Chicago A General Style Notes

Before selecting a referencing style check with your tutor, lecturer or supervisor for the style preferred by the School or Department.

Introduction to the style

Chicago style has both an author-date system and a notes and bibliography system. This guide refers only to the notes and bibliography system.

There are two key components:

  1. Footnotes or endnotes.
  2. A bibliography.

Access to the full style manual

This guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2017. 

The full style manual is available as a library eBook. Print copies are available from the University of Melbourne library. Consult the official manual for more information.

Footnotes

A footnote or an endnote lists the author, title, and facts of publication, in that order. Elements are separated by commas and the facts of publication are enclosed in parentheses.

The notes are usually numbered and correspond to superscripted note reference numbers in the text.

Authors’ names are presented in standard order (first name first).

Titles are capitalised headline-style (all major words).
Titles of larger works (e.g., books and journals) are italicised.
Titles of smaller works (e.g., chapters, articles) or unpublished works are enclosed in quotation marks and not italicised.

Give full details in the first footnote and abbreviated version in subsequent footnotes. For example:

First footnote

1. Kristin Otto, Yarra: A Diverting History (Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2009), 12.

Subsequent footnotes

7. Otto, Yarra, 23.


Bibliography

In a bibliography entry the elements are separated by periods rather than by commas and the facts of publication are not enclosed in parentheses.

The first-listed author’s name, according to which the entry is alphabetised in the bibliography, is inverted (last name first).

Where there are four or more authors the footnote should give the name of the first author only, followed by ‘et al.’ The bibliography entry should include the names of all the authors.

Titles are capitalised headline-style (all major words).
Titles of larger works (e.g., books, journals and websites) are italicised.
Titles of smaller works (e.g., chapters, articles and web pages) or unpublished works are enclosed in quotation marks and not italicised.

For books, specify the edition for all editions other than the first.

Do not include personal communications, such as letters or informal emails, in the bibliography. These should appear only in footnotes.

The bibliography can be divided into sections (e.g. primary and secondary sources).

The Chicago Manual of Style advises against citations taken from secondary sources (i.e. “quoted in”), but check with your lecturer or tutor if you are in doubt. For more information refer to Chicago Manual of Style (14.260) (login required).

Acceptable abbreviations in the bibliography for parts of books and other publications include:

chap. chapter
ed. edition
et al. and others
rev. ed. revised edition
2nd ed. second edition
ed. (eds) editor (editors)
trans. translator(s)
n.d. no date
vol. volume (as in vol. 4)
vols volumes (as in 4 vols.)
no. number
suppl. supplement
s.v. under the word