Chicago Author-Date Style – Format & Examples

11.12.22 Chicago style Time to read: 5min

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The Chicago author-date style highlights sources in academic papers formatted according the Chicago style guide. The Chicago author-date style contains the author of a source and the publishing date to navigate readers to the original source. Referencing the Chicago author-date style helps prevent plagiarism by acknowledging the original creator of cited works in a research publication. This article thoroughly outlines how to format the Chicago author-date style correctly with examples.

Chicago Author-Date Style – In a Nutshell

  • The Chicago author-date style guides researchers in formatting citations in academic paper correctly.
  • There is a range of source types that may be cited.
  • The Chicago style guidebook stipulates the appropriate method of formatting each source.
  • In-text citations are indicated in the text, while their full descriptions are on the reference page.
  • The Chicago author-date style is used in various academic disciplines, most notably in social science.

Definition: Chicago author-date style

Regarding the Chicago author-date style, the notes and bibliography method are the prescribed format for citing sources. Social sciences mainly use the Chicago author-date style for general formatting. Thus, this style is recommended by most universities and research institutions. Chicago author-date style consists of in-text citations, including the author’s name, year of publication, and if necessary, the page number.

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Chicago author-date style: In-text citations

Sources within the text are cited using brackets in Chicago author-date style. The citation begins with the name of the author’s last name followed by the publication year without any punctuations to separate them.


(Rowe 2019)

When there is a page range, use a comma to separate the information:

(Rowe 2019, 14-16)

Placement of in-text citations

The citation in Chicago author-date style is placed at the end of the cited clause.


Past studies consistently show a correlation between education and adult behaviour (Kapernick 2015; Hart 2017). However, alternative research shows this may be inaccurate (Clinton 2018).

Where the researcher’s name has previously been mentioned in the passage:

Fray (2016) proposes a strong case for basic education (34). However, Samuel’s (2017) analysis does not corroborate this view.

Chicago author-date style: Reference list

The reference list outlines further details on the sources included in the Chicago author-date style citations. Individual entries on the reference start with the author’s last name and the date of publication.


Tiller, Arthur. 2016. Procurement and Supply in Agriculture. Rio De Janeiro: Wiley.

Chicago author-date style: Reference list entries

Formatting entries on the reference list may vary according to the type of source. Some common examples of citations include:

Book citation

In Chicago, author-date style book citations:

Format: Author last name, first name. Year. Title of Book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher. URL.


Ortega, Amancio. 1976. Journey to the Edge of the Cosmos. Edited by Donald Bradshaw. Yosemite: Kiwi.

Book chapter citation

Format: Author last name, first name. Year. “Title of Chapter.” In Title of Book, edited by Editor first name last name, page range. Place of publication: Publisher.


Wilson, Owen. 2006. “Trouble by the River Bank: A Call to Arms” In The History of Immigration, edited by Bryce Michael, 214 -76. Cairo: Iman Press.

Journal article citation

Journals usually have volume and issue numbers as they are released periodically, which should be indicated in the Chicago author-date style.

Format: Author last name, first name. Year. “Title of Article.” Name of Journal, Volume, Issue number (Publication date): Page range. DOI or URL.


Zelinsky, Paulo. 2014. “The Changing Landscape of Auto Design.” Journal of Mechanical Engineering 2, no. 4 (October): 145 – 156.

Website citation

Using the Chicago author-date style to cite online articles and webpages:

Format: Last name of the author, first name. Year. “Title of Page.” Name of Website. Access/revision date. URL.


Shaw, Grimes. 2017. “AI in Healthcare.” NHS. Accessed October 13, 2018.

E-book citation

Using the Chicago author-date style to cite E-books:

Format: First name, Last name, Book Title (City: Publisher, year published), page or location number, URL.


Donaldson J. Wright, The Reckoning (Newark, NJ: Happy Books Press, 1982), 19,

Newspaper or magazine citation

Cite newspapers as follows:

Format: Last name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Newspaper Title. Month Day, Year. Url (Month Day, Year).


Lively, Sandra. “A Lion’s Journey.” Chicago Tribune. October 9, 2003. (accessed May 5, 2007).

Interview citation

Interviews can be cited as follows:

Format: Name, Interview by, Location, Date


Sam Dexter interview by author, Dublin, September 19, 2019.

Thesis or dissertation citation

When citing a thesis format in Chicago author-date style, your citation should be as follows:

Format: First-name Last-name, “Thesis Title: Subtitle,” (Publisher, Year).


Conrad Washington, “Tracing geo-political structures in ancient Roman civilizations,” Ph.D. diss., (University of Minnesota, 2008).

Social media content citation

Social media content is cited as follows:

Format: Lastname, Firstname [or single username] (@handle). Year. “Full Tweet.” Twitter, Month day, year, time posted. URL.


Elon Musk (@elonmusk). 2016. “The Falcon X Rocket enters earth’s atmosphere! #tbt” Twitter, March 3, 2016, 12:31 p.m.

Personal communication citation

Researchers may use personal communication like phone calls as references. These can be formatted as follows:

Format: Name, in discussion with, date.


Joseph Weldon (retyred pilot) in discussion with the author, January 2019.

Chicago author-date style: Variations

There are other Chicago author-date style variations in unique cases when citing sources. They include:

Citing a source with multiple authors

Where there is more than one author:

2 authors: (Dreyfus and Grealish 2019)
3 authors: (Barker, Davidson, and Riley 2013)
4 authors or more: (Levine et al. 2012)
More than 11 authors: mention the first seven on the reference page, followed by “et al.”

Citing multiple sources with the same author and year

Cite such sources using the Chicago author-date style, which lists the sources in alphabetical order to distinguish each reference. Include a letter after publication, i.e., a, b, c…


Owen, Jake. 2011a. “Article Title.” Journal Title, no. 2 (July): 314 -43.

Owen, Jake. 2014b. “Book Title.” San Francisco: Penguin.

In-text citation:

(Owen 2011a)

(Owen 2014b)

Citing sources with missing information

Sources with missing information can also be cited using the Chicago author-date style. If you have a source with no publication date, use the abbreviation “n.d.” i.e., “no date” in the reference list.:

In-text citation: (Rowe n.d.)
Reference list entry: Rowe, Bryant. n.d. Birds of Prey: Los Angeles: Wiley.
For sources without author names: Some sources may not have author names, mention the organization’s name.


In-text citation: (Treton Research Institute 2017)

Reference list entry: Treton Research Institute. 2017. “Advances in Modern Transport Systems.” November 14, 218.

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Chicago author-date style is the format of referencing used in Chicago-style academic papers. It includes the author’s name and the date of publication.

Harvard style and Chicago author-date style are formatting styles used in academia. However, they are different as they use different rules to cite sources used in research.

This style of referencing is used in Chicago-formatted academic papers. It is used by researchers for in-text citations and reference lists.

You can mention the name of the organisation associated with the publication. Sources with no known authors include organisation publications and government releases.