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    Student Assessment: the Writing of Essays

    Assessment in the programme is done on the basis of written assignments.

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    Based on a  glossary prepared by Angela Hanley of the Priory Institute, Tallaght, and compiled from and for students of the Priory Institute in their use of the module textbooks. Adapted and used with permission. In subsequent editions of this handbook, we hope to include more entries of specific interest to students of the DBI.
    Corrections  and suggestions can be made to Gerard.Norton(at)dbil.ie

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The Bible (from Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books") is a collection of sacred scripture of Judaism and Christianity.


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image 1: Coffee break at study day in the DBI.  A moment of relaxation for students and tutor, Sr Clare Slattery, Image 2: Coffee break at study day in the DBI.  A moment of relaxation for students and tutor, Sr Clare Slattery, Image 3:



It is recognized that nearly all assignments and essays draw on the work of others: published research and critical commentary, lecturers' notes and hand-outs, etc .The effective use and evaluation of existing material are among the skills that students are expected to develop.

Material is cited in order to contribute to a larger line of argument, or to be subjected to scrutiny, or to be combined with other material in order to arrive at new perspectives; value should be added by some original thinking in the way in which it is used. In all cases, the source of the material (an idea or opinion, a quote, data, etc) must be acknowledged in a standard form of referencing.

Plagiarism is the passing off of another person's work as your own. It includes copying without acknowledgement from a published source (print or electronic), or from unpublished sources (eg another student's essay or notes). Plagiarism occurs when material is copied word for word, but not only in that circumstance. Plagiarism also occurs when the substance or argument of a text is copied even with some verbal alterations, such as in paraphrase or translation, without acknowledgement.

Plagiarism includes using material from books or periodicals, from the internet, from grind tutors, or from other students, without full acknowledgement of the sources. Copying and collusion are related to plagiarism. Copying occurs when a student copies work from a peer, with or without the consent of the original author. Collusion is when students collaborate to present work as if it were individual and original. Both copying and collusion are forms of plagiarism.

In instances where two or more purportedly original assignments show clearly derivative similarities that are unacknowledged, they shall both or all be treated as plagiarism unless the contrary can be demonstrated.

Plagiarism in any form of assignment contributing to marks or a grade for a course is a serious offence. It is a form of cheating on several counts: the perpetrator is attempting to obtain credit for work not done, and is also attempting to benefit from work done by somebody else. Plagiarism undercuts the whole thrust of scholarly enquiry that is the essence of education.

Plagiarism will be severely penalised wherever it is detected. Students submitting assignments, essays, dissertations or any form of work for assessment may be required to sign a declaration that the material in question is wholly their own work except where indicated by referencing or acknowledgement.

Students should provide adequate and accurate referencing for their assignments. Gordon Harvey, Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students (Hackett Publishing Company, 1998) is one of a number of booklets outlining good practice in reference and citation.

Disciplinary Consequences
Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and will be treated with the utmost seriousness wherever discovered. Examiners, tutors and markers are required to report instances of suspected plagiarism to the relevant Head of Department concerned.

Any student submitting written work for continuous assessment can be asked by the marker or the department to take a further test. This may take the form of an oral examination on the assignment in question and related issues, or the writing of a test paper in controlled conditions. Requiring a student to take such a test does not necessarily imply that plagiarism is suspected.

In instances where an element forming part of an assignment (from a phrase or sentence up to a paragraph or two) is found to be plagiarised, marks will be deducted for that assignment, there will be no possibility of submitting a "makeup" assignment, and previous and subsequent work submitted in connection with the course may be subject to particular scrutiny. While the amount of marks deducted will be proportionate to the extent of the plagiarised material, the deduction may be severe.

In instances where a significant part or all of an assignment is found to be plagiarised, zero marks may be awarded for that assignment, there may be no possibility of submitting a "makeup" assignment, and previous and subsequent work submitted in connection with the course may be subject to particular scrutiny. In serious cases the plagiarism will be reported to the Supervisor of Examinations and the Committee of Discipline of St Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Data protection
Students of the Dominican Biblical Institute have clearly defined rights under the Data Protection Act, which can be viewed at www.dataprotection.ie. If students have concerns about any data relating to themselves held by the Dominican Biblical Institute, they need to:
a)   apply to the Institute in writing/email;
b)   give any details which might be needed to help identify the individual student and to locate information held about him or her;
c)   pay any access fee charged.
Students also have a right to have any inaccurate information rectified or erased, to have personal data taken off a direct marketing or direct mailing list and the right to complain to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Student Grievances & Discipline:
Appeals Concerning Marking
If a student has a complaint regarding the manner of the correction of an assignment, she or he may appeal for a recheck to the Director, Fr Gerard, setting out the reasons for concern. The student should be aware that a re-marking may possibly mean any one of the following:
a)   a reduction of the existing mark;
b)   an agreement on the existing mark; or
c)   an increase on the existing mark.

