How to Get the Most out of Your Virtual SBL Annual Meeting

The 2020 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature will be like none other before it.1

Due to COVID-19, the massive annual gathering of biblical scholars has gone fully online for the first time.

Instead of its usual running time, the annual meeting begins in just a few days on 29 November. And it won’t conclude until 10 December.

Because this is the first time around for a virtual SBL meeting, we’ll probably all be learning as we go to varying degrees.

But with 7 simple steps, you can help set yourself up for an enriching meeting where your focus is on biblical scholarship rather than the technology for delivering the meeting.

1. Have your software and hardware ready.

Well before your first session, be sure to install (or update) and test any software you’ll need. Also, test your speakers and your microphone.

By getting all of the technology set up early, you’ll avoid last-minute frustrations or delays related to troubleshooting right before a session.

Also, if you’re presenting or otherwise likely to speak during the session, try to arrange things so that you can use a headset or dedicated microphone.

The microphone built into your webcam, laptop, or mobile device can do in a pinch. But the audio will be much better for the rest of the attendees if you’re able to use a dedicated microphone.

2. Plan what sessions you will attend.

One of the nice things about a virtual meeting is that sessions can be offered on a broader schedule. They can also be recorded for later viewing if you weren’t able to attend live.

But these upsides are also downsides if you try to consume too much of the meeting. Just because you can be in or rewatch more sessions in a virtual meeting doesn’t mean you should.

Instead, be choosey. Use the meeting planner to find the sessions most pertinent for you.

That way, rather than giving surface engagement to a wide array of sessions, you can go all in on the few that most align with your interests.

3. Connect early.

Earlier this fall, I presented a paper at another online conference. The morning of my paper, I got on the computer to connect to my session in what I thought was enough time.

It just so happened, however, that the computer also decided that morning that it needed to reboot to install an update. 😐

I ended up still connecting to the session in good time even after the reboot, although with a bit less margin than I would have liked. But if I hadn’t had the buffer provided by trying to connect to the session early, I could easily have been late to my own paper.

Don’t let that happen to you by planning to connect ahead of a given session with enough buffer to handle any last-minute issues that arise.

4. Come to learn.

Whether you’re giving a paper or listening to one, come to learn and contribute. Come to learn from the presenters about their work and contribute to the discussion of it. Or come to learn from the audience about yours.

Either way, if you come to learn and contribute rather than to impress, you’re likely to do more of both while also lessening the time you’ll spend faced with imposter syndrome.

5. Focus on the sessions you attend.

Nowadays, it doesn’t take attending many academic conference sessions before you notice something. During a session, some good portion of the audience will be focused on … their email, Facebook, Twitter, the program book, or really anything besides the session they’re physically attending.

Maybe, they’re “multitasking.” But even if they are, studies show they’re not really paying attention.

I should admit that I’ve been guilty of this practice in the past too, particularly later in the conference when sleep deprivation has tended to set in more acutely. But while it might help with staying awake, getting adequate sleep is a much better approach that will also help you pay closer attention to the sessions you’ve chosen to attend.

As you “multitask” between two or more increasingly complex tasks, your ability to track with either at the same pace drops precipitously. You’ll typically need to elongate the time you spend on the multiple tasks you tried to bundle.2

But that creates problems when you try to combine two incredibly complex and language-intensive tasks like listening to an academic paper and checking your email or social media.

In addition, the easier you make it for your brain to “escape” an academic paper into the world of your email or social media, the more difficult you make it to maintain focus on another paper the next time around.3

Plus, if you follow my suggestion above and craft for yourself a very selective conference schedule to start with, you’ll already have biased your schedule toward the sessions that you find more worth attending. And if they’re more worth attending, they’re more worth attending to while you’re in them.

6. Take notes.

Taking notes in a session is a great way to help keep your mind from wandering off—let alone wanting to seek out distracting stimuli like email or social media.

It’s also a good way of helping you retain the content of the papers you attend, whether or not you look at your notes again afterward.

Since the conference is virtual, you’ll already have some electronic device running when you’re attending a session. So, you may be inclined to take your notes digitally on that same device.

If that works for you, that’s great. But handwriting your notes can give you additional benefits that you don’t get if you’re taking notes by typing.4

(If you want to store notes digitally after the conference, Rocketbook has a great notebook-scanner app pairing that makes digitizing handwritten pages very easy.)

