citing paraphrases chicago style

Tips on Paraphrasing

1. Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan S. Morris, " The Daily Show Effect: Candidate Evaluations, Efficacy, and American Youth," American Politics Research 34, no. 3 (2006): 362.

Baumgartner, Jody and Jonathan S. Morris. " The Daily Show Effect: Candidate Evaluations, Efficacy, and American Youth." American Politics Research 34, no. 3 (2006): 341-367.


Chicago - Referencing Guide

There are four common methods of referring to a source document in the text of an essay, thesis or assignment. These methods are direct quotation from another source, paraphasing or summarising material, and citing the whole of a source document. In academic writing, most of your essay or assignment should be phrased in your own words and the overuse of direct quotation should be avoided.

Short quotes

• Quotations match a small section of the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author and enclosed within quotation marks. When quoting, the relevant page number(s) must be given:

Larsen (1991, 245) stated that "many of the facts in this case are incorrect".

• If information is left out, three dots ... must be used to show where the missing information goes:

As Ballard and Clanchy (1988, 14) have argued, "Learning within the university is a process of gradual socialization into a distinctive culture of knowledge, and … literacy must be seen in terms of the functions to which language is put in that culture".

Longer quotes

• In general, avoid using too many long quotes and remember to introduce or integrate quotations smoothly into the rest of your assignment.

• You may choose to indent a larger block of quoted text. Such blocks of quoted texts usually consist of more than one paragraph or more than 100 words.

• Blocks of quoted text should be indented from the left margin only, single spaced and may be one point smaller than the standard font size:

Wider applications are increasingly being found for many drugs such as invermectin. For example, Crump (2006, 53) confirms that:

Ivermectin - already used extensively in animal health and in eliminating onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, two of the most disfiguring and deleterious human diseases - is now being used commercially for the treatment of strongyloidiasis, mites and scabies.

Quotations within quotations

• Use a single quotation mark to indicate previously quoted material within your quotation.

Short Quotation:

She stated, "The 'placebo effect' ... disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner" (Miele 1993, 276), but she did not clarify which behaviors were studied.

Miele (1993) found that "the 'placebo effect', which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner" (276).

Longer Quotation:

Miele (1993) found the following:

The "placebo effect", which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner. Furthermore, the behaviours were never exhibited again, even when reel [ sic ] drugs were administered. Earlier studies (eg. Abdullah, 1984; Fox, 1979) were clearly premature in attributing the results to a placebo effect (276).

Note: Because the original source (Miele, 1999) used quotation marks around the term "placebo effect", this phrase will be given single quotation marks within a short quotation which is marked by double quotation marks. For block quotes, however, the passage is reproduced as in the original, including misspelling, such as "reel". the use of sic indicates to the reader that this is exactly what the author wrote and that you are not misquoting.

Paraphrasing and Summarising

• Both paraphrasing and summarising involve putting information from source material into your own words .

• When paraphrasing, do not add your own opinion or use the original wording. The purpose of paraphrasing is to express the ideas of others in your own words or phrasing so that it flows better with your own writing. You generally need to change both the sentence structure and the expression, using synonyms or alternative expressions. Paraphrased material may be shorter than the original passage, taking a larger section of the source and condensing it slightly. When paraphrasing, you must cite the original source. Page numbers should be given, in order to assist in locating the relevant passages within the source material, unless you are referring to the ideas of a whole work in general (see example below).

• Summarising also involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material. Once again, it is necessary to cite the original source. Page numbers should be given when summarising.

• The following are examples of how to appropriately paraphrase and summarise to avoid plagiarism:

Paraphrasing Original - "Named for James Brady, the White House press secretary who was shot and wounded by John Hinckley Jr. during the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in March 1981, the Brady Bill establishes a national waiting period and background check for the purchase of a handgun" (Bender 1995, 137).

Paraphrase - Bender (1995) explains that the introduction of a waiting period and a background check for people buying handguns in the US, is due to the Brady Bill. The bill was named after White House aide James Brady, who was wounded during an assassination attempt on President Reagan (137).

