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How To Write Chicago Style Footnotes

Shortened Citations Versus Ibid

Create Chicago-style footnotes in MS Word

The abbreviation ibid. usually refers to a single work cited in the note immediately preceding. In a departure from previous editions, Chicago discourages the use of ibid. in favor of shortened citations as described elsewhere in this section to avoid repetition, the title of a work just cited may be omitted. Shortened citations generally take up less than a line, meaning that ibid. saves no space, and in electronic formats that link to one note at a time, ibid. risks confusing the reader. In the following examples, shortened citations are used for the first reference, as in a work with a full bibliography . The short forms now preferred by Chicago are followed by the same examples using ibid. Note that either abbreviated form is appropriate only when it refers to the last item cited where this is not the case, or where the previous note cites more than one source, the fuller form of the shortened citation must be repeated. Note also that with the preferred short form, a page reference must be repeated even if it is the same as the last-cited location with ibid., an identical page location is not repeated. The word ibid., italicized here only because it is a word used as a word , is capitalized at the beginning of a note and followed by a period.

1. Morrison, Beloved, 3.

11. Morrison, Song of Solomon, 240 Beloved, 32.

12. Morrison, Beloved, 33.

An author-only reference may also be used within one note in successive references to the same work.

Formatting Examples Of Notes And Bibliography

If you need help making CMS notes and bibliography entries, look to these examples:

  • Sarah Palmer, How to Do Basically Anything, Journal of Historical Initiatives 17 : 133, https://doi.org/1980.4947654.
  • Palmer, Basically Anything, 134.
  • Rebecca Cox, The College Fear Factor , 17.
  • Cox, Fear Factor, 28.
  • Ramos Tobin, UPS Profit Nearly Doubles in Second Quarter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 22, 2010,
  • Tobin, UPS Profit.
  • Notes:

  • Police and Detectives, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed on September 3, 2015, .
  • Police and Detectives.
  • Bibliography:


  • Karen A. Rader and Victoria E. Cain, Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Science and Natural History in the Twentieth Century , 80-83.
  • Bibliography:

    Rader, Karen A. and Victoria E. Cain. Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Science and Natural History in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.


  • Susan Leigh Star, Craft vs. Commodity, Mess vs. Transcendence: How the Right Tool For the Job Became the Wrong One in the case of Taxidermy and Natural History in Adela. E. Clarke and Joan H. Fujimura, The Right Tools for the Job: At Work in the Twentieth-Century Life Sciences , 257-286.
  • Bibliography:




    What Is Chicago Style

    Sometimes called Chicago Style, footnotes and endnotes are different from in-text citation methods . Footnotes and endnotes require you to include detailed information about each source as you cite it. With few exceptions, you should use either footnotes or endnotes in your paper, not both. Many professors prefer that you use footnotes rather than endnotes. Check with your professor to see what he or she prefers.

    The guidelines for this style are published in the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers .

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    Content Of Chicago Footnotes

    The footnote contains the number of the citation followed by a period and then the citation itself. The citation always includes the authors name and the title of the text, and it always ends with a period. Full notes also include all the relevant publication information .

    If you quote a source or refer to a specific passage, include a page number or range. However, if the source doesnt have page numbers, or if youre referring to the text as a whole, you can omit the page number.

    In short notes, titles of more than four words are shortened. Shorten them in a way that retains the keyword so that the text is still easily recognizable for the reader:

    1. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein or, the Modern Prometheus, ed. M.K. Joseph , 91.2. Shelley, Frankenstein, 91.

    Here Is An Example Of An In

    3 Ways to Do Chicago Style Footnotes

    This example represents the first use of the source in an essay. However, if you reference a source more than once in an essay, you can shorten the remaining footnotes or endnotes that reference that source. Footnotes and endnotes that reference a source for the second, third, etc. time in one paper can include the authors last name, the sources title, and the page number from where the information was derived.

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    What Can Proofreading Do For Your Paper

    Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words and awkward phrasing.

    Headings should use headline capitalization:

    • Summary of results
    • Summary of Results

    If you use different levels of heading , make sure your presentation makes clear which type of heading each one is.

