Citation Guide

Chicago Notes & Bibliography / Turabian: Essential Rules

Chicago Notes & Bibliography / Turabian: Essential Rules

Chicago Notes & Bibliography (17th ed.)    Turabian (9th ed.)

The Chicago Manual of Style leaves a great deal unspecified and up to interpretation. The NPS Citation Guide streamlines and simplifies Chicago’s guidance; your professors, coaches, and processors may interpret or explain Chicago’s guidelines slightly differently. Ultimately, the responsibility for clear attribution of source material lies with you, the author. 

If you do not see the rule you need, consult the manual or website for your style.

How Often to Cite?

The Chicago Manual of Style advises that “footnotes should be placed where you need them. . . . Whenever you can imagine the reader asking ‘Says who’ you should add a note.” Clarity is your goal as a writer, and what constitutes clear attribution in any given context will depend to some extent on the particulars of your text. Nevertheless, the following are some reliable rules of thumb:

  • Use a footnote (even if you also use a signal phrase) the first time you quote, paraphrase, or otherwise use material from a source in your paragraph.
  • Always use footnotes for direct quotes.
  • Use footnotes, signal phrases, or sentence flow to indicate ongoing use of this same material.
  • Be sure to use a footnote again when drawing upon information from a different location in the source (see rules for including page numbers).

Footnote Placement & Signal Phrases

Where in the sentence does my footnote go?

  • Single footnotes go at the end of a sentence, after the punctuation, like this.1
  • “If the sentence ends with a quotation, the quotation marks go outside the punctuation, then the footnote is placed after the quotation marks, like this.”2
  • Please do not insert any spaces before a footnote; please do put a space between a footnote and the beginning of the next sentence.


Multiple Citations in a Single Sentence

When citing more than one source in a single sentence, there are two options:

  • Place a single footnote at the end of the sentence, outside the punctuation, and include all citations in this one footnote, separated by semicolons. CMS 14.57.
  • Place each footnote at the end of the clause containing the information it cites. CMS 14.26.

In the paragraph below, the reference numbers are highlighted in yellow and the signal phrases are highlighted in blue. Note that the second sentence is common knowledge, whereas the final sentence does not need a citation because it is the opinion of the author. (See "How often do I cite?")

In a Journal of Restaurant Marketing article, restaurateur Shawna Jackson contends that a restaurant’s color scheme influences how hungry its patrons are.1 Consider popular fast-food restaurants, which often use red and yellow in their advertising and décor. According to a study by Roberta Chen and David Lopez, restaurant customers feel energized in red and yellow environments, which encourages them to order more food.2  The same study indicates that patrons felt relaxed in blue and purple environments, which causes them to “spend more time considering the menu options and eat at a slower pace.”3 Although blue décor can give a restaurant a casual, laid-back feel, industry experts believe this color can negatively affect profit.4 Accordingly, it is difficult to identify a popular restaurant chain that decorates with calmer hues.

* Note: no page number is necessary in footnote 1 because the sentence describes the source’s general argument rather than data or analysis from a specific location in the source.

1 Shawna Jackson, “Color’s Effect on Restaurant Patrons,” Journal of Restaurant Marketing 13, no. 4 (April 1999).

2 Roberta Chen and David Lopez, Color Me Hungry: How to Decorate Your Restaurant to Increase Profit and Patronage (New York: Routledge, 2009), 3.

3 Chen and Lopez, 29.

4 Jackson, “Color’s Effect on Restaurant Patrons,” 18; and Chen and Lopez, Color Me Hungry, 74–76.

Page Numbers & Other Locators


  • Include the page number(s) or page range to cite from a specific location in a source.

    N: Michael Pollan and Daisy Potatohead, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006), 99–100.

    S: Pollan and Potatohead, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, 100.

  • No page number is needed in a footnote when you are referring to the source as a whole. For example: “George W. Bush’s Decision Points recounts pivotal moments during his time in office.”
  • If the source does not contain page numbers, often with electronic formats, include as much information as needed for the reader to locate the material.
Locator Options Examples
chapter number chap. 2
paragraph number para. 3
section heading

sec. 24

descriptive phrase under "The Battleground"
location numbers loc. 444 of 3023, Kindle
page numbers check against—and cite to—the printed version if possible
table, figure, or slide number table 1.4
fig. 3
slide 5
  • In citations especially of shorter electronic works presented as a single, searchable document, such locators may be unnecessary.

