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Chicago Writing Style

Citing any Source in the Chicago Style - The Ultimate Style Guide

This article explains how to cite sources in the Chicago writing style and covers everything you need to know.

The advice provided here is based on the Chicago Manual of Style and the examples are fictional. They are for illustration purposes only.

Essentials of Chicago Style Citation

The 16th edition of the Chicago Style Manual is the current version and it was developed to help writers correctly cite any sources they use in their written work. The Chicago style uses two forms of referencing, which are 1) the author/date system and 2) note citations (endnotes and footnotes) and bibliographies.   

How to Create a Chicago-Style Bibliography

A bibliography is a full list of all sources used in a paper. These lists include important publication information about sources. The following is the format that should be applied to a bibliography:

  • Citations should be entered in single-spacing
  • Authors’ surnames should be presented in alphabetic order.

The first line of each entry should be aligned to the left margin with subsequent lines indented by a few spaces.

Fictional Examples of How to Cite Different Sources in the Chicago Writing Style

In most cases, citations in the Chicago style should include:

  • Author name
  • Article or book title
  • Journal or newspaper title
  • Year of publication
  • Date/month of publication
  • Publication place (city)
  • Page number(s)/range
  • Access date (for online sources)
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and/or URL (in some cases for online source materials)

Creating Endnotes and Footnotes in the Chicago Writing Style

The notes and bibliography system in the Chicago style requires the writer to use endnotes and footnotes when citing sources in-text. These notes are a method of acknowledging the various sources a writer uses. Every time a source is used in a paper, a superscript number (in roman typeface) should be placed after the borrowed or quoted text (e.g. 1). This number then corresponds to an endnote or footnote: 

  • Endnotes are placed at a chapter or paper’s end
  • Footnotes are placed at the end of a page where a citation occurs
  • Both types of notes contain full information about the source/citation
  • The number appended to an endnote or footnote is standard size i.e. not superscripted.
  • The decision to use endnotes at the end of a paper or footnotes at the end of each page depends entirely on the writer’s preference.

Fictional example: One might wonder, “Could the young philosopher be right? Would he really have been able to diagnose H.I.V.?” ¹ (Example of footnote (located at the page end)1. Gould, Jane. “Inquiring Minds.” The Washington Herald. June 10, 2010. Accessed July 03, 2011.   http://www.washingtonherald.com/2010/06/10/books/review/the-young-philosopher-who-could-diagnose-illness.html?ref=books&_r=0. Where one particular source is used several times (or more than once) in a text, the following rule applies:

  • Where a source is used a second time, it is only necessary to include the surname of the author, the title of the work or a phrase describing it if exceeds four words, and the page number(s) where the citation can be found. This saves writing the whole citation again and it reduces the amount of source information in a paper.

Fictional example: 

1. Williams, Rick, “Support for Candidate A is Dwindling Among Democrat Voters.” ThreeSevenEleven. May 14, 2010. Accessed July 20, 2010. http://threeseveneleven.com/features/support-for-candidate-is-dwindling-among-demoncrat-voters/

2. Smith, Hank P. “The Democrat’s Campaign Must Change or Lose.” The Post. July 24, 2016. Accessed September 14, 2016. http://www.thepost.com/2016/07/24/the-democrats-campaign-must-change-lose/.

3. Williams, “Democrats Losing” Where sources are used consecutively, the following guidelines apply:

  • Rather than repeating the full citation for the third (3rd) time, use the term “ibid.” This is the abbreviated form of “Ibidem,”which is a Latin phrase meaning “in the same place.” Immediately afterwards, include the page number(s).
  • Where the same citation or source and the exact same page number(s) are used in consecutive order, just use the term “Ibid.”

Fictional examples: 

2. Hinds, Richard. The Strange House, 31-34.

3. Ibid., 39.

4. Ibid. 82

5. Ibid., 125-126.

6. DeCoursey, Antoin. The Sounds No One Can Hear, 298-302.

7. Ibid., 355.

8. Ibid., 421.

Please refer to the Chicago Style Manual website for more information on Notes and Bibliographies.  

