The Chicago Manual of Style offers two very different methods of citation: (1) notes-bibliography and (2) author-date. The first method uses footnotes or endnotes to place citations at the bottom of a page or at the end of a paper; these notes refer to the sources that are further detailed in the paper’s final bibliography. The second method uses in-text, parenthetical references that correspond to a final “Reference List.” While the notes-bibliography system is most commonly used in the humanities and the author-date system is most common in the sciences, you should always check with your instructor or publisher to find out which style you should use.
This resource uses information from the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style to detail how to cite sources in both the notes-bibliography system and the author-date system. All of this information is also available as a downloadable PDF.
What to document
Whether you’re using the notes and bibliography or author-date style, you should always cite:
- direct quotations
- paraphrases and summaries
- information and ideas that are not common knowledge or are not available in a standard reference work (like a dictionary)
- any borrowed material—published or unpublished—that might appear to be your own if there were no citation.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 or refer to our resource on quoting, paraphrasing, and acknowledging sources.
If you are a UW–Madison student, faculty, or staff, you can access The Chicago Manual of Style online through the UW Libraries subscription for further information about this documentation style.