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Chicago Style (Notes/Bibliography)

Provides basic information and instructions for preparing a paper using Chicago Manual of Style Notes and Bibliography system.


  • Author (or editor) is the first element of both notes and bibliography entries in CMS Notes/Bibliography style.
  • Use the author's name as it appears in the title page.
  • No author for a magazine or newspaper article? First element of the citation is the article title.
  • Type the author's name as it appears on the title page of a book or at the head of the article.
  • For full notes, type all authors' names in standard or direct order (e.g., Charles Schultz).
  • Initials as part of a name? Separate initials with a space, e.g., C. S. Lewis.
  • For shortened notes: Type all author(s) last names, e.g., Schultz, Brown, and VanPelt.
  • Bibliography: Invert the first author's name (e.g., Schultz, Charles); additional author's names are in direct order. It's important to invert author names in the bibliography because you will have to arrange the bibliography in alphabetical order by last name of author (or title if no author).
Authors Full Notes Bibliography
1 Charles Schultz. Schultz, Charles.
2 Charles Schultz and Charles Brown. Schultz, Charles, and Charles Brown.
3 Charles Schultz, Charles Brown, and Lucy VanPelt. Schultz, Charles, Charles Brown, and Lucy VanPelt.
4 or more Charles Schultz et al. Include all names.


  • Capitalization: Use CMS headline style for titles and subtitles of books and articles: Capitalize first and last words of title and subtitle, if any; capitalize other major words, i.e., nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs.
  • Book titles, journal titles: Set in italics.
  • For titles with subtitles, if the title ends in a question mark, do not include a colon before the subtitle.
  • Journal, magazine, and newspaper article titles:
    • Enclose in quotation marks; do not italicize.
    • If an article title includes a quotation, enclose the quotation in single quotes, with double quotation marks around the entire article title.
    • In a bibliography (where elements are generally separated by periods), if an article title ends with a question mark, do not insert a period after the quotation mark.
  • Shortening titles: You may shorten a book title or a article title that is 5 or more words in the shortened citation in a note, but do not shorten journal titles. Acceptable ways of shortening titles:
    • Omit the initial article (A, The).
    • Include only key words from the title.
    • Do not rewrite or change the order of words in the title.

    Examples of Shortened Titles
    Original Title Shortened Title
    Men and Events; Historical Essays Men and Events
    The Empire of the Seas: A Biography of Rear 
     Admiral Robert Wilson Shufeldt, USN
    Empire of the Seas
    Wordmark Encyclopedia of the Nations Encyclopedia of Nations

Place of Publication

  • The place of publication is usually found on the book's title page. More than one city listed? Use the first.
  • If the city is not well known, or for a common city name, include the state, province, or country. Use postal codes for states (i.e., PA rather than Penna. or Pennsylvania); use abbreviations for countries. (CMS lists Canadian provinces in section 10.29 and country abbreviations in section 10.32.)
  • If the publisher name includes the state name, omitpostal code abbreviation, e.g., for a book published by Ohio University Press, include Athens rather than Athens, OH.
  • Book published in a foreign city? Use the English name for the city, e.g., use "Rome" rather than "Roma."
  • Place of publication not available? Use the abbreviation "n.p." ("N.p. in a bibliography, since periods separate elements of a citation).


  • Omit initial articles, e.g., A, An, The.
  • Omit corporate designations like Inc., Ltd., Co., Publishing Co.
  • Omit Press if doing so is not confusing. For example, you can use Abingdon rather than Abingdon Press, but omitting Press from Free Press would probably be confusing. Do not omit Press when referring to a university press (e.g., Ohio University Press).
  • Retain initials before a family name, e.g., W. W. Norton; retain designations like Sons, Brothers, etc.
  • Publisher name include and or &? Use either but be consistent. If you list Norton & Company, list Harper & Row rather than Harper and Row.
  • Foreign publisher name? Do not translate.
  • Publisher unknown? Use place and date only. This is more common for older works.
  • Do not include the publisher's parent company or imprint just because it appears on the title page.



