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A Quick Guide to Referencing Books in the Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide for citing sources when writing a professional paper related to the fine arts, business, or history. It’s beneficial to students, writers, editors, translators, publishers, and professional scholars.

Read on to learn the essential requirements for referencing books in this particular style.

Formatting guidelines for book references in the Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style sets different rules for referencing books, depending on the type, format, and the part you mention.

This is the standard format for all books:

Structure: First Name Last Name, Title: Subtitle (Publication City: Publisher, Publication Year), Page Number or Page Range.

Here are some helpful examples for the most common uses:

  • Print books

Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1999), 35.

Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015), 15.

Kurt Johnson, Christopher Hudson, and Steve Coates, Nabokov’s Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius (Cambridge, MA: Zoland Books, 1999), 76.

  • Edited books

Glenn Young, ed., The Best American Short Plays, 2002-2003 (New York: Applause, 2007), 53-55.

Edward B. Taylor, Researches into the Early Development of Mankind and the Development of Civilization, ed. Paul Bohannan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), 98.

  • Translated books

Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain, trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter (London: Vintage, 1999), 315.

  • Books with multiple editions

Bruce Donaldson, Dutch: A Comprehensive Grammar, 3rd ed. (Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2017), 51-54.

  • Books with volumes

David Levering Lewis, W.E.B. Dubois, 1919-1963: The Fight for Equality and the American Century (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1993), 2: 23.

  • Book chapters

Bob Stewart, “Wag of the Tail: Reflecting on Pet Ownership,” in Enriching Our Lives with Animals, ed. John Jaimeson, Tony Bannerman, and Selena Wong (Toronto, ON: Petlove Press, 2007), 97-100.

  • E-books

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (New York: Penguin Classics, 2007), chap. 3, Kindle.

Elliot Antokoletz, Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), E-Book, 35. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365825.001.00001.

Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea (London: Vintage, 2008),


The Chicago Manual of Style rules for in-text book citations

When writing in-text citations in the Chicago style, follow this format for any kind of book:

Structure: (Last Name Publication Year, Page/Page Range or Chapter)


(Rushdie 1999, 35)

(Johnson, Hudson, and Coates 1999, 76)

(Donaldson 2017, 51-54)

(Austen 2007, chap. 3)


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