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History: Citing Sources

Resources for research in history.

Need Help with Citations?

ISU Writing Center

Don't forget that you can use the Writing Center on campus to help you review your paper including your reference page!  Walk-in service is available for Pocatello students, and distance students can get help online. 

Quick Guide to Citing Common Sources in Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style offers three different ways to cite source:

  • notes -- use the first time you cite a source in a footnote
  • shortened notes -- use after the first time you have cited a source (second, third, fourth, etc. times)
  • bibliographies -- use this format in the bibliography which appears at the end of your paper

Below are a few examples of common types of sources and the format for citing them the first time in a footnote. 

Note: Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2015), 114-15.
Shortened note: Beard, SPQR, 201.
Bibliography: Beard, Mary. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2015. 

Journal article:
Note: Roy Bowen Ward, "Women in Roman Baths," The Harvard Theological Review 85, no. 2 (April 1992): 131. 
Shortened note: Ward, "Women," 132.
Bibliography: Ward, Roy Bowen. "Women in Roman Baths." The Harvard Theological Review 85, no. 2 (April 1992): 125-147.

Chapter or other part of a book:
Note: Suzanne Roux, "Archimedes," in Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece, ed. Patricia F. O'Grady (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2005), 75-78.
Shortened note: Roux, "Archimedes," 76.
Bibliography: Roux, Suzanne. "Archimedes." In Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece, edited by Patricia F. O'Grady, 69-80. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2005.

Citing Classical Texts

Whether you are making your own citations or reading citations given in secondary works, citations to classical works follow a specific convention. The format refers to the ancient text itself without referencing any particular translation.

Example:  Ov. Am. 1.7.27.

The parts of this citation are:

Ov. ancient author's name in abbreviated form
Am. abbreviated title of the ancient text in Latin and italicized
1 book number (sometimes you will see this number is a Roman numeral in a citation as in CAH)
7 chapter or section number
27 sentence (not all citations will have this element)


  • Abbreviations for authors and titles are found in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, Abbreviations section.
  • An “F” in the citation indicates that the work is fragmentary. 
  • Some citations will omit the title of a text because the author may have only one surviving work (Polybius, Herodotus).

Citing Your Sources- Options

The reference page can sometimes be the most stressful part of writing a paper, but doesn't have to be this way! There are two tools you can use to make this process much easier!  Click on the links below to learn more about each.

Be Aware!

Citation software such as Zotero and EndNote Basic are provided for your convenience only. Please use them with caution. They are not perfect, and they do make mistakes when creating bibliographies. Be sure to review the results to check for formatting, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, required elements, etc. for the citation style you are using. Consult the appropriate official style manual for the definitive answer to your citation questions.  

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