Today's Chicago style guidelines evolved from internal publication guidelines developed by the University of Chicago Press first published in 1906 under the title Manual of Style. The Press revised its guidelines repeatedly over the years and added new rules as needed. The guidelines are published in two flavors: The Chicago Manual of Style and the Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. The former is intended for authors preparing a manuscript for publication; the latter was written for graduate students who are writing a thesis or dissertation and emphasizes research and writing processes. The Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is often referred to as Turabian style after its author Kate Turabian even though there is no distinct Turabian style.
Chicago Style Resources
The 17th and 16th editions are available online.
The Chicago Manual of Style: Citation Quick Guide
Gives sample citations for commonly cited types of sources.
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (9th ed.)
Available in print only.
Turabian: Citation Quick Guide
Gives sample citations for commonly cited types of sources.
The Chicago Manual of Style offers solutions for all aspects of preparing a manuscript for publication. The guidelines for source citation are covered in chapters 14 and 15. Chapter 14 presents guidelines and examples for source citations following the notes and bibliography system which is the preferred system in the humanities. Chapter 15 covers the author-date system which is mostly used in the sciences and social sciences.
The abbreviation CMS, used in parentheses below, refers to chapters and sections of The Chicago Manual of Style. [pp.] is used as a placeholder for cited pages.
The notes and bibliography system for source citations uses footnotes or endnotes in place of in-text references. The publisher or scholar decides which type of note to use. Some publishers prefer endnotes as lengthy footnotes can overwhelm the text. Most digital texts place notes at the end of the text and use hyperlinks to connect text and note.
Footnotes and endnotes follow the same content formatting rules. The first time a source is cited, the complete publication information is given in the note together with page references. Examples for this type of source citation are shown below as full notes. Subsequent references to the same work are abbreviated as shown in the examples for short notes below. (CMS, 14.20 ff.)
A single note may include multiple source citations. These citations should appear in the same sequence in which they are referenced in the text separated by semi-colons. Notes may also include author comments and asides which would clutter up the text.
A full note is required the first time a source is cited unless the source is listed in the bibliography. It includes all bibliographic information similar to the bibliography entry but it follows distinct formatting rules: authors' names are never inverted in the notes; place of publication, publisher, and year appear in parentheses; publication elements are separated by commas instead of periods; notes generally include page references; page references replace chapter and article page information listed in bibliography entries. (CMS, 14.19 ff.)
Short notes are used for all subsequent references to the same work. They generally consist of three elements: Last name of author(s), abbreviated title, page references. Page references are not always needed or required as in the case of websites and ebooks. (CMS, 14.29 ff.)
The Use of Ibid. for Repeated References to the Same Source
The abbreviation ibid. (short for ibidem, "in the same place") was traditionally used to avoid repeating a short note when the same work was cited in the preceding note. Chicago style guidelines now discourage the use of ibid. in favor of a form of the short note that gives the last name of the author(s) and page reference(s). Ibid. can lead to confusion in electronic texts that use hyperlinked notes which may not allow the reader to see the preceding note. (CMS, 14.34)
Chicago style does not require a bibliography as the notes include all publication details. In the classroom environment a bibliography is nevertheless often required in addition to notes. (CMS, 14.61 ff.)
Chicago style recognizes five types of bibliographies:
- Full bibliography
A full bibliographies includes all cited sources and may list additional seminal works which are not referenced in the text but relevant to its subject matter. The heading Bibliography may be replaced by Works Cited or Literature Cited if no additional sources are listed. This is the most commonly used type of bibliography. (example)
- Selected bibliography
A selected bibliography identifies critical sources for the reader's convenience. The notes include full citations for all other consulted sources. Chicago style recommends a note to explain the principles for selection. (example)
- Annotated bibliography
Annotated bibliographies include annotations that summarize the cited sources. Students may also be asked to describe how they intend to use a source for their project. Annotations typically follow each bibliography entry. (example)
- Bibliographic essay
Bibliographic essays are less formal and are typically used in books intended for a general audience. (example)
- List of works by one author
This type of bibliography is often used in festschriften honoring the academic achievements of an outstanding scholar. Works are listed in chronological order. The header used is Published Works [of author's name] or Writings [of author's name].
Basic formatting rules
- Use Bibliography centered at the top of the page as heading for a full bibliography. (CMS 14.64)
- Each source is cited in a separate paragraph formatted with a hanging indent.
- List all works in alphabetical order sorted by the last name of the author. (CMS 14.65ff.)
