Chicago: The Basics

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Tip: Check out this sample paper to find out what an essay in the Chicago Style looks like.

The examples found in this section are based on the style guide The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., 2017.

General formatting

The Chicago citation style primarily uses notes.

  • The text in the paper will have a superscript number at the end of the cited material (like this: ¹).
  • This number refers to a note with the corresponding number found either at the bottom of the page (in the case of footnotes) or at the end of the paper (endnotes).
  • In the notes, the numbers are full size and followed by a period. However, it is acceptable to have superscript numbers in both the text and the notes.
  • Indent the first line of the footnote. Leave a blank line between entries.

Tip: Inserting footnotes in a Microsoft Word document is easy: follow these instructions to find out how.

A bibliography may be required and comes at the end of the document. The bibliography regroups in one place all the sources that were cited throughout the paper, with different formatting.

  • The entries are in alphabetical order by author (or by title if there is no author).
  • If your bibliography entry is longer than one line, indent the second and subsequent lines. Leave a blank line between entries.

Examples

Text

Anthropological research has provided “ecologically insightful accounts of native views of the natural world.”¹³

Note

13. Peter Knudson and David Suzuki, Wisdom of the Elders (Toronto: Stoddart, 1992), 23.

Bibliography

Knudson, Peter and David Suzuki. Wisdom of the Elders. Toronto: Stoddart, 1992.

Two or more citations from the same source

  • Use the short form of a note when citing a work that you’ve already cited once. The short form only contains the author’s last name, the abbreviated title and page number.
  • When citing a work you’ve already cited several times in a row, only include the title in the short form citation the first time (see notes 4 and 5 below).
  • Note 3 is the short form of the source cited in note 1. Note 4 is the short form for the source cited in note 2.

Examples

1. Howard C. Anawalt, Idea Rights: A Guide to Intellectual Property (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2011), 103.

2. Peter Knudson and David Suzuki, Wisdom of the Elders (Toronto: Stoddart, 1992), 75-6.

3. Anawalt, Idea Rights, 95.

4. Knudson and Suzuki, Wisdom of the Elders, 23.

5. Knudson and Suzuki, 36-40.

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