Kibbe's From Topic to Thesis is a concise but complete course in the art and science of theological research and writing, complete with five sharply focused aims and objectives: find, gather, understand, enter into discussion, establish. Unlike assembly instructions for things like bookshelves, Kibbe's directions are easy to follow, providing everything one needs to know to write and sustain a theological thesis (except the theology). I said 'thesis' and not 'topic' because Kibbe encourages me not to confuse them (a topic is a subject area; a thesis is a specific claim about that area). This is only one of the many practical bits of wisdom readers will find herein.
-Kevin J. Vanhoozer,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Michael Kibbe's compact guide delivers a lot of practical wisdom for those beginning to write theological research papers. Other guides can be so long that assigning them competes with the actual reading and writing you want students to undertake! By contrast, this one gets to the point and gives concrete examples without denying the mysteries of the research process.
-Daniel J. Treier,
This small handbook is precisely what every beginning theology student needs to write a coherent, well-argued, properly researched essay. Mike Kibbe is not only a master teacher (his instructional style is evident throughout) but he is a master researcher (whose recent PhD demonstrates his fresh skills). Let Kibbe become your coach and encourager. If you do, you'll find guidance for how to organize that winning research project. You'll find lists of common errors that countless students make. But above all, you'll discover a gold mine of wisdom that I wish we could put into the hands of every student who sets out to write a paper.
-Gary M. Burge,
Mike Kibbe's guide for writing research papers is an excellent resource for both college and graduate level students. Its compact size belies its wealth of helpful advice and information. The step-by-step instruction should give students confidence, while pointing out pitfalls and offering examples from the author's own experience. There are many time-saving suggestions that will make research and writing efficient without compromising integrity. And the tone is conversational, as if Kibbe is having a one-on-one conversation with the reader. This book is essential for students who write research papers . . . and for professors who want to enjoy reading what their students produce.
professor of theology, Azusa Pacific University
Michael Kibbe provides students with a real gift: a handbook that is both theologically thoughtful and undeniably practical. His wisdom comes through concrete and useful counsel. Sensible students will follow his guidance.
-Kelly M. Kapic,
Michael Kibbe's From Topic to Thesis offers an accessible, wise and eminently practical introduction to theological research, an introduction that will benefit undergraduate and seminary students alike. Students who follow Kibbe's five steps for assembling a theological research paper will receive a sure-handed guide to the development of a research argument. I enthusiastically commend this book to two audiences: students, who will write better papers when they use this book, and professors, who will enjoy reading better papers when they assign this book to their students.
-David J. Downs,
Fuller Theological Seminary