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Writing an Academic Paper at TEDS

Finding Books

Books can be found by searching the following online catalogs:

  • TrinCat, for books in our library.
  • I-Share, for our Chicago area students to find and request books from other Illinois academic libraries.
  • WorldCat, for our Chicago area students to find and request books not available in either TrinCat or I-Share.

Finding Articles and Essays

  • Journal articles and essays (individually authored chapters of books) can be found by searching in one of our databases.
  • To find which databases are most appropriate for your paper topic, see the appropriate research guide for your topic.

Finding Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations and theses can be found by searching in one of these databases:

Primary Versus Secondary Sources

Primary sources are the original documents that other scholars write about. For example, for New Testament class papers, a book or letter of the New Testament itself (e.g., 1 Corinthians) would be the primary source

Secondary sources relate to or discuss sources elsewhere. For example, for  New Testament class papers, a modern or ancient commentary on 1 Corinthians would be a secondary source discussing the primary source 1 Corinthians.

TEDS expectations:

  • It is expected that students will make use of whatever primary sources are pertinent for that paper topic.
  • The use of scholarly secondary sources is expected as well.

Balancing Your Sources

  • A well-balanced paper at TEDS will make use of a combination of books, journal articles, and essays (individually authored chapters of books, including theological dictionaries and encyclopedias).
  • The exact balance of each paper will be determined by the topic and best available sources.

Abbreviations Used in TEDS Classes

  • Many professors use abbreviations in class to refer to common theological and biblical sources. For example, they might just says JETS when referring to the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society or NICOT to refer to the New International Commentary on the Old Testament.
  • If you are not sure what they are referring to you can use the helpful list of abbreviations found in The SBL Handbook of Style which will tell you what the source is. A copy of The SBL Handbook of Style is available at the reference desk and also in the reference collection at LB 2369 .S26x 1999.