Citing Sources: Footnotes - Chicago

Quick Links for Citing with Chicago

What is a Signal Phrase?

Signal phrases let your reader know that you are quoting or summarizing from another source. In the text of your essay, you refer to the source you are using.

Verbs in a Signal Phrase

General information about creating footnotes with chicago.

The Chicago style of formatting is usually introduced after students are familiar with MLA. As a result, this guide does not go into the same depth as the MLA and APA citation guides. If you are not familiar with citations, please review the Understanding Citations page.

A footnote is required when:

RULES to live by:


Check with your teacher and follow any adaptations to the style he/she requests

How to use:

Book: Footnote and Bibliography entry

        1. Author’s first and last names, Title of the Book (Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication), XX-XX.

            1. Kate L.  Turabian , A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers , 8th ed., Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 1.


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If source used again:

            2.  Turabian , A Manual for Writers of Research Papers , 21.

If same source used again without a different source in between:

            3. Ibid. , 21.

Journal article: Footnote and Bibliography entry

        1. Author’s first and last names, “Title of the Article,” Title of the Journal Volume number, Issue number (Date of Publication): XX-XX, accessed Date of Access, URL OR name of database.

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        2. Last name, “Title of the Article,” 3. (assuming you have a page number)

        2. Ibid., 2.

Website: Footnote and Bibliography entry

Include as much of the following as you can determine: author, title of the page, title or owner of the site, and publication or revision date. Also include access date and URL.

       1. Author’s first name and last name, “Title of Webpage,” Name of Website, Publication/revision date, accessed When you accessed, URL

Chicago Quick Guide for Printing

For more information on Turabain

Videos demonstrating Turabian style

Citation Tools

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Chicago Style Guide, for 17th Edition

Paper formatting.

View sample paper

Note-- This paper is written using the footnote/endnote style. The same general formatting rules apply to the author/date format.  

General Formatting


Title/Cover Page

Names and Numbers


Judt, Tony.  A Grand Illusion ?  An Essay on Europe. New York: Hill and Wang, 1996.

—.  Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century. New York: Penguin Press, 2008.

—, ed.  Resistance and Revolution in Mediterranean Europe, 1939-1948. New York: Routledge, 1989.

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Footnotes and Endnotes



By Ilene Strizver

Footnotes and endnotes are necessary components of scholarly and technical writing. They’re also frequently used by writers of fiction, from Herman Melville (Moby-Dick) to contemporary novelists. Whether their intent is academic or artistic, footnotes present special typographic challenges.

Specifically, a footnote is a text element at the bottom of a page of a book or manuscript that provides additional information about a point made in the main text. The footnote might provide deeper background, offer an alternate interpretation or provide a citation for the source of a quote, idea or statistic. Endnotes serve the same purpose but are grouped together at the end of a chapter, article or book, rather than at the bottom of each page.

These general guidelines will help you design footnotes and endnotes that are readable, legible and economical in space. (Note that academic presses and journals can be sticklers for format: before proceeding, check with your client or publisher to see if they have a specific stylesheet that must be followed.)

Numbers or Symbols?

Footnotes are most often indicated by placing a superscript numeral immediately after the text to be referenced. The same superscript numeral then precedes the footnoted text at the bottom of the page. Numbering footnotes is essential when there are many of them, but if footnotes are few they can be marked with a dagger, asterisk, or other symbol instead. Endnotes should always use numerals to facilitate easy reference to the main text.

Footnotes and endnotes are set smaller than body text. The difference in size is usually about two points, but this can vary depending on the size, style and legibility of the main text. Even though they’re smaller, footnotes and endnotes should still remain at a readable size.

Line spacing

Line spacing for footnotes and endnotes is usually tighter than that of the body text: they might typically be set with one point leading, or even set solid (that is, with no extra space between lines). Once again, the legibility and proportions of the typeface will determine optimal line spacing.

Choice of typeface

Keep footnotes and endnotes within the same type family as the body text. Depending on the typeface, a heavier weight or even an italic can be used for better legibility, readability and fit.

Visit our Typography Articles Page to read more about Typography.

Ilene Strizver

Chicago Manual of Style

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Footnotes and Endnotes


The Chicago Manual of Style (17 th ed.) recommends using footnotes or endnotes to cite your sources. Our primary focus will be on the rules for footnotes, but we will provide some guidance for endnotes as well.

Inserting Footnotes

Footnotes are normally inserted at the end of a sentence or clause. In MS Word, go to References > Insert Footnote.

Andrew Appleby notes that “shaving one’s arm pit hair is a surprisingly recent custom.”¹ Ada Lovelace is often credited with envisioning the computer;¹ less attention has been paid to her tumultuous personal life.

The only time a footnote number comes before the punctuation is if you’re using a dash. Note as well that you should never insert multiple footnotes right after each other.

Formatting Footnotes

One annoying feature about CMS is that it can be tricky to format your footnotes properly in Microsoft Word. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

For help with these formatting rules, please watch the video above. Do note that in unpublished manuscripts you are allowed to use superscript in the notes (see section 14.24), so if you’re writing an essay for your teacher you don’t have to worry about the last style rule.

