The Chicago manual of style: footnotes and endnotes

Printable version of The Chicago manual of style: footnotes and endnotes (PDF).

Chicago manual of style has two styles: one that uses endnotes and footnotes, and one that uses parenthetical citations. See our Chicago Style author-date resource if your discipline uses parenthetical citations.

The Chicago Manual of Style is a reference and style guide that uses footnotes or endnotes. It is most often used in the humanities because the thorough information in the citation is useful to other researchers.

For information on the citation format for sources not covered in this guide, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17thed.

Documenting Sources

Sources must be documented in two places: in a bibliography, and either in footnotes or endnotes.

Footnote/endnote and bibliography create a complete entry

Sample Paragraph Chicago (PDF)

Footnotes and Endnotes: Guidelines

Insert a footnote or an endnote when you use a direct quote, paraphrase information, or need to add further explanation to your text. Check with your discipline to see if footnotes or endnotes are preferred. Footnotes are placed in the footer section of each page, while endnotes are placed in a separate section directly following your text but preceding your bibliography. Both are single spaced.

To create a footnote or endnote, use a superscript. Number your notes sequentially throughout the entire paper, and match the citation to the corresponding number in the footnote/endnote location.

Footnotes and endnotes tell readers exactly where you found specific information. Because footnotes and endnotes are meant to reflect the location of your evidence, they can contain the citation information for more than one source. See note 3 in the sample above.

If you are using endnotes instead of footnotes, your list will appear as it does in the example above, but on a separate sheet at the end of your essay, before your bibliography.

Bibliography: Guidelines

The bibliography is a list of all material you consulted for your project, even if you did not cite it in your text. Sources are listed alphabetically in a section titled “Bibliography” that is placed at the very end of your assignment. See the sample bibliography at the end of this handout.

Citation Format for Different Kinds of Sources

What to do when bibliographic information is missing:

Missing author: Cite by title
Missing date: Use n.d. in place of the date
Missing publisher: Use n.p. in place of the publisher
Missing place of publication: Use n.l. in place of the location

Sample Bibliography

The following link provides a sample bibliography.

Please note that a bibliography will always occur on its own page.

Back to Writing Centre Resources

Laptop icon with the heading 'book an appointment.'
sign up for a workshopuse our resources
Book an in-class workshop with the WCCPlanner icon with the heading 'use the assignment planner.'