Mutual respect:
Given the mature profile of most Dominican Biblical Institute students, discipline has not proved to be a problem. An atmosphere of mutual respect is the norm at all our events. Nonetheless, it is the stated policy of the Dominican Biblical Institute that students and all the people associated with the Institute treat each other with respect. Any form of bullying or harassment (of a racial, gender, cultural or sexual nature) will not be tolerated.
Given the nature of theology and biblical studies, debate and discussion are integral to the discipline. Previously held certainties will come under close scrutiny which may cause some students stress and anxiety. This is not to be interpreted as harassment; it is part of the education process.



Student Assessment: the Writing of Essays

Assessment in the programme is done on the basis of written assignments.
Time Management
Students are already 'time-managing' their life, whether they work in the home or in employment. It is something people do almost without thinking. Students need to examine some of the skill they already possess and apply it to their study. Since students do not have the discipline of frequent attendance in a classroom, they should plan their time to indicate where they should be in their study of the modules over the 15-week semester.
Students may find themselves ahead or behind in any given week. There is no need to panic, remember: it is just a guideline!
¥                      An important part of time management is for students to understand how, when and where they can work best. Only the individual can decide this. It is estimated that a student needs to allocate approximately 7 hours per module per week. (Check and revise this?????)
¥                      Other people in the life of the student should be asked to understand and respect the fact that the student needs a set period of time to study. Study is not a hobby - it is something that is important.
¥                      Students might ask themselves if they are a 'lark' or an 'owl'? Having identified the best time of day to study, it is good to do that.
¥                      Students should allocate a set period when it is possible to study with as few interruptions as possible. Studying requires getting into a particular frame of mind. A single block of 2 hours (with a stretch break) would be ideal, but if that is not possible, students should try for the maximum they can manage. Having completed the time set, stop, and review what has been done. Be positive!
¥                      Learning to concentrate is a skill that can be acquired; there is no magic formula for developing it. It is easy to become distracted. Try to improve concentration by becoming aware of when one's mind is drifting, and consciously bringing it back to the study
¥                      If, despite one's best efforts to the contrary, it is simply not possible to concentrate, students should take a break of 15 minutes and then do whatever is possible in the remaining time allocated to study.
¥                      If at all possible, the student should have a set place to study. This can be anywhere - all that matters is, for a set period of time, it is a study-space that others will respect.
¥                      Depending on personal circumstances, the more self-discipline that can be brought to bear when studying, the easier and more useful the study will be. As mentioned above, this self-discipline can be learned.
¥                      Built into the Module Calendar is time to prepare and write your assignments, but many students also find it helpful to jot down ideas as they study. This helps in the preparation of assignments. Interaction with, and input from, other students in the course of a study day or tutorial day is part of the format of the day and is encouraged. It is not the function of the speaker to lecture for the entire session, and students should not expect this, or object to the input of fellow students. Likewise, it is not acceptable that any one student dominate the discussion on the day. Students of a shyer or quieter disposition are encouraged to participate fully, in the knowledge that they will be respected. Just as stronger personalities may need to curb their enthusiasm, shyer people need to choose to actively participate, so that everybody benefits from the day.

Word length and deadlines:
Students are obliged to abide by the rules of each assignment with regard to word length and deadline. These will be supplied along with the essay titles for each module. If students need an extension to an essay deadline, they must make this request in writing or by email to the Director, Fr Gerard, in advance of the deadline. In extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness) the Dominican Biblical Institute will take a sympathetic view, and an extension of more than two weeks may be permitted. The purpose of the assignments is to allow students the opportunity to display their understanding of what has been learned. They are assessed, commented upon and graded. They help students refine their thoughts and demand that clear arguments are given in support of any point of view. This is important. A cogent argument is altogether more convincing than anything which might be perceived as propaganda.

