Chicago style in text citation essay

Chicago Style: Notes and In-Text Citations

Chicago/Turabian Basics: Notes

Why we include in-text citations and notes

Researchers include brief citations in their writing to acknowledge references to other people’s work. Generally, Chicago uses either footnotes or endnotes (or both) to give credit in text.

Citations are:

  • Indicated by a superscript numeral in the text
  • Listed in the footnote/endnote in standard font size
  • Numbered consecutively
  • Placed at the end of a sentence/clause
  • Placed after quotation marks and punctuation…
  • …Except dashes, where they are placed before

Example of references cited in text:

Great efforts have been put forth to save giant pandas in recent decades. The Chan Foundation for Panda Livelihood contributed over $20,000 to the San Diego Zoo last year to ensure that its Panda Cam would operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.1 President Danny Chan said, “Now people from all over the world can see the fascinating behavior of pandas, such as eating bamboo and sleeping whenever they want.”2

Example of corresponding notes:

1. Danny Chan. My Philanthropic Life: Helping the World Through Panda Rescues (New York: Scribner), 123.

2. Michele Kirschenbaum, “How One Man Saved Many Pandas,” Journal of Animal News 67 (2014): 12.

This chapter provides a general overview of formatting notes using the Chicago Manual of Style. For complete information, refer to Section 14 of the CMoS.

Note structure for a book

*Note: The following author formatting can be applied to other source types, as well.

One author

First name Last name, Book Title (City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication): Pages Cited.

Two or three authors

First name Last name and First name Last name, Book Title (City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication): Pages Cited.

Four or more authors

First name Last name et al., Book Title (City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication): Pages Cited.

Editor/translator/compiler with no author

First name Last name ed./trans./comp., Book Title (City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication): Pages Cited.

*Also see page 2 of this guide.

Editor/translator/compiler with an author

Author First name Last name, Book Title, ed./trans./comp. First name Last name (City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication): Pages Cited.

Note structure for a scholarly journal article

Print journal

First name Last name, “Article Title,” Journal Title Volume, no. Issue (Year of Publication): Page(s).

Online journal

First name Last name, “Article Title,” Journal Title Volume, no. Issue (Year of Publication): Page(s), doi: XXXX OR URL.

Note structure for a newspaper/magazine article

First name Last name, “Article Title,” Publication Title, Month Date, Year of Publication, Page(s).

Note structure for a thesis or dissertation

First name Last name, “Title of Dissertation” (PhD diss., University Name, Year).

*The CMoS has many suggestions for formatting notes of musical recordings. See Section 14.276.

Note structure for a musical recording

First name Last name or Group, Recording Title, recorded Month Date, Year.

Tips for Formatting Your Bibliography

Once you’ve compiled your footnotes or endnotes, you may need to compile these references in a bibliography.

Chicago style bibliographies are:

    • Arranged alphabetically
    • Placed at the end of a paper, before the index
    • Formatted with the word “Bibliography” centered at the top of the page
      • You may also use “Works Cited” or “Literature Cited” if works not used in your paper are not listed on this page.

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Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

Chicago-style source citations come in two varieties: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. If you already know which system to use, follow one of the links above to see sample citations for a variety of common sources. If you are unsure about which system to use, read on.

Notes and Bibliography or Author-Date?

The notes and bibliography system is preferred by many working in the humanities—including literature, history, and the arts. In this system, sources are cited in numbered footnotes or endnotes. Each note corresponds to a raised (superscript) number in the text. Sources are also usually listed in a separate bibliography. The notes and bibliography system can accommodate a wide variety of sources, including unusual ones that don’t fit neatly into the author-date system.

The author-date system is more common in the sciences and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and year of publication. Each in-text citation matches up with an entry in a reference list, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Aside from the use of numbered notes versus parenthetical references in the text, the two systems share a similar style. Follow the links at the top of this page to see examples of some of the more common source types cited in both systems.

