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Chicago Citation Guide

A resource guide to help students using the Chicago Manual of Style citation method.

Notes and Bibliography is the Chicago Style that is most often used in disciplines such as literature, history, and the arts. It is also the preferred citation for the History, Political Science, and Geography department at the W. 

Full Note vs. Shortened Note

The first note referring to a work must be a full note, but subsequent citations for that same work can be shortened. The shortened form should include just enough information to remind readers of the full title or lead them to the bibliography; usually the last name of the author(s), the key words of the main title, and the page number.  Check with your instructor to determine whether this shortened form is acceptable.

1. Salman Rushdie, The Ground beneath Her Feet (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), 25.
2. Valerie Bunce, "Rethinking Recent Democritization: Lessons from the Postcommunist Experience," World Politics 55, no. 2 (2003): 168,  
3. Rushdie, The Ground beneath, 28.

Consecutive footnotes for the same work

When citing the same source in multiple footnotes one after the other, cite the source in full the first time, and then use the abbreviated form for all subsequent citations until another source is cited.

1. Rushdie, The Ground beneath, 25.                                                              
2. Rushdie, 28.


When the note entry includes a URL that must be broken at the end of a line, the break should be made after a colon of double slash (//); before a single slash (/), a tilde (~), a period, a comma, a hyphen, an underline (_), a question mark, a number sign, or a percent symbol; or before or after an equal sign or an ampersand.

How to Cite a Direct Quotation

Run In Quotes

In incorporating quotations into a text, phrase the surrounding sentence in such a way that the quoted words fit logically and grammatically. Run in quotes are incorporated into the surrounding text and enclosed in quotation marks, "like this."

Block Quotes

A quotation of a hundred words of more (at least 6-8 lines of text) can generally be set off as a block quotation. Block quotations are not enclosed by quotation marks, begin on a new line, and are indented.

A quotation of 2 or more paragraphs should be set off as a block quotation.

Permissible Changes to Quotations

Chicago style allows minor changes to quotations in specific situations. Most notably, and different than other citation styles, obvious typographic errors may be corrected silently (without comment or sic - see p. 733), unless the passage quoted is from an older work where idiosyncrasies of spelling are generally preserved.

*Chapter 13 of the Chicago Manual offers recommendations and guidelines for incorporating words quoted from other sources.

How to Cite When Paraphrasing

Even if you put information in your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing, you must still use a footnote just as you would with a direct quotation. All the information required in the footnote for a paraphrased sentence is the same as if you were using a direct quotation.

Thanks and acknowledgement to Red Deer College's Chicago LibGuide which this page is based on.