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Cite Your Sources: Chicago Author-Date System

In-text citations

An in-text citation consists of the author’s name, the year of publication, and any specific page reference (if applicable), enclosed in parentheses. You do not need to repeat in parentheses any elements that are already in your sentence.

Reference List

The entry in the Reference List provides the full bibliographic information for the work cited in the text. The main difference between an entry in a Reference List (for Chicago Author-Date system) and in a Bibliography (for Chicago Notes & Bibliography system) is the placement of the date.

Book, one author

In-text citation:

… was tested (Morton 2001).

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name. Date. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Morton, Desmond. 2001. A Short History of Canada. Toronto: McClelland & Stuart.

Book, two or three authors

In-text citation:

… (Elias and Williams 1996).
Elias and Williams (1996) tested...

... (Fowler, Aaron, and McArthur 2001).
Fowler, Aaron, and McArthur (2001) found...

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Las Nname. Date. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Lecy, Matthys, and Mario Salvadori. 2002. Why Buildings Fall Down. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 

Book, more than three authors

In-text citation:

... (Healey et al. 1996).
According to Healey et al. (1996)... 

Reference List:

  • List all authors in the Reference list. If there are more than ten authors, list the first seven, and then use et al. 

Last Name, First Name, First Name Last Name, First Name Last Name, First Name Last Name, and First Name Last Name. Date. Title. #th ed. Place of Publication: Publisher. 

Healey, Antonette, Joan Holland, David McDougall, Ian McDougall, Nancy Speirs, and Pauline Thompson. 1996. Dictionary of Old English: E. 6th ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Group or government as author

In-text citation:

... (Statistics Canada 2001).

... (MTCU 2002)

  • If you use an abbreviation in your in-text citation, the entry in your reference list should begin with that abbreviation (as shown below).

Reference List:

Statistics Canada. 1995. National Population Health Survey. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

MCTU (Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities). 2002. Employment Profile. Toronto: MTCU.

A government publication

In-text citation:

  • If the report names an author, use the author’s last name in your in-text citations.
  • Otherwise, use the ministry or agency responsible for the report.

... (Rozanski 2002)
... (MTCU 2002)

Reference List:

  • If the report names an author, start with that. Otherwise, use the ministry or agency responsible for the report.

Last Name, First Name. Date. Title of Report. Other Identification Information. Place of Publication: Publisher. 

Rozanski, Mordechai. 2002. Investing in Public Education: Advancing the Goal of Continuous Improvement in Student Learning and Achievement. Prepared on behalf of the Education Equity Task Force. Toronto: Ministry of Education.

MTCU (Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities). 2002. Employment Profile. Toronto: MCTU.

Editor as author

In-text citation:

... (Soltes 1999). 

Reference List:

  • When no author appears on the title page, list the work by the name(s) of the editor(s), compiler(s), or translator(s).

Last Name, First Name, ed. Date. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher. 

Soltes, Ori Z., ed. 1999. Georgia: Art and Civilization through the Ages. London: Philip Wilson.

Archival material

In-text citation:

  • If more than one item from a collection is cited within the paper, the collection can be used as the in-text citation. 

John E. Smith wrote to the membership on January 13, 1733 (Smith Papers), to say…

  • If only one item is being cited within the paper, the in-text citation should refer to the specific item and the author of the specific item.The References will include an entry for that specific item. If no date is available, use n.d.

The manuscript cookbook (Oliver, ca. 1916) contains…

The letter describes…. (Jones, n.d.). 

Reference List:

  • For a reference to a collection, it is unnecessary to use n.d. (no date) if no date is available. 
  • If the date is approximate, use ca., which stands for circa.

Either Collection name / authors of the items in the collection / or the repository for the collection as Author Last, Author First. Name of collection. Name of repository, Location.

Abrahamson, Una. Canadian Cookery Collection. University of Guelph Archival and Special Collections, Guelph, Canada.

Smith, John E., Papers. University of Chicago Library. 

  • Note: In the second bibliography entry above, a comma is added after the initial to avoid misreading.
  • If only one item from a collection is being cited, dates (if available) should be mentioned in the text and included in the References. Use n.d. (no date) if there is no date. The References entry is for that specific item. 

Author of the item as Last name, First name. Date of item as Day Month Year. Title or description of item. Call number, File number, Box number. Name of collection. Name of repository, Location.

Oliver, E. J. ca. 1916. Manuscript cookbook. XM1 MS A117059. Una Abrahamson Canadian Cookery Collection. University of Guelph Archival and Special Collections, Guelph, Canada.

Part of an edited work or collection

In-text citation:

...(Veal and Hudson 2009).

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name. Date. "Title of Chapter." In Title of Book, edited by 1 Editor First Name Last Name and 2 Editor First Name Last Name, pp-pp. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Veal, L. Ramon, and Sally Ann Hudson. 2009. "Direct and Indirect Measures for Large-Scale Evaluation of Writing." In Assessing Writing: A Critical Sourcebook, edited by Brian Huot and Peggy O'Neill, 13-17. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's.

