Style Guide for Chicago Manual Footnotes
About Chicago Manual Footnotes:
Footnotes are a conventional way to tell your readers where you got the information and quotes that appear in your paper. Your goal is to make it easy for your readers to see what sources you used -- and easy to find any that they might want to study further. To do that, you need to provide complete citations in a consistent citation style. Leading publishers of historical scholarship (such as the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History) require Chicago Manual style footnotes.
Below you will find model footnotes that cite various types of sources. (Using the search function of your browser is an easy way to find the type of source you need.) The models illustrate the format for the first reference to a particular item. A second reference to the same item can be shortened -- as in model footnote 2 below.
For more on what footnotes are and how they work, see below. For more details on Chicago-style footnotes, see the Chicago Manual itself (available at the Duggan Library). You may also find helpful the online Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.
This document was developed to provide illustrations of the types of citations our students use most. It includes examples from a version of "History: Documenting Sources" by Diana Hacker that is no longer available online.
Books (print format)
Book, most basic citation
1. Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 204.
For any book, follow this basic model for punctuation, capitalization, and italics -- providing author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, and the page where the information you are citing can be found. Variations on this basic cite are modeled below. Note that a complete citation is needed for the first reference you make to any item; a shortened cite (as with model footnote 2) can be used thereafter.
Use this model for books available online only if they appear exactly as they did in print (i.e. with page images). Remember that the purpose of a footnote is to make it easy for readers to find the item you used. If the paper source and the online source look exactly the same (as would be the case in a photocopy, for instance), the details above will be most helpful for your readers. If the book has been reformatted in any way, your readers will need the URL and other information according to the model below.
Book, shortened citation
2. Neely, Fate of Liberty, 21.
Use this shortened style on second and subsequent cites to a particular item.
Book, with two or three authors
3. Michael D. Coe and Mark Van Stone, Reading the Maya Glyphs (London: Thames & Hudson, 2002), 129-30.
Book, with four or more authors
4. Lynn Hunt et al., The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (Boston: Bedford, 2001), 541.
Book, with no known author
5. The Men's League Handbook on Women's Suffrage (London: Thames & Hudson, 1912), 23.
Book, edited without an author
6. Jack Beatty, ed., Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America (New York: Broadway Books, 2001), 127.
Book, edited with an author
7. Ted Poston, A First Draft of History, ed. Kathleen A. Hauke (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2000), 46.
8. Tonino Guerra, Abandoned Places, trans. Adria Bernardi (Barcelona: Guernica, 1999), 71.
Book, in an edition other than the first
9. Andrew F. Rolle, California: A History, 5th ed. (Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1998), 243.
10. Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (1910; reprint, New York: Signet Classics, 2010), 44.
Use model footnote 9 for a book for which there are multiple revised editions. Use model footnote 9 when your readers need to know the original publication date as well as the specific reprint that you used.
Book, from a multi-volume work
11. James M. McPherson, Ordeal by Fire, vol. 2, The Civil War (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993), 205.
12. Peter N. Stearns, ed., Encyclopedia of European Social History: From 1350 to 2000 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001), III: 271.
For a separately titled volume, see model footnote 11; for volumes without individual titles (as with model footnote 12), provide the volume number with the pagination. Note that the cite to III:271 means page 271 of the third volume of the multi-volume set.
13. U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, 1943 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1965), 562.
Encyclopedias and other reference books
14. American Heritage Dictionary, New College Edition, s.v. "copy-edit ."
15. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. "Monroe Doctrine."
Print encyclopedias and other reference books usually follow the models already provided for citing books -- see models for edited works, or multi-volume works above. The rare exceptions are dictionaries and a few widely recognized reference sources (such as the Encyclopedia Britannica), which are cited as above. (Note that "s.v." is for the Latin sub verbo, "under the word").
Use those models for reference works available online only if they appear exactly as they did in print (i.e. with page images). Remember that your goal is to make it easy for readers to find the item you used. If the paper source and the online source look exactly the same (as would be the case in a photocopy, for instance), the details above will be most helpful for your readers. If the book has been reformatted in any way, your readers will need the URL and other information as provided in the models below.
16. Matt. 20:4-9 (Revised Standard Version).
17. Koran 19:17-21.
For the Bible (model footnote 16), provide the book, followed by chapter and verse (i.e. 16 refers to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 20, verses 4-9). For the Koran, provide sura and verse (i.e. model footnote 17 refers to sura 19, verses 19-21).
