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Referencing Guide: Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date

 The Chicago Manual of Style is a documentation style that has been published by the Chicago University Press since 1906. This style uses in-text citation and a reference list to guide readers to find full information for a source. Please note that this style guide include two systems:

 NotationalNotes and Bibliography style. This is used by the disciplines of History, Literature and the Arts.

 ParentheticalAuthor-Date style. This is used by the disciplines in the social sciences and sciences. Below is a description of the author-date version of CMoS
Be sure to consult your course instructor on the their preferred style. Whichever style you choose to use, be consistent in applying it in your work. 


Parts of a Reference

Label the list of sources “References” and arrange entries in alphabetical order according to the first word of the author's name or the title if author(s)/editor(s) is not identified. Use a period to define major sections of the reference.

  1. Author's name is inverted, surname first, and then first name(s. Use “and,” not an ampersand, “&,” for multi-author entries. List names of all authors in the order they appear in the original source and up to ten names. If there are more than ten names, use et al. after the first name.
  2. Date of publication. Use the abbreviation n.d. if no publication date is available.
  3. Title of article, patent, conference paper, etc., in quotation marks and set in title case.
  4. Title of journal or book in italics and set in title case.
  5. Publisher name in full.
  6. Access date provided if publication date is unavailable
  7. Prefer DOI instead of URLs whenever possible.

Parts of the In-text Citation

An in-text citation should contain two pieces of information with no intervening punctuation

  • The the last name of the author(s) used in the corresponding reference list entry
  • The year the work was published, for example: (Smith 2016)
  • If there is more than one author, include the last names of authors using commas, for example: (Smith, Lee, and Alvarez 2016)
  • If  there is four or more authors, include the last name of the first author and use et al for the rest, for example: (Smith et al. 2016)
  • If using multiple works in the same year for the same author, alphabetize the titles in the reference list and add a, b, c, etc. to the year, for example (Lee 2015a); (Lee 2015b)
  • When a source has no identifiable author, cite it by its title using a shortened form (up to four keywords from that title) 
  • To cite specific page(s), add a comma and the page number(s), for example: (Smith 2016, 21-23)
  • If the author's name appears in the sentence, do not include the name again in the parentheses: Smith (2016) indicates that good citation practices are important.


Explore the following guides for more examples and interpretations of the CMoS referencing style