How To Footnote An Essay In Chicago Style


Chicago/Turabian Basics: Footnotes


Why We Use Footnotes

The style of Chicago/Turabian we use requires footnotes rather than in-text or parenthetical citations. Footnotes or endnotes acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the author’s name, publication title, publication information, date of publication, and page number(s) if it is the first time the source is being used. Any additional usage, simply use the author’s last name, publication title, and date of publication.

Footnotes should match with a superscript number at the end of the sentence referencing the source. You should begin with 1 and continue numerically throughout the paper. Do not start the order over on each page.

In the text:

Throughout the first half of the novel, Strether has grown increasingly open and at ease in Europe; this quotation demonstrates openness and ease.1

In the footnote:

1. Henry James, The Ambassadors (Rockville: Serenity, 2009), 34-40.

When citing a source more than once, use a shortened version of the footnote.

2. James, The Ambassadors, 14.

Citing sources with more than one author

If there are two or three authors of the source, include their full names in the order they appear on the source. If there are more than three authors, list only the first author followed by “et al.” You should list all the authors in the bibliography.

John K. Smith, Tim Sampson, and Alex J. Hubbard, Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.

John K. Smith, Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.

Citing sources with other contributor information

You may want to include other contributor information in your footnotes such as editor, translator, or compiler. If there is more than one of any given contributor, include their full names in the order they appear on the source.

John Smith, Example Book, trans. Bill McCoy and Tim Thomas (New York: Random House, 2000), 15.

John Smith, Example Book, ed. Tim Thomas (New York: Random House, 1995), 19.

If the contributor is taking place of the author, use their full name instead of the author’s and provide their contribution.

John Smith, trans., Example Book (New York: Random House, 1992), 25.

Citing sources with no author

It may not be possible to find the author/contributor information; some sources may not even have an author or contributor- for instance, when you cite some websites. Simply omit the unknown information and continue with the footnote as usual.

Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.

Citing a part of a work

When citing a specific part of a work, provide the relevant page or section identifier. This can include specific pages, sections, or volumes. If page numbers cannot be referenced, simply exclude them. Below are different templates:

Multivolume work:

Webster’s Dictionary, vol. 4 (Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1995).

Part of a multivolume work:

John Smith, ed., “Anthology,” in Webster’s Dictionary, ed. John Smith, vol 2. of Webster’s Dictionaries (Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1995).

Chapter in a book:

Garrett P. Serviss, “A Trip of Terror,” in A Columbus of Space (New York: Appleton, 1911), 17-32.

Introduction, afterword, foreword, or preface:

Scott R Sanders, introduction to Tounchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to Present, ed. Lex Williford and Michael Martone (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), x-xii.

Article in a periodical:

William G. Jacoby, “Public Attitudes Toward Public Spending,” American Journal of Political Science 38, no. 2 (May 1994): 336-61.

Citing group or corporate authors

In your footnotes, cite a corporate author like you would a normal author.

American Medical Association, Journal of the American Medical Association: 12-43.

Citing an entire source

When citing an entire work, there are no specific page numbers to refer to. Therefore, simply exclude the page numbers from the footnote.

John K. Smith, Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010).

Citing indirect sources

When an original source is unavailable, then cite the secondhand source – for instance, a lecture in a conference proceedings. If using an unpublished address, cite only in the paper/writing. If using a published address, use a footnote with the following format.

Paula Abdul mentioned in her interview on Nightline…
Zouk Mosbeh, “Localization and the Training of Linguistic Mediators for the Third Millennium,” Paper presented at The Challenges of Translation & Interpretation in the Third Millennium, Lebanon, May 17, 2002.

Citing the Bible

The title of books in the Bible should be abbreviated. Chapter and verses should be separated by a colon. You should include the version you are referencing.

Prov. 3:5-10 AV.

Citing online sources

Generally, follow the same principals of footnotes to cite online sources. Refer to the author if possible and include the URL.

Henry James, The Ambassadors (Rockville: Serenity: 2009),

Bhakti Satalkar, “Water Aerobics,”, (July 15, 2010).

Citing online sources with no author

If there is no author, use either the article or website title to begin the citation. Be sure to use quotes for article titles and include the URL.

“Bad Strategy: At E3, Microsoft and Sony Put Nintendo on the Defense,” BNET,, (June 14, 2010)



This section contains information on The Chicago Manual of Style method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, which was issued in 2017.

