Williams Libraries

Citing Your Sources: Chicago: Author-Date

The Williams Honor System requires you to properly acknowledge sources you have used in course assignments. This guide provides basic information on how to cite sources and examples for formatting citations in common citation styles.

Chicago: Author-Date

About Chicago: Author-Date

The Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date system is used by scholars in the social sciences and sciences. For arts, history, and humanities, see the Notes/Bibliography system.

Citing sources in this style consists of two parts:

  1. An in-text citation
  2. A reference list

The in-text citation points the reader to the full information about the source found in the reference list.

See How to Format In-Text Citations, How to Format the Reference List, and the examples of types of sources in the left navigation for further details.

How to Format In-Text Citations

An in-text citation provides your reader with two pieces of information:

  1. The the last name of the author(s) used in the corresponding reference list entry
  2. The year the work was published

Standard Formatting of the In-Text Citation

For more detailed information see Chicago Manual of Style, 15.20-15.30.

  • Enclose the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses with no intervening punctuation.
    (Smith 2016)
  • For two to three authors, include the last names of authors using commas and and
    (Smith, Lee, and Alvarez 2016)
  • For four or more authors, include the last name of the first author and et al.
    (Smith et al. 2016)
  • When editors, translators, or compilers are used as the author, do not include their role (trans., ed., comp.) in the in-text citation.
  • When the reference list has works by authors with same last name, include their first initial in the in-text citation
    (B. Smith 2016)
    (J. Smith 2009)
  • If an author has published multiple works in the same year, alphabetize the titles in the reference list and then add a, b,c, etc. to the year
    (Lee 2015a)
    (Lee 2015b)
  • To cite specific page(s), add a comma and the page number(s)
    (Smith 2016, 21-23)
  • If the author's name appears in the sentence, do not include the name again in the parentheses
    Smith (2016) indicates that good citation practices are important.
  • To cite more than one reference in a single in-text citation, separate the references by semicolons. If the works are by the same author, use just the year and separate with a comma. See CMOS 15.29 for details.
    (Smith 2016; Lee 2015)
    (Smith 2016, 2013; Lee 2015)

How to Format the Reference List

General Formatting of the Reference List

For more detailed information see Chicago Manual of Style, 15.10-15.19

The reference list provides the full details of the items you have cited in your paper. Here are some general features of the reference list:

  • Usually titled References or Works Cited
     
  • Entries begin with author(s) and date of work; other required elements depend on the type of source. See examples in the left navigation.
     
  • Entries are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the first author
    • alphabetize using the letter-by-letter system, in which an entry for “Fernández, Angelines” would come before the entry for “Fernán Gómez, Fernando” (d in "Fernández" comes before G in "Gómez")
       
  • Multiple works by the same author(s) are arranged chronologically, and the 3-em dash replaces the name for the second and subsequent entries.

    Du Bois, W. E. B. 1898. "The Study of the Negro Problems." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 11 (January): 1-23. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1009474.

    ———. 1903. The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches. Chicago: A. C. McClurg.

    ———. 1947. The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History. New York: Viking.
     

  • Multiple works by same author in same year are arranged alphabetically by title, and then a, b, c, etc. is added to the year to help make each entry unique for the in-text citation.

    Olney, William W. 2015a. "Impact of Corruption on Firm-Level Export Decisions." Economic Inquiry 54 (2): 1105–27.

    Olney, William W. 2015b. "Remittances and the Wage Impact of Immigration." Journal of Human Resources 50 (3): 694-727.

How do I deal with ___?

Missing citation elements

  • Author:
    • If no personal author is listed, determine whether an organization is responsible for the content. If so, use that organization's name as the author in the reference list and in-text citation. (CMOS, 15.36)

      (World Bank 2011)

      World Bank. 2011. Poverty and Social Exclusion in India. Washington, DC: World Bank.
    • If the author is unknown, start the reference list entry with the title. For the in-text citation, use the title, which can be shortened as long as the first word matches the reference list entry (CMOS, 15.32)

      ("The Titanic Sails To-Day" 1912)

      "The Titanic Sails To-Day." 1912. New York Times, April 10.
  • Date: For web pages with no last modified date, use the date you accessed it. (CMOS, 15.51) For printed works for which the date cannot be determine, use n.d. (CMOS, 15.41)

