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The Basics of Citing in Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style, currently in its 16th edition, was created to help researchers properly cite their sources. There are two types of referencing styles in Chicago: 1) Notes and Bibliography and 2) Author-Date.

This guide displays the Notes and Bibliography style of referencing and is not associated with the official publishers of the style.

Need help with other styles? Our thorough MLA format and APA format guides are available for all of your writing and citing needs!

Creating a Bibliography in Chicago Style

The bibliography is a list of all the sources used in the paper. The list includes the important publication details of the sources. The bibliography must also follow this format:

  • The citation list or bibliography must be single spaced.
  • The last names of the authors must be arranged alphabetically.
  • The second line of the source must be indented.

Examples of Citing Different Sources in Chicago Style

Generally, Chicago citations require:

  • Author
  • Title of book/article
  • Title of newspaper/journal
  • Publication year
  • Publication month and date
  • Publisher
  • City of publication
  • Date of access
  • Page numbers
  • URL or Name of Database

Example of Chicago Citation for Print Journals

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

O’Brien, Damien, and Brian Fitzgerald, «Digital Copyright Law in a YouTube World.» Internet Law Bulletin 9, no. 6 (2007): 71-74.

Don’t forget, Citation Machine allows you to generate Chicago citations for books quickly and accurately.

If you’re come this far and you’re still searching for in-text citation Chicago information, remember, this style uses footnotes and endnotes! Scroll up to find out more!

How to Cite Online or Database Journals in Chicago Style

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Last name, First name. «Article Title.» Journal Title Volume Number, Issue No. (Year): Page range. URL or Name of Database.

Example of Chicago Citation for Chapters in a Book

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Aymerich-Franch, Laura, and Maddalena Fedele. «Student’s Privacy Concerns on the Use of Social Media in Higher Education.» In Cutting-Edge Technologies and Social Media Use in Higher Education, edited by Vledlena Benson and Stephanie Morgan, 35-36. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2014.

How to Cite Online E-books in Chicago Style

When citing e-books, include the URL or the name of the database. The URL or database name should be the last part of the citation.

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Last name, First name. Title of Book. Publication Place: Publisher, Year. URL, Name of Database.

Chicago Style Footnotes and Endnotes

Whenever a source is used, a superscript number is placed at its end in reference to the footnote/endnote that appears within the document. For example, “The well-known problems range from medical errors, which by some accounts are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, to the soaring cost of health care.”1 Its corresponding Chicago style footnote will be 1. Herzlinger Regina “Why Innovation in Health Care Is So Hard”. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 14 June 2017, from https://hbr.org/2006/05/why-innovation-in-health-care-is-so-hard

Is there any difference between an endnote and a footnote? A footnote appears at the end of each page whereas an endnote is added at the end of a chapter. It is important to note that these have to be used in order to fully meet the requirements of Chicago formatting style.

There are instances where one opts not to have a bibliography in a document. In such cases, the notes in text carry all essential information for the sources referred to. However, under normal circumstances, all relevant details will be found in the bibliography section.

When citing a source for the first time, the following details have to be present: the first and second names of the author, title, place of publication, name of the publishing entity, year of publishing and page(s) of interest.

a. The example below shows Chicago style endnotes/footnotes for a print book, Beers Burton, WORLD HISTORY, Patterns of Civilization (New Jersey, Prentice Hall), 29.

There are times when one is forced to create a shorter citation especially if the source has already been cited within the research paper; the last name, a shortened title and page number are preferably used.

b. Beers, History, 500-550.

Where the citation has already been referenced earlier on, and another consecutive citation is in the offering, then “ibid” comes in handy.

c. Ibid., 300.

How to Create Footnotes and Endnotes for Chicago Style

If you’re wondering how to format Chicago in-text citations, Notes and Bibliography formatting requires writers to use footnotes and endnotes. These footnotes and endnotes acknowledge the different sources used in the work.

When a source is used in a research paper, a roman numeral is placed at the end of the borrowed information as superscript (it is smaller than the normal line of text and raised). That number correlates with a footnote or endnote.

  • Footnotes are found at the bottom of the page
  • Endnotes are added at the end of the chapter or project
  • A footnote or endnote contains the complete citation information
  • The matching number in the footnote or endnote is normal sized and not raised
  • It is up to the discretion of the writer to either place the citation at the bottom of the page where the superscript is placed (a footnote) or to place all citations together at the end of the work (endnotes)


Chicago style footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page:

  1. Silver, Nate. «Beautiful Minds.» The New York Times. July 13, 2013. Accessed August 04, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/books/review/the-boy-who-loved-math-and-on-a-beam-of-light.html?ref=books&_r=0.

