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Life & Mission of Jesus - Connelly: Citing Your Sources

MLA 8 and Annotation now, you have heard there are new MLA citation guidelines called MLA 8.
This formatting is new to us all, so below you find several resources that will assist you in making sure that you properly format both your works cited and your in-text citations.  If you need assistance, please see a librarian.

How do I cite scriptural writings? And when do I use italics in referring to them?


Create a works-cited-list entry for scriptural writings as you would for any other source: follow the MLA style template. In general, begin with the title. The title should be italicized because you are referring to a published edition. (The published title might be, for example, The New Jerusalem Bible, or simply The Bible.) If the source indicates that there is an editor or translator, list this information as an “other” contributor (see pp. 37–38 of the MLA Handbook for a definition of this element). Then provide the publisher and the date of publication.

Citation Examples

Bible accessed from website

The Bible. New International Version, Biblica, 2011. BibleGateway, Biblica, Accessed 1 Nov. 2016.

UPDATE: Because you may be referencing more than one verse from this site, use the URL of the home page as your location.

Bible accessed in print

The Holy Bible. New Revised Standard Version, Thomas Nelson, 1989.

Bibles that contain other information such as commentary, maps, study aids, etc...

Anslem Academic Study Bible. New American Bible Revised. General editor, Carolyn Osiek, Anselm Academic, 2013.

In the body of your text, general references to scriptural works like the Bible, Talmud, and Koran should not be italicized unless you refer to a specific published edition.

The first part of the Christian Bible is known as the Old Testament.

The 1985 New Jerusalem Bible contains maps and a theological glossary.

In-text Citations

In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and underline or italicize the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter and verse. For example:

Ezekiel saw "what seemed to be four living creatures," each with faces of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (New Jerusalem Bible, Ezek. 1.5-10).

If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book, chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation.

See documents below for how to abbreviate chapters of the Bible.

Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web, include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. 

When including the URL, eliminate the http//.

When including a URL for a database, look for and use the 'Permalink" which is a shortened URL.

Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.

Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “Permalink,”  Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source has one. If you can find a Permalink, use that instead of a URL.  

 --Purdue Owl



Here are some reminders about MLA 8

  • omit the abbreviations N.p. and n.d.  
  • omit words describing format, such as "web" and "print."
  • omit place of publication,  ex.  New York: Scholastic
  • remember that article titles are in quotation marks and container titles are italicized
  • use URLs for websites, omit for databases

If you are using EasyBib to help create your citations, REMEMBER TO SELECT MLA 8, as your citation format. Check ALL citations created by EasyBib by comparing them to the MLA 8 template available on this LibGuide or with Purdue Owl.


What is an Annotated Works Cited or Annotated Bibliography?

As you know, a works cited page is a list of all of the sources you used to complete your research. In an annotated works cited or bibliography, each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 100 - 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph.  The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, authority, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited -- in short -- you are asked to comment on and/or explain why each source cited was selected and used. Each annotation should  contain a brief summary,  an assessment or evaluation, and some reflection on the value of the source.   Below are some of the questions you might ask yourself and address in your annotation, however, check with your teacher for any special instructions:


  • What are the main arguments?
  • ​What is the purpose of this book or article? 
  • What topics are covered?
  • If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say?


  • What makes this a useful source?
  • How does it compare with other sources you have selected?
  • Evaluate the authority or background of the author?
  • Is the information reliable?
  • Is this source biased or objective?
  • What is the goal of this source?
  • Does it contain any useful features? (Maps, illustrations, charts, etc?)


  • How is this source helpful to you?
  • How does it help you shape or support your argument?
  • How can you use this source in your research project?
  • What insight or understanding did this source give you about your topic?

MLA 8 Template

Use this template to help you format your citations.


MLA 8 Glossary


Author: Name of the person who created the work.

Title of Source: Title of the work (titles of short works are set off with “ ” / titles of long works are italicized).

Title of Container: Title of the larger whole which holds the work—could be a book, a periodical, a website, a database, etc. (generally italicized).

Other Contributors: Name of the person who helped create the version of the work you are using, such as an adapter, an editor, a translator, etc.

Version: Description of a particular edition (e.g. revised edition or 3 rd edition) or version of the work (e.g. Authorized King James Version).

Number: Numbering system for works published in parts or series (e.g. volume, issue, number). Publisher: Name of the company or organization that published, produced, or posted the work.

Publication Date: Date the work was published, produced, or posted.

Location: Specific location of a work inside a container (e.g. page numbers, URL, etc.). 

From MLA Guide created by S.M. Foran at Capital Christian School 

What Is A Container?


S.M.Foran 2016

Paper Formatting - Google Docs

Paper Formatting - MS Word

  1. Make a page brake between the end of your paper and the start of your Works Cited page.
  2. Title the page: Works Cited 
  3. Center align the title.
  4. Set the spacing to Double Space:   
    1. Click on the little box with an arrow; the Paragraph Settings. 
    2. Go to the Spacing section and click on the Line Spacing drop-down menu.
    3. Choose Double.
  5. Set the Hanging Indentation
    1. Click on the little box with an arrow; the Paragraph Settings
    2. Go to the Indentation section and click on the Special drop-down menu.
    3. Choose Hanging.
    4. Please not that you do not have to do anything more to make sure that your citation bumps over on the second line. If you manually moved the text over you will have trouble later when you go to alphabetize the works cited.

MS Word Paragraph tool box


At this point you can begin to create your citations. 

Refer to the MLA citation guides for proper formatting:


Articles from Online Databases

Articles from Web Sites


Once you have your list you need to alphabetize the sources. Here's the trick:

  1. Highlight all your citations.
  2. Click on the A-Z button in the Paragraph tools. A-Z
  3. A pop-up box called Sort Text will show up. Do not change any of the settings. -Sort by paragraphs.- Click OK.
  4.  Et voila! Your Works Cited is alphabetized.