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Citation Guides: Chicago Style

Chicago Manual of Style

Citation Generators

The following free online citation generators can be very helpful in formatting your citations. Note that the citations are not always perfect. You are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of your citations.

Further Citation Assistance

These resources can provide additional assistance to you regarding Chicago. As always, you can also contact the Library if you need help.

Headline-Style Capitalization

Many citation styles, including Chicago, require headline-style capitalization of titles of works. Below are the rules outline in Chicago 8.157 regarding headline-style capitalization.

  • Capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles.
  • Capitalize major words, including nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
  • DO NOT capitalize the articles aan, and the unless the word is the first word of the title or subtitle.
  • DO NOT capitalize prepositions unless they are used as adverbs or adjectives (for example, Look Up, Turn Down, Come To).
  • DO NOT capitalize conjunctions andbutfor,  or, and nor.
  • DO NOT capitalize to or as.
  • DO NOT capitalize parts of a proper noun that would otherwise be lowercase in text (for example, de or von).
  • DO NOT capitalize the second part of a species name.

Introduction

The information below comes from 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. As needed, section references are provided. "Chicago" is used throughout this page as a shortened form of the manual's title.

Two Styles

Chicago actually has two styles for documentation. The first requires footnotes or endnotes along with a bibliography. The second requires parenthetical citations along with a reference list. You should ask your instructor which he/she prefers.

In-Text Citation

Notes

In Chicago style, you may use either footnotes or endnotes. You should ask your professor to see what he/she prefers. Regardless, notes are used both for citation as well as for additional information. According to the Chicago manual, "The notes allow space for unusual types of sources as well as for commentary on the sources cited, making this system extremely flexible" (14.2).

The notes are typically numbered and correspond to superscripted numbers within the text.1

1. This is an example of a note that references a superscripted numbered item.

While your professor might require you to provide all bibliographic information in the first note for a source, typically the note does not contain all bibliographic information. You need only provide enough information so the reader can then find the source in your full bibliography. The shortened form should include the author(s), a shortened form of the title, and the page number for the referenced section. Each part of the note should be separated with a comma. The title must follow capitalization and formatting rules for titles of its type (see the boxes below). For more information see sections 14.14 - 14.55 in the Chicago manual.

Shortened citation in a note

8. Minow and LaMay, Presidential Debates, 138.

Parenthetical

If you are required to use parenthetical citations instead of notes, then Chicago advocates for the use of the author-date system. In this style, you will use parentheses to enclose the author's last name, the publication date, and page numbers cited directly after the referenced text. Do not use a comma to separate the author's name and the publication date, but DO use a comma to separate the publication date and the year.

Parenthetical example

(Smith 2014, 27).

Articles

Notes

For journal articles, you will need the name of the author(s), the title of the article, the journal title, the volume and issue number for the journal, the date of the issue, and the page numbers for the article.

  • If there is only one author, then his/her name is listed with last name first. If there is more than one author, then each author after the first one is listed with first name first. A comma separates each author. A comma and the word "and" precedes the last author listed. A period comes after the last author's name.
  • The title of the article must be enclosed in quotation marks with headline-style capitalization. The article's title ends with a period inside the last quotation mark.
  • The title of the journal follows the article's title. The journal's title is italicized using headline-style capitalization.
  • The volume number follows the italicized version of the journal title, but the volume number is NOT italicized. The issue number follows the volume number. A comma separates the two elements. The issue number is preceded by no. for the word number. The date is in parentheses after the issue number. A colon follows the closed parenthesis of the date, and page numbers for the article follow the colon.
  • The entry must be listed with a hanging indent.

Example

Blair, Walter. "Americanized Comic Braggarts." Critical Inquiry 4, no. 2 (1977): 331-49.

Karmaus, Wilfried, and John F. Riebow. "Storage of Serum in Plastic and Glass Containers May Alter the Serum Concentration of Polychlorinated    Biphenyls." Environmental Health Perspectives 112 (May 2004): 643-47.

Electronic Journal Article (Databases)

The entry for an electronic journal article accessed from a database is the same as the entries listed above. You must, however, include the URL or DOI after the page numbers. Separate them with a period. 

Parenthetical

For parenthetical journal articles, the bibliographic citation at the end is the same as listed above except the date of publication follows the name of the author(s) and the issue number for the journal is enclosed in parentheses.

Example

Blair, Walter. 1977. "Americanized Comic Braggarts." Critical Inquiry 4(2): 331-49.

*If you are required to provide the full bibliographic citation in a note, replace the periods in the citation with commas and list the name of the author(s) as first name first. The page number listed should be the page that references the text being quoted.

Walter Blair, "Americanized Comic Braggarts," Critical Inquiry 4, no. 2 (1977): 346.

Books

Notes

For books, you must include the following elements:

  • Name of the author(s) with last name first. If there are multiple authors, each author after the first one should be listed with first name first. A comma separates each author's name. A comma and the word and comes before the last name listed.
  • The title should be italicized using headline-style capitalization. End the title with a period.
  • The city of publication follows the title.
  • The name of the publishing house follows the city. A colon separates the two elements.
  • The date of publication follows the publisher. A comma separates the two elements.
  • The entry must be listed with a hanging indent.

Example

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Ward, Geoffrey C., and Ken Burns. The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945. New York: Knopf, 2007.

*If a title has four or more authors, list all the names in the bibliography. In the note, however, you cite only the name of the first author and follow that with et al.

Example

Barnes et al., Plastics.

Parenthetical

For books, you follow the same rules as listed above. The only exception is that the publication year follows the name of the author(s) with a period separating the two elements. A period follows the name of the publisher, too.

Example

Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.

Other Rules

If the book has an editor or translator, then his/her name follows the title of the book. Precede the name with either the words Edited by or Translated by.

If the cited material is a chapter of a book, include the chapter author, title (in quotation marks), and the editor. Precede the title of the book with the word In. The page numbers for the chapter follow the name of the editor with a comma to separate the elements.

Example

(Note) Gould, Glenn. "Streisand as Schwarzkopf." In The Glenn Gould Reader, edited by Tim Page, 308-11. New York: Vintage, 1984.

(Parenthetical) Gould, Glenn. 1984. "Streisand as Schwarzkopf." In The Glenn Gould Reader, edited by Tim Page, 308-11. New York: Vintage.

*If you are required to provide the full bibliographic citation in a note, replace the periods in the citation with commas and list the name of the author(s) with first name first. The publication information is placed in parentheses. The page number for the text being quoted follows the closing parenthesis along with a comma to separate the elements.

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006), 99-100.

Online

Chicago recommends the inclusion of the URL or DOI when using sources found online (14.4). You should also include the publication or revision date for the source. The date of access is not necessary unless no publication or revision date can be identified.

If you are using notes for your document, then electronic resources should be hyperlinked in the note (14.14).