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Chicago Citations (17th ed.): I. Reference 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.

Reference Book (p. 858)

Well-known reference books are generally only cited in notes, not the bibliography.  Full publication information is usually not included, but the edition must be specified.

References to an alphabetically arranged work cite the item preceded by "s.v.", instead of a volume or page number.

To cite less well-known reference books, or if a fuller citation is required, please see the page for a "Chapter or Article in a Multi-Author Book."

General Format (for well known reference works)
Full Note:

1. Book Title: Subtitle, Edition (Year of Publication), s.v. "Title of Entry."

Concise Note: 

2. Book Title, s.v. "Title of Entry."


Often omitted.

Full Note:

1. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed. (2008), s.v. "Salvation."

Concise Note:

2. Encyclopedia Britannica, s.v. "Salvation."


Often omitted.

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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.