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History: Writing & Citing

This guide is designed to help you find materials available from the Houston Cole Library for research in history.

Style Guides for History

The following guides are often used in the field of History. The Chicago Manual of Style is the complete style guide while Turabian is the

abbreviated form.

Which style should I use?

The citation style you use depends on a variety of factors. Many disciplines tend to use one particular style over another (Chicago for art, for example). Your instructors may require you use a certain style, so ask about which manual to use before you start your research. If you are publishing one of your works, your editor may require that you use of a certain style.

If you aren't required to use a certain style, use one that you are comfortable with and that best fits your needs. Just follow the guidelines and be consistent.

Citing Sources: History

The Chicago Manual of Style is the guide used most in the field of history. Please contact the reference librarian or your professor if you have questions about how to cite your sources or how to avoid plagiarism.

Online Help with Chicago Style Citations

Quick Tips

  • Chicago: Humanities style citations use footnotes or endnotes, not parenthetical references. For more information, see What are footnotes? and an image of a footnote example from Plagiarism.org.
  • Write in the 3rd person, not 1st or 2nd. Don't use "I" or "you" or related words in your writing.
  • Indent the first line of each note by five spaces.
  • Start each note with its corresponding number, a period, and one space.
  • For the first footnote or endnote for a source, give the full citation information. For subsequent notes, use use the author's name, title, and the page number. If you use the same source two or more times in a row, use the abbreviation Ibid., followed by the page number.

To cite books, check the front pages of the book or the record in the library catalog to find the publication information you need to format the citation. Sample Chicago style format for the first footnote or endnote for a print book:

1. Author's Name, Title of Book (Place of Publication: Publisher, Publication Date), Page Numbers.

To cite articles found in our library databases, check the article citation or article information page to find publication information. Sample Chicago style format for the first footnote or endnote for an article from one of our library databases:

1. Author's Name, "Title of Article,"Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication), Page Numbers, (Date Accessed).

Library databases may allow you export a citation or to save a citation in a particular format. You can then copy and paste the citation text into your footnote or endnote. Check the formatting and make any necessary corrections.For example:

  • EBSCO databases, including Academic Search, select the include when saving/sending checkbox and select Chicago/Turabian:Humanities style from the drop-down Citation Format list. Note: There have been some issues with the Madison Area Technical College student email and EBSCO articles, so use a different email address or use the save option instead.
  • Gale databases have a citation tools link on the right which works for MLA and APA, but currently not for Chicago style.