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Chicago Citation Guide for Sociology Students

Being one of the oldest and most respected writing style formats in the United States, Chicago Manual of Style or CMOS is a standard for American English that has been published by the University of Chicago Press since 1906. Currently reaching its 17th edition, Chicago style remains a reference standard of citation styles used both in research papers and publishing. Also, Chicago Manual of Style format has two different systems for citing, called "Notes-Bibliography" system (or NB), and "Author-Date" system. "Notes-Bibliography" is used in Arts and Humanities disciplines, while "Author-Date" citing format is used in Physics, Social and Natural Sciences. While it may sound confusing for the novice students, our Chicago citation generator is aimed at all kinds of Chicago citations, making even the most complex tasks easier and less time-consuming. Additionally, we provide a Chicago Citation guide with guidelines and examples to help you understand most writing mechanics and rules.

Chicago Style In-Text Citation and Footnotes Rules and Examples

Before we proceed with in-text examples for "Author-Date" system, it should be mentioned that in the "Notes – Bibliography" system, either endnote or a footnote is used each time a source is mentioned in a paper.

Footnote is added at the bottom of the page where source is referenced, meaning that endnote are put together at the end of each paper's chapter or at the end of entire paper. In both cases, use a superscript number that corresponds to specific note with bibliographic information.

Remember that if a research paper or manuscript include bibliography, it is not necessary to include full publication details in references. Still, if no Bibliography part is included, all information should be included like author, title of source, and publication credentials.

In our guide, we shall use both styles of citing. For example:

Footnote or an endnote looks like this:

1 First & Last name, Book (Publication location: Publisher, Publication year), page number.

Classic bibliography entry looks this way:

  • If there is one author for a print book:

Last, First name. Book. Publication location: Publisher, Publication year.

With in-text citations, for first style format, there is only a corresponding number for all cases, while second parenthetical “author-date” citation style will use:

….which has made the research method efficient (Davis, 2005, 112).

In a 2005 research, Davis (112) has proved that a chosen research method is an efficient solution when…

  • Two book author citation

(Clark and Williams, 2004, 11)

  • Three book authors

(Clark, Jones, and Williams 2014, 231)

  • Four or more book authors

(Thomensenn et al. 2016, 213)

  • Organization as an author

Use organization’s title or abbreviation like in:

(NASA 2002, 14)

  • Unknown author in Chicago citation

First title should be used in a shortened form as in example:

(“Initial Culture Clash” 2007, 15)

  • Unknown page number

(Cooper, 2016, para. 4:12)

  • Unknown date citing

(Cash, n.d., 116)

  • Multi-volume book source citation

(Clark, 2000, 4:156)

  • Authors with the same last name

Author’s first name initials are added. As in example:

(Clark R. 2010 and Clark J. 2011)

  • Two or more works by same author in a same year

A letter is added after the year cited, like in:

(Clark 2010a) and (Clark 2010b)

  • Books with editors

No "ed." part is necessary, just use:

(Maine 1996, 44)

  • Multiple sources in one citation

(Jackson 2010, 21; Smith 2010, 178)

  • Indirect in-text quoting in Chicago style

(quoted in Palmer 2011, 10)

  • Electronic source citation

Mostly the same rules apply as with the print sources. See References for more information.

Chicago Citation Format: Bibliography List and Examples

Note: In Chicago manual style, the references should be arranged alphabetically, according to author's or editor's last name. If there is no author or editor specified, first word of title should be used. You can always check our Chicago citation generator for quick book citation.

  • Book references

Author Surname, First Name or Initial. Book: Subtitle. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.

  • For citing a full note, use:

Author First Name/Initial Surname, Book: Subtitle (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page number.

  • For all following notes:

Author Surname, Book, page number.

  • Citing more than one author:

Author Surname, First Name/Initial, and Author First Name/Initial Surname. Book: Subtitle. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.

  • For citing a full note, use:

Author First Name/Initial Surname and Author First Name/Initial Surname, Book: Subtitle (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page number.

  • For all following notes:

Author Surname and Author Surname, Book, page number.

  • Referencing a chapter in a book:

Author Surname, First Name. "Chapter or Article." In Book: Subtitle, edited by Editor First Name Surname, page range of article/chapter. Publication location: Publisher, Year.

  • For citing a full note, use:

Author First Name Surname, "Chapter or Article," in Book: Subtitle, ed. Editor First Name/Initial Surname (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page number.

  • For all following notes:

Author Surname, "Chapter or Article," page number.

  • Article references

Author Surname, First Name or Initial. "Article." Journal Volume, no. Issue (Year): Page range of cited article.

  • Full note reference:

1. Ned Williams, "Australian History: Tribal Healing," Art and Culture 23, no. 2 (2004): 164.

  • Second reference:

2. Williams, “Australian History," 164.

  • DOI Article Reference:

Atkinson, Kenneth. "Australian Education and Bullying." Social Conflicts 22, no. 13 (2005): 259-271. doi: 10.1000/000000000.

  • For note:

Kenneth Atkinson, "Australian Education and Bullying," Social Conflicts 22, no. 13 (2005): 259, doi: 10.1000/000000000.

  • For the following:

Atkinson. “Australian Education,” 259.

  • Website references

Here is basic rule. Also, try our free Chicago citation generator for easy website citation help.

Daniels, J. A., and R. S. Bates. "Mediation Techniques." Harvard University Sociology Archive. Accessed June 19, 2012.