    (Human Rights Campaign 2016)

    Human Rights Campaign. 2016. "Maps of State Laws and Policies." Accessed July 27. http://www.hrc.org/state_maps.
  • Page numbers: For unpaginated works, such as online resources, include a descriptive phrase using one of the divisions used in the work (chapter, paragraph number, section heading, etc.) in the in-text citation. If the work is short, such locators may not be necessary. (CMOS, 15.08)

    (Yetman 2001, under "Slave Narratives during Slavery and After")

    Yetman, Norman R. 2001. "An Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives" Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938. Last modified March 23. https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snintro00.html.
  • Place: Use n.p. if it is unknown. If it can be surmised, put in brackets with a question mark. (CMOS, 14.138)
     
  • Publisher: If unknown, just use place and date. (CMOS, 14.143)
     

More than one author

  • List authors in order they appear on title page
  • In the reference list, invert the first author's name only and place a comma before and after the first name
  • Use the word "and," not an ampersand (&)
  • For works with 4-10 authors, list all names in the reference list, but only use the first author's name followed by et al. in the in-text citation.
  • For works with more than 10 authors, only include the first 7 authors and et al. in the reference list
    (CMOS15.9, 14.76)
Examples

In-text Citations:

(Geis and Bunn 1997, 17)

(Chih-Hung Ko et al. 2009, 600)

Reference List:

Geis, Gilbert, and Ivan Bunn. 1997. A Trial of Witches: a Seventeenth-Century Witchcraft Prosecution. London: Routledge.

Ko, Chih-Hung, Ju-Yu Yen, Shu-Chun Liu, Chi-Fen Huang, and Cheng-Fang Yen. 2009. "The Associations between Aggressive Behaviors and Internet Addiction and Online Activities in Adolescents." Journal of Adolescent Health 44 (6): 598-605.


Using a source quoted in a secondary source

It is always better to consult the original source, but if it cannot be obtained, give information about the original source in the running text and include "quoted in" in your in-text citation for the secondary source. Include only the secondary source in your reference list. (CMOS, 15.52):

In his 1844 book Thoughts on the Proposed Annexation of Texas to the United States, Theodore Sedgwick opines "The annexation of Texas instead of strengthening the Union, weakens it" (quoted in Rathbun 2001, 479).

Rathbun, Lyon. 2001. "The Debate over Annexing Texas and the Emergence of Manifest Destiny." Rhetoric & Public Affairs 4 (3): 459-493.

 

Examples: Books, Chapters

Book

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.9, 15.32-15.42

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. Book Title. Place: Publisher.

For e-books, include the provider of the book or the URL at the end of the citation. (CMOS,14.166-14.169)

Examples

Feder, Ellen K. 2007. Family Bonds: Genealogies of Race and Gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ProQuest ebrary.

Nairn, Tom. 1997. Faces of Nationalism: Janus Revisited. London: Verso.

Stewart, K. J. 1864. A Geography for Beginners. Richmond: J. W. Randolph. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/stewart/stewart.html.


Edited Book

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.9, 15.35

Format

Author Last Name, First Name, ed. Year. Book Title. Place: Publisher.

Example

Dmytryshyn, Basil, ed. 1999. Imperial Russia: A Source Book, 1700-1917. New York: Academic International Press.


Chapter or Essay in Book

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.9, 14.111-14.117

Format
Author Last Name, First Name. Year. "Chapter/Essay Title." In Book Title, edited by Editor First Name Last Name, Inclusive Pages of Chapter/Essay. Place: Publisher.
Example

Roell, Craig H. 1994. "The Piano in the American Home." In The Arts and the American Home, 1890-1930, edited by Jessica H. Foy and Karal Ann Marling, 193-204. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.


Entry in a Reference Book

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 14.247, 14.248

Well-known encyclopedias and dictionaries are usually cited in the running text only. For other reference works, cite as a book or book chapter.

Examples: Articles

Journal Article

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.9, 15.46

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Year "Article Title." Journal Title Volume (Issue): Page Range of Article. doi: Digital Object Identifier.

For electronic journal articles, if a DOI is not available, replace the DOI portion of the reference with the URL.

