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Create Your Chicago Style Citations

Author-Date Style System Basics

Author-Date System Basics

The author-date citation style is used by professionals in the sciences and social sciences. Rather than using footnotes or endnotes, the author-date style uses parenthetical references and a works cited list.

Parenthetical Reference Basics

The citation will be found after the in-text quotation, summary, or paraphrase. The basic format includes the author's last name and the year of publication and is enclosed in parentheses. Page numbers are included in parenthetical references when a specific page or pages are referenced and is separated from the first two elements by a comma.

Questions related to authorship

  • If the author is already mentioned in the text, simply cite the year of publication in parentheses, after the author's name.
  • When multiple works are being cited in parenthetical references, the works are separated by a semicolon.
  • When there is more than one author, the author's last names are separated by commas.
  • When there are more than three authors, the first author's last name is followed by et. al.
  • Organizations can be used as the author when the publication is issued by them and a person's name is not listed on the title page.
  • Exclude titles such as editor or translator.

When there is no personal author, organization, editor, or translator listed as author, the work's title is used and may be shortened. However, it must include the first word, unless the first word is an article (i.e. a, an, the).

Questions related to the work's date

If there is no date, n.d. takes the place of the date.

  • It is to be in lower case and not in italics.
  • It is preceded by a comma.

References/ Works Cited Page Basics

Reference List/ Works Cited List Basics

Reference list entries are very similar to the bibliography entries used in the Notes and Bibliography system.

Similarities include the following:

  • The Reference list or Works Cited page is placed at the end of the academic writing.
  • There must be an entry for each parenthetical reference.
  • They both abbreviate titles such as editor, compiler, or translator.

Dissimilarities include the following:

  • The bibliography is called a reference list.
  • The date follows the author's name, instead of near the end of the citation.

Names in Reference list entries

  • When there is no personal author, organization, editor, or translator listed as author, the work's title is used. If the first word is an article (i.e. a, an, the), it is ignored for alphabetization purposes.
  • Organizations can be used as the author on the reference list when the publication is issued by them and a person's name is not listed on the title page.
  • When there is no personal author, organization, editor, or translator listed as author, the work's title is used.

No date

If there is no date for a publication, n.d. takes the place of the date.

  • It is to be in lower case and not in italics.
  • It is preceded by a comma.