Summarising Original - "At a typical football match we are likely to see players committing deliberate fouls, often behind the referee's back. They might try to take a throw-in or a free kick from an incorrect but more advantageous positions in defiance of the clearly stated rules of the game. They sometimes challenge the rulings of the referee or linesmen in an offensive way which often deserves exemplary punishment or even sending off. No wonder spectators fight amongst themselves, damage stadiums, or take the law into their own hands by invading the pitch in the hope of affecting the outcome of the match" (Mantex 1999, 1-2).

Summary - Unsportsmanlike behaviour by footballers may inspire hooliganism among spectators (Mantex 1999, 1-2).

In this example, a longer paragraph of approximately 100 words is reduced to a short sentence of nine words.

Citing the whole of a document

• Sometimes it may be necessary to give a general reference to the whole of a source document. This method of referencing is used least often:

Sternberg (2006) explores the basics of cognitive psychology through its coverage of cognitive neuroscience, attention and consciousness, perception, memory, knowledge representation, language, problem solving and creativity, decision making and reasoning, cognitive development, and intelligence.

In Text Citation

A Quick Guide to Citing a Paraphrase in Chicago Style

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Writing an essay using the Chicago style? Chicago style is well-known in academic circles because of its use of footnotes instead of in-text citation, as you would do in MLA.

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Just as you do with direct quotations, you have to cite paragraphs you have paraphrased. But how do you go around doing that? Is it the same as citing a quote, or is there a different format for paraphrased content?

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the topic of citing a paraphrase in Chicago style the best we can. Even if you are familiar with the Chicago style, you should stick around — it never hurts to rehash some rules!

What is Paraphrasing?

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Paraphrasing refers to putting someone else’s ideas into your own words . Paraphrasing a source requires changing the original meaning while maintaining the original meaning.

A paraphrase rewrites the original text in its own way. Paraphrases have to use unique words, something you come up with that is different from the original. This is why, unlike when using quotations, paraphrasing doesn’t require quotation marks. Because whilst the idea isn’t yours, the way you phrase that idea is unique to you.

Paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting — copying and pasting the exact same words from another source. It’s usually better to paraphrase instead of the quote in academic writing. You will feel more familiar with the source, read more smoothly, and keep your own voice front and center.

Why Should I Cite When I Am Paraphrasing?

You  always  need to cite sources, whether you quote or paraphrase them. Whether this is a scholarly article, a website, or some other document, you must always refer to it. 

You might be thinking, “why, I wrote this paragraph myself!” And technically, you are right. However, that doesn’t mean you came up with the idea yourself. You have to give credit where it’s due and avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing, and cite the original article you paraphrased from.

How to Paraphrase Correctly?

As you write a paper or essay, you must describe the results of your research in your own words. The act of copying another author’s paper or using an idea from a source without citing the author is called plagiarism.

Paraphrasing can be tricky. It is important not to copy the original author’s style or wording . Even when you cited your source, such borrowing could be considered plagiarism. Paraphrases should sound like your work, using vocabulary and sentence structures that your readers would recognize as your work.

When considering the source’s main points, make sure you aren’t plagiarizing unintentionally. Prepare your paraphrase without looking at the original.

Citing a Paraphrase in Chicago Style

In Chicago style, you can use either footnote or in-text parenthetical citation. Which style you should be using is written by your teacher in your assignment notes.

Unlike MLA, since you are using footnotes, you can have longer, more detailed citations for the source you are using. 

Let’s look at an example:

The streets of Manchester used to have cobblestones, but recently it was converted to asphalt.

Brown, Gordon,  Manchester Times  (Manchester, St. George’s Press, 2015), 35

You can use also use parenthetical citations if you want. But it will have to be shorter to not disrupt the flow of your sentence:

The streets of Manchester used to have cobblestones, but recently it was converted to asphalt (Brown 2015, 35).

Quite simply, paraphrasing means borrowing the main idea of another author’s work and re-presenting it in a new context .

Often an author will present a point in such a way that it’s not as effective as it could be. As a writer, you’ll want to use this opportunity to add your own spin to the original ideas.

