How to Cite Books in Chicago Style

So here comes the big question – how to cite a book in Chicago style?

In our guide you will find two examples — one for bibliography section and the other for footnotes.

The general format is like this:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Footnote citation:

1. Firstname Lastname, Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), page number.


In our citation examples we use the following color coding:

  • Red – Author
  • Blue – Title of book/article/charter/webpage
  • Pink – Date
  • Orange – Website/Publisher
  • Turquoise – Place of publication
  • Violet – Editor/Translator
  • Black – Volume/Issue
  • Sienna – Pages
  • Gold – Book, a part/chapter of which is being cited
  • Peach – Additional information about the source (i.e. its type, specific features etc.)
  • Light magenta – Encyclopedia/dictionary entry
Single author Two or three authors Four or more authors No author Multiple works by the same author Different editions Editor or translator instead of author Authors plus editors or translators Encyclopedia or dictionary Chapter in an edited book E-book Preface, foreword, afterword, or introduction Co-Publishers

Single author

Fetherston, Trevor. Becoming an Effective Teacher. Victoria: Thomson Learning, 2007.

Footnote citation:

1. Trevor Fetherston, Becoming an Effective Teacher (Victoria: Thomson Learning, 2007), 33.

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Two or three authors

Bohm, Andrew, and Dean Chaudri. Securing Australia’s Future: An Analysis of the International Education Markets in India. Sydney: IDP Education Australia, 2000.

Footnote citation:

1. Andrew Bohm and Dean Chaudri, Securing Australia’s Future: an Analysis of the International Education Markets in India (Sydney: IDP Education Australia, 2000), 33-55.

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Four or more authors

Bell, Michael, David Bush, Peter Nicholson, Dan O’Brien, and Thomas Tran. Universities Online: A Survey of Online Education and Services in Australia. Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Training, 2002.

Footnote citation:

1. Michael Bell et al., Universities Online: A Survey of Online Education and Services in Australia (Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Training, 2002), 33-55.

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No author

Wondering how to cite a book with no author?

If there are no authors or editors in the source, then they should be cited by title. In footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographical entries, citations should begin with the title.

In other words — just omit the name.

The citation looks like this:

Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Footnote citation:

1. Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), page number.

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Multiple works by the same author

Using multiple works of the same author poses no challenge as all of them are promptly cited in footnotes at the bottom of the page.

Fromm, Erich. The Fear of Freedom. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1942.

---. The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1987.

Footnote citation:

1. Erich Fromm, The Fear of Freedom (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1942), 33.

2. Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1987), 42.

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Different editions

It may be required to further specify the place of publication. In this example, it is Hove, East Sussex. In most cases, it would be sufficient to simply list the city.

Kremer, John, and Aidan Moran. Pure Sport: Practical Sport Psychology. 2nd ed. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, 2013.

Footnote citation:

1. John Kremer and Aidan Moran, Pure Sport: Practical Sport Psychology, 2nd ed. (Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, 2013), 104.

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Editor or translator instead of author

In case with a translator, use trans. instead of ed.

Smith, Jane, ed. The Stanford Handbook of Business and the American Press. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Footnote citation:

1. Jane Smith, ed., The Stanford Handbook of Business and the American Press (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 202.

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Authors plus editors or translators

Quick advice on how to reference edited book:

Use phrases like edited by (ed.), compiled by (comp.) or translated by (trans.) when it is necessary.

Churchill, Winston. The Literary Works of Winston Churchill. Edited by Samuel Jackson. London: The Limited Editions Club, Inc., 1963.

Footnote citation:

1. Winston Churchill, The Literary Works of Winston Churchill, ed. Samuel Jackson (London: The Limited Editions Club, Inc., 1963), 12.

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Encyclopedia or dictionary

The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. s.v. “Tradition.”

If there is a need to cite the encyclopedia multiple times on the same page, use s.vv. instead of s.v., and cite all the words after.

You have to specify any edition other than the first in both bibliography and footnotes. Since all words in a dictionary or encyclopedia are typically placed in alphabetical order, no pages are necessary. However, the words must also be arranged in alphabetical order.

The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. s.vv. “Astronomy,” “Chemistry,” “Tradition,” “Philosophy.”

Footnote citation:

1. The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Tradition.”

2. The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.vv. “Astronomy,” “Chemistry,” “Tradition,” “Philosophy.”

This color is used to refer to various categories of encyclopedia.

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Chapter in an edited book

To illustrate that a book or a chapter was edited or otherwise altered, footnotes and bibliography should include phrases like edited by or ed., compiled by or comp., or translated by or trans.

Higgs, Malcolm. “Change and Its Leadership: The Role of Positive Emotions.” In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology and Work, edited by P. Alex Linley, Susan Harrington, and Nicola Garcea, 67-94. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Footnote citation:

1. Malcolm Higgs, “Change and Its Leadership: The Role of Positive Emotions,” in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology and Work, ed. P. Alex Linley, Susan Harrington, and Nicola Garcea (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 67-72.

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E-book

Including the format of the document is important, so it must be specified. Most common formats are PDF, Kindle, Microsoft Reader, Dejavu, etc. Pages in electronic versions of a book may differ from the original print. You can use chapters or sections of the book as locators.

Chan, Mimi. All the King’s Women. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2000. PDF e-book.

Footnote citation:

1. Mimi Chan, All the King’s Women (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2000), PDF e-book, chap. 4.

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Preface, foreword, afterword, or introduction

If the book has several publishers, don’t make your life difficult — include only the first one.

Reamer, Frederic G. Foreword to Social Justice and Social Work, edited by Michael J. Austin, xiii-xv. Los Angeles: Sage, 2014.

Footnote citation:

1. Frederic G. Reamer, foreword to Social Justice and Social Work, ed. Michael J. Austin (Los Angeles: Sage, 2014), xiv.

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Co-Publishers

Sometimes, books are published in different countries. In that case, include only one version. In case the publishing dates for both authors are different, then you must include them in both Bibliography and footnote citations.

Doe, John, and Daniel K. F. Beaverfang. The Dead Sky Chronicles, Study Edition. 2 vols. New York: Brill; San-Francisco: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2005.

Footnote citation:

1. John Doe and Daniel K. F. Beaverfang, eds., The Dead Sky Chronicles, Study Edition (New York: Brill; San-Francisco: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2005), 2:35.

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