Citations Part Two: Finishing Touches that Can Make or Break Your Paper

Citations Part Two: Finishing Touches that Can Make or Break Your Paper


Last time, we talked about why citations are important, and what different styles are available for you to use. At this point, you’re probably asking, “So, which style guide should I use in my discipline here at TIU? I’m not exactly sure where I stand in that list that you mentioned last time.” Well, I can answer that question for you!

  •  Chicago:
    • Humanities: Most TEDS and TGS students, except for those listed below.
    • Social Science: PhD students in the EDS and ICS programs, as well as DMin students.
  • APA: Counseling Psychology, MA in Teaching, and MEd in Learning students.
  • SBL: PhD students in THS (OT and NT), and students in Bible classes.
  • MLA: Students in literature or language programs (mostly at the undergraduate level).
  • If in doubt, ask your professor. He or she will be able to advise you on which style to use for a particular paper.

Graduate students, one more thing to keep in mind: Trinity has its own specific style guideRemember, the TIU guide takes precedence over Chicago and SBL styles.

So, at this point, we’ve gone over why citations are important. We’ve talked about why different ones exist. We’ve even talked about which specific one you should use. Hopefully, you as a clever Trinity student have noticed that I’ve overlooked one small but rather significant area: how actually to implement the format. There’s a really great reason why, too: I don’t have to. Because, in the immortal (and trademarked) words of the Apple Corporation, “There’s an app for that.”  Actually, there are multiple apps. But there’s one in particular that we here at Rolfing especially encourage students to use: Zotero. It’s a free download, and it works directly with both your browser and your word processing program in order to cite sources directly and automatically. Plus, they support any citation style you could ever think about using here at TIU. If you’re not particularly technically agile, feel free to attend one of the Zotero workshops we sponsor every semester and we’ll get you started.

If you’re still looking for more general formatting guidance, a number other resources are at your disposal:

  • Rolfing offers a number of online tutorials, guiding you step-by-step through the entire writing process — everything from finding appropriate sources to getting just the right format in Microsoft Word.
  • Purdue University’s English Department has perhaps the best known formatting resource on the web: the Online Writing Lab (OWL). If you can’t find your answer there, you’re really getting deep into your paper, and you need to head over to…
  • Publication Style Manuals for APAChicago (and Turabian), SBL, and MLA formats.
  • And, if all else fails, contact a reference librarian, and we can help point you in the right direction!

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