Chicago and Turabian (Author-Date)

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The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition presents a citation and format style, often referred to as Chicago, that is primarily used in professional publications and academic writing by those working in literature, history, the arts, and social sciences. Turabian style, outlined in A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, is a simplified version of Chicago meant for undergraduate academic writing.

There are two primary Chicago and Turabian in-text citation styles: author-date and notes and bibliography. The difference between these two styles has to do with how they cite other sources. Author-date indicates the source of cited material using in-text parentheses and a corresponding reference list (like APA), while notes and bibliography uses a system of notes (footnotes or endnotes), which contains the citation information (author, title, date, etc.) in the notes, paired with a full bibliography at the end.

This handout provides a basic outline of the author-date citation style and format. Throughout the handout, Chicago and Turabian are cited (by the letters C and T, respectively), so readers can refer to these manuals for more information. While this handout covers general concepts, always work with your audience and assignment in mind.

General Format

Page Numbers (C 1.6, T A.1.4.1–2)

Page numbers should be included and placed consistently, generally in one of four locations: (1) centered in the footer, (2) centered in the header, (3) flush right in the footer, or (4) flush right in the header.

Font (T A.1.2)

For the body of the paper, use a standard font such as 12-point Times New Roman or 10-point Arial. In general, use a smaller size font (10- or 11-point) for notes.

Spacing and Margins (C 2.8, 2.12; T A.1.1, A.1.3)

Double-space the text and leave a one-inch margin on all sides of the document. Indent the first line of each paragraph. Single-space footnotes, endnotes, block quotes, and the reference list.

Section Headings (C 1.55–56, T A.2.2.4)

Section headings or subheadings can be used to title different sections of your paper. Organizing your paper with titled sections helps the reader understand the structure of your argument, especially for longer papers. You can indicate higher or lower-level headings with boldface, italics, centering, and title caps, though Chicago is flexible on exactly what this looks like. Here is a possible example:

First Level: centered, bold or italics, title caps The Problem of Universals in Medieval Philosophy
Second Level: centered, regular type, title caps William of Ockham’s View of Universals
Third Level: left-aligned, regular type, title caps Universals in Ockham’s Political Philosophy

Block Quote (C 2.19, 13.9–10, 13.22–24, 13.70; T 25.2.2)

Longer quotations (for example, multi-paragraph quotations or quotations of more than 100 words) should be block-quoted. Block quotes are single-spaced and start on their own line with no quotation marks. The whole quote is indented from the left, generally by 0.5 inches (the same as a regular paragraph indent) with no extra first-line paragraph indent. There should be a blank line before and after the block quote. In author-date format, a parenthetical in-text citation follows the final punctuation mark of the block quote.

Figures or Illustrations (C 3.8–13, 26.1.1–3, 26.3)

Figures or illustrations can be placed in the body of the text to convey information in a more graphical manner or to reproduce an image for the reader’s convenience. Figures should be referenced in-text by the phrase Figure X (e.g. “Figure 3 shows that . . .”). Figures should be positioned close to their in-text reference. They should also be captioned, generally flush left beneath the image, with the word Figure and a number corresponding consecutively to the figures in the paper. This is followed by a short description of the figure (see Figure 1).

Information about paintings and images can generally be included in the text, but it can also appear in the reference list. They can be cited by the source (like a book or website) in which they were found (see C 3.30–37) or by the museum in which they are housed (see C 14.235).

Figure 1. NASA Insignia. Design by James Modarelli, 1959. NASA.
Figure 1. NASA Insignia. Design by James Modarelli, 1959. NASA.

Author-Date In-Text Citations

(C 15.5, 15.7, 15.21–31; T 18.3)

Regardless of citation style, citing sources is a necessary and important part of academic writing because it allows writers to distinguish between their own ideas and the ideas of other authors. If writers do not acknowledge another author’s work, they commit plagiarism, which may have serious consequences.

The author-date system uses parenthetical citations to indicate the source of a particular quote, idea, or piece of information. These parenthetical citations correspond to a reference list at the end of the essay.

In author-date format, parenthetical citations have three components: the author’s last name, the year of publication, and page numbers of referenced material. This information is enclosed in parentheses, usually at the end of the sentence containing cited information. However, if the author’s name appears in the text, follow their name with the year of publication, a comma, and any page numbers.

  • Example: Sri Lanka regained its independence from British colonial rule in 1948 (Ganguly 2018, 79).
  • Example: According to Murray (1983), communal feasting played a large role in the early Greek city.