Examples

Hunter, Margaret. 2016. "Colorism in the Classroom: How Skin Tone Stratifies African American and Latina/o Students." Theory into Practice 55 (1): 54-61. doi: 10.1080/00405841.2016.1119019.

Thompson, Maxine S., and Keith Verna M. 2001. "The Blacker the Berry: Gender, Skin Tone, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy." Gender and Society 15 (3): 336-57. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3081888.


Magazine Article

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.47

Magazine articles can be cited in the running text (e.g., As Scott Spencer mentions in his May 1979 Harper's article "Childhood's End," ....) and not included in the reference list. However, if a formal citation is needed, follow the example below, separating the year and month/day.

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. "Article Title." Magazine Title, Month Day.

Inclusive page numbers are not included in the reference list entry because magazine articles tend to appear on non-consecutive pages. If citing an online magazine, end the citation with the URL.

Spencer, Scott. 1979. "Childhood's End." Harper's, May.

Tobar, Héctor. 2016. "Can Latinos Swing Arizona?" New Yorker. August 1. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/01/promise-arizona-and-the-power-of-the-latino-vote.


Newspaper Article

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.47

Newspaper articles can be cited in the running text (e.g., As John Eligon mentioned in his November 18, 2015 New York Times article ....) and not included in the reference list. However, if a formal citation is needed, follow the examples below, separating the year and month/day.

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. "Article Title." Newspaper Title, Month Day, sec. Section.

Page numbers are not included because articles can appear on different pages in different editions. For regularly occurring columns, cite with both the column name and headline or just the column name. If citing an online newspaper, include the URL at the end. If citing from a library database, include the database name.

Examples

Eligon, John. 2015. "One Slogan, Many Methods: Black Lives Matter Enters Politics." New York Times, November 18. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/19/us/one-slogan-many-methods-black-lives-matter-enters-politics.html.

Erlanger, Steve. 1998. "Pact on Israeli Pullback Hinges on Defining Army's Role." New York Times, May 8, sec. A.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1966. "Negro Faces Dixie Justice." My Dream. Chicago Defender, April 23. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Examples: Web Pages, Blogs, Social Media

Web Page

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.51

Website content can often be mentioned in the running text only. (CMOS,14.245) If a reference list entry is needed, use the format below.

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Last Modified/Accessed Year. "Page Title." Website Title. Last modified Month Day. URL.

If there is no personal author, start with the page title or site sponsor. If there is no last modified date, use an access date. 

Examples

Human Rights Campaign. 2016. "Maps of State Laws and Policies." Accessed July 27. http://www.hrc.org/state_maps.

Yetman, Norman R. 2001. "An Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives." Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938. Last modified March 23. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snintro00.html.


Blog Posts and Comments

For more information see: Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

Blog posts and comments are generally cited in the running text and omitted from the reference list. If a reference list entry is needed follow the example below.

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. "Post Title," Blog Title (blog), Month Day. URL.

If the blog has the word "blog" as part of its name, "(blog)" should not be included in the citation. If the blog is a part of a larger publication, include that title, too.

Example

Stewart, Jenell .2016. "Natural Hair Creates a More Inclusive Standard," My Natural Hair Journey (blog), Huffington Post, July 12. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenell-stewart/natural-hair-creates-a-more-inclusive-beauty-standard_b_10949874.html.

 


Social Media

It is nearly impossible for the Chicago Manual of Style to provide examples for citing every new social media platform, but you may find advice or examples on their Chicago Style Q&A or CMOS Shop Talk. When there is no specific example, look for similar types of sources and use your best judgment to provide enough information to your reader about the source. Some elements to consider:

  • Who created the information? (could be a real name, pseudonym, or handle)
  • What kind of information is it? (e.g., Twitter post, Instagram photo, Facebook comment, etc.)
  • When did they post it?
  • Can your reader find it online?

The answers to these questions can be incorporated into a sentence in your text.

For an example of Twitter see: Chicago Style Q& A, FAQ 164.

