This is the "Citing Sources" page of the "Theological Research for Beginners" guide.
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Theological Research for Beginners   Tags: research, writing  

A basic guide to theological research.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Citing Sources Print Page

About Citing Sources

This guide is to help you when you cite the sources used in your research to

  • give credit to those whose ideas & words you are using
  • distinguish the ideas of others from your own
  • make your argument stronger by showing you've done research
  • allow your readers to verify your claims

General rules:

  • direct quotations must always be placed in quotation marks
  • follow the assigned or preferred styles to determine the exact placement author, title, publisher, date, etc.
  • failure to cite, or to cite in a proper style, can result in a request for a rewrite, reduced grade, or a failing grade

Recommendation: use a software program to assist with citation content and style, such as EndNote or Zotero:

  • to help collect the relevant information for attribution
  • to help format the resulting citation in the proper style
  • to help you reuse and reformat references as needed
  • to help to organize research.

Endnote or Zotero - which to use?

Citation Manager Comparison Guide

Zotero Website
(Free to download and use!)

Endnote Website
(Emory Affiliated? - Download Endnote from Software Express for Free!)


Citation FAQs


EndNote for Bibliographies


  • is a personal citation/bibliography manager
  • runs on Macintosh and Windows computers
  • helps researchers organize references in a database
  • can be used to format citations and create bibliographies automatically in a word processor
  • free to download EndNote X2 or X3 via Software Express

Endnote Tools:

  • Import Filters: Most databases allow for exporting directly to EndNote.
  • Connection Files: use EndNote to search EUCLID, WorldCat, the ATLA Religion database, and other sources for books and articles.

More complete directions - including how to create an independent bibliography by clicking on items and exporting them.


Style Manuals

Cover Art
The Chicago Manual of Style.
Call Number: REFERENCE Z253 .U69 2003
Gold standard for humanities publishing, and probably the style most often used in the field of religion. Also available online.

Chicago Manual of Style Online
Consult the fully online Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.

Cover Art
The SBL Handbook of Style: For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies - Patrick H. Alexander
Call Number: REFERENCE PN147 .S26 1999
Style used in the Journal of Biblical Literature, and often in biblical studies.

Cover Art
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations - Kate L. Turabian
Call Number: REFERENCE LB2369 .T8 2007
Chicago style, aimed specifically at student papers. If you buy only one style manual, this is it.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Call Number: REFERENCE BF76.7 .P83 2001
Widely used in the social sciences, religion scholars may sometimes come across it.

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing - Joseph Gibaldi
Call Number: REFERENCE PN147 .G444 2008
The other style guide widely used in the humanities.


Zotero for Bibliographies

Use Zotero to:

  • store citations to books, articles, essays, and websites that easily shared with anyone, including a faculty member
  • store links to research documents on your personal workstations
  • write and organize research notes on these resources
  • categorize resources for inclusion in the writing process
  • create citations and bibliographies for your research paper

See the Zotero Research Guide for more information and to download the latest versions.

Options Beyond Endnote & Zotero

Options beyond Endnote and Zotero:

Mac users will want to consider BookEnds and Sente, while Windows users can choose Biblioscape; there are a number of online options as well.

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