To cite a paraphrase means to acknowledge another author’s text and give credit for writing it.

A Quick Guide to Citing a Paraphrase in Chicago Style

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citing paraphrases chicago style

Chicago Citation Guide


In-text citations.

Paraphrasing is simply taking the information that you read and putting it in your own words.  If you use information from a source and word it exactly the same or nearly the same as the author of that work, you have committed plagerism.

[1] Ann Marie Nicolosi, “"the Most Beautiful Suffragette: Inez Milholland and the Political Currency of Beauty,”  The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era  6, 3 (2007): 286–309.

In Chicago, in-text citations may be added at the bottom of the page in footnotes, or at the end of the paper in endnotes.  The video below shows how to add endnotes.  To use footnote style citations, the concept is the same, only select "insert footnote" instead of "endnote."  You may also quickly add a footnote by placing your cursor where you want the footnote inserted in your paper and holding down Ctrl+Alt+F.

Paraphrasing and Quotation in Chicago Format

Paraphrasing and Quotation in Chicago Format

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When you write a paper or an essay, you are expected to write the results of your research in your own words. That is why copying another author’s paper or, at the very least, using an idea from a source without citing the author is termed plagiarism. Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty that attracts severe punishment and humiliation.

However, you can use the ideas from a source without plagiarizing either by paraphrasing or quoting. Paraphrasing is the method of using the idea in a source material without using the text in the source the way it was written. Also, paraphrasing is the author’s rendition of the text in a source material that is presented in a new form while still expressing the same idea.

Quotation, unlike paraphrasing, is copying the exact text of source material and including it in your work with the inclusion of a quotation mark to show the words are not yours.

To avoid plagiarism , you need to give credit to the author or creator of the original idea anytime you use them either by paraphrasing or by quotation. The method of paraphrasing or quoting a source is dependent on the writing format you are using for your paper or essay.

This article illustrates how paraphrasing and quotation can be done successfully in Chicago format.

Paraphrasing and quotation

Quotation in Chicago Format

Short Quotation

When you are taking a text from a source that is less than 100 words, you are expected to incorporate the text in your paragraph with the inclusion of quotation marks. The citation for the quotation should come after or before the quotation mark in parenthesis. The page number where the text was taken should be included in the citation.

For example

Johnson (2005, 154) stated that “Morning routines are one of the defining factors that predict if a person will have a great day.”

If there is any information being left out, three dots (…) must be used to indicate that there is missing information.

Alexander (1999, 201) argued that “having or creating a morning routine is not focused on who can achieve or check off the most boxes……. but it is about making sure you start your day with peace”.

Longer quotation

When you have to use a text from a source that is more than 100 words, you are expected to incorporate the text in a new paragraph. Plus, the text should be writing as a free-standing block of text. Also, the text should be indented by one-half inch to the right, and the text should be written in double space. The citation with page number should be placed at the end of the paragraph after the punctuation.

Internet ethics is a subset of computer ethics; it is a relatively young discipline that has now become one of the most important branches of ethics as a philosophical field. In the early 1980s, ethical issues in computing became one of the important issues of philosophers, computer scientists, and scholars (James and John, 2009, 312).

Paraphrasing in Chicago Format

Paraphrasing entails rephrasing the idea in the source material in your own words. Paraphrasing still requires that you cite the original source. When paraphrasing, you are not expected to include your own idea in the text. The idea behind paraphrasing is to express ideas in your own words so it can flow better with your writing.

When paraphrasing, you are expected to change the sentence structure and expression using alternative expression and synonyms. When citing the source for a paraphrased sentence in Chicago style, the page number of the original text should be included.

Akbulut et al. (2008) identified the several types of academic dishonesty behavior that can be linked to internet usage, and these behaviors include plagiarism, fraudulence, and many more. (213)

You may also want to read Paraphrasing and Quotation in MLA Format!

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The Chicago Manual of Style Guide: Welcome

Chicago Manual of Style

citing paraphrases chicago style

Citation isn't just about doing the right thing, it's about making your writing stronger and improving the quality of all research performed.

