Chicago Style Tips

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Accurate and consistent referencing is integral to good research methodology and there are many referencing systems available. This programme uses the Chicago Manual of Style system of referencing. The Chicago manual of Style allows for the flexibility of citing in the Humanities (also called numeric or footnoting) style, with the bibliographic information, or in an Author/Date system (similar to Harvard). Knowing how both systems work is important in this programme, as you will be expected, in professional circles and at the research level, to have a working knowledge of at least two methods of citation. The footnote style has in the past been the most frequently used in history subjects like the history of photography because of its flexibility in rendering primary sources in the bibliography. Recently, the author/date system has become more popular, not least due to the ease of citation of this sort in online texts (where superscripted footnotes are problematic). You are required to familiarise yourself with both the Humanities footnote-based style and the Author/Date style that are appropriate to published research in the area of photographic history. The Chicago Style should be applied to all assignments, the Author/Date system for web-based publications, and the Humanities system for essays. The MA thesis will normally be submitted using the Humanities style.

Chicago Style Examples

Book with one author

Humanities Style:

1. Wendy Doniger, Splitting the Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 65.

Author/Date:

(Doniger 1999, 65)

the record in the bibliography should look like this:

Doniger, Wendy. Splitting the Difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.


Book with two authors

Humanities Style:

6. Guy Cowlishaw and Robin Dunbar, Primate Conservation Biology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 104–7.

Author/Date:

(Cowlishaw and Dunbar 2000, 104–7)

the record in the bibliography should look like this:

Cowlishaw, Guy, and Robin Dunbar. Primate Conservation Biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Chapter or Other Part of a Book

Humanities Style:

5. Andrew Wiese, “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States,” in The New Suburban History, ed. Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 101–2.

Author/Date:

(Wiese 2006, 101–2)

the record in the bibliography should look like this:

Wiese, Andrew. “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States.” In The New Suburban History, edited by Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue, 99–119. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.


Article in a Print Journal

Humanities Style:

8. John Maynard Smith, “The Origin of Altruism,” Nature 393 (1998): 639.

Author/Date

(Smith 1998, 639)

the record in the bibliography should look like this:

Smith, John Maynard. “The Origin of Altruism.” Nature 393 (1998): 639–40.

Examples of note forms for manuscript collections

40. George Creel to Colonel House, 25 September 1918. Edward M. House Papers, Yale University Library.

41. James Oglethorpe to the Trustees, 13 January 1733, Phillipps Collection of Egmont Manuscripts, 14200:13, University of Georgia LIbrary (hereafter cited as Egmont MSS).

The content of subsequent citations of other items in a cited manuscript collection (short forms) will vary according to the proximity of the earlier notes, the use of abbreviations, and other factors. Absolute consistency may occasionally be sacrificed for readers' convenience.

Website Content

For original content from online sources other than the types of formally published documents, include as much of the following as can be determined: the title or a description of the page, the author of the content (if any), the owner or sponsor of the site, and a URL. Also include a publication date or date of revision or modification; if no such date can be determined, include an access date. Citations of site content are best relegated to notes; in works with no notes, they may be included in the bibliography. Some editorial discretion will be required.

If a site ceases to exist before publication, or if the information cited is modified or deleted, such information should be included in the text or note.


More extensive guidelines covering most types of sources can be found online.

Chicago also provides a helpful (and often entertaining) question and answer (Q & A) forum about grammatical and bibliographic queries.

For a comprehensive worksheet on the Author/Date system we also recommend the introductory guide produced by Curtin University.



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