General notes: Humanities style Chicago/Turabian (17th ed.) citation guide



This guide is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) [print].

These citation examples for commonly-used sources, using the notes/bibliography style, are based on the Chicago Manual of Style.

The formatting examples are based on Turabian style, which is used for coursework (i.e. student papers rather than scholarly submissions).

Chicago style outlines two distinct citation styles: Notes and bibliography style (covered in this guide) and Author-date style:

  • The Notes and bibliography (or Humanities) style uses footnotes or endnotes for in-text citations along with a bibliography at the end.
  • The Author-date style uses parenthetical author-date references for in-text citations and a reference list at the end.  


This guide covers the Notes and bibliography or Humanities style.

For the Author-date style, see the Social sciences/sciences system.

General notes on Chicago Style

It is recommended practice to cite your sources in both the notes and the bibliography (14.2, 14.9). However, consult with your instructor for specific directions.

For coursework [i.e. student papers rather than scholarly submissions], the body of your paper must be double-spaced (2.8), and according to Turabian,  the footnotes/endnotes must be single-spaced with a blank line between notes. Bibliographies follow this same spacing. (Explained further in Chicago's Q&A on documenting sources.)

Every page of the paper must be assigned a page number, including blank pages, appendices, and bibliography. Arabic numerals are centered or flush right at the top of the page (2.38). 

Cite and document any sources that you have consulted, whether you are quoting directly or presenting ideas from these sources in your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing (13.3). The only exception is for common or easily verifiable knowledge (13.5). You need to cite:

  • to identify other people's ideas and information used within your essay
  • to inform the reader of your paper where they should look if they want to find the same sources

A citation must appear in two places in your essay (14.9):

  • in the notes (footnotes or endnotes)
  • in the bibliography (at the end of your paper)

To introduce other people's ideas in text, use the following examples:

Richardson argues, refers to, explains, hypothesizes, compares, concludes;
As Littlewood and Sherwin demonstrated, proved, ... etc.

For spelling, use Webster's Third New International Dictionary [print] or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary [print] for standard spelling references for all Chicago citations (7.1).

  Citing generative AI

New technologies like ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools still need to be cited -- ask your instructor if they allow AI-generated text in your assignments. Please see the Chicago Manual of Style's FAQ item on citing content developed or generated by artificial intelligence.

Citing in-text using footnotes or endnotes

In Chicago notes/bibliography style, use footnotes or endnotes to cite quotations, paraphrases, and summaries of sources (14.19, 14.20, 14.22-14.60). Check with your instructor to find out which note style they prefer.

  • Footnotes are found at the bottom of a page
  • Endnotes are placed just before the bibliography at the end of a paper

To cite a source, a small superscript (raised) number is placed after each quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Throughout the paper, these are numbered in sequential order (14.19). For example:

Mooney found that "domestic violence has, since the 1970s, been increasingly recognized as a social problem."1 As Goodman and Epstein point out, resources to assist women in these situations should be focused on "those whose socioeconomic status limits their opportunities to be safe."2

Each numbered in-text citation then corresponds to a numbered footnote or endnote that provides author, title, page, and publication information. (14.19)

    The numbers in the notes are regular size (not superscripts) and followed by a period (14.24). Page numbers in notes should refer to the specific passage of the source text being quoted, paraphrased, or summarized (14.22).

    According to Turabian,  the footnotes/endnotes must be single-spaced with a blank line between notes. Bibliographies follow this same spacing. See Figure A.10, p.406 in the Appendix for a sample page with footnotes in Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed. [print]

    Full notes

    If you do not include a bibliography, or if you only include a partial list of references, you will need to add full details to the note the first time you cite a given source, including the name of the author/s, title of the work, place of publication, name of the publisher, and page number/s of the cited reference (14.19).

    See section 14.100 - 14.304 for more examples of notes.

    For example:

    1. Jayne Mooney, Gender, Violence and the Social Order (London: Macmillan, 2000), 2.

    2. Lisa A. Goodman and Deborah Epstein, "A Critical Analysis of System Responses: The Importance of Voice, Community, and Economic Empowerment," in Listening to Battered Women: A Survivor-centered Approach to Advocacy, Mental Health, and Justice (Washington: American Psychological Association, 2008), 90.

    Shortened notes

    Subsequent notes for sources that have already been cited in full (either in a note or bibliography containing full details), may be shortened to the author's last name, abbreviated title, and the appropriate page reference (14.29).

    For example:

    2. Mooney, Gender, 131-32.


    The list of sources at the end of the paper or at the end of the chapter is called the bibliography. This list must include all references cited in the text of your paper (14.61 - 14.71).

    In the bibliography, entries are listed in alphabetical order according to the authors' last names. If no author or editor is provided, the work's title may be used instead (14.65).

    Entries are double-spaced, but single-spacing is used within each entry. The second and subsequent lines are indented.

    For example:

    Darnton, Robert. "An Early Information Society: News and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris." American Historical Review 105, no. 1(2000): 1-35.

    Mooney, Jayne. Gender, Violence and the Social Order. London: Macmillan, 2000.

    When the bibliography includes multiple entries by the same author (one repeated name), a 3-em dash may be used to replace the author's name after the first entry (14.67 - 14.70). For example:

    Darnton, Robert. "An Early Information Society: New and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris." American Historical Review 105, no. 1(2000): 1-35.

    ---. The Devil in the Holy Water or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

    See section 14.69 for examples of multiple entries by more than one repeated name (multiple authors/editors).

    Additional resources

    Chicago Manual of Style

    The Chicago Manual of Style
    The complete guide online, with rules and examples. 

    The Chicago Manual of Style resources
    Includes the complete guide as well as tips, guidelines, video tutorials, and more examples.

    Guide to Archival Research: Chicago Manual of Style (Dalhousie University)
    Guide to citing archival materials.

    Using Primary Sources: Chicago Manual of Style (Library of Congress)
    Examples of citing different types of primary sources.

    Essay Style Guide (University of Victoria Department of History) 
    A guide to writing history essays including samples of notes and bibliographical entries.

    Turabian Style

    Turabian style is outlined in Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed. [print]. Turabian style is a modified version of Chicago style, and the two are sometimes referred to interchangeably. For paper and footnote/endnote examples, see the Appendix: Paper Format and Submission.

    Turabian Quick Guide (Chicago University Press)
    Also contains background information on Kate Turabian.

    Turabian Parenthetical/Reference List style guide (Georgetown University Library)
    Provides examples in the "author-date" style.