Here's three good reasons why we cite:

Source: Bailey, J. (2017, May 16). "Why cite? Three reasons to cite your sources." Plagiarism Today.  

Chicago Manual of Style 17 - What's New?

Chicago style for scholarly documentation is used primarily in the humanities, particularly in the discipline of history. The Manual  prescribes two systems of documentation: a " Notes and Bibliography " (NB) system and an " Author-Date " system. The NB system uses footnotes or endnotes and offers the author an opportunity to comment or elaborate on the source or text. The author-date system involves in-text citation using parenthetical references.  The Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) offers useful tips on how to correctly format your paper and how to cite the resources you used in your paper. Some examples are featured in the tabs above.

Three most salient changes in the 17th (2017) edition are:

1. Titles for websites

The formatting for titles of websites can now be treated in various ways. What dictates the treatment is whether the website also has a print counterpart, such as newspaper websites. If the site has one, the title is in italics. If it does not, then it is not stylized.

2. 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.

Examples ( congruent footnote citations without “ibid.” ):

3. Repeating the Year in Certain Author-Date Citations

Chicago Manual of Style has two main sub-styles: “author-date” and “footnote-bibliography.” In an author-date reference list entry, the year may now be repeated for sources that are also identified by month and day, such as journals or websites. This, however, is optional.

Osborne, Mary. 2021. “Futurist Shock.” Lingua Franca (blog). Chronicle of Higher Education , February 15, 2021.

New York Times. 2020. “In New York, Ad Heats Up Race for Mayor.” July 30, 2020.

Below are a few web resources designed to assist you in formatting and structuring your citations according to CMoS .

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This guide was created by my wonderful colleague, librarian Robert Delaney. It has been modified to reflect changes in the seventeenth (2017) edition.


Chicago Citation Guide (17th Edition): Footnotes

On This Page

About footnotes, shortened footnotes, examples of full footnotes followed by shortened footnotes, quoting directly, paraphrasing, long quotations, quoting and paraphrasing: what's the difference.

T here are two ways to integrate others' research into your assignment: you can paraphrase or you can quote.

Paraphrasing  is when you reword a passage from someone else's work, expressing the ideas in your own words, not just changing a few words here and there. You must include a footnote number at end of the paraphrased section and a footnote at the bottom of the page.

Quoting  is when you copy a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly it was originally written. When quoting, you place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. You must include a footnote number at end of the quotation and a footnote at the bottom of the page.

Each time you refer to a source in your writing, whether through a direct quote, paraphrase, or summary, you must include a corresponding footnote that provides bibliographic information about the original source. 

Whenever you refer to material from a source, you must insert a "footnote number" at the end of the paraphrased section or direct quotation. This directs readers to a corresponding footnote (with the same footnote number) at the bottom of the page on which the reference to the source is made. The first footnote number will be 1, the second will be 2, and so on. In the body of your text you use superscript (like this 1 ) for the footnote number, while in the footnote you use a regular number followed by a period.

For examples of footnotes, see the box called " Examples of Full Footnotes Followed by Shortened Footnotes " further down this page.

In Chicago style, the first time you cite a particular source you must provide a full footnote citation. If you refer to the same source again in your paper, you do not need to repeat the same full citation. Instead, you provide a shortened version of the footnote, which includes enough information for the reader to find the full citation in your bibliography or in an earlier footnote.

Shortened footnotes should include the author’s last name, a shortened version of the title (if longer than four words), and any other directing information, such as page numbers (when available).

For examples of shortened footnotes, see the box called " Examples of Full Footnotes Followed by Shortened Footnotes " further down this page.

1. Steven J. Kirsh,  Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research , 2nd ed. (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2006), 22. 

2. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia and Jessica Lemer,  "Associations Between Multiple Types of Stress and Disordered Eating Among Girls and Boys in Middle School,"  Journal of Child and Family Studies  21, no. 1 (January 2012): 149, Academic Search Complete .