Most authors choose the system used by others in their field or required by their publisher. Students who are unsure of which system to use will find more information here.

For a more comprehensive look at Chicago’s two systems of source citation and many more examples, see chapters 14 and 15 of The Chicago Manual of Style.

The Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition text © 2017 by The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition text © 2010 by The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style Online © 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 by The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style is a registered trademark of The University of Chicago.

Author-Date: Sample Citations

The following examples illustrate the author-date system. Each example of a reference list entry is accompanied by an example of a corresponding in-text citation. For more details and many more examples, see chapter 15 of The Chicago Manual of Style . For examples of the same citations using the notes and bibliography system, follow the Notes and Bibliography link above.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. 2015. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life . New York: Simon & Schuster.

Smith, Zadie. 2016. Swing Time . New York: Penguin Press.

In-text citations

(Grazer and Fishman 2015, 12)

(Smith 2016, 315–16)

For more examples, see 1 5 . 40 – 45 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Chapter or other part of an edited book

In the reference list, include the page range for the chapter or part. In the text, cite specific pages.

Reference list entry

Thoreau, Henry David. 2016. “Walking.” In The Making of the American Essay , edited by John D’Agata, 167–95. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press.

In-text citation

(Thoreau 2016, 177–78)

In some cases, you may want to cite the collection as a whole instead.

Reference list entry

D’Agata, John, ed. 2016. The Making of the American Essay . Minneapolis: Graywolf Press.

In-text citation

(D’Agata 2016, 177–78)

For more details, see 15.36 and 15.42 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Translated book

Reference list entry

Lahiri, Jhumpa. 2016. In Other Words . Translated by Ann Goldstein. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

In-text citation

(Lahiri 2016, 146)

For books consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database in the reference list entry. For other types of e-books, name the format. If no fixed page numbers are available, cite a section title or a chapter or other number in the text, if any (or simply omit).

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Austen, Jane. 2007. Pride and Prejudice . New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle.

Borel, Brooke. 2016. The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ProQuest Ebrary.

Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The Founders’ Constitution . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. http://press-pubs. uchicago. edu/founders/.

Melville, Herman. 1851. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale . New York: Harper & Brothers. http://mel. hofstra. edu/moby-dick-the-whale-proofs. html.

In-text citations

(Austen 2007, chap. 3)

(Kurland and Lerner 1987, chap. 10, doc. 19)

(Melville 1851, 627)

Journal article

In the reference list, include the page range for the whole article. In the text, cite specific page numbers. For articles consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database in the reference list entry. Many journal articles list a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins https://doi. org/. This URL is preferable to the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Keng, Shao-Hsun, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem. 2017. “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality.” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring): 1–34. https://doi. org/10.1086/690235.

LaSalle, Peter. 2017. “Conundrum: A Story about Reading.” New England Review 38 (1): 95–109. Project MUSE.

Satterfield, Susan. 2016. “Livy and the Pax Deum .” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April): 165–76.

In-text citations

(Keng, Lin, and Orazem 2017, 9–10)

(LaSalle 2017, 95)

(Satterfield 2016, 170)

Journal articles often list many authors, especially in the sciences. If there are four or more authors, list up to ten in the reference list; in the text, list only the first, followed by et al. (“and others”). For more than ten authors (not shown here), list the first seven in the reference list, followed by et al.

Reference list entry

Bay, Rachael A., Noah Rose, Rowan Barrett, Louis Bernatchez, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Jesse R. Lasky, Rachel B. Brem, Stephen R. Palumbi, and Peter Ralph. 2017. “Predicting Responses to Contemporary Environmental Change Using Evolutionary Response Architectures.” American Naturalist 189, no. 5 (May): 463–73. https://doi. org/10.1086/691233.