    All headings of one level should be presented the same way, and higher-level headings should stand out more from the text. For example, you might use a larger font for chapter headings, bold for section headings, and italics for subheadings:

    Multiple Authors/references In One Footnote

    There can be times in your research when you have read the same idea from different authors in different sources. When including multiple authors in a footnote you should order them alphabetically according to the first author’s surname and separating each citation with a semi-colon.


    Understanding the Book of Amos: Basic Issues in Current Interpretations, Bibliotheca SacraThe Law and the Prophets: A Study of the Meaning of the Old Testament,

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    Citing A Published Interview

    Citations of interviews that have been published in any type of source follow the format for the type of source in which they were published. The only difference from the usual formats is that the note and bibliography entry both begin with the name of the person being interviewed.

    Include the the interviewers name after the title. If the name of the person interviewed is mentioned in the title, the name can be omitted from the start of a note , but it should always appear in the bibliography entry.

    Click through the tabs below to see how to cite interviews from journals, videos, and magazines.

    Chicago Note Citation Examples

    Chicago Style Format (17th) – Manuscript, Footnotes & Endnotes

    A Chicago footnote or endnote citation always contains the authors name and the title of the source. The other elements vary by the type of source youre citing.

    Page number should be included if you are referring to a specific part of the text. The elements of the citation are separated by commas, and the note always ends with a period.

    Navigate through the Chicago citation examples using the tabs below.

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    How To Add Footnote With Word

    And now for the pièce de résistance: how to actually incorporate these footnotes into your Word documents. The good news is that this is the easiest part!

    As it turns out, Word automates most of the footnote process so you dont have to worry about any of the formatting most of your energy will be focused on staying true to whichever style youre using.

    Here are the steps to take:

  • Place your cursor in the body text where you want the footnote superscript to appear.
  • Select the References tab in the ribbon toolbar.
  • Type your footnote according to style.
  • Repeat the process for every additional footnote. Word will automatically increment the number for you.
  • Chicago Referencing Citing A Website

    With the internet at our fingertips 24 hours a day, who needs books any more? Not students or researchers, thats for sure! Actually thats not quite true. Print sources are still vital when writing an essay. But you can also cite a website if you find useful information online.

    Most referencing styles even have specific rules for doing this, including the Chicago referencing footnote system. As such, heres our guide to citing websites Chicago style.

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    Full Notes Vs Short Notes

    Citations can take the form of full notes or short notes. Full notes provide complete source information, while short notes include only the authors last name, the source title, and the page number of the cited passage. The usual rule is to use a full note for the first citation of each source, and a short note for subsequent citations of the same source.

    Guidelines can vary across fields, though sometimes you might be required to use full notes every time, or conversely to use short notes every time, as long as all your sources are listed in the bibliography. Its best to check with your instructor if youre unsure which rule to follow.

    What Do I Include In The Footnote Or Endnote

    004 Essay Example Footnotes In An Sample Chicago Style Of ...

    The format for a footnote or endnote varies depending on whether it refers to a book, article, or online source. There are some key characteristics common to all footnotes and endnotes:

    • The footnote/endnote begins with the same superscript number as the one that appears in the paper and is followed by a period.
    • Footnotes/endnotes always include a specific page number or numbers where the cited information can be found.
    • The first footnote/endnote to a source provides the full publishing information.

    For example:

    1. Carolyn Kay, Art and the German Bourgeoisie: Alfred Lichtwark and Modern Painting in Hamburg, 1886-1914 , 100.

    Subsequent footnote/endnotes for the same source are shortened to provide only the authors last name, short title, and page number. For example:

    2. Kay, Art and the German Bourgeoisie, 51.

    3. Kay, Art and the German Bourgeoisie, 87.

    Note that The Chicago Manual of Style no longer recommends the use of “ibid.” for footnote/endnotes that cite the same source as the note immediately preceding it. The shortened citation shown above is preferred.

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    How To Do Footnotes And Endnotes In Chicago Style

    Information is taken from the 17th edition Chicago Manual of Style, latest version.

    Understanding how to format footnotes and endnotes is crucial to any Chicago essay you write because its the primary way to cite sources within your text. Luckily, most word processing applications already include a footnote and endnote option that makes formatting super easy. However, its still crucial that you understand the basic formatting rules for footnotes and endnotes in Chicago style essays, because your word processing app may not always default to the correct settings.

