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Chicago Style

A quick overview of how to use the Chicago Style and examples of note and in-text citations and references for a variety of different sources.

Guidelines for Chicago Style

We use citations and reference lists to guide the reader/viewer/audience to the sources used to create our paper, video, presentation, etc. It is common for individuals who want to learn more about a topic to use the sources in a reference list. Citing is a recognition of other people's work.

Chicago Style has two different formats Notes & Bibliography and Author/Date for in-text citing and the bibliography. Each use a slightly different format.

Notes & Bibliography

This style uses notes (footnotes or endnotes) together with a bibliography. Notes provide an author the option to add additional information or comments about a cited source.

  • Footnotes / Endnotes
    • Are listed numerically (1, 2, 3, etc.) at the bottom of a page (footnote) or the end of a document (endnote)
    • Endnotes appear before the bibliography
    • Lists elements in order of the author, title, and publication information
    • Elements are separated by commas with the publication information enclosed in parentheses
    • Titles use title case (main words are capitalized) and italics are used for the larger work (e.g. book, journal)
    • Include specific page numbers only in the notes and only when using a direct quote or referencing a specific section of the work
    • Use a first line indent of .5"
  • A bibliography entry (Reference)
    • Appears at the end of the document (after endnotes if those are used)
    • Lists elements in order of the author, title, and facts of publication
    • Elements are separated by periods instead of commas
    • Does not use parentheses for publication information
    • The author’s name is inverted (last name first).
    • Titles are formatted differently depending on the source
      • For article and chapter titles use title case (main words are capitalized)
      • For  book, journal, etc. titles use italics
    • Use a hanging indent of .5"
  • Chicago style requires abbreviations of specific words such as editor, edition, etc. Consult Chapter 10 of the style manual for the full list.
  • Paper format
    • Margins: 1" on all four edges of the page
    • Double-spacing throughout the paper
    • Single spacing for block quotations, table titles, and figure captions
    • Single spacing internally but double space before and after for table of contents, lists of figures, tables, and abbreviations, footnotes or endnotes, and bibliography (reference list)
    • Paragraphs use first line indent of .5"
    • Page numbers appear on every page except the first page and are either centered in the header or footer or flush right in the header

Author/Date

The author-date system is similar to APA or MLA in that in-text citations are used instead of footnotes or endnotes.

  • Used primarily in the physical, natural, and social sciences
  • In-text citations are parenthetical using the author’s last name and publication date
  • The list of references
    • Appears at the end of the document
    • Labeled either as References or Works Cited
    • Is formatted with hanging indents
    • A reference entry lists elements in order by the author, title, and facts of publication and are separated by periods;
    • The first author’s name is inverted (last name first)
  • Use page numbers when using a direct quote or referencing a specific section of the work.
  • Chicago style requires abbreviations of specific words such as editor, edition, etc. Consult Chapter 10 of the style manual for the full list.
  • Paper format
    • Margins: 1" on all four edges of the page
    • Double-spacing throughout the paper
    • Single spacing for block quotations, table titles, and figure captions
    • Single spacing internally but double space before and after for table of contents, lists of figures, tables, and abbreviations, and bibliography (reference list)
    • Paragraphs use first line indent of .5"
    • Page numbers appear on every page except the first page and are either centered in the header or footer or flush right in the header