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Chicago/Turabian Format Style Guide: Citation Practices

This guide will assist in writing papers using the Chicago or Turabian style in the correct format as well as creating citations.

Two Citation Styles

Chicago/Turabian style uses two common citation forms - notes-bibliography style (notes-style) or author-date style.  Notes style is used in the humanities and in some social sciences, while author-date style is used in most social sciences and the natural and physical sciences.  If you are not sure which style to use, consult your professor.

Always use your style consistently throughout your paper.  

Here at UVF, you will use the notes-bibliography style to complete your assignments.  If you would like more information on the author-date style, please consult A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate Turabian.  Copies of this manual can be found in the SRC.

Notes-Bibliography Style

In notes-style citations, you signal that you have used a source by placing a superscript number at the end of the sentence in which you quote it or refer to it:

By 1911, according to one expert, an Amazon was "any woman rebel - which to a lot of people, meant any girl who left home and went to college."¹

You then cite the source in a correspondingly numbered note that provides the source plus relevant page numbers.  Notes are placed at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or in a list collected at the end of the paper or chapter (endnotes).  All notes have the same general form:

1. Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (New York: Vintage Books, 2015), 17.

If you cite the same source again, you can shorten the note:

2. Lepore, Wonder Woman, 28-29.

In most cases, you list all the sources you noted in a bibliography at the end of your paper.  The bibliography can also include sources you consulted but did not cite.  Each entry includes the information you included in the note, but in a different form:

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. New York: Vintage Books, 2015.

Basic Form - Notes-Style

Order of elements: The elements of note and bibliography entries follow the same general order for all types of sources: author, title, facts of publication.  In notes, the authors' names are in standard order (first name first) while bibliographies are in inverted order (last name first).  Notes include page numbers when referencing specific passages, while bibliographies do not.  Bibliographies do include a range of pages when the source is part of a larger work.

Punctuation: In notes, commas are used to separate elements.  Bibliographies use periods to separate elements.  In notes, the facts of publication are enclosed in parentheses; bibliographies do not enclose the facts of publication.  

Capitalization: Most titles are capitalized using headline style (all major words capitalized).  For titles in languages other than English, use sentence style (only first word capitalized).  

Italics and Quotation Marks: For the titles of larger entities (books, journal titles), use italics; for smaller entities (chapters, articles), use roman type and quotation marks.  For titles of works that have not been formally published (manuscripts or dissertations), use roman type and quotation marks.

Numbers: In titles, numbers are spelled out or given in numerals exactly as they have been written.  Use lower case roman numerals for page numbers that are in roman numerals in the original.  References to all other numbers (chapter numbers or figure numbers) are given in arabic numerals, even if they are spelled out or are roman numerals in the original work.

Abbreviations: In notes, abbreviate terms such as editor or edited by (ed.) and translator or translated by (trans.). In bibliographies, these are often spelled out when they introduce a name (Edited by) but abbreviated when it follows the name (ed.). 

Indentation: Notes are indented like other paragraphs in the text (first line indented, following lines flush left). Bibliographies use hanging indents (first line flush left, following lines indented).  


Types of Bibliographies

  • Bibliography or Sources Consulted - includes all works you cited, and can include works you consulted, but did not specifically mention.
  • Selected Bibliography - Used only when approved.  You may omit minor references that are unlikely to interest readers to save space.  If using a selected bibliography, use a headnote to explain your reasoning.
  • Single-author bibliography - Used when listing works solely by one author.  Can be listed chronologically or alphabetical by title
  • Annotated Bibliography - Each entry has a brief description of the work's contents or relevance to the research.

Arrangement of Entries: Bibliography entries should be alphabetical by author's last name.  If your bibliography includes two or more works by the same author, arrange them alphabetically by the title (ignoring the, a , and an).  For all entries after the first, replace the individual's name with a long dash (called a 3-em dash). List all such works before any works that the author co-authored or co-edited.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. America behind the Color Line: Dialogues with African Americans. New York: Warner Books, 2004.

----, ed. 2002. The Classic Slave Narratives. New York: Penguin Putnam.

----, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Cornel West. The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country. New York: Free Press, 2000.

Special Types of Names: Some author's names make alphabetizing names difficult.  Consult the catalog record for the proper alphabetical listing; you can also consult bibliographic entries in online dictionaries.

