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Albert S. Cook Library

Chicago Style: Notes-Bibliography Format

Learn to cite sources using Chicago Style Notes-Bibliography Format

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In this guide

Examples on this page were created using the Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (2017) notes and bibliography format. Remember, your professor is the final authority for the bibliographic form, including spacing used in your paper.

Chicago Manual of Style

Formatting Guidelines

Footnotes are numbered notes that appear at the bottom of each page of your paper. 

Endnotes are formatted exactly the same as footnotes, but appear at the end of your paper, in one long list.

  • For the first footnote/endnote, use a numeral in normal font starting with “1” and continue numbering in this manner.  Notes consist of one numbered list, do not restart numbering on each page or try to "reuse" a footnote number when citing a source more than once throughout the paper.
  • Footnotes/endnotes are double spaced, and the first line only is indented from the left margin.
  • In addition to footnotes/endnotes, your paper will also have a bibliography: a list of all of the sources you cited in your paper, arranged in alphabetical order by last name of each author.  These entries should also be double spaced, and the first line only is flush with the left margin; the second and all subsequent lines should be indented in a "hanging indent" fashion.

Note: Single spacing is used in this guide for brevity; CMS recommends all notes, bibliography, and the paper itself should be double spaced. Many professors request students to single space footnotes/endnotes, and single space within each bibliography entry, but double space between entries. The final authority for the bibliographic form in your paper is your professor; check specifically for the preferred spacing pattern.

Short Entries for Repeated Footnote Citations of the Same Source

In the past, if an author’s work was cited more than once, Latin abbreviations such as op. cit. and ibid were used in a footnote whenever a source was cited after the initial entry.

The current edition of the CMS recommends not using these and instead advocates the use of a short entry. This means when citing a source for the first time, a complete footnote citation is used.  After that citation, any time there are additional footnotes referencing that same source, a short entry is used for the second and all subsequent footnotes. This way, a full footnote citation is only used the first time a source is cited; any other time that same source is cited in a footnote, a short entry is used instead.  

A short entry consists of the footnote numeral followed by the last name of the author, a shortened form of the title, and the page of the quoted or paraphrased material.  Original formatting for the source (double quotes for journal articles or italicization for book titles) is retained in the short entry. 

Short Entry Pattern: #Author last name, shortened title of source, page #.


14. Johnson, Final Authority, 54.

20. Sharpleton, "One Night in New Orleans," 41.

Additional short entries will be shown in the first three book citation examples.