    First, lets talk about the difference between footnotes and endnotes. The only thing that separates these two in-text citations is the fact that footnotes exist at the bottom of the page that the source was cited, while endnotes are found at the end of the essay, no matter what page the source was mentioned. Be sure to check with your professor to find out which note type they prefer.

    How To Cite A Film In Chicago Footnotes

    In the Chicago system, you should include the following details in the footnote when you first cite a film or documentary:

    n. Film Title, directed by Directors Name , format/URL.

    In practice, then, the first footnote citation for a DVD would look like this:

    1. The Sword in the Stone, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman , DVD.

    For repeat citations, youd then just need to give the films title.

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    Citing A Poem From An Edited Book

    If a poem is from an edited book, such as an anthology, the footnote format is:

    n. Author name, Title of poem, in Book, ed. Editor name , page number.

    In practice, then, we would cite a poem from an edited book as follows:

    1. Frank OHara, Meditations in an Emergency, in The Poetry of Crisis, ed. Donald Allen , 197198.

    And to cite the same poem later in the document, you can use a shortened footnote format .

    Citations Taken From Secondary Sources

    Formatting Footnotes | Chicago Manual of Style | The Nature of Writing

    Chicago Manual of Style discourages the use of citing a source from a secondary source as it is expected that writers have examined the original works they cite. However, if an original source is unavailable because it is out of print or only available in another language then both the original and the secondary source must be listed in your footnote and your bibliography.


    Old Testament Studies The Role of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament Old Testament Studies The Role of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament.

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    Citing A Part Of A Work

    When citing a specific part of a work in the Chicago footnotes format, provide the relevant page or section identifier. This can include specific pages, sections, or volumes. If page numbers cannot be referenced, simply exclude them.

    Article in a book:

  • Kristen Poole, Dr. Faustus and Reformation Theology, in Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion, ed. G.A. Sullivan et al. , 100.
  • Poole, Dr. Faustus, 102.
  • Chapter in a book:

  • Garrett P. Serviss, A Trip of Terror, in A Columbus of Space , 17-32.
  • Serviss, Trip, 20.
  • Introduction, afterword, foreword, or preface:

  • Scott R. Sanders, introduction to Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to Present, ed. Lex Williford and Michael Martone , x-xii.
  • Sanders, Introduction, xi.
  • Article in a periodical:

  • William G. Jacoby, Public Attitudes Toward Public Spending, American Journal of Political Science 38, no. 2 : 336-61.
  • Jacoby, Public Attitudes, 345.
  • When Do I Need A Footnote

    Quoting, Paraphrasing, or Summarizing Another Source

    In this case, the footnote serves as a citation for the source material you’re using. If you’re familiar with MLA or APA styles, a footnote is used like an in-text citation: use it to tip off the reader that the information in a sentence is coming from somewhere or someone else.

    Elaborating on an Idea or Detail

    You can also use a footnote to say more on a topic without interrupting the flow of your paper. When you do this using your own words and thoughts, it is called a substantive note.

    If you would like to add to a footnote providing source information , make sure the source comes first. Seperate the citation from your commentary with a period.

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    Citing Sources With 4 Or More Authors

    If there are more than three authors, list only the first author followed by et al. List all the authors in the bibliography.

    In the shortened form, if there are more than three authors, only give the last name of the first author followed by et al.


  • 1st Author First name Last name et al., Title , page number.
  • 1st Author Last name et al., Shortened title, page number.
  • Example:

    Get help with footnotes by using the EasyBib Plus Chicago footnotes generator.

    Citing Sources With Notes


    To cite sources in Chicago notes and bibliography style, place a superscript number at the end of a sentence or clause, after the punctuation mark, corresponding to a numbered footnote or endnote.

    Covey asserts that the success literature of the twentieth century is filled with social image consciousness, techniques, and quick fixes.1

    1. Covey, 7 Habits, 18.

    Footnotes appear at the bottom of each page, while endnotes appear at the end of the text. Choose one or the other and use it consistently.

    Most word-processing programs can automatically link your superscript numbers and notes.

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