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Citing SBL Guide: Home

SBL Handbook

Web Citations in SBL Handbook

Student Supplement

This online supplement for students in PDF format from the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) site gives pertinent information and multiple sample entries for footnote and bibliography entries, as well as a sample paper formatted in SBL style.

Formatting Footnotes

Unlike APA and MLA Styles, SBL style often uses footnotes rather than in-text (or "author-date") citations within the text of a paper or article.

The following is taken from the Student Supplement document for SBL.
2.9. Footnotes
For most word processing software, 10-point font is the default setting for footnotes. Footnotes in 10-point font are acceptable for most term papers, provided that the font type is consistent with the normal text of the paper. Some institutions, however, require 12-point font throughout (including footnotes). Especially for theses and dissertations, inquire with your advisor regarding the proper footnote style.
  • Separate text and footnotes with a short rule of two inches.
  • Indent the footnote number one-half inch, with subsequent lines of the citation justified
  • to the left margin.
  • Insert one en space between the number and the footnote text.
  • Separate each entry with a single space.
  • Maintain subsequent numbering throughout the paper


Sample Paper and Published Article in SBL

The following samples demonstrate SBL Style formatting.  But remember that your professor is the ultimate authority on how you should cite papers/assignments for his or her class (regardless of what the style manual says!).

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