Introduction and general principles of Chicago referencing

What is Chicago referencing?

The 'Chicago' method of referencing is documented fully in The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers.

There are two systems of referencing described in the Chicago Manual of Style:

  • Notes and bibliography
  • Author-date

History at UWE Bristol uses the notes and bibliography system. All the guidance on these pages refers to this system only.

Notes and bibliography system

There are two ways to reference using the notes and bibliography system: 

  • with a full bibliography at the end of your work 
  • without a bibliography at the end of your work

Citing and referencing - with a bibliography

  1. When citing another work in your text, insert a small superscript number (eg 1) to denote a footnote (or endnote).
  2. In the footnote (or endnote) put a brief reference (usually Author, Title, Page number) that the reader can use to find the full reference in the bibliography.

(Microsoft Word has an inbuilt utility for inserting footnotes and will automatically sequence the numbers in a rising series.)

Citing and referencing - without a bibliography

  1. When citing another work in your text, insert a small superscript number (eg 2) to denote a footnote (or endnote).
  2. In the footnote (or endnote) put a full reference. A full reference included in a footnote is styled slightly differently to a full reference in a bibliography.


An example of the Chicago (notes and bibliography) style, taken from the Internet:

General principles

Footnotes and endnotes

A footnote is placed at the foot of the same page as your citation. An endnote is placed at the end of your work (before the bibliography, if one is included). There is no other difference in their formatting or style.

Titles can be italics or underlined

Titles of books, reports, journals and other media can be italicised or underlined. Whichever you choose, be consistent.


Ibid. is short for the Latin word ibidem, meaning "the same place". You can use Ibid. to direct the reader to the reference in the previous footnote (or endnote).

Example use of Ibid. in footnotes:
1. Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, Critical Terms for Literary Study (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 104-7.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., p. 209.

The complete guide to Chicago referencing

These pages contain a brief guide to the common types of information you're likely to reference in your assignment. For full, definitive advice, consult a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style.

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