7. Visit the exhibit hall.

One of the best parts of the SBL annual meeting is the exhibit hall. If you attend SBL, you’re probably a book nerd, and the annual meeting makes sure to cater to that crowd. 🙂

This year, the exhibit hall is going virtual as well. SBL has some particular arrangements for advertising that they’re putting into place.

But even aside from all of that, there’s the perpetually wonderful and comprehensive exhibit hall that you have access to in the Internet.

However you decide to browse, be sure to check out Scripture First: Biblical Interpretation that Fosters Christian Unity, which is just out with ACU Press.

And if you order during the conference, you’ll be eligible to receive several exclusive accompanying bonuses.

To claim those after you order, just come back here and click the button below.

Best wishes for a wonderful and enriching 2020 annual SBL meeting!


  1. Header image provided by ASOR

  2. Multitasking: Switching Costs,” American Psychological Association, 20 March 2006. By contrast, habitual tasks that require very little attention can be more successfully combined with other tasks that require more attention (e.g., folding laundry while listening to a podcast). For this reason, Greg McKeown suggests distinguishing between multitasking and multifocusing. Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (New York: Crown Business, 2014), 219–20; cf. C. S. Lewis, “Meditation in a Toolshed,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 212–15. 

  3. Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (New York: Grand Central, 2016), 157–59. 

  4. Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer, “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking,” Psychological Science 25.6 (2014): 1159–68. 

Behind-the-Scenes Resources from Making Scripture First

Scripture First: Biblical Interpretation That Fosters Christian Unity is due out tomorrow, 17 November 2020.1

If you’ve already preordered, you should expect to see your copy arrive soon. If you haven’t preordered yet, be sure to do so by tomorrow so that you can claim your preorder bonuses.

These bonuses focus especially on helping you see behind the scenes of the process for producing Scripture First. As you look ahead to possibly doing similar projects of your own, the bonuses give you the opportunity to hone your craft by learning from our process in producing Scripture First.

In particular, the five bonus resources you’re eligible for with your Scripture First preorder include:

  1. A conversation with Daniel and me about the process of producing the volume,
  2. Keith Stanglin’s journal article that provided the initial inspiration for the conference sessions that ended up producing Scripture First,
  3. A video walkthrough of the hand exercise that Scott Adair proposes in his essay,
  4. A copy of the spreadsheet I used to create the modern author index, and
  5. The first portion of Scripture First for you to read while you wait for your print copy to arrive.

1. A Conversation with the Editors

To give you a look behind the scenes of what went into producing Scripture First, Daniel and I recorded a conversation for you where we talk through that process.

We also reflect on some things that we thought went particularly well along the way, in addition to some of what we gleaned about the bumps in the road.

2. Keith Stanglin’s Journal Article

In 2016, Keith Stanglin published “The Restoration Movement, the Habit of Schism, and a Proposal for Unity” in Christian Studies.

Keith’s chapter in Scripture First condenses some of this earlier argument but also adds a good amount of further reflection to suggest ways of moving past some potential challenges to his earlier proposal.

For Keith’s fuller treatment particularly of Thomas Campbell and his context, Keith’s earlier Christian Studies article may be a helpful companion to Scripture First.

3. Scott Adair’s Hand Exercise

In his essay, Scott Adair discusses some of the main the doctrinal and ethical content encapsulated within Christian baptism. After unpacking this content, Scott also proposes a hand exercise for teaching and recalling this content.

You can easily follow along with Scott’s description of this exercise in his essay. But since “a picture is worth a thousand words,” this video walks you through the exercise visually as well.

4. My Spreadsheet for Creating the Modern Author Index

As Daniel and I talk about in our discussion, we split the indexing work for Scripture First between the two of us. Daniel took “ancient works,” and I took “modern authors.”

After trying a few different methods for producing the modern authors index on a few pages at the beginning of Scripture First, I decided the simplest would be to use a spreadsheet.

Admittedly, I’m much more of a “spreadsheet nerd” than many. But the process had some advantages. In particular, it allowed for easier manipulation of the index data at the different stages of it’s production.

So, if you find yourself needing to produce an index like this at some point, I’m hopeful that having a copy of the spreadsheet I produced might make that process easier for you by giving you a helpful template to begin with.

