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Academic Integrity - Referencing, Citation & Avoiding Plagiarism: Chicago Style Guide

This guide explains what referencing and citation is and how to use the APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA and Vancouver Styles. It includes a short interactive tutorial on each style.

Chicago Style - what is it?

Academic writing requires the author to support their arguments with reference to other published work or experimental results/findings. A reference system will perform three essential tasks:

  • Enable you to acknowledge other authors ideas and thereby avoid plagiarism.
  • Enable a reader to quickly locate the source of the material you refer to so they can consult it if they wish.
  • Indicate to the reader the scope and depth of your research. 

The Chicago style is a widely used referencing system to help you achieve these objectives.

How do I use the Chicago Referencing Style?

The Chicago style involves two tasks:

  • how you refer to sources in the text (with the use of footnotes)
  • how you compile a list of reference sources at the end of your text (reference list)

In this guide we show how common reference types should look in your reference list along with an example. Immediately following this will be an example of how that reference should appear as a footnote.

If the exact reference type you are looking for is not shown in this guide, look for one similar and follow the same rules. Alternatively consult the book The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, which is available in UCD Library.

Chicago Author-Date Style

The Chicago Style has two version. The one covered in this guide is the "Notes and Bibliography" version. There is a second version called "Author-Date" version. A quick reference to that guide is available at the link below. A fuller explanation is available in the book the The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, which is available in UCD Library.



Chicago Style - what does it look like?

Here is an example of what an in-text citation looks like in the Chicago style. When a source is referenced more than once on the same page, as in our example here, a shortened form of footnote is used after the first reference, as seen below.

In 1936’s new context, John Dos Passos revived Vanzetti’s last words: “Never in our full life can we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man’s understanding of man as how we do by an accident.” ¹ In 1927 Vanzetti lamented not his death but the inefficacy of lived political commitment—his death could have meaning in a way that his life did not. Dos Passos, however, invoked the condemned man’s roseate embrace of martyrdom only to insist “we stand defeated America.”²


     ¹. John Dos Passos, The Big Money (Boston: Mariner, 2000), 372. The quotation originally appeared (with minor differences arising from the reporter’s transcription of Vanzetti’s accent—“joostice” and “onderstanding”—which Dos Passos regularized) in the New York World on May 13, 1927, after Vanzetti’s sentencing, but before his execution.

     ². Dos Passos, Big Money, 372.


Here is an example of what a Reference List looks like in the Chicago Style:


Hayes, Brian Cosgrave, Ian McAllister, and Laura Dowds, "Depicting Ireland on Film, what are we really saying?" Social Cinema Journal, 54, no.4 (2001), 454-482.

Jervir, Charles Everett Osborne. "Symbolic Violence, Resistance and how we view ourselves in Irish Film." World Cinema, 37 no.4, (2010), 392-407.

MacDougall, Henry. "Who Needs Hollywood? The Role of Popular Genre Films in Irish National Cinema." The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 35, (2009) 39-46.

Moriarty, Dómhnaill. Funding models for Irish film makers. Dublin: Collins Press, 2012.

Chicago Style - Quotation

The Chicago Style dictates that when using another's exact words, known as direct quotation, the quotation should either be placed in quotation marks (for a short quotation) or set out in a separate paragraph of text, indented about half an inch from the margin. In both cases they should be followed by a superscript number (like this: ²), their source referenced in a footnote and a full reference included in the reference list. Footnotes can be placed at the bottom of the page.

Short quotations - less than 100 words

Short quotations are generally held to be less than a hundred words (six to eight lines in a typewritten manuscript), in the Chicago Style. An example of a short direct quotation would be

The findings suggest children have a "high level of enjoyment" ³, while exercising with the system as indicated by the positive responses to all three questions.

Long quotations - 100 words or more

Long quotations in the Chicago Style are held to be one hundred words or more (at least six to eight lines in a typewritten manuscript). These are laid out in a separate paragraph of text and indented about half an inch from the left margin. No inverted commas/inverted commas are included. An example of a long quotation would be

In their research on rehabilitation using Wobbleballs, Fitzgerald and her team conclude that:

The findings suggest children have a high level of enjoyment while exercising with the system as indicated by the positive responses to all three questions. The fourth question collected some feedback from children and while most provided positive comments a small number of children mentioned that the wobble board was “difficult to control” or “hard to use”. We must therefore investigate some easier methods to control the game as an option for some children. Future research is needed to investigate the benefits of the system as an exercise intervention for children and to examine how training using Wobbleball could be integrated into the existing physical education curriculum in schools.¹

Recommended Read

Interactive Tutorial - Chicago

Don't know a citation from a reference? Try our short tutorial.

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