

In-Text Citation Instructions
References List Instructions for End of Paper
Videos on Citation Formats (from APA)

Paper Format Guidelines:

Full APA Guidelines (from Purdue OWL)
APA Style Guide Tutorial (from APA)

Sample Papers:

APA Sample Student Paper (from Purdue OWL)
APA Paper Template (Google Docs)

Papers / Projects for Ministry Courses (such as Bible, Theology, Vocation courses). These are only required to follow APA citation format, not full APA style. See below for guidance on citations:

In-Text Citation Instructions
ZoteroBib (creates citations automatically)
Citing the Bible in APA
References List Instructions for End of Paper
Ministry Paper Template (Google Docs)

If a title page is required for a paper in these courses, it will be part of the project template.

Papers / Projects for Nonprofit and Business Courses. These should follow standard professional writing practices in a business setting or nonprofit setting. Examples include: business plans, business proposals, grants, nonprofit manuals etc. References for cited materials are required, but may be done informally with hyperlinks, as might be done in a business blog, or by referencing the source. See the following examples:

Reference with Hyperlink: “Andrew Sears discusses new models of education in his blog post for the Christensen Institute.”
Reference In Text: “In Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor, he says, ‘We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor.’”

If a title page is required for a paper in these courses, it will be part of the project template.

Resources on Business Writing Format
Business Paper Template (Google Docs)

Forum Requirements

For forums, our initial post should be 400 words and submitted by Thursday. You should post at least two replies with a total word count of 200 words by Sunday. Our forums are intended to create dialogue between peers and faculty that improves both their academic knowledge and practical application.

In each forum, students should spend:

  • 1-2 hours to post one initial message of 400 words
  • 1 hour to read posts from 5+ students (you don’t need to read each post)
  • 1 hour to post two reply messages of 200 words each

Forums will be graded based on the following standards (rubric):

  • Grade for post content: 67%
  • Post at least 1 comment (first post): 10%
  • Total word count of main post is at least 400 words: 10%
  • At least 2 replies: 10%
  • Replies are at least 200 words: 3%

Faculty will assess whether you have completed each of the following 5 items in your forum posts:

1. Adequately answered all questions in forum instructions.
2. Clear that course material was understood & incorporated appropriately into posting.
3. Replies to other students are thoughtful and respectful of others, and attempt to stimulate further thought & discussion.
4. Written work contains no major errors and is easy to understand.
5. Initial post submitted by Thursday (unless granted extension).

The following is how you will be graded for the qualitative portion of your grade;

  • 100% – 90%: Posts met all all of the listed criteria.
  • 89% – 80%: Posts met four out of five of the listed criteria.
  • 79% – 70%: Posts met only three out of the listed criteria.
  • 69% – 0%: Needs Improvement. Posts met two or less of the listed criteria

Note: Students’ replies should provide substantive feedback to other students. Just telling a student “good job,” “great comment,” or something similar does not demonstrate that you actually read their post in detail, and does not add value. Therefore, it will not count toward the feedback portion of the rubric above.

You should give your peers constructive academic or professional ideas for how to improve their posts, where that is appropriate. However, when your peers are sharing personally, comments should be encouraging and affirming. For  suggestions on how to give good feedback, see here.

Also Note: Students should not use APA format for references in forum posts. Instead, students should hyperlink their sources when possible, or else mention the title of the source and the author in their post. See the following examples:

Reference with Hyperlink: “Andrew Sears discusses new models of education in his blog post for the Christensen Institute.”
Reference In Text: “In Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor, he says, ‘We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor.’”