Why reference?

At Hillsong College we put value on giving honour where honour is due. This is why we acknowledge the need to reference when someone else’s work is used to support our own.

How to reference?

While other institutions may use official and more formal referencing styles, Hillsong College uses a simplified version of referencing that is more reflective of ministry practice. Please follow the guidelines provided below in order to fulfil our referencing expectations.

Failure to do so could result in a Not Yet Competent grade as well as plagiarism (refer to Assessment and Academic misconduct under the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Student Handbook).

Assessment expectations: Referencing and Language Level

Students are expected to clearly communicate their answers using proper basic referencing, grammar, and spelling skills:

  1. Basic referencing must include footnoting at the bottom of the page where sources have been used and a bibliography at the end of the assessment.

As a minimum, students must provide author, title, date (of publication or accessed) and page number (for footnotes only) or web address.

Example for a published book or article:

Bill Hybels, Simplify: ten practices to unclutter your soul. 2014, p.1.

Example for an online source:

Jad Gillies, Worship leading 101: 4 pillars of preparation. Accessed 08/01/2016.

Example for an online video:

Michael Bournes, Who broke Africa? Accessed 08/01/2016.

Example for a song:

Pharrell Williams, Happy. GIRL album. Accessed 08/01/2016.

  1. Basic grammar and spelling: your sentences must show at least basic skills in written English grammar and spelling.

Please refer to resources provided by our Student Support.

Recommendation for further studies

If you are planning on pursuing higher education in our Degree program we strongly recommend that you start using the full Turabian referencing style in your assessments.

More information on the Turabian style can be found by referring to:

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.


Basic referencing and Turabian

Notice that our basic referencing is a simplified version of Turabian:

Published book or article

Basic Referencing;

Bill Hybels. Simplify: ten practices to unclutter your soul. 2014, p1


Hybels, B., Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul. Location: Tyndale. 2014, p.1.

Online source

Basic Referencing;

Jad Gillies. Worship leading 101: 4 pillars of preparation. Accessed 08/01/2016.


Gillies, Jad. “Worship Leading 101 4 Pillars of Preparation.” Hillsong Collected. January 5, 2016. Accessed January 08, 2016.

Online video

Basic Referencing;

Michael Bournes, Who broke Africa? Accessed 08/01/2016.


Bournes, Micah. “Micah Bournes – Who Broke Africa? (Live at The Justice Conference 2012).” YouTube. Accessed February 11, 2016.


Basic Referencing;

Pharrell Williams, Happy. GIRL album. Accessed 08/01/2016.


Pharrell Williams. GIRL. MP3, n.d.

Presentation of Assessments

Good presentation is important and helps the reader understand the message of your assessments. Students must present assessments according to the following format:

  • Font: ALL written fulfil must be typed. Assessments not typed will not be marked. The font should be Times New Roman, size 12.
  • Page Layout: Paper should be A4, unlined and typed on one side only. All margins to be 2.5cm each. Student assessments should be uploaded directly on the college portal. In the case of a hard copy assessment submission, then the official Assessment Cover Sheet (located on the Student Portal) should be stapled to the front of the assessment and details entered should be typed not handwritten. Do NOT put hard copy assessments into a folder. Each Assessment Cover Sheet contains a barcode that registers when the assessment is submitted. These should be scanned and handed in at the College Library.

Spacing: Double spacing should be used. Include a line break between paragraphs and do not indent new paragraphs. A line break should be left before and after each heading.

Abbreviations: If you use abbreviations in the text of your paper give the full title the first time with the abbreviation in brackets. After that, you can use the abbreviation without qualification. For example: “The Assemblies of God (AOG) in Australia has existed for nearly one hundred years. The AOG now constitutes one of the largest Christian denominations in Australia.”


  • ‘God’ is in upper case. If you are writing about other gods, use lower case.
  • ‘Bible’ is the only upper case when it is called “the Bible” (or if it begins a sentence as here) i.e. it has to be a proper noun for it to receive the upper case. If you just write: “Wesley received his first bible on his fifth birthday”, then it is lower case.
  • ‘Scripture’ is lower case unless speaking of “the Scripture” (or if it begins a sentence). If you simply write “as scripture says . . .” then use lower case.

Number in the text: When referring to numbers write the number as a word if it is ten or less, but use the numerical form if it is 11 or greater (except when it is the first word of a sentence).

Illustrations and Diagrams: As your assessment is viewed as an academic work, pictures, drawings and charts are not appropriate unless they are to assist the assessment in revealing objective facts (eg an illustration of temple furniture would aid an area of Old Testament study) and not reflecting subjective opinions (eg. a illustration of Paul preaching).

