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Chicago Citations (17th ed.): General Guidelines

This guide will help you use Chicago style for citations.

General Guidelines for the Chicago Notes & Bibliography Style

The following guidelines are based on the The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.).  Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the manual.

Remember that all sources of information and data, whether quoted directly or paraphrased, are cited with a note in the paper and, almost always, with an entry in the bibliography at the end of the paper. (p. 708)


•  Note numbers in the text are set as superscript numbers.  At the bottom of the page, the note numbers are normally full size and followed by a period. Notes should be numbered consecutively, beginning with 1.  In most word processing programs, you can use the "footnote" feature to accomplish this formatting. (p. 755)

•  The first note referring to a work should always be a full note.  Subsequent citations for that work can be shortened.  The concise form should include just enough information to remind readers of the full title or lead them to the bibliography, usually the last name of the author(s), the key words of the main title, and the page number.  Check with your instructor to determine whether this concise form is acceptable. (p. 757-761)

      E.g.  1. Salman Rushdie, The Ground beneath Her Feet (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), 25.                                                              
     2. Rushdie, The Ground beneath, 25.

•  Unlike in past version of the Chicago Manual of Style, "ibid." is no longer recommended for use for citing the same source in multiple footnotes one after the other. Instead, the 17th edition recommends using just the author's last name and the relevant page number. (p. 759-760)

     E.g.  1. Salman Rushdie, The Ground beneath Her Feet (New york: Henry Holt, 1999), 25.
              2. Rushdie, 25.

•  When the note entry includes a URL that must be divided between two lines, break after a colon or double slash; before a single slash, tilde (~), period, comma, hyphen, underline, question mark, number sign, or percent sign; and either before or after an equals sign or ampersand (&), retaining consistency throughout your paper (p. 750). If absolutely unavoidable, a break may occur at syllable breaks as described on pp. 429-432.



•  List Bibliography entries with a hanging indent. (p. 71)

•  Bibliography entries are in one alphabetical sequence arranged by the surname of the first author or by title if there is no author.  They are typically not classified by type of source. (p. 777)

•  Use the author's given names and surname as listed on the title page, not the cover. If there is more than one author, list them in the order used on the title page. (p. 785)

•  If the Bibliography includes two or more entries by the same author(s), list them alphabetically by title. A  3-em dash (---.) replaces the author's name after the first entry. (p. 782-784)

      E.g. 1. Squire, Larry R. “The Hippocampus and the Neuropsychology of Memory.” In Neurobiology of the Hippocampus, edited by W. Seifert, 491-511. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.
                      2.  ---. Memory and Brain. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

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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.