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:
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), http://books.google.com.
Bhakti Satalkar, “Water Aerobics,” http://www.buzzle.com, (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, www.cbsnews.com/moneywatch, (June 14, 2010)
This guide is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) and provides only selected citation examples for commonly used sources, and of notes/bibliography style only. For more detailed information, directly consult a print copy or online version of the style manual available at the SFU Library and at the SFU Bookstore.
Chicago style is sometimes referred to as Turabian style, which is a modified version of Chicago style, and which is outlined in Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7thed. [print].
For the best printing results, use the printer-friendly PDF format of this guide.
Keep track of your document references/citations and format your reference lists easily with citation management software.
General notes on Chicago Style
Chicago style outlines two distinct citation styles (14.2):
- Notes/bibliography style, also known as "Humanities style." Sources are cited through footnotes (or endnotes) and a bibliography
- Author/date style, also known as "Scientific/Social Sciences style." Sources are cited through parenthetical author/date references in the text and a reference list
Please note that this guide covers only the Humanities style.
It is recommended practice, but not absolutely necessary, to cite your sources in both the notes and the bibliography. The practice of including both notes and a bibliography is still common practice amongst humanities scholars, so make sure to consult your instructor.
If you choose not to include a bibliography in your paper or choose to create only a partial list of references, you must provide full details of the sources you cited in your notes. (The first time you mention a work in the notes, you must provide full publication details. All subsequent notes of the same work can be written in short form.) If, on the other hand, your bibliography includes all sources cited in the notes, you need not provide full publication details in the notes since a reader can consult the bibliography (14.14).
Your paper must be double-spaced. It is conventional to single-space footnotes and bibliographies, leaving a blank line between entries.
Every page of the paper must be assigned a page number, including blank pages, appendices, and bibliography. Arabic numerals are centered or flush right at the top of the page.
You need to cite and document any sources that you have consulted, even if you presented the ideas from these sources in your own words (13.1 - 13.6). You need to cite:
- to identify other people's ideas and information used within your essay
- to inform the reader of your paper where they should look if they want to find the same sources
A citation must appear in two places in your essay (14.19):
- in the notes (footnotes or endnotes)
- in the bibliography (at the end of your paper)
To introduce other people's ideas in text, use the following examples:
Use Webster's Third New International Dictionary [print] and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary [print] for standard spelling references for all Chicago citations (7.1).
You are responsible for the accuracy of all information in your notes and bibliography (13.6).
References in text: footnotes and endnotes (14.14 - 14.60)
In Chicago notes/bibliography style, footnotes or endnotes are used to cite quotes, paraphrases, and other in-text references (14.14-14.60).
- Footnotes are numbered citations listed at the bottom of each page in the research paper
- Endnotes are numbered citations listed at the end of the research paper
To cite a source, a small superscript (raised) number is placed after each in-text reference. Throughout the paper, these in-text references are numbered in sequential order (14.20). For example:
Each numbered reference then corresponds to a numbered citation in the footnote or endnote that provides author, date, and publication information for each source (14.14). The numbers in the notes are full size, not raised, and followed by a period.
Citations in notes are single-spaced (unless otherwise instructed), but there is a double space between entries. The first line is indented.
References in text: shortened citations (14.108, 14.111, 14.275, 14.29-14.36)
The first in-text reference to a given source must be cited in full with the name of the author/s, title of the work, place of publication, name of the publisher, and page number/s of the cited reference (14.19-14.20). For example:
Subsequent notes for sources that have already been cited may be shortened to the author's last name, abbreviated title, and the appropriate page reference (14.25). For example:
Immediately following notes that refer to the same source may be shortened even further to "ibid." (short for 'ibidem' - the Latin word for "in the same place") and the appropriate page reference (14.34). For example:
Bibliography (14.19 - 14.23; 14.61 - 14.71)
The list of sources at the end of the paper or at the end of the chapter is called the bibliography. This list must include all references cited in the text of your paper (14.62 - 14.71).
In the bibliography, entries are listed in alphabetical order according to the authors' last names. If no author or editor is provided, the work's title may be used instead (14.65).
Entries are double-spaced, but single-spacing is used within each entry. The second and subsequent lines are indented.
When the bibliography includes multiple entries by the same author listed together, a 3-em dash may be used to replace the author's name after the first entry (14.67 - 14.70). For example:
For more information about how to format your bibliography, see sections 14.61 - 14.71.
Common abbreviations (10.1 - 10.69)
When books have editors, translators, or compilers, the following abbreviations are used (10.42, 14.72 - 14.84):
- one editor - ed. / two or more editors - eds.
- translators - trans.
- one compiler - comp. / two or more compilers - comps.
For editions of books other than the first, the edition number (or description) and the abbreviation "ed." are placed after the book's title in all notes and bibliographic citations (14.112 - 14.115). For example:
- second edition - 2nd ed.
- revised edition - rev. ed.