An article in a journal or periodical (Online)

In-text citation:

... (Hom Carey 2004).

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name. Date. “Article Title.” Journal Title volume # (no. #): page range. Accessed date. doi/url.

Hom Carey, Stephanie. 2004. “The Tourist Moment.” Annals of Tourism Research 31(1): 121-34. doi:10:48903243/342890.

  • Accessed date is usually considered unnecessary unless no date of publication or revision can be determined from the source. The DOI is preferred over the URL.

An article in a journal or periodical (print)

In-text citation:

...(Flint and Lolcama 1986).

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name. Date. “Article Title.” Journal Title volume #(no. #): page range.

Flint, Jean-Jacques, and J. Lolcama. 1986. “Buried Ancestral Drainage between Lakes Erie and Ontario.” Geological Society of America Bulletin 97(1): 221-32.

An edition other than the first

In-text citation:

When the original date of publication is relevant to your discussion of the text, you can include it in square brackets. However, when the original date does not directly relate to your discussion, you may omit the original date and use the modern date.

... (Austen [1811] 2001).

... (Rae 1971).

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name. (Original Date) Modern Date. Title. Edition information. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Austen, Jane. (1811) 2001. Sense and Sensibility. Edited by Claudia Johnson. New York: Norton.

When the original date of publication does not directly relate to your discussion of the text, you can omit it and use the modern date. Another option is to include the original date at the end of the reference entry.

Rae, Douglas W. 1971. The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Rae, Douglas W. 1971. The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press. First published 1967.

A newspaper article

In-text citation:

  • 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, . . .” 

Reference List:

  • Newspaper and magazine articles are commonly omitted from a reference list.
  • If you need to include the reference, use the following pattern. 
  • If you consulted the article online, include a URL; include an access date only if your instructor or discipline requires one. If no author is identified, begin the citation with the article title.

Last Name, First Name. Year. "Article Title." Newspaper Title, edition information (if any), day. URL (if online).

Pitman, Teresa. 2011.  “Workshop Speaker Aims to Make Writing Easier.” at Guelph, February 10.

A multiple volume work

In-text citation:

To cite an entire multivolume, multiyear work: 

  • In-text citation includes volume number of the specific reference in addition to page number(s).

… (Rubio and Waterston 1985–2004, 4:263).  
… (Tillich 1951–63, 1:133). 

To cite a single volume: 

  • The in-text citation does not include volume number in addition to page number(s). 

… (Rubio and Waterston 1998, 263). 
…  (Hayek 1995, 124–25). 

Reference List:

To cite an entire multivolume, multiyear work: 

Last Name, First Name. Date range of entire work. Title of Entire Work. # vols. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston, eds. 1985–2004. The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery. 5 vols. Toronto: Oxford University Press. 

Tillich, Paul. 1951–63. Systematic Theology. 3 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

To cite a single volume: 

Last Name, First Name. Date of volume. Title of Volume. Vol. # of Title of Series. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date range of series [use an en-dash after the date of the first volume in the date range if the work has not yet been completed].

Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston, eds. 1998. Volume IV: 1929–1935. Vol. 4 of The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985–2004. 

Hayek, F. A. 1995. Contra Keynes and Cambridge: Essays, Correspondence. Vol. 9 of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988–.

A website

In-text citation:

... (Google 2009).

Reference List:

  • Locate as much of the information as possible.
  • If there is no author given, use the owner of the site. If there's no owner, start with the title (your in-text citation should use the first words from the title).

Author of the content as Last Name, First Name. Date. “Title of the Page.”  Date of access or revision. URL.

Google. 2009. “Google Privacy Policy.” Last modified March 11, 2010.

A translation

In-text citation:

... (Nietzsche 1955).

Reference List:

Last Name, First Name. Date. Title. Translated by Name of Translator(s). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. 1955. Beyond Good and Evil. Translated by Marianne Cowan. Chicago: H. Regnery Co.

A course reader

In-text citation:

... (Winston and Blais 2003).

Reference List:

  • Treat an article in a course reader as part of an edited book or collection, citing the instructor as editor (unless another editor is indicated).
  • Use the page numbers assigned in the reader, not the page numbers of the original source.
  • An annotation about the original publication may follow the citation in the Reference list. 

Last Name, First Name. Date. "Title of Article." In Title of the Course Reader, edited by Name of Instructor. Pages. Place of Publication: Publisher. 

Winston, Andrew S., and Daniel J. Blais. 2003. “What Counts as an Experiment?: A Transdisciplinary Analysis of Textbooks, 1930-1970.” In PSYCH*1100 Principles of Behaviour Course Reader, edited by M. Billig and H. Davis. 3-19. Guelph, ON: University of Guelph, Office of Open Learning. Previously published 1996 in American Journal of Psychology 109(4): 599-616.

