Citing Sources -- Chicago -- Bibliography style


Sections 14.61-14.64 of the Chicago Manual gives an overview of citations in a bibliography.  Some elements will not be present in every citation you construct.  When this happens, just omit the element.

  • The author's name(s).  See the rules on noting author names below.

  •  The article title or book chapter title if needed.  A subtitle is separated from the title by a colon.

  • The title of the book or journal.  A subtitle is separated from the title by a colon.

  • The names of book editors and/or translators.  See the rules on noting editors and translators below.

  • The edition number (2nd edition, 3rd edition, etc.)

  • The volume number if a book is part of a multi-volume work

  • The series title, and the volume number in the series if there is one

  • The city in which the book was published, followed by a colon.  If the city of publication is unknown, write n.p.

  • The name of the publisher, followed by a comma

  • The date of publicationIf the date of publication is unknown, write n.d.

  • The letters "pp." followed by the beginning and ending pages of book chapters and articles.  Alternately, write "lines" and then the line numbers for plays or poetry.

  • Web address or Digital Object Identifier for an E-book


A bibliography citation will always follow this basic structure, though there will be some variation of how you construct these different elements depending on whether you are citing a book, book chapter, journal article, or content in some other medium.  You should also note that a bibliography citation's construction differs slightly from that of a footnote or endnote.

Some general rules to keep in mind:

  • The elements of the citation are separated by periods, unlike in footnotes or endnotes where elements are separated by commas

  • All Major Words in a Title are Capitalized

  • The title of a book chapter or an article is "put in quotation marks"

  • The title of a book or journal is italicized

  • Unlike in a footnote or endnote, the city in which the book was published, the name of the publisher, and the date of publication are not put in parentheses

  • If the city of publication is not a well known location, note the state or country in which the city is located after the name of the city.  Use the two letter postal code for the individual state.  For foreign countries, write the full name of the country except for the United Kingdom, which is abbreviated to U.K.

Some rules about author names to keep in mind:

  •  Bibliographies are organized alphabetically by the author's last name.  In a work that has multiple authors, alphabetize based upon the last name of the first author.  If the author is an organization (for example the World Bank), just use the organization's name.  If no authors or editors are given, alphabetize the work based upon its title.

  •  The first author's last name is written out followed by a comma.  Then this author's first name and any middle name(s) are written out.

  • If there is more than one author, the name(s) of any additional authors follow the name of the first author.  The name(s) of additional authors are written first name, then middle name(s), then last name.

  • If there over 10 authors, list the first seven authors followed by a comma and then the words "et al."  Et al indicates there are more authors who are not listed in the bibliography citation.

Some rules about editors and translators to keep in mind:

  • When citing a book with an editor and/or translator, they are noted by the abbreviations ed. and trs.

  • When citing a chapter from a book with an editor and/or translator, the names of the editor and/or translator are written after the book title.  In this case they are not noted by the abbreviations ed. or trs, but rather by the phrases "edited by" and "translated by."



Example taken from Carrier, David. The Aesthetics of Comics. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000. Refer to the Chicago Manual of Style for more information on bibliographies.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico