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Chicago Style Citation Guide: Chicago Style Citation Tips

Anatomy of a Chicago Citation

Chicago Style Rules in General

  • Chicago Style is used primarily for academic writing in history and the humanities and uses a system of a bibliography and either endnotes or footnotes, rather than in-text citations.

  • Most citations include three key elements: (1) author's name, (2) title or source, and (3) publication information.

  • Digital resources include a fourth element: preferably a DOI (a unique object identification number assigned to print and electronic publications), a URL (internet address), or database information.

  • Non-print items should list the type of medium in the citation.

  • In your bibliography, list authors by last name, then first. For multiple authors, the second and subsequent authors are listed by first, then last name. For footnotes and endnotes the first name precedes the surname.

  • Italicize titles and subtitles of major works, such as books and journals.

  • Set article and chapter titles in quotation marks.

  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in a title.

  • Additional information, such as volume or page number, may be required.

  • Follow elements in the bibliography with a period and one space. Use commas in the notes. Unlike APA and MLA, single space between lines. Use a hanging indent for your bibliography.

  • Alphabetize items by author's last name in the bibliography.

  • Refer to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition (at the Reference Desk) and/or The Chicago Style web site for additional information or examples.

  • Print out a PDF of the SCCC Chicago Style Guide.

Why Cite?

It is important to cite your sources for three key reasons:

  • To give credit to the source of your information, whether you use someone else's ideas, data or words.
  • To demonstrate your credibility on your topic by showing that you have researched it.
  • To guide your reader back to your sources of information.

The Chicago Manual

This citation guide refers to information and uses examples from The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. Please refer to the manual for more information or additional examples.