See 14.22 Page numbers and other locators
See also 14.160 Page or location numbers in electronic formats
See also 14.158 Citing illustrations and tables


List of References/Bibliography

  • For portions of larger documents, such as journal articles and book chapters, include the page range. 

B: Haynes, Peter. “Al-Qaeda, Oil Dependence, and U.S. Foreign Policy.” In Energy Security and Global Politics: The Militarization of Resource Management, edited by Daniel Moran and James A. Russell, 62–74. New York: Routledge, 2009.

Bibliography / List of References

What is the difference between them?

  • A Bibliography lists all works cited and consulted
  • A List of References includes all works cited in a text

The NPS Thesis Processing Office prefers a List of References for the following: 


  • Thesis
  • Capstone project report
  • MBA report
  • Dissertation

Author Names: Honorifics

Do not include honorifics (Dr., Col., Professor, etc.) when citing author names. Including these titles in the body of your document is acceptable.

Identifying Organizational Authors

Official Documents

The author is the organization immediately responsible for creating the document. In the example below, the author is the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the publisher is the Department of the Navy.

Identifying organizational authors


In the example above, the author is NOT an umbrella organization, signatory, or any of the following:

  • Chief of Naval Operations
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Operations
  • W. F. Moran
  • Department of Defense
  • Navy Pentagon
  • R. P. Burke
  • United States of America​

Do not include acronyms for organizations listed as authors in the List of References or footnotes:

  • YES: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
  • NO: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO or OCNO).
  • NO: CNO or OCNO.

Secondary Sources

A secondary source is a source that cites some other work that you discuss in your text.

Whenever possible, consult primary sources and your sources’ sources yourself. Upon investigation of the primary source, you may find you disagree with the secondary source author’s analysis or methods. Only use secondary sources when the primary source is unavailable.

How to Incorporate Secondary Sources

The following passage incorporates a properly credited secondary source. The secondary source information is highlighted in yellow; the primary source information is highlighted in blue.

Walker describes data collected in 1999 by Miguel Roig that correlates students’ inadequate paraphrasing to poor reading comprehension. Citing Roig’s data, Walker explains that “students do in fact possess skills necessary for paraphrasing but … may be impeded from applying those skills when dealing with rigorous text”1

Note: Footnotes for secondary sources must cite both the primary and the secondary source; in the references list, include only the secondary source (the source you consulted—see example).


For more information, see the TPO's "Citing Your Sources’ Sources" handout.

Translations and Works Not in English

For works with a translator, follow the format for edited books but substitute "trans." for "ed." in the notes and "translated" for "edited" in the references:

N: Maxence Manqué, Old and Rejected Poems, trans. Pemily Hickinson (Scituate, MA: Narrow Fellow Press, 1989), 472.

S: Manqué, Old and Rejected Poems, 889.

B: Manqué, Maxence. Old and Rejected Poems. Translated by Pemily Hickinson. Scituate, MA: Narrow Fellow Press, 1989.

If you provide the translation to a non-English work, format the original title in sentence case, then give your translated title, also in sentence case, in square brackets immediately following. Note that the other formatting rules for titles—italics and quotation marks—remain the same:

N: Maxence Manqué, "L'esthétique de l'échec" [The aesthetics of failure], in Éviter les clichés et des autres clichés [Avoiding clichés and other clichés], ed. Hamish Sweeney (New Brunswick: Stew & Offspring, 1992), 5.

S: Manqué, "L'esthétique de l'échec," 11.

B: Manqué, Maxence. "L'esthétique de l'échec" [The aesthetics of failure]. In Éviter les clichés et des autres clichés [Avoiding clichés and other clichés], edited by Hamish Sweeney, 3–44. New Brunswick: Stew & Offspring, 1992.

Capitalization (Title Case / Sentence case)

Title Case Sentence case
Love among the Ruins: A Memoir of Life and Love in Hamburg, 1945 Love among the ruins: A memoir of life and love in Hamburg, 1945

Capitalize everything except:

  • conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.)
  • prepositions (to, of, on, among, between, etc.)
  • articles (a, an, the)

Capitalize only:

  • the first words in titles and subtitles
  • proper nouns


Note: Always format the information in your citations (titles, author names, etc.) according to the requirements of the citation style you are using, regardless of how it appears in the original source.