If a source is used more than once in a research project, follow these guidelines:
— When used again, instead of writing out the complete citation for a second time in the footnote, only include: the author’s last name, the title or a phrase for the title (if it’s more than four words), and the page number(s) that were used. This will reduce the bulk of citation information in the paper.


  1. Cohen, Micah, «Rubio is Losing Support Among Republican Voters.» FiveThirtyEight. July 09, 2013. Accessed August 04, 2015. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/rubio-is-losing-support-among-republican-voters/

  2. Wolf, Leon H. «Marco Rubio’s Campaign Must Adapt or Die.» RedState. August 04, 2015. Accessed August 04, 2015. http://www.redstate.com/2015/08/04/marco-rubios-campaign-must-adapt-die/.

  3. Cohen, «Rubio Losing Support»

If a source is used consecutively, follow these guidelines:

  • When the same source is used consecutively, instead of typing in the citation information for a third time, use the abbreviation for ibidem: “Ibid.” Ibidem is a Latin word that means “in the same place.” Add the page numbers immediately following.
  • If the same source AND same page number is used consecutively, simply write “Ibid.” Ibid. stands for the Latin word, ibidem, which means «in the same place»


  1. Rosnay, Tatiana De. Sarah’s Key, 24-27.
  2. Ibid., 44.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid., 133-134.
  5. Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See, 397-401.
  6. Ibid., 405.
  7. Ibid., 411.

Chicago Style Bibliography

A bibliography is basically a list or page that consists of sources which have been cited in a research paper or any other additional sources that are relevant to a document’s theme of discussion. The Chicago style bibliography entails elements whose presence gives the document the authenticity to avoid unfortunate issues like plagiarism. The name of the author, title, publication year and the publishing house are just some of the parameters bibliography ought to have.

  1. Name – according to this formatting style the name of the author is inverted so that their last name precedes the first name e.g. Burtons Beers is cited as Beers Burton.
  2. Title – Titles of journals and book sources should be written in italics whereas those of other sources like poems and articles are written with quotation marks.
  3. Publication data – bibliographies in this style include the publication city and the publisher’s name immediately followed by the specific year of a source’s publication.

In the event an online source is used for reference, details like the URL and dates when the source was accessed are to be indicated to create a trustworthy bibliography, which is free from plagiarism. A bibliography may not always be present especially in the event that the write-up consists of footnotes/endnotes that bear full details of the used sources of references. It is key to note that annotated bibliographies also exist as far as Chicago style is concerned. They give more details on the author, their main arguments, scope of work, research methods used, sources etc.

More information on Apa Citation Research Paper.

Example of Chicago Citation for E-Books

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Baker, Michael J. The Marketing Book. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002. https://htbiblio.yolasite.com/resources/Marketing%20Book.pdf.

If you understand how to structure your references easily, thanks to this thorough guide, and are looking for help with the written portion of your paper, look no further! There are tons of Citation Machine grammar guides to help you write with ease. Here’s just one of our many useful pages: Positive & Negative Adjectives.

How to Cite E-books in Chicago Style E-books from a Kindle or E-book Reader

If there aren’t any clearly labeled page numbers, use chapter numbers or titles, section numbers or titles, or any other established numbering system in the text. It’s also acceptable to omit page information from Chicago style citations if there aren’t clearly labeled page numbers.

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Last name, First name. Title of book. Publication Place: Publisher, Year. Type of e-reader.

Example of Chicago Citation for Online Magazines

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Donahue, Bill. “King of the Mountains.” Backpacker, September/October 2019. http://backpacker.eoncontent.ebscohost.com/2226647#&pageSet=39

How to Cite a Web Page in Chicago Style

Creating a footnote, endnote, or bibliographic information for web content isn’t always necessary. It’s acceptable to simply mention the source in the written portion of the paper. For example, “The Marco Polo page on History’s website, last updated on March 6, 2019, describes his travels along the Silk Road while….” Include formal Chicago citation style references if you or your professor prefers to do so.

A bit more:
— If the website page is missing a date of publication, include the date the source was last modified or accessed in the footnote and endnote.
— If the website page is missing the name of the author, begin the footnote with the “Title of the Article or Page.”

In the footnotes and endnotes:

In the bibliography:

Last name, First name or Organization Name. «Title of Article or Page.» Title of Website. Date published or last modified or accessed. URL.

Figuring out how to style web references can be tricky, but thanks to our Chicago citation machine, we’ve made the whole process much easier for you. Try it out!

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