Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

Citing Visual and Performing Arts in Chicago Author-Date Style

You may use MLA style to write about art in high school, but there is a good chance you’ll be using Chicago/Turabian 17 style in college. If you are writing exclusively about an artist or art history, you will probably be asked to use the Chicago notes-biblio style. The notes-biblio style is ideal for writing about music, history and art, because you add notes throughout the text. Chicago author-date style, on the other hand, is easier and more general, accommodating references to visual and performing arts sources within a larger context. In this case, there are a few rules to follow.

Citation generator

Citing Artworks

Cite artworks such as photographs, paintings and sculptures within your paper. Since you do not include notes in author-date style, cite them in parenthetical citations within the text. As with other sources, such as social media posts, you can include them in your reference list if the piece is critical to your research argument. If you are using a print book as your source, include that information in the reference list. And, if you found the work online, include the URL.

Using Maps, Advertisements, Graphics

Adding a variety of sources to your school paper makes it more interesting to your reader and underscores your research abilities. Adding graphic sources gives depth and draws the reader to expand their scope of understanding your underlying argument.

Cite these sources within the text only. If you provide enough information on the piece within the text, you do not need to add a parenthetical citation.

You do not need to create a corresponding entry in the reference list. Just make sure you’ve included enough information in your paper, so your reader knows who created the piece and the date it was created or published.

Creating Entries for Performing Arts

student research footnotes endnotes

You may find a way to add zing to your research paper is by incorporating references to plays, musicals, dances and other live performances. How you accessed the performance affects how you cite performing arts sources in Chicago author-date style.

For example, if you did not actually see the performance live, but viewed it online, then create a reference list entry for the source. Otherwise, you may write it into your paper or include it as a parenthetical citation.

Note: To cite the recorded version of a live performance, include the medium.


Beyond In-Text References

Although most artwork and performances can simply be added in your text, there are times when you need to include them in your author-date style reference list. If you find your source online or in print, include that information in your art history paper reference list. Always check with your instructor to make sure you are following their guidelines for formatting your Chicago style format reference list.

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