Language: HILC requires all writers to use gender-inclusive language in their submissions. Examples of common phrases include:

man, menpersons, person, people, human beings
mankindhumanity, humankind
sons of Godchildren of God, people of God
every manevery person, everyone
hishis or her, his/her
hehe or she, he/she
manhoodadulthood, maturity
laymanLay person

Assessment Writing & Essays

Assessment Writing

In order to complete assessments successfully:

  • Clarify the question and answer it. Assessments, which do not address the question, cannot be marked Competent. If you are having difficulties, seek clarification from either a peer, lecturer, trainer or access the Student Support team.
  • Research your topic carefully taking notes and recording the references you used.
  • Plan and draft your paper.
  • Keep to the word count. 10% above or below the stated word count is permissible. (Eg. 100 words range above or below a 1000 word assessment).
  • Proofread your work carefully for correct grammar and spelling before submitting. Students should ensure their work is thoroughly checked for correct English, especially if English is not his or her primary language.
  • Format assessments as outlined in this guide.
  • Submit your assessment by the due date.
  • Always keep a copy of your assessment.


Short essays are a regular feature of assessment in College courses, and it is important that students work to produce essays that are clear and well-structured. Essays should consist of the following:

Introduction: This section introduces the assessment, how you plan to approach it, clearly stating the main point of your essay and creating a lead into the body of your assessment. It should be approximately 100-150 words (one paragraph).

Body: This section represents the most important part of your assessment and is the largest section. It should be divided up evenly by paragraphs with one main point per paragraph.

  • Paragraphs should have more than one sentence. A well-constructed paragraph will generally include a topic sentence, which will be followed by the sentences developing and clarifying the topic, followed by a concluding sentence.
  • In an academic paper, using “bullet points” or using lists with numbers is inappropriate.  Rather, use several sentences starting with ‘First’, ‘Second’, and so on.
  • A paragraph should deal with only one topic or one aspect of one topic, and should not be too long. (As a rule of thumb if it is going on for over half a page, reread it to see if it can be broken down into two or more paragraphs).
  • Headings and divisions need only to be used for longer essays. To introduce a major division of your assessment, use a centred heading, written in capitals, not underlined or numbered. If you use bold print in a larger size, you may place flush left. To introduce a subdivision, use a free-standing flush left side heading, on a line by itself. This is underlined and may also be in bold print, with or without numbering or lettering. For further subdivisions, also use a freestanding flush left heading, not underlined. Numbering divisions aid your presentation, especially if you require a contents page.

Conclusion: Draw all your thoughts together in summary form, and create a sense of completion (approx. 100 -150 words).

Bibliography: This is a list of all books consulted for the assessment. It must be on a separate page and be formatted correctly. Refer to the “Referencing” section.

Assessment Tasks

Students are required to complete assessment tasks in order to fulfil the requirements of the course. The assessment task(s) for each subject are outlined in the syllabus for each subject and available on the Student Portal on the College website.

Assessment tasks are more than earning a grade. They are designed to provide the student with a learning experience that extends and enhances work in class. They are given specifically to:

  • Extend studies to cover material beyond that which can be covered in class.
  • Broaden understanding of the material covered in class.
  • Develop research skills necessary in preparation for ministry.
  • Assist in understanding and fulfilling the subject outcomes and aims.
  • Ensure that learning outcomes and competencies are met.
  • Allow the development of practical applications of theoretical work done in class.

Assessment tasks may be in the form of:

  • Assessments: Generally a well-structured short written composition or essay that deals with a single topic and expresses an aspect of research from written material & field casework.  The application is then directed towards a suggested problem/question.
  • Book Reports: Requiring a book to be read or a section thereof, that is immediately associated with your subject. Opinions are not valid during the report, only a summary of what you consider to be the main or related points. You may express an opinion in your opening and concluding remarks only.
  • Debates: There may be two (or more) teams organized from within the class to research a set topic and debate opposing sides of that topic.
  • Examinations: Usually set at the end of the semester, they will cover information indicated by the trainer, to enable you to recall/ revise the content of a subject.
  • Performances: Students participating in Worship Music performance subjects will be required to either perform in the Performance Major Day event or provide evidence of contribution to creative arts ministry in a specified semester.
  • Presentations: The student(s) researches a subject and prepares a talk, demonstration, discussion or sermon to present to the class. The aim of such assessments is to give the student an opportunity to further research a topic and provide an avenue for them to outwork their findings for the benefit of the entire class.
  • Report: A statement or record of an investigation or assigned task that may or may not require research.
  • Directed work: As defined by respective trainers.