Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Chicago Citation Style: Welcome


When writing a research paper, you must cite the ideas, information, arguments, phrases or any other intellectual or creative output by another person that you borrow. Not to do so is referred to as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense that has severe academic consequences (see KPU's Policy ST2, Plagiarism and Cheating).

Why do we cite?

  • to distinguish previous from new thought
  • to give credit to the person whose ideas you used
  • to respect intellectual property
  • to help a reader locate the source(s) you used
  • to show that you have investigated your topic well
  • to avoid plagiarism


Common examples of plagiarism:

  • Copying sentences, paragraphs, data or visuals without citing their source
  • Quoting material without proper use of quotation marks (even if otherwise cited appropriately)
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing information from a source without acknowledgement;
  • Paying someone for writing the assignment
  • Listing a source in the bibliography/reference list that was not cited in the assignment

Find out more about Plagiarism

Citing in Chicago


The humanities (e.g. history, music, philosophy etc.) often use Chicago Style to document sources for papers. It allows for two ways of citing:

  • footnotes or endnotes with a bibliography  = bibliography style
  • parenthetical citations with a reference list = reference style

Check with your instructor about the style you should use for your assignment.


Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition: Z 253 U69 2017 at Cloverdale, Richmond, Surrey, Langley Reference Collection

A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago Style for students and researchers, 9th edition: LB 2369 T8 2018 at Cloverdale, Richmond, Surrey, Langley Reference Collection

Quoting Basics:

In deciding whether to run in or set off a quotation, length is usually the deciding factor.

  • In general, a short quotation, especially one that is not a full sentence, should be run in, "like this."
  • A hundred words or more (at least six to eight lines of text) can generally be set off as a block quotation.
  • A quotation of two or more paragraphs is best set off (see 13.22–24), as are quoted correspondence (if salutations, signatures, and such are included), lists, and any material that requires special formatting.
  • If many quotations of varying length occur close together, running them all in may make for easier reading. But where quotations are being compared or otherwise used as entities in themselves, it may be better to set them all as block quotations, however short.
  • Poetry is set off far more often than prose (see 13.25).


Changes allowed to quotes:

Although in a direct quotation the wording should be reproduced exactly, certain changes are generally permissible to make a passage fit into the syntax and typography of the surrounding text. For details on permissible changes to punctuation, capitalization and spelling, see part 13.7 of the manual. 


Changes allowed to typogrophy and layout:

The following elements of typography and layout may be changed to assimilate a quotation to the surrounding text (13.8):


  • The typeface or font should be changed to agree with the surrounding text.
  • Words in full capitals in the original may be set in small caps, if that is the preferred style for the surrounding text.
  • In dialogue, names of speakers may be moved from a centered position to flush left.
  • Underlined words in a quoted manuscript may be printed as italics, unless the underlining itself is considered integral to the source or otherwise worthy of reproducing.


Ask A Librarian

We are here to help. If you require assistance, please don't hesistate to contact us!

  • By phone at 604.599.3434
  • By Email through this form
  • Or Chat with us live in the blue chat window to the right.


Ulrike Kestler's picture
Ulrike Kestler