  • Compound Names: Alphabetize compound last names, including hyphenated names, by the first part of the compound.  If a person uses both their family name and the family name of a spouse, but does not hyphenate, use the second surname.  
    • Hine, Darlene Clark
    • Kessler-Harris, Alice
    • Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig
    • Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre
  • Names with Particles: Depending on the language, particles such as di, de, D', and van may or may not be considered part of the last name.
    • Beauvoir, Simone de
    • de Gaulle, Charles
    • di Leonardo, Micaela
    • Kooning, Willem de
    • Medici, Lorenzo de'
    • Van Rensselaer, Stephen
  • Names begininng with "Mac," "Saint," or "O" should be alphabetized as the letters they present.  Do not group them together.
  • Spanish names: Many Spanish names are compound names derived from family names.  Alphabetize such names under the first part.
  • Arabic Names: Arabic last names that start with the particle al- or el- should be alphabetized under the element following the particle.  Last names that start with Abu, Abd, or Ibn should be alphabetized under these terms.
    • Abu Zafar Nadvi, Syed
    • Ibn Saud, Aziz
    • Hakim, Tawfiq al-
    • Jamal, Muhammad Hamid al-
  • Chinese, Japanese, and Korean names: If an author uses the traditional usage (family name first, then given name), do not invert the name or insert a comma.  If the author uses Westernized usage (first then last name), treat the name as you would an English name.

You can also categorize bibliographies by format, primacy, or field if it is to help readers see related sources as a group.  If doing so, either present them as separate bibliographies or in separate sections.

By convention, you may omit the following types of sources from a reference list.

  • brief published items, such as abstracts, pamphlets, reports, and reviews
  • newspaper articles
  • blog posts and comments, social media posts, personal communications
  • individual documents in manuscript collections
  • the Bible and sacred works
  • the U.S. Constitution or other public documents

You may choose to include these in your reference list if it is critical to your argument or frequently cited.


Footnotes vs. Endnotes: Your professor may specify which type of note they prefer.  If not, you should generally choose footnotes, which are easier to read.  Choose endnotes when your footnotes are so long that they take up to much space on the page.  Endnotes also accommodate complex formatting issues better, such as tables or quoted poetry.

Referencing Notes in text: Whenever you use material from a source, note it at the end of the sentence with a superscript number.  This will indicate to look for the corresponding footnote or endnote.  The number should follow the terminal punctuation, except in the case of a dash, where the number should be before the dash if referring to the material ahead of said dash. 

Numbering Notes: Number notes consecutively beginning with 1.  If your paper has separate chapters, restart each chapter with 1. Do not skip a number or use numbers such as 5a. If you use endnotes for source citation, but footnotes for substantive comments, do not number the footnotes.  Instead, label the first footnote on the page with an asterisk.  

Formatting: Use regular paragraph indents for footnotes and endnotes. Begin every footnote on the page on which you reference it. Endnotes should be listed together at the end of the text but before the bibliography.

Shortened Notes: Some instructors will want you to use the full citation in each note.  Others allow for a shortened form of the note:

1. Dana Velasco Murillo, Urban Indians in a Silver City: Zacatecas, Mexico, 1546-1810 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016), 140.

2. Velasco Murillo, Urban Indians, 142.

If a citation for a note is exactly the same as the one above, you may be allowed to use the abbreviation "Ibid." in the note.  You may need to include a new page number.

1. Buchan, Advice to Mothers, 71.

2. Ibid., 95.

3. Ibid.

Reasons for Citing your Sources

Why should you cite your sources?

  • To give credit - Research is hard work.  Give credit to who did the work, and don't take credit for work that is not yours.
  • To reassure readers about the accuracy of your facts - Citations allow readers to judge the reliability and credibility of your facts and sources.
  • To show the reader the research tradition that informs your work - Researchers cite work that they use, but also work they extend, support, contradict, or correct.  This can connect information to other research in the field.
  • To help readers follow or extend your research - Readers can use your citations to do their own research.

Never take credit for work that is not your own!  Citation protects you from plagiarism and strengthens your arguments.

You must provide a citation when:

  • you quote exact words from another source
  • you paraphrase ideas from another source
  • when you use ideas, data, or methods attributable to any source you consulted

Citations in general should answer the following questions:

  • Who wrote, edited, or translated the text?
  • What data identify the text?
  • Who published the text and in what context?
  • When was the text published?
  • Where can the text be found?