3. Amy Morin, "Mom Am I Fat?: Helping Your Teen Have a Positive Body Image," Verywell Family, About Inc., January 18, 2019, 

4. Kirsh,  Children, Adolescents, and Media, 30. 

5. Salafia and Lemer, "Stress and Disordered Eating," 151.

6. Morin, "Mom Am I Fat?"

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add a footnote number at the end of the quote. The footnote number should be in superscript, and be placed  after  any punctuation, like this:

"Here's a direct quote." 1 

One possible explanation is that "the humanities are viewed by many critics as outdated fields." 1 


1. “Art History and World Art History," Khan Academy, accessed May 30, 2021,

When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding a footnote number at the end of the paraphrased portion. The footnote number should be in superscript, and be placed  after  any punctuation, like this:

​This is a paraphrase. 1

Improving access to credit is one way to reduce income inequality, 1  which can help break the cycle of poverty.

1. Jorge Guillen, "Does Financial Openness Matter in the Relationship Between Financial Development and Income Distribution in Latin America?"  Emerging Markets Finance & Trade  52, no. 2 (2016): 1148, https:/doi/org/10.1080/1540496X.2015.1046337.

What Is a Long Quotation?

If your quotation is longer than five lines, or more than 100 words, it is a considered a long quotation. This can also be referred to as a block quotation. Long quotations should be single-spaced, with a blank line inserted before and after the quotation to separate it from the rest of your text.

Rules for Long Quotations

There are 3 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:

Example of a Long Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. 1

Citation Style Guides: Quoting and paraphrasing


When you write a paper for a university class, you will be expected to express the results of your research in your own words. Copying an entire paper, or even words or ideas from a source and presenting this as your own work is called  plagiarism  and is a major form of academic dishonesty.

To ensure that you aren't plagiarizing, you need to give credit to the creators of the original ideas, every single time you use them. This can be achieved by quoting or paraphrasing those ideas, and then citing the original source.

How do you include all of the information that you've found into your essay? This video from the now-defunct Cooperative Library Instruction Project and hosted by the Downs-Jones Library gives step-by-step instruction on how to incorporate your sources into the body of your essay, whether by direct quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing. It teaches about analyzing sources and using them to support your argument.

When and how to quote

When you quote, include a citation ( in-text, footnote or endnote depending on the style guide you're following) that identifies precisely where the quotation came from. The example below is quoted, and then cited using a footnote in Chicago Style:

1. Sylvia Van Kirk,  Many Tender Ties: Women in Fur-Trade Society , 1670-1870  (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983), 4.

How to paraphrase

As per the Writing at the University of Toronto website , "to paraphrase means to restate someone else’s ideas in your own language at roughly the same level of detail." 

When you paraphrase a source, you are required to give credit for information and ideas you have taken from that source.

Acceptable Paraphrasing

This writer has rearranged the sentences and rephrased most of Van Kirk's paragraph in his own words, but has clearly indicated that the idea comes from her work, and has included the citation information, using APA style.  

Unacceptable Paraphrasing

This is unacceptable because it just rewrites Van Kirk's sentences and doesn't acknowledge her as the source of either the information or the central idea.

Be sure not to include too much word-for-word copying from the original source when paraphrasing. When in doubt, ask your professor for help. After all, he or she is the one who will be grading your paper!

If you require more assistance with paraphrasing or quoting, visit the Writing Help Centre on the first floor of the Murray Library and speak to one of our tutors.

Using commonly-known facts

Commonly known facts are basic facts that can be found in any general source on the subject, and are likely to already be known by most people. Because they're so commonly known, you don't need to provide a source for the information.

Sir John A. MacDonald was Canada's first Prime Minister.

Saskatoon, situated on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, is often called the City of Bridges.

* Your instructor may have a different interpretation of what is and isn't common knowledge. When in doubt, defer to your instructor!

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Chicago (notes-bibliography) quoting and paraphrasing

This page describes what to do when quoting or paraphrasing using the Chicago note-bibliography system:

In this section

Several citations in a single footnote, quotations and block quotations, quotation within a footnote, multiple titles by the same author.

New to referencing? See the introduction to referencing .

