The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
Chicago/Turabian Documentation Style

Chicago/Turabian Documentation Style

The Chicago or Turabian style, sometimes called documentary note or humanities style, places bibliographic citations at the bottom of a page or at the end of a paper. You can find specific formatting, footnoting, and bibliographic information through the menu to the right, or download this information as a PDF.

Although the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (2010), which is available online, and the 8th edition of Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, edited by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff (University of Chicago Press, 2013) also offer guidelines for parenthetical documentation and reference lists, the Chicago and Turabian styles are most commonly thought of as note systems, which are frequently used in history and the arts.

Check with the instructor who assigned your paper to determine whether you need to use notes or whether you can cite sources parenthetically in the body of your paper with a reference list at the end. These pages explain the Chicago/Turabian NOTE system.

What to document

  1. direct quotations
  2. paraphrases and summaries
  3. information and ideas that are not common knowledge or are not available in a standard reference work
  4. any borrowed material that might appear to be your own if there were no citation.

If you would like more information on what needs to be documented, ask your course instructor and see our page on quoting, paraphrasing, and acknowledging sources.

For further information

If you have questions about how to cite sources other than those illustrated here, consult either The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), or Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Paper, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), both of which are available at the Writing Center and in many campus libraries.

If you are a UW–Madison student, faculty, or staff, you can access The Chicago Manual of Style online through the UW Libraries subscription.