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Chicago Citations (17th ed.): H. E-book

This guide will help you use Chicago style for citations.

About Citing Books

This guide is intended to cover only the Notes and Bibliography system for citing books.

For each type of source in this guide, both the general form and a specific example will be provided.

The following format will be used:

Full Note - use the first time that you cite a source.

Concise Note - use after the first time you cite a source.

Bibliography - use when you are compiling the Bibliography that appears at the end of your paper.

Information on citing and several of the examples were drawn from The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). 

Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the manual.

DOIs (p. 746)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a certain source (typically journal articles). This string creates a URL starting with "".

Example: 10.1080/14622200410001676305

If a DOI is listed on an electronic source it is included in the reference.  When there is a choice between using a DOI or a URL, it is recommended that a DOI be used (p. 746).   

E-books (pp. 824-828)

In general, e-books are referenced and cited in the same way as other books. The general format provided below refers to a basic one-author e-book. If you are using an e-book that has multiple authors, includes an edition number, etc., please refer to the appropriate section in this guide. There are, however, a few complications.

For e-books that exist as downloaded files (such as one you might read on your Kindle or NOOK), the Chicago Manual of Style requires that you include the device you downloaded the e-book for (e.g., Kindle, NOOK etc.), as well as the format involved (e.g., PDF, EPUB, CBR, Adobe Digital Editions EPUB, etc.). Additionally, due to the challenges of pagination involved with e-books (with the page numbers changing radically depending on device settings and format), the Chicago Manual of Style recommends against citing specific page numbers on this kind of material. Instead, use chapter number or (if available) paragraph number. Occasionally, your device in question will have some sort of specific location format; use this. The first citation example is of this variety.

For e-books that exist entirely online (e.g., Google Books), a URL or DOI (see left sidebar) should be included in the citation. Occasionally, a suitable URL or DOI will not be available; in this case, use the database or website name you retrieved the work from. The second citation example is of this variety.

General Format 
Full Note:

1. Author First Name and/or Initial Surname, Book Title: Subtitle (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), location information, format.

Concise Note:

2. Author Surname, Book Title, location information.


Author Surname, First Name or Initial. Book Title: Subtitle. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Format or URL/DOI.

Example 1
Full Note:

1. Nicholas Michaud, Discworld and Philosophy: Reality Is Not What It Seems (Chicago: Open Court, 2016), 209, EPUB.

Concise Note:

2. Michaud, Discworld and Philosophy, 209.


Michaud, Michael. Discworld and Philosophy: Reality Is Not What It Seems. Chicago: Open Court, 2016. EPUB.

Example 2
Full Note:

1. Elliot Antokoletz, Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok (New York: Oxford University Press,  2008), chap. 4,

Concise Note:

2.  Antokoletz, Musical Symbolism, chap. 4


Elliot Antokoletz. Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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Online Citation Creators

WARNING: Free online citation creators are not 100% correct. In fact, they are often wrong. It is much easier to write out the citation yourself than use these creators.

Please ask a librarian for assistance if you are having trouble with citations.