- Only the first author's name is inverted to allow for alphabetical sorting. All other names are given in regular order. (CMS 14.62)
- Replace the name of the author with a 3-em dash after the first listing when multiple works by the same authors are part of the bibliography. Sort these entries in alphabetical order by the title of the cited work. Chicago style discourages the use of 3-em dash for manuscripts as it interferes with automated alphabetical sorting. (CMS 14.67ff.)
Authors (CMS 14.72 ff.)
- Authors’ names are given in normal order [first name, last name] except for the first author listed in a bibliography entry. There, only the name of the first author is inverted [last name, first name] to facilitate the alphabetical sorting of sources.
- Authors' names are given as they appear in the consulted works. Prefer the full first name of an author, even if it is given in only one of the cited sources and substitute full first names for initials to disambiguate multiple authors with identical last names and initials.
- Do not use full first names for authors who always use initials such as T.S. Eliot.
- Multiple authors are listed in the order in which their names appear in the consulted work. Only the name of the first author is inverted in the bibliography. Names are separated by commas and the conjunction "and." The ampersand sign is not used in Chicago style.
- For works by four to ten individuals only the first author is listed in the notes followed by et al. with no preceding comma. All authors are listed in the bibliography as shown below.
- Avoid the use of "Anonymous." Source citations for works by unknown authors start with the title.
- Give the name of an organization as author if no personal names are listed on the title page.
Notes for sources written by 2-3 authors:
1. David W. Del Testa, Florence Lemoine, and John Strickland, eds, Global History: Cultural Encounters from Antiquity to the Present (Armonk, N.Y.: Sharpe Reference, 2004), [pp.].
Bibliography entries for sources written by 2-3 authors:
Del Testa, David W., Florence Lemoine, and John Strickland, eds. Global History: Cultural Encounters from Antiquity to the Present. Armonk, N.Y.: Sharpe Reference, 2004.
Notes for sources written by 4-10 authors:
2. Jeannette Kamp et al., Writing History! A Companion for Historians (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018), [pp.], https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv2bct4z.
Bibliography entries for sources written by 4-10 authors:
Kamp, Jeannette, Susan Legêne, Matthias van Rossum, and Sebas Rümke. Writing History! A Companion for Historians. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018. https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv2bct4z.
Titles (CMS 14.85 ff.)
- Titles of books and journals are given in italics. The same goes for titles of newspapers, blogs, movies, and art works. Quotation marks are reserved for the titles of sections of larger works such as book chapters and journal articles.
- The first words and all major words in titles and subtitles are capitalized. For non-English titles follow the capitalization rules of the original language.
- Subtitles are considered part of the title and separated from the main title by a colon. Both titles appear in italics. The colon will be omitted if the main title ends in a question mark or in an exclamation point.
- Titles of other works which are part of an italicized title are enclosed by quotation marks to set them apart.
- Use single quotation marks for words and phrases appearing in quotation marks in a title.
- Use “reverse italics,” a.k.a. the non-italic version of the font used, for words italicized in the title of a cited work.
- Very long titles may be shortened through the use of bracketed ellipses.
Books (CMS 14.100 ff.)
Source citations for books include the following elements generally in the order given below.
- Author(s) or editor(s)
- Title and subtitle(s) in italics
- Editor(s), compiler(s), or translator(s) if they are listed on the title page in addition to the author(s)
- Edition (if not the first)
- Volume number and title (if applicable) are given if only a single volume in a series was consulted
- Series title and volume number are included if applicable
- Facts of publication: city, publisher, and date
- Page number(s) if applicable
- For books consulted online a URL or the name of a commercial database; for other types of electronic books the application, device, or medium consulted
Periodicals (CMS 14.164 ff.)
The term periodicals encompasses scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Source citations for articles published in periodicals include the following elements generally in the order given below.
- Article title and subtitle(s) set in quotation marks
- Title of periodicals in italics
- Issue information: volume, issue number, date (newspapers and magazines generally require a specific date that includes month and day; do not use parentheses around the date; omit volume and issue numbers)
- Page references where appropriate
- For periodicals consulted online a URL or the name of a commercial database
Websites (CMS 14.207)
Source citations for websites can be limited to notes. Add them to the bibliography when notes are not used. Include as much of the following information as can be determined.
