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HIST 102 - History of the United States Since 1865 - Mo

This guide will help you with your research assignment for Eva Mo's History 102 course


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NB System Basics (CMS, Chapt. 14)

In the notes-bibliography system, you signal that you have used a source by placing a superscript number at the end of the sentence in which you refer to it. For direct quotations, put the superscript number immediately following the quotation.

You then cite the source in a correspondingly numbered note that provides information about the source (author, title, and facts of publication) plus relevant page numbers. Notes are printed at the bottom of the page (called footnotes) or in a list collected at the end of your paper (called endnotes).

In most cases, you also list sources at the end of the paper in a Bibliography. That list normally includes every source you cited in a note and sometimes others you consulted but did not cite. Each bibliography entry includes the same information about the source contained in the full note, but in a slightly different form.

The resources below give you a great overview of the NB Chicago system and show you what your paper should look like:

Bibliographies (CMS, Chapter 14)

Your bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all your sources. This page, most often titled Bibliography, is usually placed at the end of your paper preceding the index (if any). It should include all the sources you cited within the work and may sometimes include other relevant sources that were not cited but provide further reading.

All of your sources (books, articles, Web sites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed, the title or keyword by which the reader would search for the source may be used instead.

General Rules:

Capitalization (CMS, 8.155): Use headline style for capitalizing titles of works unless they are in a foreign language. This means that you capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles, and capitalize all other major words, similar to MLA format.

Punctuation: In bibliography list entries, separate most elements with periods. End each entry with a period. Be sure to single space after all commas, colons, and periods.

Common Elements:

All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title, and publication information.

Author: Full name of author(s) or editor as author or corporate/institutional author

Title: Full title of book including subtitle

Editor, compiler, or translator, if any, if listed on the title page in addition to author

Edition (only if not the first edition)

Volume: total number of volumes if you cite an entire multivolume work as a whole; individual number if you cite a single volume of multivolume work, and title of individual volume if applicable

Series: title and volume number within series if series is numbered

Facts of publication: city, publisher, and date

Page number or numbers (if applicable)

Electronic books consulted online: URL or DOI [digital object identifier], or type of medium (Kindle, etc.)

Electronic books accessed in a library database: include a URL only if the database includes a recommended stable or persistent one with the document. Otherwise, include the name of the database and, in parentheses, any identification number provided with the source. If there is no publication or revision date, include an access date.

Citation Examples

Examples of Less Common Sources:


Footnotes vs. Endnotes (CMS, 14.24-14.28)

Unless otherwise instructed, you should generally use footnotes because they are easier to read. Endnotes force readers to flip to the back to check every citation.

However, you should choose endnotes when your footnotes are so long or numerous that they take up too much space on the page, making your paper unattractive and difficult to read. Also, endnotes better accommodate tables, quoted poetry, and other matter that requires special typography.

If in doubt, ask your teacher!

Notes Rules & Examples (CMS, Chapter 14)


  • The first note for each source should include all relevant information about the source: author’s full name, source title, and facts of publication.
  • If you cite the same source again, the note need only include the last name of the author, a shortened form of the title (if more than four words), and page number(s).
  • If you cite the same source and page number(s) from a single source two or more times consecutively, the corresponding note should use the word “Ibid.,” an abbreviated form of the Latin ibidem, which means “in the same place.”
  • If you use the same source but a different page number, the corresponding note should use “Ibid.” followed by a comma and the new page number(s).

Referencing Notes in Text:

Whenever you use outside sources in your text you need to insert a superscript number that directs your reader to a note that identifies the source. For most quotations, put the number immediately following. For some quotations and for general citations, put reference numbers at the end of a sentence or clause, after the terminal punctuation mark, quotation mark, or closing parenthesis. If the note refers to material before a dash, put the reference number before the dash.

Numbering Notes:

Number notes consecutively, beginning with 1. If your paper has separate chapters, restart each chapter with note 1.

Formatting Notes:

  • The first line of a footnote or endnote is indented .5" from the left margin. Subsequent lines within a note should be formatted flush left.
  • Leave an extra line space between notes.
  • Begin each note with its reference number, preferably printed not as a superscript but as regular text.
  • Put a period and a space between the number and the text of the note.

Footnotes - Begin every footnote on the page on which you reference it. Put a short rule between the last line of text and the first footnote on each page, including any notes that run over from previous pages, even if your word processor doesn't do so automatically. If a footnote runs over to the next page, break it in mid-sentence, so that readers do not think the note is finished and overlook the part on the next page. If you have more than one footnote on a page, begin each subsequent note on its own line, with a blank line before it.

Endnotes - Endnotes should be listed together after the end of the text and any appendixes but before the bibliography. Start each note on a new line, with a blank line between notes. Label the list Notes.


A complete "note" citation for a book would look like this:

         1. Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009). 30.

For more examples and to see how to use Word to format your notes check out these resources below.