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Chicago Style Citations: Chicago Style The Core Elements

Chicago Style

The Chicago style uses a note system with bibliographic citations supplemented by a bibliography at the end of the work that includes all the sources cited in the text in alphabetical order. The notes themselves, can either be in the body of the work or at the end of the work. Notes are identified by superscript numbers within the text immediately following the information they provide. The basic structure of a note follows the author, title and publication data format. Each element is separated by a comma.

For the bibliography at the end of the work, the format varies. The information aligns closely with other reference or work cited systems like the American Psychological Association or the Modern Language Association with slight differences. Authors' names are inverted and all elements of the reference are separated by periods.

It is important to realize that if the bibliography includes all the works used throughout the notes, there is no need to duplicate all the information from the references. The reader can consult the bibliography if they wish to access the complete information for the resource. Works that contain only select resources or do not have a bibliography must contain a complete reference for the source in the notes.


The basic format for a footnote or endnote  provides information on the author/editor, title and details of the publication. Each element is listed in the sequence as noted in the former sentence.

 1. Peter D. Hershock, Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 39-43.

In cases where there is an editor, simply use the abbreviation, ed. as in the example below.

             2. Hettie V. Williams, ed. Bury My Heart in a Free Land: BlackWomen Intellectuals in Modern U.S. History (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2018), 144.

For the first use of a source, the note must contain all the relevant information related to the source as the above example illustrates; subsequent uses of the same source require only a short version of note:

  1. Hershock, Public Zen, Personal Zen, 49.

  2. Williams, Bury My Heart, 144.

In instances where the same source is utilized in succession, a further condense form of the short note or idib.(from ididem Latin for "from the same place") is the recommended formatting.

               1. Hershock, 53. or Ibid., 53.

     2. Williams,147. or Ibid., 147.

For two or three authors/editors, simply insert and between the first and second author or in the case of three authors, insert and between the second and third authors.

     3. Linda L. Ivey and Kevin W. Kaatz, Citizen Internees: A second Look at Race and Citzenship in Japanese American Internment Camps (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2018), 158.

When sources with four or more authors are used, all authors are named in the bibliography but in the notes only the first author is named followed by et al.

    4. Enfu Chen et al., "An Increasing Trend of Rural Infections of Human Influenza A(H7N9) from2013 to 2017: A Retrospective Analysis of Patient Exposure Histories in Zhejiang Province, China," Plos ONE 13, no. 2 (February 2018): 9, https://10.1371/journal.pone.0193052.

Consistent with other citation styles, most notably, APA and MLA, sources without attributable authorship are referenced by title.

                5. “Bipolar disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health. National Institutes of Health, Last modified April 2016,




Although both the note and bibliography contain similar information, the formatting varies for each. The difference begins with the author/editor arrangement. For the bibliographic entry, the author's name is inverted; the last name is first. Additionally, all bibliographic use hanging indent similar to other citation styles.

Hershock, Peter D. Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

In cases where there is an editor, simply use the abbreviation, ed. as in the example below.

            Williams, Hettie V.  ed. Bury My Heart in a Free Land: BlackWomen Intellectuals in Modern U.S. History. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2018.

Books with multiple authors/editors only invert the first author's name and the remaining authors' names appear as they do on the book's title page. For books with four or more authors, you follow the same rule for the bibliographic entry and list all th authors involve with the publication. However, for the note entry, only the first author is listed followed by et al.

             Li, Peter, Marjorie H. Lee, and Steven Mark, eds. Culture and Politics, China: An Anatomy of Tiananmen Square. Piscataway: Transaction Publishers, 2007.

Books titles are italicized; however, individual selections from an anthology or collective work, require quotations while the title of the publication itself, is italicized.

Billings, Michael. “The Doctor and Amy Pond: A Bedtime Story.” In The Language of Doctor Who: From Shakespeare to Alien Tongues, edited by Jason Barr and Camille

                  D.G. Mustachio, 213-243. Lanham:Rowman & Littlefield, 2014..

As mentioned above, individual essays or stories from anthologies should be identified using quotations. Likewise articles from journals, magazines or newspapers should also be in quotations while the periodical title should be italicized.

The Nocturnal Murmurings of a Left Footed Pianist: Ostinatos and Ospreys.” Journal of Somnambulistic Psychology,

Titles for periodicals, e.g., journals, magazines, and newspapers, are always italicized and followed volume, issue, date and pages. In terms of article or short essay, page numbers function as the locator; page numbers direct the reader to where the information is found. For online sources, the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or URL (for databases the permalink) guide the reader to the information. An access date must also be included for all online sources.

Journal of Somnambulistic Psychology 35, no. 13 ( February 2013): 29-43. https://doi:11.3949/jsp.2013.35.13.29.


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