Chicago B 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 to the author-date system.

There are two key components:

  • In-text references.
  • A reference list that corresponds to the in-text references.

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.

In-text references

In-text citations are given in brackets, and include the author’s surname and the publication date. There is no punctuation between these elements. A page number or other location information may be added after these elements, separated by a comma.

Reference list

In a reference list entry the elements are separated by full stops.

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

Where there are four to ten authors, the in-text reference should give the name of the first author only, followed by ‘et al.’ The reference list entry should include the names of all the authors. See 14.76 and 15.9.

If there are more than ten authors, list the first seven in the reference list, followed by 'et al.' See 14.76.

Two or more works by the same author in the same year must be differentiated by adding a, b, c, and are listed alphabetically by title. In-text citations include author and year plus letter, e.g. (Krauss 2005a, 21) (Krauss 2005b, 218). See 15.20.

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Titles of smaller works (e.g., chapters, articles and web pages) or unpublished works are enclosed in quotation marks and not italicised.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 reference list.

These should appear only in the in-text references.

Secondary citations ("quoted in" or "cited in")

The Chicago Manual of Style advises against citations taken from secondary sources (i.e. “quoted in” or “cited in”), as you are expected to have read the sources you use. If an original source is unavailable, both sources must be identified in-text, but only the secondary source is listed in the Reference List.


Mention the original author and date in your text, but cite the secondary source in brackets, using “quoted in” or cited in”. For example:

In Sutherland’s article “The Existential Albatross” from the February 2014 issue of Ornithological Metaphor, (cited in Costello 1981)…

Reference List

In your reference list, cite the secondary source. For example:

Costello, Bonnie. 1981. Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

If unsure please ask your lecturer or tutor for further advice.

For more information refer to the Chicago Manual of Style (15.56).


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

chap. or ch. 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