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Research Guides

Citation Styles & Tools: Formatting Guidelines

Quick help on citing sources and tools for storing and organizing sources.


Chicago Notes & Bibliography style uses footnotes or endnotes, rather than in-text citations. To see examples of notes formatting for different sources, check out the sample paper from OWL.

In the text, place the superscript number indicating a footnote after a punctuation mark whenever possible. After the first note, which gives complete information for the source cited, you may use a shortened form for subsequent notes referencing the same source.


Formatting Chicago N&B References

Access Date: For electronic works, do not use access dates unless publication dates are unavailable.

Authors: Invert 1st author's names in the reference list (Lastname, Firstname). Use “and,” not an ampersand, for multi-author entries. For 2-3 authors, write out all names. For 4-10 authors, write out all names in the bibliography but only the first author’s name plus “et al.” in notes.

Date: If you cannot determine the publication date of a printed work, use the abbreviation “n.d.” (no date).

DOIs: Provide DOIs instead of URLs whenever possible.

Indentation: The first line of a footnote is indented .5” from the left margin. Subsequent lines within a footnote should be formatted flush left. The first line of a bibliography entry should be formatted flush left. Subsequent lines with the entry should indented .5” from the left margin to form a hanging indent.

No Author: When a source has no identifiable author, cite it by title, both on the references page and in shortened form (up to four keywords from that title) in notes.

Note numbers: Note numbers should begin with “1” and follow consecutively throughout the paper. In the text, note numbers are superscripted. In the notes themselves, note numbers are full-sized, not superscripted, and followed by a period (superscripting note numbers in the notes themselves is also acceptable). Note numbers should be placed at the end of the clause or sentence to which they refer and should be placed after any and all punctuation.

Order: List entries in letter-by-letter alphabetical order according to the first word in each entry. Alphabetize entries by the last name of the first author of each work; in cases where the source has no author, alphabetize by the first word or words in the title, omitting the first "the," "an," and "a."

Pagination: Don't repeat the hundreds digit in a page range if it does not change from the beginning to the end of the range (e.g.,152-67). If you cannot name a specific page number when called for, use section (sec.), equation (eq.), volume (vol.), or note (n.).

Publishers: Write out publishers’ names in full.

References TItle: Label the 1st page of your list of sources “Bibliography.” Do not bold, italicize, or enclose the label in quotation marks.

Spacing: Leave two blank lines the title and the first entry. Single-space notes and bibliography entries internally; leave an extra line space between individual notes and bibliography entries.

Titles: Titles mentioned in the text, notes, or bibliography are capitalized “headline-style;” first words of titles and subtitles and any important words should be capitalized. Italicize book and periodical titles. Enclose article and chapter titles in quotation marks.

URLs: Use URLs only when a DOI is not available.

Volume, Issue, Date: The volume number follows the journal title with no punctuation and is not italicized. The issue number (if it is given) is separated from the volume number with a comma and is preceded by “no.” The year appears in parenthesis after the volume number (or issue number if given). The year may be preceded by a specific date, month, or season if given. Page information follows the year. For notes, page number(s) refer only to the cited material; the bibliography includes the first and last pages of the article.