Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Notre Dame 5 Star University
University Library




Chicago Notes & Bibliography

What is Chicago Notes & Bibliography?

The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, Notes and Bibliography (or Chicago Footnotes) is a referencing style commonly used across the Schools of Philosophy & Theology and Arts & Sciences.

Within Arts & Sciences, the style is used in the following disciplines: English Literature, History, and Theatre Studies. It may also be used in Aboriginal Studies, Politics, Social Justice, and Sociology.

Note for postgraduates, researchers, and academic staff: This guide has been adapted from the official Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. Some local interpretations have been made in order to suit the needs of undergraduates undertaking coursework that is not for publication. If you are a postgraduate student, a researcher, or plan to publish your material, the Library recommends consulting the original Manual for more detailed instructions.


Any time you use an idea or quote from another source, it should be acknowledged in a footnote, including the page number the quote or idea was retrieved from, as well as an entry in the bibliography.

The main components of Chicago Notes & Bibliography style are:

  1. First footnote
  2. Subsequent, short form footnotes
  3. Bibliography

See introductory examples and explanations in the box below.

The relevant Chicago Manual of Style chapters are linked across many of the examples and notes throughout this guide so that more information can be located easily in the online manual.

First footnote

  • The first time a source is cited in a footnote, all the publication information is required.
  • All footnotes must have a page reference if available.
  • Elements are separated by commas.

1. Tracey Bretag, Handbook of Academic Integrity (New York: Springer, 2016), 3.

Subsequent footnotes

Having already provided the full citation, subsequent mentions of a work may be shortened.

3. Bretag, Handbook of Academic Integrity, 5.

Subsequent mentions of a work may be shortened in one of two ways:
  • [14.33] The title may be shortened to contain the key word or words from the main title. Titles of four words or less are rarely shortened.
  • [14.34] The title of a work just cited may be omitted so the footnote includes the author only, and relevant page number.

The author only form is used only when referring to the previous item cited. The page reference must be repeated even if it is the same as the last-cited location:

3. Murphy and Roberts, Dialectic of Romanticism, 143.
4. Murphy and Roberts, 143.
5. Murray Pittock, The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Romanticism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), 75-76.
6. Murphy and Roberts, Dialectic of Romanticism, 145.
7. Pittock, Scottish Romanticism, 78.

In the text, a superscript number should generally be placed at the end of a sentence, clause, or quotation. The number follows any punctuation mark except for a dash:

Murphy and Roberts claim "the Romantics gave priority to ... literature over technology."¹

The corresponding footnote number appears at the bottom of the same page and should contain the reference to the relevant source, including the page number:

1. Peter Murphy and David Roberts, Dialectic of Romanticism (Maldon, MA: Continuum, 2005), 79.


A full citation similar to the first footnote with publication information included. Elements are separated by full stops.

Bretag, Tracey. Handbook of Academic Integrity. New York: Springer, 2016.

  • The bibliography should be placed at the end of your assignment and begun on a new page.  It should have the word Bibliography as a heading, centred above your list of citations. 
  • List entries in alphabetical order by the sole or first author's surname, or the title if the author is not known (see further examples in this guide).
  • Each entry in a bibliography or reference list should begin on a new line. Use your word processor’s indentation feature to assign a hanging indent to each citation.
  • The bibliography includes all texts cited, as well as other particularly relevant texts that were consulted while researching the paper, but may not have been directly mentioned.

Quotations and more on footnotes

Short quotations: In general, a short quotation, especially one that is not a full sentence, should be run-in to the surrounding text and enclosed in quotation marks.

Long quotations: The Chicago Manual of Style doesn't have a strict rule on the formatting of long quotations but generally a hundred words or more, or quoted material of more than one paragraph, can be off set as a block quotation. Block quotations are indented from the left margin, always start a new line, and are not enclosed in quotation marks.

  • [13.9] Run-in and block quotations defined
  • [13.10] Choosing between run-in and block quotations
Several citations in one footnote: [14.28; 14.57] More than one footnote should never appear in the same place; however, a single footnote can contain more than one citation - simply separate them with semicolons.


First footnote
4. Tracey Bretag, Handbook of Academic Integrity (New York: Springer, 2016), 56; Stella Cottrell, The Study Skills Handbook, 4th ed. (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 21.

Subsequent footnotes
6. Bretag, Handbook of Academic Integrity, 34; Cottrell, Study Skills Handbook, 26.

List citations separately, in alphabetical order.

Secondary references: [14.260] To cite a source from a secondary source you have not read is generally to be discouraged. If an original source is unavailable, however, both the original and the secondary source must be listed in the footnotes. The bibliography entry should list the source you actually read.
The example below is a journal article (by Zukofsky) quoted in a book (by Costello). Adjust this example according to the sources you are referring to.


First footnote
9. Louis Zukofsky, “Sincerity and Objectification,” Poetry 37 (February 1931): 269, quoted in Bonnie Costello, Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981), 78.

Subsequent footnotes
21. Zukofsky, "Sincerity and Objectification," 269, quoted in Costello, Marianne Moore, 78.


Costello, Bonnie, Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Tutorial, tools, guides, and classes

The University Library provides students with free access to EndNote and RefWorks software.

Both have the same purpose: to make the management and formatting of references more streamlined. It is worth looking at both tools to determine which one could be right for you, depending on how you like to work.

The Library recommends that undergraduate and coursework students use RefWorks, and higher degree by research students and academic staff use EndNote.

  • RefWorks is a fully cloud-based tool, meaning that there is no requirement to install or upgrade the software and users have access to the full features of the software online.
  • EndNote requires installation on one of your devices in order for you to access the full features of the software.

Read more about the difference between EndNote and RefWorks.