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GU-Q: Chicago Style

Citation Introduction

Understanding why and how to cite information sources appropriately is an important skill.  When incorporating and citing sources into your work, you are giving credit to other scholars for their scholarly ideas. Further, you are providing a roadmap for those readers who are curious to learn more about the topic you have chosen to write about.  This is what we mean by "joining the scholarly conversation". Failing to cite your sources or giving credit to others appropriately is plagiarism.  At Georgetown, as elsewhere, this is a very serious offense. To avoid the pitfalls of plagiarism, it is important to remember to give credit to others whenever you:

  • Use another person's words, ideas, opinions or theories
  • Present data, statistics, graphs or drawings that are not common knowledge
  • Quote someone's written or spoken words 
  • Paraphrase someone's written or spoken words

If you are unsure of the process or need further help with citation styling, please speak with a librarian or a writing center specialist.  

Using Chicago Style

Basic format
The note for a book typically includes six elements: author's name, title and subtitle, city of publication, publisher, year, and page numbers(s) or electronic locator information for the information in the note.  The bibliographic entry usually includes all but the page number (and does include a URL or other locator if the book is electronically published), but it is styled differently: commas separate major elements of a note, but a bibliographic entry uses periods.
‚Äč     1. John Effran, The History of the Masai People in Eastern Africa (New York: W.W. Winton, 2000), 109. 
  Effran, John. The History of the Masai People in Eastern Africa. New York: W.W. Winton, 2000.
Multivolume work

     13. Jane Waddell, Life and History of Oklahoma Towns, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Rose & Jackson, 2013), 514. 

Waddell, Jane. Life and History of Oklahoma Towns. Vol. 2. Washington, DC: Rose & Jackson, 2013.


Print articles most often include the following information: the author's name, the article title, and the periodical title.  Further formatting, however, varies depending on whether it is from a print source, the Web, or a library database.  Inclusion of the volume and issue number (if any) as well as the date of publication and page numbers varies. See The Everyday Writer for additional examples or go to the Chicago Online Quick Guide for more assistance.  

     18. Kasey Lewis, "The Female Femme Fatale," Journal of Women's Studies 17, no. 1 (2010): 65.

Lewis, Kasey. "The Female Femme Fatale." Journal of Women's Studies 17, no. 1 (2010): 365-88. 


For online journals, give the DOI if there is one.  If not, include the article URL.  If page numbers are provided, include them as well.

     19. Edward J. Cupper, "America and Canada, and the New Business Order," Media and Politics 10, no. 9 (2000), doi:10.2202/1469-3569.1263. 

Cupper, Edward J. "America, Canada, and the New Business Order." Media and Politics 10, no. 9 (2000). doi:10.2202/1469-3569.1263. 

29. Christian Stewart, "My First Internship," The Princeton Online Press, Princeton University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 2015,

Christian, Stewart. "My First Internship." The Princeton Online Press. Princeton University School of Industrial and Labor      Relations. 2015. 

Citing images can be challenging. Include the following in your citations: artist's name, the title of the work and the medium of composition, the date, and the name of the place from which it can be viewed.  

     37. Mary Cassatt, The Child's Bath, oil on canvas, 1893, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. 

Cassatt, Mary. The Child's Bath. Oil on canvas, 1893. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. 

Online audio or videos

Should be cited similar to a Web site.  If the source is downloadable, give the medium or file format before the URL.

     33. Alison Klass, "Did the Housing Crisis Kill the Middle Class Dream?" YouTube video, 1:32, posted by NYCRadio, June 14, 2009, 

Klass, Alison. "Did the Housing Crisis Kill the Middle Class Dream?" YouTube video, 1:32. Posted by NYCRadio. June 14,  2009. 

Videos or DVDs

     35. Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, American History X, directed by Tony Kaye (1998: Los Angeles: New Line Studios, 2002), DVD. 

Norton, Edward, and Edward Furlong. American History X. Directed by Tony Kaye, 1998. Los Angeles: New Line Studios, 2002. DVD. 

  25. Anthony Samuel, "Ocean Temperatures Unnerve the Experts," New York Times, January 12, 2015, 

Sameul, Anthony. "Ocean Temperatures Unnerve the Experts." New York Times,      January 12, 2015.