How to Create Citations in the Chicago Writing Style

As previously mentioned, when using the Chicago citation style, you will be expected to present a list of all the sources you used when writing your paper. Although your footnotes and endnotes will contain comprehensive bibliographic details, the creation of a bibliography is acceptable practice and often a requirement of tutors. This list is located at a paper’s end.  

Citing Print Version Books in the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

Author’s first name and Author’s surname. Book Title. (Place of Publication: Name of Publisher, Publication Year).

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. Book Title.

Fictional Example of Citation for Book with a Single Author

For endnotes and footnotes:

1. William Havers. Born Wild: The Story of Africa’s Wildlife.

For the bibliography:

Havers, William. Born Wild: The Story of Africa’s Wildlife.

NB: Keep in mind that the Citation Machine is a tool that accurately and quickly allows writers to create book citations in the Chicago style.  

Fictional Example of Citation for Book with Several Authors

When it is necessary to cite e-books, the DOI or URL should be included as the last element(s) of the source information.

2. Mabel Sellars and Bob Hellman.  Eurocentric Thinking: Multiculturalism in Europe.

For the bibliography:

Sellars, Mabel and Bob Hellman.  Eurocentric Thinking: Multiculturalism in Europe.

Citing Articles and Book Chapters in the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

Author’s first name, Author’s surname. “Title of Article or Chapter,” in Title of Book,

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. “Title of Chapter.” In Title of Book,

Fictional Example of Book Chapter Citation

For endnotes and footnotes:

3. Leonard Bowes and Freda Hoffman, “Students Worry about Privacy on Social Media,” in Modern Technologies and Social Media Usage,

For the bibliography:

Bowes, Leonard and Freda Hoffman. “Students Worry about Privacy on Social Media.” In Modern Technologies and Social Media Usage,

Citing Online (Electronic) Books in the Chicago Writing Style

When you need to cite an e-book, include the DOI or URL. These should make up the last element in your citation.

For endnotes and footnotes:

4. Author’s first name, Author’s surname, E-Book Title (Publication Place: Name of Publisher, Publication Year), URL: or DOI:

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. Book Title.

Fictional Example of E-Book Citation

For endnotes and footnotes:

5. Jonathan P. Simons, A Guide to Marketing.

For the bibliography:

Simons, Jonathan P. A Guide to Marketing.

Citing E-Books in the Chicago Writing Style - Electronic Books from Kindle or an Electronic-Book Reader

For endnotes and footnotes:

6. Author’s first name Author’s surname, Book Title (Publication Place: Name of Publisher, Publication Year), E-Reader Type, page or chapter range.

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. Book Title.

Fictional Example of Citation for E-Book Reader or Kindle Book

For endnotes and footnotes:

7. Anna Mansfield, The Garden by Moonlight (New York: AmazonBooks, 2011), Kindle Edition.

For the bibliography:

Mansfield, Anna. The Garden by Moonlight.

Citing Print Version Journals in the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

8. Author’s first name Author’s surname, “Article Title,” Title of Journal Volume No, Issue No. (Publication Year): Page numbers/page range.

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. “Article Title,” Title of Journal Volume No, Issue No. (Publication Year): Page numbers/page range.

Fictional Example of Print Version Journal Citation

For endnotes and footnotes:

9. Daniel Carmichael and Ellen White, “Copyright Laws Governing Digital Media,” Cyber Law Journal 10, no. 8 (2010): 62-65.

For the bibliography:

Carmichael, Daniel, and Ellen White, “Copyright Laws Governing Digital Media.” Cyber Law Journal 10, no. 8 (2010): 62-65.

NB: There are some tools available that you can use to generate Chicago-style book citations accurately and quickly.

Citing Journals Found in Databases When Using the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

10. Author’s first name Author’s surname, “Title of Article,” Title of Journal Volume No, Issue No.(Publication Year): Page numbers/page range. URL or DOI.

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume No, Issue No.(Publication Year): Page numbers/page range. URL or DOI.

