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Theology, Christian Ministries, and Philosophy: Citing Theology and Philosophy Sources

Research Guide in the areas of Theology, Philosophy, and Christian Ministry.

Citation Formats in Religion/Philosophy

MLA Citation Examples


When citing Bible commentaries in MLA, include the series title such as Word Bible Commentary or New Beacon Bible Commentary. MLA 8th edition considers series titles an "optional element," but if the information is useful to the reader, it should be included. When writing a paper on a theology-related topic, it is useful for the reader of your research paper to know what commentary series you used. 

According to MLA, there are several correct ways to cite a work in a book series. If you're citing a specific chapter, include the chapter name, the chapter page range, and the series title in italics (see the first two examples below). If you're citing an entire volume in a series, include the series title at the very end of the citation and do not use italics (see the third example below). Note: In the example below, the second and subsequent lines of each citation are not indented due to formatting limitations. In a work cited section, these lines must be indented.

Examples of a Chapter in a Volume of a Commentary Series in Print:

Bennett, Stephen J. “VIII. Limitations of Wisdom (6:10-7:14).” Ecclesiastes/Lamentations: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, pp. 119-128. New Beacon Bible Commentary, general editors, Alex Varughese, George Lyons, and Roger Hahn, Beacon Hill Press, 2010.

  • The chapter titles is in quotations marks and written as it appears in the table of contents.
  • The volume title, Ecclesiastes/Lamentations: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, is as it appears on the book's title page.
  • The page numbers of the chapter cited are included after the volume title.
  • The series title is in italics, followed by the names of the general editors. 
  • If the editors are labeled "general editors" in the book, include "general editors" in the citation. (Usually an editor's name would be preceded by "edited by").
  • The publisher and the publication date of the volume you cite should be included at the end of the citation.

Williamson, H. G. M. “Nehemiah’s Vocation.” Ezra, Nehemiah, pp. 165-175. Word Biblical Commentary, general editors David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 16, Word, 1985.

  • Since a volume number is given, it is included after the editors' names and before the publisher's name
  • When a publisher's name include business words like Incorporated (Inc.) and Corporation (Co.), leave it off. For example, Word, Inc. is abbreviated to just Word.

Example of an Entire Volume in a Series in Print:

Bennett, Stephen J. Ecclesiastes/Lamentations: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. General editors, Alex Varughese, George Lyons, and Roger Hahn, Beacon Hill Press, 2010. New Beacon Bible Commentary.

  • The series title is tacked on to the end of the citation and is not in italics.


EndNote Web

About EndNote:

EndNote (Basic) is a web-based tool for managing and citing references in papers and creating bibliographies which allows users to:

  • Search online resources
  • Collect and organize references
  • Format citations and footnotes or a bibliography
  • Use numerous citation styles including APA, MLA, Chicago (Turabian). 

Addtional instructions are at the Endnote Guide.

Accessing Endnote:

  • EndNote is available to current members of the PLNU community. 
  • The first time you use EndNote, login with your PLNU Network ID and password.
  • Once you get to EndNote, you will be asked to create a login that can be used from anywhere--it will not be necessary to go through the PLNU website for future sign-ins to EndNote.
  • NOTE: EndNote works best in the Firefox browser.