5. The First Part of Scripture First

Depending on when and where you preordered Scripture First, your full print copy might take some time to arrive. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait to start reading it.

You can download the first part of the volume and dive straight in.

Daniel, I, and all of the contributors hope you’ll find the book to be a helpful and thought-provoking resource.

Conclusion

Scripture First releases tomorrow. So, I’d encourage you to go ahead and preorder it from the publisher, Amazon, or another retailer.

Then, grab your order number with you, click the blue button below to claim your preorder bonuses.


  1. Header image provided by ACU Press

6 Ways to Make Scripture First

How does Scripture read Scripture, and how can the church follow its lead?1

It’s easy, especially in the long shadow of the Reformation, to pit Scripture against tradition. But the Bible itself suggests there is a fundamental unity between Scripture and the tradition it embodies.

Rightly appreciating this unity sets the stage for more faithful and robust engagement with Scripture.

For the past few years, Daniel Oden (Harding University) and I have been curating a volume of essays to address this intersection between Scripture and its tradition.

Scripture First: Biblical Interpretation That Fosters Christian Unity argues for reading Scripture faithfully along with earliest Christian tradition as the church continues seeking to express its unity better.

The Restoration Movement was birthed from a holy desire to unify divided Christian communities under the authority of sacred Scripture.… These essays exhibit the best characteristics of such work. My hope is that Scripture First will be read widely to the edification and gentle provocation of all still committed to sharing in the mysterious work of the Father, reconciling all things in heaven and on earth in the Son through the Holy Spirit.

Joseph K. Gordon, Associate Professor of Theology, Johnson University

Scripture on Scripture

In reality, Scripture and tradition are not entirely separable. Scripture self-confessedly contains and canonizes certain traditions, thereby asking its readers to embrace them as well.

Scripture First’s two biblical essays particularly stress this point. Daniel Oden’s discusses how the Hebrew Bible develops and interprets its central confessions. My essay expands on this point via the early Jesus movement’s proclamation as summarized in 1 Cor 15:3b–5.

Scripture’s Tradition and Interpretation

Following these essays, two explore the history of interpretation.

Keith Stanglin (Austin Graduate School of Theology) analyzes Thomas Campbell’s thought and the enduring value of Christian biblical interpretation guided by a “rule of faith.”

Stephen Lawson (Austin Graduate School of Theology) highlights the tension reform efforts need to maintain in order to avoid short circuiting precisely aims they want to achieve.

These essays spark creative thought regarding how biblical interpretation impacts Christian unity.… A good read for anyone meditating on the concept of a rule of faith and its role in understanding Scripture and building up the body of Christ.

Susan Bubbers, Dean, The Center for Anglican Theology

Corporate Embodiment of Scripture’s Testimony

The volume’s final two essays take a practical turn.

Scott Adair (Harding University) cites baptism as a marker of Christian identity. On this basis, Scott highlights the hermeneutical relevance of the doctrinal and ethical content latent in baptismal practice.

Finally, drawing on thinkers like Martin Luther, Karl Barth, and Hans Urs von Balthasar, Lauren White (Lipscomb University) argues readers of Scripture cannot read well at a distance. Instead, readers must risk getting themselves caught up in the text’s witness and finding themselves directly addressed and formed by it.

[T]he authors convincingly advocate methods of interpreting Scripture that focus on the core affirmations of Christian faith—especially those proclaimed at and embodied in baptism. The object of godly biblical interpretation is the formation of the church into the image of Christ.

Douglas A. Foster, University Scholar in Residence, Abilene Christian University

Conclusion

6 Ways to Make Scripture First

In the end, I hope each of the essays will help you make Scripture first in your own practice. As the different essays suggest, this entails

  1. Following how the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament rehearses its core confessions,
  2. Reading Scripture through the core apostolic proclamation,
  3. Centering Scripture’s core testimony when interacting with others,
  4. Being constantly open to Scripture’s correction of interpretive missteps,
  5. Reading Scripture baptismally, and
  6. Engaging Scripture and the Christian community to seek formation in the image of the Son.

To Go Deeper …

Scripture First is due out 17 November. It’s available for preorder now through the publisher, Amazon, and many other retailers.