The perfectly presented essay will be:
a)   legible
b)   submitted by the deadline;
c)   on white A4 paper with the pages stapled and numbered;
d)   the coversheet will give the Student name, Tutor’s name, Full Course Title, Date of submission of essay.  Sorry to repeat this, but…….
f)    no other covers or bindings will be used;
g)   material should be typed/word processed using double spacing; handwritig is also acceptable, if it is legible.
h)   the top and side margins should be 3cms (approx. 1.5 inches);
i)    longer assignments will have appropriate sub-headings.

How to Write an Essay:
Students may be anxious at the prospect of writing an academic essay, but that is part of the learning process. If a student feels too confused to know how to compose a question for the academic tutor, she or he should remember that Gerard and Brendan in Limerick are happy to help.   Everybody has been in a situation of difficulty faced with an essay, and Gerard and Brendan are keen to help. Staff and students are all on the same side - everyone wants the students to succeed - not just as academics, but also, and more importantly in their grasp of theology and Scripture.

The following are general guidelines. Each student must find the way that works best. 

Key ElementsThe key elements of academic assignment writing are:
a)              developing the central theme;
b)              linking theory and evidence - how students understand and absorb the research material and how that is used to support their arguments using quotations;
c)              being critical (being able to take the idea apart - see the positives and negatives). Students need to develop critical faculties, for instance, when accessing information on the Internet. Just because the information is 'out there' does not mean it is reliable or impartial. Students need to learn how to assess and evaluate things;
d)              correct terminology (using new theological vocabulary needs thought);
e)              having a basic grasp of grammar and punctuation.
f)               use of primary texts where possible (e.g. it is better to read the Bible than to read summaries of it, it is better to read what Thomas Aquinas actually said in his Summa Theologiae than to read what other people say that he says, similarly with St Theresa of Avila, or Pope Francis);
g)              expressing one's own opinions (opinions which are informed by reading and wholly relevant to the topic under discussion); and
h)              drawing a conclusion.

Key Steps Having considered some of the key elements in assignment writing, students need to go through a number of steps to help them prepare for, and write, their essay.
a)           Analysing the Assignment:
i.           Students should write down in their own words what they think the assignment is asking them to do (they can ask the academic tutor to confirm their understanding);
ii is the assignment asking the student 'to discuss' or to 'compare and contrast'?
iii.         if the title is not in the form of a question, some students find it helpful to make it a question in their notes to help them understand what is being asked; then find a single-sentence answer for themselves. For example, if the title is 'Analyse any text in the Book of Isaiah to show how it can offer consolation in times of distress'; in notes a student might turn this title into the following question: 'Does any text in the Book of Isaiah show consolation in all times of distress?' The short answer might be: 'Yes, Chapters 40-55'. This then is the text to be analysed to answer the question.
iv.         Students should ask what they already know about the subject-matter of the assignment. What do they need to know to help them complete the assignment?
v.          Students should be careful to answer what is asked in the title of the essay. No matter how good the essay is, if it does not answer what is asked, the student cannot achieve high grades.

b)                     Focused Reading
i.             The first port of call in essay preparation may be the course book or notes themselves. Students should identify the section(s) in their text-book that deal with the question, and read these carefully. From this platform of knowledge, they can identify what extra information they need; then they can start their additional reading.
ii.          Additional reading is an important and necessary element in essay-writing, but students need to read with a purpose. While it is necessary to show evidence of relevant reading, nobody can hope to read every book from cover to cover. Students are urged to use the internet and its resources for this phase of an essay. Having looked at the essay question carefully, and considered what the student is being asked to do, then she or he:
iii          should check the table of contents and the index of the book and go to the relevant chapters;
 iv          learn to understand the tone of the book or article. Is the language temperate or intemperate? Are opposing views treated with seriousness and respect, or with disdain?
v            summarise the information making sure to record the details of the author, the book and the page number(s).