Articles and other short works (print format)
Article in a scholarly journal
18. Jonathan Zimmerman, "Ethnicity and the History Wars in the 1920s," Journal of American History 87, no. 1 (2000), 101.
Use this model for scholarly articles you have read online only if the article appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. with page images). If the article has been reformatted in any way, provide URL and other information according to the model footnotes below.
19. Nancy Gabin, review of The Other Feminists: Activists in the Liberal Establishment, by Susan M. Hartman, Journal of Women's History 12, no. 3 (2000), 230.
Article in a newspaper or popular magazine
20. Joy Williams, "One Acre," Harper's, Feb. 2001, 62.
21. Dan Barry, "A Mill Closes, and a Hamlet Fades to Black," New York Times, 16 Feb. 2001, A1.
22. "Renewable Energy Rules," Boston Globe, 11 Aug. 2003, sec. A1.
Use this model for articles you have read online only if they appear exactly as they did in print (i.e. with page images). If the article has been reformatted in any way, provide URL and other information according to the model below. When the author of an article is unknown, begin with the article title. Provide page and section numbers as the newspaper does (i.e. A1 means page 1 of section A).
Work in an anthology
23. Rebecca Harding Davis, "Life in the Iron-Mills," in The Norton Anthology of American Literature, ed. Nina Baym, shorter 6th ed. (New York: Norton, 2003), 1205.
24. Thomas Gainsborough, letter to Elizabeth Rasse, 13 Oct. 1753, in The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough, ed. John Hayes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 5.
For a short story or article, follow model footnote 23; for a letter, follow model footnote 24. For citing a letter you've read in an archive, see below.
Online sources (basic types)
Book (reformatted online)
25. Heinz Kramer, A Changing Turkey: The Challenge to Europe and the United States (Washington, DC: Brookings Press, 2000), 85, http://brookings.nap.edu/books/0815750234/html/index.html (accessed 12 Sept. 2004).
Use this model when the book has been reformatted in some way from the original printed copies. If the book appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. with page images), use the model found above. Provide as much of the following as is available: 1) the author, 2) the title, 3) the original publication information, 4) a page number or other locator, such as paragraph number, 7) a stable URL (if provided and if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 8) date you accessed the book.
Articles (reformatted online)
26. Gina Kolata, "Scientists Debating Future of Hormone Replacement," New York Times, 23 Oct. 2002, http://www.proquest.com (accessed 22 Feb. 2003).
27. Fiona Morgan, "Banning the Bullies," Salon, 15 March 2001, http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/03/15/bullying/index.html (accessed 24 Feb. 2003).
28. Linda Belau, "Trauma and the Material Signifier," Postmodern Culture 11, no. 2 (2001), par. 6, http://www.iath.virginia.edu/pmc/text-only/issue.101/11.2belau.txt (accessed 11 Jan. 2008).
Use this model for articles that originally appeared in print but that you found reformatted online. If the article appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. with page images), use the model found above. If the article was published directly to the web, use the model found below. Provide as much of the following as is available: 1) author of article, 2) title of article, 3) title of journal, magazine, or newspaper, 4) volume and issue number, 5) date, 6) page number or other locator, such as paragraph number, 7) a stable URL (if provided and if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 8) date you accessed the article.
Encyclopedias and other reference works (online)
29. "Benjamin McLane Spock," World of Health (online; Thomson Gale, 2006), in Biography Resource Center, http://galenet.galegroup.com/ (accessed 11 Jan. 2008).
Provide as much of the following as is available: 1) author of entry, 2) entry title, 3) title of reference source, 4) if the item has been reformatted from a print source, provide a note showing that and as much of the original publication information as is available 5) if the reference source is part of a collection such as the Gale Biography Resource Center, provide the name of that collection, 6) a stable URL (if provided and if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 7) the date you accessed the item.
If the reference work appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. with page images), use the models described above.
Webpages (original content online)
30. Sheila Connor, "Historical Background," Garden and Forest, Library of Congress, http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/prd/gardfor/historygf.html (accessed 13 Mar. 2007).
31. PBS Online, "Media Giants," Frontline: The Merchants of Cool, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/giants (accessed 12 Oct. 2007).