  • Use year only as found on the copyright page.
  • Two dates provided? Use the most recent.
  • No date? Use the abbreviation "n.d." Have an idea of the date? Enclose it in square brackets, e.g., [1951].


Use the most complete date you can find (check the front cover or the table of contents page) for a magazine (do not include volume and issue number). Some magazines include:

  • Month, day, and year, e.g., August 19, 1999.
  • Month and year only, e.g., July 2008.
  • Multiple months and year, July/August 2000.
  • A season and year, Spring 2000.


If you access a journal article through an online database, add the database name and its accession number to the citation.

Sample Note:

12. Pamela Paul, "The Playground Gets Even Tougher," New York Times, October 10, 2010, 12, Academic Search Complete (54317717). 

Sample Bib:

Paul, Pamela. "The Playground Gets Even Tougher." New York Times, October 10, 2010. Academic Search Complete (54317717). 

Page Numbers

Notes: Referring to a passage, page, or pages? Provide page number(s) in the corresponding note. For electronic resources without a page number or with a variable page number (text is resizable), use a chapter number, section number, or some other location information.


  • Books: Provide page numbers when referring to a chapter or book section.
  • Journal and Magazine articles: Provide start and end page.
  • Newspaper articles: No page numbers required.
  • Electronic sources without page numbers, including electronic books where page numbers vary because text size can be adjusted: Provide identifying information, if available, e.g., chapter number, paragraph number, heading or section title.


  • Include DOI for electronic resources, if available. DOI not available? Use URL.
  • Print versions of articles may have a DOI, but you do not need to include the DOI for print articles UNLESS required by your instructor. 
  • Capitalization:
  • Including a DOI in a citation, "doi" is always all lowercase.
  • Do not capitalize the protocol in a URL (e.g., http, ftp).
  • A URL alone (with no other citation elements) is not a citation; URLs are likely to change.
  • If you must break a URL or DOI, do not add a hyphen to indicate the break. You can break:
  • after a colon or a double slash;
  • before a single slash, tilde, period, comma, hyphen, underline, question mark, number sign, or percent symbol;
  • before or after an equals sign or ampersand. 
  • Edition

    Include edition information in the citation in both the note and the bibliography if the resource you're using is not the first edition. So, if it's a numbered edition or if the title page indicates that it is a revised edition, this information must be included in the citation. Abbreviate the number as well as the word edition, e.g., the second edition is 2nd ed., third edition is 3rd ed., and so on. Revised edition would be abbreviated to "rev. ed." in the note, since elements are separated by commas, and "Rev. ed." in the bibliography since elements end in periods.

    Example in a note:

    23. Mack, Daniel. Mosby's EMT-B Certification Preparation and Review, 3rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 2002.

    Example in a bibliography:

    Mack, Daniel. Mosby's EMT-B Certification Preparation and Review. 3rd ed. 
              St. Louis: Mosby, 2002.

    Journals: Volume Number, Issue, Page Numbers

    Journals generally have a volume number that changes at the beginning of a new year. So, for example, all issues of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published in 2009 were part of Volume 54, and issues published in 2010 are part of Volume 55. Individual issues published during a year (or within a volume) have an issue number that usually begins with Issue 1 in January, Issue 2 in February, and so on.

    Page numbering within journals varies. In some journals, each issue starts with page 1, while other journals use continuous pagination, so Issue 1 starts on page 1 and ends on page 78, and Issue 2 begins on page 79.

    The table below gives you information about which of the above pieces of information are included in a citation for a journal article.

    Article Information         Included in a citation?
    Volume number Always
    Issue number Required only if each issue begins with page 1. However, you may choose to always include issue numbers.
    Page numbers If referring to a particular passage, include the page or pages on which that passage appears.
    If referring to the entire article, include the range of pages on which the article appears.

    If It's Not Covered Here...

    The Chicago Manual of Style is 860 pages, not including its appendices and indices. So, we could not cover every possible detail in this LibGuide. Do you have a situation that isn't covered in this LibGuide? Contact the library staff or refer to the Chicago Manual of Style.

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