Still have questions? Leave a comment

    Checklist: Dissertation Proposal

    Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

      Examples: Edited Papers

      Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

        Editing and
        Proofreading Services?

        Chicago Style Citation: Quick Guide & Examples

        • calenderDec 30, 2022
        • calender 7 min read

        Unlike other commonly used citation formats like APA or MLA, there are two varieties of Chicago style citations. In this article, we’ll explore both forms of citation for a Chicago style paper and provide several examples you can emulate. 

        Since its original publication in 1906, the Chicago Manual of Style has evolved a lot. It is currently in its 17th edition (as of 2017). 

        Chicago style citations: two varieties 

        Researchers and writers can create a Chicago style citation in two ways: the notes and bibliography system or the author-date system. Aside from differences in the style of in-text citations, the notes-bibliography system and the author-date system share a similar structure and formatting style.

        What Chicago citation format you should use depends on your discipline and the guidelines given to you by instructors or publishers. Read on to know more about each style and when you can use them in your academic writing. 

        A. Notes and bibliography 

        In the notes and bibliography style, in-text citations are marked by footnotes or endnotes, with source numbers indicated by superscripts (raised text) within the text. This is usually followed by a bibliography at the end of the paper. 

        This Chicago style citation format is commonly used in humanities—in disciplines such as history, art, and literature. This is primarily because the notes-bibliography style is flexible to accommodate a variety of unconventional academic sources like videos, online sources, transcripts, etc.

        It also accommodates sources that may not fit into the author-date system, such as webpages with no author or literary sources with no single date of publication. 

        Footnotes and endnotes 

        The sources referred to on each page are listed in the footnotes at the end of the page or in endnotes at the end of the document. This is list is in order of reference. Within the text, the citations are denoted numerically by a superscript.

        Follow these general guidelines while creating Chicago style footnotes and endnotes: 

        • Add footnotes at the bottom of the page you have referred the source. 
        • Add endnotes on a separate page after the body of the paper. 
        • Place superscript numbers at the end of a sentence or clause, after the concluding punctuation mark. 
        • Ensure each superscript number corresponds to its respective entry in the notes. 
        • Begin each note with the name of the author(s) as listed in the source (not inverted), followed by the source name. 
        • Add publication details relevant to the source—including page numbers, year of publication, and publisher. 
        • Separate each element in an entry with periods or parentheses. 
        • Add shortened notes for every subsequent reference to a source. 
        • List authors’ complete names for sources with up to three authors. If a source has four or more authors, add “et al.” after the third author. 
        • Number notes consecutively starting with the arabic numeral “1” for the entire text or each chapter. 

        Note: When to use Chicago style endnotes?

        The official CMOS handbook does not have specific guidelines for when to use Chicago style footnotes and endnotes. This is usually at the discretion of your instructor and the guidelines set by your university or publication.

        Whichever in-text citation style you follow, ensure that you stick to your chosen type of notes consistently. See below for a Chicago footnote example:

        An example of Chicago footnote formatting.


        Chicago style papers following the notes-bibliography system usually require a bibliography at the end of the paper. This is a detailed list of all the sources you have cited throughout the main text. 

        You may be exempted from including a bibliography at the end of a document if you have provided detailed entries in the footnotes or the endnotes. If you’re unsure about whether you need to add one to your Chicago style paper, consult your instructor or publisher. 

        Follow these guidelines to create a Chicago style bibliography: 

        • Place the bibliography on a new page directly after the main text, before indices and appendixes. 
        • Title the section with “Bibliography” and center-align the text. 
        • Apply a hanging indent for each entry. 
        • Arrange all sources alphabetically, by the last name of the (first) author of each source. 
        • For sources with no author, arrange by source title. (Alternately, you may write “Anonymous” or “Anon.” if you want to credit it to an anonymous source.)
        • For sources with two or more authors, invert only the first author’s name. 
        • List the names of all authors for sources with up to ten authors. 
        • For sources with over ten authors, list seven names and follow with “et al.”. 

        Chicago style citation examples: Notes and bibliography 

        See below for examples of Chicago style citations for books, book chapters, journal articles, and websites. We’ve included the format for Chicago style footnotes and endnotes, short notes, and the bibliography entry. 

        1. How to cite a book in Chicago style


        2. How to cite a book chapter 


        3. How to cite a journal article


        4. How to cite a website in Chicago style 


        B. Author-date 

        The author-date system is the second method of Chicago style citations. This citation format is typically used in physical, natural, and social sciences documents.

        The Chicago author-date format consists of two components: in-text citations in the body text and a matching entry in the reference list, which is at the end of the academic work. The reference list provides complete bibliographic information about all the sources you’ve used throughout the text. Let’s take a look at each component more closely. 

        In-text citations 

        If you are using the author-date format, you will be required to add in-text citations within the body text. The convention is to add in-text citations at the end of sentences referencing sources.

        Follow these guidelines to add Chicago style citations in your academic work: 

        • Place the Chicago parenthetical citation at the end of a sentence, before the concluding punctuation mark. 
        • Include the author and year of publication in parentheses, with no punctuation in between. 
        • If you have named the author(s) of a source within the body text, add the year of the source’s publication in parentheses. 
        • Add relevant page numbers in the in-text citation, if you are referring to specific sections of the text. 

        See below for a Chicago style citation example with and without an author in parentheses. Here’s what a standard Chicago style in-text citation looks like: 

        The essay highlights the importance of readers contributing to a text’s discourse in the larger society (Barthes 1967). 

        If you’ve already referenced the author within the body text, you can write the Chicago parenthetical citation like this: 

        Barthes (1967) emphasizes the role of the reader in generating discourse about a text, rather than accepting the singular supremacy of the author’s intent. 

        To add a page number or page range, format the in-text citation as shown below: 

        (Barthes 1967 42)
        (Barthes 1967 42-44) 

        Reference list

        Each Chicago style in-text citation has a matching entry to the reference list at the end of the text. The list and the format of each entry largely follow the same format as the bibliography in the notes-bibliography section, with a few minor alterations. We will look at these below.

        Follow these guidelines while creating a Chicago style reference list for your essay or paper:

        • Start the reference list on a new page, with the center-aligned title “References” or “Reference List”. 
        • Arrange the list of sources alphabetically by the author’s last name. 
        • Follow this with the year of publication and end with a period. 
        • Continue structuring the entry in the same format as a bibliographic entry. 
        • Invert only the name of the first listed author. 
        • Capitalize English-language titles according to headline-style conventions. 
        • Abbreviate noun forms such as “editor”, “translator”, “volume”, and “edition”. 
        • Spell out verb forms such as “edited by” and “translated by”. 

        Chicago style citation examples in author-date 

        See below for a list of Chicago style citation examples. We’ve included sample in-text citations and reference list entries for books, book chapters, websites, and journals, which are commonly used sources in the Chicago citation style.

        1. How to cite a book in Chicago 


        2. How to cite a book chapter in Chicago style


        3. How to cite a journal in Chicago style 


        4. How to cite a website in Chicago style

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Found this article helpful?


        Chetna Linkedin

        Chetna is a child of the internet. A writer and aspiring educator, she loves exploring digital media to create resources that are informative and engaging. Away from the writing desk, she enjoys cinema, coffee, and old books.

        Leave a Comment:

        Your email address will not be published.

        Read More

        How to Copyright Your Book?

        If you’ve thought about copyrighting your book, you’re on the right path.

        Explore more