Provide as many of the following elements as are available: 1) author's name, 2) title of the page, 3) title of the site, 4) sponsor of the site, 5) stable URL (if provided and if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 6) date on which you accessed the page. When no author is named, treat the site's sponsor as the author.
Social media posts
31. Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) "Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's not your fault," Twitter, 8 May 2013, 9:37 p.m., https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/332308211321425920.
Provide as many of the following as are available: 1) the author's real name 2) the author's screen name 3) the opening text of the quote, provided as a title 4) the social media service 5) the date, including month, day, and year - and time, if relevant 6) the URL.
Use this model for posts that are available to the public. If you are citing content available to you but not to the public (as in a private message or a posting to a selected group of people), use the model (found below) for "personal communication."
Online sources (primary sources and genealogy)
Primary Sources reproduced online
32. John Locke, The Second Treatise on Government (1690), excerpted, Hanover College History Department, http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/165locke.html (accessed 24 Oct. 2003), para. 3.
33. Maggie Monfort, letter to Elias Monfort, 23 Jan. 1862, Hanover College History Department, https://history.hanover.edu/texts/hc/Monfort-M.html (accessed 24 Oct. 2017), para 1.
To the extent possible, combine the information you would have provided for the primary source in its original form (as a book or letter, for instance) plus identifying information for the online version of it. As a general rule, provide 1) author's name, 2) title of the original work, 3) date of original work, 4) "excerpted" or "translated" as appropriate, 5) title of the site, 6) sponsor of the site, 7) stable URL (if provided and if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 8) date on which you accessed the page, 9) page or paragraph number.
34. 1880 United States Census, Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, digital image s.v. "Callie J. Harrison," Ancestry.com.
Note that the citation specifies the census year and provides the geographic location where the person was counted (the town or township, the county, and the state). If you found the census page through a commercial site, direct your readers to the appropriate search term for the digital image by giving the person's name as the commercial site indexed it ("s.v." stands for the Latin sub verbo, or "under the word."). Finally, provide the name of the commercial site you used.
Indexes and databases within a commercial site
35. "Social Security Death Index," s.v. "Richard W. Nixon" (1920-1991), Ancestry.com.
36. "Wisconsin, Birth Index, 1820-1907," s.v. "David Roth" (born 25 Oct. 1873), Ancestry.com.
37. "U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925," s.v. "David Roth" (born 25 Oct. 1873), digital image, Ancestry.com.
38. "U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," s.v. "Samuel Beverly McNair," digital image, Ancestry.com.
Commercial sites like Ancestry.com may contain within them separate indexes or databases. Cite information from them by providing the title of the index/database, as given by the commercial site. Then provide the search term that readers will need for finding the information you're citing. Do that by giving the person's name as the commercial site indexes it ("s.v." stands for the Latin sub verbo, or "under the word."). You may also need to supply birth and/or death dates to distinguish among people with the same name. Be sure to note If a digital image is provided. (Otherwise, the index or database provides only the information, without reproducing the source from which the information came.) Finally, provide the name of the commercial site you used.
More details and examples for genealogical sources are available here.
39. Joseph Adkinson, letter to Irvin Adkinson, 10 Feb. 1863, folder 11, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
40. Edward M. House diary, 6 Nov. 1918, Edward M. House Papers, Yale University Library (New Haven, Conn.).
Archival material comes in many forms, and information about individual items is not always complete. Within those limits, do your best to provide the information needed for your readers to find the source you used, and order the information from the specific to the general. Usually, you will include the following in this order: author; type of document, title, and/or recipient; date; folder number; box number; collection name; archive name; and geographic location. When in doubt about what to include, follow the archivist's recommendation.
Items in the Duggan Archives often cited by Hanover students
41. JoBeth Smith, "Immigrant Neighborhoods in the Fifties" (14 May 2003), "Twentieth-Century America and Your Family" collection, folder 38, box 4, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
42. "Alumni File of Charles Alling, Class of 1885," Archives of Hanover College, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
43. Stephanie Lynn Budin, "The Origins of Aphrodite" (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2000), 301-2.
44. The Secret of Roan Inish, dir. by John Sayles (1993; Columbia TriStar, 2000 dvd).
Provide 1) the title, 2) the director, 3) theatrical release date, 4) if viewed as dvd or video, specify the distributor, date of dvd or video release, and format.
