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Chicago Citation Style

Basic information and examples for creating footnotes and a bibliography in Chicago style.

Footnotes or Text Citations?

Chicago style allows either footnotes or text citations (also called in-text citations or author-date citations). Ask your professor which style he or she prefers. (Personally, I loathe text citations, as they break up the text and make it very confusing to read. Some people love them. Go figure.)

Whichever style you use, be sure to cite every quotation you use and all information you borrow from other sources. Failure to cite your sources is plagiarism.

Use Word tools! In MS Word, select "References" and then "Insert footnote". This will place the footnote correctly and number it. If you later move the citation it refers to, the footnote will be moved and renumbered automatically.

Footnote Basics

  • If you include a bibliography with complete citations of all the works you have used, you may use abbreviated footnotes throughout.
  • If you don't include a bibliography, you  must give a full citation for the first footnote from each work and abbreviated footnotes for subsequent citations.
  • A complete footnote has the same information as the citation in the bibliography, with some differences in format, plus the page number of a particular quotation.
  • An abbreviated footnote contains the author's last name, a brief title, and the page number of the quotation.

For a Book:


Guion, David M. The Trombone: Its History and Music, 1697-1811. New York:

         Gordon and Breach, 1988.

Complete footnote:

Author in normal order, followed by comma; publication information in parentheses, page of quotation at end. Not indented, single spaced; use 10-pt. type.

David M. Guion, The Trombone: Its History and Music, 1697-1811 (New York: Gordon

and Breach, 1988), 23.

Abbreviated footnote:

Guion, The Trombone, 78.

For a Periodical Article:


Adair, Douglas. "A Note on Certain of Hamilton's Pseudonyms." The William and Mary Quarterly,

         Third series 12, no. 2 (April 1955)): 282-297.  JSTOR. Viewed 3 Oct. 2014.

Complete footnote

Douglas Adair, "A Note on Certain of Hamilton's Pseudonyms," (The William and Mary Quarterly, Third series 12, no. 2 (April 1955)): 282.

Abbreviated footnote

Adair, "A Note on Certain of Hamilton's Pseudonyms," 295.

Text Citations

  • Text citations must agree exactly with entries in your bibliography.
  • Include the last name(s) of the author(s) and the date of publication with no comma in between.
  • If you are citing a specific page, put the page number after the date, separated by a comma.
  • Put the text citation before a mark of punctuation.
  • For more than three authors, use the first author with et al.

Star Trek "adapts its stories to incorporate familiar mythical paradigms" (Geraghty 2005, 191).

Recent literature has examined long-run price drifts following initial public offerings (Ritter 1991; Loughran and Ritter 1995), stock splits (Ikenberry, Rankine, and Stice 1996), seasoned equity offerings (Loughran and Ritter 1995), and equity repurchases (Ikenberry, Lakonishok, and Vermaelen 1995). [ex. from Chicago Manual of Style, 622]

Nanoparticulate formations "may ... ultimately reduce health-care costs" (Tartau et al. 2009).

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