Chicago Style Guidelines

In academic writing, it is important to give credit to authors whose research or ideas you use in writing a paper. Proper citations also allow the reader to easily retrieve additional information on the subject.

Papers written for history and some other humanities classes often use a footnote or endnote system called The Chicago Manual of Style. In addition, CMS papers may require a reference page; in CMS style, this is titled the “bibliography.”

Introducing sources in-text

On first reference of an author, use the author's full name. When quoting sources, avoid “dropped quotes” by using a “signal phrase” that identifies the author, source, and /or context for the cited material. For example, Garry Wills writes that “we live in a different America” because of the Gettysburg Address. Generally, CMS uses the present tense (writes) or present perfect tense (has written). However, as noted by Diana Hacker in A Writer's Reference, “If you have good reason to emphasize that the author's language or opinion was articulated in the past…the past tense is acceptable.”

Long Quotations

In Chicago Style there are no strict guidelines as to when to indent longer quotations. You may want to indent quotes more than four or five lines long for added emphasis; quotes longer than eight lines should always be indented.

Documenting Sources

In the typical footnote or endnote style, there are three citation points necessary in a CMS paper:

  1. In-Text

    “The United States conditioned its financial and political support for the conservative-moderate anti-Pinochet groups on their willingness to break ties with the left and participate in an electoral calendar outlined by the dictatorship.” 1

    After the first reference to a work, only an abbreviated reference is necessary for additional in-text references.
    2Morley, 34.
  2. Footnote or Endnote

        Morris H. Morley, Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: State and Regime in US Policy toward Nicaragua 1969-1981 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 5.
  3. Bibliographic Entry

    Morley, Morris H. Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: State and Regime in US Policy toward Nicaragua 1969-1981. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

How to Cite Various Types of Sources

Note that the first entry below is the format for a footnote/endnote, and the second entry is the format for a bibliography. In a footnote/endnote entry, indent the first line; in a bibliography entry, use a “hanging indent” in which the second and subsequent lines are indented.

Also, place parentheses around the publisher's information in the footnote/endnote, but do not use them in the bibliographic entries.

A work with two or three authors

     3.Runoko Rashidi and John G. Jackson, Introduction to African Civilizations (New York: Avon House, 1937), 349.

Rashidi, Runoko and Jackson, John G., Introduction to African Civilizations. New York: Avon House, 1937.

A work with four or more authors

     4. Jon Ortner et al., Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer (New York: Abbeville Press, 2002), 57.

Ortner, Jon, et al., Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer. New York: Abbeville Press, 2002.

Edited work with an author

     5. Dith Pran, Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors, ed. Kim DePaul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 59.

Pran, Dith. Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors. Edited by Kim DePaul. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

Unknown author

     6. Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World. (Chicago: Thorndike Press, 2006), 198.

Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World. Chicago: Thorndike Press, 2006.

Article in a journal paginated by volume

     7. Gerald Tulchinsky, “To the 'fabled city': the distinctiveness of the Canadian Jewish experience.” Canadian Jewish News 35 (2005): 2.

Tulchinsky, Gerald. “To the 'fabled city': the distinctiveness of the Canadian Jewish experience.” Canadian Jewish News 35 (2005): 2-4.

Document from a database

     8. Richard Cavendish, “Tito elected president of the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia: January 13th, 1953,” History Today 53, no. 1 (2003): 57. Expanded Academic ASAP (17 February 2006).

Cavendish, Richard. “Tito elected president of the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia: January 13th, 1953.” History Today 53, no. 1 (2003): 57. Expanded Academic ASAP (17 February 2006).