July 17, 2023
What are Chicago Style Citations with Examples
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Richard Wu
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In the realm of academia, citing sources is an essential aspect of scholarly writing. Among the various citation styles available, Chicago Style stands as a prominent and widely used method.

Developed by the University of Chicago Press, the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) provides comprehensive guidelines for researchers, scholars, and writers to ensure accurate and consistent citations.

In this blog post, we will delve into the fundamentals of Chicago-Style Citation and its significance in academic writing.

The Importance of Proper Citations

Proper citations serve multiple purposes in scholarly writing. They not only give credit to the original authors and acknowledge their contributions but also allow readers to locate and verify the sources referred to in a piece of writing.

Moreover, citations add credibility, establish an author's expertise, and facilitate further exploration of the subject matter.

Understanding the importance of proper citations is crucial for maintaining academic integrity and fostering a scholarly community built on trust and respect.

Differences between Chicago Style and Other Citation Styles

Chicago Style, as a citation style widely used in the humanities and social sciences, distinguishes itself from other popular citation styles such as APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association) in various ways.

Understanding these differences is crucial for writers who may encounter different citation styles throughout their academic journey.

Let's explore the distinctions between Chicago Style and other citation styles in terms of formatting, citation methods, and usage conventions.

Formatting Differences

One of the primary differences between the Chicago Style and other citation styles lies in formatting.

  • While APA and MLA predominantly use parenthetical in-text citations, Chicago Style offers two options: the notes and bibliography system and the author-date system. This distinction sets Chicago Style apart, allowing writers to choose the most suitable method for their specific needs.
  • Chicago Style employs a more detailed and comprehensive bibliography format compared to APA and MLA. Chicago Style requires a separate bibliography section at the end of the document, listing all sources consulted during the research process. APA and MLA, on the other hand, use references or works cited pages.

Citation Methods

Chicago Style utilizes different citation methods compared to APA and MLA.

  • One significant aspect of the Chicago Style is the use of footnotes or endnotes. These notes provide additional information, explanations, and citations at the bottom of each page or the end of the document, respectively. APA and MLA, on the other hand, rarely employ footnotes or endnotes, preferring in-text citations.

  • The author-date system in Chicago Style employs parenthetical citations within the text, similar to APA and MLA. However, the formatting and placement of these citations differ slightly, with Chicago Style often using the author's name and publication date in parentheses, rather than just the author's last name.

Usage Conventions

Each citation style has its usage conventions, which can vary in terms of capitalization, abbreviations, and citation order.

  • Chicago Style generally follows sentence-style capitalization for titles, meaning only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. In contrast, APA and MLA employ title case capitalization, where major words are capitalized.

  • Chicago Style allows for more liberal use of abbreviations compared to APA and MLA. It permits abbreviations for commonly used terms in citations, while APA and MLA often require the full term to be spelt out.

  • The order of elements within a citation can also differ. For example, Chicago Style typically places the author's name first in the citation, followed by the title of the source, while APA and MLA usually list the title first.

It is important to consult the respective style guides and follow the guidelines for each citation style when writing academic papers or articles to ensure consistency and accuracy in citations.

Components of a Chicago-Style Citation

Author's Name

The author's name is an essential element of a citation and helps attribute the work to its creator. Depending on the source type, citing the author's name may vary. For books, the author's name is typically listed as Last Name, First Name.

If there are multiple authors, list them in the order they appear on the title page. In the case of corporate authors, use the organization's name. Be consistent in how you format and present author names across your citations.

Title of the Source

The title of the source is another critical component of a Chicago-Style Citation. It serves to identify and differentiate the work being cited. Depending on the source type, the formatting and punctuation of titles may vary.

For book titles, italicize or underline the title and capitalize significant words. For article titles, use quotation marks and capitalize significant words. Remember to maintain consistency in the formatting of titles throughout your citations.

Publication Information

Publication information provides readers with essential details about the source's origin, including the publisher, place of publication, and publication year. These details help readers locate the source and contextualize its publication.

When citing books, include the publisher's name and the city or cities of publication. For articles, include the name of the journal or periodical, along with its volume and issue numbers. Always follow the prescribed format for presenting publication information.

Page Numbers

Page numbers are vital for directing readers to specific sections of a source, especially when referencing direct quotations or paraphrased information. In Chicago-Style citations, page numbers are often included in footnotes, endnotes, or in-text citations.

When providing page numbers, use "p." for a single page or "pp." for multiple pages. Include the page numbers after the publication information, separated by a comma.

URL or DOI (if applicable)

For online sources, such as websites, online articles, or digital documents, including a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is crucial for facilitating access to the source.

The URL provides the web address of the source, while the DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a digital object. Including either the URL or DOI allows readers to directly access the source you referenced.

Chicago-Style Citation Examples

To solidify your understanding of Chicago-Style Citation, let's explore practical examples across various source types. By dissecting these examples and analysing their proper formatting, you will gain a clearer picture of how to create accurate citations per Chicago Style.


In the footnotes:

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin Press, 2006), 99.

