Skip to Main Content

Chicago 17th (A) Notes and Bibliography

Note citation


  • These citations are usually written as footnotes, rather than endnotes.
  • The first part of a footnote citation is a superscript reference number. These reference numbers begin at 1 and continue consecutively. Always position reference numbers after punctuation. 
  • The superscript reference numbers correspond to numbered notes at the bottom of each page, where you write out the reference details.
  • Word processing software generally has an automatic note tool that generates the reference numbers, and if you rearrange the text, the notes automatically follow. 
  • The first time you cite a source, the note includes the full details (following the rule for that specific type of resource). When you cite the same source again, you use shortened notes that only include the author’s surname and the short title.
  • For quotations and references to specific passages include page numbers in both the first note and subsequent shortened note.


Reference number


“The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.”1




1. John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: Penguin, 1972), 8.



  • If you cannot find a date for a print resource, you can use n.d. instead (for 'no date'). If you cannot find a date for a digital resource, use the access date instead. 
  • If there is no author on the resource, you can usually cite the title or an organisation in the place of an author.
  • You can omit other parts of a reference if the information is not available.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style does not require that access dates are always included in references to formally published online sources. However, students may be required to do so for their assessments, always check your instructions.
  • Usually, notes aren’t included in an assignment word count. 


Multiple authors and multiple references

  • For resources with multiple authors; list the authors in the same order as they appear, which may not necessarily be alphabetical order. 
  • For resources with four or more authors, list only the first author and then 'et al.'
  • Multiple resources cited in one footnote can be separated by semicolons. They must appear in the same order as the text material to which they relate.
  • You can see examples on each resource page (e.g. books, journal articles).