Television or radio program
45. "A Place of His Own," 1976 episode of Happy Days (ABC, 1974-1984; Paramount, 2008 dvd).
Provide 1) the title of the episode, 2) broadcast date of the episode, 3) title of series, 4) network, 5) inclusive dates of the series, 6) if viewed as dvd or video, specify the distributor, date of dvd or video release, and format.
46. Ron Haviv, interview by Charlie Rose, 12 Feb. 2001, The Charlie Rose Show (PBS).
Provide 1) person being interviewed, 2) the interviewer, 3) title of the episode, if given, 4) the date of the interview, 5) name of the program, 6) the network.
Song or album
47. Gustav Holst, The Planets, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Andre Previn, Holst: The Planets (1990; Telarc, 1990).
48. Pharrell Williams, "Happy," performed by Pharrell Williams, in Despicable Me 2 Soundtrack (2013; Back Lot Music, 2013).
Provide 1) songwriter or composer, 2) name of song or piece, 3) performer(s), 4) title of album, in italics, 5) date of performance, if available, 6) distributor, 7) release date.
49. Abby Labille, "News from Home," email to author, 24 Oct. 2007.
50. Thomas Anderson, conversation with author, 24 Oct. 2007.
51. Muse fan, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, St. Louis, Missouri, 13 June 2017.
Use these models for information people have communicated to you directly. Model footnote 50 is appropriate for informal oral history interviews. If you don't have the name of the person you are citing, provide a description of the person, as well as the location and date (as with model footnote 51).
52. Charles Chipping, lecture for "Introduction to English Literature," Hanover College, 17 May 2003.
One source quoted in another
53. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Random House, 1965), 11, quoted in Mark Skousen, The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and the Ideas of the Great Thinkers (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2001), 15.
If you wish to refer to a source that the source you are consulting quotes, provide as much information as is available about the quoted source, and also provide the relevant information for the item in which it appears.
More on what footnotes are and how they work.
Footnotes are a conventional way to tell your readers where you got the information and quotes that appear in your paper. Complete citations in a consistent citation style make it easier for your readers to scan through your citations and find what they want quickly.
If you are reading this page from the Hanover College campus, you can click here to see an example of a published article using Chicago Manual style footnotes. (If this link does not work for you, contact your library to see if your institution provides access to scholarly journals through some other means.)
Suppose the second paragraph of your paper mentions Horatio Nelson Taft visiting the White House, and suppose one of your readers is curious about where she could read more about Taft. She will look for the next superscript number after your mention of Taft. (For most papers, there is a footnote at the end of each paragraph of text in the body of the paper, so she'll look first at the end of the paragraph.) The superscript number she finds in the text directs her to the appropriate spot on the numbered list that runs along the bottom of all your pages. There, your citation tells her that you learned about Taft's visit by reading his diary, and you give her all the information she needs to find a copy of the diary to read herself. (Standard citation styles give her enough information to find it online or to order it through interlibrary loan, for instance). If you quote Taft again later in your paper, she'll want to know more about that information too, and so she'll again look to the end of the paragraph for the superscript number that will direct her to the bottom of your page. There she'll find your shortened reference to the Taft diary, with the page where she can read the quote in context. If she has forgotten the diary's publication details, she can look back to your first footnote for all the specifics. If you follow a consistent citation style, she'll be able to find the first full cite easily by scanning up through your earlier footnotes.
Notice that footnotes are numbered consecutively over the course of the whole paper. (That is, the paragraph that mentions Taft the second time gets its own footnote; don't re-use the number found in the earlier paragraph.)
If you are confused about how to punctuate sentences with quotations and footnotes, remember that "the end punctuation goes first, followed by quotation marks as appropriate, and then the superscript number."1
If you are confused about how to find the details you need for a complete cite, you will find helpful visuals by following the "citation at a glance" links in Chicago Documentation Style at hackerhandbooks.com.
Scholarly journal house styles sometimes vary slightly from The Chicago Manual. For example, see the "Journal of American History Style Sheet".
Be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism. If you do not provide a footnote for information that you have learned from someone else, you are implying that you know that information from your own experience. You are thus stealing the credit for someone else's hard work, and academics take theft of intellectual property seriously.