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Citation Styles

Learn how and why to cite your sources

Chicago Citation Style

This following explains the difference between the use of footnotes and endnotes in the humanities documentation system of the Chicago Manual of Style. We will also take a look at the format for a bibliography.

Chicago Manual of Style

Understanding the Different Documentation Systems

From the Chicago Manual of Style Online home page, click the link to the “Quick Guide” to read a short description of the two basic documentation systems (humanities style and the author-date system). We will focus on the humanities style.

Humanities Style of Documentation

For disciplines such as History, you may be asked to provide footnotes or endnotes to your research paper. If you scroll the Quick Guide, you will see examples of how to cite specific sources. Scroll to the first entry on how to cite a book:

 One author

1. Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006), 99-100.

2. Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma, 3.

 The first example is of a complete citation. The second illustrates a shortened version of the citation to the same source.


Footnotes, Endnotes, and the Bibliography

The Quick Guide provides you with citation examples for books, journal articles, websites, and other sources. For a complete list of sources and how to cite them, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style Online chapter 14: Notes and Bibliography to view how to cite other types of sources, including: personal interviews and communications; unpublished material; manuscript collections; media; and databases.

If your professor has asked you to use footnotes, you will note each source cited on the page itself. If your professor has asked you to use endnotes, you will note each source cited and place this list of citations at the end of your paper and before your bibliography. You will be able to view examples of footnotes and endnotes as they appear in a publication and a bibliography page from the links below.


Be sure and check with your professor on any variations to the style formatting shown above. In addition to noting a citation, footnotes can be used to detail information that you may wish to exclude from the body of your paper.

Sample Student Paper