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Citations: Chicago Style

Guide to formatting and citing using the notes-bibliography format for Chicago Style, 17th. ed.

About Chicago Style: Fast Facts


The 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style was released in September 2017!
Important changes: Ibid. is no longer preferred -- use shortened notes instead when repeatedly using the same source. Other examples of citations have generally stayed the same.


The Chicago Manual of Style offers two distinct documentation methods, one for the humanities (Notes and Bibliography system) and one for the sciences (Author-Date system). This guide presumes you're using the Notes & Bibliography format, as is common for Lone Star College classes.

  • There is no particular required font, but stick with Times New Roman size 12, as you would for other essays.
  • Footnote numbers are consecutive throughout the whole paper. If you re-use a source, it will get a new footnote number each time. 
  • Most of your paper will be double-spaced.
  • Footnote entries & bibliography entries will be single-spaced. Footnotes will also use a "first line indent," making them look like a regular paragraph. Bibliography entries at the end of the paper will use a hanging indent like you've probably used in MLA and APA.

Basic Citation Anatomy:

In-Text (Footnote):
The first time you use a source, you'll use the full version of the footnote citation:

1. Barbara Erhlich White, "Renoir's Trip to Italy," Art Bulletin 51, no. 4 (1969): 341,

Every subsequent time you use a source, you'll use the shortened note form of the citation, which contains the author's last time, part of the source title, and whatever page number is relevant.

4. White, "Renoir's Trip," 347.

Your bibliography citations will look very similar to your full-length footnotes and will be listed alphabetically according to the first word in each citation.

White, Barbara Ehrlich. "Renoir's Trip to Italy." Art Bulletin 51, no. 4 (1969): 333-51.


Shortened (Concise) Notes

The second (or subsequent) time a resource is referenced, use a shortened form of the citation.  The short form should include the last name of the author, a brief form of the title (formatted with italics or quotation marks as needed), and the page number.  For example:

      95. Miller, Quest, 81.

Note: Older versions of Chicago used Ibid. for consecutive references to the same source. This is no longer preferred, as of the 17th edition. You will use shortened notes for all footnote citations after your initial use of a source.