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When to Cite Sources


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When quoting an author's exact words, you must cite the source. Exact quotations must be exact, including punctuation and italics.


Changes to the original should be indicated using brackets [ ], and omissions using ellipsis points (. . .). Changes must not alter the meaning of the original.

See Turabian (2007), pages 352-358, for detailed instructions.

Original: Clearly, modern theologians, regardless of their own millennial preferences, observe the closest association between the postmillennial and amillennial positions.

Quote: “[M]odern theologians . . . observe the closest association between the postmillennial and amillennial positions.”1

          1 Jue, Jeffrey K., “A Millennial Genealogy: Joseph Mede, Jonathan Edwards, and Old Princeton,” in Resurrection and Eschatology: Theology in Service of the Church, ed. Lane Tipton and Jeffrey Waddington (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008), 397.

When paraphrasing another writer, citation is also necessary. Paraphrase is a close representation of ideas which follows the order of the original presentation but using your own words. A paraphrase requires a footnote.

Paraphrase: With respect to Psalm 22, Davis suggests that the act of reading involves the reader in a dynamic experience of a world transfigured by the imagery of the psalm.1

     1 Ellen F. Davis, “Exploding the Limits: Form and Function in Psalm 22,” JSOT 53 (1992): 95.

Well established facts as well as concepts that are part of common knowledge do not have to be cited. It is sometimes hard to tell whether something is considered common knowledge. One approach is to cite a source whenever the ideas expressed are unfamiliar or are associated with a specific person. When in doubt, cite. See Turabian (2007), page 79, for more details.

You should always indicate the original source of facts, ideas, or methods you make use of in your writing. If you find information quoted in another source, good scholarship requires that you look up the original. If the original is not accessible, follow instructions for citing one source quoted in another. See Turabian (2007), page 215.

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