In its most basic form, the Chicago style provides a short citation comprising of the original writer (or writers) and the date of publication when pointing to a source of information inside the body of a document. Within the text, brief references are presented whole or partially in round brackets. Use simply the writer's surname preceded by the year of publication. If necessary, include page, chapter, section, or paragraph numbers. Between the year of publication and the page, chapter, section, or paragraph numbers, a comma is used.
The Chicago Manual of Style specifies two citation styles: author-date and notes and bibliography:
- In order to cite sources in notes and bibliography format (most commonly used in the humanities), use footnotes or endnotes; and
- In order to cite sources in the text, use brief parenthetical references in author-date format (more commonly used in the sciences).
Full source citations are included in an alphabetized bibliography or reference list in both formats. The Chicago Manual of Style is revised on a constant schedule. All of these instances are based on the most recent 17th edition (published in 2017).
Whereas an in-text citation directs readers to any source that students cite, paraphrase, or allude to in their writing. For in-text citations, the Chicago Manual of Style provides two options:
- Author-date citations are included in parentheses within the text; and
- Notes and bibliography: citations are placed in numbered footnotes or endnotes.
Students must use one of these two citation styles continuously across their content. The sources are detailed in a bibliography or reference list at the conclusion.
|Author-date citation example||(Woolf 1921, 11)|
|Footnote citation example||1. Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” 11.|
Students must first determine whether to use notes or author-date in-text citations. Students may typically figure out which style to choose from their teacher or curriculum. In humanities areas like literature, history, and the arts, the notes and bibliography approach are frequently favored. In the sciences, especially social sciences, the author-date system is favored. The information presented by the styles is comparable, but they vary in the sequence, position, and structure of that information. It is critical to stick to one style and avoid mixing the two.
Option 1: Author-date in-text citations
Citations in author-date style are included in parenthesis immediately in the text. In-text citations also include the author's last name, the year of publication, and a page number or page range, if applicable.
|Example||(Johnson 2016, 23).|
This Chicago in-text citation style is consistent across all sources. When utilizing author-date, be sure to provide a reference list with an item for each citation. It gives the reader complete publication information so that they may find the source.
The author-date style allows students to add their citations wherever in the text. The citation is usually placed at the conclusion of the pertinent sentence (before the period). It can also be incorporated into the sentence. Students only require to provide the date and page number in parentheses if they name the author in their statement.
|Example||One scholar contends that “the data is unconvincing” (Johnson 2016, 138). However, Smith (2017, 121) opposes that the study makes “a compelling case” for this plan of action.|
However, a semicolon can be used to separate several citations within one set of parentheses.
|Example||Other academics (Dale 2018, 75–81; Valentine 2018) have weighed in on the topic more recently…|
As demonstrated by the Valentine reference, a page number is only required when referring to a particular section of the text. If students wish to cite the entire text, they can omit the page number.
Option 2: Citations in footnotes or endnotes
The citations will come in either footnotes or endnotes in notes and bibliography format. A superscript number is put at the conclusion of the phrase or sentence to which the citation refers, after any punctuation, to form a Chicago footnote or endnote reference (periods, quotation marks, parentheses).
|Example||Johnson contends that “the data is unconvincing.”1 However, Smith opposes that the study makes “a compelling case” for this plan of action.2|
These superscript numerals relate to the citation's numbered footnotes or endnotes. In Chicago style, there are two sorts of notes: short and full.
- Full notes include the author's surname, title (if it is more than four words), page number (if relevant); and
- Short notes include the source's complete publishing information.
When citing a source for the first time, students must normally use a complete note. If they cite the same source more than once, provide a brief note for each additional citation. Students can also use "ibid." to reiterate a citation from a prior note, but short notes are more common. Each institution's requirements may differ, forcing students to utilize one of the two note types every time. If students are doubtful, they should consult with their teachers. However, the style of the note differs based on the source. It is an example of a complete and brief remark for the same citation:
|Example||1. Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” in Selected Essays, ed. David Bradshaw (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 11.2. Woolf, “Modern Fiction”, 11.|
Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page to which they relate, whereas endnotes appear at the end of the text, before the bibliography. The citation looks the same whether it is in a footnote or an endnote. If students have not been advised which one to use, the decision is entirely up to you. The crucial thing is to employ one or the other constantly.
Occasionally students fail to access all of the information they require for the citation. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this in both forms. Page numbers are not always required; if the source lacks page numbers (for example, a website), or if students are referring to the entire point of a book rather than a single piece, they can skip the page numbers. If a source lacks page numbers but they still want to designate a certain section of the text, they can use alternative locators such as paragraphs, chapters, or headers - whatever markers the text provides. If the source does not specify a publication date, use "n.d." instead of the year. Even if no author is named, students can look for the organization that released the source.