Fictional Example of Citation for Journals Found in Databases

11. Lucy Trent, “The Writing Challenges Faced by Students,” Ultimate Writing Journal 66, no. 4(2011): 220-242. url: http://www.ultimatewritingjournal.com/doi/full/11.1218/UWJ-02-2011-0003

For the bibliography:

Trent, Lucy. “The Writing Challenges Faced by Students.” Ultimate Writing Journal 66, no. 4(2011): 220-242. url: http://www.ultimatewritingjournal.com/doi/full/11.1218/UWJ-02-2011-0003.

Citing Print Version Magazine Articles in the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

12. Author’s first name Author’s surname, “Title of Article,” Title of Magazine,

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine,

Fictional Example of Citation for Print Version of Magazine Article

For endnotes and footnotes:

Peter C. Wyndham, “Sunny Midsummer Days,” The Texan,

For the bibliography:

Wyndham, Peter C. “Sunny Midsummer Days” The Texan,

Citing Items from Online Magazine

For endnotes and footnotes:

4. Author’s first name, Author’s surname, “Title of Article,” Magazine Title,

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. “Title of Article” Title of Magazine,

Fictional Example of Citation from Online Magazine

For endnotes and footnotes:

5. Michael Geller, “Long Night in Politics,” Magazine Title,

Geller, Michael. “Long Night in Politics” Washington,

Citing Web Pages in the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

5. Author’s first name Author’s surname, “Page or Article Title,” Website Name or Title,

For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first name. “Page or Article Title.” Website Title. Publication Month and Day, Publication Year or last date the page/article was modified. DOI or URL.

Fictional Example of Web Page Citation

For endnotes and footnotes:

7. Martin Knowles, “20 Essential Business Tools,” Modern Business,

Knowles, Martin. “20 Essential Business Tools.” Modern Business. March 22, 2016. http://www.modernbusiness.com/article/281680.

Citing The Holy Bible and/or Other Religious Texts in the Chicago Writing Style

For endnotes and footnotes:

2. Book Name, Chapter Number:Verse, (Edition Number).

For the bibliography:

Bible Title, Edition. ed. Vol. No, Place of Publication (City): Name of Publisher, PublicationYear.

Fictional Example of Bible Citations

For endnotes and footnotes:

5. 3 King 21:8 (King John Version).

For the bibliography:

The Bible, King John Version, New York: Saville  Publishing, 2000.

Typically, going by the guidelines set out in 16th edition of the Chicago Style Manual, it is not usual to cite blogs in a bibliography. However, they are cited in endnotes and footnotes. A blog that is often cited, however, may be added to the bibliography.

For endnotes and footnotes:

  1. Author’s first name Author’s surname, “Blog Post Title,” Blog Title, Date (Month Day and Year) of post, URL.
  2. For the bibliography:

Author’s surname, Author’s first Name, “Blog Title.” Blog Site Name,

Fictional Example of Blog Citation

For the endnotes and footnotes:

1. Simon Matthews, “Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day,” Everyday Things (blog), January 18, 2015, http://everydaythings.blogspot.com/2015/01/gift-ideas-for-valentines-day.html.

For the bibliography:

Matthews, Simon, “Gift Ides for Valentine’s Day. Everyday Things,

Citing Broadcasts in the Chicago Writing Style

The Chicago Style Manual (16th edition) does not lay down any official rules for citing radio and television broadcasts. However, EssaysService.com has devised a citation using the expert advice of experienced librarians.

For endnotes and footnotes:

2. Title of Episode.” Name of Radio or Television Broadcast.

For the bibliography:

Radio or TV Broadcast Name. “Episode Title.” Episode No (where this is available). Directed by Director’s first name Director’s surname. Written by Writer’s first name Writer’s surname. Name of Network, Month Day Year of first date episode was aired.

Fictional Example of Broadcast Citation

For endnotes and footnotes:

3. “Jack Sykes and Tom Prime.” RedHot Mix.

For the bibliography:

RedHot Mix. “Jack Sykes and Tom Prime.” Hosted by Steve Tang. LBC Radio 2, February 4 2014.

Citing Case Studies in the Chicago Writing Styl

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