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Political Science (Lair): Chicago Style - Author Date Format

A guide to help students conduct research in Professor Lair’s political science classes.

What's author-date?

What's author-date style?

In the text of your paper, cite sources in parentheses using just the author’s last name and the year of the work. Chicago style does not put a comma between the name and year. Such notes are called “author-date” citations.
(Stickler 2013)

(Noggin and Noddin 2015)

Insert a citation whenever you need to show the source for something you wrote or quoted. Add page numbers, if appropriate, after a comma.
There are many reasons why students panic when papers are due. For instance, they might not understand the assignment (Noggin and Noddin 2015, 16–17). Or perhaps they missed a lot of classes (Stickler 2013, 112).

The reader can find the complete source citation in your alphabetical reference list by looking under the author’s name and the date.

-Taken from the CMOS Shop Talk website.

Chicago Manual of Style - Author Date Format

What's Chicago Style?
Chicago Style might seem unfamiliar to you, but with author-date style, your in-text citations are similar to that of APA Style.
In author-date style, note citations appear in the text of your paper like this (Lair, 2020). Full citations are listed together in an alphabetical “reference list” at the end of the paper.

How to Cite

Chicago Style Citation Guide taken in part from The Chicago Manual of Style Online Website

The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.


Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. 2015. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. Smith, Zadie. 2016. Swing Time. New York: Penguin Press.

In-text citations
(Grazer and Fishman 2015, 12)

Chapter or other part of an edited book
In the reference list, include the page range for the chapter or part. In the text, cite specific pages.

Reference list entry
Thoreau, Henry David. 2016. “Walking.” In The Making of the American Essay, edited by John D’Agata, 167–95. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press.

In-text citation
(Thoreau 2016, 177–78)

In some cases, you may want to cite the collection as a whole instead.


Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)
Austen, Jane. 2007. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle.

In-text citations
(Austen 2007, chap. 3)

Journal article

In the reference list, include the page range for the whole article. In the text, cite specific page numbers. For articles consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database in the reference list entry. Many journal articles list a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins This URL is preferable to the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Keng, Shao-Hsun, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem. 2017. “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality.” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring): 1–34.

LaSalle, Peter. 2017. “Conundrum: A Story about Reading.” New England Review 38 (1): 95–109. Project MUSE.

In-text citations
(Keng, Lin, and Orazem 2017, 9–10)
(LaSalle 2017, 95)

Journal articles often list many authors, especially in the sciences. If there are four or more authors, list up to ten in the reference list; in the text, list only the first, followed by et al. (“and others”). For more than ten authors (not shown here), list the first seven in the reference list, followed by et al.

Reference list entry

Bay, Rachael A., Noah Rose, Rowan Barrett, Louis Bernatchez, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Jesse R. Lasky, Rachel B. Brem, Stephen R. Palumbi, and Peter Ralph. 2017. “Predicting Responses to Contemporary Environmental Change Using Evolutionary Response Architectures.” American Naturalist 189, no. 5 (May): 463–73.

In-text citation
(Bay et al. 2017, 465)

News or magazine article

Articles from newspapers or news sites, magazines, blogs, and the like are cited similarly. In the reference list, it can be helpful to repeat the year with sources that are cited also by month and day. Page numbers, if any, can be cited in the text but are omitted from a reference list entry. If you consulted the article online, include a URL or the name of the database.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Manjoo, Farhad. 2017. “Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera.” New York Times, March 8, 2017.

In-text citation
(Manjoo 2017)


Stamper, Kory. 2017. “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English.” Interview by Terry Gross. Fresh Air, NPR, April 19, 2017. Audio, 35:25.

In-text citation
(Stamper 2017)

Thesis or dissertation
Rutz, Cynthia Lillian. 2013. “King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues.” PhD diss., University of Chicago.

In-text citation
(Rutz 2013, 99–100)

Website content

It is often sufficient simply to describe web pages and other website content in the text (“As of May 1, 2017, Yale’s home page listed . . .”). If a more formal citation is needed, it may be styled like the examples below. For a source that does not list a date of publication or revision, use n.d. (for “no date”) in place of the year and include an access date.

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Bouman, Katie. 2016. “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole.” Filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA. Video, 12:51.

Google. 2017. “Privacy Policy.” Privacy & Terms. Last modified April 17, 2017.

In-text citations
(Bouman 2016)

(Google 2017)

Social media content

Citations of content shared through social media can usually be limited to the text (as in the first example below). If a more formal citation is needed, a reference list entry may be appropriate. In place of a title, quote up to the first 160 characters of the post. Comments are cited in reference to the original post.


Conan O’Brien’s tweet was characteristically deadpan: “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets” (@ConanOBrien, April 22, 2015).

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Chicago Manual of Style. 2015. “Is the world ready for singular they? We thought so back in 1993.” Facebook, April 17, 2015.

In-text citations

(Chicago Manual of Style 2015)


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