Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Chicago Style In-Text Citation | Easy Formatting Guidelines with Examples

7 min read

Published on: May 11, 2024

Last updated on: May 21, 2024

Chicago In-Text Citation Style

Chicago Style in-text citation is a way of acknowledging sources within your writing. It involves placing brief references to sources directly in the text, helping readers locate the full details in the bibliography or footnotes.

Proper citation is crucial because it gives credit to the original creators of ideas and information. It also helps readers to find the sources you used and supports the credibility of your own work.

In this blog, we'll explore the basics of in-text citation according to the Chicago Manual of Style. We'll discuss why it's important, how to do it correctly, and common mistakes to avoid.

Understanding The Chicago Style

The Chicago Style is widely used in academic and professional writing, offering two main citation systems: the Author-Date system and the Notes and Bibliography system.

Basic Components of Chicago Style In-Text Citation

  • Author Date Style: The Author Date in-text citations include the author's last name and year of publication within parentheses in the text. This system is commonly used in the natural and social sciences.
  • Chicago Footnotes or Endnotes: The Notes and Bibliography style (footnotes or endnotes) uses superscript numbers in the text to refer readers to footnotes or endnotes. These notes contain full citations or additional information about the source. This system is often preferred in the humanities and arts disciplines.

Chicago In-Text Citation: Author-Date System

In the Author-Date system, the citation format includes the author's last name and the year of publication, enclosed in parentheses, placed within the text. The full details of the source are then provided in the reference list at the end of the document.

This is what an example of the author-date system looks like in the Chicago style: The standard format for acknowledging sources within the text is represented as (Chaz 2019).

Single Author

Example: (Anderson 2017)

Explanation: The last name of the author (Anderson) and the publication year (2017) are included in parentheses.

Multiple Authors

Example: (Clark and Turner 2020)

Explanation: When there are two authors, list both last names separated by "and" followed by the publication year.

Multiple Works by the Same Author

Example: (Miller 2016a) ; (Miller 2016b)

Explanation: If you're citing multiple works by the same author published in the same year, differentiate them by adding lowercase letters after the year (e.g., 2016a, 2016b).

Multiple Authors


(Brown, Garcia, and Patel 2023)


In Chicago style, when citing a source with multiple authors, list all authors' last names in the order they appear in the source, followed by the publication year in parentheses.

No Author 


("Impact of Renewable Energy Sources" 2018)


In cases where a source lacks a listed author, use the title or a shortened version of the title in the citation, followed by the publication year in parentheses.

Where Should You Place Citations Within the Text? 

Citations should be placed close to the information they support, typically at the end of a sentence or a clause. Place them before any punctuation marks such as periods, quotation marks, or commas.

Look at this example to understand the formatting better:

The discovery of new exoplanets has revolutionized our understanding of the universe (Gomez 2021).

Additionally, when combining multiple citations, list them in alphabetical order and separate them with semicolons, like: (Jackson 2018; Novak 2019).

Expert Tip

To learn more about this form of referencing in Chicago style, check out our blog on the author-date format

Notes and Bibliography System

The Notes and Bibliography system in Chicago style uses either footnotes or endnotes to provide citations within the text. A superscript number is placed in the text, and the corresponding note appears at the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the document (endnote).

Chicago Style Footnotes and Endnote Examples

Take a look at this footnote example:

The study revealed a significant increase in urban bee populations.1

In the footnote at the bottom of the page, provide the full citation details with the author's name, publication year, title, and other relevant information.

Here is an example of a Chicago style endnote: 

The coral reef ecosystems face imminent threats.2

In the endnote at the end of the document, include the complete citation details for the source, allowing readers to find the reference easily.

Ensure consistency in your use of either footnotes or endnotes throughout the document. If you choose footnotes, place them at the bottom of each page; if you opt for endnotes, compile them at the end of the document.

Full Notes and Short Notes

In the Chicago Style, there are two types of notes you might encounter: Full Notes and Short Notes.

Full Notes

  • Full notes are comprehensive citations that provide all the necessary details about a source. 
  • These notes are usually used for the first citation of a source and include information 

such as the author's name, the title of the work, publication details, and page numbers or page range.

  • Full notes are typically found at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or at the end of the document (endnotes).

Take a look at this example for a better understanding:

John A. Smith, The Art of Writing (Chicago: Publishing House, 2020), 45.

Short Notes

  • Once you have provided a full note for a source, subsequent citations of the same source can use short notes. 
  • Short notes contain abbreviated information, usually just the author's last name, a shortened version of the title, and the page number. 
  • Short notes help maintain readability and efficiency in your writing.

Here is an example of a short note:

  1. Smith, The Art of Writing, 67.

By understanding the distinction between Full Notes and Short Notes, you can effectively cite your sources without overwhelming your readers with repetitive information.

Expert Tip

If this information wasn't enough for you to learn about this format of referencing, then don't worry! Read our detailed blog on the notes and bibliography format of the Chicago style and get all the help you need!

Chicago In-Text Citation Examples

Read on to find examples of in-text citations in the Chicago style for various instances. We have included examples in both styles, the author-date system and the footnote/endnote format. 

Chicago In-Text Citation: Single Author

Author Date Style:

Recent studies have shown that deforestation rates are declining in several regions (Park 2023, 78).

Footnote/Endnote Style:

David Davis, The Power of Communication (New York: Business Press, 2017), 42.

Chicago In-Text Citation: Multiple Authors

Author Date Style:

(Garcia and Nguyen 2019) highlight the importance of cultural diversity in workplace settings.

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Maria Garcia and Linh Nguyen, Cultural Diversity in the Workplace (Chicago: Diversity Publishers, 2019), 78.

Multiple Works by the Same Author

Author Date Style:

(Brown 2015, 2018) examines the impact of climate change on agricultural practices.

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Michael Brown, Climate Change and Agriculture (London: Environmental Press, 2015), 35.

Brown, Environmental Challenges (London: Environmental Press, 2018), 52.

Chicago In-Text Citation: No Author

Author Date Style:

("Title of the Work" 2020) explores the concept of artificial intelligence.

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Title of the Work (Chicago: Publisher, 2020), 25.

Chicago In-Text Citation: No Publication Date

Author Date Style:

(Marcus, n.d.) emphasizes the importance of privacy in online transactions.

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Marcus, Privacy in Online Transactions (Chicago: Cybersecurity Publishers, n.d.), 15.

Chicago In-Text Citation: No Page Number

Author Date Style:

(Johnson 2016, para. 5) discusses the concept of mindfulness in stress management.

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Emily Johnson, Mindfulness and Stress Management (New York: Wellness Press, 2016), para. 5.

Chicago In-Text Citation: Direct Quote

Author Date Style:

According to (Hernandez 2021, p. 27), "Leadership is about inspiring others to achieve greatness."

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Daniel Hernandez, Leadership and Inspiration (Boston: Leadership Press, 2021), 27.

Chicago In-Text Citation: Book 

Author Date Style:

(Smith 2019) provides an in-depth analysis of classical literature.

Footnote/Endnote Style:

  1. Olivia Smith, Classical Literature Revisited (Oxford: Academic Press, 2019), 63.

Create Perfect and Accurate Citations With

If you find it challenging to accurately cite your sources in Chicago style, our Citation Machine is here to simplify the process for you. Our Chicago style citation generator is a convenient and user-friendly tool designed to assist you in creating precise and consistent citations for your paper.

You can effortlessly generate citations and either copy and paste them directly into your document or save them for future reference. 

Give our Citation Machine a try today and experience how it can enhance your academic writing endeavors.

Cathy Aranda


Cathy Aranda (Marketing, and Public Relations)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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