Skip to Main Content

Chicago Notes & Bibliography Style: Footnotes

General Rules

The first time you cite a source, the note should include complete publication information as well as the page number of the passage cited (examples 1, 4, and 6 below).

For subsequent notes of sources already cited, a shortened form of the citation should be given (author’s last name, short form of the title, pages cited - examples 3, 5, 7, 10, and 12 below).

Notes immediately following those in a shortened form and containing bibliographic reference to the same source, are given in an abbreviated form of the shortened citation, consisting of author's last name and page number (always given, even if the same - examples 8, 9, 11 and 13 below).


1. Max Arthur, Forgotten Voices of the Great War (London: Ebury, 2003), 280-4. [full citation]

2. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Philosophy”.

3. Arthur, Forgotten Voices, 286. [shortened citation]

4. Michael Herzfeld, Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 15. [full citation]

5. Herzfeld, Evicted from Eternity, 18. [shortened citation]

6. H. W. Janson and Dora Jane Janson, A History of Art: A Survey of the Visual Arts from the Dawn of History to the Present Day (London: Thames and Hudson, 1962), 450-470. [full citation]

7. Janson and Janson, A History of Art, 475. [shortened citation]

8. Janson and Janson, 40. [abbreviated citation]

9. Janson and Janson, 470-472. [abbreviated citation]

10. Herzfeld, Evicted from Eternity, 20-25. [shortened citation]

11. Herzfeld, 26. [abbreviated citation]

12. Janson and Janson, A History of Art, 460. [shortened citation]

13. Janson and Janson, 460. [abbreviated citation]

How to Shorten Titles


The War Journal of Major Damon “Rocky” Gause

(Short title) War Journal

“A Brief Account of the Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Protrepticus”

(Short title) “Aristotle’s Protrepticus”

Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht, 1940–1945

(Short title) Kriegstagebuch

Citing Specific Parts of a Source

Direct quotations always require quotation marks and reference to the exact page number in which the quotation appears, unless the source does not have page numbers (i.e. web documents). In that case it may be appropriate to cite a chapter or a paragraph number, if available.


Daley explores the possibility that a government might justify the of use of nuclear weapons as "a rational policy option."1
[Portion of a sentence from a source] 

"The grand bargain of the treaty was that the many nuclear have-nots agreed to forego nuclear weapons, while the few nuclear haves agreed to get rid of their nuclear weapons."2
[Full sentence from a source]

1. Source Information, page #.
2. Source Information, page #.


Works without Author

Anonymous works are cited in the text with the first element of the reference list entry, therefore you should use titles in quotations marks for sections of larger works (articles, chapters, etc.), and titles in italics for entire works (books, websites, etc.).



"A Game of Dare"1 shows how...

... in the Oxford English Dictionary2 ...

1. "A Game of Dare,"...
2. Oxford English Dictionary, ...

Sources in Footnotes Only

Classical Sources (Primary Sources)

Classical sources must be cited only in footnotes and in an abbreviated form (see Oxford Classical Dictionary). Citations include:

Author, Title, and Book number. Section number. Line Number (see example below).

The subdivisions of a classical work remain the same in all its editions, therefore you do not need to indicate a pusblisher.



1. Ovid, Amores 1.7.27(-30)

Reference Sources

In the case of reference sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesaurus, etc.) publication details are often omitted, but the edition must be specified. The abbreviation "s.v." is for the Latin sub verbo ("under the word").



4. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. "Philosophy."

Page or Location Numbers in Electronic Formats

For e-books and sources in various electronic formats, page numbers may vary depending on the application or device used to read them. It is usually enough to provide information about the chapter or section instead of providing the exact page number.

In some cases, it might be necessary to provide the exact location by specifying both the exact location and the total number of locations:



1Modern Language Association of America, MLA Handbook, Eighth ed. (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2016), loc. 998 of 4167, Kindle.