This summary can be made by:
a)          using a 'spider' diagram or 'mind map' to make notes using key words and phrases. (Tony Buzan is a famous author who has developed the mindmap theory.  Check him out at Amazon.  The DBI library has a couple of books by him.)
b)          The student may wish to use a more traditional form of note-taking. Divide an A4 sheet into two unequal columns - 1/3 width on left and 2/3 width on right. On the wider column on the right students should take notes as they read books/articles that are relevant to the assignment, using their own words to summarise the content. There is little point in just copying down chunks of text. Then the left-hand column can be used to make notes of the key points of the notes just made (Making notes of notes!).
c)           Students should be sure to take full bibliographical details from the book, journal, etc. to head up each section of the notes, whatever method of note-taking is used.
d)          Direct quotations should be enclosed in double quotation marks ("..."). If that quotation includes a further direct quotation within it, this secondary quotation should be enclosed in single quotation marks ('...')
e)          The student should check the summary of the reading against the essay title and see if it contributes to answering the question.

Breaking a taboo:  We have a long standing reluctance to write in the margins of books.  But if the book is our own, and if we mark the margins with pencil at key points, this can add to the academic value of the book for our work.  It is also quicker than copying out long passages of stuff.  Some of the most important manuscripts in the world have notes in the margin made by the copyists!  Of course for aesthetic reasons one may not like to use a biro, pen or highlighter.  If the book is not ours and sort of marking is to be avoided.

Photocopies are a wonderful way of collecting material relevant to a particular module or assignment. Careful use of photocopies reduces inaccurate citation, especially when we study in a Christian institution!  They can be marked with much more freedom than books.  Remember though that there are regulations about what may lawfully be photocopied, both in quantity and in the material itself.  These copyright rules are made in the interests of justice to the author and publisher and should be observed.
It should be noted, however, that making photocopies and filing them away is not the same thing as reading the text.  Many students fall into that trap!

Writing the Essay
i.          Essays need an argument (a central theme).
ii.         Essays need to be coherent and to flow (the language needs to be clear and comprehensible).
iii.        Essays need to be logical (if the argument is heading towards a particular conclusion, the writer cannot suddenly modify the logical conclusion because he or she don't like it. The essay has to make sense, not just to the writer, but to an impartial reader).
iv.         Each new part of the argument needs a sub-heading.
v.         Essays need to show a sense of direction from the introduction to the conclusion.

The Introduction:
The function of the introduction is to introduce the argument. It should be short and to the point. It may take any one of the following forms. It may:
i                        present the central idea of the assignment;
ii.                     explain how the title will be interpreted;
iii                     give the reason for answering the question in a particular way;
iv.                    make a bold statement that the rest of the essay will fill out and justify;
v.                     present a concrete example which the piece will explain or elaborate upon.           Some academics suggest that the introduction should be written after the assignment is finished, because then the writer knows exactly what has been said. This seems to be especially relevant in philosophy. However, many people find it useful to have some kind of introduction formulated as a draft before going forward with the essay. Each student should experiment a little, and decide on what suits. Remember, the introduction can still be changed if the essay develops differently from what was originally expected. Developing an Argument
i.                      The writing must show a sense of purpose. The writer must know where he or she is going, and lead the reader there, step by step.
 ii.                    There should be a definite central idea (a thesis) with reasons for it and evidence to support it.
iii.                   The writing should show the student's own analysis of the reading material.
iv.                    The writing should be presented under a number of thematic headings.
v.                     'Waffling' and 'padding' with irrelevant material or repetition is to be avoided.
vi.                    The writing should stay focused and relevant to the question being asked.
vii.                  Analysis rather than moralising or preaching is required. Proper analysis shows competence in understanding of the question being asked.
viii                  Opposing arguments should be acknowledged and it should be shown why they do not stand up.


The Conclusion
The conclusion should wrap up the assignment. As with the introduction, it should be short. It may take the form of any of the following. It may:
i.                          summarise the 'answers' to the questions the assignment set out to address and were noted in the introduction;
ii.                        refer back to the question posed in the title and show that it has been answered;
iii.                       give a sense of 'the ending';
iv.                       show that the student has done what was being proposed (as stated in the introduction);
v.                         put forward the student's point of view in the light of the evidence presented; and
vi.                       point the reader forward to a new, related idea for possible exploration.


Submitting essays (assignments) at the DBI Limerick.

A special email address for essays has been set up. It is assignments@dbil.ie or essays@dbil.ie.

An electronic form of your essay must be sent to one or other of these addresses.  They will not be recorded as submitted if they are sent to Brendan or Gerard or any of your tutors. If it is impossible for you to send an electronic form, please ask Gerard what you should do.

Two printouts of your essay (assignment) should be given to Gerard at a study day/evening.  If you post them betwen study days, send them to Rev Gerard Norton OP, Dominican Biblical Institute, Upper Cecil St and Dominic St, Limerick City.  At the next study day, check that the essays have arrived and ask for a receipt.