In-text citation

(Bay et al. 2017, 465)

For more examples, see 1 5 . 46–49 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

News or magazine article

Articles from newspapers or news sites, magazines, blogs, and the like are cited similarly. In the reference list, it can be helpful to repeat the year with sources that are cited also by month and day. Page numbers, if any, can be cited in the text but are omitted from a reference list entry. If you consulted the article online, include a URL or the name of the database.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Manjoo, Farhad. 2017. “Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera.” New York Times , March 8, 2017. https://www. nytimes. com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera. html.

Mead, Rebecca. 2017. “The Prophet of Dystopia.” New Yorker , April 17, 2017.

Pai, Tanya. 2017. “The Squishy, Sugary History of Peeps.” Vox , April 11, 2017. http://www. vox. com/culture/2017/4/11/15209084/peeps-easter.

Pegoraro, Rob. 2007. “Apple’s iPhone Is Sleek, Smart and Simple.” Washington Post , July 5, 2007. LexisNexis Academic.

In-text citation

Readers’ comments are cited in the text but omitted from a reference list.

In-text citation

(Eduardo B [Los Angeles], March 9, 2017, comment on Manjoo 2017)

For more examples, see 15 . 49 (newspapers and magazines) and 1 5 . 51 (blogs) in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Book review

Reference list entry

Kakutani, Michiko. 2016. “Friendship Takes a Path That Diverges.” Review of Swing Time , by Zadie Smith. New York Times , November 7, 2016.

In-text citation

Reference list entry

Stamper, Kory. 2017. “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English.” Interview by Terry Gross. Fresh Air , NPR, April 19, 2017. Audio, 35:25. http://www. npr. org/2017/04/19/524618639/from-f-bomb-to-photobomb-how-the-dictionary-keeps-up-with-english.

In-text citation

Thesis or dissertation

Reference list entry

Rutz, Cynthia Lillian. 2013. “ King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues.” PhD diss., University of Chicago.

In-text citation

(Rutz 2013, 99–100)

Website content

It is often sufficient simply to describe web pages and other website content in the text (“As of May 1, 2017, Yale’s home page listed . . .”). If a more formal citation is needed, it may be styled like the examples below. For a source that does not list a date of publication or revision, use n. d. (for “no date”) in place of the year and include an access date.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Bouman, Katie. 2016. “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole.” Filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA. Video, 12:51. https://www. ted. com/talks/katie_bouman_what_does_a_black_hole_look_like.

Google. 2017. “Privacy Policy.” Privacy & Terms. Last modified April 17, 2017. https://www. google. com/policies/privacy/.

Yale University. n. d. “About Yale: Yale Facts.” Accessed May 1, 2017. https://www. yale. edu/about-yale/yale-facts.

In-text citations

(Yale University, n. d.)

For more examples, see 1 5 . 50–52 in The Chicago Manual of Style . For multimedia, including live performances, see 1 5 . 57 .

Social media content

Citations of content shared through social media can usually be limited to the text (as in the first example below). If a more formal citation is needed, a reference list entry may be appropriate. In place of a title, quote up to the first 160 characters of the post. Comments are cited in reference to the original post.

Conan O’Brien’s tweet was characteristically deadpan: “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets” (@ConanOBrien, April 22, 2015).

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Chicago Manual of Style. 2015. “Is the world ready for singular they? We thought so back in 1993.” Facebook, April 17, 2015. https://www. facebook. com/ChicagoManual/posts/10152906193679151.

Souza, Pete (@petesouza). 2016. “President Obama bids farewell to President Xi of China at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit.” Instagram photo, April 1, 2016. https://www. instagram. com/p/BDrmfXTtNCt/.

In-text citations

(Chicago Manual of Style 2015)

(Michele Truty, April 17, 2015, 1:09 p. m., comment on Chicago Manual of Style 2015)

Personal communication

Personal communications, including email and text messages and direct messages sent through social media, are usually cited in the text only; they are rarely included in a reference list.

In-text citation

(Sam Gomez, Facebook message to author, August 1, 2017)