Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

Chicago/Turabian Author-Date Citation Elements


As you’re researching your sources for your Chicago/Turabian author-date styled research paper, prepare for your reference list by thinking ahead. It’s overwhelming when you’re faced with the daunting research needed for your paper. You can make your life easier by creating a preliminary or working bibliography of all your sources.

student organizing Chicago/Turabian Author-Date Citation

Information to Include in Citations

As you gather bibliographic sources, such as journal articles, websites, newspapers, and books, get all the necessary information about the material right away. Even if you end up deciding that particular resource doesn’t add to your paper, gather the information together to create accurate citations. This helps you for future papers as well. Simply grab web links, make rough notes and take all the data you can find about the resource. You don’t have to worry about organizing it just yet. It may help to highlight resources you think are the most relevant to your paper.

When you write a school paper using the MLA style, you’ll be using the container system with nine elements. However, in the Chicago/Turabian author-date style, you need to make sure you gather details for just five elements. We’ll talk about creating biblio entries in other articles but for now, you just need to make sure you have these five details.

Creator of the Work

For example, the author of a book is the creator. If the book also has an editor and/or translator, gather that data. If there are multiple authors or creators, make sure to include them all.

Identification of the Work

This includes the title, subtitle, volume, issue, edition or any other identifying data.

Date of Publication

This is the year of publication for books. For newspapers or audiovisual materials, it can be the day, month and even the time.

Location of the Work

If the work is an online source such as a webpage or database, include the link either by the web link (URL) or a DOI. If it is a piece of art hung in a museum, include the name of the museum. For books and other print sources, you don’t need to include their physical location.


You’ll also need to include the name of the publisher. For books, this will be a publishing house, such as the University of New Mexico Press or Random House. For other sources, the publisher may be a media publisher such as US News and World Report or the website creator.

The Chicago/Turabian author-date style is an easy way to organize and create citations for your research paper. Planning ahead by organizing your sources by making preliminary bibliographic entries helps considerably to relieve the stress of preparing a college or school research paper.

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About the author

Adrienne Mathewson

Adrienne Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief of Bibliography.com, is an Information Professional with a Master of Library Information & Science degree from San José State University with an emphasis on information literacy and scholarly publishing. She is a certified librarian through the State of New Mexico.

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