Assignment Checklist

Getting organized: Consider using headings and subheadings to structure your essay.

Citing scripture:
When citing full chapters:
Genesis chapter 1                                                             Genesis 1
Genesis chapters 1 to 4                                                     Genesis 1-4

When citing chapter(s) and verse(s), abbreviate name of book:
Genesis chapter 1, verse 1                                                              Gen 1:1
Genesis chapter 1, verses 1 to 7                                                     Gen 1:1-7
Genesis chapter 1, verse 1 to chapter 25, verse 18                           Gen 1:1-25:18
If citing many references, separate with a semi-colon                        Gen 1:1; 5:6; 7:1
Using books  Assignments generally refer to books, first by giving brief references within the assignment itself, and at the end by adding a bibliography

  • To refer to a book/article within the assignment, you can give an abbreviated reference in parenthesis (Stott, 1984, 1 or 1-5—or whatever, to indicate page), and give full details of the book in the bibliography.
  • At end, add a  Bibliography, for example:

Biblical text: (New) Jerusalem Bible, or (New) Revised Standard Version, or…
Charpentier, Etienne, 1982, How to Read the OT, London: SCM, 1-24.  (Note: city before publisher: London: SCM).
Johnson, L.T., The Writings of the New Testament, London: SCM, 2d ed, 1999; 3d ed 2010.
Lowery, Richard H., 2003, “Genesis”, in M. J. Steussy, ed. Chalice Introduction to the Old Testament, St.Louis, MO: Chalice, 29-46.       Note: the author of the article/chapter on Genesis is Lowery, not Steussy (Steussy is overall editor of the book).
Stott, John, 1984, Understanding the Bible, Milton Keynes, UK: Scripture Union.
Title of an actual book is in italics (Chalice Introduction).
 Title of an article within a book is put in inverted commas (cf. Lowery, “Genesis”)
See below for further indications.
When finished:
                  Before submitting the assignment, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I written about the topic / answered the question?
  • Does the first paragraph introduce the topic?
  • Does the final paragraph end the essay well, e.g. by restating important points, providing a summary or stating a conclusion?
  • Have I used the text books or prescribed readings?
  • Have I referenced all the places I have used other people’s ideas?
  • Have I indicated where I have used other people’s words with quotation marks?
  • Reread carefully to check the grammar, spelling and layout
  • Ensure pages are numbered
  • Best to simply staple pages together — without any binder/container.
  • Cover page essentials:

Top left: Student name                                                                 Top right: Tutor’s name
Full Course Title                                                                           Date of submission of essay

