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REL 401 (Nickodemus): Chicago Style - Footnotes

Faith for Life

Chicago Footnotes

For your community engagement paper, you need only provide footnotes for your sources (rather than footnotes and a bibliography).

That means when you cite a source, you provide a superscript number at the end of the sentence containing information from an outside source and then a brief source description in the footnote area of the paper.

There are two ways you'll use other people's words in your work.

  • Quotations: using the author's exact words
  • Paraphrases & Summaries: using the author's ideas in your own words

Click the Quotations or Paraphrases & Summaries tab to view rules for providing in-text notes in both of these situations.


Rule: Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase, and place the superscript note at the end, after the closing quotation marks. (Signal phrases may or may not include the author's name.)


As Davis reported, "If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists." 1

Rule: When the quotation is 5 lines or more (about 100 words), do not use quotation marks, but indent the quote .5" into its own block of text. The blocked quotation should be single-spaced.


Students having a hard time finding databases isn't a new phenomenon. At the University of Washington, they have problems too.

With the addition of so many new databases to the campus online system, many students were having difficulty locating the database they needed. At the same time, the role of Session Manager had evolved. The increased importance of the Session Manager as a selection tool made it a part of the navigation process itself.2

Footnote Example:

2. Karen Eliasen, Jill McKinstry, Beth Mabel Fraser, and Elizabeth P. Babbitt, "Navigating Online Menus: A Quantitative Experiment," College & Research Libraries 58, no. 6 (November 1997): 510.


Rule: No quotation marks required; may or may not include author's name in the text.

Example 1:

According to Davis, when they learned of an ape's ability to use sign language, both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise.3

Example 2:

When they learned of an ape's ability to use sign language, both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise.4

The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) provides example footnotes for several different types of sources here.  Find additional rules and examples in chapter 14 of the print manual kept on reserve under "Library" at the main desk in GRW.

*Remember* - you only need to create footnotes (not a bibliography) for this assignment.

Some general rules...

  • Footnotes for each source should appear at the end of the page on which the source is cited
  • Numbers in the text are superscript; numbers in the footnote are full size, not raised, and followed by a period
  • Notes should be numbered consecutively
  • The note number is usually added at the end of a sentence, after punctuation
  • When you have cited a source once already in your paper, you only need to create a shortened note the next time you cite it (see examples on the page linked above)

View this video for creating footnotes in Microsoft Word. Again, you won't have a bibliography, so you'll need to type your source information into the footnote area.

Questions?  Please ask a librarian!

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