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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.


  • Insert a number at the point in the text for which a citation is needed, preferably at the end of a sentence or clause, following quotation marks, if any. Format the note number within the text as superscript (above the line). To format a number as superscript in Microsoft Word:
    1. Type the note number, select it, then right-click.
    2. Choose the Font option from the list.
    3. Under Effects, choose Superscript.
  • In the footnotes or endnotes, do not format the note number as superscript.
  • Always number notes consecutively, starting with 1. Note numbers are always followed by a period and a space.
  • Citing the same source more than once? The second and any subsequent (but not consecutive) references can be cross references referring back to the first note.   Example:  17. See note 1 above.
  • Use of “ibid.”  In previous versions of CMoS, the abbreviation “ibid” was used in footnotes to show the reader that the previous cited source is being cited immediately after. The 17th edition, however, discourages the use of “ibid” in favor of shortened citations. The footnote can instead start with the author’s last name, and include the page number.
    • Here are some example congruent footnote citations without “ibid.”:

      1. Steven T. Brown, Tokyo Cyberpunk: Posthumanism in Japanese Visual Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 124.
      2. Brown, 11.
      3. Brown, 17.

  • If you choose to include a comment in a note, include it after the citation.
    Example: "5. Mitchell, People in Organizations, 25. This is the text of my comment."
  • If you are referencing more than one source in a sentence or paragraph, insert the superscript note number at the location of the reference, then include all citations in the note, separating them with semicolons, and "and" before the final citation. The order of the citations in the note is based on the order of the references within your text.


  • A bibliography is a list of references alphabetized by author's last name. If a citation has no author, use the title for alphabetization purposes.
  • The bibliography is not numbered.
  • If multiple works have the same author, alphabetize by title. When an author is the sole author of one or more books and a co-author of other books, list the book(s) by the single author before the multi-author book(s).
  • More than one book by the same author or an institutional or corporate author in your bibliography? You can use the em dash rather than repeating the name in the bibliography. (In Microsoft Word, click the Insert tab, click Symbol, More Symbols, Special Characters, and then choose character Em Dash.) 
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