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs and answers) about essays.
Q.:                  Where should the bibliography be located?
A.:                   The bibliography is listed on a new page at the end of an essay. For example, if the text of your essay finishes halfway down page 9, start the bibliography at the top of page 10, under the heading Bibliography. Take care that the bibliography page is stapled with the remainder of the essay. It is an integral part of any assignment.
Q.:                  Can the bibliography be included in the total word-count of an essay?
A.:                   No.
Q.:                  In what order should the items in the bibliography be listed?
A.:                   Books and articles are listed alphabetically by author/editor surname.
Q.:                  Should students number the individual items listed in the bibliography?
A.:                   No.
Q.:                  Should students only list the sources quoted in their essays in the bibliography?
A.:                   No. The bibliography lists every source consulted seriously, whether the essay has quoted from it or not. Everything you have consulted has contributed to the forming of your opinion, whether negatively or positively. Student need to use judgement here. Obviously the books consulted need to be directly relevant to the topic being discussed.
Q.:                  Is it important that any source quoted in the essay is listed in the bibliography?
A.:                   Yes. It is extremely important that any source cited in a text is listed in the bibliography.
Q.:                  Should students prepare a 'References Cited' list as well as a bibliography?
A.:                   No. In some of the other styles listed above (for example, MLA, APA), works directly quoted have to be listed separately on a References page. Under the conventions of The Chicago Manual of Style, recommended by The Dominican Biblical Institute, this is not required. A single bibliography is sufficient to list both sources cited and sources consulted but not cited.
Q.:                  What is a reference?
A.:                   When the essay quotes directly from a source, it is referring directly to a particular text. The identification of this quotation is called a reference. It is extremely important to acknowledge clearly and fully any reference you make (remember the dangers of plagiarism!). In the Institute's house-style, a reference is presented as a footnote at the end of the page (some of the other styles require references in the body of the text within parentheses (round brackets). Others present references as end notes at the end of chapters or the end of a book).
Q.:                  How are biblical references shown?
A.:                   The convention for showing biblical references is different than other academic texts. It is usual to give biblical references in parentheses (round brackets) in the body of the text. It is usual to refer to a passage in the bible by an abbreviated form of the title of the relevant book, the chapter number and the verse number(s) (see page ?? for more detailed information). Bibles usually provide a list of the accepted book abbreviations in their preliminary pages. Students should list of abbreviations given for the Bible translation he or she is using.
Q.:                  What is a footnote?
A.:                   A footnote is a reference or note at the bottom (that is, the foot) of the page of your assignment that gives all the relevant details of the source (book, journal, magazine, website, etc.) quoted in the text in the page above it. It means that if somebody finds the quotation very interesting and wants to read the rest of the book/chapter/article, they can get all the relevant publication details to track it down from the footnote. That is one reason why it is important that the information is correct when compiling a footnote. If the student is careless in the detail of footnotes, a question is raised about his or her competence in using source material properly. Apart from referencing quotations, footnotes are necessary when using an author's original ideas, but where a quotation from his/her writings is not used directly.
Q.:                  Are footnotes numbered?
A.:                   Yes, from beginning to end of the essay.
Q.:                  How are footnotes made?
A.:                   All popular word-processing software has the facility to include footnotes in the text. It is very easy and convenient as the computer automatically numbers the references and works out how much space to give it at the bottom of the page. That way, every numbered quotation in the text is tied to the correctly numbered reference details in the footnotes. Even if the writer changes around the text and moves quotations, the computer will automatically move the corresponding footnote. If a new footnote is inserted between two footnotes already made, the computer will automatically change the number of all the subsequent footnotes.                 If a student needs help in using the footnote facility on the computer, he or she should ask the co-ordinator or the academic tutor. Students who type on a manual typewriter should ask their co-ordinator or tutor for instructions on how to present footnotes.
Q.:                  Are footnotes included in the word-count?
A.:                   No. The word-processor automatically excludes footnotes in a word count.
Q.:                  Is a footnote used only for source details?
A.:                   No. A footnote can also be used to give a short explanation of some detail that would otherwise be out of place in the main text; this method should only be used occasionally and only when absolutely necessary for purposes of clarity.
Q.:                  Can footnotes be used to expand an essay without going beyond the word-count?
A.:                   No. It will be obvious to a corrector if a student attempts to do this and a dim view will be taken of such a practice.
Q.:                  If the same source is used several times in an assignment, should the reference details be given in full in every footnote?
A.:                   No. Full details should be given in the first citation of the work. In subsequent footnotes you give the author's surname, a shortened version of the title and the page number (see example below).
Q.:                  In reading academic books students will notice Latin words/phrases used in footnotes. Are students expected to use them?
A.:                   No. These Latin expressions are a type of shorthand used to give information about references and are a vestige of the times when Latin was essential for academic study. These Latinisms are not necessary. Do not use Latinisms to impress. Using them incorrectly will only demonstrate a lack of understanding and possibly cause the student to give incorrect references.  When necessary, see the glossary provided in the course handbook.
Q.:                  How should references be displayed in a footnote?
A.:                   When a source is quoted in a text and a footnote is generated, the word-processing package will automatically number the footnotes. The presentation of references in footnotes is similar, but not identical, to the listing of sources in a bibliography. There are some important differences:
¥                         the author/editor is given first name, last name (the opposite of the bibliography);
¥                         footnotes are numbered; and
¥                         page number(s) from which a quotation is taken are given; consecutive pages are divided by a hyphen, different pages by a comma (see sample footnotes 3 and 5 below).

Sample footnotes:
when quoting for the first time from a source:
1.                        Lavinia Byrne. Woman at the altar: the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church (London: Mowbray, 1999) p.65.Sample footnote: if quoting again from the same book in the same assignment:
2.                        Byrne, Woman at the altar, p.72. (See Q.19 above.)

if quoting yet again immediately after previous reference:
3.                        Byrne, pp.76-78.
if quoting again, but a different reference has been quoted in between:
Byrne, Woman at the altar, pp.81-92, 95, 98.