Basic Citations

When you cite a source in a footnote, the key elements (author, title, etc.) are separated by commas:

1. Jennifer Trip, “Conservative Politics and the Slippery Slope Argument,” Old Fashioned Quarterly 99, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 78.

By contrast, in your final bibliography you would use periods, invert the name, and either leave out the page or (for some citations) give the full page range:

Trip, Jennifer. “Conservative Politics and the Slippery Slope Argument.” Old Fashioned Quarterly 99, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 70-79.

The basic format of a citation thus includes an author, title, and publication information.

Shortened Citations

Sources that are cited multiple times can be shortened after the first citation. In such cases you can provide just the author’s last name, the title (shortened if longer than four words), and a page reference:

1. Amy Sung,  The Siamese Art of Double Dating  (Hong Kong: Inky Press, 1999), 87. 2. Sung,  Double Dating , 107-11.

When shortening a title, remove the articles ( a ,  an ,  the ) and use just a few key words. For the author, omit first names and remove references to contributor roles (e.g., ed. or trans. ).

When citing the same source in quick succession, you can even leave out the title of the source:

9. Sung,  Double Dating , 144. 10. Sung, 159. 11. Sung, 162.

Quotation in a Note

When adding a quotation in a footnote, add the citation as a separate sentence:

1. As Michelle Gobbledygook writes, “ancient Roman aqueducts may have been used for elaborate canoe races.” Gobbledygook,  The Kayaking Ostrogoth Tribe that Vandalized the Roman Aqueducts  (Vancouver: Arch Publications, 1984), 44.

You have some freedom in terms of whether you wish to repeat the author’s entire name.

See and cf.

A common way to introduce references is to write  see :

1. Some tennis experts feel that the fifth set tie breaker should be simplified due to the number of power hitters who dominate the service game. See Kevin Isner, “Going the Distance: The Problem of the Fifth Set,”  Wimbledon Advantage  55, no. 2 (2018): 22.  

You can also use the abbreviation  cf.  (from Latin  confer , compare), but only if you actually intend the reader to compare two perspectives on an issue.

If you want to emphasize part of a quote, add italics, or make any other changes you desire, you can add a quick note at the end of your citation:

5. Castafiore,  Milanese Nightingale , 377 (emphasis added).

Multiple Citations

When citing multiple sources in a row, you can often separate them with a semi-colon:

6. Important studies of the history of the kettle include Ernst Schwartz,  The Black Kettle (Hamburg: Dietrich Verlag, 2016); Ulrich Smelch,  From Cauldron to Kettle (Coventry: Witch’s Press, 2001); and Iris Plasterer, “The Plastic Kettle and the Problem of Limescale.”  Kittles and Kettles 17, no. 3 (2007): 14-28.


You can cross reference notes, though you’ll have to double check that your numbering remains accurate:

12. See note 5 above. 4. See chap. 2, n. 9. 9. See 201n15. 13. See 5nn1-2.

In the last two examples, the abbreviations  n  and  nn  stand for  note  and  notes . The number that precedes them is the page reference.

Beyond Page Numbers

Sometimes it happens that a source does not use page numbers. In that case you may want to substitute a chapter title, a paragraph number, or some other description of where the claim or quote may be located.

By contrast, for many classic literary works you will have to familiarize yourself with how a work is customarily cited. Dante’s Divine Comedy , for instance is usually cited by canto and line number:

1, Dante,  Inferno , canto 3, lines 7-8 2. Dante,  Inferno , 3.28-29.

In such complex citations you can use the abbreviations  p.  and  pp.  (for  page  and  pages ), but do write out  line  and  lines .

One reason to prefer endnotes over footnotes is that the latter can be a distraction from the body of your text. On the other hand, the downside to endnotes is that many readers don’t like flipping back and forth to compare the notes to the text.

Endnotes are primarily used for books and select scholarly publications. Most students can rely on using footnotes instead.

Citations in endnotes follow the same rules as for footnotes. However, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends that for the sake of clarity writers are more cautious about using shortened citations (see above).

To format your endnotes, add the title “Notes.” If you’re working with a longer document, you can add section headings as well (e.g., “Chapter 5” or “Chapter 5: The Wedding from Hell”). In such cases you can restart the numbering, beginning with 1.

Finally, when using endnotes in a book it is customary to add a running head to each page (e.g., “notes to pages 77-79”) to make it easy for readers to match up the notes with the original citation.

More Information

For more information about footnotes and endnotes, see sections 14.1-14.60 of the Chicago Manual of Style (17 th ed.).

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Fletcher Guide for Preparation of Dissertations: Footnotes OR Parenthetical Citations

Selected Resources for Style and Format

Dissertation Sections to Include

Footnote-Bibliography Style

Parenthetical (Author-Date) Style

Review of Format

Dissertation Submission

Open Access vs. Traditional Publishing

Tufts Digital Collections and Archives

ProQuest Help and Contacts

The footnote numbers should be placed at the end of the passage. In the text, the number should be typed slightly above the line (half-space), and should have no punctuation, parentheses, or slashes.