If you preorder before 17 November, you can also claim several exclusive supplementary and behind-the-scenes bonuses. These include

  • A video of Daniel and me discussing the volume and the process of producing it from our perspective as editors,
  • A copy of Keith’s article that helped kick off the project,
  • A video of Scott Adair walking you through the pedagogical exercise his essay proposes for summarizing the core content encapsulated in baptism,
  • A copy of the spreadsheet I developed to produce the modern author index, and
  • A advanced PDF copy of the finalized foreword and introduction so you can start reading Scripture First while you wait for its official release.

After you’ve preordered Scripture First, just come to this page. Then, with your order number handy, click the button below, and drop that number in the bonus claim form along with your name and email address. I’ll then be in touch shortly with each of these downloads.


  1. Header image provided by ACU Press

How to Correctly Format Your Bibliography

The Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style has some specific requirements for how your essay’s bibliography appears on the page.1

There are any number of common ways to fulfill these requirements that will also make that process harder than it has to be.

Fortunately, you’ve got some much better options for each step in creating a clean bibliography that has a proper

  1. Top margin,
  2. Heading,
  3. Heading spacing,
  4. First entry formatting,
  5. Subsequent entry formatting,
  6. First page pagination, and
  7. Subsequent page pagination.

Requirements 1, 6–7 (Top Margin, Page Numbering)

You can carefully set up your essay’s pagination. Then, at the end of your essay body, all you need is a new “Section Break (Next Page).” That one insertion will move you to a fresh page to start your bibliography. It will also allow your page numbers to continue in sequence and in the proper places. You can then manipulate the top margin just like for your essay’s first page.

Requirements 2–3 (Heading)

You can specify the bibliography heading alignment, capitalization, and spacing to the first entry within the style for first-level headings.

Requirements 4–5 (Entry Formatting)

You can edit Word’s default “Bibliography” style so that any text you apply it to will have a hanging indentation of 0.5 inches and a blank line following every paragraph formatted with that style.

To do so,2

  1. Go to the “Home” tab, and find the “Styles” section. You should see an arrow in the lower right corner of the section. Click this to expand the section into a panel.
  1. If it’s not currently in use, the “Bibliography” style might be hidden by default. To start editing the style, click the “Manage Styles” button at the bottom of the Styles panel.
  1. Sort the list of styles alphabetically. Find the style named “Bibliography.” Then, click “Modify ….”
  1. Double check that the “Bibliography” style is set to use the same font face and font size as you’re using in the rest of your document. If not, make the necessary adjustments. Then, click “Format” in the bottom-left corner of the “Modify Style” dialog box and choose “Paragraph ….”
  1. Under “Indentation,” find the dropdown box for “Special.” Choose “Hanging.” Word will then add 0.5 inches as the indentation distance, which happens to be what the Student Supplement requires. Under “Spacing,” select the number of points you want to add after each paragraph that will equate to one blank line. For example, if you’re using a 12-point font, you might add 12 points after the paragraph.3 Then press “OK.”
  1. After you’ve gotten the style formatting as you want it, decide whether you’ll want to use this same style formatting in other documents based on the same Word template.4 If so, choose the “New documents based on this template” option at the bottom of the “Modify Style” dialog box.
  2. Click “OK” to save the style formatting you’ve specified in the “Modify Style” dialog box. Click “OK,” “Cancel,” or the close button in the “Manage Styles” dialog box to return to your document.

Conclusion

Once you’ve edited the “Bibliography” style, you can move the formatting of bibliography paragraphs into the category of things you let Word do for you.

Combined with the other ways you can get Word to help you format a bibliography, this step will give you more consistent formatting with less work and fewer headaches.

And because of that, you can invest your time and attention not into bibliography formatting but into the people and projects that matter most.


Tired of fighting with Word? Want to be done with frustrated hours fussing over how to get the formatting you need?

My new guide shows you how to bypass all of this so you can let Word work for you while you focus on your research.

Garrett Thompson (PhD)

For students in any graduate program, mastering the full range of available research tools is crucial for efficient and consistent productivity. Dr. Stark has mastered these tools—the most important of which is Microsoft Word…. Students eager to take their work to the next level would do well to follow Dr. Stark’s in-depth guidance.


  1. Header image provided by Freestocks

  2. Here, I’m assuming you have a current version of Microsoft Word for Windows via Office 365. These instructions are based on v16.0.13127.20164. They should work on other recent versions as well. But you’ll notice greater differences in the process if you have an older version of Word. MacOS users may also notice some differences in these steps between the Windows and Mac versions of Word. 