Examples: Music, Film, TV, Images

Note: The Chicago Manual of Style does not provide many examples of citations for media in the author-date style. The examples below modify the format used in the notes/bibliography style, moving the year to the second position. While you should always cite the format you used, the original date of the work, if known, should be privileged in the citation. (CMOS, 15.53)

Music Score

Published music scores are cited like books and book chapters. For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 14.269

Format

Composer Last Name, First Name. Year. "Song Title." In Book Title, edited by Editor First Name Last Name, Inclusive Pages for Song. Place: Publisher.

Example

Johnson, Charles L. 1997. "Crazy Bone Rag." In Ragtime Jubilee: 42 Piano Gems, 1911-21, edited by David A. Jasen, 41-45. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.


Music Recording

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 14.276

Format

Composer, Performer, or Conductor Last Name, First Name. Original Recording Year. Album Title. Record Label Catalog Number, Reissue Year, Medium.

Example

The Beatles. 1969. Abbey Road. Parlophone CDP 7 46446 2, 1987, compact disc.


Film

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 14.279

Format

Film Title. Original Release Year. Directed by Director First Name Last Name. Place: Studio/Distributor, Release Year of Medium Used. Medium.

Example

Thelma & Louise. 1991. Directed by Ridley Scott. Santa Monica, CA: MGM Home Entertainment, 2004. DVD.


Online Video

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 14.280

The format of citations depends on the information available. Generally, include details about the original published source (if applicable) and details related to the digitized copy such as source type, length, and where it is posted. See the two examples of format below.

Format

Video Creator Last Name, First Name. Original Release Year. Video Title. Original Production Company. From Provider of Online Video. Source Type, Running Time. URL.

Author Last Name, First Name. Year Filmed. "Video Clip Title." Source Type, Running Time. Posted by Name of Person/Organization, Date Posted. URL.

Examples

Jobs, Steve. 2005. "Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address." YouTube video, 15:04. Posted by Stanford, March 7, 2008. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc.

U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration. 1951. Duck and Cover. Archer Productions. From Internet Archive, Prelinger Archives. MPEG video, 9:15. http://archive.org/details/DuckandC1951.


Television

For more information see: Chicago Style Q & A

Format

TV Show Title. Original Broadcast Year. Episode no. Number, first broadcast Month Day by Network. Directed by Director First Name Last Name and written by Writer First Name Last Name.

Example

Jane the Virgin. 2014. Episode no. 1-1, first broadcast October 13 by The CW. Directed by Brad Silberling and written by Jennie Snyder Urman.


Image

For more information see: CMOS Shop Talk

Images are usually not included in the reference list. In the running text or caption indicate the artist, year the work was created, title of the work, and where it is located.

Examples: Government Documents

Works making extensive use of legal or government documents should use the footnote style, not the author-date style. For author-date style papers using just a few such documents, cite them in the text using the legal citation form recommended in The Chicago Manual of Style, 14.281317. (CMOS, 15.54 and 15.55)

Examples: Unpublished/Archival

Interview/Discussion

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.48

Unpublished interviews are cited as an in-text citation only; they do not appear in the reference list.

  • In the parenthetical citation, put "personal communication" after the name of the person being interviewed.
    (Adam Falk, personal communication)
  • For class discussions, put the course number, "class discussion," and the date of the class.
    (ECON 203 class discussion, September 19, 2016)

Manuscript/Archival Material

For more information see: Chicago Manual of Style, 15.49

Manuscript materials are cited in the text using the name of the manuscript collection, not the individual item.

The reference list gives information about the manuscript collection only, not the individual items. If only one item from a collection is cited the details of that item can be included in the reference list and the author used in the in-text citation .

Format

Collection Name. Repository Name. Place.

Author Last Name, First Name. Year of Item. Item Description. Month Day of Item. Collection Name. Repository Name, Place.

If the item was accessed online, include the URL at the end of the citation.

Examples

Hopkins Family Papers. Williams College Special Collections. Williamstown, MA.

(Hopkins Family Papers)

Hopkins, Mark. 1861. Letter to Jaime Margalotti. 22 March. Hopkins Family Papers. Williams College Special Collections, Williamstown, MA.

(Hopkins 1861)

Need More Info?

What Needs to be Cited?

  • Exact wording taken from any source, including freely available websites
  • Paraphrases of passages
  • Indebtedness to another person for an idea
  • Use of another student's work
  • Use of your own previous work

You do not need to cite common knowledge.

Slide Out Chat