Notes—footnotes or endnotes—should guide readers to sources that directly contributed to your research and the formulation of your ideas. Use citations when you quote directly, when you attribute an idea or analysis to someone else ("According to historian Jane Jones, ...."), to acknowledge an intellectual debt, or to refer your reader to a body of information. Finally, when it doubt, cite. You may also use a note to elaborate on information or analysis not appropriate for inclusion in the text, but do so very cautiously. If something is not appropriate for inclusion in the text, it may well not belong in the notes either.
Historians' preferred style of citation for endnotes, footnotes and bibliography is that of The Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press. A summary of that style can be found in Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. The following rules and examples can guide you through the most basic of entries. For more complex citations, such as for multiple authors, see Chicago or Turabian.
Government documents are valuable sources of information; take care to cite them fully and correctly. This entails providing all available facts of publication, such as dates, serial and print numbers, as well as information service identifying and accession numbers whenever relevant. Because of the many different possibilities for documents out of federal, state and local government levels, including legislative and executive office publications, hearings, bills, and commission reports, be sure to consult Chicago or Turabian for the particular formats appropriate to your body of research.
Sources obtained electronically require special care in notations, including noting the date on which you accessed a source, as they change often. The universal resource locator (URL) is not an adequate citation by itself, as many Internet sources move from site to site with some frequency, and others simply disappear off the Internet. Therefore include the URL, but do not rely on it. If an article you obtain electronically is in its original format (such as those accessed through JStor), you can cite it as you would cite the original journal article. For all other formats, you must use the URL, date accessed, etc., as outlined in the examples below. In addition, see the section below on using the Internet for research purposes. As always, refer to a recent edition of Chicago or Turabian.
I. Footnote and Endnotes:
A. Notations in text should be made only with a superscripted number. This number should follow all punctuation—except for a dash. You may use either footnotes or endnotes. Do not cite sources using embedded notes, that is, do not use parentheses within the text to refer to your sources. Single space notes; double space between them. Your word processor should create and edit footnote and endnote numbers automatically, usually opening a new window or section in which you can enter the information about your sources.
1. Joe Author, This is a Book (City: Publisher, 1988), pp. 123-124.
2. Mary Scholar, "This is an Article," This is a Periodical 53 (3 January 1995): 123-164.
3. John Writer, "This is a Chapter in Sam's Book," Edited Volume, Sam Editor, ed. (City: Publisher, 1997), pp. 243-263.
4. Frederick Ideas, "An Article on the Internet," Journal of the History of Ideas 42 (January 1998): 234-54; available from <http://muse.jhu.edu /journal_of_the_history_of_ideas/>; Internet; accessed August 31, 1998.
5. An Exhibition on the Web, located at <http://xxx.edu/>, July 1998-present; sponsored by Major Museum in collaboration with Websites Unlimited; Linda Curator, curator and author; Jeremy Designer, designer; accessed August 30, 1998.
II. Bibliography Entries:
A. List in alphabetical order by author's last name, single-spaced, first lines flush left, second and succeeding lines indented. If there is more than one author, alphabetize by the first author's last name. Double space between entries.
Author, Joe. This is a Book. City: Publisher, 1968.
Scholar, Mary. "This is an Article." This is a Periodical 53 (January, 1968): 123-164.
Writer, John, "This is a Chapter in Sam's Book." In Edited Volume, Sam Editor, ed., pp. 243-263. City: Publisher, 1987.
Ideas, Frederick. "An Article on the Internet." Journal of the History of Ideas 42 (January 1998): 234-54; available from <http://muse.jhu.du /journal_of_the_history_of_ideas/>; accessed August 31, 1998.
An Exhibition on the Web, located at <http://xxx.edu/>, July 1998-present; sponsored by Major Museum in collaboration with Websites Unlimited; Linda Curator, curator and author; Jeremy Designer, designer; accessed August 30, 1998.
III. Helpful abbreviations to be used in footnotes and endnotes only:
A. Ibid. can be used only when the immediately preceding citation is identical; if page numbers are different from the previous citation, that adjustment is acceptable. Do not use "ibid." if the preceding citation has more than one reference.
5. Ibid., pp. 56-57. [Note that this term is no longer italicized.]
B. Op cit is no longer acceptable. Use a shortened citation with author's last name and a short title after the first fully footnoted or endnoted reference to a source. For example:
5. Author, Book, p. 275.