Ibid. and Shortened Citations

Chicago prefers shorter citations, but ibid. is still allowed when the footnote is identical to the one right before it. See CMS 14.034Be consistent. Use either ibid. or shorter citations.

There are four forms of notes:

  • Full citation for first appearance. Use when introducing a source (when citing it for the first time only).
  • Short citations for subsequent appearances: Author or Organization name, Shortened Title, page number. Use when reintroducing a source (citing it again after citing something else).

    • When citing multiple sources with the same author and same title, include the date in the short citation to differentiate them.
  • Shorter citations contain only author or organization name and page number. Use instead of ibid. when continuing to cite a source (after a full or short citation).

    • Shorter citations must occur in an unbroken chain: if you switch to a different source, use a short citation to reintroduce.
  • Ibid. (not preferred)

Example Footnotes List:


Note Explanation
11 Toni Morrison, Beloved (New York: Vintage, 2004), 3. full citation on first appearance
12 Morrison, 18. shorter citation indicating continued use of Beloved
13 Morrison, 18. shorter citation indicating continued use of Beloved
14 Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (New York: Vintage, 2004), 45. full citation on first appearance
15 Morrison, 47. shorter citation indicating continued use of Song of Solomon
16 Morrison, Beloved, 52. short citation reintroducing Beloved, a source already cited in full
17 Morrison, 55. shorter citation indicating continued use of Beloved
18 Morrison, Song of Solomon, 324–25. short citation reintroducing Song of Solomon, a source already cited in full
19 Morrison, 238. shorter citation indicating continued use of Song of Solomon
20 Morrison, 239. shorter citation indicating continued use of Song of Solomon
21 Morrison, Song of Solomon, 240; Beloved, 32. short citation indicating that the information comes from two sources already cited in full (a shorter citation, which leaves out the title(s), would be ambiguous and therefore insufficient)
22 Morrison, Beloved, 33. short citation indicating which of the two Morrison sources the information is from
23 Morrison, 34. shorter citation continuing to refer only to Beloved
24 FBI, “Stolen Memories.” short citation reintroducing an online source already cited in full (not shown here)
25 FBI. shorter citation indicating continued use of the FBI source
26 Hawthorne and Nekeip, "A Shortening of Citations," 23. short citation reintroducing a source already cited in full (not shown here)
27 Hawthorne and Nekeip, 564. shorter citation indicating continued use of Hawthorne and Nekeip


Missing Info

If any information is missing from a source (a journal with no volume number, for example), simply omit that information. For sources consulted in hardcopy, omit the URL and any additional verbiage that introduces it. Anything retrieved online, however, MUST have a link. The only exception is journals retrieved from a subscription database such as ProQuest. 

Print vs. Online

When citing a source retrieved online, use the "online" format even when you or someone else printed out the material. For example, if you print out a thesis or your advisor provides you with a printed thesis, it is still categorized as an online document.

Only cite as a print source when the material has been produced by a publisher in hard copy. For example, if you obtain a print journal or book from the library stacks, it is categorized as a printed source.

Accessed Date and URL Formatting

  • Only include date accessed if the source material has no date.
  • Always include a period at the end of the URL.
  • Do not insert a hard or soft return within the URL string; doing so breaks the link.

Et al.

  • Up to three authors:
    • In the Bibliography / List of References, include all of them
    • In the footnote, include all of them
    • In the text, include all of them
  • Four to ten authors:
    • In the Bibliography / List of References, include all of them
    • In the footnote, list only the first author, followed by et al. (“and others”)
    • In the text, list only the first author, followed by et al.
  • More than ten authors:
    • In the Bibliography / List of References, include only the first seven, followed by et al.
    • In the footnote, list only the first author, followed by et al.
    • In the text, list only the first author, followed by et al.

3-em Dash for Repeating Authors in the Reference List

Warning: Do not replace author names with 3-em dashes until List of References is properly alphabetized.

For successive entries by the same author, editor, translator, or compiler, a 3-em dash (followed by a period or comma, depending on the presence of an abbreviation such as ed.) replaces the name after the first appearance (but see 14.67). Alphabetization is by title of work (abbreviations such as ed. or trans., which must always be included, do not influence the order of entries). See also 14.71.

Additional Resources