When several sources have been used to inform your paraphrase, or several sources are cited within a single paragraph or sentence, you can put all the sources in a single footnote in order to reduce the number of footnotes.  Each citations is separated by a semi-colon and are formatted as they would appear in a regular footnote (either full or short form). They are ordered according to the order they appear in your text.

If several sources are used to substantiate the same claim, then alphabetise the sources within the same footnote, separating each with a semi-colon. Note, each source has its own entry in the bibliography.

.....which provides justification for the theoretical framework 1 .

1 Paul Fussell, "Whitman's Curious Warble: Reminiscence and Reconciliation," in The Presence of Walt Whitman, ed. R. W. B. Lewis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962), 28-51; William Sutton, "The Analysis of Free Verse Form, Illustrated by a Reading of Whitman," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 18, no. 2 (December, 1959): 241-54.

Direct quotations are usually put inside quotation marks (" "), followed by the reference. The page number is only given in the footnote, and not in the bibliography:

When gathering data it is important to remember that "only relevant types of demographic information should be requested" 1

1 Jonathon Lazar, Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach (Boston Pearson Addison Wesley, 2006), 35.

Lazar, Jonathon. Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach . Boston, MA: Pearson Addison Wesley, 2006.

If a quotation is longer than a paragraph or 100 words, or a list, or correspondence, no quotation marks are used, and the quotation is indented instead. Note the full stop closing the quote and before the footnote number:

Lazar describes the delicate balance of survey design:

Only relevant types of demographic information should be requested. Asking inappropriate questions in a survey, interview, or focus group lessens the likelihood that users will respond. Also, if too many questions are asked, users are less likely to respond. 1

Quotations should be identical to the original source, but some small changes can be made. See quoting for details.

When a footnote includes a quote, the source follows the final punctuation mark of the quote. The source of the quote in the footnote is included in the bibliography.

1 Crouchman highlights the tension between causation and correlation: "If two variables are significantly correlated, this does not imply that one must be the cause of the other. Association is not sufficient to establish a casual relationship." John Crouchman, Introductory Mathematics and Statistics , 6th ed. (Sydney: McGraw-Hill Education, 2016), 509.

In a bibliography, multiple titles by the same author are listed alphabetically rather than chronologically. After the first citation, an em dash is used to replace the author's name.

Judt, Tony. A Grand Illusion? An Essay on Europe. New York: Hill and Wang. 1996.

—. Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century. New York: Penguin Press, 2008.

—, ed. Resistance and Revolution in Mediterranean Europe, 1939-1948. New York: Routledge, 1989.

References and further reading

Chicago Manual of Style . 17 th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017. [Massey Library link] [E-book link]

Chicago Manual of Style Online.

These pages are provided as a guide to proper referencing. Your course, department, school, or institute may prescribe specific conventions, and their recommendations supersede these instructions. If you have questions not covered here, check in the style guide listed above, ask your course coordinator, or ask at Academic Q+A .

Page authorised by Director - Centre for Learner Success Last updated on 17 April, 2020

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Chicago In-text Citations | Styles, Format & Examples

Published on September 12, 2019 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 5, 2022.

An in-text citation is used to point readers toward any source you quote , paraphrase or refer to in your writing. The Chicago Manual of Style has two options for in-text citations:

You should choose one of these two citation options and use it consistently throughout your text. The source details are listed in full in a bibliography or reference list at the end. Make sure to pay attention to punctuation (e.g., commas and quotation marks ).

Chicago Reference Generator

Author-date citation example

(Woolf 1921, 11)

Footnote citation example

1. Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” 11.

Table of contents

Which chicago style should you use, option 1: author-date in-text citations, option 2: citations in footnotes or endnotes, citing sources with multiple authors, missing information in chicago in-text citations, frequently asked questions about chicago in-text citations.

First, you need to decide whether you are using notes or author-date in-text citations. You can usually find out from your instructor or syllabus which style you should use.

The notes and bibliography system is usually preferred in humanities subjects like literature, history and the arts. The author-date system is preferred in the sciences, including social sciences.

The styles are similar in the information they present, but they differ in terms of the order, location, and format of that information. It’s important to use one style consistently, and not to confuse the two.