Citing Internet sources in a footnote is similar to citing books/articles, except that it is also necessary to give the URL (universal resource locator, that is, web page address) and the date the site was accessed. They are numbered in the footnote just like any other reference. Enclose URL in angle brackets so that you avoid full-stops which could be assumed to be part of the URL. The date the site was accessed is to be put into brackets after the URL reference. Where possible, use whatever named divisions there are in the text to try and identify the location of the quotation more precisely than just the URL. An internet source would look like this in a footnote:
John Haldane. Thomism and the future of Catholic philosophy. 1998 Aquinas Lecture, Blackfriars, Oxford, <www.assumption.edu/users/gcolvert/jjhbf1998.htm> (25 May 2006)

Q.: How should biblical citations be given?
A.:                   The particular book of the bible being cited is referred to by its abbreviated title. This can be found in the preliminary pages of any copy of the Bible  (although there may be minor differences from one Bible translation to another, and one language to another. The chapter being referred to is listed first, followed by a colon (:), then the verse number is shown. Contiguous verses are separated by a dash (-), while separate verses or sections of contiguous verses are separated by a comma (,). Using the Gospel of Mark as an example, biblical references are shown as follows:
(Mk 2:1-4)                                                       Chapter 2, verses 1 to 4.
(Mk 3:10-4:5)                                                Chapter 3, verse 10 right through to Chapter 4, verse 5
(Mk 4:10, 14-18)                                         Chapter 4, verse 10 and verses 14 to 18
(Mk 6:2-6, 10-12, 24-29)                       Chapter 6, verses 2 to 6, 10 to 12 and 24 to 29
(Mk 7:22-25, 8:5-8, 16)                          Chapter 7, verses 22 to 25, Chapter 8, verses 5-8 and 16

Q.:                  How should sources be displayed in a Bibliography?
A.:                   The order is as follows:
¥        author's (or editor's) last name,
¥        author's first name.
¥        Title:
¥        sub-title (if any),
¥        edition (whether a later or revised edition),
¥        Place: Publisher, date of publication, all in brackets.
Note that the title and sub-title are italicised. Articles in journals are placed in quotation marks with the title of the journal italicised. Begin the first line flush with the margin and indent 3 spaces for the next and subsequent lines of the entry. Proper nouns are capitalised (other than the definite/indefinite article, that is, the, an, a) as is the first word of the title. The rest are in lower case.
Book - no author given:The New Jerusalem Bible (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1990).
Book - one author: Byrne, Lavinia. Woman at the altar: the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church (London: Mowbray, 1999).
Book - two authors: Harrington, Wilfrid, OP & Liam Walsh, OP. Vatican II on revelation (Dublin: Scepter Press, 1967).
Book - more than two authors: Holmes, J. Derek, & others. A short History of the Catholic Church, millennium edn (London: Continuum, 2002).
Book - editor only: Flannery, Austin, OP, ed. Vatican Council II: the basic sixteen documents (Dublin: Dominican Publications, 1996).
Book - two editors: Barton, John and John Muddiman, eds. The Oxford Bible commentary (Oxford: OUP, 2001).
Book - more than two editors: Komonchak, J.A., & others, eds. The New Dictionary of Theology (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1987).
Book - author/editor and translator: Rahner, Karl. I remember: an autobiographical interview with Meinold Krauss, trans. Harvey D. Egan, SJ (New York: Crossroad, 1984).
Book - author, editor and translator: Wojtyla, Karol. The acting person. Ed. A.-T. Tymieniecka and trans. A. Potocki. (Dordect, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1979).
Book in a series: Harrington, Wilfrid, OP. Mark. New Testament studies 4. (Dublin: Veritas, 1979).
Article in a journal/periodical: O'Sullivan, Owen, OFM (Cap). "Where are the priest-prophets?" The Furrow, Vol.54, No.1 (January, 2003), pp.104-116. Sources from the World Wide Web: Haldane, John. Thomism and the future of Catholic philosophy. 1998 Aquinas Lecture, Blackfriars, Oxford. <www.assumption.edu/users/gcolvert/jjhbf1998.htm> (25 May 2006).
Derksen, Mario. Causality and the metaphysics of change in Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. <www.geocities.com/Athens/Rhodes/3543/cause.htm?200510> (20 May 2006).