  3. If you’re using a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman, the actual point value for one line is closer to 13.81. For SBL BibLit, it’s closer to 18.67. You can use these values if you’d like to be more precise, but probably no one will fault you for selecting the same number of points spacing as you have for your font size.  

  4. For an overview of some helpful ways to work with templates in Word, see my Microsoft Word: The Emerging Biblical Scholar’s Step-by-Step Guide for Windows and MacOS

How You Should Not Format Your Bibliographies

The Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style has some specific requirements for your essay’s bibliography.1

You can get the words on the page in your bibliography to look like the Student Supplement requires in a few different ways.

Unfortunately, some common approaches to formatting your bibliography have undesirable side effects.

What the Student Supplement Requires

Before I get into that, though, it’s helpful to review what the Student Supplement requires.

In sum, from the beginning of the bibliography, this is,

  1. A new page with a two-inch top margin.
  2. The word “BIBLIOGRAPHY” center-aligned and uppercased.
  3. Two blank lines.
  4. Your first bibliography entry, single-spaced with a hanging indentation of 0.5 inches.2
  5. If you have more than one bibliography entry, you’ll add a blank line. Then, you’ll add your next entry, also single-spaced with a hanging indentation of 0.5 inches. And you’ll continue repeating this format until you’ve included all the bibliography entries you need.
  6. On the bibliography’s first page, you’ll have a page number consecutive with the rest of the essay and centered in the bottom margin.
  7. If you have more than one page to your bibliography, you’ll then have a page number right-justified in the top margin.3

How Not to Format Your Bibliography

For several of these features of the bibliography, there’s a pretty obvious way to get the text on the page to display like you need.

Unfortunately, these sometimes more obvious methods also have significant downsides. In particular, they can lead to a mess at the end of your essay.

So, they’ll end up costing you additional time, effort, and attention to manipulate the formatting of your bibliography.

For example, you might

  • Press “Enter” repeatedly to get from the last line of your essay body to a new page. Then you might press “Enter” about four more times to get what looks like roughly a two-inch top margin. But then, if your essay body lengthens or shortens as you edit, you need to re-manipulate this spacing.
  • Press “Enter” twice to get roughly two blank lines between the title “BIBLIOGRAPHY” and your first entry. But you’ll need then to remember or recheck the Student Supplement to confirm that that spacing is correct.
  • Type out the first line of your first bibliography entry. Then you might press enter and tab over to type a second (or third) line for that same entry that looks like it’s spaced in from the left margin. Or you might format that second (or third) line with a first-line indent like most new paragraphs. In either of these cases, if you have to edit the bibliography entry, you might change where the lines need to wrap. And you’ll have to manually manipulate the formatting to produce the correct indentation. Or if your margin size changes from one project to another (e.g., from an essay with 1-inch margins to a dissertation with a 1.5-inch left-hand margin), copying and pasting the same bibliography entry will also mean that you need to manually adjust where the line breaks fall.
  • Press “Enter” to create a blank line between each bibliography entry. But if you do this, the blank line might actually appear at the top of a page and so look like an enlarged top margin. In that case, you’d need to manually manipulate the spacing to insert or take out a blank line as appropriate.

Conclusion

In all of these scenarios, you have two choices. You can have an essay with a poorly formatted bibliography. Or you can spend unnecessary time and attention proofing and massaging your bibliography’s formatting to ensure you get things just right.

Obviously, neither of these alternatives is that good. You want a clean bibliography. And you want to spend your time and attention actually improving your essay’s content—not just manipulating its jots and tittles.

Fortunately, you’ve got some much better options for each step in creating a clean bibliography.


Tired of fighting with Word? Want to be done with frustrated hours fussing over how to get the formatting you need?

My new guide shows you how to bypass all of this so you can let Word work for you while you focus on your research.

Garrett Thompson (PhD)

For students in any graduate program, mastering the full range of available research tools is crucial for efficient and consistent productivity. Dr. Stark has mastered these tools—the most important of which is Microsoft Word…. Students eager to take their work to the next level would do well to follow Dr. Stark’s in-depth guidance.


