• 3-minute read
  • 18th February 2016

How to Reference a Print Journal Article – Chicago Style

A style guide for American English, the Chicago Manual of Style is widely used by history and social science journals in the US. If you’re reading or writing for one of these, it’s vital to understand Chicago style referencing.

The Chicago Manual of Style permits both author–date citations and a ‘footnote and bibliography’ system (so it’s important to check which one you’re using before starting an essay).

Herein we explain the basics of how to reference a print journal article using both approaches.

Author–Date Citations

This system uses in-text citations when a source is referenced, with the author surname and year of publication given in parentheses:

Public reputation has at least some effect on the status of legal professionals (Landes and Posner 2000).

If you’re quoting the article, you should also include page numbers after a comma:

Serving in a public position has ‘a statistically significant effect on one’s public but not scholarly reputation’ (Landes and Posner 2000, 319).

Each text you cite should be added to a reference list (ordered alphabetically by author surname) at the end of your essay. Here you provide full publication information for each source, including:

Author Names. Year of Publication. ‘Title of Article’. Journal Name Volume Number, Issue Number: Page Range.

Remember to reverse the author’s name in the reference list; if the article has more than one author, only the first name listed is reversed. For instance, the Landes and Posner article quoted above would appear as:

Landes, William M., and Richard A. Posner. 2000. ‘Citations, Age, Fame, and the Web’. The Journal of Legal Studies 29, no. 1: 319–44.

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Notes and Bibliography

This version puts information about your sources in footnotes, with citations indicated using superscript numbers (e.g. 1, 2, 3) in the main text.

The first time you cite a source, full publication detail should be provided. For a journal article, the information required is as follows (page number is only compulsory if you’re citing or quoting a particular passage):

n. Author Name, ‘Title of Article’, Journal Name Volume Number, Issue Number (Year of Publication): Page Number.

The footnote for the first citation of Landes and Posner would thus appear as:

1. William M. Landes and Richard A. Posner, ‘Citations, Age, Fame, and the Web’, The Journal of Legal Studies 29, no. 1 (2000): 319.

To save space, subsequent references to the same source can be shortened to just the author surname(s), article title and page number(s):

2. Landes and Posner, ‘Citations, Age, Fame, and the Web’, 324–5.

Full publication detail should also be given in the bibliography at the end of your essay. The format here is similar to the first footnote, but with the first listed author’s name reversed and the full page range included:

Landes, William M., and Richard A. Posner. ‘Citations, Age, Fame, and the Web’. The Journal of Legal Studies 29, no. 1 (2000): 319–44.

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