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Chicago Citation Style Guide

A quick guide to Chicago-style citations

About Chicago's Notes-Bibliography System

Chicago's Notes-Bibliography citation style: "uses a system of notes, whether footnotes or endnotes or both, and usually a bibliography. The notes allow space for unusual types of sources as well as for commentary on the sources cited, making this system extremely flexible. Because of this flexibility, the notes and bibliography system is preferred by many writers in literature, history, and the arts." - Chicago Manual of Style

The Notes-Bibliography system consists of endnotes or footnotes (N) within the text and a bibliography (B) at the end of the document.

Formatting Notes

Example of basic Chicago bibliography entry

1. Newton N. Minow and Craig L. LaMay, Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 24–25.

Entries

  • A footnote or endnote generally lists the author, title, and facts of publication, in that order.
  • Elements are separated by commas
  • Authors’ names are presented in standard order (first name first).
  • Titles Are Capitalized Headline-Style.
  • Titles of larger works (e.g., books and journals) are italicized; titles of smaller works (e.g., chapters, articles) or unpublished works are presented in roman and enclosed in quotation marks (see 8.161).

Footnotes

  • Note numbers should begin with “1” and follow consecutively throughout a given paper. 
  • In the text, note numbers are superscripted. 
  • Note numbers should be placed at the end of the clause or sentence to which they refer and should be placed after any and all punctuation. 
  • In the notes themselves, note numbers are full-sized, not raised, and followed by a period
  • The first line of a footnote is indented .5” from the left margin. 
  • Subsequent lines within a footnote should be formatted flush left. 
  • Leave an extra line space between footnotes

Ibid Form for repeated citations

The abbreviation ibid. usually refers to a single work cited in the note immediately preceding. It must never be used if the preceding note contains more than one citation. It takes the place of the name(s) of the author(s) or editor(s), the title of the work, and as much of the succeeding material as is identical. If the entire reference, including page numbers or other particulars, is identical, the word ibid. alone is used (as in note 7 below). The word ibid. is capitalized at the beginning of a note and followed by a period.

5. Farmwinkle, Humor of the Midwest, 241.
6. Ibid., 258–59.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid., 333–34.
9. Losh, Diaries and Correspondence, 1:150.
10. Ibid., 2:35–36.
11. Ibid., 2:37–40.