Chicago Style of Citation: Bibliography

The Chicago style of citation is most commonly used in literature, arts, history and social sciences. This article will provide some general guidelines to Chicago Style of Citation-the bibliography page. The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) and Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th ed.) are two important sources to understand the Chicago style  of formatting, notes and citation in detail.


The purpose of bibliography is to provide detailed citation of the sources that have been used in the research paper. For each of the entry in the bibliography there is a footnote or endnote in the research paper. There are sometimes some additional bibliographical entries that are not present in the footnotes/endnotes. These additional entries provide help for further reading about the topic.

General guidelines about bibliography

  • All entries in the bibliography should include the author name (editor, translator etc), title of work, and publication.
  • The bibliographical entries are always placed in alphabetical order by the last name of the author, editor, translator.
  • In case the author is unknown the bibliographic entry begins with the title of the work.
  • The bibliography is placed at the end of the research paper before the index/es. The page is titled bibliography and centered on the top of the page.
  • In some research papers, where all the bibliographic information is present in the footnotes the bibliography is not needed.
  • Titles of complete work like books, journals, periodicals etc are italicized.
  • Titles of part of work like chapters, articles, stories, poems etc are placed in quotation marks.
  • The year of publication is placed after publisher name.
  • All major elements of the bibliography are separated by period.
  • In addition, each entry in bibliography starts from left margin and the subsequent lines in each of these entries is indented five spaces.


Books print

Books in print form should have the following elements of citation: author name, book title, state where the book is published, publisher name, and year of publication. Page number is omitted from bibliography but it is provided in the footnotes.

Last Name, First. Book Title. State: Publisher, Year

If there are more than one author (up to three authors) they can be listed in the order they appear on the book and can be separated by commas.

Book with more than three authors

If there are more than three authors of a book then you can list the name of the first author and follow the first author by et al. The name of the first author should be in the last name, first name order and then write et al.

Last Name First et al., Book Title. State: Publisher, Year

Books translated or edited

If a book is translated and the author name is also known the name of the translator should be mentioned after the book title and separated by period. Same goes for the edited books the name of the editor is mentioned after the book title.

Last Name, First. Book Title. Translated by First name Last. State: Publisher, Year

Last Name, First. Book Title. Edited by First name Last. State: Publisher, Year

Unknown author

When the author of the book is unknown the bibliographic entry can begin with the title of the book. I case there is a chapter or section name the entry can begin with that. The beginning should correspond with the beginning on the note in the text.

Books electronic

In addition to all the other information you have to provide the DOI or URL for the book followed by a period.

Last Name, First. Book Title. State: Publisher, Year. doi:xxxx. or URL.


Periodicals include all print and electronic journals, newspaper, magazines etc. There is a slight difference in the citation of journals from newspaper and magazines. Journals have volume number and issue number as well as month and year. Magazines and newspaper have day, month, year as well as other information.


In general the bibliographic information for journals include the following. Full name of author, article title, journal title, volume number, issue number, month, year, and page number. The date of retrieval and URL for the online journals should also be provided.

Print journals

Last Name, First. “Article title”. Journal Title Vol, Issue no. (Year, Month): page.

It should be noted that the volume number follow journal title and is not italicized. Issue number if present follows volume number and there is a comma in between volume number and issue number. The issue number is preceded by no.

Electronic journals

The formatting of the citation fr electronic journal is almost similar two print journals. The difference is that you have to provide the URL or DOI to clearly identify that it is an electronic journal. DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is preferable than a URL but DOI is not always present. The date the article is accessed is not necessarily needed but if your teacher or instructor asks you to mention the date of access than it should come prior to the URL or DOI.

Last Name, First. “Article title”. Journal Title Vol, Issue no. (Year, Month): page. Accessed Month Day, Year. URL or DOI

Magazines Print

The citation for print magazines in Chicago Style of citation includes the following elements

Last Name, First. “Article Title.”Department Title. Magazine Title, Month Year.

In addition to all the other elements of bibliography the magazines can have a department title. The department title is written in title case but is neither italicized nor it is written in quotation marks. The page numbers are omitted in bibliography but they are included in the footnotes in the text.

Magazines online

Online magazines have similar elements and formatting as a print magazines except for few changes. The online magazines should have a URL at the end of the bibliography. The access date may be added if asked by the teacher, supervisor or institute otherwise it is not necessary.

Last Name, First. “Article Title.” Department Title. Magazine Title, Month Day, Year. accessed Month Day, Year. URL.


Newspaper articles needs author name, article title, column heading, or the headline, newspaper name, month, day, and year. Page number are not included but for online articles URL should be provided. Articles like “the” should be omitted form the name of the newspaper. For USA newspapers you need to include the city name followed by the state name in parentheses.

Last Name, First. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title (City, State), Month. Day, Year.


  • “Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition”. Purdue Online Writing Lab. Purdue Univ. Retrieved on Jan 7, 2019.
  • A Guide to Chicago or Turabian Documentation Style.



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