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Chicago Citations (17th ed.): E. Secondary Sources

This guide will help you use Chicago style for citations.

What is a Secondary Source?

Sometimes an author will quote work someone else has done, but you are unable to track down the original source. In this case, both the original and the secondary source must be listed in the note and the bibliography.

If, for example, you were reading a book and the author of the book (in the example below, that would be Sarah Gwyneth Ross) made reference to the work done by another author (in the example below, that would be Astrik L. Gabriel), you would refer to the work as per the layout below.

Note that "secondary source" here should be taken to mean a second-hand source rather than the more typical definition of secondary source as a journal or book writing on a subject.

About Citing Other Sources

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

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.

Secondary Sources (p. 868)

Citing things second-hand in this manner is discouraged. You should strive to find and consult the original item the author is quoting from. In the rare cases where this is not possible, the following format is used. You may need to adjust this format slightly to conform with the expectations of a book or article. The following example assumes you are quoting from a book

General Format
Full Note:

1. Author First Name and/or Initial Surname [original author], "Title of quote," Source of Original Quote (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page number, quoted in Author First Name and/or Initial Surname [the author of the book that refers to the thoughts/ideas of the other author], Title (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page #.

Concise Note:

2. Author Surname [original author], "Title," page #. 


Author Surname, First Name and/or Initial [original author]. "Title of  quote ." Source of Original QotePlace of Publication: Publisher, Year. Quoted in Author First Name/Initial Surname [the author of the book that refers to the thoughts/ideas of the other author]. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year, page #.

Full Note:

1. Astrik L. Gabriel, "The Educational Ideas of Christine de Pisan," Journal of the History of Ideas 16, no. 1 (1995): 3-21, quoted in Sarah Gwyneth Ross, The Birth of Feminism: Women as Intellect in Renaissance Italy and England (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009), 23.

Concise Note:

2. Gabriel, "The Educational Ideas," 3-21.


Gabriel, Astrik L.. "The Educational Ideas of Christine de Pisan." Culture and ImperialismJournal of the History of Ideas 16, no. 1 (1995). Quoted in Sarah Gwyneth Ross. The Birth of Feminism: Women as Intellect in Renaissance Italy and England. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009, 23.

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Online Citation Creators

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