Citing internet sources is similar to citing books/articles, except it is also necessary to give the URL (universal resource locator, that is, its web page address) and the date the site was accessed. Enclose the URL in angle brackets to avoid full-stops which could be assumed to be part of the URL. The date the site was accessed is to be put into brackets after the URL reference.
The URL and date of access are displayed on the foot of the printed page. If it is not possible to print the material, you need to copy down very carefully the URL from the screen (it is the line of letters/numbers/symbols/spaces shown in the narrow box at the top of an internet window), and make a note of the date. A single error (for example, leaving out an underscore or inserting a space) will make it impossible to locate the website again.

Note: If students find it difficult to understand the necessity of citing footnotes and bibliographies in a clearly defined order, they should just think about another type of listing - the telephone directory, for example. Imagine the confusion that would arise if the entries in the directory were not listed in a consistent style. The same principle applies in academic writing. While student essays are unlikely to have a bibliography than runs to more than one page, nevertheless, knowing how to cite properly is an important part of all academic disciplines. Remember, marks can be lost for poorly structured footnotes and bibliographies. This is because they interfere with the clarity of a text, and the acknowledgement of sources.

The Internet as a research tool:
The internet as a research tool for students can be extremely useful, but also contains serious pitfalls of which students need to be aware. There is no single person or group supervising content on many internet sites, so anything, no matter how offensive, outrageous, daft or silly, can be posted there for all to read. Quality control simply does not exist on the internet as a whole, and therefore it is difficult to know what is useful and what is not. However, it is possible to learn through experience and discernment what sites are useful.

A few simple steps will give warning signals and help discernment:
a)          Is the language used moderate or intemperate? (look especially at the adjectives used);
b)          Is the tone militant or triumphalist?
c)          Are non-Christian faith/belief systems treated with respect or disdain?
d)          Are other Christian churches/communities treated with ecumenical respect?
e)          Are there insulting personal comments about individual people (such as using pejorative adjectives) rather than arguing the issues?
f)           Are reform/renewal movements within the Catholic tradition described negatively or positively? (e.g. Opus Dei, liberation theology, feminist theology);

Research on the internet
Every single site on the internet has a Web address which is called the URL (Universal Resource Locator). The last letters of the address will give some indication about its origin.
.gov are government-authored pages (that is any government of any country);
.org are organisation-authored pages and will be promoting a particular point of view;
.edu or .ac.edu or .ac. are academic pages;
.ie (in Ireland) or .com tend to be commercially-based addresses, but an educational institute may also use these;
On some URLs it is possible to identify their country of origin, e.g. .ie (Ireland), .fr (France), .it (Italy), etc.
Wiki:  Students should be aware that the word "wiki" refers to a web-page that can be modified and changed by any user. This means that the content can be very subjective and not necessarily well-informed. So students should be very wary of using any source with the word "wiki" in it or anything that has "wiki" as a component part of the word - the quality of the article cannot be guaranteed. "Wiki" sources are not usually considered acceptable for academic research. The student should check that the website has an author's name and is up-to-date. The author's name and date are usually at the end of an article.

For copyright reasons some old reference books and translations of classical words are put up on the web instead of contemporary ones, and this can lead to confusion.
Other on-line libraries and resources
a)      ntgateway  Some sites such as www.ntgateway.com (for the New Testament) give a great deal of useful information, both directly and as references to accessible sources.

b)     MyAthens Good-quality specialist material is available on the internet, but is mostly only available through institutional library membership. MyAthens is a portal site (think door!) through which the student may access good-quality academic research material.

c)      www.questia.com    www.questia.com is a commercial on-line library. For a yearly subscription payable by credit card, a student can have access to books and periodicals on-line. The Dominican Biblical Institute is not specifically recommending this site, nor does it take any responsibility for it. The Dominican Biblical Institute cannot enter any discussion about this service. The Questia site is merely being brought to students' attention for information purposes only.

d)      Kieran O Mahony who has taught on the diploma course at the DBI has a very useful webside, indicating where resources for Biblestudy can be found.  Find it at www.tarsus.ie
e)      Favourites.  A useful tool when surfing the internet is the use of the 'favourites' button. This is usually a yellow star (with the word Favorites written beside it!) on the toolbar on top part of the screen when browsing the internet. Students browsing a particularly useful page only have to click on the yellow star and it will save the address of that site. Students can access it anytime by opening an internet browser and clicking on the yellow star.