A course manual

In-text citations:

... (Stengos 2003).

Reference List:

Treat these as books with the instructor as author (unless another author is indicated).

Stengos, T. 2003. ECON*4640 Applied Econometrics Course Manual. Guelph, ON: University of Guelph. 

Lecture notes

In-text citation:

... (Spring 2004).

Reference List:

  • Treat these as books or websites with the instructor as author if they are published.
  • Course or lecture notes may be considered “published” if they have been copied and distributed in print or on the web with the instructor’s permission.
  • If they are unpublished, cite them using the instructor’s name, the title of the course or topic of the lecture (likely available from your course syllabus), and the date of the lecture.

Instructor’s Name. Year. “Title of Course.” Lecture, University Name, City, Province, Day of lecture.

Spring, Howard. 2004. “History of Jazz.” Lecture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, October 7.

Personal communications (emails, text messages, or conversations)

In-text citation:

  • Personal communications may be cited in the text or in a parenthetical citation.

In a text message to the author on March 1, 2010, John Doe revealed . . .

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

... (John Doe, pers. comm.)

Reference List:

  • Emails and text messages are rarely listed in a reference list.

An electronic mailing list

In-text citation:

  • Refer to these types of sources in the text

In a posting by Nico Ween (author) to the Humanist Discussion Group (name of the mailing list) on August 5, 2004 (date), he said...

Reference List:

  • These are not listed in the reference list.

An interview

In-text citation:

  • Use the term “pers. comm.” (personal communication) or “unpublished data” to cite interviews that you have conducted.
  • Reference list entries are unneeded for unpublished interviews, but within the text, you should fully identify each person you cite.

(Julie Cantor, pers. comm.)

(A. P. Møller, unpublished data; C. R. Brown and M. B. Brown, unpublished data)

Reference List:

  • Published or broadcast interviews listed in the references are treated like a chapter in a book or article in a periodical.

Albright, Madeleine. 2004. Interview by Jon Stewart. The Daily Show, Comedy Network, October 26.

Lukacs, John. 2003. “History in a Democratic Age.” Interviewed by Bruce Cole. Humanities 24, no. 1: 6-9, 46-50.

A specific part of a source

  • When a specific page, section, equation, or other division of the work is cited, it follows the date, preceded by a comma.

… (Novak and Gowin 1984, 109).

  • When a volume as a whole is referred to, without a page number, vol. is used.

… (Garcia 1987, vol. 2).

  • For volume plus page, only a colon is needed. 

... (Garcia 1987, 2:345).

  • To cite a section of a work that contains no page or section numbers or other numerical signposts (i.e., in some electronic documents), use section titles. 

... (Hellman 1998, under "The Battleground").

No date

In-text citation:

  • When the publication date of a printed work cannot be determined, the abbreviation n.d. takes the place of the year in the reference list entry and text citations.
  • Note that a comma is used between the name and n.d.

... (Smith, n.d.).  

Reference List:

  • If the publication date is unknown, use the abbreviation n.d. in place of the year in the reference entry.
  • Be sure to keep the n.d. lowercase to confusion with the author’s name. 

Jones, Arturo. n.d. The Race for Time. Carlesville: Worton.

No author

In-text citation:

  • Use the title (or a shortened version, but start with the first word unless A or The).

… (Primary Colors 1998).

Reference List:

  • If the author or editor is unknown, the reference list entry should normally begin with the title. An initial article (A, An, The) is ignored in alphabetizing.
  • Text citations may refer to a short form of the title but must include the first word (other than an initial article).

Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics. 1998. New York: Random House.

Different authors, same last name

In-text citation:

  • Include first initials to distinguish between the two authors.

... (C. Simpson 2010).
... (A. Simpson 2006).

Reference List:

  • List your sources in alphabetical order by the first initials of the authors. 

A work cited in a secondary source

In-text citation:

  • It is best to locate the original source; however, if an original source is unavailable, include the words “quoted in” for the in-text citation and mention the original author and date in the text.
  • Cite only the secondary source in the reference list entry.

In Louis Zukofsky’s “Sincerity and Objectification,” from the February 1931 issue of Poetry magazine (quoted in Costello 1981) ...

(Only Costello 1981 is included in the reference list.)

Reference List:

  • If you are citing a source found within another source,  acknowledge the source in-text, but in your bibliography, only cite the source where you found this information. 
  • For example, imagine you are reading an article by Bonnie Costello, and she refers to a work by Louis Zukofsky. If you want to refer to  Zukofsky’s work, mention him in your text (e.g., “Louis Zukofsky argues that…”) but cite only Costello (the source where you actually found the information) in your bibliography:

Costello, Bonnie. 1981. Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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