• 3-minute read
  • 3rd October 2017

Chicago Referencing – Newspaper Articles (Author–Date)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Student loses marks for incorrect referencing in an essay! Could have been avoided by learning how to cite newspaper articles!

Bad news, indeed. But you can change the headline with our guide to citing a newspaper using Chicago-style author–date referencing.

Unfortunately, you can’t cite your local town crier.
(Photo: Martin Pettitt/wikimedia)

In-Text Citations

With the author–date version of Chicago referencing, citations include exactly what you’d expect: the author’s surname and a date of publication. For example:

The episode of Peppa Pig proved controversial in Australia (Zhou 2017).

If the author is named in the text, meanwhile, only the year is given in brackets:

According to Zhou (2017), it was the second time the episode was pulled.

Finally, when quoting a print article, you should also give page numbers after a comma:

It depicts a child picking up a spider and ‘offering it some tea’ (Zhou 2017, 24).

Of course, many people get their news online these days. And websites don’t have page numbers. As such, you might need to know how to deal with missing information…

Missing Information

The good news (so to speak) is that missing page numbers aren’t a big issue in Chicago referencing. For online newspaper articles, you can simply omit them from citations.

However, if you’re quoting a long article, you may want to specify a particular passage. In these cases, it’s usually best to give a paragraph number:

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ABC branded the episode ‘inappropriate’ for Australian audiences (Zhou 2017, para. 4).

Another issue you might encounter is an article without a named author. In these cases, you should give a shortened version of the article title instead:

The show was made in the UK, where spiders are less dangerous (‘Peppa Pig… episode pulled off air in Australia’ 2017).

However, most articles will have a named author, so make sure to check carefully.

Reference List

The details to include in your reference list depend on the article format. For print newspaper articles, the following format is standard:

Surname, First Name. Year. ‘Article Title’. Newspaper Title, date of publication.

The format is the same for an online article, except that you should also give a URL and (if your university requires one) a date of access. For instance, the online version of the article cited above would be referenced as follows:

Zhou, Namaan. 2017. ‘Peppa Pig “spiders can’t hurt you” episode pulled off air in Australia – again’. The Guardian, 5 September. Accessed 12 September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/05/peppa-pig-spiders-cant-hurt-you-episode-pulled-off-air-in-australia-again

Were this article missing a named author, though, we’d move the title to the start of the reference. However, as above, make sure you check closely before doing this, as most articles will include the author’s name somewhere.

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