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Citation Assistance Resource Guide: Chicago-17 Citation Style

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The Chicago Style


The Chicago Style, or Turabian, was created by the University of Chicago Press. There are two main varieties of the citation style: the Notes and Bibliography style, and the Author-Date style. Which variation you use will depend on the field you are studying. The Notes and Bibliography variation of Chicago Style is most often used by humanities fields such as history, literature, and the arts. The Author-Date variation is more common in the sciences and social sciences. 

This guide will only outline the basics of the Notes and Bibliography format.

Also make sure to check out the Chicago Resources list on the left to find useful online tools.  

Citations are tricky, and there are lots of questions you may have when creating your citations. This guide covers the basics of Chicago, but for more detailed questions about specific citations, make sure to check out the resources along the left. The Excelsior OWL citation guide is especially helpful for creating citations for different sources. 


When you have completed writing your paper, it is important to include a list of all the sources you used or referenced in your paper. In the Chicago Citation style, this is called a "Bibliography". It will include a citation for every source you utilized, and will appear on a separate page at the end of your paper. It is very important that you cite sources in your paper because you want to show where you are getting your information from and avoid plagiarism!

Some formatting to keep in mind when creating your bibliography:
  •  At the top of the page and centered, type the name Bibliography. 
  • Use single spacing for each citation entry, and add a blank line in between citations. 
  • Create hanging indents for each citation entry. To learn how to create these, watch the library's Citation Video Tutorials



The Chicago citation style is a little different from other citations styles. In-text citations for other styles like APA or MLA use parenthetical citations that appear in the body of the paper. Chicago, on the other hand, uses footnotes or endnotes. Sources in your paper are marked with a superscript number, which corresponds to a numbered footnote at the end of the page, or a numbered endnote at the end of the paper. You will choose either to use footnotes OR endnotes for an assignment, not both in the same paper. Make sure to check with your instructor whether they want you to use footnotes or endnotes. 

General footnote/endnote guidelines:
  • The superscript number in the text will appear at the end of the sentence it is citing information from.
  • The first footnote/endnote for each citation will be a complete citation, similar to the one that will appear in the bibliography but with some different formatting.
  • Any following footnotes/endnotes for the same citation will be shortened, typically only including: the author's name, the title of the source, and the page range.
  • Unlike bibliography entries, which are listed alphabetically, footnote/endnote entries are listed as they appear in the paper.

For more information on how to create footnotes/endnotes, watch the library's Chicago Video Tutorials.

Footnote/Endnote Examples:
In-Text Example

As quoted in Swing Time, “Nostalgia is a luxury.”1

Notice that the superscript #1 appears at the end of the sentence, directly following the information that it is citing. This points readers to the corresponding note to find the citation information.

End/Footnote Example

1. Zadie Smith, Swing Time (New York: Penguin Press, 2016), 315–16.

2. Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015), 12.

Shortened Note Example

3. Smith, Swing Time, 320.

4. Grazer and Fishman, Curious Mind, 37.

Examples of Common Citations

Full Note

1. Zadie Smith, Swing Time (New York: Penguin Press, 2016), 315–16.

2. Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015), 12.

Shortened Note

3. Smith, Swing Time, 320.

4. Grazer and Fishman, Curious Mind, 37.


Full Note

1. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851), 627,

2. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), chap. 10, doc. 19,

Shortened Note

3. Melville, Moby-Dick, 722–23.

4. Kurland and Lerner, Founders’ Constitution, chap. 4, doc. 29.

Journal Articles

Full Note

1. Susan Satterfield, “Livy and the Pax Deum,” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April 2016): 170.

2. Shao-Hsun Keng, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem, “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality,” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 9–10,

Shortened Note

3. Satterfield, “Livy,” 172–73.

4. Keng, Lin, and Orazem, “Expanding College Access,” 23.


Full Note

1. “About Yale: Yale Facts,” Yale University, accessed May 1, 2017,

2. Katie Bouman, “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole,” filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA, video, 12:51,

Shortened Note

3. “Yale Facts.”

4. Bouman, “Black Hole.”

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