  • For note:

1. J. A. Daniels and R.S. Bates. "Mediation Techniques," Harvard University Sociology Archive, accessed June 19, 2012,

  • Following:

2. Daniels and Bates, "Mediation Techniques."

  • Social Media references
  • Twitter citation:

Last name, Firstname [or single username] (@handle). Year. "Full tweet text." Twitter, Month day, year, time posted. URL.

  • Facebook citing format:

Last name, Firstname. Year. "Text of first post sentence or phrase shared on Facebook post." Facebook, Month day, year posted. URL.

  • Instagram citing format:

Last name, Firstname [or single username] (@handle). Year. "Text of used first sentence or a key phrase used in Instagram post." Instagram, Month day, year posted. URL.

For example:

Sydney National Library (@sydnalibrary). 2009. "Visiting Hours Changed Due to Excessive Heat" Instagram, March 14, 2017.

  • Movies and Youtube
  • Citing Youtube

Last name, Firstname [or single username]. "YouTube Video." Online video. Day month year posted. YouTube.

  • Citing films in print (in such case, used for footnotes and endnotes)

"Scene Title or Number." Motion Picture or Documentary. Directed by Director First Name Surname. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Format.

For notes use:

1. "Scene Title or Number," Motion Picture or Documentary, directed by Director First Name Surname (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), Format.


2. "Scene Title or Number."

  • Newspapers

Sarah Connor, "English Literature in Modern Age," Sydney Morning Herald, January 4, 2008, accessed April 21, 2014.

  • Lectures and presentations

Lecturer Surname, First Name or Initial. "Lecture." Lecture, Location of Lecture, Month Day, Year of Lecture.

  • For notes:

1. Lecturer Name Surname, "Lecture" (lecture, Location of Lecture, Month Day, Year of Lecture).

  • Following:

Lecturer Surname, "Lecture."

  • Government documents and reports citing in Chicago style citation format

If a source is in print, it is referenced in a same way as any online document or a report with an exception of an added URL. For the full note, add relevant information as well, as in Bibliography reference.

Chicago 17th Edition: Key Format Rules and Paper Layout

Here are the main guidelines for Chicago paper layout, cover page, references, and a checklist, according to the latest manual that bears number Chicago 17:

Formatting paper layout:

  • Sides, top, and bottom use 1 inch margins.
  • Standard font is Times New Roman 12 pt.
  • Paper text should be double-spaced.
  • Do not use justified text as it is done in newspapers.
  • 1/2; indent should be used for paragraph start and block quotes.
  • Bibliography second line also uses hanging indents.
  • Pages are numbered in the top right corner of a paper.

For your cover page:

  • Title should be centered and placed in the middle, halfway down.
  • Student's name is placed directly under the title.
  • Next, comes teacher, course, and date, written in 3 lines, centered.
  • Page number is not used on cover page.
  • Title page is not included in a total page count.

Basic Chicago citation format paper includes:

  • Cover page
  • Body paragraphs
  • Appendix / Tables (if required)
  • Notes
  • Bibliography / References


  • Bibliography is on a separate page.
  • Bibliography word is centered at page's top.
  • Times New Roman 12 pt.
  • If title has no author, sort alphabetically.
  • Remember to separate text and multimedia lists in Bibliography list.

Make sure to check your paper for these rules / differences checklist:

  • Never reuse numbers in Notes. Each citation should use a new number.
  • Even if you use Chicago Citation generator, remember to see if there are indents. Bibliography uses a hanging indent.
  • While bibliography goes alphabetically, Notes should be numbered (and listed) exactly in an order that it was used for sources.
  • In terms of a correct word for references, it is Bibliography.
  • Always consult with your college or University professor regarding format style to use in Chicago citations format.
  • Even if you know the rules well and use Chicago citation machine, make sure to check twice with a grading rubric as the rules and requirements may be different.

Free Chicago Citation Generator

With numerous types of citing and diverse sources, quoting in Chicago style may seem way too difficult and time consuming. Even skilled professionals may get confused with proper referencing. In order to make citation tasks easier, we offer Chicago citation generator. Here are some of its main benefits:

  • Citation machine is free and available 24/7.
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  • Citation generator allows to avoid plagiarism by carefully documenting every type of source.
  • There is no need to register and no ads, which makes citing fast and hassle-free.
  • Using Chicago Citation Generator is simple: choose Chicago format, select required source, type title or author, and click “Generate”.

Chicago Manual of Style FAQ

  • What is the difference between Chicago citation and Turabian?

Turabian citation style can be considered as simplified Chicago citation style as it has fewer instructions and is not intended for publishing. Chicago Manual of Style is made for more complex and professional research paper with an intention for publishing. While similar in many aspects, Chicago or CMOS is much more complex and extensive. However, knowing Chicago format well will help with the use of Turabian and ASA formats as they are both based on Chicago citation manual.

  • Can I use different fonts on title page for Chicago style?

No, any other fonts than Times New Roman, point 12 should not be used, as well as no bold or underlining.

  • What is Ibid. ?

If a same source is used for more than two times in a note (regardless if it is complete or shortened), the word "Ibid" is used instead. Ibid is a short form of Latin "ibidem", which stands for "in a same place". Notice that if a same source is cited with a different page, "Ibid" should be used with a comma and specified number(s).

  • In what order should I list notes?

They should be listed alphabetically by author or editor. Books and articles (along with other types of text or print sources) can be mixed together as long as it is done alphabetically. According to manual, there is no specific order for print sources.

  • Should I separate primary and secondary sources?

An only separation of sources in Chicago style format should be used with videos, sound recordings, and any type of multimedia sources. For this case, their own section is made in a Bibliography list. Do not mix such sources with the text sources. Also, court cases, laws, bills, and constitution should also be numbered at the end of a paper.