Author-date style places citations directly in the text in parentheses . In-text citations include the author’s last name, the year of publication, and if applicable, a page number or page range:

This style of Chicago in-text citation looks the same for every type of source.

When using author-date, you should always include a reference list  with an entry corresponding to each citation. This provides the reader with full publication information to locate the source.

Where should citations appear in the text?

The author-date style gives you some flexibility in where you place your citations in the text.

Most commonly, you will put the citation at the end of the relevant sentence (before the period). You can also integrate it into the sentence. If you name the author in your sentence, you only need to include the date and page number in parentheses.

Multiple citations can also be combined within one set of parentheses using a semicolon .

As you can see in the Valentine citation, it’s not always necessary to include a page number—only when you’re referring to a specific part of the text. If you want to cite the text as a whole, you can leave out the page number.

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citing paraphrases chicago style

In notes and bibliography style, your citations appear in either footnotes or endnotes .

To create a Chicago footnote or endnote reference, a superscript number is placed at the end of the clause or sentence that the citation applies to, after any punctuation (periods, quotation marks , parentheses ). Your first citation is marked with a 1, your second with a 2, and so on.

These superscript numbers correspond to numbered footnotes or endnotes containing the actual citation.

Full notes and short notes

There are two types of note you can use in Chicago style: full and short.

You should usually use a full note the first time you cite each source. If you cite the same source more than once, use a short note for each subsequent citation. You may also use “ ibid. ” to repeat the citation from the previous note, but short notes are the more usual choice.

The rules of your specific institution may vary, requiring you to use one of the two note styles every time. It’s important to check with your instructor if you’re unsure.

This is what a full and short note for the same citation might look like:

The format of the note varies depending on the type of source. Below you can see examples of a Chicago website citation , book citation , book chapter citation , and journal article citation .

Chicago footnote citation examples


Footnotes or endnotes?

Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page they refer to, while endnotes appear in their own section at the end of the text, before the Chicago style bibliography .

The citation looks exactly the same whether it appears in a footnote or an endnote . If you haven’t been told which one to use, the choice is a matter of personal preference. The important thing is to consistently use one or the other.

In both styles, when you cite a source with two or three authors, list the names in the order they appear in the original publication:

When a source has four or more authors, use the term “ et al. ” after the first author’s name:

Sometimes, not all of the information you need for your citation will be available. Thankfully, there are ways to work around this in both styles.

No page number

Page numbers are not always necessary; if the source doesn’t have page numbers (e.g., a website ), or if you’re referring to the general argument of a text instead of a specific passage, you can omit page numbers.

If a source has no page numbers but you still want to specify a particular part of the text, you can use other locators like paragraphs, chapters or headings instead—whatever markers the text provides:

No publication date

If the source doesn’t have a stated publication date, you can write “n.d.” in place of the year:

If no specific author is listed, you can refer to the organization that published the source:

Page numbers should be included in your Chicago in-text citations when:

When you’re referring to the overall argument or general content of a source, it’s unnecessary to include page numbers.

When a source has four or more authors , your in-text citation or Chicago footnote should give only the first author’s name followed by “ et al. ” (Latin for “and others”). This makes your citations more concise.

In your bibliography or reference list , when a source has more than 10 authors, list the first seven followed by “et al.” Otherwise, list every author.

Both present the exact same information; the only difference is the placement of the year in source citations:

There are also other types of bibliography that work as stand-alone texts, such as a Chicago annotated bibliography .

In Chicago author-date style , your text must include a reference list . It appears at the end of your paper and gives full details of every source you cited.

In notes and bibliography style, you use Chicago style footnotes to cite sources; a bibliography is optional but recommended. If you don’t include one, be sure to use a full note for the first citation of each source.

In Chicago notes and bibliography style , the usual standard is to use a full note for the first citation of each source, and short notes for any subsequent citations of the same source.

However, your institution’s guidelines may differ from the standard rule. In some fields, you’re required to use a full note every time, whereas in some other fields you can use short notes every time, as long as all sources are listed in your bibliography . If you’re not sure, check with your instructor.

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, December 05). Chicago In-text Citations | Styles, Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from

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