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Chicago referencing

A guide to referencing in the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.

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The Chicago Manual of Style describes two types of referencing styles. This guide is based on the Notes and Bibliography style, (Chapter 14) of the 17th edition published in 2017.

In this style, references are cited both in the footnotes of each page and in a bibliography at the end of the document.

More information on this style can be found in The Chicago Manual of Style, available from the Main Library at General Z253 .U69 2017. You will also find previous editions at this location. *Please check with your lecturer that you are using the correct edition.

Throughout the guide, 'See' will refer you to the section of The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) in discussion.

At a glance

  • Throughout the text, numbered markers indicate a reference.
  • Numbered markers are written consecutively, starting at 1 and set in superscript.
  • The corresponding bibliographic details are then placed in notes at the bottom of the page (footnotes).
  • In-text note numbers are placed at the end of the sentence or after some other punctuation, such as a comma or parenthesis.
  • After the first citation, a shortened form of the citation may be used in subsequent notes.
    This is designed to reduce the bulk of the document. To create a shortened citation, use the surname of the author and the main title of the work, shortened if longer than four words. See 14.29.

Examples of how to format notes are shown in the sections to the right.

See Chapter 14 of The Chicago Manual of Style print book for more detailed examples, or view the examples in The Chicago Manual of Style Online.

A bibliography may be included at the end of the text. Depending on the type of work, the following bibliography categories may be used:

  • A full bibliography listing all references included in the text, with or without sections organised by type of work. 
    • See 14.63, Figure 14.8 (p. 778).
  • A selected bibliography listing a subset of references cited and/or a selection of recommended or further reading.
    • See Figure 14.9 (p. 779).
  • An annotated bibliography.
    • See Figure 14.10 (p. 780).
  • A bibliographic essay.
    • See Figure 14.11 (p. 781).
  • A list of works by one author arranged chronologically.
    • See 14.64 (p. 781).

The formatting of the bibliography differs slightly to the notes. The main differences are:

  • The name of the first author is inverted to Last name, First name in order to alphabetise the list. When there are multiple authors, only the first authors' name is inverted.
    • See 14.66 (p. 782).
  • The specific page number references will be removed, except in the case of a chapter in an edited book.
    • See 14.106 (p. 802).

Examples of how to format notes are shown in the sections to the right.

See Chapter 14 of The Chicago Manual of Style print book for more detailed examples, or view the bibliography examples in The Chicago Manual of Style Online.

Differences between the 16th and 17th editions

What's changed?

  • The use of Ibid. in footnotes is now discouraged in favour of shortened citations - See section 14.34, p. 759

What's new?

  • Using permalinks in a note - See 14.9, p. 747
  • How to shorten long URLs - See 14.10, p. 747
  • How to cite electronic sources that do not have page numbers - See 14.1602, p. 825

New reference types

  • Citing social media sources - See 14.209, p.848
  • Citing paintings, photographs and sculptures - See 14.235, p. 859
  • Citing maps - See 14.237, p. 860
  • Citing industry standards - See 14.259, p. 868
  • Citing live performances - See 14.266, p. 873
  • Citing multimedia app content, including video games - See 14.268, p. 874

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