Contributors: Jessica Clements, Elizabeth Angeli, Karen Schiller, S. C. Gooch, Laurie Pinkert, Allen Brizee, Ryan Murphy, Vanessa Iacocca, Ryan Schnurr
Last Edited: 2018-01-31 01:23:00

General Model for Citing Books in the Chicago Notes and Bibliography System

Footnote or endnote (N):

   1. First name Last name, Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), page number.

Corresponding bibliographical entry (B):

Last name, First name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Book by one author 


 1.  Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums (New York: Viking Press, 1958), 128.  


Kerouac, Jack. The Dharma Bums. New York: Viking Press, 1958.

Book by multiple authors

Two or more authors should be listed in the order they appear as authors, and not necessarily alphabetically.


    2. Scott Lash and John Urry, Economies of Signs & Space (London: Sage Publications, 1994), 241-51.


Lash, Scott, and John Urry. Economies of Signs & Space. London: Sage Publications, 1994.

Translated work with one author


   3. Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch, trans. Gregory Rabassa (New York: Pantheon Books, 1966), 165.


Cortázar, Julio. Hopscotch. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. New York: Pantheon Books, 1966.

Book with author and editor

In notes, CMOS prefers the abbreviation of “editor(s)” as “ed.” or “eds.,” and translator(s) as “trans.” In bibliographic entries, these abbreviations are not used. Instead, titles are spelled out in full. This information appears in the MLA Handbook, section 14.103.


   4. Edward B. Tylor, Researches into the Early Development of Mankind and the Development of Civilization, ed. Paul Bohannan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), 194.


Tylor, Edward B. Researches into the Early Development of Mankind and the Development of Civilization, Edited by Paul Bohannan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964.

Chapter from a single-authored book

CMOS supplies two correct forms for bibliographic entries. Both are noted here.


   5. Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” in Borderlands: The New Mestiza – La Frontera, (San Francisco: Aunt Lute Book Company, 1987): 53-64.  


Anzaldua, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” In Borderlands: The New Mestiza – La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Book Company, 1987. 


Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands: The New Mestiza – La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Book Company, 1987. See esp. chap. 5, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.”

Contributions from an edited collection with various authored chapters

When citing work by a single author that appears in a book with multiple authors, the contributing author’s name is cited first, followed by the title of their contribution, the word 'in' and the title of the book, along with the name(s) of the editors, and other standard information.


   5. Phillip Appleman, “O Karma, Dharma, Pudding and Pie,” in Good Poems, ed. Garrison Keillor (New York: Penguin, 2002), 12.   


Appleman, Phillip. “O Karma, Dharma, Pudding and Pie.” In Good Poems, edited by Garrison Keillor, 12. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Introduction, Preface, or Afterwords in a Book

Unlike other citations for books, bibliographic entries of this kind include the page number range for the part cited. 


   6. Steven Pinker, introduction to What is Your Dangerous Idea?, ed. John Brockman (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007), xxv.


Pinker, Steven. Introduction to What is Your Dangerous Idea?, xxiii-xxxiii. Edited by John Brockman. New York: Harper Perennial, 2007.

Anonymous works--Unknown authorship

Sources that have no known author or editor should be cited by title. Follow the basic format for "Footnote or Endnote" and "Corresponding Bibliographical Entry" that are exemplified above omitting author and/or editor names and beginning respective entries with the title of the source.

Citing indirect sources

Because authors are generally expected to be intimately familiar with the sources they are citing, Chicago discourages the use of a source that was cited within another (secondary) source. In the case that an original source is utterly unavailable, however, Chicago requires the use of "quoted in" for the note:


   7. Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), 103, quoted in Manuel DeLanda, A New Philosophy of Society (New York: Continuum, 2006), 2.

Self-published or Privately Published Books 

Books published by the author should be cited according to information available on the title page or copyright page. In place of publisher, include language such as “self-published” (abbreviated as “self-pub” in notes, but not a bibliography) or “printed by the author” is usually appropriate. For self-published e-books, add the name of the application or device required to read the book or the name of the file format, or both.


Kathleen Long, Chasing Rainbows: A Novel (self-pub., CreateSpace, 2011).


Long, Kathleen. Chasing Rainbows: A Novel. Self-Published, CreateSpace, 2011.


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