Chicago/Turabian Basics (Download the Printer Friendly PDF)


Generally, Chicago/Turabian citations follow the following format:

Structure: Contributors. Title. Secondary Contributors. Publication Information.

Contributor Information and Titles

The main contributors of the source, normally the author, are placed before the title. If there is more than one author, arrange the authors in the same order found in the source. Use the middle initial and the entire first and last name. Inverse only the name of the first author, and follow the rest in normal form.

One author: Smith, John K. Title.
Two authors: Smith, John K., and Tim Sampson. Title.
Three authors: Smith, John K., Tim Sampson, and Alex J. Hubbard. Title.
Four or more authors: Smith, John K., et al. Title.

Sometimes the main contributor is not an author, but another contributor type, such as an editor for a book or conductor for a musical piece. In this instance, follow the contributor by an abbreviation of the contributor type (i.e. Ed. or Cond.). If plural, then change the abbreviation accordingly.

One editor: Smith, John K., ed. Title.
Two editors: Smith, John K., and Tim Sampson, eds. Title.
One conductor: Smith, John K., cond. Title.

Many sources have secondary contributors – individuals who added to the work outside the main contributors. This can include editors for books and producers and screenplay writers for movies. Place secondary contributors after the title. Precede the name of the contributors with the contributor type. For instance, use “Edited by” for an editor.

One editor: Smith, John. Title. Edited by Bill McCoy.
Two editors: Smith, John. Title. Edited by Bill McCoy and Tim Thomas.
One conductor and three producers: John Smith. Title. Conducted by Bill McCoy. Produced by Tim Thomas, Jane Horton, and Rex Bryant.

Some sources may have corporate or group authors. Write these organization where you would write the authors. If they are also publishers of the source, include it in the publication information as well.

Corporate author: Modern Language Association. Title.
Government author: Illinois Department of Industrial Relations. Title.

Sometimes you will come across sources with no contributor information. In this instance, begin with the title without italics and follow with the remaining appropriate bibliographic data.

Webster’s Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1995.

Some sources are found within other sources, such as a chapter in a book, or an article in a periodical. These rules apply both to the contributors of the chapter and book, or to the article. Note when citing a chapter, the book contributors are preceded by “In.”

Chapter author and editor and two book compilers: Smith, John. “Chapter Title.” Edited by Bill McCoy. In Book Title. Compiled by Russell Engels and Steve Simpson.
Author and translator of an article: Smith, J. “Article Title.” Translated by Bill McCoy. Periodical Title.

Title Rules

Generally, capitalize all principal words as well as the first word and last word in the title. If citing a title for an entire source, such as a book or periodical title, place in italics. If citing an article, essay, poem or short story within a larger work, place in quotes. If a novel or published independently, then place in italics.

Publication Information

After the title and contributor information comes the publication information. Chicago/Turabian does not abbreviate months. Below are different publication information templates:

Book: Last, First M. Title. City: Publisher, Year Published.
Journal: Last, First M. “Article Title.” Title, Series, Volume, no. Issue (Month Date, Year Published): Page(s).
Magazine: Last, First M. “Article Title.” Title, Month Date, Year Published.
Newspaper: Last, First M. “Article Title.” Title (City) Month Date, Year Published.

For any information unavailable, exclude the data point, and adjust the punctuation accordingly. EasyBib will properly format your citation based on the information entered.

Additional information

For less conventional source types, you can add descriptions about the source after the title. For example, you can add “Cartoon.” or “Map.” after the title of a cartoon or map to clarify to the reader what type of source you are citing.

When citing non-periodical sources, advanced information such as the edition and section come before the publication information. Series information comes after the medium description. See the fictional example below:

Smith, John. Power. Edited by Tom Riley. 5th ed. Vol. 12 New York: Random, 2002.

Web Sources

See our web resources guides to learn how to properly cite sources found online.



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