Two or More Sources in the Same Sentence (C 15.29, T

Use a semicolon to separate two sources cited in the same sentence.

  • Example: (Cutler 1943, 110; Powers 1977)

Multiple Authors (C 15.27, 15.29, 15.37; T

Parenthetical citations may be punctuated differently depending on the number and type of authors.

Parenthetical Citation Notes
One author (Jones 2021)
Two authors (Hetherington and Rudolph 2015) Write out both last names.
Three authors (Keng, Lin, and Orazem 2019, 9–10) Write out all last names in a list.
Four or more authors (Schmidt et al. 2021) Write the first author’s last name and use et al.
Organization as author (Snow College 2023, 88, 97–99) Use the organization’s name in place of the author’s name. You may abbreviate if necessary.

Using the Same Source Multiple Times in a Paragraph (C 15.27)

When you cite the same page range of a source in a single paragraph, only include a full in-text citation after the last reference or at the end of the paragraph. If you use different pages of the same source in one paragraph, use a full in-text citation after the first reference and include only the different page numbers in any following references.

  • Example: Although Emma initially dislikes Jane, she jealously admires Jane’s musical abilities and grudgingly acknowledges that she is “remarkably elegant” (Austen 2008, 131–132). However, Emma resents Jane’s “cold” and “cautious” (132) reserve surrounding Weymouth, Frank Churchill, and the Dixons. Mr. Knightly also observes that while Jane’s character is “excellent in its power of forbearance, patience, [and] self-control,” “it wants openness” (226).

Missing Information (C 14.79, 14.145; T,,, 17.5.1)

Sometimes sources are missing certain information, such as the name of the author or the publication date. With missing authors, leave the space blank and use the title of the piece in its place. With a missing publication date, use the acronym n.d. (‘no date’) in place of the date. Otherwise, the general rule is to skip the piece of information if it is missing. These guidelines also apply to the reference list citations.


The author-date system uses a reference list at the end of the paper that contains information for the sources used throughout the paper. These citations correspond with the parenthetical in-text citations.

Reference List Format (C 14.62–65, 15.9–11; T A.2.3.5)

In the author-date system, the references list is formatted differently from the rest of the rest of the text. Format the reference list as follows:

  • Center the word References at the top of its own page
  • Add two blank lines under References before the first citation entry
  • Alphabetize each source by last name
  • Single-space each entry
  • Add a blank line between each entry
  • Apply a hanging indent to each entry

An image of what a Reference List Format should look like, alphabetized last names, single-spaced entries, blank line between each entry, and a hanging indent.

Author-Date Reference List Citation Format and Examples

Chicago and Turabian require different information to appear in reference list citations depending on the type of source being used. A list of sample reference citations is provided below.

Book by a Single Author (C 15.3–5, 15.9)

  • Format: Last Name, First Name. Year. Title. Location: Publisher
  • Example: Bynum, Caroline Walker. 1987. Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Book by Two or More Authors (C 15.3–5, 15.9)

  • Format: Last Name, First Name, and First and Last Name. Year. Title. Location: Publisher.
  • Example: Sahlins, Marshall and David Graeber. 2017. On Kings. Chicago: Hau Books.

Journal Article (C 15.3–5, 15.9)

  • Format: Last Name, First Name. Year. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume Number, no. issue (Month or Season): pages. DOI or URL.
  • Example: Chakrabarty, Dipesh. 2009. “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 2 (Winter): 197–222.

Text in Collected Works (C 15.3–5, 15.9, 15.43)

  • Format: Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Text.” In Title of Collected Works. edited by First Name Last Name. inclusive pages. Location: Publisher.
  • Example: Murray, Oswyn. 1983. “The Greek Symposium in History.” In Tria Corda: Scritti in onore di Arnaldo Momigliano. edited by Emilio Gabba. 257–72. Como: Edizioni New Press.

Article in a Newspaper (C 15.3–5, 15.49)

  • Format: Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Name of Newspaper, Month Day, Year. URL.
  • Example: Dodson, Braley. 2018. “Facebook is Coming to Eagle Mountain.” Daily Herald, May 30, 2018.

Website (C 15.3–5, 15.50)

  • Format: Last name, First name. Year. “Title of Page.” Website. Publisher. Date published [or accessed, if no publication date is available]. URL.
  • Example: Thornton, John. 2023. “Roboredo, Kikongo Sermon.” African American and Black Diaspora Studies. Boston University. Accessed July 7, 2023.