Arabic numerals should be used.

The footnotes themselves should be placed in numerical order at the foot of the page. The first footnote should be separated from the text by a single line which is two spaces below the last line of text. Footnotes must begin on the page where they are referenced.

Footnotes should be single-spaced. Font size should be 1 or 2 points smaller than text font.

Subsequent (repeated) references: within one chapter, all subsequent references to an author and title that have already been cited should use the author's last name, and if necessary to distinguish, a shortened title with appropriate page numbers. When beginning a new chapter, repeat the full citation the first time the reference is used and use the short form thereafter.

The Latin abbreviation Ibid. should be used only when the same author and title are cited as in the footnote immediately preceding. If the preceding footnote contains more than one reference, Ibid. should not be used.

Parenthetical (Author-Date) References

Author-date references are placed within the text. They should be placed where they least interfere with the flow of the text, such as just before a punctuation mark.

The reference consists of the author's last (or family) name, the year of publication of the work, and the page number(s), if any. Author may mean editor, compiler, organization, or multiple authors.

No punctuation is used between the author's name and the date. A comma is used between the date and the page number, and no abbreviation for "page" is included.

In this system, the bibliography is called a reference list, and has a different format from the bibliography associated with footnotes.

Citation: (Spence 1990, 207)

Reference List: Spence, Jonathan. 1990. The Search for Modern China . New York: Norton.

Getting Help

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Erin Wright Writing

Writing-Related Software Tutorials

How to Modify the Style of Footnotes and Endnotes in Microsoft Word

By Erin Wright

Today, we’re going to modify the style of footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word. We’re also going to modify the style of the superscripted reference numbers, letters, and symbols in the text. Style includes font, font size, color, emphasis (italics, bold, underline), alignment, spacing, and indentation.

Plus, the bonus section at the end shows how to delete or modify the separator line above footnotes and endnotes .

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This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.

Watch more than 200 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel .

The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. The steps will also work for Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010. However, your interface may look slightly different in those older versions of the software.

How to Modify the Style of Footnotes and Endnotes

Home tab in Word 365

Styles group dialog box launcher in Word 365

Manage Styles button in the Styles pane in Word 365

Sort Order menu in the Manage Styles dialog box in Word 365

"Select a style to edit" menu in the Manage Styles dialog box in Word 365

Modify button in the Manage Styles dialog box in Word 365

Important Note: The Font, Font size, Emphasis, and Font Color are the only options available for the Footnote Reference and Endnote Reference styles.

Formatting options in the Modify Style dialog box in Word 365

Unchecked "Automatically update" option in the Modify Style dialog box in Word 365

"Only in this document" option in the Modify Styles dialog box in Word 365

OK button in the Modify Style dialog box in Word 365

OK button in the Manage Styles dialog box in Word 365

Closing X in the Styles pane in Word 365

Your new footnote or endnote style should appear immediately.

How to Delete or Modify the Footnote or Endnote Separator Line

View tab in Word 365

Draft button in Word 365

References tab in Word 365

Show Notes button in Word 365

It is not possible to modify the style of the footnote separator and endnote separator at the same time.

Show Notes dialog box in Word 365

Footnotes pane menu in Word 365

Here are a few tips:

Footnotes pane with shortcut menu in Word 365

Print Layout button in Word 365

Your separator line modifications should appear immediately.

Related Resources

How to Convert Individual Footnotes to Endnotes in Microsoft Word (and Individual Endnotes to Footnotes)

How to Insert Citations in Microsoft Word

Three Ways to Insert Superscripts and Subscripts in Microsoft Word

Updated February 20, 2023


Ready, Set, Cite (APA, 7th)

Formatting your paper, headings organize your paper (2.27), video tutorials.

For help on all aspects of formatting your paper in APA Style, see   The Essentials  page on the APA Style website.

Paper Elements

Student papers generally include, at a minimum: 

Student papers may include additional elements such as tables and figures depending on the assignment. So, please check with your teacher!

Student papers generally  DO NOT  include the following unless your teacher specifically requests it:

For complete information on the  order of pages , see the APA Style website.

Number your pages consecutively starting with page 1. Each section begins on a new page. Put the pages in the following order:

Sample Papers With Built-In Instructions

To see what your paper should look like, check out these sample papers with built-in instructions.

APA Style uses five (5) levels of headings to help you organize your paper and allow your audience to identify its key points easily. Levels of headings establish the hierarchy of your sections just like you did in your paper outline.

APA tells us to use "only the number of headings necessary to differentiate distinct section in your paper." Therefore, the number of heading levels you create depends on the length and complexity of your paper.

See the chart below for instructions on formatting your headings:

Levels of Headings

Use Word to Format Your Paper:

Use Google Docs to Format Your Paper:

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical International 4.0 License .


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