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Chicago Manual of Style


Author-Date Style

Author-Date Style

A citation style frequently used in some Social Sciences and in some Natural and Physical Sciences is the Author-Date style. 

The following brief overview to Chicago's Author-Date Style is taken from Kate L. 

Turabian, A Manual of Style for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2007), 216-217. 

Examples of parenthetical citations are identified with a P; examples of reference list entries are identified with an R. 

In Author-Date style, you signal that you have used a source by placing a parenthetical citation (including author, date, and relevant page numbers) next to your reference to that source, e.g.:

According to one scholar. “The railroads had made Chicago the most important meeting place between East and West” (Cronon 1991, 92-93].

At the end of the paper, you list all sources in a reference list. That list normally includes every source you cited in a parenthetical citation and sometimes others you consulted but did not cite. Since parenthetical citations do not include complete bibliographical information for a source, you must include that information in your reference list. All reference list entries have the same general form: 

R: Cronon, William. 1991. Nature’s metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

In the boxes below and right are some tips for creating citations in this style. Examples are taken from Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide.

Journal Articles

Journal articles
Article in a print journal
In the text, list the specific page numbers consulted, if any. In the reference list entry, list the page range for the whole article.

R         Weinstein, Joshua I. 2009. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology 104:439–58.

P         (Weinstein 2009, 440)

Article in an online journal
Include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if the journal lists one. A DOI is a permanent ID that, when appended to in the address bar of an Internet browser, will lead to the source. If no DOI is available, list a URL. Include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline.\

R         Kossinets, Gueorgi, and Duncan J. Watts. 2009. “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network.” American Journal of Sociology 115:405–50. Accessed February 28, 2010. doi:10.1086/599247.

P         (Kossinets and Watts 2009, 411)

Article in a newspaper or popular magazine
Newspaper and magazine articles may be cited in running text (“As Sheryl Stolberg and Robert Pear noted in a New York Times article on February 27, 2010, . . .”), and they are commonly omitted from a reference list. The following examples show the more formal versions of the citations. If you consulted the article online, include a URL; include an access date only if your publisher or discipline requires one. If no author is identified, begin the citation with the article title.

R         Mendelsohn, Daniel. 2010. “But Enough about Me.” New Yorker, January 25.

R         Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, and Robert Pear. 2010. “Wary Centrists Posing Challenge in Health Care Vote.” New York Times, February 27. Accessed February 28, 2010.

P         (Mendelsohn 2010, 68)

P         (Stolberg and Pear 2010)

Book Review

Book review

R        Kamp, David. 2006. “Deconstructing Dinner.” Review of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan. New York Times, April 23, Sunday Book Review.\

P        (Kamp 2006)

Thesis or Dissertation

Thesis or dissertation

R         Choi, Mihwa. 2008. “Contesting Imaginaires in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” PhD diss., University of Chicago.

P         Choi 2008)



A citation to website content can often be limited to a mention in the text (“As of July 19, 2008, the McDonald’s Corporation listed on its website . . .”). If a more formal citation is desired, it may be styled as in the examples below. Because such content is subject to change, include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified. In the absence of a date of publication, use the access date or last-modified date as the basis of the citation.

R         Google. 2009. “Google Privacy Policy.” Last modified March 11.

R         McDonald’s Corporation. 2008. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts.” Accessed July 19.

P         (Google 2009)

P         (McDonald’s 2008)

Email or Text Message

E-mail or text message
E-mail and text messages may be cited in running text (“In a text message to the author on March 1, 2010, John Doe revealed . . .”), and they are rarely listed in a reference list. In parenthetical citations, the term personal communication (or pers. comm.) can be used.

P         (John Doe, e-mail message to author, February 28, 2010)


P         (John Doe, pers. comm.)


One author

R         Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.

P         (Pollan 2006, 99–100)

Two or more authors

R         Ward, Geoffrey C., and Ken Burns. 2007. The War: An Intimate History, 1941–1945. New York: Knopf.

P         (Ward and Burns 2007, 52)

         For four or more authors, list all of the authors in the reference list; in the text, list only the first author, followed by et al. (“and others”):    (Barnes et al. 2010)        

Editor, translator, or compiler instead of author

R         Lattimore, Richmond, trans. 1951. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

P         (Lattimore 1951, 91–92)

Editor, translator, or compiler in addition to author

R         García Márquez, Gabriel. 1988. Love in the Time of Cholera. Translated by Edith Grossman. London: Cape.

P        (García Márquez 1988, 242–55)

Chapter or other part of a book

R         Kelly, John D. 2010. “Seeing Red: Mao Fetishism, Pax Americana, and the Moral Economy of War.” In Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency, edited by John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, Sean T. Mitchell, and Jeremy Walton, 67–83. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

P         (Kelly 2010, 77)

Chapter of an edited volume originally published elsewhere (as in primary sources)

R         Cicero, Quintus Tullius. 1986. “Handbook on Canvassing for the Consulship.” In Rome: Late Republic and Principate, edited by Walter Emil Kaegi Jr. and Peter White. Vol. 2 of University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization, edited by John Boyer and Julius Kirshner, 33–46. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Originally published in Evelyn S. Shuckburgh, trans., The Letters of Cicero, vol. 1 (London: George Bell & Sons, 1908).

P         (Cicero 1986, 35)


Preface, foreword, introduction, or similar part of a book

R         Rieger, James. 1982. Introduction to Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, xi–xxxvii. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

P         (Rieger 1982, xx–xxi)

Book published electronically
If a book is available in more than one format, cite the version you consulted. For books consulted online, list a URL; include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline. If no fixed page numbers are available, you can include a section title or a chapter or other number.

R         Austen, Jane. 2007. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle edition.

R         Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

P         (Austen 2007)

P         (Kurland and Lerner, chap. 10, doc. 19)

Conference Paper

Paper presented at a meeting or conference

R         Adelman, Rachel. 2009. “‘Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On’: God’s Footstool in the Aramaic Targumim and Midrashic Tradition.” Paper presented at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 21–24.

P         (Adelman 2009)

Blog or Comment

Blog entry or Comment
Blog entries or comments may be cited in running text (“In a comment posted to The Becker-Posner Blog on February 23, 2010, . . .”), and they are commonly omitted from a reference list. If a reference list entry is needed, cite the blog post there but mention comments in the text only. (If an access date is required, add it before the URL; see examples elsewhere in this guide.)

R         Posner, Richard. 2010. “Double Exports in Five Years?” The Becker-Posner Blog, February 21.

P         (Posner 2010)

Item in a Commercial Database

Item in a commercial database
For items retrieved from a commercial database, add the name of the database and an accession number following the facts of publication. In this example, the dissertation is shown as it would be cited if it were retrieved from ProQuest’s database for dissertations and theses.

R         Choi, Mihwa. 2008. “Contesting Imaginaires in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” PhD diss., University of Chicago. ProQuest (AAT 3300426).