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Citing Sources


 The Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide  by the Chicago Manual of Style Online provides some brief information and examples of this form of citation. 

The OWL at Purdue provides resources that may useful for writing projects & citation help in Chicago Style. 

You can also find information about Chicago Style at the University of Wisconsin - Madison Writing Center. 

Style Guides

Copies of The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) and A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago Style for students and researchers (8th edition) are found in the reference and check out collections of the Library, as well as the reference section of the Newtown LRC.

Chicago Style: Crediting Sources Using Notes

In the notes-bibliography form of citation, references to materials are numbered within the text of your paper. These numbers correspond to either a footnote (at the bottom of the page) or an endnote (at the end of the paper after any appendices and before the bibliography). The bibliography at the end of your paper will include the full citation to the material referenced. 

One advantage to using foot- or endnotes is that you can include additional information about the material referenced within that note. 

When summarizing or paraphrasing, directly quoting, and acknowledging sources in a paper, use numbers to note the source of the materials. Insert note numbers as superscripts (raised numbers) after the material that you reference. In the notes themselves, references are numbered but not in superscript and the note ends in a period. 


   According to research, most freshmen are confused about citing sources in the text of a paper.1

   "Over three quarters of the freshman class is confused about citing sources in the text of a paper."1

The note generally includes the author's names (in order they appear on the publication), title of the work, publication information, and page numbers. Number each entry with a raised number (superscript) starting with one (1). Do not include any punctuation after the superscript.


     1. Albert A. Author, Title of the Work (City of publication: Publisher, year), page numbers.

Basic Notes Format

Include notes as either footnotes (at the bottom of the page) or endnotes (at the end of the paper). Check with your professor to see what his or her preference is. For an example of what both types of notes look like, see the Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison's Writing Center page.  

Setting up Footnotes and Endnotes:

  • Footnotes appear at the bottom (the foot) of the page on which content is cited. Separate the text of your paper from the footnotes by one typed line that is 1.5 inches long. Footnotes at the bottom of a page must correspond with the super-scripted note numbers on that same page. 
  • Endnotes appear after the body of your paper, on a separate page, after appendices and before the bibliography. Start endnotes on a separate page entitled Notes. Double space before the first entry.

   Formatting footnotes and endnotes:        

  • Numbers in the text must correspond to foot- or endnote numbers. 
  • Start foot- or endnotes with the number (not raised or superscript). Put a period after the number, and after one space start the reference.
  • Start the first line of a citation, including the number, one tab or five spaces from the left margin of the page.
  • Subsequent lines in a citation are written flush left (against the left margin).
  • Both footnotes and endnotes are single spaced; however, include a double space between notes.

Elements of Note entries:

  • Notes provide all information for locating a source. Elements are separated by commas. Publishing information is enclosed in parenthesis.
  • First citations include all information for locating a source. Second and subsequent citations include information in an abbreviated format. See "Second References to the Same Source" below.
  • Begin with the first author's name as listed on the source. Include in this order: first name, middle initial (or middle name), last name. For example: Katherine K. Ruppel.
  • List subsequent authors by first name, middle initial, last name; use and between author's names, not the ampersand (&).
  • If your source does not have an author, list the title first.
  • Italicize titles of larger works (book and journal titles).
  • Enclosed titles of smaller works, such as "chapters" or "journal article titles," in double quotations. 
  • If the city of publication is well known, it is not necessary to include the two letter state abbreviation. 
  • Do not use p. or pp. to indicate page numbers in a citation, but list the actual page number.
  • When citing online resources, Chicago style suggests including DOI numbers (preferred), URLs, and dates of access in some cases. For specific examples, click on the pull down menu under the "Citing Sources: Chicago Style" tab on the left.

Examples for Footnote and Endnote Entries: 

     1. Albert A. Author, Title of the Work (City of publication: Publisher, year), page numbers.

     2. Barbara B. Writer and Alfred Author, Title of the Book: This is a Very, Very, Long Title (City of publication: Publisher, year), page numbers.

Citing Sources More than Once in a Paragraph

If you cite a source more than once in a paragraph, you may place the super-scripted number at the end of that paragraph so the reader knows all material in that paragraph came from the same source. Information from the same source but cited over multiple paragraphs must be foot- or endnoted by consecutive numbers. 

Second Reference to the Same Source

In your paper, you may wish to discussing information from the same source over multiple paragraphs. After the initial reference citation to a source, it is not necessary to duplicate the second citation to the same source in full. The Chicago Manual of Style indicates two methods of subsequent citations as noted below.

Shortened Citations

Generally include the author's last name and the title of the material cited. Shorten the title to four words if the title is longer than four words. For example:

     1. Bernard Delfgaauw, The Student History of Philosophy (Albany: Magi Books, 1968), 1-10.

     2. Delfgaauw, Student History of Philosophy, 15.

Using "Ibid"

When the subsequent citation duplicates exactly the author, title, and publishing information of the citation immediately preceding it, use "ibid." For example:

     1. Bernard Delfgaauw, The Student History of Philosophy (Albany: Magi Books, 1968), 1-10.

     2. Ibid., 11-23.

Use this form if all citation information, except the page numbers, duplicates the citation immediately preceding it.

     3. Ibid.

Use this form if all the information, including page numbers, duplicates the citation immediately preceding it. 

Adding Commentary to Citations

At times you may wish to add some additional information to the foot- or endnote to clarify a point. List the source first; end with a period and then add your commentary. 


     6. Bernard Delfgaauw, The Student History of Philosophy (Albany: Magi Books, 1968), 2. Delfgaauw provides an excellent overview of Pre-Socratic philosopy that explains that the first Greek philosophers were not satisfied with mythical explanations, but rather were interested in finding "absolutes" or higher principles.

When adding a quotation to commentary in a note, however, start the citation with the quoted material and end with the citation. 


     6. In discussing the soul, Delfgaauw notes: "As a punishment, it is imprisoned in the body, but it can, through purification (katharsis), set itself free and thus, at death, be taken up into blessedness."  Bernard Delfgaauw, The Student History of Philosophy (Albany: Magi Books, 1968), 4.

Secondary Sources

Generally, you want to examine all sources you use in a paper. On occasion, when you cannot locate a source referred to in another work, it is permissible to cite a secondary source. If you must use a secondary source, you must cite both sources in the notes for your paper, noting the first source as "quoted in" the second source. In your bibliography, you will list only the secondary source that you actually read.

Example of a note:

     1. Katherine Ruppel, Book Titles and Other Ephemera  (Philadelphia: Holy Family University Press, 2009), 15, quoted in Christine Runowski, Library Lore (Philadelphia: Holy Family University Press, 2013), 345.

The student found Ruppel's material in Runowski's work but did not read Ruppel's original work. In the bibliography, the student would list the Runowski work that she actually read: 

Example of a bibliography entry:

Runowski, Christine. Library Lore. Philadelphia: Holy Family University Press,         2013.

Where Do I Find Examples?

For specific examples, click on the pull down menu under the Citing Sources: Chicago Style tab. The pages include examples for both formatting foot- or endnotes as well as the bibliography.

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