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The Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic documentation systems, the humanities style (notes and bibliography) and the author-date system. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and nature of sources cited, as each system is favored by different groups of scholars.

The humanities style is preferred by many in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system. The more concise author-date system has long been used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Below are some common examples of materials cited in both styles. Each example is given first in humanities style (a note [N], followed by a bibliographic entry [B]) and then in author-date style (an in-text citation [T], followed by a reference-list entry [R]). For numerous specific examples, see chapters 16 and 17 of The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition.

Online sources that are analogous to print sources (such as articles published in online journals, magazines, or newspapers) should be cited similarly to their print counterparts but with the addition of a URL. Some publishers or disciplines may also require an access date. For online or other electronic sources that do not have a direct print counterpart (such as an institutional Web site or a Weblog), give as much information as you can in addition to the URL. The following examples include some of the most common types of electronic sources.

Book

One author

N:
1. Wendy Doniger, Splitting the Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 65.
B:
Doniger, Wendy. Splitting the Difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
T:
(Doniger 1999, 65)
R:
Doniger, Wendy. 1999. Splitting the difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Two authors

N:
6. Guy Cowlishaw and Robin Dunbar, Primate Conservation Biology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 104–7.
B:
Cowlishaw, Guy, and Robin Dunbar. Primate Conservation Biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
T:
(Cowlishaw and Dunbar 2000, 104–7)
R:
Cowlishaw, Guy, and Robin Dunbar. 2000. Primate conservation biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Four or more authors

N:
13. Edward O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 262.
B:
Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
T:
(Laumann et al. 1994, 262)
R:
Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels. 1994. The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Editor, translator, or compiler instead of author

N:
4. Richmond Lattimore, trans., The Iliad of Homer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 91–92.
B:
Lattimore, Richmond, trans. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951.
T:
(Lattimore 1951, 91–92)
R:
Lattimore, Richmond, trans. 1951. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Editor, translator, or compiler in addition to author

N:
16. Yves Bonnefoy, New and Selected Poems, ed. John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 22.
B:
Bonnefoy, Yves. New and Selected Poems. Edited by John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
T:
(Bonnefoy 1995, 22)
R:
Bonnefoy, Yves. 1995. New and selected poems. Ed. John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chapter or other part of a book

N:
5. Andrew Wiese, “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States,” in The New Suburban History, ed. Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 101–2.
B:
Wiese, Andrew. “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States.” In The New Suburban History, edited by Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue, 99–119. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.
T:
(Wiese 2006, 101–2)
R:
Wiese, Andrew. 2006. “The house I live in”: Race, class, and African American suburban dreams in the postwar United States. In The new suburban history, ed. Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue, 99–119. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chapter of an edited volume originally published elsewhere (as in primary sources)

N:
8. Quintus Tullius Cicero. “Handbook on Canvassing for the Consulship,” in Rome: Late Republic and Principate, ed. Walter Emil Kaegi Jr. and Peter White, vol. 2 of University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization, ed. John Boyer and Julius Kirshner (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), 35.
B:
Cicero, Quintus Tullius. “Handbook on Canvassing for the Consulship.” In Rome: Late Republic and Principate, edited by Walter Emil Kaegi Jr. and Peter White. Vol. 2 of University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization, edited by John Boyer and Julius Kirshner, 33–46. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. Originally published in Evelyn S. Shuckburgh, trans., The Letters of Cicero, vol. 1 (London: George Bell & Sons, 1908).
T:
(Cicero 1986, 35)
R:
Cicero, Quintus Tullius. 1986. Handbook on canvassing for the consulship. In Rome: Late republic and principate, edited by Walter Emil Kaegi Jr. and Peter White. Vol. 2 of University of Chicago readings in western civilization, ed. John Boyer and Julius Kirshner, 33–46. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Originally published in Evelyn S. Shuckburgh, trans., The letters of Cicero, vol. 1 (London: George Bell & Sons, 1908).

Preface, foreword, introduction, or similar part of a book

N:
17. James Rieger, introduction to Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), xx–xxi.
B:
Rieger, James. Introduction to Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, xi–xxxvii. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
T:
(Rieger 1982, xx–xxi)
R:
Rieger, James. 1982. Introduction to Frankenstein; or, The modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, xi–xxxvii. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Book published electronically

If a book is available in more than one format, you should cite the version you consulted, but you may also list the other formats, as in the second example below. If an access date is required by your publisher or discipline, include it parenthetically at the end of the citation, as in the first example below.

N:
2. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), https://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/ (accessed June 27, 2006).
B:
Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. https://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/. Also available in print form and as a CD-ROM.
T:
(Kurland and Lerner 1987)
R:
Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/.

Journal article

Article in a print journal

N:
8. John Maynard Smith, “The Origin of Altruism,” Nature 393 (1998): 639.
B:
Smith, John Maynard. “The Origin of Altruism.” Nature 393 (1998): 639–40.
T:
(Smith 1998, 639)
R:
Smith, John Maynard. 1998. The origin of altruism. Nature 393: 639–40.

Article in an online journal

If an access date is required by your publisher or discipline, include it parenthetically at the end of the citation, as in the fourth example below.

N:
33. Mark A. Hlatky et al., "Quality-of-Life and Depressive Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women after Receiving Hormone Therapy: Results from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) Trial," Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no. 5 (2002), https://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n5/rfull/joc10108.html#aainfo.
B:
Hlatky, Mark A., Derek Boothroyd, Eric Vittinghoff, Penny Sharp, and Mary A. Whooley. "Quality-of-Life and Depressive Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women after Receiving Hormone Therapy: Results from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) Trial." Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no. 5 (February 6, 2002), https://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n5/rfull/joc10108.html#aainfo.
T:
(Hlatky et al. 2002)
R:
Hlatky, Mark A., Derek Boothroyd, Eric Vittinghoff, Penny Sharp, and Mary A. Whooley. 2002. Quality-of-life and depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women after receiving hormone therapy: Results from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no. 5 (February 6), https://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n5/rfull/joc10108.html#aainfo (accessed January 7, 2004).

