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CMS Format: Footnotes

General Overview:

Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) format is mainly used in the humanities, especially in history. These fields of study often use primary sources (written and pictorial documents produced in the past by people living during the time period being researched). There are many types of primary sources (diaries, letters, government documents, paintings, cartoons, and oral history interviews, to name just a few examples). Because of this complexity, check with your instructor for more specific instructions about how to cite your paper’s particular primary sources.

CMS documentation format presents content without parenthetical citations to sources; sources are cited within the text with superscript numbers that refer readers to one of two options for complete source information:

a) Endnotes collected in a NOTES page (see CMS Format: Endnotes).
b) Footnotes at the bottom of the page (see information below).

CMS citation generally includes a BIBLIOGRAPHY at the very end of the paper. (See CMS Format: Bibliography.) Check with your instructor to see if you need both NOTES and a BIBLIOGRAPHY. CMS also has an alternate system of parenthetical author-date references; see CMS Ch. 15.


  • Footnotes appear at the bottom of pages of text, single-spaced, to correspond to in-text numbers on the page.  (See Example below.)
  • For each first footnote entry, include the author’s name, the title, the source or facts of publication (city, publisher, any other necessary information), and date. Entries from a print book or periodical must also include page numbers. (Omit portions of this information only if it is not present.)
  • For a second footnote from the same source as the preceding footnote, use “Ibid.” (meaning from the same source) plus the page number, if different. For a source cited previously but not in the preceding footnote, use author’s last name, abbreviated title, and page number.
  • For a secondary source (a source cited within your source), include both the original source and the secondary source in the note. (See CMS 14.273.)

How to format in-text citations:

  • Use superscript consecutive numbering to indicate footnotes at the bottom of the page. Place footnote superscript numbers after the period in sentences.
  • Word processors can automatically insert a superscript number in-text with a corresponding footnote number below an automatic line at the bottom of each page. In MS Word, click the “References” tab. Choose “Insert Footnote.”




(CMS 16.16-18)


         1. Brad D. E. Jarvis, The Brothertown Nation of Indians: Land Ownership and Nationalism in Early America, 1740-1840 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), 32-34.


         2. Ted Steinberg, Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). E-Book, 80, 84-85.


Book with two or more authors:

(CMS 16.76)

         3. William L. Cleveland and Martin Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder: Westview Press, 2009), 23.


Article or chapter in an edited book:

(CMS 16.112)

         4. Robert C. Braddock, “To Serve the Queen,” in Tudor Queenship: The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, ed. Alice Hunt and Anne Whitelock (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010), 225.


Journal article:

(CMS 16.175-202) (NOTE: omit The in journal titles)

Print, one author:

         5.Byungil Ahn, “Reinventing Scientific Medicine for the Socialist Republic: The Soviet Psycho-Prophylactic Method of Delivery in 1950s China,” Twentieth-Century China 38, no. 2 (2013): 154-55.

Print, more than three authors:*

         6. Sue, Derald Wing, et al., “Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life,” American Psychologist 62 (May-June 2007): 271. 
         (Note that there is no issue number for this journal; therefore the months are indicated in parentheses.)

Online with doi (digital object identifier):

         7. Paul C. Henry, “How Mainstream Consumers Think about Consumer Rights and Responsibilities,” Journal of Consumer Research 37, no. 4 (2010): 671. doi: 10.1086/653657. 

Online without doi (digital object identifier):

         8. Melissa Ladd Teed, “A Passion for Distinction: Lydia Huntley Sigourney and the Creation of a Literary Reputation,” New England Quarterly 77, no. 1 (2004): 52. (JSTOR, accessed June 19, 2013).

*For print journal articles with two or three authors, see previous guidelines for “book with two or three authors.”


Newspaper article:

(CMS 14.203-04 & 14.271-72)


         9. Randall C. Archibald, “Judge Blocks Arizona’s Immigration Law,” New York Times, July 29, 2010.


         10. Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, “Wonkbook: Time is the Enemy on Immigration Reform,” Washington Post, April 22, 2013,



(CMS 14.243-46)

         11. “U. S. Grant: In His Shoes,” PBS, accessed December 29, 2010,


Film (DVDs and Videos): 

(CMS 14.279)

         12. An Inconvenient Truth. Hollywood: Paramount, 2006. DVD.



         Mary was the last surviving child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Although there is some controversy surrounding Mary Tudor’s birthday, the generally accepted year of her birth seems to be 1495.1 Growing up, Mary was close to her brother Henry VIII, who was five years older, and they would hold a deep respect and regard for each other throughout their lifetimes.  However, that closeness would also put them at odds during Mary’s second marriage.2 As Loades explains, Mary’s first marriage had been arranged with Louis XII of France, who at age 52 was desperate for a male heir, having only  two daughters from his previous two marriage attempts. France’s law prevented women from inheriting the throne, and if Louis failed to produce a son soon, France’s next king would be Louis’ son-in-law, Francis.3 When King Louis died four months later, Mary decided to choose her own second husband.4


1 Walter C. Richardson, Mary Tudor: The White Queen (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1970), 3.
2 David Loades, “Mary (1496-1533),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford UP, 2004; online edition, (accessed January 10, 2012). 
3 Richardson,  Mary Tudor,  76.
4  Ibid., 77.