Citing and referencing: Chicago 17th (A) Notes

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

This guide outlines the convention for referencing resources for the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, using the notes and bibliography system, also known as 'Chicago A'.


Chicago Notes and Bibliography: Overview

This guide outlines the convention for referencing resources for the Seventeenth Edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. This new edition of the guide includes expanded information on referencing digital resources. 

This part describes Chicago's notes and bibliography system of documentation. It includes citations presented in footnotes (at the bottom of each page) or endnotes (at the end of a section or document). Citations correspond to entries in the bibliography. 

Basic structure of footnotes

Student assessment tasks often use footnotes, rather than endnotes. The advantage of footnotes is that interested readers can easily see the source details as they read. To create footnotes, identify your sources of information (including quotations, paraphrases and ideas) with superscript reference numbers. 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. 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 author’s or authors’ names, the title and subtitle, and the publication details following the rule for the specific type of source document. When you cite the same source again, you use shortened notes that only include the author’s surname and the short title (omitting subtitles). The Seventeenth Edition of The Chicago Manual of Style discourages using the abbreviation ibid to refer readers to the previous citation. For quotations and references to specific passages include page numbers in both the first and shortened note. 

Commonly, notes aren’t included in an assignment word count. 

Basic structure of the bibliography

A bibliography at the end of the document provides full details of sources consulted when preparing a document. It lists all the sources cited in the notes. It can also include other sources that you consulted in your research (check your specific assessment task details). Arrange all entries in alphabetical order by the authors’, editors’, or compilers’ surnames. If the author is unknown, arrange the entry in alphabetical order by the title. Use a 'hanging indent', with each entry on a seperate line.


Example of reference number and footnote

“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.

Example of Bibliography entry

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin, 1972.