How to Build a Bibliography for Seminary Research Papers

man in library writes seminary research paper bibliography

Whether you’re writing a paper for a class, gathering resources for your doctoral thesis, or compiling a list of resources to share with a small group, building a clear, easy-to-read bibliography is mandatory. But what information do you need to include, and how should you format it? The answer to both questions is: “Well, it depends.”

Bibliography Types

Did you know that there are several different types of bibliographies, each intended for a different purpose? Here, we’ll discuss the three most common bibliography types:

  1. Works Cited
  2. Works Consulted
  3. Select Works

Works Cited

The Works Cited type lists only the resources you’ve cited in your paper. So, any work that is included in your Footnotes needs to be listed in your Works Cited document.

It’s important that you clearly label this document as Works Cited so that it’s clear the list does not necessarily reflect all the works you consulted in your research.

Works Consulted

This is the standard bibliography since it lists every work you read during your research. This list will likely be significantly longer than a Works Cited document since much of what you read in your research won’t find its way into your final paper.

Select Works

This type focuses on the most significant works addressing your topic. If your document is for a paper, this will likely present a smaller subset of your Works Cited, which is, in turn, a smaller subset of your Works Consulted.

This document type will be the most applicable for those creating a curated list of resources to share, such as small group study leaders who want to provide other texts for consideration.

Citation Styles

“Wouldn’t it be nice if every discipline used the same citation style? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. But at least each style guide is available online for your reference.

Make sure, if your bibliography is for a class, that you use the department’s approved style.

If your bibliography isn’t intended for academic purposes, the style is entirely up to you. With that said, following one particular style is important in helping your citations to be consistent and understandable.

Collecting citations in Logos

If you’re using Logos as part of your research process, you can select from around twenty different citation styles. Any time you copy and paste a passage from Logos into your preferred word processing application, Logos will include a citation in the style you specify in Program Settings.

Using reference management software

When you’re using print or digital materials outside of Logos, reference management software can make your job much easier. These tools allow you to add the work to a database, complete with all the relevant details and then export a bibliography (or footnote) in the style of your choosing. While there are many pieces of reference management software available today, here are links to two of the most widely used


Regardless of what bibliography type or citation style you use, organizing your list of resources clearly and consistently is essential to help readers know how to track down your sources for themselves.

Written by
Logos Staff

Logos is the largest developer of tools that empower Christians to go deeper in the Bible.

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Written by Logos Staff
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