In the bibliography: Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.

Explanation: For a book citation, include the author's name, the title of the book, the publication city, the publisher, and the year of publication. Provide the specific page number(s) being cited in the footnotes or endnotes. In the bibliography, list the citation in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

Journal Article

In the footnotes:

Laura K. Nelson, "The Social Life of Metadata: Interoperability, Collaboration, and Use," American Ethnologist 43, no. 4 (2016): 563-584.

In the bibliography: Nelson, Laura K. "The Social Life of Metadata: Interoperability, Collaboration, and Use." American Ethnologist 43, no. 4 (2016): 563-584.

Explanation: For a journal article citation, include the author's name, the title of the article, the title of the journal (italicized or underlined), the volume and issue numbers, the year of publication, and the page range of the article.

Newspaper Article

In the footnotes:

Erik Larson, "The Devil in the White City," The New York Times, July 10, 2003, https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/10/books/the-devil-in-the-white-city.html.

In the bibliography: Larson, Erik. "The Devil in the White City." The New York Times, July 10, 2003. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/10/books/the-devil-in-the-white-city.html.

Explanation: For a newspaper article citation, include the author's name, the title of the article, the title of the newspaper (italicized or underlined), the publication date, and the URL (if accessed online).

Thesis or Dissertation

In the footnotes:

Jane Doe, "Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity," PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2022.

In the bibliography: Doe, Jane. "Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity." PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2022.

Explanation: For a thesis or dissertation citation, include the author's name, the title of the work, the type of work (e.g., PhD diss.), the university where it was submitted, and the year of submission.

Legal Cases

In the footnotes:

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

In the bibliography: Roe v. Wade. 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

Explanation: For a legal case citation, include the case name (italicised or underlined), the volume number of the reporter, the abbreviated name of the reporter, the first page of the case, and the year of the decision.

These examples provide a glimpse into the proper formatting and structure of citations in Chicago Style. Remember to adapt the formatting based on the specific guidelines and requirements of your academic institution or publication.

Using Copychecker with Chicago-Style Citations

Copychecker, an advanced plagiarism detection tool, can be a valuable asset when working with Chicago-Style Citations. By integrating Copychecker into your citation workflow, you can enhance the accuracy and integrity of your academic writing.

In this section, we will explore how to effectively utilize Copychecker in conjunction with Chicago-Style Citations to verify citations for plagiarism, check for unintentional plagiarism, and ensure proper attribution.

Verifying Citations for Plagiarism

One of the primary benefits of using Copychecker is its ability to identify potential instances of plagiarism within your citations. When incorporating external sources into your work, it is crucial to ensure that you are not inadvertently copying someone else's words or ideas without proper attribution.

Copychecker's comprehensive database and advanced text comparison algorithms allow you to compare your citations against various sources, detecting any similarities that may indicate plagiarism.

By running your citations through Copychecker, you can have peace of mind knowing that your sources are properly attributed and free from plagiarism.

Checking for Unintentional Plagiarism

Unintentional plagiarism can occur when you unknowingly fail to properly paraphrase or cite sources. Even with the best intentions, it is possible to inadvertently use language or ideas that resemble existing work.

Copychecker can help you identify instances of unintentional plagiarism by highlighting any similarities between your writing and external sources.

By reviewing the results generated by Copychecker, you can make the necessary revisions to ensure that your work is original and properly attributed.

Ensuring Proper Attribution and Avoiding Plagiarism

Accurate citation is a cornerstone of academic integrity. Copychecker can assist you in ensuring that your citations follow the guidelines of Chicago-Style Citation and are properly attributed to the original authors.

By cross-referencing your citations with Copychecker's database, you can verify the authenticity and originality of your sources.

This process not only helps you avoid plagiarism but also strengthens the credibility of your work by demonstrating your thorough research and adherence to scholarly standards.


Can I use Chicago-Style citations for all types of academic writing?

Yes, Chicago-Style Citation is widely used in the humanities and social sciences. It can be applied to various source types, including books, journal articles, websites, newspapers, theses or dissertations, and legal cases.

Are footnotes the only way to cite sources in Chicago Style?

No, Chicago Style offers two main citation systems: the notes and bibliography system, which uses footnotes or endnotes, and the author-date system, which employs in-text citations.

You can choose the system that best suits your writing needs or follow specific instructions provided by your institution or publisher.

Is it necessary to include a URL or DOI in a Chicago-Style Citation?

Including a URL or DOI is recommended for online sources in Chicago-Style Citations. It allows readers to access the source directly. However, not all sources will have a URL or DOI, particularly print sources. Include them only when they are available and applicable to the source you are citing.


In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the intricacies of Chicago-Style Citation, from its basics to specific citation examples across various source types.

We have also discovered the powerful capabilities of Copychecker, enabling writers to ensure proper attribution, detect unintentional plagiarism, and maintain academic integrity.

By mastering Chicago-Style Citation and incorporating Copychecker into your writing workflow, you are equipped to produce exceptional, well-referenced, and original work that contributes to the scholarly community and fosters intellectual growth.