Popular magazine article

N:
29. Steve Martin, “Sports-Interview Shocker,” New Yorker, May 6, 2002, 84.
B:
Martin, Steve. “Sports-Interview Shocker.” New Yorker, May 6, 2002.
T:
(Martin 2002, 84)
R:
Martin, Steve. 2002. Sports-interview shocker. New Yorker, May 6.

Newspaper article

Newspaper articles may be cited in running text (“As William Niederkorn noted in a New York Times article on June 20, 2002, . . . ”) instead of in a note or an in-text citation, and they are commonly omitted from a bibliography or reference list as well. The following examples show the more formal versions of the citations.

N:
10. William S. Niederkorn, “A Scholar Recants on His ‘Shakespeare’ Discovery,” New York Times, June 20, 2002, Arts section, Midwest edition.
B:
Niederkorn, William S. “A Scholar Recants on His ‘Shakespeare’ Discovery.” New York Times, June 20, 2002, Arts section, Midwest edition.
T:
(Niederkorn 2002)
R:
Niederkorn, William S. 2002. A scholar recants on his “Shakespeare” discovery. New York Times, June 20, Arts section, Midwest edition.

Book review

N:
1. James Gorman, “Endangered Species,” review of The Last American Man, by Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times Book Review, June 2, 2002, 16.
B:
Gorman, James. “Endangered Species.” Review of The Last American Man, by Elizabeth Gilbert. New York Times Book Review, June 2, 2002.
T:
(Gorman 2002, 16)
R:
Gorman, James. 2002. Endangered species. Review of The last American man, by Elizabeth Gilbert. New York Times Book Review, June 2.

Thesis or dissertation

N:
22. M. Amundin, “Click Repetition Rate Patterns in Communicative Sounds from the Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena” (PhD diss., Stockholm University, 1991), 22–29, 35.
B:
Amundin, M. “Click Repetition Rate Patterns in Communicative Sounds from the Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena.” PhD diss., Stockholm University, 1991.
T:
(Amundin 1991, 22–29, 35)
R:
Amundin, M. 1991. Click repetition rate patterns in communicative sounds from the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena. PhD diss., Stockholm University.

Paper presented at a meeting or conference

N:
13. Brian Doyle, “Howling Like Dogs: Metaphorical Language in Psalm 59” (paper presented at the annual international meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, Berlin, Germany, June 19–22, 2002).
B:
Doyle, Brian. “Howling Like Dogs: Metaphorical Language in Psalm 59.” Paper presented at the annual international meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, Berlin, Germany, June 19–22, 2002.
T:
(Doyle 2002)
R:
Doyle, Brian. 2002. Howling like dogs: Metaphorical language in Psalm 59. Paper presented at the annual international meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, June 19–22, in Berlin, Germany.

Web site

Web sites may be cited in running text (“On its Web site, the Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees states . . .”) instead of in an in-text citation, and they are commonly omitted from a bibliography or reference list as well. The following examples show the more formal versions of the citations. If an access date is required by your publisher or discipline, include it parenthetically at the end of the citation, as in the second example below.

N:
11. Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees, “Evanston Public Library Strategic Plan, 2000–2010: A Decade of Outreach,” Evanston Public Library, https://epl.org/library/strategic-plan-00.html.
B:
Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees. “Evanston Public Library Strategic Plan, 2000–2010: A Decade of Outreach.” Evanston Public Library. https://epl.org/library/strategic-plan-00.html (accessed June 1, 2005).
T:
(Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees)
R:
Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees. Evanston Public Library strategic plan, 2000–2010: A decade of outreach. Evanston Public Library. https://epl.org/library/strategic-plan-00.html.

Weblog entry or comment

Weblog entries or comments may be cited in running text (“In a comment posted to the Becker-Posner Blog on March 6, 2006, Peter Pearson noted . . .”) instead of in a note or an in-text citation, and they are commonly omitted from a bibliography or reference list as well. The following examples show the more formal versions of the citations. If an access date is required by your publisher or discipline, include it parenthetically at the end of the citation, as in the first example below.

N:
8. Peter Pearson, comment on “The New American Dilemma: Illegal Immigration,” The Becker-Posner Blog, comment posted March 6, 2006, https://becker-posner-blog.com/archives/2006/03/the_new_america.html#c080052 (accessed March 28, 2006).
B:
Becker-Posner Blog, The. https://becker-posner-blog.com/.
T:
(Peter Pearson, The Becker-Posner Blog, comment posted March 6, 2006)
R:
Becker-Posner blog, The. https://becker-posner-blog.com/.

E-mail message

E-mail messages may be cited in running text (“In an e-mail message to the author on October 31, 2005, John Doe revealed . . .”) instead of in a note or an in-text citation, and they are rarely listed in a bibliography or reference list. The following example shows the more formal version of a note.

N:
2. John Doe, e-mail message to author, October 31, 2005.

Item in online database

Journal articles published in online databases should be cited as shown above, under “Article in an online journal.” If an access date is required by your publisher or discipline, include it parenthetically at the end of the citation, as in the first example below.

N:
7. Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, ed. John Bostock and H. T. Riley, in the Perseus Digital Library, https://perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plin.+Nat.+1.dedication (accessed November 17, 2005).
B:
Perseus Digital Library. https://perseus.tufts.edu/.
T:
(Pliny the Elder, Perseus Digital Library)
R:
Perseus Digital Library. https://perseus.tufts.edu/.
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