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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:

Multivolume work:

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),

Bhakti Satalkar, “Water Aerobics,”, (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,, (June 14, 2010)

Footnotes and Bibliography (25.45 KB)

The Use of Footnotes

Footnotes are the acceptable method of acknowledging material which is not your own when you use it in an essay.  Basically, footnoted material is of three types: 

  1. Direct quotations from another author's work.  (These must be placed in quotation marks).
  2. Citing authority for statements which are not quoted directly.
  3. Material of an explanatory nature which does not fit into the flow of the body of the text.

In the text of an essay, material to be footnoted should be marked with a raised number immediately following the words or ideas that are being cited.


"The only aspect of Frontenac's conduct the king...did not condemn was his care for military security," Eccles stated, condemning Frontenac's administration.2

The footnotes may be numbered in sequence on each page or throughout the entire essay.

I.    Form and Content of Footnotes:

A.   From a book:

      1W. J. Eccles, Frontenac The Courtier Governor (Toronto:  McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1959), 14.

[The information given in a footnote includes the author, the title, the place of publication, the publisher, the date of publication and the page or pages on which the quotation or information is found.]

B.   From an article in a journal: 

      1Peter Blickle, "Peasant Revolts in the German Empire in the Late Middle Ages," Social History, Vol. IV, No. 2 (May, 1979), 233.

C.   From a book containing quotations from other sources:

      1Eugene A. Forsey, "Was the Governor General's Refusal Constitutional?", cited in Paul Fox, Politics:  Canada (Toronto:  McGraw-Hill Company of Canada Ltd., 1966), 186.

D.   From a standard reference work: 

      1Norman Ward, “Saskatchewan,” in The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., Vol. 3, 1935.

      2J. K. Johnson and P. B. Waite, “Macdonald, Sir John Alexander,” in The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 12, 599

E.   From the Internet: 

In citing material read on the Internet, it is not sufficient to indicate the website alone.  You must provide information about author, title, and date of the document you are using, as follows:

      1T. J. Pritzker, (1993).  "An Early Fragment from Central Nepal" [Online].  Available: [1995, June].

The final date [1995, June] is the date the website was consulted.

For more information about how to cite electronic information see Xia Li and Nancy Crane, The Handbook for Citing Electronic Resources or

II.     Rules to Remember in Writing Footnotes:

  1. Titles of books, journals or magazines should be underlined or italicized.
  2. Titles of articles or chapters—items which are only a part of a book--are put in quotation marks.

III.   Abbreviating in Footnotes:

The first time any book or article is mentioned in a footnote, all the information requested above must be provided.  After that, however, there are shortcuts which should be used:

(a)  Several quotations in sequence from the same book:

The abbreviation to be used is "Ibid.," a Latin word meaning "in the same place."  (Notice that Ibid. is not underlined).  Ibid. can be used by itself, if you are referring to the same page as the previous footnote does, or it can be combined with a page number or numbers.


      1Gerald Friesen, The Canadian Prairies:  A History (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1984), 78.


      3Ibid., 351.

(b)    Reference to a source that already has been cited in full form but not in the reference immediately preceding, is made by using the author's last name (but not the first name or initials unless another author of the same surname has been cited), the title--in shortened form, if desired--and the page number.


      1William Kilbourn, The Firebrand (Toronto:  Clark, Irwin and Company Limited, 1956), 35.

      2John L. Tobias, "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree, 1879-1885," in Sweet Promises:  A Reader on Indian-White Relations in Canada, ed. J. R. Miller (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1991), 224.

      3Kilbourn, The Firebrand, 87.

      4Tobias, "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree," 226.


The bibliography should be on a separate page.  It should list the relevant sources used in the research for the paper.  This list should be arranged alphabetically by the surname of the author.  (Unlike the footnote reference, the surname is shown first, set off from the rest of the information.)  The information required is:  author, title, place of publication, publisher and date of publication.

NOTE:    The information is separated for the most part by periods (rather than by commas, as in the footnotes) and the parentheses enclosing the facts of publication are dropped.


Eccles, W. J.  Frontenac The Courtier Governor.  Toronto:  McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1959.

Johnson, J. K. and P. B. Waite.  “Macdonald, Sir John Alexander.”  In The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 12,     

Koenigsberger, H. G. and George L. Mosse.  Europein the Sixteenth Century.  London:  Longmans, 1971.

Laslett, Peter.  "The Gentry of Kent in 1640," CambridgeHistorical Journal, Vol. IX, No. 2 (Spring 1948):  18-35.

Pritzker, T. J.  (1993).  "An Early Fragment from Central Nepal," [Online].  http://www.ingress. com/~astanart/pritzker
      /pritzker.html.  [1995 June].

Tobias, John L.  "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree, 1879-1885."  In Sweet Promises:  A Reader on Indian-White
      Relations in Canada
, ed. J. R. Miller.  Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1991:  212-240.

Ward, N.  “Saskatchewan.”  In The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., Vol. 3, 1931-1938.


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