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Citing Your Sources

A general guide to citations and styles commonly used at USNA.

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is most often used for history and philosophy papers.

WARNING Within Chicago style are two systems for formatting citations. Most likely you'll use the notes and bibliography system, but your professor may prefer the author-date system.


In the notes and bibliography system, use a superscript number like this 1 to refer to a citation found in a footnote at the bottom of the page or an endnote at the end of the paper. Here are what book, journal article, and website citations look like in the note and then in the bibliography.

  Footnote or Endnote Bibliography
Book 1. Author last name, Shortened Title, XX.

1. Goat, Superiority of Midshipmen, 26.
Author (Last name, first name). Title in Title Case and Italics, (City: Publisher, Date), XX-XX.

Goat, Bill T. Examining the Superiority of Midshipmen Over Cadets (Annapolis: U.S. Naval Academy Press, 1845), 25-30
1. Author last name, "Shortened Title in Title Case and Quotes," XX

1. Goat, "Winning Football Strategies," 26.
Author (last name, first name), "Title of Article in Title Case and Quotes," Journal Title in Title Case and Italics V, no. I (YYYY): XX-XX, accessed Month DD,YYYY, doi: XXXXXX.

Goat, Bill T. "Winning Football Strategies Against Army," Midshipman Review 23, no. 4 (2013): 25-30, accessed October 13, 2016, doi: 12345.
Website Because the information available on websites vary greatly, it's easiest to go directly to the style manual for examples. The style manual recommends citing websites fully in the notes and not including them in the bibliography.

In the author-date system, use the author's last name, the publication year, and page number in parentheses like this - (Goat 1845, 25) - after your citation to refer to an item on your "References" or "Works Cited" list. If you use the author's name in the text, just include the publication year in parentheses like this - "as Goat (1845) recommends."

  "References" or "Works Cited" page
Book Author (last name, first name). YYYY. Title in Title Case and Italics. City: Publisher.

Goat, Bill T. 1845. Examining the Superiority of Midshipmen Over Cadets. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Academy Press.
Author (last name, first name). YYYY. "Article Title in Title Case and Quotes." Journal Title in Title Case and Italics V(I): XX-XX. doi: XX.XXXXXX.

Goat, Bill T. 2013. "Winning Football Strategies Against Army." Midshipman Review 23(4): 25-30. doi: 12.3456.
Website Author or Oganization. YYYY. "Page Title in Title Case and Quotes." Website Title in Title Case. Accessed Month DD. URL.

Naval Academy Varsity Athletics. 2015. "No. 21 Navy tops Army 21-17 for 14th straight win in series." Navy Sports: The Official Website of Naval Academy Varsity Athletics. Accessed January 1.
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You may see or hear an instruction to use "Turabian style." This is essentially Chicago Style and refers to A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, These, and Dissertations first written by Kate Turabian. "Chicago" and "Turabian" style are often used interchangeably or in combination, and the differences between them are small. You are safe using Chicago Style (which is accessible online) in place of Turabian (which is not).

The main difference between the two style guides is Chicago covers all scholarly writing, and Turabian focuses student writing.

Chicago Style resources

Need more help with citations in Chicago Style? Go right to the source at the Chicago Manual of Style website or the more robust guide provided by Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. You can also refer to The Longman Hanbook for Writers and Readers, which you received as plebes and is available in the Ready Reference section of the Nimitz Library.


Explanation of the terms and abbreviations used in the examples on the left.

Red text Replace this text with the appropriate information from your source.
Black text Do not change this text when formatting your citations.
Title Case Capitalize 1st letter of the title & the 1st letter of every principal word
City City where published
YYYY Publication year
X Page numbers
V Volume number
I Issue number