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How To: Cite Your Sources


Chicago: Tips and Tricks

  • If someone else thought of the ideas that you are writing, cite them!
  • Chicago has two different systems for citing sources
    • Author-Date
      • uses parenthetical in-text citations which usually contain the author's last name, date of publication, and a page number if needed.
      • This system is much less commonly used.
    • Notes and Bibliography
  • Your bibliography should be:
    • Alphabetized
    • Have a hanging indent

How does Chicago handle authors' names?

Single Author

In the parenthetical citation only the last name of the author is listed.


In the reference list invert the name so the last name comes first.

Smith, Warren Hunting.

Two Authors

In the parenthetical citation both author's last names are listed.

(Smith and Hobart)

In the reference list invert the name of the first author, but not the second.

Smith, Warren Hunting and John Hobart.

Three Authors

Follows the same basic pattern as two authors:

Parenthetical Citation:

(Smith, Hobart, and Blackwell)

Reference List:

Smith, Warren Hunting, John Hobart, and Elizabeth Blackwell.

Four or More Authors

When you have four or more authors you need to list all of them in the reference list, but in the parenthetical citation you only need to cite the name of the first author and then write "et al."*.

Parenthetical Citation:

(Smith, et al.)

Reference List:

Smith, Warren Hunting, John Hobart, Elizabeth Blackwell, Benjamin Hale, Eliphalet Potter, and Murray Bartlett.

*Note: et al. is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase "and others".


Parenthetical citation:

(Doe 2019, 112)

Reference List:

Doe, John. 2019. Yōkai: Magic, Mystery, and Myth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Journal Article

Parenthetical Citation:

(Shamoon 2013, 278)

Reference List:

Shamoon, Deborah. 2013. "The Yōkai in the Database: Supernatural Creatures and Folklore in Manga and Anime." Marvels & Tales 27, no. 2: 278,


Parenthetical Citation:

(Brubaker 2007)

Reference List:

Brubaker, Bill. 2007. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, May 24, 2007.


Parenthetical Citation:

(Hill 2019)

Reference List:

Hill, Keiko. 2019. "Japanese Monsters, Ghosts, and Spirits: Mythical Yōkai (妖怪) at OSU Libraries." The Ohio State University Libraries. Last modified September 9, 2019.


Online Video

Parenthetical Citation:

(Tedx Talks 2013)

Reference List:

TEDx Talks. 2013. "Urushi and Japanese Culture: Kazumi Murose at TEDxTokyo." Uploaded May 12, 2013, YouTube video,


Parenthetical Citation:

(Kurosawa 1954)

Reference List:

Kurosawa, Akira, dir. 1954. Seven Samurai. Los Angeles: Embassy Home Entertainment, 1987. DVD.


Parenthetical Citation:

(Meyer 2013)

Reference List:

Meyer, Matthew. 2013. Okuri inu. April 6, 2013. Illustration.,

Reference Works (Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.)

Parenthetical Citation:

(Oxford English Dictionary 1989)

Reference List:

Oxford English Dictionary. 1989. s.v. "Apparition."

*Note: s.v. is Latin for sub verbo which means "under the word".  The letters "s.v." should precede the name of the entry in the encyclopedia or dictionary.

Archival Materials

Chicago notes example

Photograph, "Lisa Ben" [ca. 1965], Box 4, Folder 1, Lesbian Legacy Collection Subject Files, ONE Archives at USC Libraries, USC, Los Angeles, CA.

If you've cited one item from an archival collection, the name of the item or its creator is usually the main element in the bibliography entry. If you've cited more than one item from an archival collection, the name of the collection is usually the main element in the bibliography entry.


Chicago bibliography example if using multiple items from the collection

Ben, Lisa, Lesbian Legacy Collection Subject Files. ONE Archives at USC Libraries, University of Southern, CA. Los Angeles, CA.


All information on the Citing archival materials page is used with permission of the USC libraries and comes from their Citing Archival Sources FAQ

Galoozis, Elizabeth. "Q. How do I cite archival sources?" Library FAQs. 13 Aug. 2015. Accessed 3 March 2018.

Additional Resources

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