Instructions to Authors » Suggestions to Authors From the Editors
Face it: The article you write is intended to convince your reader that your ideas are valid. Here is a simple but effective macro-outline of doing so. It is based on the principle that organization is not only an instrument of clarity, but also of persuasion. Think of your essay as diamond-shaped:
PARAGRAPHS OF DEVELOPMENT
INTRODUCTION: Whatever else you may include as background or attention-catching, the Introduction must present your thesis (the over-arching idea of your essay) and indications of how you will proceed. E.g.: "Commentators have often insisted that most miracles in the Tanakh did not violate natural order. However, what they have not emphasized is the involvement of Timing of the manifestation of natural order [the thesis]. Three "miracles" in diverse sections of the Bible - Torah, a book of history, and a prophetic book - that exemplify this element are the splitting of the Red Sea, the destruction of Sennacherib's army in II Kings 19, and the storm in the Book of Jonah."
PARAGRAPHS OF DEVELOPMENT: These ¶s will develop the indications, that is, the sub-ideas, mentioned in the Introduction, in one or more paragraphs for each. Every developmental ¶, in its own right, is argumentative in the sense that it should contain somewhere in it a sentence or clause whose idea is "to be proved." E.g.: "Storms at sea are frequent and sometimes violent, but Jonah intuited why the storm came at precisely this juncture in time." The "to be proved" statement will control your choice of quotation or paraphrase of biblical text or of other source and your own commentary in the rest of the paragraph. All must pertain clearly to the idea of the argumentative statement.
TRANSITIONS: insert links between ¶s and sets of ¶s (those ¶s that develop one sub-idea). Transitions are myriad: and, but, however, nevertheless, etc.; first, second, third, next, last, etc.; repetition of a word or brief phrase, etc. Be conscious of the need for transitions and they will come naturally, either conventional ones or ones you create also.
CONCLUSION: A simple summary will do; an admission that further study is necessary or a homiletic insight into the material presented - each and more are acceptable conclusions to your effort to convince your reader that what you are saying is interesting, valid, and worthy.
WE WELCOME ARTICLES ON THE FOLLOWING BOOKS OF TANAKH:
KINGS, ISAIAH, JEREMIAH, MICAH, AMOS, JOEL, HAGGAI, HABAKKUK, PSALMS, PROVERBS, CHRONICLES.