  1. Header image provided by Freestocks

  2. A “first-line” indentation is the kind of indentation you might be most used to seeing at the beginning of a new paragraph. The first line is indented from the left margin by a certain amount (e.g., 0.5 inches). The remaining lines in that paragraph then start flush with the left margin. A “hanging indentation” is just the opposite. The first line starts flush with the left margin. All subsequent lines are indented from that margin by a certain amount (e.g., 0.5 inches). 

  3. Melanie Greer Nogalski et al., Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style, Second Edition, ed. Joel M. LeMon and Brennan W. Breed, rev. ed. (Atlanta: SBL, 2015), §§2.3, 2.11, 3.5. 

How to Easily Change First Page Margins in Word

If you’re writing the degree program you’re in, SBL style normally requires four 1-inch page margins.1

There are two common kinds of exceptions to this:2

  1. Your title page, which should have 1-inch side margins but 2-inch top and bottom margins.
  2. The first page of a major section (e.g., your essay body, a chapter, an appendix, your bibliography), which should have a 2-inch top margin.

For title pages, using section breaks to achieve the necessary margin sizes is useful. But this usefulness partly depends there being a hard division in content between your title page and what comes next.

Your title page is only ever going to be one page. You’re never going to make edits to your title page and want text to flow over from there onto the next page.

When (Not) to Use Section Breaks to Change Essay Margins

The same isn’t true in the body of the other major logical sections of your document.

For these, you may very well want to make a change on the first page. That change might need to change where the division falls between that page and the one following.

In this context, using section breaks to manipulate the top margin may have undesirable side effects.

Not least among these is potentially having to manipulate the section break or the text around it multiple times in order to get the margins to work like you’re wanting.

There is, though, a much easier way to change the top margin here without creating a new section.

An Easier Way to Change First Page Margins

And that easier way is simply not to change the top margin at all.

That might sound counter intuitive. But you’re really only after the visual representation of a 2-inch top margin at the beginning of a logical section.

Word and similar applications put different things at the top of the page (e.g., margin, header, gutter). But what the software calls what it puts there isn’t something SBL style concerns itself with.

With that in mind, there emerges another much easier way of getting the page layout specified in the Student Supplement. And it doesn’t actually require you to manipulate what Word calls the top “margin” for the first page.

Instead, you’re already familiar with how Word lets you choose your font size in a unit called “points.” And aside from some other complexities that don’t matter for this discussion of margin size, 72 type points are equal to 1 inch.

You already have the other 1 inch down from the top of the page inside what Word calls its “margin” proper.

So, all you need is 1 more inch. And to create the visual effect of this inch, you can simply add 72 points of space before the first element on that page (e.g., paragraph, heading).3

You can add these 72 points via the paragraph formatting dialog box as shown below.

You can add this formatting to individual paragraphs. Or if you distinctively start new logical sections with the same element (e.g., a first-level heading), you can specify this additional spacing via that element’s style.

Conclusion

So when you’re setting the top margin of a main logical section in your document, you do need to change the visual margin.

But that doesn’t mean you need to go through the mess of using the margin function in Word to get the job done.

What you’re essentially looking for is the visual result on the page. And it’s much easier to get that result by simply adding whitespace before the first element on that page.


Tired of fighting with Word? Want to be done with frustrated hours fussing over how to get the formatting you need?

My new guide shows you how to bypass all of this so you can let Word work for you while you focus on your research.

Garrett Thompson (PhD)

For students in any graduate program, mastering the full range of available research tools is crucial for efficient and consistent productivity. Dr. Stark has mastered these tools—the most important of which is Microsoft Word…. Students eager to take their work to the next level would do well to follow Dr. Stark’s in-depth guidance.


  1. Melanie Greer Nogalski et al., Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style, Second Edition, ed. Joel M. LeMon and Brennan W. Breed, rev. ed. (Atlanta: SBL, 2015), §§2.1, 2.8. Header image provided by Etienne Girardet

  2. Nogalski et al., Student Supplement, §§2.11, 3.3–3.5. The table of contents for a longer document is, however, an exception to this rule and should have a 1-inch top margin. Nogalski et al., Student Supplement, §3.2. 

  3. You can come close to creating this additional first-page spacing by entering blank paragraphs at the top of the page. But doing so makes that spacing subject to some of the peculiarities of font and line sizing that you don’t have to worry about otherwise. 

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