- Title or description of the cited page capitalized headline-style. Do not use quotation marks or italics
- The words web page or website may be added after the title to clarify the nature of the source
- Title or description of the whole site if applicable
- Owner or sponsor of the site
- Include one of the following dates: publication, revision, or access
Blog Posts (CMS 14.208)
Citations for blog posts can be referenced in the text or the notes alone. Bibliography entries of blog posts, if they are desired, are added under the name of the author of the post. Include as much of the following information as can be determined.
- Title in quotation marks capitalized headline-style
- Title of the blog in italics
- The word blog may be added after the title of the blog to clarify the nature of the source unless it is already part of the title
- Date of the cited post
Social Media Content (CMS 14.209)
References to social media content can be handled in the text. If a formal citation is desired, include as much of the following information as can be determined.
- Author(s): list the real name (if known) followed by the screen name
- In place of a title, use the text of a post, up to 160 characters. Capitalization follows the original post.
- Type of post including social media service and format
- Date of the cited post
Reference Works (CMS 14.232 ff.)
- Well-known reference works such as the Oxford English Dictionary and the Encyclopaedia Britannica should be referenced in the notes only.
- References to entries in alphabetically arranged works do not include page numbers. Instead, s.v. (sub verbo, “under the word”) precedes the title which is set in quotation marks.
1. OED Online, s.v. "latitude," accessed August 21, 2020, https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/106162.
- Reference works which are read like a book should be cited like a book.
- Reference works with substantial, authored entries may be cited like book chapters. In this case the citation may also be included in the bibliography.
2. Carol Symes, "Introducing the Medieval Globe," in Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Ages, ed. Simon Forde and Danna R. Messer (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019), http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781350990005-0002.
Artwork and Illustrations (CMS 14.235)
References to artworks and illustrations are generally better handled in the text or in legends attached to reproduced images than in a note or bibliography. If a more formal source citation is desired, include as much of the following information as can be determined.
- Title or description in italics
- Date of creation or completion
- Location of the work
- For works consulted online include a URL
1. Frank Buffalo Hyde, In-Appropriate #1, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in., https://frankbuffalohyde.com/artwork/3472762-IN-APPROPRIATE-1.html.
Rules for Electronic Sources
- Citations for sources consulted online should always include a URL or the name of the commercial platform on which the resource was read in addition to the usual bibliographic information. (CMS, 14.6 ff.)
- Persistent URLs, sometimes called permalinks or stable URLs, should be preferred when available.
- Digital object identifiers (doi) can form persistent URLs when the doi number follows the “http://dx.doi.org/” prefix. For example, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139568388.007.
Chicago style abandoned the use of "doi:10.1017/CBO9781139568388.007" with the 17th edition.
- Access dates are not required for formally published sources but should be included for websites and the like.
Citation solutions for electronic sources
1. David Buisseret, The Mapmaker's Quest: Depicting New Worlds in Renaissance Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), [pp.], ProQuest Ebook Central.
2. Catherine Delano Smith, "Cartographic Signs on European Maps and Their Explanation Before 1700," Imago Mundi 37 (1985): [pp.], www.jstor.org/stable/1150823.
3. Tina Pippin, "Mapping the End," Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology 74, no. 2 (2020): [pp.], http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020964319896311.
4. “Maps in Our Lives,” Library of Congress exhibition, accessed July 29, 2020, https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/maps/maps-exhibit.html.
Buisseret, David. The Mapmaker's Quest: Depicting New Worlds in Renaissance Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. ProQuest Ebook Central.
“Maps in Our Lives.” Library of Congress exhibition. Accessed July 29, 2020. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/maps/maps-exhibit.html.
Pippin, Tina. "Mapping the End." Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology 74, no. 2 (2020): 183-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020964319896311.
Smith, Catherine Delano. "Cartographic Signs on European Maps and Their Explanation Before 1700." Imago Mundi 37 (1985): 9-29. www.jstor.org/stable/1150823.
Commonly Cited Sources
|Basic book format
CMS 14.100 ff.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. Book Title: Subtitle. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. URL, doi, or Source Database for electronic books.
|Contributions to a multiauthor book
CMS 14.107 ff.
Journals, Magazines & Newspapers
|Basic periodical format
CMS 14.164 ff.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. “Article Title: Subtitle.” Periodical Title volume, issue (Year of publication): inclusive pages. URL, doi, or Source Database for electronic books.
CMS 14.168 ff.
CMS 14.188 ff.
CMS 14.191 ff.
|Basic website format
CMS 14.205 ff.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. [if available] “Website Title.” Date [choose between access, copyright, creation, and last modified]. URL.