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Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) Citation Help

View examples, get interactive practice, and format your paper with Chicago Style citation!

In-text citations in MLA

Any time you use an information source in your paper, you must include an in-text citation.

The purpose of the in-text citation is to give just a little bit of information about the source you used so your reader can find your Works Cited list citation for the source. The Works Cited list citations allow your reader to see where you're getting your information and to find the source again so they can read it for themselves.  

Every in-text citation must correspond to a source citation on your Works Cited list. Every citation on your Works Cited list must correspond to at least one in-text citation somewhere in your paper.  

If you don't include in-text citations or Works Cited citations for information you use from your sources, you are at risk of plagiarism (passing off others' work as your own). Plagiarism has serious academic consequences. 

Adding Footnotes in Word

Unlike MLA and APA, you'll be using footnotes to add your in-text documentation. (There is a version of Chicago which uses parenthetical citations -- Author-Date format -- but you're more likely to use Notes-Bibliography, which this guide focuses on.)

To add footnotes to your paper, just click the "Insert Footnote" option in Word (under References) wherever you'd normally be adding a parenthetical citation. Word will take care of all the spacing and footnote numbering for you.

Screenshot of References tab in Word, with a red arrow pointing at the "Insert Footnote" button


You will need to do some slight reformatting to your footnotes to make them fit Chicago Style. Footnotes should be single-spaced (with an empty line separating each footnote) and use a first line indent.

Screenshot comparing the default Word footnotes to footnotes adjusted to have a larger font and use first-line indentation


Our document template has already been formatted to Chicago style.

Template for Chicago Style paper

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