Chicago References

Learn to write a Chicago references page for your research

Each paper or book that is written with the Chicago Manual of Style requires a list of sources that details every reference used within that work. This list is often referred to as the Chicago reference page. Depending on the Chicago citation system used, the proper terminology for a Chicago references page is either references or bibliography.

Chicago Reference Basics


Definition of Chicago References

The proper term for a Chicago references is either references or bibliography. The purpose of a bibliography or reference list is to provide all of the source information used in a paper in greater detail. Any in-text citation used in the work must also be included in this list. This allows readers to refer to the original source in order to collect greater information or to verify the information. By providing a list of references, writers also bring credibility to their work.

Chicago References Example


Chicago References - Chicago References example


Chicago References: The Notes Bibliography System

Before creating a Chicago references page, a writer must first determine what type of citation system is being used. There are two types of Chicago citation styles: the Notes-Bibliography system and the Author-Date system. The Notes-Bibliography system is used for literature, history, and art publications.

Instead of placing citations within the text, the Notes-Bibliography citation simply uses a superscript number within the text. This superscript number corresponds to a note that can be found at the foot of the page.  Instead of having to flip to the bibliography at the end of the document, footnotes allow readers to quickly reference a source at that current page.


Chicago References - Chicago References example of a first page.

Chicago references Bibliography page.

Chicago References: The Author-Date System

The Author-Date system is the second type of citation format that determines what type of Chicago references page is used. Under this system, sources are cited within the text and include the author’s last name and date of publication. Unlike the Notes-Bibliography system, the author-date system does not use footnotes. Instead, all of the sources referenced within the text are compiled at the end of the document in a reference list titled “References.”

Chicago References: Bibliography & Reference List

A Chicago references page is titled either bibliography or references. Chicago references used within the paper must also be listed in the bibliography or reference list at the end of the paper.  These entries provide more detailed information about the source used.  A bibliography is a list of all of the sources used to create a work under the Notes-Bibliography system. The reference list is a compilation of all of the sources used to create a work under the Author-Date system.

The formatting of each reference entry is determined by the type of source. For instance, the reference entry for a book source will be formatted differently than the reference entry for a video source. In order to ensure that each source is formatted correctly, you must refer to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.


This website uses cookies to improve user experience. Privacy Policy.